Having leaned towards exploration and discovery over sun-soaked relaxation in the past, the dynamics shifted with the advent of children. City breaks and spontaneous adventures took a step back, making room for family-oriented getaways, aiming to fulfill a significant portion of the envisioned adventures.
Guided by a wise philosophy from a loving spouse, every vacation now orbits around creating joy for the children. Even a 50-centimeter pool with slides becomes a haven of laughter and amusement, particularly when the water is delightfully warm. Embrace this new chapter of family-centered All-Inclusive holidays in Egypt, where each moment is a treasured memory in the making.
Plan Like a Pro: Organizing a Seamless Vacation to Egypt's Wonders
The planning and research phase of our Egypt holiday predominantly fell under my wife's purview. She meticulously reviewed the packages offered by various travel agencies, and together we selected the most suitable departure and return dates. Following this, we compiled a concise list of 4-5 hotels, considering multiple criteria such as ample child-friendly facilities, spacious rooms with large beds, and a high 5-star rating.
It's worth noting that in Egypt, a 4 or 5-star rating is advisable, as the standards differ significantly from star ratings in other parts of the world. A 3-star in Vienna does not equate to a 3-star in Hurghada. This wisdom was shared by many, and even the 5-star hotel where we stayed had room for noticeable improvements. To ensure our choice, we cross-referenced with other booking platforms, ultimately selecting the Albatros White Beach Hotel.
An intriguing observation was the limited number of reviews on Booking.com. Most comments came from travelers hailing from the UK, France, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, and South Africa. This led us to conclude that a significant majority of visitors were Russians and Germans, likely arranging their travel independently. Booking separately for flights and accommodation seemed prevalent for those from the mentioned regions, leaving reviews independently. Conversely, travelers using agencies seemed unable to post reviews directly on Booking.com.
Regarding the travel agency, we opted for Wanderful Holidays, a reputable and reliable choice. The process was smooth and efficient - we selected the package and dates, received a payment link, settled the payment, and then seamlessly received all necessary documentation via email. This included flight tickets, insurance details, accommodation vouchers, visa information, and additional insights on entering Egypt.
For those considering an independent travel approach, it's essential to note that direct flights may not always be available, often involving layovers and increased ticket costs. In our case, the agency's bundled offers proved significantly advantageous, especially since there were four of us. The package encompassed flights, transfers, all-inclusive accommodation, and cancellation insurance, amounting to approximately 2,500 euros for a week-long adventure in Egypt.
Egypt Calling: Prepare for an Adventure of a Lifetime
The flight to Egypt offers a captivating experience, whisking you over diverse landscapes and regions. As the plane soars, you traverse Bulgaria and Turkey, then cruise over the vast expanse of the Mediterranean Sea before making a breathtaking entry into Egypt. The initial glimpse of Egypt showcases a verdant landscape along the Nile—a lush oasis used for agriculture amidst the otherwise barren and arid terrain. The land beyond is dominated by sand, stone, and an unforgiving aridity, where even the hardiest shrubs struggle to flourish.
As the journey continues, you pass over Egypt's bustling capital, Cairo, and the up-and-coming New Cairo City. This area is slated to become a hub for various significant establishments, encompassing governmental institutions, cultural districts, diplomatic quarters, a thriving business center, and 21 expansive residential complexes. For further details about the promising future of New Cairo, explore this in-depth guide.
Beyond these urban centers lies the magnificent desert, stretching far and wide, eventually meeting the mesmerizingly azure waters of the Red Sea. Landing in Egypt, I was fortunate to witness an aerial view of the sprawling city, an awe-inspiring sight. I've documented this fascinating experience in a captivating video on Instagram, which you can view here.
Entering Egypt requires a valid passport with at least 6 months' validity beyond your entry date, along with a tourist visa obtainable on arrival. The visa costs 28 euros or 25 dollars and is a sticker affixed to your passport. The entry process involves completing a form, undergoing customs checks, stamping the visa in your passport, verifying details, passing through baggage scanning, and finally stepping out into the warm Egyptian climate at around 26 degrees Celsius. A bus awaits to transport you to your hotel, followed by a brief orientation by a guide proficient in English.
Some key tips for travelers in Egypt include using plain water to brush your teeth, being cautious about local water. In case of an upset stomach, local medicines are often more effective than those from your home country. Additionally, haggling is a common practice in Egypt—prices are negotiable for almost everything, even at pharmacies. An example of this negotiation is when a fellow tourist paid about 27 euros for medicines that would typically cost no more than 2 euros. Always be vigilant about prices and bargain for a fair deal while exploring the vibrant markets of Egypt.
White Beach Egypt: A Paradisiacal All-Inclusive Resort by the Sea
The White Beach Hotel shares a striking resemblance, both in concept and arrangement, with the HVD Reina del Mar in Obzor, Bulgaria, for those who have had the opportunity to visit. It boasts a U-shaped design, with rooms arranged around a central area featuring inviting swimming pools—four out of six of which are dedicated to children. These kid-friendly pools are equipped with an array of toys, slides, and maintain a water depth of approximately 50 centimeters, providing a safe and enjoyable aquatic experience for young guests.
Upon stepping into the hotel, you're greeted by a reception area that exudes the sophistication of a 5-star establishment. The hotel's restaurants are seamlessly connected, allowing guests to journey from the oriental dining space through the Asian and Italian cuisines. This layout is particularly delightful during the hot summer months, offering a pleasant dining experience. Additionally, an a la carte restaurant is situated upstairs, providing an elegant setting for a refined dining experience.
The rooms at the White Beach Hotel are notably spacious, furnished with two beds seamlessly combined to offer ample space, reaching a remarkable width of approximately 240 cm. The cleanliness is impeccable, and each room, especially those on the ground floor, offers a small terrace conveniently positioned beside one of the captivating pools. Adequate bottled water, with a generous supply in 600 ml plastic bottles, ensures guests are well-hydrated during their stay.
In terms of dining, the hotel offers an overall excellent culinary experience. Of note is the Moroccan food corner, featuring delectable tagines prepared by a skilled chef hailing from Morocco, specifically Marrakech. Tajine, a clay pot used to prepare a variety of stews involving vegetables, meat, or a combination of both, is a highlight of Moroccan cuisine. The dishes are expertly seasoned, incorporating dried fruits, nuts, and aromatic spices, albeit not overly spicy.
While the gastronomic variety is abundant, repeated tasting over a few days may give the impression of dish repetitions; however, these are nuanced variations within the same culinary theme. For instance, Indian dishes may feature tandoori chicken one day, followed by tandoori kofta the next, offering a consistent seasoning profile. However, it's worth noting that the abundance of diverse flavors may sometimes challenge your discernment between dishes.
Parents traveling with young children need not worry about dining options. The hotel provides a dedicated food corner for youngsters, offering a selection of child-friendly fare including mashed potatoes, boiled pasta, pasta sauce, meatballs, beef steak, fruits, waffles, yogurts, and more. This thoughtful inclusion ensures a hassle-free dining experience for families, catering to both young palates and those seeking more mature flavors.
Egyptian Escapes: Beaches, Swimming Pools, and More at White Beach Hotel Resort
In terms of cleanliness, the White Beach Hotel maintains a high standard. Visitors may have a lingering concern about potential stomach issues, but rest assured, the hotel employs a robust water filtration and treatment system. It's highly likely that the hotel has stringent hygiene practices in place, ensuring the safety of the guests. Considering every plate and glass is washed with water, any water-related issues would be addressed promptly to avoid inconvenience to the guests. If there were any concerns about water quality, clear warnings would be placed in rooms and bathrooms.
Moving on to the recreational amenities, let's discuss the beaches and swimming pools. While the beach and pools may not hold extravagant allure, they certainly serve their purpose. The pools receive a commendable rating of 8.50, suitable for various activities and especially convenient if you're traveling with children. The beach, though not expansive, offers comfortable sunbeds set against a combination of grass and sand. However, for those seeking a dramatic or vast beach experience, this might not be the ideal choice. The bay is enclosed by shark nets, which could be a reassurance for those cautious about marine life.
When it comes to beverages, the hotel's bars by the pool and restaurants offer a range of local drinks. The beer is of good quality, and despite the unconventional boxed wine, it surprisingly holds up well. Oddly, lemonade and frappe are not part of the menu, but a refreshing iced coffee with milk is available, along with an array of cocktails to suit various tastes.
For guests seeking entertainment and activities, the White Beach Hotel provides an assortment of options. There's a mini golf course boasting 18 different games, a tennis court for sports enthusiasts, and facilities for relaxation, such as a massage salon and a hairdresser. Additionally, children can enjoy designated playgrounds, both indoors and outdoors, ensuring they have a great time. For water enthusiasts, there's a diving and snorkeling center, allowing you to explore the underwater wonders. To enhance your experience, the hotel also offers various excursions within the premises, providing ample opportunities for entertainment and adventure during your stay.
Pros and Cons of Choosing White Beach Resort for Your Next Vacation
When deliberating on a travel destination, the weather often takes center stage. For us, Egypt stood out in the middle of March, promising delightful days under the sun within just 2 hours and 45 minutes of flight time. The weather indeed lived up to our expectations, gracing us with excellent conditions for six out of the seven days we spent there. The temperatures hovered between a comfortable 25 to 28 degrees at noon, dipping below 20 degrees in the night, creating the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the inviting sea.
During our stay, a single day saw a brief shift in weather—clouds dotted the sky, light rain graced us, and a sandstorm elegantly dusted the resort, offering a moment of nature's display in the midst of our vacation.
The accommodation at the resort was a key factor in enhancing our overall experience. The beds were exceptionally comfortable, and navigating the hotel was a breeze, thanks to its well-planned layout. The staff, ever amiable and helpful, made our stay memorable. A simple gesture, like leaving a small tip, resulted in genuine and lasting friendships, showcasing the warmth and hospitality of the people at the resort.
During our visit to the Red Sea, we had a heartwarming encounter. Venturing out on a boat to explore the marine life, we left a tip of 20 euros to the boat's captain and his son. Witnessing the joy on their faces as they realized the value of the tip in Egyptian pounds was truly heartening. It's the little acts that leave lasting impressions, and we'll be sharing more about this incredible experience in the Red Sea in the days to come.
Reflecting on our stay, if I were to assign an overall score to the hotel, an 8.50 seems fitting. While the hotel is carefully designed, there's room for some minor improvements. One quirk we noticed was the challenge of finding napkins readily available, which can be a real concern, especially when you have children enjoying their meals.
The coffee experience, too, presented a small hiccup. Initially, we encountered instant coffee, reminiscent of times past. However, by the third day, a simple exploration led us to filter coffee, offering a much more satisfying brew.
When it came to securing a spot by the pool, the ritual of reserving beds early in the morning with towels, magazines, or swimming gear was noticeable. While the pool beds featured canopies and deckchairs, securing a prime spot became a bit of a morning mission, showcasing the determination of fellow guests.
On the entertainment front, while the resort offered nightly shows catering to both adults and children, there's potential for improvement. The entertainment, though present, lacked a certain vibrancy and excitement that could truly elevate the overall guest experience.
In a personal observation, we appreciated the seamless coexistence between German and Russian tourists, embodying the essence of relaxation—where people from different backgrounds come together to unwind and enjoy their vacation. Indeed, relaxation knows no boundaries, and our experiences in Egypt left us with a desire to share the tales of our escapades.
In conclusion, this journey from adventure-seeking to family-centered exploration epitomizes the evolution of priorities with the advent of children. The embrace of family-oriented getaways, fostering joy for the little ones even in a 50-centimeter pool, signifies a delightful shift. Egypt's all-inclusive holidays provide an excellent canvas for creating treasured memories.
The meticulous planning for this Egyptian adventure, driven by a loving spouse, showcases the importance of thoughtful organization. From hotel selection based on family-friendly amenities to the wisdom in star ratings, every detail was carefully considered, ensuring a seamless vacation experience.
Egypt's enchanting landscape unfolds during the flight, promising an adventure of a lifetime. The verdant Nile and the arid desert meeting the azure waters of the Red Sea offer a glimpse into the country's diverse topography. The entry into Egypt is an immersive experience, starting from the visa process to stepping into the warm Egyptian climate.
The White Beach Hotel in Egypt stands as a paradisiacal abode for families. The meticulous design, spacious rooms, and a culinary journey that caters to all palates elevate the overall stay. The focus on child-friendly pools and dedicated dining options for young ones adds to the charm, ensuring a delightful family vacation.
Cleanliness and safety are paramount at the White Beach Hotel, and the recreational amenities provide ample opportunities for relaxation and adventure. The subtle nuances of the resort experience, along with some areas for improvement, contribute to a well-rounded evaluation of the stay.
This Egyptian escapade reflects not only a vacation but a journey of bonding, discovery, and the joy of shared experiences. It emphasizes that the essence of a memorable vacation lies not just in the destination but in the moments of togetherness and the stories that linger long after the trip has ended.