This was our 5th stay at Makadi Palace within 2 years and once again, it did not disappoint. We would normally have moved onto other holiday destinations by now, however we have fallen in love with this place. The people, the culture, the amazing food, the 5 star service, and the brilliant entertainment, keeps us coming back. We have introduced friends, who are now also returning guests.
Transfers were prompt and efficient, as was our check in upon arrival. Very friendly happy staff, who provided us with a drink of choice, perfect after a long day of travelling. The bellboys promptly escorted us, and our luggage to our suite.
Our suite was just perfect, it was very spacious, with a large and extremely comfortable bed, with clean fresh linen. There was every amenity that we needed, TV, free safety box, mini fridge, seated area, balcony with sun beds, plenty of storage space, large walk in shower etc, however if you like a cuppa in your room, take a travel kettle with you. The room boys kept our room immaculate throughout our two week stay, and surprised us daily with clever and imaginative towel art. If you need anything extra, just ask, nothing is ever a bother. Beach towels are changed daily.
Some reviews mention that some suites are a tad tired looking. Seriously? most people go on holiday to go out and about, meet the people, relax by the pool/beach or partake in the many exciting excursions on offer in Egypt, a tired looking room is the last thing that I would care about. Believe me the rooms are great, with everything you need, in working order, and the most comfortable bed ever. For what you pay, you really do get great value for money. If you have any little gripes, please give them the opportunity to put these right. A quick call to reception, or a visit to Maryna or Viktoria, at customer services will rectify anything. Nothing is too much trouble for them, and Maryna will even pre-book the a la carte restaurants for you.
If a 5 star room is important to you, and you don't mind paying a few hundred pounds extra, then book the adult only Makadi Spa. Here, the suites are anything but tired looking, they are exquisite and have amazing views. You also have a kettle, bath robes, slippers etc. This hotel is smaller than the Palace and also has its own private beach and even a fantastic infinity pool. It is absolutely beautiful and perfect for guests wanting a quiet break, to simply chill out. For us, it is too quiet, we love the atmosphere and hustle bustle of the Palace, indeed many Spa guests come round to the Palace for the entertainment.
The pools at Makadi Palace are massive, and there are loads of sun beds, and different relaxation areas to choose from. The hotel was full when we were there, however I never witnessed anyone going without a sun bed. You only need to ask the pool boys/waiters and they will gladly bring you one from another area, if need be. When we were there in May, I saw the boys removing any beds in need of repair, and on this holiday in Sept, we saw them replacing any worn mattresses, with brand new ones, so this attention to detail, shows that there is a constant upgrade and repair system in place.
The pool boys/waiters are so lovely, it is quite humbling to have them fetch and carry drinks of your choice throughout every day. They really become your friends, and they love meeting all the returning guests. Never, ever once has our service differed, due to tipping or not tipping as mentioned on one review. These guys do their job politely, efficiently and always with a smile. I personally would always reward such impeccable service, with small tips throughout my stay, but quite honestly, you will never be left feeling that it is expected, or treated any differently if you do not tip. Relax, enjoy the service, and only tip if you want to, it's as simple as that.
I feel that the large and small pool, near the Botanical, should be an adult only area. On numerous occasions I saw unattended children at these quite deep pools, and was always on tenterhooks watching. Others were put into the deep water with floating devices, flippers etc, why? when there is a massive children's pool area, much safer, and with lifeguards. Mr Orsino, please consider this?
The beach area is lovely, with an abundance of sun beds and shades, and waiters at the ready to supply you with drinks. You can paddle along the shoreline or snorkel from the pier.
The restaurants are really, really good and with so many to choose from, you will not be disappointed. Continental breakfast is offered in the Dome or the Melange. There is a massive choice, to suit all tastes and nationalities. Lunch again lots of choice, International buffet at the Dome, BBQ at the Melange, or snacks from the Sunset or Rendez vous, seriously all really good. Evening meal: again so many to choose from, International buffet at the Dome and the Discovery | International cuisine -Botanical | Thai cuisine - Thai |Sea Food - Melange | BBQ - Rendez vous | Italian, Caribbean and Lebanese restaurants within the Makadi Grand. Our favourites, this holiday were the Botanical, the Thai, and the Italian in the Grand hotel, fantastic and seriously good food. The new food and beverage manager, Mr Abdu, is an absolute gentleman, he has a high presence throughout the restaurants, ensuring that everything is shipshape and running smoothly.
Then there is the a la carte restaurants within the Makadi mall, which is literally on your door step: Mafia - Italian | Tam Tam - Oriental | La Maison de paris - French | Mumbai - Indian | Golden Dragon - Chinese | Samak Fish - Fresh fish | You pay for drinks in the mall, but it's a small price to pay for different eating experiences. Perhaps they could allow guests to have one alcoholic drink, with each meal booked, this would appease some people, and reduce the negative remarks regarding this.
The bars and entertainment are exceptionally good. We usually headed to the Rendez vous for the nightly entertainment and disco and with everyone in holiday mode, and drinks flowing, there was always a great atmosphere. We also love the live singers at the piano bar, particularly Wael, however I feel that the singers are on too early now, and not on long enough, they only have a short time slot, then move next door to the Grand hotel, this is disappointing, as the Piano bar has lost its special atmosphere somewhat, which must be disappointing for Mr Ayman and his waiting staff. You really have to choose between listening to the live singers at the piano bar, or getting a good seat at the Rendez vous for the nightly entertainment.
Speciality nights, like beach party night are an absolute must, this was amazing and soooo much fun. A Fire show kick starts the evening, three very talented fire eaters, wow! followed by African dancers, these guys know how to engage with their audience and get you up to join in, so, so much fun, then there is a small firework display before the late night disco kicks off. Hundreds of people of all nationalities partying together. At 9 a head, this is one night not to miss!!!
Weather: what can I say, it's Egypt, we have visited in Feb, May and Sept and always hot, hot, hot.
Excursions: There are so many different excursions that you can book, from boat trips, snorkelling, diving, horse riding, sightseeing, shopping, quad bikes, camel rides etc
On site shop, and various other gift/souvenir shops a stroll away on the beach, including a jewellers, handbag shop, papyrus, perfume etc. There is also a good few shops, including a pharmacy in the Makadi Mall, right beside the hotel. Spa and beauty parlour also open daily. There is also free WiFi from the lobby bar area, which has a very good signal.
Entertainment - Day Time - Gym, Boccia, Work Outs, Water Gym, Beach Volleyball, Zumba, Pilates, Kids Cinema and Disco.
Security is very tight everywhere, and there are armed military checkpoints on the way to your hotel, and security at entrances/exits to all hotels. This is nothing to be alarmed about, there is currently heightened security everywhere, so it stands to reason that some of the most famous historical landmarks in the world would have extra security. The airport security is also very thorough. We have never, ever felt unsafe in Egypt, even when we did a 4 hour road trip from Hurghada to Luxor, for our Nile cruise in Feb 2017.
The biggest and most important mention must go to the staff. From the restaurants, bars, reception, room boys, bell boys and animation team, night manager, seriously everyone works so hard and always with a smile on their faces. They go out of their way to please the guests and make sure that everything they can possibly do, is done to ensure that every guest has a great holiday. The managers from each and every restaurant and bar ensure a very smooth and efficient service is always provided.
Please skip and do not get hung up on reading a tiny percentage of negative reviews, believe all the positive ones, from the many, many, many returning guests.
Makadi Palace is part of a very well managed hotel group, run by Mr John Orsino. This guy is so hard working, he is a pleasure to speak with, he is kind, friendly, funny and an amazing host to all guests, who take the time to get to know him. All of his managers, and staff are a credit to him and his management style. Mr Hatem, Mr Abdullah, Mr Ayman, Mr Sayed, and many, many others, too numerous to mention, you are all so hard working and accommodating.
Makadi Palace gives fantastic value for money, it is totally amazing. Don't worry if you read an odd negative review, as the saying goes, "you cannot please all of the people, all of the time" there are some people who will never be happy, no matter where they go. I understand a helpful, constructive criticism, but nasty, untruthful reviews help no one, so concentrate on reading all the truthful and very positive reviews from the many, many, many returning guests.
My heart belongs to Makadi Palace, and all my Egyptian friends and family, this is now my second home, in Egypt.
Stay safe and see you all again in May 2018.