When it comes to foreign holidays living just 10 minutes from Birmingham Airport is a real bonus; except when duration and destination of a holiday dictate you have to fly from Manchester, which is exactly what happened with our recent 10 day Egypt holiday.
Having previously done Nile Cruising, Luxor, Cairo and many trips to Sharm El Sheikh we decided that we should experience a new location in Egypt this time round, so we extended a 7 night stay to 10 nights to give us the chance to fly to Hurghada for 3 nights in the middle of the holiday and take a peek at some of the hotels in Hurghada that we feature on Tropical Warehouse.
We arrived at our hotel (The Grand Sharm El Sheikh) in time for dinner in the a la carte Fusion restaurant where we had what can only be described as the best prawn cocktail I have ever tasted, followed by a few drinks and then off to bed after a long day travelling.
The next 5 days were spent relaxing and enjoying the wall to wall sunshine in temperatures that never dipped below 35°C during the day, which made us feel even better when we returned to our room in the evening to watch the BBC World News highlighting the lack of summer weather back in the UK.
The variety of pools, relaxation areas, bars and dining options at this hotel ensured that we had something different to do every day and the crystal clear water of the Red Sea was the icing on the cake.
To view the amazing amount and variety of colourful sea life you don’t even need to get your feet wet at this hotel as you can walk out on the pontoon across the reef and see virtually as much as the more adventurous holidaymakers who took to snorkelling and scuba diving.
In the middle of our stay in Sharm we took a flight to the Egyptian mainland for a 2 night stay to visit a few hotels in Hurghada.
We stayed at the brand new adults only Makadi Spa and were blown away with the quality of the place. The hotel matches up to any test of quality of rooms, dining, facilities and service. There are still some finishing touches going on as the hotel is not yet totally finished, but they are cosmetic in terms of impact on the guests staying there, apart from the Cinq Mondes Spa where the treatment rooms are not yet available and a completion date is currently unknown.
Some of the restaurants including the buffet restaurant were not available, but there are plenty of alternative restaurants at the Sunwing Waterworld and Makadi Palace which are both next door to the Makadi Spa, as well as 5 a la carte restaurants in the Makadi Mall which is directly outside the entrance to the Makadi Spa, which includes Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, French and Italian. They all have a full menu included in the All Inclusive package and need to be booked a day in advance with no restriction on the number of times you can dine at them – they all also have some items on the menu that are available at an extra charge to the all-inclusive package.
We paid the extra 20 euros each for a Teppanyaki meal in the Asian restaurant which was without question the best “Chinese meal” experience we have ever had and well worth the additional 40 euros – the Chef’s stunningly theatrical show was worth the price tag alone.
Our 2 night stay in Hurghada wasn’t all relaxation and fine dining, as our ‘bit of work thrown in’ we completed a site inspection visit, or ‘orientation’ as they call it in Egypt, at the other 3 Red Sea Hotels which form part of the 4 hotel complex at Makadi Bay.
The brand new Sunwing Waterworld, next door to Makadi Spa, is just as stunning as the Spa with regards the rooms, restaurants and general facilities on offer. This hotel will definitely become a family favourite with its own waterpark that includes water features and slides for the kids; and for the more grown up kids like me – they have a waterslide that does a loop-the-loop that might be best to take on before lunch rather than after! You have to be over 1.22 metres tall to use the big water chutes with smaller ones available for the kids under 1.22 metres tall.
The other 2 hotels we visited were The Makadi Palace and The Grand Makadi - these 2 hotels are both just over 5 years old and have extensive dining and relaxation options including evening entertainment.
All 4 of the Red Sea Hotels in Makadi bay are on the beach with plenty of sunbeds and shades available at the beach and around the pools – the sea is typical red sea with a shallow coral shelf off the beach where you can walk out over 100 yards and the water doesn’t even come up to your knees, but be warned you need appropriate footwear to walk on the reef.
Siva Grand Beach is a well-established good quality hotel with nice beach, pools, gardens and good snack bar options during the day with 3 buffet restaurants for breakfast lunch and dinner, but has no a la carte restaurants like the ones in Makadi Bay as part of the All Inclusive package, however there are restaurants available outside the hotel but these would be chargeable.
The Grand Resort in Hurghada is not on the beach – you would have to use the sister hotel across the road if you want the beach. This hotel has a fantastic range of pools and dining (both buffet and a la carte), but is not All Inclusive – it can be booked on B&B or Half Board with the option for guests on HB to use the a la carte restaurants which are available in the Mall adjoining the hotel.
Our conclusion to the 2 night stay in Hurghada is that we will have to go back to the Makadi Spa at some point for a proper adults only holiday and most definitely do a family holiday probably next year with our 2 grandchildren at the Sunwing Waterworld.
We eventually left the sunshine behind after 3 more extremely relaxing days in Sharm.