1 week at the Jaz Maraya Family Resort in Marsa Alam (Egypt)

Categories: Travel reports, Africa, Egypt

To escape the bad weather in Germany, we decided to take a vacation in Egypt. The choice fell relatively quickly on Marsa Alam in Egypt, as we had already been there many years ago (travel reports from 2016) and liked it very much. Back then – without children – the focus of our trip was on diving and snorkeling. This time – with children – a nice family hotel with activities for children was important to us. Here you can find our travel report on the Jaz Maraya Family Resort in Marsa Alam.

Jaz Maraya Family Resort header image

Egypt in February – How is the weather?

How’s the weather in Egypt in February? We were really unsure beforehand whether a trip to Egypt in February made sense. Because we wanted to have warm weather to go into the pool. The weather forecasts on the internet were for 21 to 22 degrees during the day, which would actually have been too cold for us. After brief consideration, we decided on Egypt as our vacation destination and were not disappointed: during the week we had around 26 to 27 degrees and plenty of sunshine every day. Sometimes there was a gentle breeze from the sea. You could get cold when you came out of the pool. But otherwise it was relatively windless, which was just perfect.

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Travel from Frankfurt to Marsa Alam

The journey was very relaxed, as we had deliberately opted for a direct flight from Frankfurt with Discover Airlines. Frankfurt Airport is only a 20-minute bus ride away from our home and the resort in Egypt was also only a 10-minute drive from the airport there. When looking for a good package deal, the criteria of direct flight, family hotel, short transfer time on site, all-inclusive and an acceptable price were important to us. We found the best offer and value for money at weg.de. The tour operator for the offer was schauinsland-reisen GmbH.

❖ Offers at weg.de

Our tip: When looking at the offers, make sure you check which airport in Egypt you are flying to! We had a lot of attractively priced offers for hotels in Marsa Alam – but with a direct flight to Hurghada. Here you have to reckon with another transfer time of 2.5 to 3 hours to Marsa Alam. After a 4-5 hour flight from Germany with children, you don’t want to sit in a transfer bus for that long again. It is therefore better to take a direct flight to Marsa Alam and enjoy the fact that you can be at your resort within 10 minutes 🙂

Of course, the Jaz Maraya Family Resort can also be booked as normal via Booking.com if you want to travel individually – and not as part of a package.

Once we arrived in Marsa Alam, a shuttle bus took us from the plane to the airport building. Many employees were already standing in the arrivals hall with signs and stands pointing out the various tour operators. We then went relatively quickly to the schauinsland-reisen counter, registered with our names and were able to purchase the Egyptian entry visa for our passport here too – for 30 EUR per person. Most travelers did the same, a small number queued at the bank counter and bought the visa there – for 25 USD per person. We then went to the immigration officials for a passport check before collecting our luggage from the baggage carousel. Once we had our luggage, it was screened again. In front of the airport building, further employees of the individual tour operators were waiting for the guests, who assigned the vacationers to the correct transfer buses. We had a very small transfer bus as there was only one other couple on it. So everything went very quickly and a few minutes later we were already on the road and a short time later we were at our resort. The handling of arriving holidaymakers is always very well organized in Egypt and it is very easy to find your way around.

The family hotel Jaz Maraya

The modern and stylish Jaz Maraya Family Resort is located directly by the sea in the picturesque Madinat Coraya. Marsa Alam International Airport is around four kilometers from the resort. The town of Marsa Alam is 70 kilometers away and Port Ghalib is 10 kilometers away.

The hotel complex was newly built between 2018 and 2019 and opened for the 2019 summer season. In the run-up to our trip, we read almost exclusively very good reviews about the resort on various booking portals and saw inviting pictures, so we quickly made our decision. And we were not disappointed. As soon as we arrived, we were able to take a look at the lounge, which is super modern and tastefully decorated. The design and modern ambience run through the entire hotel. We really liked the style!

Our family room

The Jaz Maraya Family Resort has a total of 202 rooms in various categories. We opted for a Kattas Deluxe family room when we booked. The room consists of two rooms with a connecting door to the parents’ bedroom and is equipped with a bunk bed for the children. The master bedroom is also equipped with a cozy sitting area, making it much more spacious and homely. We had a terrace with a view of the children’s playground. At first we didn’t like it (because of the noise), but in the end it was pretty cool because our daughter could go to the playground on her own while we were in the room.

In addition, the room is equipped with a shower/WC with free toiletries, closet, hairdryer, telephone, make-up mirror, individually controlled air conditioning, safe, tea/coffee maker, flat-screen TV and a minibar (for a fee). We were provided with two 1.5 liter bottles of water every day.

The beach

The Jaz Maraya Resort is located directly on the beach, but only has 2 very small bays. The majority of the site has no direct access to the stand and is located above the cliffs. However, you can reach the other beach sections on the right (at the Jaz Grand Marsa Hotel) and on the left at the Jaz Solaya and Jaz Lamaya Hotel via a beautifully landscaped broadwalk. These are a little prettier and more suitable for small children. But no matter which stretch of beach you choose, they all have one thing in common: crystal-clear water and a colorful underwater world 🙂

There are two Schnochel Piers in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, which can be reached on foot in just a few minutes. One is located directly on the beach section of the Jaz Grand Marsa and the other is in the bay at the level of the Jaz Samaya Hotel (map in Google Maps). There is always a lifeguard on the jetties to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that you can turn to them if you need help.

At the end of the pier, you can go snorkeling directly behind the reef and experience the colourful underwater world of the Red Sea. We didn’t have an underwater camera with us this time, but here you can find our report from diving on the house reef of Coraya Bay from 2016.

The pool area

The pool area of the Jaz Maraya Resort consists of two large pools – one is heated and has a temperature of around 27 degrees and the other pool is not heated and has a (freezing cold) 19 degrees. We actually only saw someone once in the unheated pool. This is something for the hot summer months. In February, most vacationers enjoyed the heated pool – including us 🙂

What we really liked about the pool was that the entrance was very shallow due to the very large, wide steps and the children could sit and splash around in it. The highlight for our older daughter was always a visit to the pool bar, where she got a cold drink – “we drink water in the water now” 🙂 – and sometimes even a crêpe.

A pool or beach towel is provided for each person in the room on arrival, which can be exchanged on request via the daily cleaning service.

The Kids Pool & the Splash Pad

There is a separate pool area for children at the Jaz Maraya Family Resort. The Kids Pool is somewhat hidden and sheltered from the wind between two buildings – in perfect proximity to the Kids Club. It is well equipped with an elephant slide, two water mushrooms and three octopus slides. There are plenty of loungers all around for relaxing, a large trampoline and toilets. There is no real bar here, but a small, mobile bar with a limited selection of drinks.

There is also a very cool splash pad with lots of water games near the main pools. The water is not permanently on, but is activated by a red button that the children can press themselves. The water features are very beautiful, but the water is really freezing cold. In very high, summery temperatures, this is definitely the perfect refreshment.

In addition to the splash pad, there is a large sandpit with a fixed sandcastle made of stone, a small football/billiards pitch, a dartboard and two blind hole game boards.

Kids Club & Playground

The Jaz Maraya Kids Club is located right next to the Kids Pool, which we found very convenient. It is usually open in the mornings and afternoons and offers various activities. With the English-speaking animation staff, you can do handicrafts, play games or do puzzles. Several times a week there is a mini disco outside the hotel grounds, which we also attended. A highlight of the week was the Kids Party, which took place next to the Splash Pad. There were circus-like performances, a clown and dance performances by various characters (such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse etc.) – and the icing on the cake was freshly made candy floss and popcorn for everyone at the end. Totally cool!

The large children’s playground with climbing frames, slides, swings and much more is located relatively centrally on the hotel grounds of the Jaz Maraya and directly in front of the main restaurant. The playground is beautifully designed and was always very well attended.

Food & Dining

When we booked the hotel, it was important to us that we had an all-inclusive offer, which means that we can eat around the clock, for example. Because if you have children, they can suddenly get hungry and you have to have something to eat within ten minutes 😉 It’s not quite that wild in our house, but it’s still good to have something on offer just in case and, above all, not to have to cook for a week.

The Jaz Maraya Resort has a buffet restaurant and an à la carte restaurant (Sea Horse) by the pool. We were in the main restaurant for every meal, because we really like buffets, as everyone can take what they want and have an appetite for. The range of dishes on offer is very varied. We didn’t like it at first because it is very Arabic in parts, but after a few meals we got used to it. Of course, there are also dishes such as chips, chicken nuggets, pizza and the salad bar is also very large. We definitely got our fill.

And for a snack in between meals, the Sea Horse Restaurant had a chest of pre-packed ice cream that you could help yourself to. Fresh crêpes, sweet treats and fruit were also offered at the pool bar in the afternoon.

The food on the buffet was presented every day with great attention to detail. On Valentine’s Day in particular, the chefs here outdid themselves and delivered a (red) buffet in a class of its own.

We really enjoyed our week at the Jaz Maraya Family Resort. We felt very comfortable in our room, the staff were all very friendly and the weather was also great.

Activities in Marsa Alam

If you are still looking for a suitable activity in Marsa Alam, then take a look at GetYourGuide. You will definitely find what you are looking for here!

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