Let me start by saying that we enjoyed our trip. The airport is a typical Egyptian airport, basically an hour of pointless queueing and filling in forms, nothing can be done about that, but the hotel itself was impressive, staff were excellent and friendly, room was clean and comfortable, weather was good. However, in my opinion, there is room for improvement.
Our flight lands at 19:55, we arrive at the hotel at 21:30, check-in, and go to the restaurant for something to eat. The food is good and varied. Unfortunately, this is more than can be said for the music, which is essentially Peruvian pipe music, the kind that you might listen to for 5 minutes in your High Street, but you decide not to buy the album. There's a reason for that. If you listen to it for too long, it drives you nuts. So imagine listening to it at every meal time for a week. In fact, you don't have to imagine doing it, you just need to stay at the Marriott.
Anyway, we finish our food at 22:15, and go to the nearest bar, only to be told that 'all-inclusive' ended at 22:00. This was not a problem for the rest of the week, but annoying on your first evening (especially with the theme from The Godfather and Terry Wogan's The Floral Dance still ringing in your ears). You would have thought that the hotel would give you a couple of drinks vouchers for your first evening, but anyway, we buy a couple of bottles of beer for £8 ($14US).
The next problem we encountered a couple of days later is the hotel wi-fi. Despite seeing many complaints about it before we went, and despite the management saying that they are looking into a cheaper alternative, it is still £10 ($18US) for an hour, which is an extortionate amount to charge (I understand the Sofitel is free). The management say they are looking into it, but I think in the same way that Amazon are looking into reducing the cost of e-books, but meanwhile they still charge you £8 for a piece of electricity, so I do not expect this policy to change any time soon.
Our last problem came on our last day. Check out is 12:00, our flight was at 21:00, so we were told that we would still need to check out at midday, but we could have a shower and get changed at 17:00. So we spent the day on the beach, and when it came to getting changed we were directed to the Spa ("out the door, turn right, and it's on the left"). Well, it's actually a poorly signposted 5-minute walk. I had to ask for directions in the hotel's workshops, which I had stumbled into. When we arrive at the Spa, we are shown into a communal shower area. Most hotels have a couple of rooms set aside for their guests to use privately in these circumstances - not this one. Luckily we are the only ones there, which made me wonder whether previous guests were offered alternative arramgements, but altogether a very unsatisfactory end to our stay.
So, essentially, apart from the first hour and the last hour, it's a really good hotel, and we will probably return, but we'll give it a few years. We have other places that we want to visit in the meantime.
Oh, and when we booked on Longwood we took the free up-grade to a sea-view room, but as you'll see in the photos the room (438) was top-floor, but didn't really have a sea-view, and although I mentioned this to reception, I was told that as it was a free upgrade it was only a 'request', so it didn't really count. After a couple of days we were offered an alternative, but by then we had unpacked and settled in (and discovered hidden benefits of room 438), so chose to stay where we were. But yeah, quite funny really, an upgrade only counts if you actually spend more money. Bizarre.
Room 438 for those that want a balcony that is not 'over-looked'.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 May 2012
Dear Rob G
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Many Thanks for posting your recent, very candid review! Although i am happy that overall you had a good holiday, I would like to address some of the points that you raise. The wifi issue in the hotel is a very valid issue and one that we are greatly trying to reslove. We are looking into it, as you mention, however im sure that you can appreciate that being in the desert means that sometimes things can take a bit longer to resolve than we would be happy with, and although we are wholly aware that the Sofitel does offer free wifi, unfortunatly we are still encountering challenges with this! Please rest assured that we are taking this issue extremely seriously and are exploring every possible solution! On your last day, had you wanted to extend your room untill later in the day then you would have been able to do so at a very reasonable price, and i would like to point out that the showers in the Spa are not communal as you mention, there are seperate changing areas for both men and women and both have individual cubicles. We will also ensure better and more effective signposting of the Spa for future clients. I would however, like to thank you for the lovely pictures that you posted, its great to see such beautiful images of the resort and I am also delighted at your comments regarding the rooms and the staff. I do hope that you will will visit us again, and please dont hesitate to contact me prior at email@example.com so that we can take care of the room requests for you and ensure that you have a great holiday, and hopefully we can improve our rating from 2 to 5 stars! Looking forward to seeing you again and wishing you all the best from the Taba Marriott Team!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC