21 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

What a Rip of !!!

Reviewed Tue 18th of December 2012

"This was by far the worst holiday experience I have have ever had.

We were disappointed when we arrived that our interconnecting "Suites" were not available and they tried to give us two rooms on different floors despite having two young children with us.
We found the food to be boring, bland and unadventurous and we didnt know how we were going to survive the week on the unhealthy fare that was being served.
Despite it being all inclusive and there being many advertised facilities we found this not to be the case, and in fact the only recreating was mini golf and a pool table (which you had to pay to use both). tThere is no space in the hotel and it has a very small man made beach, they are also building next door (although Hurghada is one big building site) we would not recommend this hotel at all or or to be honest the actual resourt.
We did change hotels to the Sonesta Pharaoh which we found better although it also fell far short of its 5 star rating."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 25th of February 2008

Not For the British

Reviewed Thu 20th of December 2012

"Stayed at the Sea Star for our Honeymoon in December 2007. The hotel is beautiful, rooms excellent, cleanliness second to none, friendliness and service A1. Location isn't great - there are a couple of shops opposite and a pharmacy, everything else is a cheap taxi ride away.

This hotel is not for the british though it mainly caters for russian, german, polish visitors. There were only 6 of us week one and only 2 of us week 2 so we felt a bit out-numbered. The entertainment left a little to be desired - a one hour show each evening which again was geared towards other nationalities. There is a cocktail bar (extra charge for drinks) with the most awful pub singer you have ever heard. There is no background music anywhere else in the hotel, not even in the coffee shop which is essentially the main bar.

The main problem here is the food. Same thing night after night with some of it being warmed up from lunchtime! The food was not kept warm during service so unless you were eating bang on 7pm, it was cold.

A really lovely hotel overall which is sadly let down by its food and entertainment."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 5th of February 2008

5 star??

Reviewed Sun 25th of November 2012

"We were disappointed, with a young child, to find that we were the only British guests for the first 5 days. The staff said they rarely see British people there, the clientele being mainly French, Italian, Czech, Ukrainian.
Many of the staff, particularly in the Restaurant, were very friendly and helpful, but I'm sorry to say that others , particularly at the Pool bar, where decidedly difficult. No-one there knew what a 'Chocolate Milk' was, and repeated attempts to order one were met with Hot Chocolate, water, or a fruit cocktail left in front of me before I could protest. Only the assistant manager knew what it was. If all inclusive, you can expect you beer to be served in a 1/3 pint 3/4 full plastic glass and more or less slammed onto the counter while the barman starts serving another customer before you can ask for anything else, then waiting again before he comes back as if you are a nuisance to complete the order. I asked one barman for a plastic cup to fill at the water fountain and he made out he couldn't understand me for some time, so I turned and asked the assistant manager who was on my side of the counter, if he could help. Before I could turn round a cup of water was slammed onto the bar by the same guy, who obviously DID know what I wanted all along. And it wasn't just me, - I saw an Englishman who had arrived that day berating a (different)barman for serving 5 people before him, even though he was nearest, and first in the queue.
Your all inclusive cocktails will be served in the same small glasses, without ice, lemon, or any other adornment, and probably almost slung at you with little or no eye contact. We gave up trying to order drinks by waiter on the upstairs terrace as they sometimes took the order and didn't come back!
There is a 'pub' which was always empty, and never any staff in it anyway, and the 'nightclub' seemed similarly deserted. The 'live band' comprised the same one man band guy (nice chap) singing to backing tracks in broken English every night. O.K , but not a Band!
I saw a couple of Cockroaches in one of the general restrooms, and one was running around on the pool bar counter one evening. I don't know if that is unusual though, but be warned!

The Italian restaurant must be booked a day or more in advance unless you pay to go A La Carte, and is a limited set menu only.

If you saw Tennis Court mentioned on a web site, it is not the real thing. They do have Table Tennis though.
The 'high speed internet access' was charged by the half hour, and it sometimes felt as if it took that long to load a page.
There was no bed in our room for our daughter when we arrived in the evening, and when we went back after dinner it collapsed as the legs hadn't been properly extended. Added to this the divan had a quarter of the mesh missing, so the mattress sagged through it. It couldnt be replaced till the next day so she slept on the mattress on the floor that night.
We used a few things from the mini bar the first day (one item already missing) and despite my requests, it was never replenished.
Because check out is 12 on the departure day, we had booked and paid for an extra day so that we could stay in it till we left at 5 p.m. When we came to check out, the front desk where totally confused, and said we would have to pay them for an extra day, including A.I this was fortunately resolved when our rep arrived to pick us up, after 20 mins of arguing our case in Arabic while we stood mutely by. They only gave in after they had phoned the tour company and been assured of payment. I had tipped the bell boy for bringing or cases down, but he then watched as we carried our own bags out to the coach.

I must add that we are polite, deferential people, and I always met staff with a smile, not an expectant air at all.

Do yourselves a favour and avoid the Seastar.

Mark Stephens."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 28th of July 2007

Fell in love with Sea Star

Reviewed Tue 11th of December 2012

"HI stayed at Sea Star Beau Rivage 3 times in 1 year, the last time staying for 3 weeks.The place is 'paradise',situated on the red sea with its own beach leading right into the beautiful turquoise waters.The hotel itself is spotlessly clean, staff are very friendly & helpfull. The whole place has a very relaxed atmosphere.Food was excellant & plenty of it with many nationalities catered for.After my 3 weeks stat i never wanted to come back home & found myself a flat & job in hurgarda.I have since been to sharm, & Cairo (wich i love), stayed at Le Meridien in Lixir but none compare to the great time in sea star, always i have fond memories & hope to stay there again soon.For me Sea Star Beau Rivage is more than excellant, i cannot fault it or its staff."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 6th of February 2007

If you get a good deal and like snorkeli...

Reviewed Wed 3rd of January 2007

"If you get a good deal and like snorkeling and sunbathing you can be quite happy in this hotel, as long you don't expect five star standard, especially when it comes to the food.

The clientele in the hotel were mostly Russian, German and Swedish, but the staff spoke and understood basic English.

We travelled here with Swedish tour operator Solresor, not to be recommended. We knew that the hotel would not be 5-star by European standards, and were advised to subtract a star to get an idea of the real standard.

Unfortunately that's not enough, I agree with above rating of a nice three star.

When we arrived our room seemed clean, somewhat spartan but with a nice balcony. We had booked a double room, but got a twin. This seems to be quite common everywhere, and I don't know if the hotel has any actual double beds, anyway it didn't bother us.

Something that certainly did bother us were the marks of faeces on the wall by the toilet roll-holder! Something one might expect in a nasty public bathroom, but not in a supposedly 5-star hotel.

The cleaning staff seemed to be constantly hanging around in the corridor outside, despite this our room was often not cleaned until late afternoon, and in stages; first the beds might be changed, the next time we looked the towels might be changed, then a few hours later the floor done, then the minibar filled up.

Except for the bathroom the overall cleaning was good, towels changed every day and bedclothes changed every other day.

The food: The breakfast was very nice, a buffet with omelette's, pancakes, cereal, fried food, bread and various pastries. But the lunches and dinners were very bland. Bad quality meat. Nothing was ever more than lukewarm. Most things were perfectly edible, but nothing to look forward to.

Always plenty of desserts, but they were also bland, and mostly different versions of instant puddings. And yes, the leftovers appeared in new shapes and forms over the next few meals. Leftover fried spaghetti mixed in with the rice, and (This will make us laugh forever!) for dessert some kind of pudding with leftover spaghetti mixed in, decorated with strands of spaghetti!

We also had dinner in the Italian restaurant that is part of the all-inclusive. We had to book two days in advance, and what was not mentioned was that the only thing included was a set menu. This set menu was horrible! The restaurant had an A la Carte menu, but not included. The staff in the buffet restaurant were very efficient, and we never had to wait long for our drinks. The included wine was quite nice.

In general the hotel staff were very helpful and friendly, and most often well worth the small tip expected. The beach was nice, with plenty of comfortable sun beds and woven wood screens to protect you from the wind. We got fresh beach towels every day. The coral reefs in Hurghada are often exploited, and in some parts dead, this is true for the one outside the hotel too.

But there were lots of fish, and when it wasn't too windy we had a great time snorkeling. This is one of the best things with the hotel, that you can swim maybe 20 m from the beach and instantly see lots of exotic fish. Unfortunately it was very windy three of the six days we were there, and too cold to swim.

We did get bothered on the beach by touts trying to sell excursions, but it was not too bad, they didn't come back once we said we weren't interested. The beach bar was open during the day and drinks were included.

The non-alcoholic cocktails were not very tasty, and we didn't try the ones with alcohol. Both here and in the restaurant there were local versions of Coke and Fanta, which were OK.

The hotel is located just north of Hurghada, and there is nothing in the vicinity except a few small shops selling overpriced trinkets and two small pharmacies with ridiculously priced body care products. I strongly advise that you bring your own sun lotion etc.

There is a taxi service outside the hotel, but don't automatically pay the price displayed in the hotel, and if there are other taxis around. This only happens if they have just brought people back to the hotel, since there truly is nothing else by the hotel. They are cheaper.

We paid 10 Egyptian pounds to El Dahar, and 20 to Sekalla. El Dahar is nicer in our opinion, but there are not really any restaurants there. Sekalla is bigger, but also more tourist oriented and the touts are incredibly annoying."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 3rd of January 2007

On arrival at this hotel we were made to...

Reviewed Fri 30th of September 2005

"On arrival at this hotel we were made to wait over an hour before being allocated a room after a 4 hour bus journey from Luxor. The room we had was clean. The food well what can I say about this except I would not feed my dogs on such horrible food they were dishing out. The menus were wrote in either Russian Italian and German no English. The animation was in foreign no English again.

The rep who we saw said in 5 years he had worked there he had only seen 8 English people. We saw this rep twice in a whole week. The staff were not helpful at all it took me 10 minutes to make them understand what a lemonade was and after all this the drink was a substitute for a bitter lemon. On the Thursday the rep said he would remove us from this hotel he went to make a phone call and never returned.

We were the only English people in the whole hotel. A disgrace on cosmos behalf. No mention of English people going to this hotel. It ended as a holiday from hell as we only had ourselves to talk to. Not a friendly hotel at all. Hard work.

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 30th of September 2005

The one out of ten rating I give to the...

Reviewed Tue 31st of August 2004

"The one out of ten rating I give to the Sea star is that it is clean. That being said, I hardly know where to begin.

I went to Hurghada and was the victim of some sort of scam they are running on everyone of every nationality. I paid to stay at the Grand Azur and hours before I departed I was notified that I had been switched to the 5 star Beau Rivage. The Beau Rivage IS NOT 5 star and would only qualify as a nice 3 star.

The staff-what an experience! I have never experienced such rudeness in my entire life (and I have been in law enforcement for many years). I brought my girlfriend, who is very attractive. Every member of the male staff had something to say about her looks. And every male staff member would not even attempt to hide the fact they were staring at her breasts. I could not leave her at the beach for five minutes without her being harassed by some male staff member. Then the constant harassment for services. It didn’t matter how many times you said you did not want to go windsurfing or receive a massage, they would keep coming back to see if you had changed your mind. They employed a doorman who didn’t open the door. I am still not sure what they pay him for!

This was my second trip to Hurghada and I knew not to expect much from the food. But the Sea star somehow managed to make leftovers every day,.. and it wasn’t good the first time it was served. At supper, you couldn’t even get water without paying for it. At prices that were anywhere from 5x to 10x the actual value.

Avoid this hotel at all costs! If you were invited to stay for free you might be happy, but I doubt it. I tried very hard to not let them ruin my vacation, but it was a challenge."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 31st of August 2004

I agree with the previous comments in on...

Reviewed Tue 31st of August 2004

"I agree with the previous comments in only one aspect - Hurghada is not a great place visually to go to as it is currently under a great deal of development - which it states in all the guide books. There are many buildings in various states of development.

The hotel itself and its staff were extremely pleasant. We did have a minor hiccup with our booking but it was sorted out relatively quickly. The food catered for all nationalities and requirements. It was a large buffet system with many choices of what to eat. We can not fault the cleanliness of the hotel.

All in all a lovely holiday despite the vast development going on."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 31st of August 2004

This is a warning to all who venture to...

Reviewed Wed 30th of June 2004

"This is a warning to all who venture to Hurghada and in particularly the Sea Star Beau Rivage. We have just had a twin centre honeymoon in Egypt, first week on a fantastic Nile cruise, the second in hellish Hurghada.

Hurghada itself is one big dump. It’s an enormous desert building site filled with litter and rubble. Very bleak and depressing.

The Sea Star Beau Rivage is possibly the worst hotel I have ever encountered with the levels of rudeness and inefficiency from the staff quite shocking.

The rooms are dirty, stained and mouldy, the food is canteen dinners for Italian prisoners with the same beef and rice being served 7 days in a row.

Our stay there was topped off by a wonderful encounter with customer relations on our final afternoon when we were unceremoniously dragged by their armed guard across reception and yelled at for buying a bottle of coke (for our return journey) outside the hotel.

Egypt is a wonderful country but steer clear of this hotel and of Hurghada, they’ll make you never want to return."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 30th of June 2004

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