More about Resta Grand Resort
Glasses running out
The bars kept running out of glasses and you didn't get the correct size glass for the drink ordered The food and snacks are good and the waiter service excellent :-) Hold on to your glass if you get one? It might be an idea to take some sort of beaker to get a decent drink or get them to order in more glasses !
a very positive experience, good value-for-money
We have just spent two weeks at the resta grand resort in marsa alam. If you want a quiet holiday without the noisy techno music disco and a vibrant night life for teenagers and young adults, then by all means try the resta grand. We got what we wanted: good quality rooms in a wonderfully quiet and restful new hotel, enthusiastic and positively helpful staff (based on past experience increasingly rare in Egypt), a very varied and good quality range of foods largely with an Italian base, the leasure facilities that we wanted : several swimming pools, extensive well kept gardens, a wide sandy beach, access to the hotel coral reef and no tummy sickness!
Marsa Alam is remote, just a few hotels on a hot desert coastline. On arrival the airport was frankly super as we were through passport control, baggage collection and customs in 40 minutes. (Departure was equally fast and efficient). Of the aircraft at the airport 8 were from Italy, one from the UK, one from Germany and one from Poland. No Russians YET! - a major change from Hurghada or Sharm el Sheik where they increasingly dominate, eg I experienced 95% Russian occupancy in the Hurghada Hilton! The airport handles only charter flights.
The hotel is only 10 minutes from the airport but well away from the flight paths so there was no noticeable aircraft noise during our holiday. The hotel itself is still in an expansion stage (as are many others in Marsa Alam). The building work seems to have been suspended for the summer or due to the economic crisis (or both) but in no way impinged on the working/holiday parts of the hotel other than visually spoiling the approach road. Reception itself and the main restaurant (we were all inclusive) were ample for the number of tourists. The main restaurant (there are three) sits about 500 people. Three meals a day in the hot/cold buffet were without criticism and more than sufficiently varied for our taste, geared mainly towards the large number of Italian guests. We did not bother using the other restaurants which were payable. Once a week the hotel organised a beach barbecue for all guests within the all inclusive price.
Our room was more than satisfactory. The only downside was the quality of the grouting between the tiles in the bathroom: "rustic"! Everything worked. The bed was very large : 3meters wide by 2meters and wonderfully firm, of orthopaedic standard. Sheets and towels changed everyday. Beachtowels freely available each day. Lots of free beachbeds and umbrellas so there wasn't the "fight for places" that you get in many resorts in the Mediterranean or for that matter in northern Egypt.
On the beach the only downside is the restricted access to the open sea due to the coral reef extending 50 metres out from the beach. To go swimming or snorkelling or scuba diving one has to use the wooden pier shared with the neighbouring resta reef hotel. The reef is in excellent condition with a wide variety of sea life. We saw amongst others: stingrays, sand rays, moray eels, calamari, a sea snake, lion fish, several sea turtles and to top it all 4 dolphins putting on a free show/display for several minutes along the reef - they were clearly on a "fishing for their evening meal" expedition! Frankly, its by far the best "hotel reef" I have come across in Egypt or for that matter anywhere. There is an in-house diving centre efficiently run by Germans.
We weren't interested in an extensive evening entertainment/night life so the resta grand suited us ideally! The only disruption by hotel guests that we experienced was during one evening when a bunch of men and women got thoroughly drunk and started behaving as an aggressive mob. Most unfortunately and embarassingly they turned out to be British!.
We took two all day trips, one to Luxor/Karnak which was 19 hours long and one to a group of offshore islands 180km south of of the hotel for snorkelling. Both were well worth the experience.
Would I recommend the hotel to a friend? Yes, very much so provided they want the similar parameters! Would I go again? Yes, but this time for a week!
nice place - with minor flaws
My husband and I spent a week at the Resta Grand Resort and this was our first trip to Egypt and our first All Inclusive holiday so don’t have anything to compare it to but we had a good week and enjoyed our time here. As other reviews have stated, the hotel is far from finished but this is mainly at the front of the hotel and didn’t affect our time here at all. The overall finish of the hotel seemed a little rushed and there were a lot of maintenance workers around the place, fixing lights etc but again, this didn’t bother us.
On arrival at Marsa Alam airport we had to get a visa – we had read it was cheaper to use US dollars, however when we got through to the airport it was all very confusing – 300 people in a small holding area, reps advising you to go to different queues depending on which hotel you were staying at etc. Anyway, we queued and had our names marked off a sheet and I explained we hadn’t got a visa – in hurried, broken English the rep said we could pay on the coach and advised us to go though to security. We then spotted the booth which said you can pay in US dollars so we got a visa from them for $15– very simple! What we didn’t realise was that the Rep had already put a visa in our passport and we had 2! When I went back to the Rep to explain he was very annoyed with me but did take one back so we only ended up paying once. He probably thought how stupid I was but I just found the whole thing very unclear.
A 5 minute drive and we were at the Resta Grand Hotel. Check in was quick and simple. We were celebrating our anniversary and had a bottle of wine and a cake in our sea view room when we got there which was a lovely touch. The sea view rooms are the furthest from the reception/buffet/entertainment area – very quiet and peaceful. Our room was great, very spacious and overlooked the beach. Cleaned to a very high standard every day.
From reading trip advisor we decided to take dollars to tip with, however, there was a cash machine in the hotel so also used Egyptian notes when tipping staff towards the end of the holiday. I have never seen such hardworking, friendly staff; they were really amazing and certainly deserved their tips.
There was a main buffet restaurant and the choice of food was great – cooked breakfasts, omelettes, croissants, fruit then for lunch there was soup, salad, freshly cooked pasta, hot food – beef, chicken, stir fry etc and dinner time pretty much the same. There was not one day when there wasn’t anything that took our fancy. The restaurant was very big, light and also for dinner quite informal and canteen like. We ate outside most evenings which had a slightly better atmosphere. A word of warning though - my husband was quite ill for 48 hours and when we spoke to the pharmacy they said it could have been due to salad or ice cream he had eaten (which I hadn’t) because of the bacteria and water which salad is washed in? Unsure if this was the case but a few tablets later (costing £18 from the pharmacy on site), he was feeling much better!
As well as the main restaurant there were 3 other A la carte restaurants which you had to pay for but we never saw anyone eating in them and I don’t think these have been very well thought out; they do not seem very private or anymore different/special than the main buffet one – the Zeit Zatoon was basically inside the reception area, the Plateau was on the beach but if other guests wanted to get to the jetty you had to walk right through the middle of the restaurant and there was an Asian restaurant inside the all inclusive bar area – hardly private!
We spent 2 nights at Port Ghalib and I would definitely recommend going there which is a 5 min transfer from the hotel (we paid £20 for private return taxi - organised from hotel one night and there was also a nightly bus from the hotel which costs 5 Euros per person which we went on the next night - this goes at 9pm and collects you at 11.30pm but make sure you are there for collection five/ten minutes before or the bus will go without you). We had a great meal at the Fusion restaurant and it was nice to get out of the hotel for the evening as it all got a bit monotonous for us (but as I said, this was our 1st All Inc experience so maybe this is just the way its meant to be?).
Overall, I think this hotel is a 4 star, and not a 5 star. It has a few flaws – mainly the bars and restaurants but nevertheless i would recommend it to others and will definitely visit Egypt again but not this hotel or resort, although this is only because we like to try new places. Hope this helps.
Fantastic holiday.... beautiful place
Have only just arrived back from this hotel about 8 hours ago and i have been dying to write a review as before i went away i had read quite a few mixed reviews about this resort and if you are going to visit you have nothing to worry about... its lovely!
Stayed at the resta grand for 2 weeks with family and freinds and had an amazing time! when first pulling up to the hotel i was worried as it is not finished but as soon as you step inside its a completely diffrent world... the reception is beautiful and the pool area is superb.... you will not have any distraction from the building work that is going on around the hotel! The food was very good and ate every night in the main buffet resturant which had a good selection to choose from and ate at the pizza resturant a few times for lunch which was also very nice!
If you like the beach it is lovely and it spread on 2 levels with 2 bars but you cannot walk in to the sea like you normally would... this is because of the coral but there access to the sea using the jetti... it is mainly divers that go in to the sea but it is not completely unacsessable if you want to swim.
The staff are very attentive and i did not feel like i was being harassed by any of them, they were very friendly and accomodating! We did notice as our holiday progressed more and more staff were being employed and the service got a lot better throughout the holiday.
The rooms were very spacious with nice veiws.. and were made up daily to a high standard.
Word of warning if whilst in egypt you do suffer from any tummy problems do not bother taking imodium it will not have any effect at all... there is a chemist outside the hotel and although the medication is a bit pricey it is so worth it...... 2 tablets and 2 hours later felt fine again.
Entertainment in this hotel is definatly not to a 5* standard but it was enjoyable enough after a few drinks, do be aware that after 12.00 midnight you must pay for all your drinks..... a teething probelm which i have been assured will be sorted out, just make sure you order a few before then.
All in all i had a brilliant holiday and i am already looking to book again before it gets too expensive as when finished will be beustiful and very exclusive, i would reccomend this hotel.
Massive let down! Arrived Healthy - Departed ill!!
I'm not one for writing reviews, in fact I have never written a review for any holiday I have been on, however I couldnt let this go.
Due to the swine flu in mexico we were sold this hotel/resort by the travel agent as a "week of luxury" On first appearances the hotel looks grand, yes there is building work going on but to be fair that was never a problem and hardly noticeble.
Rooms - At best 3 star, when we arrived ours smelt musty, our rep agreed and we were moved.
Food/Drink - When we booked this the brochure stated 7 restaurants, numerous bars etc...
Reality - One main buffet hall, same food day in day out, breakfast and lunch you could get by but evening times after the 2nd day was just awful. During our stay we ate at one of the non allinclusive eateries (I say one of, there was only one open during our stay) Food wasnt to bad here but was basic and cost £84 for a starter each and maincourse, portions were small. Back to the main buffet hall it was like being back at school, everynight mentally draining just to get a waiters attention for a drink. Then it was over to the main bar (the only bar there) this was real rock n roll, here it was just a lottery wheather you got a drink (2 waiters resort complex holds 1200) The only beer they do is stella (egypt stella) which tastes like a really bad version of holsten pills. Wine - Nope can only get that in the buffet hall!! Cocktails - Anything decent requires extra ££!
Entertainment - haha - One Cd on repeat - 2 nights a week an egyption dancer 20 mins. Bar shuts at midnight.
Internet - No internet yet at the Resta..come on what do you expect its only a 5 star! If you want the net you have to go to the sister hotel next door, £8 for 15 minutes, but beware you have to pass the hotel shops where nothing has a price on. 2 bags of crisp, a drink, couple of chocolate bars....£13, seriously then they start getting nouty when you ask for a breakdown!
Beech - This is ok, not allowed in the sea though or you get arrested, coral protection.
Staff - Cleaners are sound as you would expect. Waiters are not interested unless your a female only party. Reception - When we got there they just gave us our key and that was it. I had to ask several different people how to get to our room.
POSITIVE NOTE - When you come through the airport you will see a sign for a place called Port Ghalib - (The guy who built marsa alam airport has built a luxury resort, stll work to be done but they have a pizza hut, tji fridays, costa coffee and a nice Tai restaurant) For £30 we had a taxi from the hotel drop us off,10 min drive and wait 3 hours whilst we had a walk round and sampled some decent food) You have to ask for this because obviously the hotel or reps dont want to promote it and take business away from the hotel.
I got bad stomach cramps with 3 days to go, so did several other people, the only thing I ate different to my wife was the cold meats, this seemed to be the problem. I also picked up a dry cough from the air con which on return to England developed into a full blown viral infection, which 5 weeks on I am still yet to recover from.
I know everyone has opinions and no doubt people will read this and think what a negative chap, but believe me this is 100% accurate from my stay. I'm 28 years old and it takes allot to get me down, I am normally a really positive person and can always see some good in any crappy situation.
However this has put me off for Egypt for life and how they can call this a luxury 5 star hotel is the biggest fraud I have come across.
Loved it : )
Great hotel, you'll love it!
Reception was stunning and the check in service excellent.
The hotel was wonderful throughout. Only 200 people max when we were there with capacity of 700....no problems with getting a sunbed : )
Heba, was extremely helpful when they booked us into the wrong room.
We booked a standard room but was given a suite with a sea view.......fabulous!
Heba, arranged for us to stay in the room and sent a fruit basket and a yummy chocolate cake as it was my husbands birthday.
How much more can one ask for...it made his birthday.
Due to the strong tides I only managed to snorkel once, and that was before 8am!
However, once in it was stunning.
Great coral and a huge variety of fish. Really magical : )
Loved it......would really like to go again!
Follow the leader
I think and honestly feel this was a fantastic resort. Lovely settings on the beach, the rooms are more than 5 star. The beach is nice, not really a swimming place,but thats to be expected with coral and goreous marine life.
In one sentance, I recommend this to anyone who loves hot sun, lovely friendly staff and food.
Before we went to this hotel in Egypt, my husband and I had read some mixed reviews. We both loved it here. The rooms are very spacious with air conditioning, tea and coffee facilities. The rooms are cleaned everyday, you dont need to pack a hairdryer or any towels, not even beach towels as these are provided everyday. We thought everyone working at this hotel were very friendly even though they work very hard indeed. Drinks...well as much as you want...local beer and spirits...and local red and white wine with your meals, or any soft drinks. The food is brilliant as much as you want lots of choice too, and even if you did not like anything there is always a couple of chefs, i cooks different types of fresh spaghetti dises and the other something different every night. The first night we arrived we had a fantastic barbecue...lots of food to choose from. This type of holiday is perfect to relax and do the odd bit of snorkelling. You can even join in everyday for an excercise class...stretching on the grass.....followed by aqua aerobics to music...its great fun. If you want to know more then please e-mail me. We hope to go back...if the price is right!!! The pool bar is great fun sitting on a stool in the water having a drink to cool off!!!
Lovely place but very BORING
Only go to this hotel if you want complete relaxation time. You can go snorkeling and swim in the pool, but that is all. The hotel is in the middle of the desert by the sea, and you can not explore without having to organise a bus trip. The food was fine but not as good as expected from a 5 star hotel. NOTHING FOR KIDS apart from half an hour of dancing to childrens songs in the evening with the 'entertainers'.
4 days of no tonic, 2 days of no lemonade.
Marsa Alam is not ready for masses of tourists at all. Sharm El Sheikh is a lot better for snorkeling and everything you would expect when going on holiday.
Great Holiday - in the words of my teenager "a wicked holiday"
We arrived home Thursday 3.9.09 after a last minute weeks holiday at the Resta, and I think the name says it all.
This is the second visit to Egypt, we stayed in Sharm at the Sierra Resort Hotel June 08. Both hotels have had some less than complimentary reviews so were a little apprehensive.
Along with my wife and I were my boys 11&15.
Hotel - Large impressive reception area, clean, plush, large dining hall and interlocking pools with a poolside bar. Rooms were in 2 storey blocks of eight spread around the pools in a large garden area, giving it a village type feel.
Pools - several, clean, varing depths, BUT no poolside toilet, so you need your sunbed close to your room!
Rooms - were large, clean and spacious with air con, fridge. 37" lcd TV (with mainly foreign channels) king/queen sized bed and balcony area with a sun bed and chair. Two bottles of water were replaced as used.
Entertainment - not upto much but then we don't need entertaining. The kids had a free pool table, table tennis and other activities laid on by the daytime entertainment bods.
Staff - were very welcoming, pleasant and helpful and this only increased when tipped.
Food - we don't expect typical english food, especially in a Muslim country (no bacon!) but what was provided was perfectly adequate and tasty. Breakfast - the usual continental variety, cereals, rolls, pastries and beef bacon etc! Dinner and tea - Rice presented differently most nights, pasta as you like it, cooked there and then by a chef. Various veg and chicken most nights. Check the hot food both sides as invariably one dish would be different from the other side. A salad bar and various bread. An extensive selection of puddings. We all enjoyed the food and found plenty to eat, admittedly a little more variety would make it a 5* rather than a good 4* in our eyes.
Hygiene - this year my wife had the dodgy tummy last time I had it, its just one of those things in Egypt wherever you go. Just follow the basics, wash your hands after handling money, after using the toilet and always before eating. Take a small bottle of the Antibacterial hand gel. If you get it just go to the pharmacy take the tablets and you will be sorted.
Tipping - take pound coins or 1 euro coins along with five pound notes. Tip the room cleaner, towel man, poolside barman and dining hall waiter. Try and stick to the same person, either 1 pound every other day or a one off £5 for the week. If you do this the towel man will have your favourite sunbeds ready for you every morning, your poolside barman will come and find you for your drinks rather than you find the bar as will the waiter in the dining hall. Then when they have x5 coins they will see if you can exchange this for a £5 note which they can bank.
Snorkelling - disappointing, why? because except for x2 days ( early morning and only for awhile each time) the sea was too choppy from our hotel jetty. However, if you go left across no mans land and round into the next bay where it is more sheltered there is another much better jetty. Word of caution - technically we are not allowed round there according to the Security man who was waiting for us on no mans land, but he is willing to let you across for a small fee. Having said that we only had one encounter with him. From here we had a Turtle, Spotted Eagle rays, a large Napoleon fish, x22 Dolphins and others. There is also access directly from the beach. Tip - snorkel early morning about 7am and then again around 5pmish.
Trips - The snorkelling trip to Hamata was a long 3hr coach ride to the National park and was just an expensive but pleasant boat ride because you don't really see anything more than locally unless you like birdwatching then you'll enjoy the Osprey's and various Tern species. Do the Abu (something) half day snorkelling trip, its local and they saw alot more there than we did.
On the whole a very enjoyable holiday, and a great place to go if you get a deal, and want to relax, want peace and quiet and don't mind a resort with very little to walk round.
I didn't know Hermit Crabs drink!