Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Bed and Breakfast Chidonza Olbia
My partner and I have just returned from a two week break at The Al Hamra Fort Hotel. 2nd April until 17th. Our two weeks were totally relaxing. The room was spacious and airy a few steps from the beach in one of the arabesque villas. It was never too hot in the room even though the temperature outside was well into the 30's. The room was brand new and was equipt ok, with TV mini-bar, hairdryer, although no tea and coffee making faciities, bathroom was immaculate and a large seperate shower. The service was great by most of the staff but the odd one or two were new and not very good. The pool bar was under refurbishment at the time and was a bit of a pain to walk to get drinks although after we complained they did put on a bar service poolside. Would have liked to have been there when the bar was open as it looked fantastic. We opted to eat at the buffet most nights the food was brilliant with an incredible choice, although we were not keen on the pizzaria. The only drawback was the distance to Dubai city, the hotel offer a courtesy bus and say the journey is about an hour. On the way back it is more like two hours because of the traffic in Dubai. We had a wonderful relaxing time and would recommend this hotel for we found it very good value. When we do go again we will combine it with a two or three day stay in Dubai then you do not have to endure the long bus journey. Overall a great holiday.
The hotel has spacious rooms, an attractive setting, and is fine for a relaxing holiday, providing you require no service. My experiences included: an airport pick up missing -then provided one day after I had checked in; a voice mail message I could not access -guest relations said the hotel system was not connected to the rooms, but promised that they did not listen to messages left on it! Room turn-down service arrived one day just 30 minutes after the room make-up service. An adaptor I was promised on day 1 of a 5 day stay never did arrive. Staff appear and disappear, it seems, at will -perfectly possible, I imagine, to eat free at buffets if you choose your arrival time carefully. Things -like filtered coffee -that are free one day are extras the next. IDD phone calls are horrendously expensive, internet access from rooms is dial-up and highly unreliable. I could go on!
Good for a relaxing stay in sun and pool. Not the place for business or communication. And definitely not 5 star.
End of March 2005 we spent one week in the Al Hamra Fort & Beach Resort Hotel. Our flight arrived at 1:50 a.m. at Dubai airport and on the 26th. Our reservation was also made for the 26th by our travel agent. As a result there was no pickup service waiting for us, no rooms available before 2 o'clock and no breakfast voucher for our first day of stay. After several phone calls to the reception of the hotel we have taken a taxi to arrive around 5:30 a.m. at the hotel. Worst of all was the attitude of the Management. They acted as if they were selling petrol and not a service!
They have declared that our travel agent made a mistake at the reservation and never gave us the impression that they have considered us as their clients. The only concession they made was that we have received our room around 7:30 a.m.
The night before Eastern around 9:30 p.m., the staff has delivered to each room a 'Mandatory Eastern Menu' with a (mandatory) supplement of USD 53 on top of the half board rate with no other alternative: the Italian Restaurant was closed and the Arabian Restaurant was fully booked (for their own staff members and their families)
Other regular supplement nights were Wednesdays (Seafood + USD 17 ) and Thursdays (BBQ night +USD 7).
The Hotel is at a minimum of 1 and a half hour drive from Dubai City, so if you want to visit Dubai choose a centrally located hotel in the city. If you are looking for a nice holiday resort, no need to go so far: you can get it nearer and cheaper with a better service. Only positive points to be mention: the rooms are generously large and the garden is extremely well kept.
Customer Service Appalling
My husband and I stayed here for 6 nights February 2005. We made our reservations early January. Arrived at lunchtime on Friday 11th Feb, we were told rooms were not available until 2.00pm and would we like to have some lunch while we waited, this we did. 1.45pm decided to see if room was ready, and was told to report to guest relations where we were told that they had some problems and they hoped we would be able to accommodate them for 1 night, they hadn't got a room for us!! and would we mind staying at another hotel for 1 night, we said this was totally unacceptable and refused to move, we asked to speak to the manager and surprise, surprise he was not available, however after refusing to go anywhere until we spoke to him they contacted him by mobile phone, where he told us that unfortunately we could not stay the night at this hotel, reluctantly we agreed to go to another hotel 20 minutes away by car on the understanding that it was of the same standard i.e. 5 star and that we would be brought back at 7.30 the next morning for breakfast, this was agreed. The hotel they sent us to was about a 2/3 star (not what we had already paid for), although it was clean, it was a very old hotel which was run down. Set the alarm clock for 7.00am next morning, 7.30 came and went (no taxi), we rung to be told it was on its way, rang again at 7.45, 8.00, 8.15 and 8.30. Eventually and 8.45 we got our town taxi back to the Al Hamra Fort, where they hurried to give us they keys to our room, when i asked why the taxi hadn't turned up at 7.30 they said they didn't agree to this, at which point I became quite angry, but got no apology. We managed to see the manager at 7.00pm that evening where we discussed compensation, 1st offer 2 free meals at hotel we said not enough and were told to go back next night where we were offered some more compensation although not much more, and as our holiday was half gone by this time we agreed. Went down to a buffet brakfast next morning, left our table to go for some moe food, and returned to find our table had been given to someone else. On the morning of our departure we were asked if we had had anything from the mini bar we said no, hoever they checked the room and the room boy brought down a full bottle of water which he said we had opened, we said why should we open a bottle of water when we have left some of our own in the room. The hotel is clean, the rooms are good, but things like to crazy golf are in need of repair, and the staff need more training. It is a very badly managed hotel which could be excellent with proper staff training. The grounds and building are magnificent, pity about customer relations.
We loved this place and are going back!
We stayed here last Easter time and found it brilliant! family of four with 2 young children and extended family also joined us for a week with older children.
Plenty for all ages to be occupied.
Hotel forgot to pick us up at airport but this was quickly rectified by meeting rep and afree taxi.
Food in all restaurants and room service first class. in general service was first class, extremely polite and helpful staff from cleaners to managers. Hotel was busy but never seemed full and pools were sometimes deserted! We are going back in a couple of weeks and having read these reviews from visitors more recently hope not to be disappointed!
Ras al kaimah seriously under rated - had all the Dubai shopping centre without the mini bus trip!
Do need to book in advance for mini bus
Room size fantastic and a massive bathroom in a garden room opening onto the beach
Comfortable and spacious but watch the transfer times
We have just had a week at the Al Hamra Fort with a family of four.
1. Very large spacious rooms - we were in a separate villa block which was close to the beach and very quiet. We could literally walk from our patio onto the beach.
2. Good gym and fitness studio with sauna etc. at no additional cost.
3. Two large clean swimming pools and free non motorised beach activities.
4. Good breakfasts with plenty of variety, loads of fresh fruit and tailor made omelettes.
5. Good Arabic Restaurant in the Villa block area which did a lot of trade from outside of the hotel. (Food in the other restaurants was fairly uninteresting and bland. Kids liked the pizzas in the Italian though.)
6. Dreamland Waterpark just 15 mins away is good value and the kids loved it.
1. Airport transit time is a minimum of one hour and longer if traffic is bad.
2. Getting to Dubai by hire car takes 3-4 hours due to traffic - advise taking a taxi as they know how to avoid the jams.
3. You cannot get into your rooms until 2.00pm on arrival day - so pack some clothes / swimwear you can change into on arrival.
4. No childrens activities that we could see.
Overall a pretty positive experience and local building activity was not a problem - however it will be nicer when they have finished the resort as parts resemble a moonscape at present.
Great for relaxed holiday
If your going to relax and chillout then this is the place. There is a mall with a carrefour. The mall includes English shops. The hotel has 3 resturants. The Italian is quite rich food. The buffets in the coffee shop include barbacue,seafood,international,Indian and Chinese. The sea is quite warm but pools are cool. There is a poolside bar which serves food and a beach bar. The staff are very kind. The check in is slow and you may have to wait but if you are there at check-in times there shouldn't be a long wait. Hotel seems to have a problem with over bookink but the staff try and make it as quick as possible. The watersports are good.But if your going for a lively holiday the al hamra fort is certainly not the place. There is building work all around but it is not too much of a problem.
Definately NOT 5 star !
We have just returned from a weeks holiday in this hotel.
The hotel has a good concept but is very badly managed.
We arrived on Boxing day 2004 for 8 nights and the hotel was full, it couldn't cope with the capacity.
There are 2 pools both of which are too small for the size of the hotel.
There are 3 restaurants , one is a coffee shop which is a buffet service ,the food is terrible,one is an italian, the food was ok (We had to wait 1hr for a table), no bookings taken as too busy! One is an Arabic restaurant which is waiter service, food was ok.
There is no a la carte menu, only on room service!.The childrens meals were chicken nuggets and chips etc very boring.
The hotel did not serve childrens meals on New Years Eve which we had paid a £50.00 per head supplement for, and were not informed of this so the children were unable to eat.
The staff were unfriendly, unhelpful and over stretched.
The hotel caters mainly for Italian tourists, there were lots of Italian holiday reps, but no one else was invited to join the activities.
I work in the travel industry and will certainly not be returning!
Al Hamra Fort Hotel
Terrible Place. We booked a junior suite & only after 2 days & threatening to leave did the room that we booked miraculously turn up. The place is also a building site because they're building new villa's. As we understand the project will take another 5 years to complete so don't book the more expensive villas. The cheaper rooms are in the hotel main building, therefore not near the building site Water is murky & always full of seaweed. I certainly won't be going back there.
Superb, do not miss!!
Went with a little trepidation, having been told so much about wonderful Dubai city...and wondering why the Fort had rooms left! Stunning hotel, the most curteous service and airy, large well-appointed rooms mostly with sea-view.
There is a lagoon next to the hotel on one side which provides for picture-perfect waterskiing, jetskiing, banana boating etc, payable locally but the guys in the watersports hut are very friendly and generous with their timings (!). Free kayaks and windsurfers are also there. Kayaks were fun to paddle out to a small island some 100m away, kids loved this.
Whole complex fronts the beach, and various reports had left us unsure wether to expect cold water or warm in the Gulf! It was like a bath (nearly 40degrees), in fact a strange experience as it was actually nice...but not refreshing. Back to the hotels two cooled pools ( ah, but only coooled to a comfortable 33 degrees) for much needed cooler water.
Food mainly was buffet style, but very good quality, themed though the week, Indian, Chinese etc. Also on offer was a supern traditional Arab restaurant and an Italian, although with 5 of us eating the buffet was better value.
Hotel offers a bookable bus service to Dubai, but this takes an hour and a half. Taxis are more flexible but will set you back 30 or 40 pounds, round trip. Not dear, by UK standards, but this will allow you to see the gold and spice souks, get some nightlife flavour and not worry about getting back on the bus.
We didnt visit the city of Ras Al Kaimah(twenty minutes further distant), but apparently it doesnt have much to offer ( unfair without seeing I suppose) apart from a large shopping mall.
If you want nightlife, dont come here.
If you want THE most laid-back, relaxing, hot, well-served, chilled-out, excellent holiday...then this is the place.
It offers some things to do during the day, especially if you are into watersports, but you can always take a trip to the nearby and well-underused "Dreamland" waterpark( 10 mins away), the unheard of bigger brother of the famous Wild Wadi (Dreamland, by the way, cost a fifth of the price and was 5 times bigger...25 times better value, or just damn good marketting by WW!?)
There is a large scale development in and around the hotel...you wont escape that in the whole of the UAE at the moment, but unlike Dubai city, the devt here is all low rise and not at all intrusive. We were totally unaware of any building works and noise was not a problem.
Accomodation was vast, rooms twice the size of anything in London or any resort Ive ever stayed in, 7 foot beds, airconditioned, with balconies and vast, luxurious marble bathrooms. Slept 5 comfortably, altough this was a room for 2!
Insist on free transfers when you book...the hotel will always provide these if pushed, and why spend money you dont need to!?
Did we enjoy it? Would we go back? A serious YES to both, and one of those home-from-home places that one anticipates returning to with real relish...
Book it and enjoy!
TripAdvisor Reviews Bed and Breakfast Chidonza Olbia
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