10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"My boyfriend and i stayed at Resta Grand Resort for a week from 24th June. First impressions were that we were blown away. We had read reviews before we arrived so we would know what to expect. As mentioned there are still building works going on but you are completely unaware of them unless you go out the front reception area - no disruption at all. You are completely unaffected by being so close to the airport as well - it's actually a good thing that the transfer time is only 10mins - it meant that we could sunbathe up to the last 5mins until we were picked up to go home :) The service we found was very good, we had no problems around the pool at all - there was always someone there who was happy enough to bring us a drink - the dinner service was also very good in our experience here. the problem as mentioned though is the service around the bar. there are only two waiters and we did end up waiting half an hour to be served which was frustrating. we spoke to the reception desk and they did tell us that they would be getting more waiters for the bar area - not much help for us when we were there, but they will be coming! You can always by some duty free on the way in to have on your balcony/in your room - not ideal but the option's there. the shops in the mini shopping centre are now starting to open up - three new ones opened up in the week we were there. these sell trinkets, beach toys, sun tan lotion and a few snacks, taxi company etc. although there is a cashpoint in this area it didn't seem to be on, again i'm sure it will be in time. it's clear to see that when the hotel is finished it will be absolutely amazing, but when it is finished it will clearly cost a lot more to stay there than it does currently. don't let any of the reviews put you off staying at what is a really really nice hotel - as long as you know what to expect you can't be disappointed, so hence we weren't - we new we were getting a 'bargain' in sense for a 5* hotel. things to be aware of: 1. the hotel is in the middle of nowhere - this suits some people who would like to be completely cut off, others would find this frustrating. there are lots of trips you can go on though so if you want to see things you can. the warning here is that be aware the trips may seem a bit pricey - but when you realise this cost takes into consideration that you will have to travel at least a couple of hours, you realise it's reasonable and that it is actually great value for money (we did the one day trip to luxor - 6hrs each way with a 5am pick-up - they cram a lot into one day - it costs Â£89 but considering travel and entrance fees and lunch and breakfast it was worth every penny of it). 2. The food can get boring, but there is a lot to chose from and it does try to cater for everyone. we were disppointed because thomas cook stated that we would have one meal per a la carte restaurant per visit included with our holiday - this was not the case when we arrived and as such the majority of guests it appeared ate in the main buffet restaurant. the atmosphere was not the same as if you went out to a restaurant in town and resembled in some instances a school canteen. where dinner on holiday is usually an event for the day, here it is not. you will not feel like having a long relaxing dinner. this is something we didn't like so much, but then on the other hand it was good if you just wanted to pop in for a quick breakfast and lunch. a tip for here also is that you will be served drinks a lot more in here then you would sitting around the bar outside. if you want a drink you will really have no problems here. this hotel was perfect for us, yes there is still a way for it to go until it i finished but as it stands the condition is very good already. there was a comment about the waiters acting inappropriately. i wasn't aware of this going on whatsoever, not my experience at all (but maybe i'm a dog). the service of the hotel staff was very good and they treated everyone as far as we were aware with the upmost respect and couldn't do enough to help. This is definately somewhere i would recommend to a friend. i wish that i would be able to see the hotel when it is completed, but will probably not be able to afford it then! ;) it's already a wonderful place when it's done it is going to be spectacular!"
- Travel date: 6th July 2009
Fine for relaxation but missed walking into sea!
"As most people were, a bit wary about Hotel as not in brochure yet and only four reviews on website. Had 6 hour delay from Manchester with Thomson, toilets blocked on aircraft was reason, another plane brought in from Gatwick and new crew. Finally arrived 23.45 and entering the lobby was the real wow factor, beautiful, don't know how long the light coloured suites and chairs will last! Went on terrace for G and T, but 2nd drink after midnight we had to pay for as All Inclusive finishes then, fair enough. Taken to room by golf buggy, double bed, ground floor, after I had booked twin, as with a girlfriend, no problem though, moved straight away, overlooking building work shown in previous review, this didn't bother us as we had a sea view free. Rooms lovely and big terrace. For our first four days Hotel was fairly quiet, then on Sunday in came lot's of Italians, total in Hotel was 530. Restaurant that night was a bit chaotic, q's for everything, next day they had more hot plates on other side which helped a lot. Pool area is lovely, comfy beds, but as Hotel filled up, music around there got louder and more or less constant, so off we went and never stayed there again. Went on terrace at beach, everyone down on beach, us alone on top where it was windier as well. So many beds to choose from. We had very strong winds for the 2 weeks and only saw people snorkelling once off jetty. This was the big disappointment, couldn't get into sea, only to your knees. Speaking to other people in different Hotels they could. Evening entertainment very poor, we knew it would be quiet but listening to same music EVERY NIGHT and loud, was too much. We had no problems getting drinks at Bar, maybe because we were 2 women, or we just went to Bar, it was only exercise we had on holiday! Staff in Hotel were all lovely and couldn't do enough for you,Hassam, one of restaurant managers was great and looked out for everyone, as did Akrim, PR. One important thing, we felt anyway, lighting around gardens at night very poor and on steps coming down from your room, as all dark tiling, took 3 days to get light bulbs fitted on steps and 4 days for 2 bulbs in bathroom! We did 3 Island tour, 2hrs 30, transfer which was really boring, but we were warned. Once there boat, food, staff and snorkelling was great. Went to Porta Khalib one night, booked through reception, nothing fantastic but just nice to get out of Hotel. 10 of us got left behind as we were not told where pick up was, so waited where we were dropped off. Took one hour to get Taxi organised and a 30 dollar bill, which we told Reception to pay as not our fault. Bit of argument as were all tired, but next day were not charged. All in all, weather very hot, too hot, Hotel lovely, different nationalities not a problem as Italians always like to have a good time, but take plenty of reading material, nothing else to do. Have never written review before so hope this helps, only done this as limited information on this Hotel available."
- Travel date: 6th July 2009
was a disapointment:(
"we arrived 24th june, first thoughts,what a stunning hotel,was welcomed straight away,our cases were taken to our rooms for us.The room was lovely,very big beds,and a lovely view of the pool,from our veranda.The dissapointment of this hotel was the variety of the food in the buffet restaurant.we struggled all week to find something different to eat.need to watch chefs when cooking on the griddles,as one evening i asked a chef to cook me some peppers,it took 15mins to cook,then just as he was gonna place pepper on my plate ,he used the same utensil to put raw chicken on to cook,then picked up my pepper to place on my plate...i didnt end up eating peppers for obvious reasons.so need to be aware ,with cross contamination. There are not enough staff around the pool area ,so very hard to get drink service. There was no entertainment in evenings apart from aga doo and kids songs. and one night with a man standing on broken glass, whopee. The service in the bar was not good due to shortage of staff,and they wont serve you another drink, if you still have some remaining in your glass. how they are goin to cope when this hotel is full heaven knows. One good thing,you dont need to set your alarm for a sunbeds,there are plenty of them and very comfortable to.Is worth going snorkelling in the sea,there are some beautiful fishes. We also did the super safari trip,with quad bikes and camel riding which was a great day,and well worth the money.But advise not to buy the dvd if on this trip as doesnt cover the whole trip, quite disapointed when we viewed it. I hope they manage to sort out their staffing problems and food variety,as this hotel and surroundings are lovely,and could make a ideal holiday ,but unfortunately not for us,when we were there."
- Travel date: 3rd July 2009
Excellent, but a few things....
"just got back from a great time at the Resta... rather than go into great long detail about the place here is its plus and minus points what we thought... Building work.. Yes there is loads going on but its well out of view once you are inside the hotel.. this place is going to be massive with an overal capacity of 2000 people once its completed. not good as there was only 500 at a rough guess when we were there so it will feel like a cattle market... bigger is not always best.... Food. started off great but as the second week started the food did start to go down hill and the service did go the same . Toilets... there are no toilets around the large pools so if you need the loo its either the one in your room or up to the reception so if you have a dicky tummy its a bit of a treck... but they are looking into builing some as it seems it was a common topic.. Guests. Most of the guests were either Russian or Italians.. there were some brits there but once word gets out this will be a little part of the Eastern Block in the sun... most were very nice . Music... they seem to play the same CD all the time . after a week long of it really starts to get on your nerves.. small point i know .. Entertainment. no much really apart from one night they got in a Egyption dance act which was very good.. Children.. nothing for kids apart from the kids pool . Well thats about it... We did have a great time . go there now before it goes up in price and before Mother Russia hits town..."
- Travel date: 23rd June 2009
To quote another-Nice hotel middle of nowhere!!!
"Arrived late Wednesday evening, impressed with the reception area although to reiterate other comments building works still on-going and definitely no regard for health and safety, planksof wood left on pavement outside hotel with nails sticking up!!. Building works do not affect the running/noise in hotel itself so no need to worry on that level We got to our room showered and changed and made our way to the restaurant for our meal. I sat down and my partner went to get his food, as soon as I sat down I was approached by a waiter who made inappropriate comments and asked me was I alone etc until he saw my partner.!!! Ladies be warned the waiters/Egyptian men in general make you feel very uncomfortable with their gestures and comments regardless of you being with your partner, made me very very uncomfortable!!! Holiday continued in a similar vein, very difficult to get served any drinks, we returned to our room 90% of the time not having been served one drink!. We also felt like we were being ignored!. Nothing whatsoever to do or see in Marsa Alam, apart from diving. You cannot go outside the resort at night as there's nowhere to go. We both had food poisoning by the 4/5th day of our holiday and that was despite avoiding the meat altogether. Please be warned if you do the same as me and buy Â£40 worth of Immodium and other medicines, do not waste your money. The rep warned us in our first meeting that if we got ill to go straight to the local pharmacy as our medication would not work, she was right, I used all ours up and it did nothing to alleviate the symptoms. The stomach cramps are the worse we have ever experienced, I suffer from IBS and am used to stomach pain, I also had gastro a few years back in Barbados and had to call the GP out there as I was so ill but the pain from the stomach cramps far superceded my gastro in Barbados(everyone I spoke to at Gatwick on the way back had all had food poisoning from every hotel). Make sure you go the the pharmacy as soon as you get ill (you're guaranteed to get it!!) as I waited until our departure day to go and as soon as I started taking the tablets the pharmacist gave me I could feel them working, although am still experiencing pain and we have been home 2 days!!! Rooms are lovely, extremely clean, sheets are changed daily as are towels and rooms are cleaned from top to bottom daily, previous reviewer is right in stating there are chips and chunks missing/roughly filled with filler in the sink and bath. We also had a major leak from the air conditioning on our second day, however the maintenance people did attend straight away but it did take them a few hours to sort it. Very disappointed when our rep told us we could not go in to the sea due to the preservation of coral as I'm a big beach lover and would shun the pool for the beach any day. I double checked with reception and the guy there actually said "I'd be very suprised that anyone allows you to enter the red sea anywhere in Egypt"" Went to the beach regardless and noticed a woman sitting in the sea, asked the beach attendant whether we could go into the sea, he said yes I told him we were told we could not go in and he said it was fine as long as we didn't go out into the sea. We we allowed in up to our ankles!!! Night entertainment was worse we have ever witnessed. Repetitive music every single night, kids entertainment was 8.50pm to 9.10pm every night and was same music every night i.e Tweety Song, Hokey Cokey, really grated on us!!! Kids entertainers were too familiar for our liking, not that we have children but made us feel uncomfortable. They were all men (muslim women do not work) and they would pick children up and kiss them constantly, the parents didn't seem to mind but made uncomfortable viewing. The only other entertainment was a guy walking on broken glass and nails and belly dancing, Mon, Weds and Friday. We were watching tv in our room most nights by 9.30pm as we could not get served any drinks. There is no bar at night which you can go to to get your own drinks, it's purely waiter service and there were only 2 waiters for all the guests!!!!!!!!!!!! To summarise this is a lovely clean hotel but that's all it is. If you don't mind doing absolutely nothing all holiday (day and night) and staying within the confines of your hotel then this is the hotel for you, if not do not go to any hotel in Marsa Alam unless you're a diver as the plane was full of diving groups, this seems to be the only reason people go to Marsa Alam. Wished we had gone the Sharm el Sheik as this first trip to Egypt has clouded our judgment of the country as a whole and we will not be returning as a result One final note-be careful what eletrical goods you take with you, especially the men. Marsa Alam airport is a military airport and we had been warned by the rep that if they see something they like they will confiscate it and keep it because they can!!!. They were adamant I had an eletrical shaver in my suitcase, I told them I only had a hairdryer and hair straighteners and they suddlenly let me go!! Also keep mobiles out of sight as they were very keen on my partners mobile as soon as we got off the plane"
- Travel date: 19th June 2009
"We were among the first British group to go to this hotel We returned May 13th 2009 from a fansatic holiday at this hotel food very good and the staff could not do enough for you .The rooms are lovely and clean. even though the hotel is not yet finished we would recommend it very highly.We would go back to this hotel without hesitation. Not alot to do at Marsa Alam but if you just want a nice restful holiday this is the hotel for you.Hoping to go back sooner rather than later. Kenneth & Rhona."
- Travel date: 16th June 2009
Go now, whilst its quiet to enjoy the place.
"We have just returned from a weeks holiday here.. It was very nice. We arrived late, so it was dark when we got to the hotel, so we didnât see all the building work that was going on a the front of the hotel, but first impressions were really good, the hotel looked fantastic, even heard comments from other people not staying at the hotel that they wished the had stayed there. There is considerable building work going on at the hotel, eventually the hotel will have 748 rooms. The building work does not interrupt you holiday at all. We didnât hear any noise at all when we were there. Check in was great and really quick, a porter took us to our room in a golf buggy then we realized that this place was massive and its only half built!!!!! The hotel rooms are a good size, modern, with two large beds pushed together in the twin rooms. The rooms have large flat screen TVâs with various channels to choose from, in various languages (all free of charge). The bathroom is a good size with a bath, shower (in the bath), toilet, sink, and bidet. The rooms were very clean and the cleaner made us different towel decorations everyday which was really a nice touch. The only down side was that all though the hotel rooms are obviously new they do look a bit like they were rushed to get finished, and probably not up to a 5* standard, their were chips and scratches on the furniture, and paint was still on the wood.. Just a little shabby.. The hotel gardens will eventually be beautiful. All the plants and trees are very new and will take a few months to establish but will look stunning.. The pool area is huge, with loads of sun beds, which goes to show how many people they expect to stay there eventually!!.. The pool is clean and the swim up bar is nice. The sun beds are really comfortable and there are plenty of umbrellaâs for shade. The only problem is there are not toilets by the pool so youâll need to go to your room or reception. We were told they will be building toilets by the pool though. The beach is clean, though you can not access the sea from the beach, you either have to use the jetty, or the hotel next door (Resta Reef). Be warned though the sea is very rough, Marsa Alam has a constant breeze which is good to keep a bit cooler but the sea is very choppy, if you go in make sure you are a strong swimmer, I really struggled to get back to the jetty, but the views of the coral and the fish is amazing. . Food was brilliant for the first few days but as more people arrived they seemed to struggle a bit to provide as good quality food. Breakfast was nice with a wide choice.. You can choose to have lunch in the main restaurant or the restaurant over looking the sea which does Pizza fresh to order. We had our evening meal in the main restaurant every evening, but could have dined in one of the specialty restaurant but would have to pay extra, though you get 30 Egyptian Pounds credit which gets you a starter each. Men should be aware that they are expected to wear long trousers for dinner in the evening. The range of drinks available is good, you can have wine, beer, locally produced spirits, water, soft drinks (including fruit juice), tea and coffee. In addition you do get two large bottles of water in your room everyday. The service in the bar and restaurant to is very slow, especially in the restaurant, the waiting staff seem to worry more about clearing tables than serving drinks. Sometimes we felt like they just ignored us!!! The bar areas is small for the size of the hotel, and I am not sure where everyone will go when it is open fully, because the bar was very busy with only about 150 people at one night. The hotel provides some entertainment, Monday Wednesday, and Friday you get to see some local stuff, like a man walking on glass (rubbish) or belly dancers (quite good) other wise you get to listen to CDâs on the veranda whilst the animation team do their little dances for 10 minutes. The animation team were OK, but need to work a bit harder, seem to be to laid back and not really bothered. âFadyâ needs to smile occasionally!!!! At the moment the hotel is purely for relaxing, we did a snorkeling trip, but that was it.. We really did chill out for the entire week.. Got so tired doing nothing, which is good for adults but would think that kids, especially teenagers would get really bored I expect. there are two shops at the hotel but thatâs it at the moment but will be more, as there is space. There are a few shops outside the hotel, but we didnât feel very safe to go out the hotel, didnât seem to be well lit, and saw five wild dogs, so wasnât going out the hotel!!! Staff at the hotel are mainly very helpful and friendly. Although I did expect more seeing as we were some of the first guests, they didnât seem to go to any extra effort!!! The Spa was not open yet, although on the Thomson website says it is.. They are doing massages but I thought they were very expensive, sure they are cheaper in the UK. All in all we had a lovely and very relaxing week. Will be interested to see the reviews in six months to a year, to see how they cope with over 740 rooms full of people.. Good luck. Go now, whilst its quiet to enjoy the place."
- Travel date: 15th June 2009
Lovely Hotel But Not 5*
"First and foremost we stayed at this hotel when it had only been open for about 3 weeks. It was very very quiet (under 150 people) and still having teething problems. It is very hard to review this hotel as its not finished and as the days went on and it became busier it seemed to let its self down more and more. When it is fully built it will hold over 1400 people and from what we saw it will not be able to cope!? We arrived at night so the first impressions were that it was a very nice, clean elegant hotel. The reception and lobby are finished very nicely and are air conditioned very well, which is a welcome relief. The room was spacious and clean and catered for all our needs, including the tea and coffee facility and nice large tv. The tv had about 15 English channels but the signal would come and go (Teething Problem) Our room was one block back from the beach, so sea views and nice and quiet. The Hotel is going to be huge when finished. The hotel is split into 3 areas, at the moment there is 1 area finished and opened and seems to be the main section. It is infront of the reception and adjoining the beach. The other two areas are set futher back infront of the Reception and either side of the Main Drive leading to the entrance. (See Photos) We had a great time here and paid a very subsidised rate so for us it was great value for money. The hotel is only 5 mins from the airport but no airport noise at all. The beach is very nice to lie on but you cannot access the sea due to the Coral. There is a Jetty which you can snorkell off the end but the sea can be quite rough!! The hotel next door is also a "Resta" and you can use the beach there to snorkell etc but its quite shallow and you must have shoes on. There is so much to write about but it does not seem fair as the hotel is not quite finished. Before we went there were no reviews and we were in two minds but ended up having a brilliant time. Please feel free to contact me and i will tell you more of what you want to know."
- Travel date: 15th June 2009
FAR FROM FINISHED SHOCKING!!!
"Went to the grand resta hotel and it is clearly not finished you go down a drive and there are workers and a buliding site, we was told by thomsons it was finished in 2006?? i have taken pictures of the place so please take a look before booking, The people are very nice & the cleaners do an excellent job. there is nothing to do at or around MARSA ALAM. We asked thomsons for a place anywhere with a nice beach MARSA ALAM dosent have a beach for swimming it is all CAROL AND DEEP DROPS so the children couldnt go in it. OVER ALL LOVELY CLEAN PLACE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE."
- Travel date: 22nd May 2009
Resta Grand Resort
"Hello Just back (13th May 2009) from the Resta Grand Resort - we were part of the 1st British group to stay there. At the moment it is exclusive to Thompson (TUI). It opened in March 2009 and is owned by the same group that own the Resta Grand Reef which is next door. (The 3* Resta Grand Reef does look a little tired). The Resta Grand Resort is 5* Our Thompson tickets had REEF on them - which we quizzed them about - no Thompson customers stay at the 3*Reef so do not worry. Only the main buffet restaurant is open at the moment - food good and varied was mine and the vast majority of the other guests opinion, (you always get a few who seem to enjoy moaning....) No upset stomachs reported by anyone. Resort seems to cater for the Italians, Germans and East Europeans (Poles/Russians/Ukrainians/Lithuanians/.....) in that order - Brit numbers are relatively low. Although the limited entertainment Belly Dancers and Whirling Dervishâs is the same in whatever language. Few shops and everything is priced in Euros - locals seem to prefer the Euro more than their own currency. Pool area, 3 next to one another, is huge and beautiful. 1 unheated with swim up bar, 1 heated and 1 kids. I have never seen so many sunbeds..... Building work is still going on - Mainly along the approach road to reception and to the edges of the hotels grounds. We experienced minimal disturbance - none around the pool area. Staff friendly Snorkelling was amazing... you cannot (not supposed to) enter the sea from the hotel beach â you may use the beach and jetty at the Resta Reef which is right next door. take your own shoes, mask and snorkel - V expensive locally if you do not enjoy haggling (not many shops => little competition) I haggled to death (not V British) for 2 masks and snorkels and paid Â£20 (we already had shoes). Some people paid small a fortune..... sandy, beach football pitch and volley ball court is shared with the 3*Reef next door. All Inc spirits (made in Egypt) were a little rough when consumed neat but were better with mixers. The beer is bottled Stella (not 'our' Stella) which I have had before on previous visits to Egypt and I find very very drinkable :-) We had a good time and would recommend the hotel. It will be truly amazing when completely finished - but will probably be alot more expensive when established.... hope this helps"
- Travel date: 19th May 2009
Jaz Grand Marsa is also called
- resta grand hotel
- resta grand resort all inclusive