33 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We got food poisoning!!!
"Our initial impression wasn’t good as the reception staff were rude, it didn’t get any better as time went on. The attitude of the staff was consistently bad, and the service poor. As for the food, that was never hot enough, not well presented and the menu changed little. The restaurant tables were never cleaned away quickly enough, finding extra cutlery or spoons was next to impossible, we often had to wait while cups or glasses were brought out. Wild birds seemed to inhabit the restaurant, feeding off plates left on tables, walking over everything, and plopping as birds do. Little attempt was made to even shoo them away by the staff who seemed to accept their presence. Having traveled a lot in recent years this is the worst hotel food and service we have ever encountered. We both got food poisoning( no surprise there!). The hotel ‘Doctor’ sent to us had no ID on him, gave us tablets without boxes loose in a plastic bag in his medical case. He never asked us what other medications we may be taking.
Our hotel room was Spacious but no tea making facilities. The swimming pools are very good. Luckily we are going home to England tomorrow, can’t wait. We intend to see our travel agent and suggest that this hotel is inspected and no further holiday makers are sent here until improvements are made.
English people expect better than this!"
- Travel date: Sat 1st of September 2018
" returned from this hotel and resort on the 24 th of june 2011 . a week in a 5 star all inclusive ( HA HA HA HA HA ) 3 star and certainly not all inclusive ,although the junior suite was spacious ,clean and comfortable , it was dated and towels ,bedding were far from new. the all inc has just started at this hotel only 20% of guests were all inc . this caused total confusion for all especially the staff!!!!!!!!!!!! ,some bars and resteraunts for all inc but most for half board ,first time i have felt like a second class citizien for being all inc . the main eating area christened the canteen was mayhem ,wait for table ,wait for cutlery ,wait for drink ,which depending what you were drinking might be all inc or may not more mayhem . the food was not covered so flies were everywhere ,not fresh juice,one bread area with one toaster . the other areas for lunch had little choice . as my wife and i only ate on the resort this is where our nightmare began ,thursday morning both of us taking turns on loo for three hours ,i decided to call for a doctor who took us to RED SEA HOSPITAL where we spent the whole day on drips and bombarded with antibiotics ,one am the following morning we returned to hotel without our passports which the hospital kept till the insurance agreed to pay the bill . (do not let them do this , it is illegal ) gastro enteritis was the outcome ,stool samples came back clear, HOW I DONT KNOW , THEY NEVER TESTED ANY !!!!! i believe this was to protect the hotel . the red sea rep (sammi) was of no help what so ever . a visit to my own doctor on retuning home and samples been checked plus blood tests , a suspected salmonella case and a month later due to the amount of antibiotics given to me i now have c- dif ,
WILL I RETURN NOT A CHANCE !!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of July 2011
This was our second time at this hotel ....
"This was our second time at this hotel . we first went in 2007 and found the staff brilliant, hard working and very polite.It was my birthday and wedding anniversary whilst there and to my surprise a knock came to our room and presented us with a cake and a small bunch of flowers. The food was hot and very well presented,chef,s immaculaty clean and the waiters too. rooms were very clean aslo room service was quick to be delivered too. The beach was very clean and you didn,t have to bother about anything. Yes we tipped them but it was not compulsary, but at the end of the day its not alot to show them that you've appreicated all their hard work. WE WILL GO AGAIN TO THIS HOTEL.Well worth recommending to any one thinking of going to Hurhgada."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of March 2008
Without doubt the best hotel I've ever s...
"Without doubt the best hotel I've ever stayed in. Ignore any poor comments posted. If you want a luxurious and clean hotel with very friendly and helpful staff then stay here. The cost is well worth it, as is an upgrade to a suite. The food was excelent value for money and hurghada provides many restaurants and bars.
We're going back again this year for another excelent holiday."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of January 2008
Brilliant place and brilliant hotel. Eve...
"Brilliant place and brilliant hotel. Everyone was really friendly, the room was clean and the minibar was filled daily. We didn't really eat in the hotel on the night as it was so cheap to eat out. Thai garden was fantastic really good food, really nice place and people. Hard rock is the safe option as its pretty much the same all over the world, it is quiet in there though until late at night. The Hed Kandi Beach bar is a must, sitting on the beach with a shisha under the stars in fantastic!
Overall I would say its one of the nicest places I have been, Hurghada is clean and friendly and the Egyptians love the English. Remember to tip though as they only earn about Â£30 a month and a pound to us is a lot to them! Also be careful with the taxi drivers it should only cost Â£3 to get to Hurghada so agree a price before they will try it on. Also the numbers on some cash machines are upside down!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of January 2008
This hotel caters for over 80% German, R...
"This hotel caters for over 80% German, Russian, Swedish, Danish etc and only at times 20% English even the staff at the crÃ¨che are solely German speaking.
Things to take to this hotel :- Travel two pin adaptor plug, travel kettle and tea bags, coffee, travel iron, slippers, travel dressing gown, plenty of suntan lotion (its very expensive out there), don't rely on the hotels shower gel etc they are very stingy with putting it in the rooms. Don't worry about hairdryer they have that but it had a mind of its own and is not very powerful.
Take plenty of money as lunches and drinks in the hotel are expensive.
THE TRIPS are expensive too through the rep, but we would not recommend using anyone else as you have to go through the desert in a convoy with other coaches and police cars throughout the convoy with an armed guard on your coach, we nicknamed ours 'pistol pete' all he did was sleep, they are only there for your safety!
Prices for this year (this may change)
Luxor over day by bus Â£59per adult and Â£30 per child.
Luxor over day by flight Â£194per adult and Â£150per child
Luxor over night Â£105per adult and Â£58per child
Which was highly recommended to go to by other guests that went by bus (better than Luxor)
Over day by bus Â£65 adult and Â£35 child.
Over day by flight Â£175 adult and Â£150 child
Over night by bus Â£135 adult and Â£82 child
Over night by flight Â£289 adult and Â£250 child
Gefton Island Â£28per adult and Â£14per child
There are plenty of other trips to go on we went to Gefton Island it was great my husband and other guests were snorkeling and spotted a shark on the reef, the sand on the island was so soft not gritty like the beach at the hotel. The island is not ideal for anyone who is disabled as there is no jetty you just have to jump off the boat at the beach.
We were advised by someone who worked at reception that My Travel's contract with the hotel stipulates that we are only allowed to stay on the ground and first floor rooms due to the height of the railings, we only found this out when we arrived at the hotel!
When you are on the coach your rep gives you forms to fill in to hand to the front desk and he informs us then that the hotel take your passports which he said was very normal! (we did query this, as at every other hotel whether its 5* or not we have never had this happen before) we promptly told him that we would not be handing over our passports, they will remain with us (you cant be too careful).
Upon arriving at the Grand Resort my actual words were wow! (this did not last).
The arrival meeting was at one o'clock the following day.
First impressions were that it was very clean and tidy some of the furniture was a bit tatty not as elegant as it once was, the same with the rest of the hotel, clean but a bit tatty.
We eventually got to the front desk and handed over the forms (they did not ask for the passports) and he started to check us in, we were given a map of the hotel our bags were taken by the bellboy/man and we were shown to our room.
The bellboy stood in the room and put his hand out for his tip! They want tipping for every thing and even tell you how much they earn, but don't forget that their wages are topped up by people that tip them.
When you are in your room lock and chain the door as they only knock twice then let themselves in.
Our first room the balcony was broken and not attached at one end, the bathroom was very untidy decorating wise, it needs a huge overhaul, we moved due to the balcony and in our second room a leak developed into a waterfall from the upstairs bathroom into our bathroom above the door, this took them two days to stop the leak and again the bathroom needed overhauling the grout on the floor was coming out and it was very sharp.
For half board guests the restaurants are El Mahara, Marrakech and Maxim.
Maxim, don't bother going, all the guests we spoke to said the food could have easily have come out of a tin, unless you paid for the meals in red.
Marrakech we ate here for the rest of the holiday, it is much much smaller and more friendly and they take more pride in this restaurant, as in all the restaurants at dinner no drink is free not even tea and coffee, for a bottle of water it costs Â£1.50 sterling, down the road outside the hotel the same bottle of water cost 40p.
The large El Mahara restaurant is located opposite from the reception desk, the food is not of a five star hotel, we were expecting as the brochure quotes "There is a fine selection of culinary delights from around the world to sample". Yes there is if you pay to go to one of the other a la carte restaurants on site like El Nigma that costs an extra Â£17 for two people then you get Egyptian food and it was the best thing we ate there.
The food is hot but like the beef strogonof I had some of the beef on my plate was still raw in the middle, not good food. As a result from this we were ill for the two weeks stay and don't forget to take your own pills as the pharmacy sells them in strips not the box and for two strips of tablets (which they say you must take, one for the bacteria and the other to stop the trots) costs Â£7 sterling, we went through two lots of each strip.
Forget English breakfast!!, eggs yes, pork bacon no, just beef bacon (and they can get and cook bacon as we had it in the hard rock cafe just down the road), veal sausages, cakes and salad for breakfast oh if you are really early then you might be able to get some cereal, no fresh orange juice just squash if you want fresh orange its Â£2 sterling a glass, bread, tea and coffee. You are not allowed to take anything from the restaurant as it will be taken off of you when you leave.
The drinks prices went up in the second week, it might have been as it was Christmas week but a bottle of beer went up an extra 50p instead of Â£2.50 it was Â£3 and again down the road it was roughly Â£1 for the same bottle.
The animation team are on the hotel complex just out of the reception area and to the right. The only time we went to watch the show was on Christmas Eve, we had been to dinner with another English couple and after dinner went to go and watch the show, the same as every where else you go including dinner they hassle you about having a drink, we declined as we had just had dinner, the manager came over and we were told that unless we bought a drink each, then we would have to leave as it was not fair on the other guests, I politely explained that we were staying in the hotel and that we had paid to stay there thus had already paid to watch the show but again we were asked to leave, I explained that I would be complaining and I was told as you wish!
On the hotel complex there are toilets just along from the animation team area, you have to pay one Egyptian pound to use these, even producing your hotel room key they still insist on paying otherwise they get angry with you.
The rep at your welcome meeting tells you about the taxi service the cars are orange and blue, the one and only time that we used them I was assaulted by the driver with my husband in the car, this was on the second day, we spent the rest of the week in the tourist police station, having gone to look at photos of taxi drivers and none matched we were subjected to drivers being brought into the station and stood in front of us and we had to say which one it was, knowing that if he was there that he would go to prison for the rest of his life, he was not there.
Before you get in the taxi Please look on the rear door there is an identification number remember this number. I am not saying they are all bad but be careful as the drivers come from all over Egypt to drive the cars.
On the beach they hassle you every two seconds to buy a drink, the only time they leave you for a while is if you buy one and they know if you have bought from them as they bring it out in a bucket of ice, even if you have got a bottle of water on your table that you have brought with you they still hassle you.
And last but not least the area and shops.
In the brochure it states that the hotel is "Located in a busy area, surrounded by other hotels and shops on a main thoroughfare" AND "transport around the resort is mainly by taxi". This is because there is nothing to do there, the other hotel in close proximity (just across the road) is owned by the same people that owns the grand resort, there is a Hard Rock Cafe and the food there is very good, it is clean and friendly (no hassle involved) they have their own security guard outside and the prices are good but it is mainly shops that sell exactly the same stuff as one another, this is where the conflicts come into it, you walk down the street and they all come out at you (if you walk near the shops, we walked next to the road in the end) and try and drag you into the shop saying all sorts of stuff like you are my friend or some one has just had a baby and they need good luck! Don't listen unless you actually want to have a look in the shop, they then either lock you in or give you something for free and then get really upset with you if you don't buy anything from them.
All the men going I know this will be hard for you (it was for my husband) let your wives/girlfriends walk the shop side and let them tell them no as they don't like this and go away, if you do it they get very aggressive and one actually gave my husband a shove, one lesson learnt very quickly by us.
All in all people will have their own opinions but all we can say is we must have been really spoilt with other place we have stayed (Thailand, Dominican Republic, Cyprus, Greece all between three and five star) all we were expecting was the same standard as any other hotel we have stayed in but we have learnt a large lesson and will never return to Egypt again."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of January 2008
I returned back this weekend from an ama...
"I returned back this weekend from an amazing holiday based at the Grand Resort Hotel in Hurghada! I cannot understand how anyone could have complaints about this fantastic hotel.
We were treated like royalty the whole time we were there! The staff are really friendly, nothing is too much trouble, so you don't mind giving everyone a little tip, (as advised by other travellers before going!).
The most fantastic experience we had was on the 'Two Worlds' trip with My Travel/ Panorama, with a brilliant guide (Wasim!), anything you needed he sorted it out. This involved an overnight stay at Marsa Alam in Straw huts! With a visit to a Bedouin camp for coffee in the desert and dinner in a Bedouin tent and a camel ride- lots of fun and then on the second day you get to go snorkelling at the dolphin house- again amazing!
We also tried scuba diving for the first time while we were there and that was again a really worthwhile experience, as you see the fish and coral from a totally different aspect and its generally just an amazing feeling to be down there, itâs a little scary to begin with, but once you start to relax it was really enjoyable!
Although we didn't seem to spend much time there, the hotel was really unbelievable, like a palace! We booked a junior suite, which was enormous, but we visited another couples' room while we were there and the standard rooms are really spacious too! They are kept immaculately clean by the housekeeping staff that come and provide fresh pool towels everyday and then turn-down your bed on an evening!
The pool is enormous though freezing cold! And I think there must only be a problem with sunbeds during high season because there was always plenty whilst we were there! If you can, get a sunbed on the side of the pool closest to the hotel entrance, because this side gets the sun all day long!
The food is not out of this world but it is good quality and fresh and you have the chance to go to the cooking stations where you can pick you own ingredients and watch the chef cook it in front of you. Apparently Maxim the A La Carte restaurant is well worth a visit and if you fancy something a bit different the Hard Rock Cafe is a bargain by British standards!
If you want to avoid hassle by the local traders, walk on the opposite side of the road, and be firm if you don't want to go into somewhere, they will tell you all the English are rude, but this is in fact just because they know we are a soft touch in comparison to the Germans and Russians!
Our one let down was our rep, who although he did recommend some trips which we really enjoyed, he did forget to give out some important information before we went on them!
Such as on the Luxor trip you leave at 4.45am and you need to order breakfast to take with you from reception, we were the only couple from our hotel on this trip and we would have gone hungry if the other couples hadn't taken pity on us and shared theirs', as the rep failed to inform us to order ours.
Also he forgot to mention that the overnight stay was on a boat, as someone with severe motion sickness I found this totally unacceptable, luckily our Egyptology guide for the trip, Emad, was amazing and sorted us out! And passports, he also forgot to tell us that we needed to take passports on an overnight trip to secure the room, as a result my boyfriend had to do the minute mile at 4.30am to go back to the room and collect them.
A really fantastic hotel and resort and lots to see and do if you are willing to take a few coach rides around the country! I think a holiday is what you make it and we were really willing to give everything a try and as a result had a fabulous time.
This hotel is really worth a visit though, we will definitely be back!"
- Travel date: Thu 11th of October 2007
My partner and I have just returned (29/...
"My partner and I have just returned (29/08/07) from a two week twin centre holiday to Egypt. The first week was spent on a river Nile cruise, which surpassed all my expectations, followed by a week in the Grand Resort Hotel, Hurgarda.
Arriving at the hotel in the afternoon after the 4.5 hour transfer from Luxor by coach, our first impressions were quite favorable. After a swift check in from friendly staff we were shown to our room which was on the first floor by the porter who expects a tip as do all members of staff. The room was clean and spacious but not up to the 5* standard as advertised.
After a short rest we went to see the rep, who continually mixed us up with another couple in a different room. The welcome meeting was brief and lacked information, although I think this was more to do with the lack of interesting things to do in Hurgarda rather then the rep.
British guests are only put on the ground and first floors, we asked the rep why and he told us that the balcony railings are 5 cm to low and lack of emergency exits, you can lower yourself out of first balconys without causing to much injury to yourself apparently!
The hotel is huge, over 800 rooms and 1600 guests!
We stayed on a half board basis and although there are several resturants in the hotel we were only allowed to use three of them, one you had to book 24 hours in advance which we never bothered going to. Arriving at the main restaurant we noticed it was very busy and made our way to a clean table with some friends only to be told that we could not sit there and then to be shown to a dirty table. The only reason for this i can think of is that somebody else tips the waiter to keep the table for them. Food is buffet style and there is a reasonable selction. The other restaurant was much quieter with a better atmosphere, we ate there for the rest of the week. By the end of the week 3 of the 4 of us had been ill at some point.
The pools are lovely, only problem is you cannot get a sun bed that has some shade unless your there before 9.30. The beach is a 5 minute walk away through the sister hotel and passed its pool which always has sun beds available. The beach is large and clean and the water is also quite clean although don't expect good snorkling, the local reef is all but dead.
The entertainment in the hotel is rubbish and caters for Germans who were by far the largest percentage of guests.
Drinks ( Water Â£1.20 in hotel 20 pence outside) and food ( Â£4.50 for a chesse toastie) are expensive in the hotel and can be bought just outside the hotel for half the price. There are signs all over the place saying not to take food and drink from outside into the hotel which we just ignored and nothing was said. There are a couple of bars just outside the hotel which we spent most of our evenings at.
Excursions are expensive and boring unless you like sitting in a car being driven around the the desert. Needless to say we didn't do any of these.
And finally the electricity kept on cutting out throughout the whole week.
Hurgarda itself is disappointing having previously been to Sharm. It appears there has been no overall plan for the resort with hotel after hotel along the coast. Our hotel was about 5 miles from the town center which dirty, overcrowded with shops selling the same over priced tourist tack.
One afternoon we went on a boat trip to go snorkling. Arriving at the reef we were just told to jump in and go for it. There was no talk on safety and about protecting the reef. Consequently I saw people standing on coral, breaking it off with their fins, people getting cut from touching the coral. If nothing is done the reef we visted will probably be dead within five years.
Overall the Grand Resort was a disapointing end to what started as a great holiday and given the choice I prefer Sharm. I would not go back to Hurgarda. The hotel is nice but there is a lack of things to do. "
- Travel date: Sat 1st of September 2007
I have just returned from our second tri...
"I have just returned from our second trip to this outstanding hotel. I have never found a hotel with the service that these give for the price.
The children had free yes free meals at lunchtime and free ice creams in the children's pool (11 one day) this is not advertised and we only found out by accident!
Lunchtime for adults came out at around 5Â£ although we did go out a lot and they seemed to be cheaper by at least a half?
The local beer can be found out on the mall for half the price but hey at Â£2.2 for half a litre in the hotel its not to bad anyhow is it, its only Â£1 on the mall and both are ice cold.
The water is also more expensive in the hotel but ain't that so in all hotels? I actually found it for 20 pence a bottle (2 litre) outside and did bring it in on many occasions without any trouble
(they don't like it though).
I was only asked about the bags I had once on coming in and I just told the guy that you don't sell these brands here and he could not answer so I walked in.
I have no doubt that if you wanted a good cheap holiday you would not be disappointed with this hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of August 2007
Anyone who is wary of travelling to Egyp...
"Anyone who is wary of travelling to Egypt, this is defiantly a place I would recommend. The staff at The Grand Hotel are very kind and never pester you or demand to be tipped. It is very safe in and around the resort, and on the day trips we felt very at ease.
The Grand Resort hotel is a spectacular sight. As soon as we arrived at the hotel a cool oasis greeted us as we walked into the reception area. The room is well designed, comfortable and spacious and cleaned everyday. We had a lovely view of the pool with wonderful gardens surrounding.
In the main restaurant there is so much choice, and on the first night we got confused as to whether we could only eat certain things (there are chefs cooking things outside). But everything is included. The food was always fresh and with so much choice it will cater for everyone. I would say if food is a worry it is always best to go to a 5* hotel as we met some people staying at other hotels, labelled a 4* and the food was tasteless, bland with very little choice.
There is a separate restaurant that we visited on the 3rd night by the childrenâs pool where you can have a basic meal (included in your half board package), or pay extra and get a luxurious meal. We had to say we preferred the food in the main restaurant, but itâs worth a try for one night as they have live music playing (we had a great saxophone player).
We went to Cairo to see the Pyramids and I would say this trip is defiantly worth the visit! We saw all three great pyramids, the sphinx, the Egyptian museum, and curio itself. There are two trips; you can either do it by bus, or plane (we flew!) The plane is 1hr to get there, but bus takes 8hrs there and 9-10hrs back due to the amount of traffic so unless you are energetic the bus is not an option here!
There is entertainment each evening and you can also visit its sister hotel across the road. I would recommend this as the sister hotel The Grand is branded a 4* and you can see the major difference as I would say it is a 3*! But you walk through here to get to the beach.
The only bad thing!? maybe the fact that the rep was always busy so we couldn't ask him things, but the reception staff all speak English so they helped us no end:)
BUT OVERALL I GIVE IT A 10 AS IT WAS THE MOST RELAXING HOTEL AND HOLIDAY I HAD IN A VERY LONG TIME!"
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of August 2007
We have just returned after 2 wonderful...
"We have just returned after 2 wonderful weeks at The Grand Resort Hotel. We arrived at night and had travelled with My Travel. The transfer to the hotel went smoothly too.
Our room was only a standard one, but was spotless. We had a very large balcony with a lovely view of one of the pools. All the staff (which were all men) couldn't do enough for us. In our room was a beach bag and inside it was 2 fluffy beach towels. These were changed daily by the man who arrived each evening to turn our beds down. We thought this was a great idea.
The food was very good and there was a lot of choice.
We went on the day coach trip to Cairo which was very good but a bit tiring! The hotel opened a dining room at 1am so we could have breakfast before we left. They also gave us an empty breakfast box so we could take whatever we wanted, for the journey. When we returned they had left a restaurant open for us, so we could eat before going to bed. We thought this was extremely good of the hotel.
All in all a wonderful holiday, which we would recommend to anyone."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of August 2007
All I can say is absolutely fantastic!!!...
"All I can say is absolutely fantastic!!!
I would defiantly recommend this holiday to anyone, the hotel is huge and could easily get lost in your first few days. The staff are amazing and love the Brits, and if you tip a few of them they will make your holiday about 10x better as they will look after you.
Me and my girl friend went on 2 trips, we went on the glass bottom boat, looking at the Red Sea coral reef and amazing fishes, and we also went to Cairo to see the world famous Pyramids, this was a long day as we went by coach (you can fly) and took 7hours to get there, but it was worth it!
First we went to the Museum, then had lunch on the Nile before going to see the pyramids, after that we went to a Papyrus paper museum before heading home.
I agree with the lady below about buying food and drink in the Grand Mall, and to be honest I never even hid my food and drink and was allowed it back in the hotel.
Just be wary about the sun loungers, the Germans and Russians must wake up about 3am to get a bed, so just tip one of the guys a couple of time a week and he will keep you a lounger in your very own spot!
Very enjoyable, would defiantly go back!
- Travel date: Mon 16th of July 2007