More about Brayka Bay Reef Resort
Windy time ayt Brayka bay!
Just back from a weeks AI stay at Brayka Bay Resort. This was our 5th trip to the Red sea, the first time to Marsa Alam.
The hotel is about a 40 minute ride from Marsa airport. like other hotels in the area, it stands alone - there is nothing within walking distance except....sand!
We had a ground floor (very large) superior room,with a large bathroom. Sat TV (only 3 channels in English tho) , fridge, A/C. Plenty of wardrobe space, hair-dryer etc.. Balcony straight out on to the beautiful hotel gardens.
In the main restaurant was pretty top notch - all meals buffet style, plenty of variety. The Egyptian sweets are always a favourite for me , they do fantastic puddings that all must have a gazillion calories.
Lots of decent quality sunbeds / brollys / wind breaks - but you had to get there early to grab one in the best spots! Beach bar / towel shack. There is a 1000mtr walkway that wraps around the whole of the beach, a nice stretch of the legs for 20 minutes.
Easy access to the house reef, the snorkelling is pretty good... but not the best I've seen.
Dive centre on site - extra divers - very professional outfit, lots of new looking equipment for hire. I did a few dives with them and was impressed. Probably a little more expensive than usual, but in my opinion worth it.
Good place to stay
It's a good place to stay during off-season. Friendly staff, clean and spacious resort and good food. There's not a single thing to do around the resort, so be prepared for a stay on the beach or under water. The diving center is very professional and diving from Brayka Bay is good and beautiful. A great place to stay if you want to relax and do nothing at all (except for diving that is)
Fantastic!! Can't Wait to Go Back!
We've just returned from a weeks break at Brayka Bay and had we had a fantastic time. The hotel is wonderful, staff very friendly and helpful, the beach is great, rooms very spacious, all in all a lovely place. We will be returning soon!
The food is good and plenty of variety. The entertainment team (although Italian) are very welcoming and speak good English. Plenty to get involved with if you want to.
Snorkelling in the reef very safe and lots to see. You can hire all the equipment from the diving school at very reasonable prices.
Went on a day trip to Hamata Islands which is like paradise. Would highly recommend.
Can't wait to get back there.
Having enjoyed several visits to Nuweiba (Sinai peninsular)
we heard about Marsa Alam through a friend who had seen an excellent review on TV.
Selected Brayka Bay because of the "pristine reef".
Main requirements for the holiday were sun, peace and quiet, excellent snorkelling.
It was all of these (except for the piped music everywhere!)
great food, lovely grounds, easy snorkelling (very shallow bay)
and amazing colours of the coral.
Really great , easy snorkelling just off the beach (you have to go in via the boat channel to avoid stepping on the coral); every day something different. 6.30 a.m. was a great time to go!
Don't go if you want entertainment (none).
Great value for money - we went last week of November - weather perfect - 30 degrees most of the time, cool after the sun goes down at 3.30.
Highly recommended for sun and relaxation, particularly snorkelling late in the year. Great value at around £330 all inclusive.
Would certainly go again
Totally addicted to this haven
I have just returned from Brayka Bay after my 3rd stay in 4 months. Just to reminisce I have read all of the reviews and wanted to add my own.
My first trip was in October with my Mother and my 3 year old son. I had booked this resort as I had wanted to meet the dolphins. My trip out to see dolphins was with an external company and sadly did not come to fruition - well the dolphins are wild and do not perform on demand!! However I was not disappointed as I discovered snorkelling which just blew me away! We also went on the Hamata Island trip that Thomson sells, expensive, but oh so worth it. It was like a tropical paradise as we walked over an uninhabited beach in the middle of the Red Sea. We also took a jeep into the desert and did some star gazing - which was amazing.
My second trip end Nov/beg Dec saw me and my 12 year old and 3 year old return. I was a little apprehensive for the older child as I though he would be so bored. He loved it!! I booked 30 minute horse rides for them each day and they enjoyed that immensely. The guys that work with the horses and camels are fantastic and ALWAYS match the horse with the rider. I was able to trust them with my children and they had fantastic experiences.
In the evening although the entertainment is is Italian it was also interpreted for the English, so we had no problem with this - in fact my kids laughed themselves silly. The Egyptian night was great fun too and involved the audience in belly dancing etc.
Failing that my children played snooker to their hearts content and at times some of the restaraunt or bar staff took them on!! Likewise with the table tennis.
This last time I went on my own for a week of rest and relaxation. I felt I could do this here because it felt safe and familiar!! Friends were worried that I would be bored or lonely and it ended up being the best experience in my life. I took a 3 hour horse safari into the desert and drank tea with the Bedouins returning under the stars. I went quad biking in the desert and stood on fossilized coral mountains 50 metres in from the sea (the sea receded thousands of years ago). I saw a mountain that had glass areas to it where the sun had blasted the sun over the years etc etc. I had saunas and visited the steam room and used the heated indoor swimming pool. The outdoor pool was closed for maintenance, but this was not a bad thing as it was so cold in there in December I thought my heart would stop!! Although at times the wind was a bit chilly behind this the sun beat down at a temperature of approx 20 degrees. But being in the desert this was an intense heat (I love the heat but I cannot imagine this in the middle of the summer!).
I also discovered that every day at 11.00 am and 3.00pm one of the animation team take out groups of snorkellers to either one of the house reefs. This is great for beginners or for those like myself that are on their own (not a good idea to snorkel without a buddy!!) The guest relations staff were great ensuring that I was OK, knowing that I was on my own and I had noted them doing this on a previous trip with another lone traveller.
I used the internet without the kids trying to monopolise my time on it. This costs 5 euros for 1 hour which I reckon is pretty good.
On each visit my room has been cleaned on a daily basis with varying towel and blanket sculptures left, in fact on my last day the cleaner had sculpted a heart and filled it with petals and pictures of my children whom I had really missed! Such a thoughtful touch. (Apparently the cleaners do not get a wage and rely on tips - just a note for those who might be going)
On each visit I have found the staff amazing, polite, helpful and intent on pleasing. On none of the visits have myself, my Mother or my Sons suffered with bad stomachs. I found the food inventive, plentiful, flavorsome and creative. The restaurant has never been too busy but I have not been there at peak season - yet!
I think the Brayka Bay is a little Oasis in the desert and whilst there are so many places to see in the world I am kinda hooked on this resort. Something for everyone, from snorkelling to desert adventures, sunbathing to pampering in the health centre. Polite staff who care about their work and their guests, I have never in all 3 visits had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a drink!
In some ways I want to share this experience but in others I do not want too many English going there and making it a home from home experience, but hey, try it out - see what you think. I am definitely going back - I will find the dolphins someday!!!!
Pity about the flys
Brayka Bay is an inlet in an otherwise quite inhospitable coast where desert meets a coral reef swept with near continuous 30 MPH winds. The Bay has quite a good reef at present – but whilst some attempt is made to protect it by the hotel management – the rules are not enforced and the coral was continually being walked on and picked at by the visitors – so it will not last long. The small reef is always very crowded with both snorkellers and unfortunately, new divers. The entrance to the reef is a very small and difficult to see and boats also use this continually. All this activity means that the reef is often clouded with churned up mud. Best time to see it is at either end of the day.
The hotel is an impressive and well keep range of buildings, as you would expect from Italian management – the rooms were excellent – large and well fitted and they have a number of double rooms – one entrance leading into a hallway where there were two front doors leading to big family rooms. We were given such a double room without even asking for it
The hotel is however run primarily for Italians (with very loud Italian entertainment at bedtime) and we found communication very difficult. The Animators generally ignored anyone who was not Italian – which is OK unless you want your child to go to the Kid’s Club, or wanted to know when the snorkelling boats left etc. The Kid’s club was supposed to be open every day – but although all the signs said it was open, on the day a group of English kids wanted to try it out – it was mysteriously closed. No explanation or apology was offered. It was however Italian “change over day”
There is a “first class” seafood restaurant on the site – but any attempt to go there is quickly met with all sorts or resistance. In spite of an extensive menu on display, we were told we could only go there if we had a set meal (they couldn’t tell us what it contained) or if we ordered the food two days in advance – even though one of the items offered was “choose from our large display of freshly caught fish”. The restaurant unsurprisingly was always empty.
The other restaurant – an Italian pizza place – provided the worst pizza I have ever had in 40 years of travel – so not to be recommended.
The main restaurant provided an extensive range of good looking food – and an equally extensive range of flies, bugs and other nasties crawling all over it. Some lovely looking salads and cold meats were left without any covering for hours. Hot food was kept hot in the usual covered trays with flames below – but what we found was then when food arrived it was often cold – and was actually reheated by the heaters – which is certainly not what these items are suppose to be used for.
Regrettably, although we spent the holiday trying to avoid the salads and other risky foods, 100% of our party suffered quite severe tummy trouble at various times. Make sure plenty of Imodium is packed when you go!!
Overall – we felt the hotel would have been excellent value for money if their food hygiene were up to scratch. We have been to a lot better places – but not for the price we paid. We would however avoid going there again purely because we do not like spending our holiday being ill.
perfect for both relaxing and snorkelling/diving
My friend and I visited the hotel in the last week of February with the intent of recharging our batteries, relax in the sun and do a bit of snorkelling. We went on an all inclusive package (first time for either of us).
We arrived in the evening after booking our transfer with Med Hotels. It was a wise choice, as the rep came to meet us at the arrival point, gave us the visa and ushered us through passport control in a flash, no queues unlike some of the other travellers who had to queu first to buy the visa and then to go through Passport Control.
The trip to the hotel takes about 45-50 minutes. At the receptions they took our luggage and delivered it to our room while a member of staff from the reception (Julie) excorted us and a group of other guests near our room and explained a few things. We were given a blue bracelet to keep the whole time and the AI applies 24 hours. If you want espresso coffee you pay extra. Cappuccinos are free.
You have a card for picking up the beach towel in the morning and returning them at the end of the day. Our room was supposed to be sea view, but we had garden view. We were not bothered as we spent very little time inside. There was no music channel on the TV apparently they changed supplier and lost that only music channel. The other channels are Arabic, French, Italian, German, American and a few others including BBC world. The main clientele comes from Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Nederlands, and the UK. There are fewer Russian or Eastern Europeans and unlike what I read in the reviews of other hotels in the area the kind who come here are not pushy or bothering other guests with drunken behaviour. The management must be doing something right with the bookings.
Our room was very large, with a mini bar full with two large bottles of mineral water. Unfortunately the fridge was not working properly so it did not cool at all. Not that it matter because on an AI you can get cold drinks 24 hours a day. The bathroom had a leak at the bottom of the WC which meant you had to be careful not to step onto the paddle. We stayed there 7 nights but the cleaner certainly didn't report it and neither did we. The bathroom was also very big, with a great shower.
The food could be taken in the main restaurant 'Miramar' on buffet and drinks are also on buffet. In addition there were two other restaurants we didn't try, the Italian 'Da Mario' (by the way the main group of clients are Italians), and 'Heminghway' near the diving centre which served seafood. The waiters go around the beach with a tray of fresh fish and seafood to entice you to book (discount for AI members) a dinner with them at a very reasonable price. I had a problem with seafood recently so we did not try it but it certainly looked very good value for money.
The food in the main restaurant changes by theme every day. For us the best meals where taken during the Egyptian food theme. Everything was absolutely delicious. On the other evening/days, there are staff cooking in front of you on a regular basis, so in addition to the buffet you can have BBQ food, fresh pasta etc. The food in the buffet is not very hot at all, so we tended to eat the most from the grilled food sections. However, they are constantly refreshing the dishes, so whenever a container was getting toward the end another fresh one was not too far. There are snacks served in the other bars (Tiffany's above the restaurant) and the beach bars. Regarding the comments on drinks I read before on this site, don't be put off, even though the alchool used is mostly local, the coctails still tasted yummy. Only stay away from the white wine and the Egyptian champagne, really not good. The red is barely passable (if you are really craving red wine!) but the local beer is good.
The coral reef is truly worth seeing and you can just walk from the centre of the beach without the need of a jetty. The water is slightly cold (at the time we went) but we didn't have any wet suits and we were just fine. The area is well ventilated which would be ideal for people holidaying in the hot months. I heard that the Coraya Beach hotel is more shaded from the winds so it is probably very hot in the summer. Instead the breeze was beautiful as in the morning and at lunch time temperatures were over 30s. There is an indoor heated swimmingpool and an outodoor one and also a SPA. We had a 'Cleopatra' treatment for 40 euros which lasted 2.5 hours and was divine, including steam room, exfoliation massage, shower, sauna, and relaxation massage by two very competent masseurs (twins). Really recommended.
However, this review would not be complete without mentioning how friendly ALL the staff were. Particularly the Food and Beverages staff but every one really. Every waiter is trained to be friendly I guess! Particularly we would like to singled out Sameh (Food and Beverage Manager) and Kalehd (Bar Manager) for their kindness and friendship over our brief stay. However, friendliness is contagious at Brayka Bay so expect to make friends with everybody, including other guests.
Finally a word about the entertainment. We didn't care much for it, but there is plenty on offer if you are the kind who cares. The entertainment team is Italian but they do an almost simultaneous translation in English when necessary. We watched the Egyptian dance show and it was really worth seeing even just for the spinning guy, truly amazing. Ah, there is also a bedouin tent at the beach if you fancy that and lots of escursions to book if you want.
All considered we had a faboulous and relaxing holiday. I would certainly recommend this hotel.
perfect apart from pool
have just returned from week in brakya bay .we booked 3 weeks before going with thompson after reading reviews on lots of hotels in marsa alam. because we couldnt find 1 bad review we decided to go here, the hotel was lovely, gardens well kept and flowers everywhere. food was good and staff very helpfull although i think it was because they wanted tipping all the time as the hotel was only 25 per cent full, i agree with the other reviewer about the man trying to sell you a massage, he was very rude when we said we did not want to go for one and yet still came and pestered us every day even though we pretended to be asleep! i think we are sumtimes too polite and i would recommend telling him straight from the start, also we were conned by the paper man who charged us £5 a day for a paper which was also 2 days old! still partly our fault. the cleaner was very friendly and we often came back to towel sculptures. the only complaint we had was that the pool was empty and full of workman as it was being refurbished which they apparently do this time every year. we knew nothing about this although some of the guests had been told about it thompson certainly hadnt mentioned it to us. the weather was perfect and we didnt see one cloud all week. we would definately return there but would make sure the pool was open first.
Super snorkelling and great value
We had a week in February.
We were informed before we left that the pool was being retiled and was out of commission but we decided to go anyway.
The pool was actually in use although it was colder than the sea which was where 99% of guests swam.
The snorkelling was superb with pristine coral 10yds off the beach, much better than sharm.
The food and service were excellent (no reports of gastric upsets).
The all inclusive drinks were fine ,Egyptian wine drinkable spirits and beer fine. All helped by the hotel only being 25% full of British, Dutch, German and Swiss with a handful of Italians and Russians.
Going back in May to go diving.
Only downside the beds were very hard and not really comfortable
We enjoyed our week here even though we both had to visit the local Dr with food poisoning and had to be confined to our rooms for a day to be near the loo.
It was a good beach and the snorkeling was fantastic even for beginners like Colin. You could walk straight into the sea to the reef .
Loads of colourful fish to see.
Rooms were basic but everything you need for an all inclusive stay.
Food was plentiful
Entertainment was as good as any other we have seen.
Brayka Bay Reef Resort
Airport transfer to Brayka Bay Reef Resort
We are landing at Marsa al `Alam Airport on 29 November 06 and need to transfer to Brayka Bay Reef Resort.
Any idea if taxis are easily available at the airport and how much it will cost?
RE: Airport transfer to Brayka Bay Reef Resort
i think so but take care of any value things they can youst every thing i hope you will have a good resort we were in alwad barakka diving camp and it was diving diving an resting sleeping and diving.
RE: Airport transfer to Brayka Bay Reef Resort
Hi just read your email and wondered if you can help me, I am travelling on 20th December and only just realised that transfers are not included and to add them would be £160 for 4 of us!
Can you let me know if taxis are readily available at the airport please?
Brayka Bay Hotel Marsa Alam
We will be going to the Brayka Bay Hotel in Marsa Alam in 3 weeks time,
Can anybody give us any info about the hotel and area and any recomendations.
marsa alam snorkelling and dolphins
I am travelling with my 12 year old daughter to the Brayka Bay Hotel in May. We are both keen snorkellers but won't be diving. Does anyone know what day trips are available and what they might cost? My daughter is desperate to see (or even swim with) dolphins and we'd both enjoy boat trips - but they seem to be for Divers; would we be welcome too?
Re: marsa alam snorkelling and dolphins
Hi, im visiting marsa alam next april, and have researched some of the dive centres for swimming with the dolphins (emperordiving based at the coral hotel being very helpful and answering any questions i had, even when i asked what sharks swam there!) and was told by them its easy enough to book a trip out to dolphin house when you get there, their price for snorkelling out at dolphin house is 75 euro, that includes the national park entrance fee. Its also advisable to check out what diving centres are near to your hotel, and maybe email them checking if they do snorkelling trips out to dolphin house, they also advised me that it has been known for certain sites to be closed off to the public, to conserve the area and the life there, so check that its still going on! But there seems to be no problem with snorkellers rather than divers going to dolphin house. www.emperordivers.com can let you know if your hotel is near them and answer any questions quickly and personally, so have a good time and hope you get to swim with the dolphins!