We went to Egypt in January, because it’s the closest beach destination in Winter. We flew there with Condor from Hamburg to Hurghada. It was my first package trip and probably my last one. We booked via HLX and paid 1206 € for one week half board in the Steigenberger Makadi Bay hotel with flights.
Makadi Bay is around 30 minutes south of Hurghada airport and is an artificial beach resort with around 20 hotels. El Gouna and Soma Bay have a similar concept. The Steigenberger is sitting on a hill next to a golf course, around 900 meters from the beach. There is a shuttle running to the beach, but it takes forever to arrive, so we mostly had to walk.
We noticed that we are in Egypt, because they had pyramids and camels at the beach.
At the beach you find one hotel next to each other and I think we were the only ones to ever walk down the whole beach. Most people just stayed at their hotel and indulged in all inclusive madness.
Of about 20 hotels, there were several closed ones. Spooky athmosphere.
At check-in we asked for a suite upgrade (they have suites with a private plunge pool), but they quoted us an ridicoulus high amount, so we passed. I don’t get it, when you are only booked 25%… The room was spacious with a large bathroom and a balcony facing the ramp. We couldn’t get a golf course view room.
We checked out the facilities and found a pool with great lounge chairs. We didn’t have a problem to get a chair at all times. They also have a gym and a bistro restaurant at the pool. Every day we were asked for a massage in the massage center down the road. I would expect this to happen at the public beach, but not at the pool in a 5 star hotel.
We booked a package that promised set dinners at a la carte restaurants throughout the resort. It turned out, that HLX made a mistake. So we had to eat at the buffet every day. Food was ok, but not great and they didn’t have a great selection of local fare. When I asked about this, I was told it was because of lack of demand…
The average food, the location, the ugly beach and the overall boredome of this hotel brought us to the decision to change to the Kempinski Soma Bay halfway through the trip. The best decision we could have made.
I want to end this trip report with a nice memory we take home from Steigenberger Makadi Bay. We could sit on the terrace for hours and look at the sun moving behind the mountains on the horizon, while drinking ridiculously expensive wine.