90 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Overview: Makadi Palace is not, in my op...
"Overview: Makadi Palace is not, in my opinion, a 5* hotel nor is it, strictly speaking, all-inclusive as certain charges apply to various restaurants and bars depending mainly on the time of day you eat/drink there.
It is very clean, well maintained hotel the grounds of which are of a very high standard and at night-time really beautiful. The large pool which runs through almost the entire complex gives the appearance of several pools linked together and several bridges cross the water at various points so you don't have to walk all the way round to get somewhere. Disabled access appears to be good.
Visitors to Makadi Palace also have access to all the amenities at the adjacent Grand Makadi while Grand Makadi residents can gain access to some Palace restaurants or can pay for an upgrade to access ALL Palace amenities.
Rooms: These are clean and spacious and have either a balcony or terrace overlooking the pool, the Red Sea or mountains (desert) depending on which side of the complex you're on.
They're cleaned and the bedding changed daily as are the beach towels. There is TV and a (very) mini bar which you have to pay for. Very comfortable.
Dining: Breakfast is served at both Discovery and Dome. As well as the buffet, there are live cooking stations that serve up fresh omelettes, fried eggs and such like. You won't get the Full English here but there's lots on offer to suit different tastes.
Lunch can be had at Melange (next to Dome) again featuring live cooking stations as well as buffet or Thai Garden restaurant with Asian cuisine or Botanical Garden featuring a Mediterranean menu . This restaurant carries an additional charge. We both favoured either the Sunset Grill which has burgers and the like or the Rendezvous which has quite a wide selection of snacks including, pastries, sandwiches, pancakes, tasty sweets and a delicious beef and cheese baguette with fries. Very yummy this one!
Dinner is served by most of the restaurants. Dome and Melange are the main all-inclusive ones and offers international menu's which change nightly as well as live cooking stations. There's loads to choose from, even for a very fussy eater like me. Dome in particular also has lovely sweets and cakes. You WILL put weight on! Discovery and Thai Garden are with reservation only and Sunset and Botanical garden carry an extra charge.
As a Palace resident you can also try the restaurants over at Grand Makadi. We dined at the Italian (reservation) which does Spag.Bol, Pizza etc. and we were served by a very overbearing chap who asked us if we were ok every 2 minutes or so and another, slightly less annoying bloke. I think they both expected a tip but only the less annoying chap got one.
Poolside: Loads of sunbeds available, even later on in the morning so there's no need to get up at some ungodly hour to put your towels out like some do. Yes, you know who I mean! Tip one of the lads on receiving your first drink with something small like 5 or 10 Egyptian Pounds and he'll look after you all day. When you're finished, tip him again with a 20 Pound note (about Â£2) and he'll be well happy. Try and stick with one pool boy if you can or you'll be shelling tips out everywhere. We had a great young guy called Sahid (sorry about the spelling) and not only did he look after us every day, he also took us on a guided tour of Hurgardah where, in his own time, he showed us round the best shops for what we wanted and even bartered on our behalf. As an example, we paid around Â£20 for a load of T-shirts and tops that the shop owner wanted Â£40 for.
Sahid also took us for an Egyptian meal (not too good this bit for me but managed to eat something...bit of what looked like spare ribs and beans and rice). We finished the night with an Egyptian coffee at a local bar and watched a band. We felt extremely lucky to experience REAL Egypt, something we wouldn't have experienced without Sahid's help. He paid for the meals and coffee AND taxis to get us around. At the end of the night he even paid for a taxi to get us back to the Palace. He paid the driver Â£50 Egyptian (about Â£5) which is a lot less than we would have paid had we done it on our own. We gave Sahid 200 Egyptian Pounds (Â£20) for his efforts and we thought it was well worth it. Smashing lad and he even bought us presents.
Beach: The Red Sea is beautiful beyond belief. Get some sea-shoes, mask and snorkel then take some bread rolls from the breakfast buffet and go snorkelling. Wade out till you get 4 or 5 ft deep then go underwater and hold a bread roll in front of you. In an instant you will be surrounded by the most vibrantly coloured, most beautiful fish you will ever see. Masses of them. This is truly amazing and it will be a highlight of your holiday if you try it. You don't even have to try to stay afloat. The Red Sea is very buoyant and you'll have no trouble. You MUST do this!
Entertainment: The Animation team do their best but unless you're easily pleased, the entertainment on offer is dire. Several singers take turns, at various times, to massacre popular songs with efforts that wouldn't even make it to an x-factor audition. One night we dropped in at the Piano Bar (which curiously has in its centre a grand piano which never gets played) only to encounter some Russian girl strangling the last remnants of life out of "I will survive". We took our seats, stayed about 20 seconds then ran out into the night. "I will survive?" I wouldn't bet on it girl. Best one in the Piano Bar is a young man who plays quite a mean electric guitar but almost everyone else is best avoided. Still, takes all sorts I suppose.
Summary: Great place to stay for guaranteed wall to wall sunshine, good food and a luxurious ambience. I've read lots of reviews about people getting ill but we were fine. We avoided any salads and only ate foods that were freshly cooked in front of us and that were piping hot.
It is extremely difficult to get hold of small Egyptian currency eg: Â£10 notes (about Â£1) so take as many Â£1 coins or Euro's, even dollars, as you can. These are gratefully accepted and it will save you a lot in tips and believe me you will be expected to tip a LOT!
Some of the restaurants and bars incur an extra charge which seems petty considering the all-inclusive items on offer. The Piano Bar is all-inclusive but only till midnight. Order a drink at 1 minute past and you'll have to pay and at 20 Egyptian Pounds (Â£2) for half a beer it's not cheap. So order, say, 6 drinks at 11.55 and save yourself some cash!
Despite what other reviews say, I found the beer and wine excellent. Curiously, wine is served in very large glasses but beer is only available as 1/2 pints.
Some of the restaurants that charge will pester you to book a table as you laze by the pool. It's up to you but I just say, "Sorry, I've paid an all-inclusive price so I'll eat all-inclusive thank you", or some other spiel.
All in all, a very nice place. I would say it's not suitable for teenagers or young 20somethings. It's a resort bounded by sea on one side and desert on the others so it's very self-contained and you could go stir-crazy unless you take 1 or more of the excursions on offer. We did the overnight Luxor trip including Valley of the Kings and undertook a 2 day scuba diving course which was unbelievable!
We will go back to the Red Sea but probably try a different hotel. As for the Makadi Palace, it's great, so go for it!"
- Travel date: Sun 14th of October 2007
Well just got back from the Grand Makadi...
"Well just got back from the Grand Makadi Hotel. Hotel itself very nice and clean rooms cleaned daily, the pool is very nice if you can get a sun lounger with every one coming over from Makadi Palace.
Now the food, had one good meal whilst we were there, the food was never hot, the meat and chicken were never really cooked properly - if you liked your meat rare you'd be all right. Even the meat in the lasagne was under cooked!
Entertainment, they had a beach party on Monday night, leaflets sent round to come and enjoy started at 22.30 - guess what, when you got there had to pay for your drinks no mention about this is not part of your all inclusive package, one big rip off.
I would not rate this as a 5* hotel going by the food and entertainment, stopped in Sharm last year food and entertainment was far better than this hotel and it was only 4* hotel. Will not be going back to this hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of September 2007
In total 8 of us travelled to this hotel...
"In total 8 of us travelled to this hotel and generally found the accommodation standard not excellent but good. The temperature at this time of year is extremely hot so if you canât sit out in the sun and wont use the pools forget it.
Out of the 8 of us two suffered S & D quite badly and couldnât rid the issue until the doctor was called to prescribe drugs, the doctor was at your room generally within 1/2 hour of being summoned. The drugs put me back on my feet and my colleague within 1/2 an hour.
If you intend to go and you start the illness donât persevere thinking it will get better because it doesnât, it gets worse, so call the medic immediately. There were quite a few people suffering while we were there I would suggest 3 to 4 in 10 so be aware and it will take at least a day or two of your holiday, I got it twice.
The food all looks excellent but I would suggest that all is not quite as it should be purely down to the number of ill people on the complex.
The Staff were excellent and very friendly, watch out though they expect a tip and this will add costs to your holiday, they will hang around and sometimes this leaves awkward silences whilst they wait for the offer. I reckon the tips added another Â£250.00
Generally though the holiday and standard was good, I doubt we would return until they are able to assure us that all the hygiene issues are resolved. They claim it is down to the change in foods from what we are used to! Well perhaps itâs just not clean enough for the European pallet. Make your own conclusions. I wouldnât want to put you off because it seems that most people enjoy themselves just be aware.
- Travel date: Mon 13th of August 2007
Fantastic Hotel, perfect for couples and families
"We stayed at the Grand makadi hotel in June for the second part of our honeymoon and it was fantastic, After the first week of our honeymoon which we spent in the Maldives we had doubts that egypt simply wouldnt live up to the luxury of the previous week, and we were WRONG, it was perfect, Great food, stunning rooms, fantastic weather and really helpful and kind staff who could not do enough for you. The Carribean restaurant was amazing, you are able to use the a'lacarte restaurants for unlimited use throughout your stay, no need to book at lunch just for evening meals, The Buffet style restaurants were really nice, they have stylish verandas and all tables have a candle lit lantern s and linen cloths on giving a restaurant feel ' a real dining experience' even though it was a self service buffet, all drinks are served to you while you dine. The lobby bar and mini bar is chargeable, but everything is clearly stated in your welcome pack. During the evening we spent our time on the lobby veranda and had the best waiter ever called Mamoud, he just constantly took care of us and bought our drinks none stop, and always made sure a chair and table was there for us. Evening entertainment was really acceptable, having music for all tastes. We highly recommend this hotel and we will defintately be using the hotel again in the near future to explore egypt further. Please be aware that on landing you will be required to fill out an immigration card and get a visa which costs Â£10, its a little manic , then when you collect your suitcases you will get hounded by men wanting to help you stating they are working for your tour operator, just say No thank you (Very Firmly and they will get the message). Overall one of the best holidays we have ever had !!!!!!!!!!!"
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of July 2007
Grand holiday at the grand makadi
"Hi, I have just returned from a wonderful week at the grand Makadi hotel. First impressions were how beautiful it all was and how friendly and helpful the staff were. Of course tiping helped immensly but it was never expected from anyone. The staff in the restaurants were fantastic and laughed and joked with you on every visit. They love children and become good friends straight away with them, putting them at ease. My youngest son had them doing 'high fives' everytime he saw them and was on first name terms with all of them. The pool is fantatically clean with pool boys there on hand to clean all throughout the day, the only downside is you have to be up very early to ensure you get your towels out on the sunbeds of your choice. We were getting up at 6am every day just to make sure we got a spot by the pool. The beach is a little more relaxed but you still have to get there early to get a good spot. Snorkelling in the red sea is a must but be warned you do need sea shoes as the coral is very rocky and sharp, but once passed that it is brilliant , the temperature is about 20- 30 degrees and the fish you see is amazing. Evening entertainment could be better but if it is a relaxing holiday you are after this is the place to come, i have never had such a relaxing holiday as i did at the grand makadi."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of July 2007
Oh dear - trip overshadowed by illness
"This should have been a 5* review but Ive had to drop it due to the overall experience. We just returned this weekend from a 2 week holiday there, and am sorry to say both hubby and I have been really bad with gyppy tummies. Weve travelled to the african continent on many occasions before and ussually a double dose of immodium sorts it. This trip, it started on day 5 and my hubby is still nowhere near well enough to return to work. Immodium hasnt touched it. Poor lady on our plane home, was persistently vomitting the entire trip. The hotel was lovely, the staff fantastic, the coral reefs and tropical fish out of this world, we're just really sorry the whole event has been overshadowed by the illness. I know several other guests had the doctor out but I cant comment on what was diagnosed as I dont know. We just got thru it in the best spirits we could muster."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of July 2007
What can I say about this hotel apart fr...
"What can I say about this hotel apart from fantastic. Had a great two weeks at the Grand Makadi.
The rooms are huge and look great. The only grudge that I had was the food at the buffet restaurant which was very poor, as this was my second time to Egypt I already had in mind what a 5 star hotel would provide on a buffet and Iâm afraid it did not measure up to magic life in Sharm el Sheikh.
Other than that could not fault anything with this hotel. All the staff are very helpful at this hotel and would do anything for you especially, Hany, who was one of the nicest people I have ever met, he was always checking to see of you were ok and if you needed anything.
Also a word for the rep who was very good as my partner was suffering from a stomach upset for a few days, Lucy. The rep went out of her way to pick her some medicine up and even bought my partner a bar of chocolate, now thatâs what I call good service.
Have a great time all know you will."
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of June 2007
Loved it. Need to book it today
"Just returned from the Grand Makadi, after spending 2 baking weeks there. The hotel itself was spotless - maybe not the 5 star that you would experience in the carribean etc, but the standards were high. The staff were lovely, especially Matthew, one of the waiters.
We tipped the staff, but to be honest they treated you exactly the same if you didn't tip - they were lovely, and really couldn't do enough for you.
The restaurants were great, especially the carribean and the italian.
Obviously there has to be a down side to every holiday so here it is: Pharoes revenge:- my Husband and son became very poorly, and British immodium does not seem to work over there. We got tablets from the Pharmacy, but beware as we paid over Â£15 for our tablets, only to find that another British couple had paid Â£1 at another pharmacy.
The beach:- You have to walk over the coral, and as a result it is dying. They definatley need a jetty or two. If you turn right when you reach the beach and walk aprox 100 metres, there is a sandy beach where you can snorkel without damaging the coral. The fish are brilliant.
The excursions:- Shop around. We paid Â£290 for the o/night Luxor trip for 3 of us. On our return we were chatting to another british family, who had got the same trip in Hurghada for Â£43 per adult. BIG difference. I think the company they used was Egyptian Tours. They also found the super safari for Â£14 per adult. So do your research - I wish we had.
Overall the holiday was fantastic. We met some wonderful people, and saw a side of life that every one should experience at least once. Would we go back???????????
I think I'm booking it this afternoon."
- Travel date: Fri 15th of June 2007
What a surprise! A real gem in the deser...
"What a surprise! A real gem in the desert, from the rooms to restaurants to whole ambiance
Food - Simply excellent regarding that this is an AI resort, one of the best I have seen in a long time.
Dome - excellent food, a bit busy at times, but could be because of the great food on the buffets. Discovery- is another gem, for excellent risotto.
Sunset grill has excellent steaks, and great relaxing atmosphere!
Will certainly recommend to all my friends."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of June 2007
Hot holiday, cooler opinion
"Upon arival at hotel, was very impressed with the look and layout. Reception staff very helpful, was given meal in al-a-carte restaurant upon arival as we arrived after 10.30pm. Woke next morning to explore the grounds and beach. Pool is very big and very well laid out, not too deep at all in any area. Safe for children. Beach was small, and sand very coarse, which led down to sea. But to get out to the reef to see the fish you have to walk over dead coral which is very very sharp and dangerous. You definetely need to wear sea shoes of some sort to protect your feet. When the tide is running fast there is an undertoe which can pick you up and drag you down the beach before you know it. The hotel could do with putting a jetti from beach to sea, so you can walk down and drop off into the sea, which would reduce injuries and damage to the remaining living coral. Fish was fantastic lots of different types and colours. The Lebanease restaurant was very very good, great food and great entertainment, music and belly dancing. Other hotel entertainment was at best ok, with numerous songs being murdered on a nightly basis by local kareokee singers. Kids club ok for small children, but nothing of note for ages 8-12 (poor), Daytime entertainment very bias towards the German market. Germans out numbered other nationalities 5 to 1. But this did not spoil the holiday. Luxor trip overday was great but very long and tireing on "elderly" or "young". Day started at 5am wake up call and come home at 10.30pm. The heat was stifling, husband described it as "being hit in the face with a frying pan"!!!!!! But so well worth it. Scuba diving was fantastic and very reasonable. One day - two dives, lunch and equipement drinks on board and cost approx 370EL pounds (about Â£37). Not bad?
You must get your towels down on sunbeds very early (before 7.00am) to get good spot round pool. (not my favourite pastime) when on holls but if not you are left either on the beach or scratching around for the odd bed here and there and with no sunshade.
Would we go again? Probably, although entry to sea a major negagtive as it would not be hard to have a major accident and injur yourself, as we saw a few broken legs and arms plastered up."
- Travel date: Fri 8th of June 2007
A Fantastic hotel!!!
"My wife and I have just returned back from 2 weeks at The Grand Makadi and couldn't fault the holiday.
We had excellent service in all of the bars and restaurants (except Lebanise - we'll come onto that in a minute!). Like the previous reviews say, a tip here and there really makes a difference and ensures the guys will look after you night after night.
We stayed in a Junior Suite and it was just like the photo on the website/in the holiday brochure - the bed was massive and the room was cleaned daily with fresh towels for both the room and the pool available.
You really can't fault the overall cleanliness of the hotel and the grounds - the staff are constantly sweeping up the sand blown from the surrounding deserst and nearly always there was a man cleaning the public toilets throughout the day.
Beach - many people have stated the beach is rocky - not correct - the entrance to the sea is, so make sure you buy beach shoes available in the hotel shop for roughly Â£5.00 if you want to go into the sea - but the beach is OK - a fine shingle beach, so not the best we've ever been on, but certainly not something to stop you from going on there. Infact you need to make sure you reserve your loungers before 9.00am as it does get busy.
Food etc - really good choice - we personally found the Dome restauarant (next door at the Makadi Palace) the best choice at breakfast - great selection of both hot and cold food. The smash and grab (i.e. buffet) restauarant at the Grand Makadi had BBQ at lunch and dinner every day and changed the theme of food on an evening time - a good choice to cater for all. A La Carte's - can't book on a lunch, but book day before for evening meal as many times as you want, however, it's first come first served so if you like it book 2/3/4 days in advance if you want!- our favourite was the Island Restaurant - chicken/beef wraps at lunch were spot on, excellent food for Dinner and really good service. Italian also good for both lunch and Dinner. Only dissapointment was the Lebanise - read bad reports before we went and unfortuntely these were correct - not a great atmosphere, the staff were certainly not as friendly as the other restaurants and they try to push their 'special Lebanise wine' which isn't within your All Incl package (and at Â£15 a bottle isn't cheap!).
As stated by previous reviewers, guests at the Makadi Palace next door can use the Grand Makadi's facilities and it's supposidley a better hotel (more expensive anyway) but they are currently building a new hotel next door to it and I wouldn't have wanted to overlook a building site for 2 weeks and I think it speaks volumes that loads of people from the Makadi Palace used our restaurants/bars every day - we personally wouldn't have moved hotels if they paid us!!!
Would we go again??? Absolutely. Great food, free flowing drinks, really friendly staff etc etc - Just make sure you take High factor sun tan lotions as it gets really hot. Get it booked, you won't be dissappointed!!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 6th of June 2007
We stayed here in May 2007 and without a...
"We stayed here in May 2007 and without a doubt the hotel grounds are fabulous but there is no way this is a 5* Hotel.
The food in the Palace was very disappointing, The Dome was awful, and we saw people standing eating their dinner on one evening as there were not enough tables and chairs.
The waiters were really unhelpful and would not reset a table for you.
The Thai restaurant is excellent but you have to book 24 hours in advance, also the Italian and the Caribbean in the Grand Makadi were excellent but you need to book again 24 hours in advance. The Italian was great for lunch though.
There is no real spa or hairdressers so ladies if you want to be pampered here don't bother. A young woman comes round the swimming pool and tries to book you to have massage - this is done inside something that looks like a Dalek, is very noisy and they never shut up talking to each other whilst doing the massage, this was very expensive and really not worth the effort.
The 'beach' immediately outside the hotel is not a beach - it is dead coral and rocks. To get a sandy beach you have to walk for 10 -15 minutes in searing heat with no shade.
Even then there were not that many fish and loads of jelly fish which they assured us were not dangerous, but very unnerving when you swim into one.
We spent most of our time by the pool which is lovely but we could have been anywhere in the world.
We took a day trip on a boat to Paradise Island - like Bank Holiday Monday in Blackpool! I have never seen so many boats and they had to limit your time on the island as one boat off another on!
We then went to a fantastic reef and the fish were tremendous but the real danger was being knocked out by someone else's flipper there were so many people here.
The Excel flight was atrocious on the way out, no leg room, cramped. On the way back they brought back 2 flights in one on a Jumbo Jet so we had a bit more room.
Everyone in our party of 8 had really bad stomach upsets, cramps and this is the third time we have been to Egypt and have never suffered before.
As for the airport... when you have a really violent upset tum and some bright spark tries to charge you for 2 sheets of toilet paper to go into a filthy toilet.... not funny. The airport has a large cafe and loads of shops - all selling junk.
We really are most disappointed and will not be going back to either Hurghada or the Makadi Palace."
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of June 2007