EQUINOX EL NABAA RESORT
Equinox Al Nabaa guests are happiest about the “stunning dives” and the “great beaches.” The hotel is highly recommended for divers, snorkelers, wind surfers and kite surfers who don’t mind a fairly average standard of hotel. It is also good for families as it has one of the few beaches in the Marsa Alam area where you can wade directly into the sea.
Rooms: 232 inc 16 suites and 53 connecting rooms
Room facilities: Air conditioning, private balcony, mini-bar, satellite TV, private bathroom and direct dial telephone.
Location: A 25 minute drive (30km) south of Marsa Alam airport and 32km north of the town of Marsa Alam.
Hotel facilities: Private marina 500 metres from the hotel. 230m long and 5m wide it can accommodate up to 25 boats, main restaurant with 250 seats and sea view, Italian restaurant, beach BBQ, snack bar, 3 metre deep outdoor swimming pool, lectures on Arabic language and Egyptology, Nubian shows, belly dancing, beach volleyball, table tennis, fax services, wireless internet, shopping and safe deposit box at reception.
Reviews: On TripAdvisor.com, of July 2013, the resort was ranked as 49th out of 67 hotels (up two places from its’ ranking in December 2012) with 46% of reviewers (unchanged) rating the resort as either “very good” or “excellent” and a fraction under 32% (-1% since December) rating the resort as either “poor” or “terrible”.
On HolidayCheck.de, as of July 2013, Equinox El Nabaa scored a respectable 4.8 out of a six stars – a significant improvement from its’ average ratings of 4.5 in December 2012 and 4.3 in May 2012, with the highest average scores for for rooms at 5.4 (up from 5.1 in December) and service at 5.3 (up from 4.6) with slightly lower scores for gastronomy at 4.8 (up from 4.7), location at 4.6 (up from 4.1) and sport at 4.3 (up from 4.0). 80 per cent of Holiday Check reviewers said that they would recommend the hotel.
Despite fairly average ratings overall, reviews on TripAdvisor and HolidayCheck have been mostly positive.
“The reef is very nice. We have seen dolphins, a dugong, eagle rays, leopard rays, stringray, guitar sharks, turtles, spanish dancer etc etc…. Nobody in the water and the fish were only for us. Great !”
“Fantastic diving and boating in the sea with a multitude of fish I had never before seen in my life….. An indescribable thrill to see live turtles, crocodile fish and porcupine fish, very nice. Unfortunately I didn’t encounter the mythical Dugong…. Can not fault the beach. Towels and mats were changed every day and each located by a windshield/sunshade.”
“The long sandy beach allows direct (walk in) access to the sea and pier to the south which leads on to a sumberged reef full of coral and fish of all kinds and turtles.”
“For fans of kit surfing there is a beautiful spot directly by the hotel.”
“The house reef was great… (and) the water still warm. 26 degrees.”
“The coral reef is just a few metres from the beach and pretty close to the pier, so that even the smallest child could safely go to see the fish. We had been lucky enough to see almost every day a Dugong and swim with turtles very close to the beach.”
“The sea is beautiful, although in some places the reef barrier has been damaged by a winter storm, but still very rich in coral and fish. Turtles abound everywhere. Too bad we failed to meet a dugong – this means that we will be back.”
“The snorkeling is wonderful, not only at the reef directly in front of the hotel, but also around the atoll, at the nearby beach of Abu Dabab and above all the area to the right where the reef is pristine and untouched. You can see corals of all colours and everyday see turtles (look for them where you see the grass grow under the water)….and from the pier in the evening we saw the famous dugong twice.”
“Beautiful sea, fish and fabulous coral. Seemed to be swimming in a huge aquarium.”
“Beautiful sandy house beach and reef for diving and snorkeling and full of turtles. The diving centre has professional services and beginners services as well.”
“A friendly and efficient diving centre.”
“The staff is friendly and do their utmost, but are lacking in number – bed not made on Saturday and Sunday.”
“Wonderful and went out of their way to make sure we had whatever we needed/wanted.”
“Friendly, competent and helpful”
“So likeable, not intrusive and polite”
“The staff were always helpful and polite.”
“All the staff of the hotel very polite and smiling.”
ON THE ROOMS
“Rooms very basic but comfortable and good cleaning.”
ON THE FOOD
“Food varied but not super good. I’m not picky so I ate well and I was not sick.”
“The food was great…. They have a pasta station where they make pasta to suit…. was wonderful.”
“The food was passable. The pasta was made freshly (thankfully).”
“The food was quite monotonous – little fruit.”
“The food was varied and very good, too many dishes.”
“A good meal with excellent waiter service.”
“I read a lot of negative reviews (but the) hotel was very nice, clean rooms cleaned daily and buffet-style choice at meals. At the pool free sun loungers and parasols and an intimate atmosphere with no crowds. Everyone can relax and moreover the hotel has its’ own beach, very nice garden and beautiful views. Friendly service too.”
“Comfortable family hotel in a totally unique location; the natural eco system of El Nabaa provides stunning dives, great beaches and the hotel gardens are beautiful…. This was our second visit and we will certainly be back soon.”
“The hotel is simple and pleasant, charming staff. We spent two weeks and will return if the opportunity arises ( great price/quality ratio )… A great place for divers, snorkelers and kite surfers but may be too isolated for archeology or nightclub fans.”
“Yes I would go again…. I recommend it to those who really want to relax because outside the hotel there is practically nothing – only desert !”
“In conclusion we had a great time and would stay there again… yes again. I love this country !”
“A very pleasant diving holiday”
“A hotel for those seeking peace…. If you are looking for entertainment this is not the place to go.”
“The service was great and the food was awesome………….. If you’re looking for a nice and quite hotel away from the crowd and interested in diving and snorkling, this is the one.”