Al Nabila Grand Bay Makadi

Km 30, Safaga Hurghada Rd. Red Sea Hurgada, Makadi Bay, Hurghada Egypt
5 star hotel


Ratings summary


Rating by feature

  • 2 room
  • 2 pool
  • 4 beach
  • 2 service
  • 2 value
  • 2 food
  • 1 cleanliness
  • 4 location

15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Definitely NOT 5 star Quality!!!


"There were some very disappointing aspects to this hotel - it did not give us the 5 star value we expected from our previous experiences of other hotels of the same rating.

The quality of the food wasn't overall consistent (eg temperature and presentation).

The 'all inclusive' element was restrictive (the attitude and sometimes demeanour seeming to be 'take what you're given and be grateful' as though they were giving it to us free - seeming not to be any consideration to the fact that we'd paid for this in advance). You were discouraged from going self-service at the bar even though the waiter service that you had to use was sometimes very slow due to lack of staff?

The two additional restaurants available on site did not add any value at all - we tried them once and returned to the main restaurant having been disappointed once again.

The quality and upkeep of the hotel infrastructure was questionnable and unsafe (eg broken floor tiles, temporary 'loose' iron external walkways and the odd unkempt area throughout).

However - the beach was safe, private, clean, with facilities for diving, windsurfing and snorkelling all accessible on the beach itself. There was, however, a lot of continuous hassle from hotel amenity staff to 'sell' the additional hotel products/services (eg Spa and day trips) while we tried to relax.

'Most' of the staff worked very hard and were friendly, courteous and helpful (eg the room attendants), which made up for the other inadequacies. However, management didn't seem interested in hearing about our constructive feedback at the end of our week to help them improve things for future visitors.

We didn't let the inadequacies ruin our holiday - we had a 'nice' time overall, but wouldn't rate or recommend the hotel as 5 star rating."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 10th of January 2009

my favourite hotel in Hurghada


"Have now had several holidays at this hotel,staff are very friendly and obliging,location is superb with a fabulous beach in a secluded Bay,food lacked imagination but there was plenty of choice.My one real critisism and to be fair I think it appplies to most hotels in Egypt is the lack of evening entertainment,it seemed that they are all playing to the Russian tune! but for a beach holiday this is the perfect spot."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 9th of September 2008

Very bad experience - Never AGAIN


"I stayed in hotel this summer. I started to write comments but then I deleted them. It is very difficult to wriite comments - a lot of bad experiences. Only one general comment - NEVER AGAIN.

Who do not believe - count number of umbrelas at beach and compare with aproximately 300 rooms. If you ask for coffee with mineral watter or other soft drink, very friendly staff (accordind to review) cools you down with statement "order by order"... A lot more but I even do not want to remember this experience."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 14th of August 2008

Al Nabila Grand Makadi Hotel


"My daughter and I have just come back from an all inclusive holiday at the Al Nabila Grand Makadi Hotel in Hurgada Egypt. I read the other reviews and they were so poor I almost cancelled the booking but our experience was quite different. The staff could not do enough for us. The hotel was clean and food was good although not brilliant - too bland for our taste. but there was plenty of choice and we always found something to eat. pancakes, omlettes and pasta was cooked as we watched. The resort and hotel are gated and guarded so we always felt safe ( and for two women abroad alone that is very important ). The room was lovely and had a large balcony overlooking the Red Sea. The staff from the pool bar and beach bar brought drinks to us regularly there was no shortage of loungers at either location. On the down side I would say that it is not suitable for people with mobility problems- lots of steps to entertainment area, pool and beach, the lift was being installed while we were there so we had to take the stairs to our room on the second floor too. There are no lifeguards on the beach or any medical services nearby so be very careful swimming and snorkling and keep a watch on your freinds or family in case they get into difficulties. Top Tip - if you go shopping you will be pestered but if you say you are Belgium they leave you alone - the Belgiums have a reputation for not spending money. Expect them to ask for up to 100 times the real price for items - offer 10% or less."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 6th of June 2008



"After reading several reviews on tripadvisor i was rather nervous setting off for my weeks holiday with my family, (including my 8 year old niece) to the Al Nabila hotel.

However, on arriving at the hotel my worries were soon laid to rest:
The hotel is beautiful - Attention to detail is excellent, the rooms are of a good standard and all communal areas are constantly cleaned and maintained.
Although the complex is still under construction, none of the construction work interfered with our stay and we were certainly not inconvenienced in any way. With a new pool and restaurant just opening and a fish restaurant, beach restaurant, beach toilets and an ice rink all under construction it is obvious that this is going to be a fantastic resort when construction is finished

The staff are very welcoming and very attentive, nothing is too much trouble and several members of staff went out of their way to ensure our stay was a memorable one. However throughout the week i did notice that some guests who lacked basic manners and respect for hotel staff did not receive the exceptionally high standard of service we did.....'please' and 'thankyou' certainly go a long way!

I would certainly recommend this hotel and look forward to returning to the Al Nabila very soon."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 6th of June 2008

Loved the setting


"After 10 days in Egypt, seeing everything from Alexandria to Abu-Simbel, it was time to relax. It was an interesting experience having to be in a police convoy from Luxor to Hurghada but it worked out just fine. We even had a security man on the bus. I guess when tourists are driving through desolate areas, the government decided in 1996 (after a busload of tourists was shot) that they would provide additional protection.

How wonderful it was about 3 1/2 hours into the drive to start seeing the Red Sea. The beautiful blue was quite a contrast to the stark desert sand. Upon pulling up to the resort, the expanse and the glitz was quite impressive. As they were getting the room assignments organized, they served us cold drinks in the bar which has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the resort. If you can, **REQUEST a bungelow in the 900's! These are wonderful. You view the Red Sea directly through your patio doors. The breeze made me want to sleep with the doors open but there was no screen. Anyway, this resort has some finishing to do. There is still some construction going on, but in general it is not bothersome. There are steps down to the water and private little sunbathing areas too. The water is so salty that you float without treading water! Bring your snorkel gear as there are different kinds and sizes of marine life right there in the bay. If you want a pool that is quieter, there is another one with a refreshment bar around the bungalows numbered in the 800's, which was just a short walk away from mine.

This resort is NOT for the disabled unfortunately. They have no smoothe pathways from the bungalows up to the main building. (There is also no elevator in the main hotel - you would have to use steep, slippery ramps.) However, if you call the front desk they will send their little pink van to pick you up. Anyway, the bungalow was huge! In the bathroom was a doorless shower that could have been used by a whole family at once, with a separate sunken jacuzzi tub up on its own platform. It would be great for a romantic bubblebath by candlelight. There is a safe in every room, a desk, a separate sitting area under a dome, good air conditioning, remote- controlled TV and phone. They do need more information about the resort in the room. I found myself calling the front desk for information pretty often.

Up in the hotel there are shops, a kids club and a spa along with two restaurants. Let me say right now that the guests at this resort were predominantly Russian and German and the food was prepared for such. I was not used to beans and potatoes at breakfast, but there was an omelete station and the fruit was good. Beware of the different types of inclusive plans offered. Originally we were booked on a plan that offered breakfast and dinner and no drinks - not even the juices and coffee which were out on the buffet for all to take. For $15 for 3 days, we opted to upgrade to an all-drinks-included rate. This was a bargain because it included everything - sodas, alcohol, fruitjuices, coffee, etc. The other restaurant, which is italian, is really not worth your time. It is out in the open lobby by the entertainment area so it is loud and the food is not very good. It is by reservation only and open only at dinner.

The spa was an experience. I arrived after doing some diving and was told to keep my bathing suit on (a one-piece). I had purchased the Horus package which lasts 2 hours. First the hot wet and dry saunas were wonderful (wish you could use them anytime). Next, a lady came in and scrubbed my body, pulling down my suit as she went. Some of us more conservative types are probably not used to that. Anyway, after a shower, there was a jacuzzi. Then - the most wonderful part (after disrobing again) - a head to toe mud rub, then wrapped up and lowered into a thermal bed with jets. I fell asleep in there! Then it was another shower and a massage. My only issue with the massage was that she was too rough (I was left with bruises). When I hollered out, she did not lessen her intensity. Perhaps the staff knowing more english would help, but we were the only tourists from the US there at that time. (The staff probably knows more Russian and German.)

The room attendant was very nice, leaving me flowers and towel animals on the bed. The front desk staff was nice too, but I wish they would exchange travellers' cheques for Egyptian pounds.

Went into Hurghada for the afternoon. Set up a shuttle at the transportation desk. Nice place. The people in the stores were also shocked to see Americans. When we left to return to Cairo, we were in another police convoy. We passed so many new developments on the Red Sea. This is a place more Americans need to discover. The Europeans already know it and the ones we spoke with said they liked it better than Mexico. I would go back to this area again. May try another resort though, simply because there are so many to choose from. All-in-all, a nice stay."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 1st of June 2008

Fantastic stay with a few minor quirks


"We just returned from our organized tour all over Egypt last week (with the last four days ending here at this resort). My husband and I had differing views on this resort. I loved it but he felt a bit let down. I LOVED the bay...I thought it was beautiful. Although, hopefully restrooms will be in the plans in the near future along with the new restaurant on the beach (because there are 100 steps back up the beach to the nearest restroom). Don't be disappointed when you get to the beach and there aren't loungers left. Just tell one of the guys on the beach how many chairs you need and they will find them and rearrange to meet your needs (and then take your towel and cover the chair for you). I thought that their lounge/bar was very modern looking as was the open air lunch area (for the price of the stay). Our room was spacious and had a beautiful view overlooking the sea. The shower was a bit rough (It was very deceiving when you first get in). The water would literally be fantastic, then scorch you with a shot of scalding water, then a shot of freezing water, and for the grand finally...the pressure would get so low that it turned itself off and you had to turn the shower back on.

We were told that our tour company was the only one that brought Americans to this resort, thus, mainly Europeans and Russians occupied this resort. Actually, when we went shopping in Hurghada, many of the vendors were shocked when we told them we were Americans. They all stated that they don't see many Americans there in Hurghada. We were told that Russians were the number one tourists in Egypt (Americans were 4th or 5th..I forget). Back to the resort, my only major complaint was the spa (which is a contracted facility located on the grounds). Many of our group members were a bit disappointed. In terms of the massage itself, I felt like it was worth maybe $35...not the $65 that I paid (mainly because they shorted me by 20 minutes of the 60 minutes and it was only an oil application...not much massaging). Also, I know that this sounds funny, but my husband was getting a pedicure while I was getting my massage. They put him in the chair and his feet in the water for 30 minutes and never returned. He had to get up and leave a trail of water to the front desk to tell them that nobody returned and he wasn't waiting any longer. Oh well, nothing a little all-inclusive alcohol couldn't cure. Now lets get to the food. Don't go there with high expectations. The food was pretty bland (but so was all of the other food at tourists locations we went to such as the river boat and hotel in Cairo). We ate out while we were in town (traditional Egyptian food and we enjoyed it a lot better). All of the local restaurants were so much better than the tourist food. I don't think that the staff were overly wonderful in the customer service area (mainly compared to the excellent service we had for 7 days on our river boat). Basic common when you are the only customer standing at the reception desk with three workers standing behind the desk and won't even make eye contact with you until you have to just shout out your question to them. Nothing major though. There is nothing around the resort (about a 45 minute ride into town by shuttle from resort). It sounds like the price went up for the suttle based on past reviews. The cost is now $9 round trip (giving you two hours in town)

Overall, I loved my stay here and wished it was longer."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 15th of May 2008

really bad


"i stayed here for a week in march and came home feeling like I hadn't had a holiday at all. The whole experiance felt like an ordeal. I came down with a bad cold so wasn't feeling my best and things may have seemed a lot worse than they were because of this. The problems we had were:

Piped music coming through a speaker in our bedroom at random times of day and night. We complained about this 3 times at reception the 1st time they didn't believe that there was a speaker in the room and that I was hearing the entertainment. Eventually at 2am one morning an engineer was sent to disconect the speaker.

No plug in our bath and impossible to have a shower as it went from freezing cold to scalding hot with no warning no matter what we did. We did eventually get a plug.

No pharmacy or cash point at the hotel or currency exchange. I took my own 1st aid kit but due to illness this ran out quickly. There were a couple of shops in the hotel so I went to buy some paracetamol and the shop owner said reception could give me some. When I went to ask the man at reception he told me I couldnt have any and wanted to know who told me i could so he could go to speak to him. I expect reception staff to be helpful but he didnt offer any suggestion of where I could get some medicine (the hotel next door had a pharmacy).

Every encounter with the reception staff felt like a battle. We asked if we could check out 2 hours later on our last day as we had an evening flight. The 1st person we asked said he thought it would be ok as our room wasn't due to be occupied after us but we needed to come back and check with his colleague. When we came back and asked again we were told that it wasn't possible to have the room later as it was needed for people checking in that evening, then he changed his mind and said we could keep the room for $40. I said after all the problems we had the least they could do was let us have the room for just 2 hours more and eventually they agreed.

The food was repetative, tasteless and luke warm with not enough choice for the amount of guests that were there. As we had all inclusive I wasnt expecting great food. If you take a drink or snack to your room you have to pay for it even if you have all inclusive. One morning I felt so bad I couldnt get out of bed. My boyfriend went to get me a tea and had to pay £1 for it and it wasn't even a big or good cuppa! all inclusive stops at midnight.
there is no english entertainment. The only entertainment we saw was every evening at 7 when the children stand in a circle and sing a song with actions, boy did that get iritating as you couldn't escape the deafening volume of the microphone.

On the good side the location is great, the bay is beautiful and lots of people were enjoying the snorkeling in the sheltered bay. We also had a fantastic day trip to luxor on our last day."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 22nd of April 2008

Italy Disco in Hurgada


The hotel is beautiful situated on the Makadi Heights, overlooking a bay for great snorkelling.
The hotel is still under construction and the roads are still bad, with broken shoes as result.
Unfortunately the hotel is going to expand on the other side of the bay. Another 240 rooms are planned there. So, after the next few years of construction works, the great view will be changed in a view over a very big building or a lot of bungalows. Despite, the hotel is only 9 months old, there are many things broken. The finishing touch was done very quickly and cheap.

In the centre of the main building is a meeting place called “Piazza Duomo”. Beautiful created rocky surroundings as a décor. Every night there is an entertainment for kids and elderly. The Egyptian entertainment is very nice, but the Italian entertainment is terrible and the disk-jocky is yelling and shouting through the microphone. I thought we we’re in Italy not in Egypt. Why not Egyptian Music? That what where we came for. The disco inside is in the same area and in the open air. So the noise over the area is horrible until 23.30 h., even when there are only a few people in the “Piazza Duomo”. An Italian restaurant is attached here. But here, they forget the tomato sauce on the pizza’s. Strange. Advice: eat early before the noise of the kids animations starts at 20.30 h

The 2 beaches are gorgeous and 30 m lower than the hotel or the bungalows. A very noisy tractor brings you up and down. An elevator is planned. This is THE place for snorkelling. AWESOME, BEAUTIFUL! Boats from Hurghada are anchoring outside the bay for diving and snorkling. Lots of coral and hundreds of species of coloured fish.
Be AWARE for the “towel thieves”. The beach boys from the hotel are cleaning up the beach and the “chaise-longues” and collect every afternoon the towels from the guests. If you “lose” the towel, it costs you another extra € 20,-!!
No, Not a five star hotel, 3 - 4 is more than enough.

Restaurant and Bar:
The food in the restaurant is good, delicious. Lots of variation. It is a pity that there are too many guests and a shortage of waiters. Good Service in Bar and Restaurant. Delicious cocktails and very good Espresso. The All inclusive formula has its advantages. But also disadvantages. It attracks Russians. They drink a lot!!!!! from opening time until closing time. It is an Alcoholics Paradise!!. Disgusting to see.

Rooms / Bungalows:
We stayed in a lovely “2 under one roof” bungalow with own terrace overlooking they bay and sea. Beautiful situated at the bay. If you get a bungalow on the otherside of the area, it is a 10 min. walk to anything. It is a pity that they made a NON ISOLATED connecting door between the 2 rooms in every bungalow. You hear everything. From a fog from your neighbour until crying kids early in the morning or partying drunken Russians until 2.30 h in the morning. If you get a room in the main-building, ask a room on the end of the row of each floor. The noise (from the corridor and reception + disco) is even worse.

Overall we had a pretty good stay. It was a pity for the noisy rooms and disco."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 22nd of March 2008

Lots of potential; staff desperately need training to remedy bad service


"We're just back yesterday (March 5, 2008) from Gate 1's "15 day Egypt Red Sea" tour which included 3 nights at the Al Nabila Makadi. (We were there March 1-March 4, 2008.) First off, the hotel is in Makadi, not Hurghada. Makadi is 20+ km from Hurghada. Both are manufactured tourist destinations in very desolate locations along the Red Sea. Hurghada is larger, but construction is massive in both sites with a sea of tourist resorts and condo/vacation homes. I can't imagine how they're going to fill all the available rooms, but I assume the Egyptian government is supporting the building.
The first glimpse of the Al Nabila Makadi is impressive and lovely: The building is huge and the architect was talented. The lobby is gigantic with a copy of the Winged Victory in the center of the marble floor and a faux stone canyon beyond which houses the Italian "restaurant," tables for drinks, and the dance floor. The pool and ocean is beyond.
The rooms are nicely decorated and large, even by American standards, and we had a view of the Red Sea with a large balcony. There is ample closet space with a safe for valuables. Details are where things are not so fine: The beds are hard with pilling sheets, although the hotel has only been open 6 months, grout is crumbling from the tiles and some of our group had broken or missing tiles in their bathrooms. An otherwise nice bathroom is finished off with a cheap pink plastic shower curtain that was beginning to rip from the rings on one side. Paint throughout the hotel is sloppy and dripping. In other words, the finish-out is of poor quality and there's no mistaking the fact that you're not in a first world country. It doesn't at all ruin the experience, but it is a fact.
Service is disorganized at best: my message to another guest ended up under my own door although the message clearly stated it was from me to the other room (too late to convey the message that we'd not be joining a tour). The hotel encourages you to make a reservation at the Italian restaurant, so one of our group did. We all expected the usual upscale alternative to the main dining buffet in an all-inclusive, i.e. table cloths, a la carte dishes of a higher quality, nice service, atmosphere. Instead, we discovered that the "restaurant" consists of several tables in one corner of the massive "canyon." It took fifteen minutes to get the first course of soup. Each successive course was very slow, too. Although there were people behind the bar, for some reason, each waiter seemed to do everything: running behind the bar to pour drinks, etc. Clearly, someone needs to train the staff, but no one is doing it. Also, we encountered the lowest levels of English in Makadi and Hurghada. We were told that 70+% of the tourists in Hurghada are Russian and several Russians were staying at the Al Nabila, too, along with a number of Italians. The staff spoke more Russian and Italian than English, so orders were often misunderstood. ["That's not anchovies, right? -No, it's meat. (Holding up fingers in an "O.") -Pepperoni? -Yes." Then, much later, the anchovy pizza arrived. That sort of thing was common.] Then, at 9p.m. the Kiddie Club filed in for their nightly dance and the disco music blared so loud you couldn't talk from one side of the table to the other. Several complaints finally got the music lowered to a roar, but not without protest from Italian parents who had gathered to watch the kids do the Egyptian equivalent of the hokey pokey. All in all, it was an unpleasant dinner and no one ventured near the Italian restaurant again, except for snacks during the day.
Food in the buffet restaurant was mediocre. We had much better food on the Nile cruise portion of our trip (on the Queen of Sheeba, owned also by the Nabila group). Steamed broccoli was old and yellow brown on the crowns at every meal, etc. Still, there was plenty of food and my son enjoyed the custom pan tossed pasta.
Alcoholic drinks are included as are meals (you get a wrist band upon arrival), but that includes only 4 Egyptian vodka, whisky, gin and brandy mixed drinks, as well as Egyptian beer and wine. Imports are extra and you pay after midnight and before 10 a.m.--entirely reasonable. Egyptian wine is not very good, but the beer is fine. (I live in France, so am somewhat spoiled on the wine front, in all honesty.) The Egyptian alcohols aren't great either, but to each their own.
The paper you receive with your room key claims that the pools are heated, but they are not. The water was like ice and only 2 or 3 Nordic types ventured in. When I pointed this out to the manager, she claimed that I must have felt the pool during "a cleaning" b/c it was heated. Nevertheless, it remained freezing the entire time and there's no way it was heated.
There are 2 empty elevator shafts, but no elevators. It can be a very, very long walk to some rooms with multiple stairs, so ask to be put close if you have any mobility issues. Also, there are long steep stairs to the beach, but a small train runs down via an alternate route for those who have trouble walking or climbing the stairs.
The hotel has a private cove with gorgeous, clear water and a fair amount of fish. It was too cold for me to swim without a wesuit, but my son ventured in once and enjoyed the coral and fish. Also, it stayed pretty windy. Still, it was nice to sit out and their were plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas; no fighting for a spot.
Shuttles run into Hurghada (7.5 Egyptian pounds, I think, less than $1.50), but they don't start until 3 p.m. It's 15 euros for a taxi one-way and 25 euros for a round trip. ($38--outrageous by Egyptian standards). We only went in to go scuba diving and on our way to the airport. It's about a 20 minute drive. Some of our group enjoyed it, though. There are lots of tourist shops, but again, everything is new and manufactured for tourists."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 6th of March 2008

Definetly not 5 star hotel


"Surroundings of hotel very dirty. Rooms very negligent and old. Walls between rooms tiny and not soundproof. Staff is friendly, but food is a disaster. Cold, badly served, very poor choice of food. Every day the same food. For breakfast milk mixed with water, no choice.
Not recommend for tourists at all."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 13th of April 2016

Rating breakdown

  • 4 Location
  • 4 Beach
  • 2 Room
  • 2 Pool
  • 2 Service
  • 2 Value
  • 2 Food
  • 1 Cleanliness

We stayed here at the end of a 15 day Eg...


"We stayed here at the end of a 15 day Egypt tour. This hotel and entire area is still under construction.
Pluses- Our room in the main hotel overlooked the bay and lower bungalows. Great view.
Great reef for snorkeling.
Italian restaurant served a very good 5 course dinner.
Minuses- Overall dining terrible. Buffet style, often cold and very ordinary
The smell of manure (human and animal) permeates the outdoors.
Long tortuous walk to the beach. Main beach has stairs. Snorkeling beach very diffucult to reach. Unfortunately, the snorkel rental shop is at opposite end of snorkeling beach. Roads are unfinished.


Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 25th of April 2008
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