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Reviewed 14 August 2022 via mobile

Egypt
Visited with family of 14 and here is a summary of everything I can think of about this holiday to Jaz Aquaviva - hope I covered it off.

Egypt Visas - a total faff online. Website doesn’t accept special characters so anyone with a double barrelled name struggle massively and then your advised to use the word space but it gets declined anyway so your throwing money away. The process at the airport is so simple and took less than 10 seconds. Literally pay in cash and get stamped. I definitely feel like it’s a money making scheme as the passport control didn’t check my visa which I did online and stamped anyway. Top tip get your visa stamp at the airport on arrival as you cannot miss it. Just make sure you have the right amount of money as they don’t take cards and it’s £, € or $. Saves you time and effort. It’s quicker than me typing this sentence.

Airport - passport control can take a while getting in and we queued for 45 mins which felt like forever with 2 young kids and a long flight which arrived at 9:45pm. On the way back to the UK you have several security checks. They don’t tell you but queues are male and female separately. Expect to go through security twice and your hand luggage / pram to be swobbed. Hurghada airport isn’t big and is expensive so I’d advice to eat at the hotel or grab something somewhere else.

Hotel - well the hotel is immaculate and well maintained. The workers from cleaners, bar staff, gardeners to the life guards will look after you and even more so if you build a rapport with them. They’re working in 40c heat so a please, thank you and £1 goes a long way. The hotel is very big and has number of pools which are always kept on top of. The restaurant well I get to that later. The wifi is bad! Like very bad! Don’t even pay for the better version as it’s no different. Sometimes it drops and goes down and then days where it’s showing connected but doesn’t even connect. Get a SIM card on arrival at the airport. Especially if you have kids. The rooms are nice and spacious but the bathrooms could be looked after a bit better. Definitely not 5*.

Tips - it’s not mandatory but when you see how much effort and time goes into making your room, making pizzas and waffles all day in this heat a few quid doesn’t go a miss especially when they’ll go an extra mile for you. I didn’t mind giving the staff a few quid for queue jumps, drinks after hours, fresh pizza’s and waffles when there was a huge queue and immaculately clean rooms. £1 every other day is sufficient so you don’t need to go silly. I’d suggest the cleaner, bar staff at the local pool bar and the life guard if you want a number of beds.

Restaurants - well, here we go. As other posts suggest it’s not the place for a 5* dining experience. Food at best is probably close to a 3*. Best things to eat is the eggs for breakfast but you have to queue and wait for them to be made and then the pasta for evenings was actually tasty. Oh and maybe the cereal. Everything is so random and chaotic is the best way to describe it. You will get some grilled fish but then there’s nothing to go with this or close to be seen or one night I found some dhaal (lentils) and when I went for dessert I found some Bombay potatoes at the other end of the dining hall. Please make it make sense. From finding somewhere to eat, getting cutlery and even to napkins is massively painful. After the first night we knew we couldn’t eat there that often. The 9 restaurants which only 2 are on site have to be booked by the guest relations and part of your 1 week stay you get 1 free dining experience and if you stay for 2 weeks it’s 2 nights. Alternatively if there is capacity which rarely happens you can pay which I find strange if it’s all inclusive and there is capacity. By the end of the holiday we had to leave the hotel and eat out as it’s was definitely not a 5* experience and the biggest let down of the holiday along with the alcoholic drinks which is fair enough given we are in Egypt was the food and restaurant.

Beach - was lovely, clean and a 10 minute free bus ride from the hotel. You have your private space and plenty of sun loungers Water was clear and you could see fish swimming. Again give the waiter a quid and you won’t have to move from your Sun lounger. Food at the beach was the same as the hotel but for lunch you can’t go wrong with pizza and chips or falafel

Bars - the beer is okay at best but the wine is not very nice at all. All the spirits taste like rum regardless if you order Vodka or Gin. The pool bars are good for snacks so pizza, waffles and panninis are good especially for children. We were looked after by Waled at the pool bar and we never needed to try the other pools.

Water park - it’s a nice place to go to kill an hour but it can get very hot at the top whilst queuing especially as it can get busy with the locals and others who come to visit this hotel as it’s part of the Makadi group. Be wary of the locals and little kids who try and push in. Just tell them to get back and don’t be afraid or they’ll continue to do it. Some of the life guards are young so they don’t feel confident to challenge those who don’t let go of the dinghy’s and want to have a go after a go.

Marina - so we visited the marina which is 40 mins taxi journey to try and get some good food given what was on offer at the hotel. I’d recommend going and book via an Uber as its will cost around £10 to get there. We managed to get a really nice guy who gave us his number and wanted £15 for two 7 seaters to accommodate us all which is nothing especially for a 40 minute journey. If you pay in English pounds they’ll prefer it. The security is on point here so the cars are checked in and out as well as their driving license. The Marina had plenty of stalls and restaurants- very much like a place where they’ll come and ask you to eat when your walking past and offer you free drinks and 20% off etc etc.

Senzo Mall - get an uber here and head to Spinneys (Supermarket) it’s very cheap and big to get all your essentials for your room. Such as crisps, chocolates, soft drinks and other snacks whilst your here as the on-site supermarket is expensive and you have to barter with them. For example they wanted £3 for a tub of Pringles and in Spinneys they’re £1. An Uber should cost you no more than £3. They also have other shops here such as Orange so it’s probably worth getting a SIM card as the wifi is horrendous even the paid version. There is no difference so don’t be fooled.

Excursion - we booked an excursion with Mak (TUI rep - very nice guy) which wasn’t on the list as it’s a new one which has come on with TUI. It’s called Sinbad Submarines (look it up). A short boat ride to a submarine and then down under water (25m) in the submarine for 40 mins which you get to see some incredible fishes. It was £45 per adult and £23 per child and under 2 is free. It’s a great experience and probably the highlight of the holiday. They do take pictures on the boat and under water and video footage which you can buy but make you don’t get ripped off. We managed to pay £190 for 4 families for pictures on board, under water and the video footage and he wanted £400 at first (£100 per family). The pictures under water in the submarine aren’t that good and I’d be annoyed if I paid full price. The glare and quality isn’t that good. The pictures on the boat are good but you could possibly get away with using your iPhone if you have a good camera.

Illness - drink plenty of water as it’s very hot. Spend plenty of time in the pool and if you do get an upset stomach have got drinks and Coca Cola - you’d think water would help but it doesn’t. The bar staff told us to have hot drinks and it improves. It’s not down to their food. You will experience some form of dodgy belly and rear end noise. Maybe pack some dioralyte. It’s not the food otherwise you’d be throwing up too. It’s definitely the heat and water (yes bottled water). Be sensible and go to your room for a few hours as it’s peak reached 40c some days and that’s ridiculous warm to sit out in even in the shade.

Overall - A nice hot holiday in a very nice hotel but the massive let down for me and us was the food and drinks. For such a big hotel in a quiet location they need to do better. They need more options and thought behind it. All seems random and chaotic - improve this and it’s a winner. Would I return to this hotel? Probably not due to the food and drinks. The longer you stay the 5* qualities disappear. The lobby/reception is a wow but everything else is average and not what I would expect. Would I return to Egypt? Probably not given how hot it was which led to many people in our group getting upset stomachs. Which this isn’t down to the food as we all ate the same and so did the kids and they’re fine. It’s down to dehydration and their bottled water ain’t the same.

Some will love it if they happy to drink and eat anything. Hope I’ve covered off all the essentials.

Room tip: Read the entire post as it’s covered
Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank My_OpinionSir
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Ahmed Naeim, Owner at Jaz Aquaviva, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2022

Dear valued guest, thank you for sharing your experience in Aquaviva. We appreciate your concern regarding our employees wellbeing and advising others to tip however, of course it isn’t a must but according to each guests wish. Kindly note we don’t have Ala Carte all-inclusive system and our guests get a free visit per week in one of our Ala Carte restaurants which is mentioned in our info-sheet provided upon arrival. Our Main Restaurant operates according to a weekly schedule and our chefs are available to explain and guide our guests through the buffet and to deliver special orders. Kindly be informed our lifeguards highest priority is our valued guests safety and they work hard in the Aqua Park to ensure our rules are being followed. We consider your point of view. We hope to welcome you back once more. Kind regards. Aquaviva Team

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Reviewed 12 August 2022 via mobile

When we first got to the hotel our first impressions were this is perfect! The room we stayed in was lovely, air con was brilliant, the main lobby was kept really well. That’s where the positive bits ended!!! If you want a relaxing family break with good customer service look elsewhere! We have stayed in many countries and 5 * resorts and felt completely let down by this one I’m sorry to say! We have been served better food in lower rated hotels in the past. (Make sure you take something for upset tummy’s with you!!) As a family we went through 2 boxes of meds in the first week and had to pay a visit to the pharmacy in the second one to purchase more!! They did try to sell my husband some Egyptian viagra, when he went on his own, must of been looking hard done by The constant upset tummies somewhat ruined the stay. Please be ready to get constantly bothered by sales people while relaxing by the pool, I would say that you will be targeted more than 5 times each day by spa staff, photographers, trips and other sales reps from the hotel, if you’re polite then there’s no getting rid of them. One guy had my straps down on my swim suit and was massaging my back at the poolside in the blink of an eye, took me completely by surprise. Best just to say no immediately than engage in polite conversation! The service was very poor and slow around all pools, they had 1 person working each pool so you are lucky to see someone, one day there was came at all! More staff is needed, one exception was Kerlos at the beech pool, lovely customer services and a credit to the hotel! Always check your sun loungers with many of them missing bolts and having bolts loose, the main dining area Topaz is quite dirty, we went as they opened the doors once expecting it to be cleaner but bird poop on the floor and food stuffs on walls not great!! Go to the Four seasons much nicer, but they don’t do lunch there!! My family and I are not fussy eaters in the slightest but there were days we found it difficult to find something to eat! Last of all redemption customer services….. not very helpful at all, we tried to get a late book out but not available, this happens, we were told by one member of staff that they would provide us with a shower room on our last day free for 30 mins, great!! we were told we needed to book this in advance, when we did we were told no just to turn up when we were ready, we did that only to be told we could have 20 mins for the 3 of us to get showered and changed ready to leave. Another family were told 1 hour!! When checking out they like you to leave your cases outside the door, we left ours in the room as another family had something stolen the day before. We were told our luggage would be stored securely ready for the coaches arriving again not the case all luggage is left in the blazing heat outside of the hotel, there is security there but nobody checks you when you go out and could be grabbing anybody’s luggage! I did fill out a feedback form during my stay about some of these issues but nobody got in touch to respond while we were there and our TUI rep was never around.

Date of stay: July 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank 110shelleyh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Ahmed Naeim, Owner at Jaz Aquaviva, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear M. Shelley, kindly be informed you have posted your review on the wrong hotel page we don’t have a restaurant named Topaz and the experience you described hasn’t occurred in our resort. We kindly request you to remove your review. Kind regards. Aquaviva Team

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Reviewed 12 August 2022

Great facilities and very very clean,
Water park is great fun and the staff are some of the best.
Food is always very well cooked even if is limited for my taste but my girlfriend loved the sea food choices.
Rooms are really clean and well maintained and the option to visit over hotels in the group is a nice touch

Overall a well run and beautiful hotel

Date of stay: July 2022
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank deanno31
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Ahmed Naeim, Owner at Jaz Aquaviva, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear valued guest,
Thank you for sharing a high rating and positive review about your stay in Aquaviva. We appreciate you have enjoyed your stay with us and liked our food, service and facilities. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon to Madinat Makadi and Aquaviva. Kind regards. Aquaviva Team

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Reviewed 11 August 2022 via mobile

1st time to Hurghada, visited Sharm in 2015. 1st winter holiday too. Some of the pools were heated as were some of the slides in the water park which was great, as although the weather was lovely the pools were to cold to go in. The complex was amazing, so clean!! The rooms were also fab! The food was lovely , great selection, the food areas and the staff are all meticulously clean. Hygiene processes are great. For us we would have liked more facilities for children in the evening, pool table, darts, table tennis etc. other than that fantastic! Will defo go again

Date of stay: February 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Amb2010art
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Ahmed Naeim, Owner at Jaz Aquaviva, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2022

Dear valued guest,
We would like to thank you for giving your positive feedback on Aquaviva.
We do appreciate that you had an enjoyable vacation and were satisfied with our facilities, activities and staff performance.
Hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon.
Best Regards,
Aquaviva Team.

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Reviewed 11 August 2022 via mobile

We arrived home yesterday morning after 11 nights at the Jaz Aquaviva.
First impressions upon arrival at 11pm were good. Large, modern reception, swift check in to room. Hotel beautifully lit up around pools. Room was nice.
I’d say we had a ‘nice enough’ time, but I wanted to come home and say it was amazing.

Rooms: decent. We had a room overlooking the main pool. If you want quieter nights then DO NOT book one of these rooms. Evening entertainment goes on some nights until midnight. It is loud. Too loud. Aircon is good.

*Note/tip: chargeable minibar and snacks. Steer clear!
There is a small shop by the aqua park which sells drinks and crisps and they are very reasonably priced.

Food and buffet restaurant : you get one visit per week to an A la Carte restaurant. ONE. Choose wisely. Not really 5* behaviour. Still one visit if you’re there for 10/11 nights.
We chose the Italian restaurant at our hotel. Situated by the rooftop pool.
Stunning sunset as you eat. Good was average. It was nice though to sit and enjoy a meal together.

*Note/tip: we approached guest relations about our ONE visit. Anna told us we could have another complementary visit. We just had to give her the receipt from the restaurant, it would be added to our and then she would knock it off our bill for us.
What you actually need to do is check with her before booking (make sure she’s at her desk whilst you do this) book it on the computer in reception and make sure there is paper in the machine to print your confirmation. Give this her immediately and she will then confirm whether it’s complimentary.
We had a massive palaver. Went to the Indian restaurant. Beautiful food. Choice of drinks poor. Given a bill for 2495 LE which the hotel then tried to make us pay upon checkout.
Anna did sort it for us but the actual process wasn’t very clear.

Eating in the buffet restaurant was chaotic every time. Never a clean table. No knives and forks. Waiting a long time for a drink. Mental.
Buffet food was generally ok. Lots of choice but very much catered towards the many Egyptian people who also holiday there. Lots of nice fresh salads, there’s often some barbecued chicken or kofta available from the bbq area at the back of the restaurant. Some very random dishes available too. (I’ve been to Egypt many times so know what to expect before anyone wonders). Lovely freshly baked bread selection.
My husband and I quickly got fed up of the buffet being practically the same choice every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our kids ate very little from the buffet.
They did rate the freshly made pancakes of a morning, smothered with Nutella but that’s about it.
There is a ‘food court’ (open 10-5) which serves freshly made pizzas, pasta, chips, chicken nuggets, burger, crepes, waffles. This seemed to be a popular choice.
There is also another snack bar which offers panins, pizza and waffles. A panini is a good choice for a change.

Pools: great. Loads of pool space. Kids and husband had a great time. They’d often take part in water polo etc.
Lots of lifeguards.
Not too hard to get a sun-bed if you don’t rise at the crack of Dawn. Still availability around 9am and then the lifeguards will help to find you a space if you’re struggling. People do start reserving with their towels early though. Hotel has a ‘1 hour and you’re off’ policy in place that they don’t actually enforce though.

Aqua park: lots of variety in terms of slides. Didn’t use it much at all. Thought we’d be there all day everyday and we weren’t. Not sure why really. It did get busy.

Drinks service: no drinks service round the pools, or in the Liquid Bar, and hit and miss in the buffet. This is not 5* service.

*I must thank Tarek on the outside Liquid Bar. He was the ONLY staff member to really look after us. He took his time to make drinks/cocktails and he would bring us drinks to our table when he was working even when we hadn’t asked. Really lovely guy.*

Other than that the drinks are shoddily made. Cocktails never the same twice. Bottles of water are warm. Ice often runs out. Huge palavers over asking for iced coffee. Big queues at times.

Spa: husband visited the spa for a massage which he rated as good.

Beach: bus service hourly to the beach. It is beautiful down in the bay. Hotels are stunning along the front. It’s so lovely and clean, really well kept.
You can eat and drink the same old drivel down there too. Pizza, burger, chips etc…

Entertainment: standard. Some people love it. Some hate it. I’m the latter.

If you want to get out of the hotel I’d recommend a visit to the Senzo Mall.
10 mins in a taxi and will cost only a couple of quid. There’s a food court there with McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC etc but there is a lovely restaurant called Cordoba too. We had a mixed grill for 2 which was served with flat breads, tahini, babaganoush and pickled veg. They don’t serve alcohol (at all in the food court) but the virgin mojitos were really good, as were the milkshakes. We paid around £30. We couldn’t eat all of the mixed grill but it was beautiful.
We also ventured to Mamsha. We ate at the Retro Pub. 4 of us ate there, starters, mains, bottle of wine, 2 beers, numerous sprites £42!!
Magalina’s is also a good choice situated inside the Esplanada Mall.

Check out: check your bill!
Also, if you C/O at 12 you can request a room for a shower later on.
You can pay €35 to keep your room til 3, or €50 to keep your room til 5. Pointless as we were at the pool.
At 1640 were taken to room 2022 by a nice lad called Mohamed to get showered and changed. We were made to wait outside the room for about 10 mins whilst the member of staff from housekeeping had a massive moan about us using the room, he was shouting on the phone AND he cleared the mini bar and fridge out, locking the contents inside the safe. I went mad! We didn’t want drinks and snacks, we wanted a shower as pick up was 1730! Just so so rude.

If you got this far then I’ll say all in all we had a ‘nice’ stay but we won’t return to this particular hotel.

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank WidnesWineLover83
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Ahmed Naeim, Owner at Jaz Aquaviva, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear valued guest, we would like to thank you for sharing your experience regarding your holiday in Aquaviva. We appreciate you’ve liked your room and our hotel landscapes. Kindly note that the official time of the end of the daily evening entertainment is at 12:00. Our Ala Carte policy is not All Inclusive Ala Carte system and we offer a free of charge reservation per week upon availability. Regarding your second reservation our team has informed you how to proceed to get a complimentary reservation in one of our Ala Carte’s but unfortunately you haven’t informed anyone regarding your reservation but this issue was sorted out as a courtesy from our hotel Management and as we promised you it was made free of charge. Our main restaurant operates according to a weekly schedule and our chefs are always available to deliver special orders. We have highlighted the issue of the sun bed reservation with our team to enforce the applying of our regulations. Some areas are self-service guests bring the drinks by themselves and some are covered by our bar team. We train our bar staff to prepare a vast choice of drinks which are mentioned in our menu we consider your comment and it will be highlighted during training. Regarding the shower room situation appropriate action has been taken with the responsible We’ve noted your remarks and will use them in the future to improve our performance. We hope to welcome you once more. Kind regards. Aquaviva Team

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