Marsa Alam – Holiday Beach Resort – English Version
La versione Italiana la potete leggere qua:
Marsa Alam – Holiday Beach Resort – Parte I – Il Resort
Marsa Alam – Holiday Beach Resort – Parte II – La Spiaggia
Marsa Alam – Holiday Beach Resort – Parte III – Il Mare
Marsa Alam – Holiday Beach Resort – Parte IV – tutto il resto
Marsa Alam – Holiday Beach Resort – English Version
6-13 of september 2008
Also this year we have chosen the Red Sea for my family holiday, again Marsa Alam. But we have changed the Resort, from the wonderful Kahramana of the last year to the new Holiday Beach Resort of this year. Beacuse we prefer to look ahead instead of to repeat the same experience ever.
Thanks to my friend Lumaz, who spent his holiday with us, we have chosen, as said, the new Holiday Beach Resort driven by Inviaggi tour operator in Italy. For my family we have spent 2.200 euro, and my family is me, my wife Simona, and my two daughters of 4 an 2 years old, with “all inclusive” treatment, also if not so “all inclusive”.
The holiday was been great, the sea (the reef obviously) absolutely incredible, and I took 2500 pictures in only one week, and it was so difficult choosing only a few (about 250) to show you.
Let me show you all the details of our holiday and all the photos I took.
I divided all the article in 4 great parts
Part I: The Resort
Part II: The Beach
– The Beach and the Sea seen from above
Part III: The Sea and the Reef
– The Lagoon from above and from below
– The Reef and his inhabitants
Part IV: Everything else
– The Meals
– The Sightseeing
– The Animation
– The Tour Operator
– The Accessibility for children and disabled
– My conclusion
The resort was build in the last year, and looking through Google Maps it’s possible to see some details about what it will be the Holiday Beach Resort (by Google Maps), it’s far 4 km from the airport of Marsa Alam, near Port Ghaleb.
The resort is build like a horseshoe, with ends near the beach, and here we took the first great surprise, because we was in 4 people we have had the room n. 1161, the last of the resosrts and so the most closed to sea, with two great window doors, one to the sea and one to the resort. The rearside of this is to have a spacious room… what a luck!.
Inside the resort we have found 2 theaters, one is outside the horseshoe, where our tour operators did shows every evening, and another was between sea and great swimming-pool, where the boys of another tour operator, Xperience, did their shows
(The miniclub for childrens)
The Resort is international one, and we have seen 4 tour operators working on it.
The egyptians, as usual, were been very kind and helpful.
(The resort seen from the pier in a suggestive night vision)
(The resort view from restaurant)
(The resort view from inside restaurant)
(The big swimming-pool with stage on background and the lights of bar of swimming-pool on the left)
I have to clarify that everything I’ll write on our holiday is based on my experience in Italy, my life in Italy, and obviously, I think about this place in a middle of desert, it is not a very beautiful place only for swimming pool and relax, but it is fantastic if we came here for the reef…
(the desert outside the resort)
(Another view of the desert)
The main swimming-pool was very beautiful, with some passages in small wooden bridges. The water was low at any point, perfect for an “after sea” or to play for children. To complete the pool’s system there was another two pool. One is called “heated pool” but in truth was not heated and where it lacked the first step, but where there was two meters high, and the other was the pool for kids where you can find a small slide. It’s obvious to mention that children had preferred the pool to the sea, but we know that they will grow up too 🙂
(The main swimming pool and one wooden bridge)
(heated pool first and the main swimming pool after)
(kids pool at the sunset)
(main swimming pool at sunset)
(view from our room)
(view from lumaz room)
(I love this photo 😉 )
(outside the restaurant)
(swimming pools and the beach from the restaurant)
(here you can see something that nobody shows us)
(the restaurant where we ate fish dinner)
(sunset on lane looking to the beach)
(…and with beach umbrellas)
(the sunset is always wonderful… also if the sun is somewhere else)
(my famili, Alessia, Simo and Arianna on pier)
Marsa Alam – Holiday Beach Resort – Part II – The Beach
6-13 of september 2008
2) The Beach and the sea view from above
The beach is wonderful… there is a lot of space for everyone, the beach umbrellas are big and not so close. There was 3 lane of beach umbrellas and we found it always free. We had found place in the morning, in the afternoon, at every hour. The photos taken with high tide and low tide are marvellous thanks to natural colors, and that at the sunset are marvellous too… do you say “sunrise”… ehm… the next holiday 🙂
Here I show you many and many photos… sorry but I didn’t know what to choose for…
The Red Sea…
The lagoon view from below
Our week was near the full moon, and this has had a very negative reflection on the presence of water in the lagoon in front of the resort. The lagoon in any case was not sandy but probably dug with mechanical excavator, and so it had a rocky bottom with lots of creeks, and a water level which ranged from half a meter of the first days to the absolute lack of water in the last ones. In addition, many forms of life, also absolutely dangerous, was hidden beneath the surface, and was a problem for our children. As you can see from the photos it was full of sea urchins, there were several moray eels and fish, scorpion fish, and if you wasn’t so lucky… it could be a problem for your holiday. But you can find also some fish, many Tridacna, and many many hermit crabs. In the evening it was not rare to encounter some ray and a huge porcupine fish.
We see from the photos what you can find in the lagoon …
(tridacna out of water during low tide)
(a beautiful snail)
(someone here has not done a good job)
(A big astrea snail)
(a small sea star on a piece of dead coral)
(tridacna in a very low water)
(brittle stars… there was more than a milion)
(a small moray eel on lagoon)
We take now the pentax and we go underwater…
(wonderful sea urchin)
The Sea seen from below and its inhabitants
The sea is why we came here. The coral reef and the fish are why we wanted to come right in Marsa Alam. And we were fully satisfied, as you can see from the photos.
And then there was her, the Barrier Reef.
What can we say … In any case I try to explain. The barrier in front of the pier is beautiful especially if you swim a little, both right or left. Near the pier the corals are somewhat sparse and rather small, while if we swim away a little bit we can see enormous and spectacolar corals. The fish are present everywhere, in greater quantity and variety with some gems such as the presence of Pomacanthus imperator and Pygoplites diacanthus. Then the presence of many lion fish is ensured in the early morning and late evening. Then of course tons of Acanthurus sohal and Naso litoratus and unicornis, as then you will see in the photos.
(Naso unicornis into the blue)
(anthias over big coral)
(Chaetodon lunula o fasciatus)
(Heniocus acuminatus in first view and Pterois volitans to the second view)
(a big group of rastrelliger kanagurta)
(Pterois volitans in the late evening)
(a marvellous Zebrasoma desjardinii)
(Naso unicornis over Acropore sp.)
(male and female of Heniocus acuminatus over fire coral)
(Acanthurus sohal sleeping)
(so many fishes…)
(Acanthurus sohal and Chaetodon lunula)
(Acanthurus sohal and Chaetodon lunula)
(Chaetodon lunula and Naso unicornis)
(sergeant fish, Abudefduf saxatilis)
(Acanthurus sohal eating near the pier)
(damselfishes over tons of corals)
(great looking acropora)
(male and female of Cephalopholis argus)
( a small group of Naso unicornis and the blue)
(braincoral, maybe a platygira with one tridacna and two Acropora into her)
(2 meters Acropora)
(lovable tridacna… no doubt!)
(group of Chaetodon lunula or fasciatus)
(Aluterus scriptus not so little 🙂 )
(I love the Pomacanthus imperator, also named emperor angelfish)
(the Reef and the blue)
(pesci pesci ed ancora pesci)
(the reef and the fishes over it)
(the reef, damselfishes, Chaetodon lunula and over them Naso unicornis…)
(the reef again…)
(male and female of Heniocus acuminatus)
(where the reef and the blue meets each other)
(two Naso unicornis, and a great view)
(the reef, one Chaetodon semilarvatus and the blue)
(Anthias and corals)
(I love this male and female Chaetodon semilarvatus)
(wonderful Naso unicornis)
(the big Balistoides viridescens, also named titan trigger fish Titano)
(male and female Chaetodon semilarvatus)
(8 meters, two amphiprion bicinctus and onre anemone)
(male and female of Chaetodon melannotus)
(Anthias, Anthias ed Anthias again)
(one of my preferred photo)
(larvafishes in the early morning)
(one great looking Pygoplites diacanthus, named also regal angelfish)
(Naso unicornis again)
(clownfishes and anemone)
(Pygoplites diacanthus and firecoral)
(moray eel Gymnothorax javanicus)
And we saw a giant turtle, about 80 cm, at the left of the pier.
(Lumaz swimming with doplhins)
6-13 of september 2008
3) The food
This travel is my third trip to Egypt, and the second on the Red Sea, and I must say that was one where I ate better. I am not saying that we eat like in Italy, because then my words can be interpreted badly, but the food that I had the luck to eat (almost everything ndr) has always been pleasing to the taste, and I have to do a tribute to cook Italian that could make us each day to eat something highly edible with the few things available. Certainly there are to do the surveys to be done in the sense that the “buffet” was too broad and often had to be wait before we can take it.
To note the lack of fruit presented, we went ahead with Egyptian melon, green ones generally very good and apples until mid-week, then only melon … too ‘little.
The Egyptian-style dinner on Thursday instead was very pleasant, perhaps, for obvious reasons, the best of the week.
(The fish plate before being devoured)
I must point out that the fish dinner offered to the modest price of 15 euros each, excluding children, and bookable by Mohamed Hassn (I remember the name because I had to send the photo) was a good choice with fishes only cooked grilled. Well done.
4) The excursions
This year we only made a small excursion with the “submarine” SEASCOPE YELLOW submarines in Port Ghaleb, booked into the hotel lobby by Mohamed (all you really call it so), 50 euro per person with children free, for a small tour of couple of hours with a boat changed its keel with glasses to see the bottom. We have done only for children, which together have fun, but for adults it’s best to pass the time. Mohamed was always been extremely kind and with whom I hope to be able to get in touch soon.
(Port Ghaleb view from the sea)
(Port Ghaleb again)
(the Seascope Yellow Submarine before leaving)
(desert from sea)
(Zebrasoma desjardinij from seascope)
(my daughters looking for fishes inside Seascope)
(Quod and the desert)
5) The Tour Operator
As I write before, there were at least 4 TO which shared the resort, InViaggi, we have booked us, Todomondo, Xperience and others whose desks were in the Hall.
(resort animators, from left Roberta then Enrica, Valentina, Fabrizio and Matteo)
(***dani*** and Lumaz at the pairs game)
(Beach Volley game)
A me il gruppo di animatori è piaciuto tantissimo, e devo fare un applauso e ringraziare pubblicamente Enrica che si è dimostrata bravissima con i bambini, estremamente disponibile e molto molto capace. Grazie Enrica.
(Johnny Fashion Professionista)
With the Thursday Egyptian dinner was also proposed an Egyptian spectacle, with the belly dance and other ethnic performances, everything was pleasant, although some dances, in my opinion, were somewhat ‘long.
It was the first time I traveled with InViaggi sure we were not fully satisfied. The communication was quite low, meaning that we were told we could have the treatment all-inclusive (and there is not written in the catalog), we were told that since the trip was from Saturday morning to Saturday night (one of the many reasons for the choice) we would have 7 days to complete meals and then lunch and dinner on the last Saturday would be counted separately (children instead could eat free). Upon his return to the airport we were literally abandoned by staff inviaggi, without which no one called us when we would have had on board. So much so that at the end after more than an hour waiting outside the airport (always under construction), we managed to enter, then check in and board the flight without even having time to buy something …
6) Accessibility for disabled and children
The resort has proved accessible in almost every single point. Both for strollers or wheelchairs, for disabled people who were found due to spend summer in this village. Each scale was accompanied by a slide, and every point of the resort was reached without using stairs, with the exception of the theater which had 4 steps to climb and what was then impossible to do the stairs because it lacked the slide. In addition, the common access roads were all paved and easy walk. The difference with the Kahramana last year, this is incredible.
(can not get lost in the resort, both because of clear indications as well as by the size of the complex)
7) My conclusions
The holiday was a spectacle. The sea is wonderful as the barrier in front of the resort, with a plus, not indifferent, of the giant turtles and dolphins. The animation we liked a lot and made us laughing a lote, the miniclub has been spectacular, and the kindness and courtesy to all exemplary. If we stop to these aspects would be the perfect Resort. Food is always a controversial issue, we ate well, others complained, someone was not well. Where to end his bad luck or where negligence of the resort begins is difficult to determine. We liked the foos ad noted before. Cleanliness, given that we are in the desert, that there is a lot of sand, it seemed appropriate. The corresponding InViaggi was unclear when reporting their departure, but apart from this, after all the TO there seemed sufficiently present. The excursions did not seem too convincing. Finally also a tribute to Andrea of Diving, because it was very kind and available to all, even with us that we have not, unfortunately, take advantage of its services.