32 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Sweet Dreams? The Way It Is

Reviewed Tue 30th of October 2012

"This is our independent, unbiased, view of the hotel; we’ve broken it down into sections and, hopefully, covered all aspects!

General Overview
Please note - we didn’t involve ourselves in the evening entertainment so cannot and will not comment, please see other people’s reviews.

On the whole you feel safe in the hotel and there are security guards patrolling the perimeter and guards at the main entrance gate.

There are 5 places to eat (main restaurant, Italian Restaurant [this must be pre-booked the day before and is included if you are staying All Inclusive], Noah’s Ark Fish Restaurant [also requires pre-booking and is NOT part of the All Inclusive], Pool Bar – lunchtime pizzas, burgers [not every day], chicken wings [not every day], salads, chips and afternoon tea cheese & cucumber rolls, cake, chips, Grill Bar – have no idea what they serve here as it never opened while we were there!).

There is one main swimming pool, a central pool (not suitable for swimming as there are pedalo’s and fountains), a kiddies pool and a water slide, a deep plunge pool and 4 or 5 small plunge pools around the sides of the garden area outside the ground floor accommodations.

A spa has very recently opened and this has a heated swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and massages, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi.

There is one disco (rarely open) and an amphitheatre for evening entertainment.

There are 3 bars – the Pool Bar is only open during the day, the reception bar is open 24 hours and has two tables with umbrellas outside, the other bar is the ‘Tent’ near the beach and this is open in the evenings.

The beach is split into two with a jetty in between.

There is a diving centre based at the hotel which is run by Grand Blu - they can be found through search engines - [--]

Very impressively decorated and the reception staff are very helpful but only one or two of them are fluent enough in English. This, however, does not stop all queries and requests for assistance being dealt with fairly efficiently. There is Internet available via reception and, at the time of writing, the cost was $6 (or LE30) for 30 minutes and we had no problems with connection.

The Main Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is buffet-style with a different theme each night. Breakfast consists of cereals, continental-style buffet and the egg station where you can have fried eggs or omelette, yoghurts, fresh fruit and lots of sticky cakes! The waiter will bring fresh tea and coffee to your table but the rest is self-service. For lunch and evening there is a pasta bar where you can choose your own ingredients and these are then cooked in front of you and on the Oriental Night there is stir fry available at the same counter. We would recommend caution with the food, whilst we, ourselves, were unaffected we heard various stories of illness. The Rep blamed this on excess sun but we are not convinced it was. Advice, if you want to take it – avoid the salad bar (unless it’s been peeled), definitely avoid the rice (a great breeding ground for bacteria!), any shellfish and we’d be inclined to give the fish a wide berth. Best recommendations for the meals would be pasta or eat in the Italian Restaurant where there is full waiter service and a set menu of ‘better than the restaurant food’ and it appears to be cooked to order. Desserts are to die for – plenty of them, very attractive and very tasty! The waiters are friendly enough but lack communication and language skills so this makes for an interesting time! Also, they are very quick to clear the empty plates from your table, you’ll find yourselves timing how long you can manage keep the plate before it’s whisked away!

Comfortable but a bigger lounge area would be nice. Beds are a bit on the hard side and the balcony is a bit narrow so no room to sunbathe. The general décor is tidy but felt a bit like a Travelodge and could do with being decorated more in the Egyptian style. The rooms are cleaned every day but not thoroughly and clean towels were often brought late in the afternoon so you could find yourself drying after a shower with a flannel! Occasionally, the towels would be left on the bed in an arty design but if you don’t leave the room boy a tip when he’s done the first one you don’t get any more, they just put them on the bathroom shelf! There are no tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms so a travel kettle and supplies are a good idea. The fridge was stocked with 4 bottles of water a day, which we found adequate. These bottles could be refilled at the bars but if you wanted a fresh bottle of water you had to pay for it. The TV has one total UK channel – BBC World, the rest are a mix of European and Arabic speaking channels with some American programming. There is a safety deposit box in each room and it is recommended you lock all valuables away when not in your room.

The hotel will not change traveller’s cheques but they accept credit cards and most currencies but we would suggest you take Euros as these appear to be the preferred currency. The Dive Centre does not accept electronic cards but you can pay with Euros, Egyptian Pounds, credit and debit cards.

The pool is the centre of the activities with plenty of sunloungers, umbrellas and hammocks around. There didn’t seem to be a need to go down at 6am to claim a bed! You are provided with towel cards (one per person) and the towel bar is between the pool and the beach. The entertainment/motivation team (they are called the ‘Animation Team’) were based around the pool and occupied you with various organised games, salsa dancing, pool aerobics and a sort of kids club. The downside to the pool area (which we didn’t use at all during our stay) was the DJ and his choice and volume of music – the first week of our stay was very loud music but seemed to tone down during the second week and we were told he had been replaced, so we tended to spend our days on the beach where you are well away from the music.

There are 2 beaches but only one appears to be in use at the moment. Both have windbreaks, umbrellas, hammocks and sunloungers and someone will bring the mattresses to you when you’ve decided which beds you want for the day. There is a bar on the beach that opens at 10am and, if it’s not too busy, the barman will wait on you all day. There is also a small kiosk on the beach, which sells chocolate, and cigarettes.

The beach is set between two rocky outcrops, on which are situated the flags advising whether it is safe to swim or not. You cannot access the sea from the beach at all as it drops off onto the reef and is a 35 metre sheer drop. If you paddle out too far the lifeguards and beachbed boy call you back. There is a jetty from which you can access the sea for swimming, snorkelling or diving but you need to be a confident swimmer as there is a strong current and, at the access point, it is 55 metres deep. The house reef is also accessed from this jetty and is covered under the ‘diving’ section of this review.

Currently, there is no boat so it’s all shore dives but this doesn’t mean the diving is substandard. We did 11 dives and each dive was a superb experience, spending 10 minutes on the bottom with a Sea Cow is an amazing experience (we did this at Marsa Abu Dabbab). The dive team are relaxed and friendly; the main guide, Hassani, genuinely wants every guest to totally enjoy each dive they do. The house reef has 2 sides (the North side being spectacular), it is a genuine virgin dive site having been dived on for only 7 months. Equipment is brand new and available to rent at reasonable costs and dive packages are available along with snorkelling trips.

The reception bar is open 24 hours but the All Inclusive stops at midnight. There is a singer in the bar most evenings who is a hoot! (Watch him preen himself in the windows when he’s singing!!). The Pool Bar is open from early morning until about 6pm and serves alcohol, tea, coffee, ice cream and lunches (12:30 until 2pm) and afternoon tea (4pm to 5pm). The Tent Bar is open in the evenings and shisha pipes are available for a small cost (about £1).

There is a jewellery shop, a perfume shop, a tacky gift shop with cigarettes, ice cream, chocolate and canned soft drinks, a shop selling sarongs, water shoes, masks, snorkels etc., one selling wooden and marble ornaments, etc. These shops are within the reception area. If you go outside the reception, near the Dive Centre, there are a few more shops (pharmacy, spices, clothes, etc) with scope for more to be built and stocked in the future.

This only opened during the first week of our stay and I tried the Cleopatra Treatment (a wonderful relaxing time including steam room, sauna, coconut body scrub and a full body massage). There is also a physiotherapist based at the spa and many aches and pains can be cured during your stay. The are too many treatments to list but there is a ‘menu’ available at the spa and the girls are very helpful and speak good English, as well as German and Italian."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 30th of June 2007

relaxing holiday

Reviewed Fri 9th of November 2012

"just returned from a week in dreams beach resort marsa alam. if you want a nice peaceful and relaxing holiday with nothing to do this is the place for you. Staff very friendly and helpful.Beach superb( didnt have to get of the sunbed for drinks as barman came round often).The food was good, lots of variety and hot.Pools were very clean and were inviting.If you want entertainment this is not the place for you. Showtime started at 10 pm and was done by the animation team!!! At 11pm the disco started with the animation team. The weather was 40 deg with a nice stiff breeze this would drop in the evening .The downside with the breeze is that you couldnt go snorkling until 4pm when the sea was much calmer.Would definately go back."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 23rd of June 2007

Mixed feelings

Reviewed Fri 9th of November 2012

"My partner, mum, two children under five and I stayed at Dreams Beach in Marsa Alam on the 30th May for one week.
Like the other reviews we were greeted with a welcome drink and our bags were taken to our rooms. Check in was quick and efficient and staff polite.
Our request for two rooms next to one another was met and rooms were of good size, clean and both had good views of the sea and pools. First impressions were good, the hotel is a horse shoe shape with rooms with balcony's on both sides surrounding the central complex of pools. In the middle is the reception, lobby and bar next to this was the main buffet style restaurant.
Restaurant staff were very attentive particularly one fellow who whenever he saw us made a huge effort to accommodate us by moving tables to fit five rather than four, carrying our plates to the table, getting drinks and removing dirty plates promptly.
The melon guy was great pleasing both my children when he carved both there names and a bird of paradise onto a huge water melon this was then displayed on the entrance to the buffet restaurant much to their delight.
During the day the kids were occupied by a kids club that ran from 10am to 12pm then again at 3pm to 5pm, although time keeping seemed to be a problem for the staff that ran it, arriving half an hour late on one occasion. Although the lady was very nice and great with the children I wouldn't have felt safe leaving them completely under her supervision as the kids were allowed to wonder in and out as they pleased unsupervised.
Lucky the kiddie’s pool with slide was right next to kids club so we were able to sunbathe and relax whilst keeping an eye on the children.
The animation team were a laugh but I could understand people getting annoyed with them as they seem to bombard you everyday to rope you into some sort of activity. I found the salsa and belly dancing fun and very tongue in cheek but not for all tastes.
Camel riding and quad biking a must! cheaper to book on beach than with reps however we did camel riding with Thomson and quad biking with the guys on beach and had two very different experiences. Thomson’s seemed very polished but the authenticity seemed questionable (was that Bedouin boy carrying a mobile phone??) Whereas quads was very rough and ready but seemed more real.
Marsa alam is very windy and the whole time we were there was a red flag in water this made swimming off the falling down jetty a huge risk. Some did take the risk and one German guy ended up battering his ribs against the wooden jetty stairs you couldn't miss him walking round the hotel with a huge bandage strapped to his chest. Waves were very strong for an unsure swimmer like me however even my much more experienced swimmer partner wouldn't climb in.
Unfortunately I have to agree with the other reviews with relation to the food. It was terrible. Puddings were lovely and well presented but main meals bland, tasteless and uninspiring. I found this unacceptable as no other restaurants nearby so you had no choice but to eat it or go hungry all of us had upset stomachs and diarrhea. What made matters worse was when we went on the Hamata island hopper (boat cruise) this was by the way a fantastic trip made even better by Ash and Mustafa the two guides who made it really fun and enjoyable. On this little yacht they were able to churn out about 15 different dishes that looked lovely and tasted wonderful this highlighted to us how awful the food at the hotel really was if this small boat could produce better food.
All in all our experience of this hotel was really good couldn't fault anything apart from the food but sadly for this reason we probably wouldn't go back also with a name like dreams beach you'd imagine the beach would be nice, a key feature even, but really u couldn't walk on it without shoes and it was frustrating not being able to snorkel in the water. In future we'd probably stay at the coroya 25 mins down the road as it has its own calm shallow bay with a beautiful coral reef we were told."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 6th of June 2007

Lovely relaxing holiday. The staff are v...

Reviewed Mon 28th of May 2007

"Lovely relaxing holiday. The staff are very friendly and attentive.

The only disappointment was the sea was quite rough most days so snorkelling was very limited.

We also found the food in the main restaurant could have been better!

If you are thinking of doing the day trip to Luxor it is well worth it even though it's an extremely long day on a coach, very hot and slightly overpriced.

Overall an enjoyable week."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007

Dreams? More like nightmare

Reviewed Thu 6th of December 2012

"We booked this holiday quite a few months ago. We were very concerned about the lack of information available about this new hotel. We did see one favourable review before we went and had a few emails from the person concerned, this helped to calm our fears.

We arrived on the 9th May and the first impression of the hotel was not to bad. We had a few problems with rooms, we had requested a ground floor room with double bed, they showed us to a ground floor room with twin beds. We asked to be moved and they put us in a second floor room with double bed. Since the hotel looked like it only had 40 guests I do not know why they could not have found a ground floor room to suit.

We decided to take a look around the resort before the evening meal. Now we had the opportunity to take a closer look at the hotel and grounds. They say that this is a new hotel and 5 star? To be honest I would feel dishonest if I rated it anymore than a 3. The central feature of the grounds was a pond like set up with pedaloes. It had creepers of some sort dropping down into the water. The water level was low and the pond edges very discoloured. To me it just looked like a trap for picking up an infection.

The other pools are for swimming. The majority are shallow short pools just off the ground floor room seating areas, ok for a fast dip to cool off in. The main pools was surrounded with some kind of fake grass effect matting. This would have been fine but it already looked as if it should have been taken up and replaced.

The hotel itself on the web site looks very bright on the outside, the reality is that is looks very drab.

The beach area is small not very welcoming, the jetty looks like it is about to fall down, in fact part of it had done. The rails all looked very rusty and poorly maintained.

On returning to our room we could not get back in. The reception staff tried to make me feel like an idiot saying that I had double locked the door on leaving the room, how you do that with a card entry system is beyond me! In the end it turned out that the battery in the lock was flat so would not operate the bolt.

We attended 3 meals at the hotel, evening meal, breakfast and lunch. The selection was poor, most of it was cold.

We spent the first evening in the lobby bar, we started to see even more signs of a hotel that had just been knocked together on the cheap. Wooden panels in the railings did not match, not just colour but also the sizes. Looked like a year 9 school woodwork project. Tiles were cracked and the whole place just looked run down.

We spent the next morning by the pool. If you want a relaxing break forget it. If one more of the animation team had come round shouting about pool “VOLLEYBALL” I would have throttled them. If you told them that you did not want to take part then they started muttering about the lazy English.

By lunchtime we had had enough. Made a call to Thompson and asked to be moved to the Lamaya where we had stayed last year. We paid the extra, got a taxi and left.

Dreams? More like nightmare, this is a resort to avoid."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 24th of May 2007

Warning, Sleazy Theme Park!

Reviewed Sat 1st of December 2012

"My girlfriend and I stayed here at the end of April 2007 and upon arrival we were greeted with drinks which was welcoming and we had our suitcases taken to our rooms for us!

The hotel was generally very clean, everyday we had new towels and on some days they arranged them into designs which was quite cool! Now for the bad parts...

1. Food & Drink- was atrocious, it was bland, with no taste and did not look very appealing when you lifted those metal lids. Often it was lukewarm and congealed with manky cheese. However the sweets and desserts were well presented. There plenty of variety of breads, but for cooked breakfasts, well what can I say, the choice was very limited.
The drinks in the restaurant and the bar were poor, they would often fill up half of a small glass, with either a soft drink or alcohol. The beer seemed watered down, the cocktails were warm and bland (using concentrate fruit drink for flavour!), whilst the coke was a poor imitation of the real thing (advertised as such).

2. Staff - The waiters were helpful but we were left with the overriding impression that they were extremely leacherous. For example when my girlfriend went to get a drink from the bar, they would stop what they were doing and stare and make unsubtle comments and gestures. This made my girlfriend and I feel uncomfortable a lot of the time.

3. Relaxation - Was poor at the hotel. There was a lobby bar which felt like a cafe, with no comfortable seats and an annoying cabaret singer wannabee in the background, blasting out such a bad voice over a tracking tape. There was The Arabesque bar and the staff were at least more courteous and we were able to relax and smoke a sheesha!!

4.Aqua Aerobics - This happened three times a day, which was loud and annoying! We felt pestered into joining in and had to justify why we wanted to relax! There was a bad DJ pumping out the same dance tunes over and over again. Also the DJ would shout over the microphone and seemed obsessed with Italians?!

Overall we were left with the impression that the hotel was a theme park, and the staff there seemed very new to their jobs (I know that the hotel opened in 2006) and hence did not conduct themselves in a very professional manner.

We would advise other travellers to take Euros or US dollars rather than Egyptian pound. The staff would panic when we presented money and therefore we were put off buying bottles of water and other drinks.

Also, all this was compounded by the fact that the hotel was 20km from anywhere and so you felt very isolated as there was nothing around apart from desert!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 18th of May 2007

Excellent Resort, but.......

Reviewed Sat 1st of December 2012

"Just come home from a two week all inclusive stay at Dreams Beach with my wife. I gotta say, excellent resort, very clean, staff very friendly, pools and beach were great, weather was excellent, really hot 35-40's, and entertainment, although not the best in the world, the animation team gave it their best. My only problem, was how repetetive the food is. Although not bad quality, there was not a great selection of food, and almost the same every day. Chicken, beef, fish, pasta. The odd day, there was a grill done, but again, chicken of beef, just done differently. Towards the end of our stay, myself was getting fed up with what was on offer, I didn't really want to eat it any more. But apart from this, hotel is really good, all inclusive drinks are great, beer, cocktails, soft drinks etc, Thomson rep Chris was excellent, very friendly and willing to help any time. Trips to Luxor, Stars and Dinner, and Hamata well worth the money. Be reminded though, there is not much to do apart from the excursions, outside of the hotel. Will visit again, but maybe in a few years, hopefully food selection may have improved a bit."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 18th of May 2007

The hotel is 45 minutes north of the air...

Reviewed Sun 11th of February 2007

"The hotel is 45 minutes north of the airport, and 45 minutes to the nearest town. The facilities are good, staff excellent, room service excellent.

The reason I went there was for the diving. As a diver this is great, the house reef, Dugong Bay, Elphinstone Reef are all near by, but as a sun & fun tourist you might be left disappointed.

The food was good (nobody had a bug) but repetitive, and the local drinks (it's an AI resort) left people with acceptable hangovers!

If you want to sit by the pool, have no 'looky-looky' men, relax and get some sun then this is your place. I don't have children, but they seemed happy enough (the English speaking Entertainment Team taking care of that.)

Just think 'Sahara meets the Red Sea' with a hotel on it and you get the picture."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 11th of February 2007

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