This Hotel is superb, it's made almost entirely from coral and is builit on top of a coral reef. It's true that every room has a seaview too, the rooms are all facing east towards the Red Sea. The Hotel has two Lagoons, one is smaller and has activities such as volleyball, exercises, etc every day along with non- stop music (all organised by the Hotels enthusiastic animation team). The other Lagoon is more quiet although be prepared for a non-stop invasion of inviations for boat trips, massage, quad safari from the local sales people. Both of the Lagoons are safe for swimming & snorkelling although you must bring aqua shoes due to the very slippery floor in the Lagoons. There are Blue Rays, Lion Fish, Snakes and all sorts of exotic fishes in and around the Lagoons, it is also safe to swim over the nets and into the Marina or even into the sea when the tide is not too strong.
Also, be prepared to walk - a lot. If you have a choice when you check-in I would try to get a room in Building 2 or Building 3. We were in Building 7 and it's a serious climb from the beach up to Building 7 (I feel some pity for the guests in Building 8 though).
Buy aqua shoes before you travel because the Hotel shops are very expensive (3 x the price).
Do not bother using the masks from the Lagoon staff - they are rubbish, leaking and very dirty.
Buy a silicon mask & snorkel from the shops on the main road (I think it's called Sheraton Road) where there are lots of small shops next to each other. The 10 minute taxi from the Hotel costs $40 round trip and the driver walked around with us for safety (not really necessary but it was a nice gesture). We paid $10 for a good silicon mask + snorkel, at the Hotel shops they were charging $30.
The same is true for everything (cigarettes, suncream, etc).
We took a trip into Hurghada & the Marina area, nightlife is ok and it seems relatively safe but again it is a taxi ride of about 20 minutes each way.
Be prepared to remain hot as the air conditioning is terrible, there is no air conditioning in the main lobby, just 4 fans which move the hot air around. Of course, this means that everyone will move the fan around to face their own table with everyone else sat around sweating (although we would routinely 'bribe' one of the bar staff to make sure we always had a fan at our table). The bedroom air conditioning was not efficient so the room was always very hot at night, only when we woke up in the moring was the room becoming cool.
Drinking & Dining Tips:
There are 4 places to eat at this Hotel:
Citadel Restaurant Buffet (breakfast & dinner), high quality of choice & food, very attentive staff to bring drinks and cool inside due to good air conditioning.
Blue Marlin Buffet (dinner on Monday & Friday), high quality choice & food, cool inside
El Gaucho set menu (dinner daily), low quality food, poor air conditioning so we sat outside when there was a breeze in the evening
La Gondola (dinner daily), good quality food, air conditioning not great though
Pool Bars (each pool has a bar, staff were great)
Beach Bars (there are 3 bars, the guy at the large Lagoon beach bar was a star, superb service and super friendly)
Lobby Bar, again very friendly & efficient, they even refused the $1 tips that we always offered each night.
Make sure you take plenty of $1 bills, the local staff seem to be poorly paid and will really appreciate the money. We would leave $2 in the room for the cleaning staff each morning and we always had plenty of towels, etc when we returned to room.
Also I would recommend that any English & European guests take along a few £5 or €5 notes as the staff will want to swap their European coins (from tips) into notes - then they will be able to exchange it for cash at their local bank.
The reception staff were not so great, some of them really struggled to understand English and one of them was quite condecending to us.
Each night there is live music from 8.30pm outside the main buffet restaurant, the quality of the singing was quite random although our two daughters convinced us that Wednesday & Saturday had the best singer......
Then there is a 'Fun Bar' where a disco starts at 9.30 and will finish at 2am
Also every other night they oganise entertainment at the Amphitheatre, this seems to be aimed at Russian & East European styles though. The 'comedy' show was almost surreal for English speaking guests
The animation team were interesting, our two daughters received some welcome attention from the younger dancers who always attended the disco and live music events
We had a great time, although we were disappointed by the rude & arrogant behaviour of some of the Russian guests - I don't know if this is a cultural behaviour though as I have never been to Russia. I did speak to several tour representatives though and I do know that this Hotel & flights are extremely cost effective for Russian guests so you can draw your own conclusion as to the type of guest that you may encounter from Russia.
The serving staff at this Hotel however are World Class, very friendly, very efficient and very welcoming and we would return on two conditions:
Make the Hotel more West European friendly (& dilute the Russian behaviour)
Install an efficient air conditioning system
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- CITADEL AZUR RESORT SAHL HASHEESH! Heaven on earth! A Sunken Paradise Reborn! Our exclusive luxury architecture built with natural coral stones which has been hand chiseled from nearby mountains is a true architectural achievement. The Citadel Azur Resort with an atmosphere of the ports in Southern France or the Amalfi coast embraces a large marina where you can enjoy a touch of a small Mediterranean village with its own harbor. Overlooking the Red Sea, each spacious and luxuriously appointed guest room features spectacular sea views. A unique holiday with water sports, boat trips, marina and private beach extended to 1.6 km long, 3 manmade sea lagoons inside an amazing house reef. Relax at the swimming pools elevated and scattered around for your convenience in the resort and enjoy our state-of-the-art health club and gym. Book a wellness journey with our team of professional in our on-site Spa. Conveniently located only 20 minutes drive from Hurghada International Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Citadel Azur Hotel Hurghada