Fort Arabesque, Hurghada 06-2021

I spent a LOT of time figuring out where to stay in Hurghada to maximise diving and snorkelling. Diving centres are mainly located in town, and snorkelling off the beach is best much further south in Makadi Bay. Fort Arabesque seemed to popup as the place most commonly mentioned for great local snorkelling but there were comments about it being old and staying next door at Sunrise Royal Makadi being a better option for food and just wading/swimming over for the better reef.

In the end I decided upon FA, only really because we were only staying for 2 nights (meaning the food options albeit limited would be adequate) and convenience to the reef for the best possible snorkelling was really what I wanted.

The location is incredible for the snorkeling - it is simply amazing with schools of tropical fish and colourful coral. This is the real reason to stay here and makes up for the negatives. Beach BBQ dinner is vastly better than the buffet, but needs to be reserved (they don't tell you this in advance). It comes with a series of salads and sides and you choose from a grilled main such as fish or mixed meats. All were nicely prepared and tasty.

Club 159 live singing each night is really lovely and turns into a little dance too. Drinks at Club 159 from the standard included cocktail menu are made much better than those from the beach bars. Air conditioning in rooms works well. They also have a PCR service at the hotel (didn't use it as didn't know, they need 72h notice). Not sure how much they charge.

The negatives however are several. On the beach there are a lot of people coming to sell services (treatments, spa, foot fish, juice, bikes, boats, photography etc.). Particularly on the first day. Buffet food is not very good. Minimal seafood considering at the sea. Meat is all overcooked. Pizza average too. Included drinks don't include fresh juices. Ants in the room. No Wifi in the rooms, only lobby. Loud music from the pool area can be heard at the beach. Quite a dated place. Mini fridge doesn't work well.

Prices for services are UK/expensive western Europe prices. Staff are excellent and happy to help.