I was one of those people saying that spending holiday in a hotel resort in Tunisia or Egypt is something I would never ever do. Of course I had my own reasons for it. Like that I am an explorer and when going abroad I want to move freely and see as much as possible. I also had an opinion that booking all inclusive trips is pure greediness. Well, people change 🙂
It was in April when I felt tired and with zero energy. It was still cold outside and the first signs of spring were still far behind the horizon. My boss was driving me nuts and I felt like I was actually “living” in my work. I wanted to get away! Quickly and cheap and didn´t really care where. Luckily, a friend of mine felt the same and we came to the conclusion that the easiest way would be Egypt, although none of us were really attracted by this country. But there was a SEA!
So we spent quite some time choosing the right hotel. It was not easy as there are plenty. Finally we pre-booked one in Hurghada and I was lucky enought to talk about this with my friend who used to work for a tour operator in Egypt. When I told him what hotel we booked, he was like OMG NO! Apparently this place was full of Russian holidaymakers and their spoiled kids, keeping everything behind them messy. He recommended us to go to Marsa Alam located in south-eastern Egypt. So we did.
We went with reputable Czech travel agency for 7 days and yes, we had All inclusive. The hotel´s name was Oriental Bay and it had good reviews. The flight from Prague took about 4 hours and then we spent another 45 minutes in the bus to get to our hotel. Interesting thing was that there are not so many Russians going to Marsa Alam. Why? Apparently, some guy from Saudi Arabia who bought the land where he buildt airport, Porto Ghalib town and other places doesn´t like this nation very much so based on his decision all the airplanes coming from Russia are forbidden to land at his airport.
Why to go
For 575 USD we got flight tickets, hotel room for 7 days, unlimited food and drinks, free towels and sunbeds. What a bargain!
They had wi-fi available only at the reception area plus you have to pay for it which I think is great as you will not spend hours and hours on facebook or checking your work emails.
This is perfect if you just need to turn off. You can get proper sleep, or chill with your book at the pool or at the beach. No need to take care of anything – food ready all the time. And you don´t have to stress that you still didn´t see this or this historical sight as there are not any.
If you get bored by your book, you can still do other things. Every day there a possibility to join aqua aerobic which was really fun, play beach voleyball or table tennis. Every evening there was an entertaining performance and on the top floor there was a massage salon and tiny fitness.
Great spot for snorkelling
Egypt has one of the best spots for snorkelling in the world. Actually, it´s where I have done my first one ever! We took a half day trip and went on a beautiful beach to Abu Dabbab. The underwater world there is stunning and we also saw a turtle!
If you are an explorer
The hotel or your travel agency will offer you few trips but these are all in groups with guides. There is nothing like a bike rental in a vicinity of the hotel and it is probably not even safe to wander around by yourself. So if you can´t handle staying most of the time in a hotel then this is not for you.
If you are a foodie
I can´t say anything bad about the food in the hotel. There were always plenty of options and it was a buffet style. A lot of fruit, vegetable, cakes, cheese, ham and eggs for breakfast, rice, potatoes, different kind of meats, pasta for dinner and lunch. Yes, the food was tasty but again, there is nothing like typical Egyptian restaurants just round the corner. For another trip we went to a small town called Porto Ghalib but only thing we saw was Pizza Hut and Starbucks.
I hope this post gave you an idea whether this kind of holiday is for you or not. I was always against it but to be honest, I really had a great time and wished nothing else than to stay few days longer.