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“Good hotel with big aquapark but be aware of "aqua" rooms”

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Tia Heights Makadi Bay
Ranked #24 of 30 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

For my next vacation in Makadi (check my other reviews - I stayed in Makadi several times per year since 2013) this time I chose TIA Makadi Heights.

It wasn't simple decision, because I heard and read quite controversial opinions about this hotel. It is very close to the PDL dive center I prefer to dive with, so I met a lot of people from this hotel during my daily diving I did last years and of course I asked them did they enjoy their staying in TIA.
Year ago I was walking along TIA's beach and was able to see some elements of infrastructure - in august 2016 for example it was rather disappointing - no people, some workers did renovations, no lights in the evening :(

But for my regular November trip (it is a school holidays in Russia, so I travel with my two children boy (13) and girl (10)) I finally chose TIA. Why? Let me explain:
- Other hotels I was considering were either overbooked (Arabesque) or overpriced (Sunrise, Cleopatra, Jaz)
- it was extremely cheap :)
- it wasn't really bad so far I knew. I heard some negative but you know, there are some unhappy people everywhere :)
- it has a big real aqua park (my children really love such entertainment)
- it is next hotel to Sunrise where PDL dive center is located

So I decided to try and wasn't disappointed, but there were some negative points too I'd like to let other guest be aware.

First of all, I found that this hotel was absolutely unprepared for self-organized travelers, I mean those who plan their trips completely by themselves, buy tickets, book transfers and hotels, etc.
So I've been always asked who my travel operator is. The problem is that service in such cases oriented mostly not to the end customer but to travel operators.
I wrote in advance to inform about my late check-in (actually next morning in spite I paid for full day) and asked to prepare the room but they weren't ready and I wait at front desk after the long flight with two tired sleepy children.
Another thing that there were large groups of tourists from specific countries. In case of TIA I've noticed most of travelers where from Ukraine and Belorussia but there were some from UK, Czech, Germany and even Finland.

The most negative moment happened is that initially I was settled not to the main building, but far aside from it, to the block called Cascata :(. Cascata building called as "aqua rooms", "promo rooms", "garden rooms", so be aware of it. I booked Standard Double Room, so have no idea why we were settled to Cascata.
We were too tired and it was early morning to discuss about with anybody, so we got to sleep. After that we come to main building to guest relation manager Elena and explain that we don't like the provided room, she was very nice and helpful and offered to us to move to the main building and we did it.
During our stay we contacted guest relations several times and they (Elena and Tanya) did their work excellent: always nice, accurate, responsible and helpful.
Room #3235 in the main building was exactly what I was waiting from the TIA when I booked it. It wasn't too big but enough for 3 of us, has LCD tv, two beds + small sofa that was moved to the balcony to free space for the extra bed. The balcony was with partial sea view looking to the opposite site from the main pool and most activity.
During nights it was a bit noisy until midnight because of Sunrise night entertainment but not too much.
Main building lobby is spacious with nice stairs in the middle and bar, looks great.
New room was located close to everything we need: restaurant, sea, Aqua Park; so we started to enjoy our vacation but because of time we spent for negotiations and relocation to it we lost one day.

The hotel is really huge about 1200 rooms, but was occupied up to 20% only. Luckily for us it didn't seriously affect the service.

TIA's beach is sandy - that is rare in Makadi, so you don't need the coral shoes and can enjoy shallow sandy entrance to the water and swimming even with small kids.
The disadvantage of it is the lack of coral reefs and sea life, so to enjoy snorkeling you have to go to Fort Arabesque beach and further to Makadi Waterworld and Makadi Garden hotels or to my favorite place for snorkeling - to Stella hotel (it is a Gotta Makadi dive site there).
There are a lot of chaise-longue on the beach

The main restaurant provides the food of good quality but not exciting variety but it was better than I was expecting and absolutely acceptable for me and my kids for these 10 days we spent there.
Usually some beef, chicken and fish were available daily. Fruits were oranges, apples, garnets, melons, pears, dates, figs and guava.
There were some queues for omelet during the breakfast and fruits (that were freshly cut in front of you) – annoying but not so long.
Fresh juice was available for $2 (mango, orange). Mango fresh is absolutely awesome! You can also buy huge mango from the beach bar for $2.

We visited the Italian a la cart restaurant twice, it wasn't too much options too, but it was tasty and I have to mention great service from our waiter there - Adel.
It was absolutely European style service: attentive, caring, patient, fast and with excellent English; we enjoyed he served us both times we had eat out there.

Alcoholic drinks in TIA were disappointing - I wasn't expected too much but even for the Egyptian all-inclusive hotels the vine was absolutely sh**t. It was semi-sweet, tasted like water and smelled like soap.
So, mostly I drunk brandy, beer and gin-tonic cocktail. Sometimes tonic was finished.
Non-alcohol drinks were presented by bottled cola, sprite, fanta, Schweppes tonic and sweetened fruit juices from the dispensers.
As I mentioned above there were great fresh juices for the extra charge.

Aqua park water slides and pools were surprisingly in a good condition, but donuts were mostly old and sealed but good enough to use, especially they were required not in every slide, there were mats for about half of slides.
The wave in the wave pool was turned on once per day for about 15 minutes before aqua park close.
Aqua Park is big enough with about 20 of various waterslides of all level from easy to extreme and we enjoyed :) It is free for guest but I didn't see the prices for non-guests.
It was a bit cold in the beginning of November (air 25-28 C, sea - 25-27 C, pools (21-23 C )and not crowded because of it and also because of general hotel load at that time. So we went there two times per day for one hour: after the breakfast and after the lunch.
Almost no one used the main pool because it was noticeably cooler than sea.

I used to smoke shisha in evening, it was in the Decker bar and costs $2. Service there was good (with some regular tips - excellent) but don't expect too much from the tobacco taste for these money.

So it was great inexpensive stay, it make sense to travel with your kids because of aqua park but during hot period (May to October), but you have to pay attention what type of the room you book and aware "aqua"/"promo" stuff.
I think I will consider this hotel once again for my future trips to Makadi because of good location and aqua park.

Room Tip: Ensure that you book the main building not aqua room
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  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Andrey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 11 of 1,827 reviews

Reviewed 3 November 2017

Came back in October for my 62nd birthday some different staff but they were all exceptional they gave me a special b/day dinner which was unbelievable at a very reasonable price we had the beach bar all to ourselves candle lit and very cosy for me and my wife and friends. Want to say a big thank you to lobby bar staff and animation team who basically make the holiday, sales team on the beach are not to intrusive either you say no thank you they let you be.

Room Tip: i have stayed in both dune and aqua rooms both very nice
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  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank billyatpub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2017

This was a last minute booking as the hotel we originally booked closed early for the season a week before we were due to go, when we first arrived we were dropped at the main reception and told we were at the wrong reception and taken to a smaller one round the side called cascata, our room was by the aqua park and we was quite disappointed. The gardens were overgrown and the room was looked like it hadn’t been decorated in years, they couldn’t even fit the extra bed in for us unless they blocked the back door to the terrace. So we just had 3 beds for the 4 of us. We got ready and went out for dinner. The rest of the hotel was lovely. The beach is beautiful with plenty of sun beds, free beach/pool towels to hire. The pools were always empty. The staff very helpful. There is an Italian and a fish restaurant that you can prebook. The main buffet style restaurant and a beach bar restaurant for lunch where you can get burgers, pizza wraps and chips. Plenty of choice of drinks and cocktails included in the all inclusive. There’s always activities going on, beach ball, aerobics, darts etc. There’s also tennis and mini golf. The animation team are brilliant and put on shows every night. There is a big selection of shops inside the hotel where you can buy snacks, drinks, handbags, watches and gifts. There was lots of water activities that you could book on the beach. Every member of staff was friendly from bar staff to cleaners. Overall a great week and would definitely return but book a lagoon room instead.The only down side was the room, and I had my purse stolen out of my bag on the second day, so don’t leave your bags unattended.

Room Tip: Don’t choose aqua park rooms
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Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank Shelbell22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2017 via mobile

Visited this hotel recently and I have a few mixed feelings about the experience. I must say that we got the accommodation at a cheap price, therefore
I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular! I will start with the positive aspects of the holiday. First impression of the hotel were that is very nice and I was quiet impressed as it looked clean and well maintained. The beach is lovely and it’s great that they have a little harbour Just on the door step. The majority of the staff are amazing, friendly and work very hard. The food was very nice and lots of variety, but I have to say the desserts were amazing and the pastry chef is very talented. The animation staff are amazing and really interact with the guests and they put on great entertainment in the evening. The main part of the hotel is lovely, clean and well maintained. The pool is clean and extremely big, however due to the size it is very cold! I have never met such lovely staff and I have to say we have made lots of new friends and we will keep in touch with them. The negative aspects of our experience were that our accommodation that we stayed in was a little forgotten about! It was clean but was in need of refurbishments. We had a pool view but nobody ever went in that pool as no bars/ restaurant were open in that area. I found some of the staff very annoying as they were trying to sell drinks/ food etc.... and when you said no they just didn’t give up! Felt like I needed to hide from them! The biggest disappointment that we experienced was the other guests, very few English guest there was lots of Russian, German etc and I found most of them to be very rude, selfish and not the kind of people that I would be happy to socialise with! Loved the staff they are the best..... but the other guests have put me of returning to the hotel.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Katie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2017

Loved it so much coming back next year.we went September into October,the staff was great,food good.at first my parents were put up by the Aqua park which was a problem due to my dad having difficuty to walk.they got moved to main hotel and this was great,with the manager going out of his way to make this happen.thanks.
The only issue I have with the hotel was that it had no hand rail in and out of the pool.
Thanks for a great holiday

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank nigelrhymes1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2017

I spent 10 days here in September 2017. Five stars is a joke, I'd give it one the most. Old furniture, food was the same everyday, alcohol is mixed with water. But the worst is that hotel staff tried to scam me into paying for food room service I didn't purchase. I made four food orders and hotel wanted to charge me for five orders, they presented a fake receipt with my fake signature and they couldn't even spell my name correctly on the receipt. This is absolutely outrages. Don't recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tatjana T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2017 via mobile

The hotel itself is beautiful and the beach is amazing!! The location is lovely. Theres so much potential here .The staff (under the management) are amazing on the pool bars/resturant etc. The food was terrible tho poor choice and rude people they just push infront of you and children they don't care. We lived on pasta, Pancakes and bread . All of us including my two children become very poorly for 4 days to the point we should have gone to the doctor but didn't want to cause a fuss. We couldnt even eat for the last few days. When we arrived exhausted after a long day traveling with children our room didn't even have enough beds in it. The man offerd me a cot for my 6yr old son (a big 6 yr old) and a single bed each for me and my partner this was not what We wanted. We got shown 3 rooms being dragged all round the resort. I could have cried. when we thought we was going to be in the main building where everything was we got sent over to the other side. We waited 3 hours for a room to be cleaned and made up. The room was fine just had a good few bugs we shared it with all over the bathroom floor. The cleaners were fantastic to and did a great job. We won't be returning and I would highly recommend changing if you are booked here as a family. The animation team/kids club are great if your children are German or russian or from Poland Ukraine etc they barely said hello to my children which was a shame. The water park is amazing and the pools were lovely. If it wasn't for the staff going above and beyond we would have left and found somewhere else. This place would be nothing with out the staff (under management) they really are amazing and keep this place going. I'm not trying to be mean just honest.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
Thank mumzy28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tia Heights Makadi Bay

Address: Safaga Road, Makadi Bay, Hurghada 84515, Egypt (Formerly Le Meridien Makadi Bay)
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Hurghada > Makadi Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Makadi Bay
#15 Spa Hotel in Makadi Bay
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Makadi Bay
#23 Luxury Hotel in Makadi Bay
Price Range: $49 - $161 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Tia Heights Makadi Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 1468
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Egypt's spectacular Red Sea coast, TIA Height's large resort is ideally situated on a stretch of sandy beach in Makadi Bay. The hotel faces the magical waters of Egypt's Red Sea, nestled between desert dunes and breathtaking mountain ranges. The bay provides a superb location for scuba-diving and snorkeling. Built over 250,000 square metres (in a total surrounding area of one million square metres of land), this five star resort boasts an international standard Aqua Park, a 6,400 square metre swimming pool that is considered the largest pool in the Middle East. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tia Heights Makadi Hotel Makadi Bay
Hurghada Le Meridien
Meridien Makadi Bay
Le Meridien Makadi Bay Hurghada

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