10.02.2015

Egypt, Hurghada, Makadi Bay. #review



Destination: Hurghada pronounced "Hu Guard a"
Flight Time: From NCL 5hrs
Resort: Makadi Bay
Hotel: The Grand Makadi Hotel

If you would like more information on Egypt generally and some tips for travelling please check out my other blog here Egypt. This blog is more about our holiday and hotel in Makadi bay but as they share the same beachfront and centre it could work for all. 

We booked the holiday through Red Sea, but when I checked the ticket I saw that we were flying with Thomas Cook, I was a little bit apprehensive because a few years ago we were delayed for 13hrs with them; however I would say this plane was brand new and the staff were fab. I volunteered to take the first shift with the boys, with the husband on his own across the aisle and apart from 1 million questions and a game called
"I want that identical i pad instead" they were no bother the whole flight. Great start to the hols. 

Being our first trip to Egypt I had heard some horror story's about the Egyptian airports and after a long day we couldn't be bothered with any fuss but honestly probably one of the best experiences we have had; Modern, cool, quiet and quick! We moved fast through customs with £80 fee for the visa (see other blog), our luggage was waiting and a polite rep who whisked us onto a new air conditioned coach which was nice because even at 9pm you could already feel the balmy heat...lush.  A fun fact we learnt on the coach ride, 97% of Egypt is unpopulated so on the quick 30min transfer, there was literally nothing except palm tree dotted desert between the airport and the resort.



Spoilt but QUIET kids with their mocktails,
 thanks lovely air hostess!


Happy Mammy...



NOBODY breathe...they are quiet.


It is like Aladdin...


We pulled up straight at our hotel and Archie said "Its like Aladdin!"...coined it perfectly. Check in was very quick and we were escorted to our room with a bell boy...is that the correct name? luggage helper?...I dont know but he was great because Oscar had called it quits and fallen asleep on me so help with the cases was needed. As we arrived at 9pm we were allowed to go to the Resturant for a meal but as Oz was a gonna we just raided the drinks in the fridge and I had packed lots of snacks from a 'Poundland' haul so us 3 just had a room picnic and some icy drinks on the balcony which was lovely. I'm going to be honest (shock) for a 5* we were really disappointed with first impressions of the room but then everyone says an Egyptian 5* isn't a UK one. We had booked a Junior suite and last year in Tenerife we were spoilt with a 2 bed apartment and while this was a really big room with a good balcony we were all in one room. 

Stupidly I haven't took one pic of the "suite" but have a neb of Trip Advisor if you're interested. I will say straight off this hotel needs a major face lift, its dark orange, blue and deep pine decor is dated, there is flaky paint and pool tiles missing. The air con is terrible...seriously its like someone blowing on you with an ice cube in their mouth and in case your not aware its MEGA hot here, some days hitting 45C so def take a mini fan and a bottle of magi cool, its a life saver. I had a better TV in my bedroom when I was 12, BUT the kids didn't mind only being able to watch Curious George in German while I got a shower; still laughing away. The neighbouring sister hotel 'The Makadi Palace' is way nicer, as the title says 'Palatial', really stunning, and you're allowed to visit it plus book into their A la Carte restaurant. So when we went for a wander, instantly wished we had paid extra to upgrade but, quickly realised we had actually made the right decision because of how massively crowded it was and we would definitely return so I think that speaks volumes and here is why.

First brekkie with a view.




My water babies chewing the fat....



 Our hotel is so spacious, less busy and no end of sun loungers etc but the other hotel, was so full people were lying on the floor with party music blasting too. It was actually nice to return to our hotel, to the peace and have the pool almost to our selves. There was no trouble in booking any of the A la Carte restaurants either, which is normally a pain and limited but we didn't have any trouble and tried nearly all of them, booking the same day usually.

 Everything was super clean as well so although it needs modernising you cant fault that, clean sheets every day and the staff are constantly working on something. They are also super friendly and cant do enough for you, as mentioned in my previous blog the odd £1 tip gains you a best friend, someone moving your sun lounger around with the sun and waiter service on drinks without even being asked.


These are Egyptian pancakes and yum!



Too much fun.








The food is great, from the buffets to A la Carte, but we particularly loved the made to order Omelette station at breakfast, daily BBQ at Lunch and we booked A la carte every night, the best we found was at the sister hotel 'The Botanica' absolutely fab fillet steak and creme brulee. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from the Makadi Mall which is a little shopping centre and its nice to walk around especially if you want to get some souvenirs like spices, handbags etc. 

In the centre is a selection of restaurants with a kids cinema showing Disney which was fab, while they chilled out we could have a few drinks or your meal in peace; its not over powering if you dont have kids though. You can also book any of those restaurants from Chinese to Egyptian food as part of the All Inclusive but drinks are extra. We didn't mind this a few nights though and treat ourselves to a bottle of Fizz or Wine which was good because the alcohol in the hotel was fine but the wine wasn't the best so it was a nice treat. We liked the Italian best in the mall as the boys were craving a proper stone baked pizza.

Chef making boys happy with Mickey.









Cant take him anywhere...



We were enjoying having family time so much and the boys literally didn't want to get out of the pool at all so that we weren't going to use the kids club, but after a few days the boys were so exhausted from swimming so we thought it would be good for them to have some different fun and SHADE time. Have I mentioned it hot yet?

The building looks derelict with some kids pictures in the window but when we actually went inside its great, a soft play at the back and lots of toys, puzzles and crafts. Chantelle who was running it is from Germany and explained it was mainly for German children who do occupy a lot of the hotel but she made the boys feel very welcome, they only did 2 sessions but loved it so don't think they cared they couldn't understand their new friends; Mammy and Daddy enjoyed a bit of quiet too, seriously we didn't even speak to each other for the whole 2hrs ha ha. I will mention the wifi is shocking....like terrible. You only get it in the lobby and it doesn't work at busy times. Thats fine you're on holiday after all but be wary of your data roaming because one girl told us last year she had a £2k bill when she got home and she hadn't even really used her phone; I think this is everywhere in Egypt. 

Kids club joy all round.


Afternoon tea served 3-5pm...EVERYDAY!


 If you don't eat ice cream like 
this you're doing it wrong.


Beach Rave time!











The location of the hotel is really good, right on the beach front and there are 4 other hotels along the mile long promenade which is nice for a walk along; you can also buy a day pass to any of the hotels for £10per adult to try their facility's and food. If we go back we would definitely try the Sunwing as had an amazing water-park. The beach is strange with sand at the top then flat coral and about 3 inch's of water going out about 50mtres until it drops really deep into the sea. We bought the kids the sand shoes but you don't really need them here as they have built a long jetty out so you can just walk along and go snorkelling/swimming straight off the end of the pier. 

We have been lucky enough to go snorkelling in the great barrier reef and apart from not seeing a turtle this is really on par with it. Oscar couldn't work the mask out so wasn't such a fan but Archie loved it and said its just like "Finding Nemo" which it really is! There are some scuba diving trips on sale and trips to Cairo for the day but we didn't leave Makadi Bay as had so much to do and its so spacious you don't feel stuck in the complex. As I mentioned before there are a good amount of shops at the Makadi Mall as well and the hubby managed to catch the match at the sports bar for an afternoon.

Oscar and his best bud Roma!


Makadi Mall


Kids happy = We are happy!



 Holiday treats



The hotel is really quiet at night apart from some music or a belly dancer but there is no kids entertainment. Again compared to last year this for us was kind of a let down because the kids love a bit of "Chocolatttte". You can use the sister hotel which has the kids disco on and then a proper entertainer every night like the snake charmer. We did it a few times but again the kids stuff was all in German and you have to pay for your drinks here too, its £10 per adult for the whole night. One night we went to the 'Beach Rave' It was £10 for a family ticket but well worth it, all drinks included and the entertainment was great, with an unreal fire show and disco. We had to have a go of the Shisha....I immediately lost all street cred though when I asked if there was real Pineapple in it....FYI its just a flavour. We really enjoyed having a good boogie on the sand and the other nights just chilled while the kids had a bit i pad time or colouring before bed.

I'm doing aqua Aerobics, Hubby's...not.


More fab BBQ day


Standard Family selfie!


Chilling like a Villain.



The husband has been working ridiculous hours this year and I don't know about you but I don't think we really had a summer in the UK, I'm now getting my winter boots out but think I have only sat on my new garden chairs twice. So it was such a nice week for us to spend time together and so lucky to get away somewhere hot too. Thoroughly enjoyed and will return.

Last afternoon tea before getting on the bus...


Hadn't even took off. Good Holiday.



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