We visited hotel Amarina Abu Soma in late November and stayed there for one week, up until the start of December. It was our first vacation there, but not our fist vacation in Hurghada, Egypt.
If you’re visiting Hurghada and Egypt for the first time, you might find this to be a nice resort. The architecture and rooms are modern, the food is alright and it has a nice beach. It’s got all you need for a relaxing vacation. But, if you’re like us that have been there before, and you’ve stayed at hotels like Titanic Palace, Sentido Palm Royale Soma Bay or even Labranda Club Makadi, then you might be a bit disappointed.
It’s the furthest we’ve been from Hurghada. Amarina resort might be marketed as being a hotel in Hurghada, but it’s actually near Safaga. If you’re someone looking to take trips to Cairo or visit the local attractions in Hurghada, then you should know the prices are a bit higher. If you’re thinking of going to Luxor, then you’ll be alright, as it’s closer than Hurghada. If you’re wondering what to do during your stay, we have a list of activities for Hurghada.
The hotel itself is actually new. It was opened just months before the pandemic and closed during that time. It has around only 250 rooms available for tourists, making it one of the smallest resorts we’ve been to. I have a video posted at the end of the article that showcases the resort. Make sure to watch it to see how it looks, from an objective point of view.
AMARINA ABU SOMA HOTEL ROOM
The hotel rooms at Amarina resort are modern and clean. We loved the fact that the furniture was in great shape and we had nothing to complain about. I would dare to say they were a bit smaller compared to other resorts we’ve been to, but if you’re not that claustrophobic, you should be just fine.
We had a pool view room at the first floor, in building no. 4. We could see what was happening in the resort the whole time: when the restaurants opened, when the animation team came into play, when the waterslides worked and so on.
The disadvantage was that, being a fairly small resort, we could hear the disco at night in our room. The disco/amphitheater is located behind the water slides. You won’t see it and you won’t know where the music is coming from, unless you ask around. The good part is that the disco closes early, around 22.00 but if you’re someone that sleeps early, you’ll find it a bit difficult to do that.
Although we spoke English, our room information was printed in German. We found it when we settled in the Amarina hotel room. We understood the essentials, but we wished we could have read it in full.
We had two single beds (although we were a couple), a small TV (mostly Arabic, Gernam and Russian TV channels, so we didn’t use it), a small safe box that was placed inside a small wardrobe. We had an electric kettle and some tea. The minibar was there, but when you opened it, it was empty. You had a list of beverages and pricing, but you had to go and ask for them. I found that annoying.
Each room had a balcony and you would find there two chairs and a coffee table. It was a great place to enjoy your morning tea or instant coffee.
Overall, the room was alright, nothing to actually complain about. Oh wait! I would complain about the fact that the front door was a bit shorter than the door frame, so every time a trolley would be pushed around, or someone would even talk on the hallway, you would hear it while in your bed. I woke up several times because of this.
RESTAURANTS AND FOOD
Don’t be intimidated by this rough review I’m about to give concerning the food. It’s edible and you will certainly find something to eat. Comparing it to other hotels, it was not diverse. We had kind of the same food for 7 days straight. One or two dishes were added per night as extra, while the other dishes remained unchanged.
They also have themed restaurants where you can eat and one you need to pay in order to dine. This is where it gets nasty. There’s a so called seafood restaurant, that is by the sea, on the beach, You won’t actually notice it, as it’s hidden next to the toilets, where the beach ends.
I have to tell you, never in my life have I tasted something so poorly made and expensive. And the so called restaurant looks more like a fisherman’s dining room (if they had one). There’s no lighting in there, so you barely saw what you were eating. They lit up some candles and they called it a “romantic dinner”.
Everything we ate there was made on a grill (except a soup) that probably never saw a grill brush. Everything tasted like burnt charcoal. Everything we ordered was just slapped on a small plate: fish, calamari, shrimps and whatever was in there. To top it off, some vegetables were mixed and thrown in there, and voila! I tried eating a shrimp, but even those tasted like I would imagine the grill looked.
And to end the evening, the waiter (a young boy) made the bill for us and said we were to pay it when we finish our stay, at the front desk, during check-out. He said it would be 117 EUR. We left him a tip and wished him a good night – it was not his fault the food was bad. When we checked out of the hotel, the bill miraculously reached 170 EUR. That’s for 5 adults and two kids that ate French fries. We were so mad, I cannot express my anger through words.
Before you start thinking I am overreacting here, the guy that sold us the dinner came again on the beach the next day. He would ask tourists that had booked a dinner there how the food was. One tourist might have slapped him if the guy didn’t run away. It was bad for everyone that dined there. Avoid it if you value your money and stomach!
We didn’t try the themed restaurants, because we learned a valuable lesson when going to resorts: whatever food they will serve you in those free restaurants, they will server you during diner at the resort’s main restaurant. There was nothing we wished we had ate again, so we never booked a dinner at those free restaurants.
Overall, Amarina hotel resort has food that you can eat. Nothing fancy, nothing extraordinary. Basic food is served during breakfast, lunch and dinner. You won’t starve. But, if you are someone that has explored a bit the options, you will find that the menu is poorly made, compared to other resorts in Hurghada.
PRIVATE BEACH AND POOLS
Does Amarina hotel resort have a private beach? Of course it does! Is it large? Of course it’s not!
Being a small resort it would be pointless to have a big beach. It’s clean and well taken care of. Compared to other resorts, I would dare to say it was a bit crowded – as in the sunbeds were kind of close to each other. You didn’t have privacy, so to say.
They did have an adults only area, where you would be away from kids and their loud noises, but being a small beach, you would still kind of hear them.
The one thing that I loved about this particular beach, was that when you went to the towel center, they would have some mini-flags. These were some sort of Do not disturb. If you had one placed on your small table, staff would not bother you. That meant nobody would come to sell you trips, camel rides etc. They would let you be and enjoy the moment.
Another great thing about the private beach from Amarina hotel is the beach bar. This was honestly amazing. It opened at 10.00 and they would also serve food starting with 13.00 (sometimes earlier). There was a lady cooking Egyptian bread in a stove and a man that was doing some sort of beef shawarma next to her. You would grab your bread and stuff it with that meat. They also served French fires at the bar, salad and some raw vegetables. Delicious!
The pools were always clean and you would always find room to swim. There are a number of pools next to the main restaurant and some on your way to the beach. Two of the pools are heated, but we would not be able to tell, as it was surprisingly warm when we stayed there (December).
Animation team was not the best, but surely not the worst. You would find them on the beach rounding up people for beach games, kids for various games or others for yoga class. They were all teens and had a good vibe.
I cannot say anything bad or extraordinary about them. They were your regular animation team, that had a job and tried to do it as best as they could. You could see they were not trained or anything – everything came natural. Some were very pushy when it came to buying tickets for the raffle, and one got pretty mad when we only bought just one ticket.
Kids games – Cooking show
STAFF AT AMARINA HOTEL
The staff at Amarina hotel resort was a mix of welcoming and fun people, with sad and grumpy staff. Some bartenders would roll their eyes when you asked for a coke and some would show off a big smile and serve you.
I believe this is the true norm when it comes to resorts in Hurghada. I have rarely seen staff be trained on how to interact with tourists and they are so overworked that a smile is just something that adds to the effort.
Tips are a must and if you tip them, they will serve you nicely. Some would just start a conversation with you and try to make a connection, while some would just ignore you. I remember what a friend (local) said to us when he came to the hotel and asked us how it was: just enjoy your vacation, don’t get bothered by ignorant staff.
Make sure to read this review considering it is very subjective. This was only my experience and it’s very likely you will experience something else if you decide to visit. But don’t get excited about the waterpark they are advertising: there are only 4 single waterslides and a triple one, all parallel to each other, and short!