9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Rest assured at Resta Reef
"My Friend and I have visited this hotel twice already this year and are planning a third visit.
Â ( Completely out of character)
This hotel offers amazing value for money and it is quite unbelievable that this hotel only has a 3 star rating. Â (Not for long, I am sure) I have stayed in worse conditioned 5 star hotels. Â
The location is Beautiful, on the beach. Â
The Grounds are well loved and looked after
The food is always hot, flavoursome with plenty of variety. Â
The rooms are basic but very clean and tidy. Â
The Animation team are genuine, very likeable and trustworthy.
The evening shows are as you would expect
You will find all the facilities you could desire: Spa, beauty, shops, diving centre, cash point, 24 hr reception. Â
Money can't buy the kind of service you get at this hotel. Â The staff are simply charming. They will do anything for you, nothing is too much trouble. These people love their hotel and take pride in how they are perceived. In a market place where reputation and value is everything, they are not wrong to do so. Â The Manager at this hotel is relatively new and along with the Operations Â Manager, have clearly made their mark, moulded and inspired the team. Â
If the other Resta hotels are managed like Resta Reef, then I want to visit them all!
Marsa Alam is a great location, and the resort is only 10 minutes from the new airport. Â There appears to be a lot of development work going on in the area ( understandably) I hope they keep it to a reasonable size and do not cram in too many hotels. Â For now, I have found my favourite spot in Egypt, sorry Sharm em sheikh!
So, if you are looking for amazing value, exceptional service, relaxation, entertainment, beautiful surroundings and a hassle free holiday. Â Then I recommend this hotel but don't tell everyone :-) "
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of May 2012
Great Service - food disappointing
"We thought the Resta Grand was the poshest hotel of the two, but the Resta Reef was good value and offered great service. We would stay at the Grand next time though.
The bedrooms were a little tired although we had room 4013 which we got when we complained about not having a seaview as booked. The view was lovely though and the Red Sea is fabulous and full of gorgeous fish. Snorkelling paradise.
Service was brilliant the staff cant do enough for you. Hotel is very clean.
Food caters for Russian guests though. No english style food to speak of. Goulash and fish and continental dishes with lots of salads and rice etc but seemed to be the same day and night and the desserts were plentiful but all tasted the same. If you are looking for variety you will be disappointed.
All in all it was a lovely hotel with lovely staff but poor menu.
The manager was excellent and attended to any concerns immediately
Nightlife non existent though. Average evening show"
- Travel date: Sat 18th of December 2010
"I just came from reef resta couple of weeks ago, I did have a good relaxing time, everything exceeded our expectations, staff was really nice and polite, bar staff are amazing, resturant staff work so hard, animation team are brill specially Bazoka and Tito didnt really want to leave, apart from the reception staff they were careless, really nice and calm beach with lovely weather, will def come back
I Recommend this hotel"
- Travel date: Mon 6th of December 2010
Resta Reef - Snorkell the day away....
"During the initial period of a 2 week stay at the Resta Reef Resort I thought this review would be critical of the hotel but the negatives were put into perspective and the location, character and friendliness of the hotel staff helped us enjoy our stay.
The hotel is in need of some renovation and during our stay the main building exterior was being painted and the gardens and pathways were receiving much needed attention, none of which hindered the guests in any way. The most neglected areas are the grounds around the entrance side of the rooms where pathways etc are not good. The private patio areas facing the swimming pools are also a little untidy.
Now this sounds bad but things get better as the rest of the hotel is quite adequate and is kept clean and tidy. The reception area is a large area with pillars, tables, chairs, lanterns and a high central dome. It provides access to a few shops and the main Fontana buffet restaurant and La Casa pizza & bar. The main doors lead out on to the La Casa terrace with great views out across the beach to the reef and The Red Sea.
Our room  faced the swim up bar pool and although darkly furnished with wardrobe - including free safety deposit box - bedside tables, dressing unit, TV and king-size bed it provided enough comfort for our stay. The âhousemanâ cleaned well and invariably used his imagination with towel and bedspread displays. His most unusual being a âShipwreckâ theme â the bedspread was in the shape of a boat and the picture on the wall was askew and the hotel information spread haphazardly across the table. He also mimicked a towel display of our âmonkeyâ Pepe we take on our travels. He added petals and flowers on others occasions.
The air-conditioning is easily controlled and although noisy is efficient. This also applied to the fridge that had a hum comparable with a small sub-station! As we only used it for the provided 2 bottles of water we switched it off at night. A feature of the room is the bricked dome directly above the king-size bed.
The bathroom area was a little tired looking but the walk-in shower was OK and toiletries were provided.
The Fontana buffet restaurant is pleasant enough and although the choice was a little limited we always found something and enough to eat. With guests coming mainly from east and west Europe, breakfast featured all the usual and unusual aspects of an âinternationalâ buffet. Italian and Russian guests were in the majority and having experienced the âbrusqueâ behaviour of Russians previously in Egypt we were pleased it was not the case this time around and most guests were friendly. Lunch and dinner were very similar affairs with soups, bread, salads, pasta to order and a range of hot meat and fish dishes with rice and vegetables. Fruit and a large choice of cake and pastries are always available. The restaurant has a large overflow area with a television that was seldom used at this quiet time of the year and an outside terrace overlooking the beach.
The restaurant bar area was a particular grouse of mine as it was sited too close to some of the buffet hot dishes and if a queue developed it caused a little congestion. The stock of glasses was poor and although the barman tried to serve in the appropriate glass it was often pot luck. Local beer, spirits and wine and soft drinks, including Coke light, are all on offer. There is no table service but the table-clearing staff are efficient. The restaurant bar was open until 11pm and sitting out on the terrace was an option.
However, after dining most guests used the terrace area in front of La Casa pizza restaurant to relax with a drink. I think the hotel would benefit from having a true bar counter service but only waiter service from La Casa is available. During our stay both Ehab and Fahd were very friendly, they also covered the beach bar during the day. Beer is only served in a small tall glass and âdoubling upâ is generally necessary. The area is also used for the Shisha pipe with floor mats and a number of sofas set around the edges of the terrace. This area is quiet and could be classed as too quiet for many with no entertainment on offer other than the sounds from the Animation Teamâs show drifting across from the open theatre area. We took in a few shows and they were generally well received by guests. They take place nightly from around 9.30 to 10.30. There is also the disco from 10.30pm.
Beach and reef.
This is where the location of the hotel comes up trumps. Sun beds and sun shades are neatly set out along the beach and more are available on the upper levels of the cliff face overlooking the length of the coast. Just drape your free towels over the padded sun bed and soak up the sun. In October the temperatures are in the mid 30âs. The sun is hot from dawn but the sun sets around 5.30pm, so shadows lengthen from 4pm and the sun is behind buildings by 5pm but most guests are early risers so itâs still a long day. The beach bar is set back above the beach and is available for drinks and small snacks from 10am to 6pm. The animation team offer a number of activities throughout the day and participation levels were good. Stretching, Boules, exercise in the pool, football and volleyball? The choice is yours.
If you snorkel at any level you will not regret venturing out several times a day. What better way to cool off? Both the shallows and the deep offered as much variety as we have ever seen on previous trips to the Sharm [Nabq] region and Taba Heights. The beach runs down to the rocky edge and the reef spreads before you with shallows to explore. The deeper reef should be accessed from the pier steps when the flag is white or red. A black flag is no go and the steps are winched up. Listen out for the whistles of the lifeguard on the pier. There are two reasons for the warning. Firstly, to warn people not to enter the deeper reef from the shallows thus avoiding damage to the coral and danger to oneself during rougher conditions. The reef fingers its way out into the Red Sea and the deep gaps could cause stumbles and result in injury on the sharp coral. Secondly - Dolphin alert! During our stay dolphins swam past on 3 occasions. One pod of 6 or 7 in particular came very close to the reef while people were in the water and resulted in some magic moments from the pier and water. There were a few total black flag days during our 2 weeks but we also had totally calm, white flag days. Two must-finds in the shallows are the Moray eel and the Clown fish that seemed to be permanent residents during our stay. They were in the same places most days but youâll have to find them for yourselves - word will get around! Other highlights were a Lionfish that swam right alongside us at very low tide one day, a Blue Spotted Stingray and an Octopus that was gazed upon for hours as word got out where he was hiding! The array of fish is amazing; the colours are fantastic and guaranteed. Remember all can be seen in the shallows up close and personal. Even if you arenât confident in the water get some aqua shoes and a snorkel and put your face in the water. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! It is our regret we could not buy a digital underwater camera around the hotel. Many guests already had them and must have returned home with some fantastic pictures.
Off the pier the variety is again increasingly impressive with obviously some much larger fish to be found among the many different species. But the attraction is to view the coral reef as it falls away like a cliff to a depth were you canât even see the sea bed!
The Grounds and Pools
The gardens are pleasantly arranged and flowering trees are abundant. At the top end of the resort a canal type feature was being drained and cleaned during our stay. Moving towards the beach there is a childrenâs playground and a swim-up bar pool with table tennis and pool tables. Finally, there is a pool with water polo goals where the daily pool activities take place.
Outside the hotel there is little on offer. Across the road is a small group of 5 or 6 shops including a small supermarket and a pharmacy. Either side of the hotel are sister hotel Resta Grand Reef, an all together more up-market style hotel, and a complex of two hotels Sol Y Mar and Samaya. Local excursions out are limited to Port Ghalib, a new development of hotels cafes, restaurants and bazaar that was like a ghost town when we visited. To see a bit of real Egypt a trip out to the port of El Quesir is an eye-opener. It shows the poverty but offers a chance to walk the streets and barter in the bazaars.
Euros are widely accepted and therefore Egyptian pounds are not really necessary for the local area. In fact the hotel room prices are shown in $ and Euros for extras. Although the staff never sort reward for there efforts we tipped as appropriate in Pounds and Euros.
So, taking everything into account the Resta was an enjoyable base for our two weeks in the sun."
- Travel date: Thu 11th of November 2010
"We booked this holiday last minute. The staff were so friendly, the room was spacious and cleaned daily. There was a great choice of food and always something to eat and the pizzas were really nice. It had a private beach and no one tried to sell you things or trips etc. The snorkelling was amazing, it was windy most of the week but considering it was hot I liked the breeze so that it wasn't too hot to sunbathe. We couldnt snorkle off the jetty for 4 days of the week due to the waves however the last 2 days when I did go in the sea I had seen most of the same fish in the shallower part which I snorkelled in all week, even saw a moray eel which the lifeguard assured me it didn't bite, it just hid amongst the corals it was amazing. Would definately go back there."
- Travel date: Sun 31st of October 2010
If you love the beach, this is not the place for you
"Arrived back from the Resta Reef a couple of days ago, and in all honesty, it was a nice hotel....but I would not go back.
After going to Sharm a few times, we (friend and I) decided to go to another resort. We left rather disappointed.
On holiday, I love to relax on the beach all day, swim in the sea, be able to walk to the beach bar for lunch, and truthfully not do much else. However, when we saw the beach, we were very disappointed.
It is a shingle beach. There is a long jetty which takes you over the coral. The black flag is always up so you therefore, can't swim as it is too rough. When the red flag is showing (normally late afternoon), you can go for a swim. BUT, you need to be a very strong swimmer (it is always very choppy). There are steps to get you into the sea, but you have to time the rough waves just right otherwise, they will just force you back onto the steps or the coral. You also NEED a pair of aqua shoes for this beach.
If you don't fancy that you can walk in from the shore over rocks and do some snorkelling. This is not a beach where you can go for a swim.
There are two pools which you will need to 'reserve' fairly early in the morning. You do not need to do this on the beach.
There is a pool and beach bar which do not serve lunch, but snacks like a bread roll with cheese. Lunch is only served in the main restaurant.
The hotel rooms are basic but kept very clean. Two bottles of water are left in your room each day. There are several English channels.The air con is VERY noisy.
With regards to food, I am not a fussy eater, but the food was very repetitive. We were there for a week, and they more or less had the same food every evening.
The hotel is only a 10 minute transfer. You need a visa which you can get at the airport bank or you can buy a visa from the holiday rep once you are all on the coaches for your transfers.
The beach really let us down and that is the main reason that I would not go back."
- Travel date: Sat 11th of September 2010
"just returned from the resta reef after a week with my boyfriend.First impressions was that the hotel was in the middle of the dessert along with a few others.As soon as we arrived the hotel though it was lovely.The lobby was lovely and the hotel was located on the beach which was lovely.The rooms are basic but clean.The cleaners come every day and do a very good job.The food wasnt great.I think this hotel caters for italians and russians.Typical breakfast was mash potato,beef sausage and eggs.lunch and dinner consisted mainly of chicken,beef stews rice and pasta.dont expect chips! plenty of salad,olives etc.snacks werent great, a cheese bap or pizza( but not great pizza) ice cream but very very small containers!!have to keep going back for more. Drinks were the same,tiny glasses (two gulps literally) Service wasnt too bad but nowone ever came round to ask if you wanted a drink and some of the staff were quite miserable but it was ramadam! If you get the chance to go quad biking go.Its great fun.its quite expensive there we paid Â£6 for a bottle of coke.The sovenier shops are also expensive they seem to make the prices up as the go along.All in all the hotel is nice and the swimming pools are nice.The beach is nice but shallow.you can only go into the sea if the flags are red.its a nice place to relax."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of August 2010
quiet, clean, beautifull reef
"We were looking for a quiet, clean, and pleasant place to spend our holiday in.
We chose recommended hotel Resta Reef Resort, because of its quality (recommended), Italian style, and beautiful coral reef. And we got all we were looking for.
The hotel is casual, but clean. Service is nice (very few pro waiters). Room was cleaned on daily basis. The only think we didn't like in our room, was noisy air conditioning.
Beach, and sea site was very nice. Enough sun beds, we never had to wait for one.
But the main highlight, was coral reef. We didn't have to go any ware else to dive. We just went out on the beach, and there it was. You can find plenty of films on youtube. Simply remarkable.
One more gut think about this hotel, it's their animators. All Italians, so nice people. We has lots of fun with them. Greetings to all."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of July 2010
OK Resort - worth the money
"It is a nice and relaxing resort with the perfect distance from the airport - just 10 minutes away. The room we got - had a seaview - and that was nice although the furnitures were a bit worn.
The food was various with at least three choices (fish, meat, chicken) for every meal (lunch and dinner) and your own choice of pasta. Excellent! You didn't get bored after one week, but maybe two...
The facilities on the resort was ok and we went to the "sister-hotel" Resta Grand, next door, to use the gym. Very nice but not enough machines. We went diving with Matthes Divers, the diving center at Resta Reef - and we would strongly recommend them!
Equipment for one day 16 EUR
2 dives from boat/shore 40/50 EUR
Fresh-up dive 40 EUR extra
The cleaning in our room was terrible. When we arrived we found the bathroom uncleaned, which we complained about, but it didn't improve. We tipped 30 EGP on the second day and thought the cleaning would be better - it was - but just for one day... Then it was the same standard as earlier."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of December 2009