Known for the Great Pyramids of Giza, the intricate tombs of the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, and the meandering Nile River, Egypt is without a doubt one of the best countries to visit in Africa. But what many people don’t realize is that Egypt is also home to stunning beaches and spectacular scuba diving.
Situated on the banks of the Red Sea, Hurghada is the ultimate tourist vacation destination. Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will love the warm sea, colorful coral, and crystal clear water. And thrill seekers will want to take a quad through the massive desert surrounding Hurghada or take a turn at Egypt’s largest wakeboard cable park.
Anyone craving a relaxing, sunny vacation spent lounging by the pool will love Jaz Aquaviva, an all-inclusive resort in Madinat Makadi!
Where to Stay in Hurghada: Jaz Aquaviva
Jaz Aquaviva is a premier all-inclusive resort just a short shuttle bus ride away from a beautiful sandy beach in Madinat Makadi. This large, modern resort has it all! Stunning heated pools, an attentive and friendly staff, and gorgeous views of the sea are just a few of the luxuries that are waiting for you.
Guests will love to spend their days lounging at one of the pristine pools while sipping refreshing cocktails or trying out the action-packed water sports available at the nearby beach. A day spent cruising around on a motorboat and stopping to dive or snorkel while surrounded by colorful fish makes for a fun adventure outside of the resort.
Families will love that Egypt’s largest water park, Makadi Water World, is located inside of Jaz Aquaviva and only steps away from their room. Kids can enjoy their own area with tamer rides and even adults will love the thrilling water slides!
It’s also the perfect venue for large family gatherings or weddings as everyone can find something to entertain them at this massive resort!
Packing for Hurghada
You’ll want to pack for sunny skies, poolside lounging, and outdoor excursions. While most of Egypt is fairly conservative and women are expected to cover their knees and shoulders, this is not the case in resorts that cater to tourists. You needn’t worry about covering up while vacationing at Jaz Aquaviva. Don’t forget to pack:
- A swimsuit, brimmed hat, sunscreen, and a cover-up for days spent lounging at the pool.
- Diving in the Red Sea is world class so make sure you bring your scuba diving equipment. Alternatively, if you’re not a big diver you may just want to bring snorkeling gear.
- Tennis shoes and workout clothes for the fitness center or tennis courts.
- Dresses, slacks, and button-up shirts for evenings spent dining in the resort restaurants or enjoying the nightly entertainment.
Hurghada is on the coast of the Red Sea in Eastern Egypt. The airport in Hurghada offers regular international and domestic flights. Buses from Luxor run daily or you can hire a private driver for around 900 LE for a standard-sized car or 1200-1500 LE for a van to accommodate 3 or more. Keep in mind that drivers must obtain permission to transport tourists to and from Hurghada so your driver will need at least 24-hours notice.
Jaz Aquaviva is located about 30 minutes south of Hurghada, in Madinat Makadi. It’s easy to catch a taxi from the airport for about 200 LE.
Jaz Aquaviva has 487 rooms and guests can choose from Superior Rooms, Family Rooms, or Suites depending on their preference. Regardless of your room choice, you’ll love the modern decor, comfortable bedding, and views of the resort from the comfort of your spacious balcony.
If you want to really spoil yourself, opt for a swim-up room which offers direct access to a heated pool shared by just a handful of other guests.
Our room overlooked the “quiet pool”, meaning that there was no music or activities going on there. Simply pure uninterrupted relaxation. We spent our mornings sipping coffee while relaxing on our balcony and watching the resort come to life. It absolutely the best way to start the day!
Resort Attractions and Amenities
Jaz Aquaviva is an all-inclusive resort meaning that breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Main Restaurant, snacks at the various resort bars, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are included in the price of your room. Guests may opt to dine at the à la carte restaurants or consume top shelf liquor for an additional cost. The resort attractions and amenities include:
- 11 pools including 3 private swim-up pools, 3 kids pools, and 1 adults-only pool. Some pools are heated, others are not.
- A couples-only rooftop pool – the best place to relax and recharge without the fear of being interrupted by children splashing nearby.
- Regular shuttle service to and from the beach and the city center.
- Makadi Water World – Egypt’s largest water park that is fun for any age! Offering 50 different water slides, this is not just an attraction for kids. We couldn’t get enough of the slides and spent an entire morning trying them all out. The “Turbulance Slide” was our favorite but it’s not for the faint of heart.
- Water sports – the resort’s private beach offers opportunities ranging from windsurfing to scuba diving and can be arranged through your friendly hotel staff.
- Pool aerobics – if you are going to keep that pool body while eating at a buffet 3 times a day, you may want to get a work out in. Channel your inner Richard Simmons and dive in for classic resort-style pool aerobics!
- Tennis court – rackets are available for rent so that guests can enjoy a game of tennis in this ideal resort setting.
- Beach volleyball – open for any guests to enjoy at any time!
- Fitness center – 4 treadmills, free weights, and other fitness equipment will help you to work off those mai tais!
- Sauna, steam room, and massage services available – treat yourself to an indulgent afternoon enjoying the resort spa.
- Babysitting services – so you can enjoy unencumbered adult relaxation time!
- A galleria of shops – don’t forget to pick up souvenirs for your friends and family back home.
Jaz Aquaviva has 10 restaurants and bars offering diverse dining options. These options include:
- Main Restaurant – start each day with a delectable breakfast buffet in the Main Restaurant. Freshly baked croissants, fresh fruit, made-to-order omelets, and a variety of jams, cheeses, honey, and yogurt are just a few of the options you’ll find here. Lunch in the Main Restaurant includes all varieties of international cuisine and the dinner buffet is a rotating menu. Regardless of your taste, everyone will find something to enjoy at the Main Restaurant!
- Rooftop Pool Bar – this adults-only pool offers stunning views of the resort all the way to the Red Sea. The attentive waitstaff will make sure your glass is always filled with your alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage of choice (after all, you’re at an all-inclusive!). Salads, sandwiches, and burgers are available for order in the bar/restaurant adjoining the pool.
- Lobby Bar – we found ourselves here every night for pre-dinner cocktails and after-dinner entertainment. Karaoke, live bands, and whirling dervishes will keep you entertained for hours each evening. Plus the Lobby Bar is open 24 hours a day so you never have to worry about ‘last-call’.
- The Food Court – situated just off the main pool this is an ideal spot to grab lunch for kids and families.
- Patisserie – the perfect spot to satisfy your sweet tooth.
You’ll also find à la carte restaurants inside of Jaz Aquaviva. We recommend Paprika Restaurant which offers delicious Italian fare. Make sure you try the beef filet in pepper sauce with garlic mashed potatoes, it’s seasoned to perfection! To complete your Egyptian experience stick around after dinner for a shisha (for an additional charge of 50 LE) and tea at the lounge next door.
If you opt for the “Dine Around” program you can sample the fare at other fabulous restaurants nearby. Just prepay for dinner vouchers at select restaurants and they will take care of everything so that your table is waiting for you when you arrive.
Tipping at the Resort
At Jaz Aquaviva you’ll generally have the same helpful staff attending to your every need during meals and in the resort bars. You can tip while you go if you’d like or wait for the end of your vacation. A few dollars per person per day for your waitstaff, your bartenders, and your housekeeper should suffice.
In and Around Hurghada
You’ll have an amazing time in Hurghada even if you decide to never leave the resort. But if you’re looking to venture out, here are a few great things to do in Hurghada:
Diving in the Red Sea
Did you know that Egypt is actually one of the best countries in the world for scuba diving? The Red Sea is renown for having colorful coral and crystal clear water. There are world-class diving sight located just off the coast of Hurghada as well as dozens of liveaboard dive boats in Egypt. It’s also the ideal place for anyone looking to get their PADI certification.
We chose to try a beginner dive in the morning and snorkeling in the afternoon. Even in December we found the water to be comfortably warm! We were lucky to spot lion fish, spotted rays, barracuda and lots of other unique underwater creatures. We even heard tales of whale shark sightings in the Red Sea!
If you’re into diving make sure you check out this guide to scuba diving in Egypt!
Other Activities in Hurghada
- Go off-roading in the desert – there are several options for visiting the massive desert outside of Hurghada depending on whether you prefer cruising in a jeep with an experienced driver or piloting your own quad bike. Trips can be arranged in the mornings or evenings and typically include stops at local Bedouin villages, soaking in beautiful sunsets, and stargazing.
- Take a day trip to Luxor – Luxor can be reached in about 3-4 hours from Madinat Makadi. We would recommend spending at least 3 days in Luxor as there are so many amazing temples to explore. But if you’re pressed for time you can take a day trip and see the highlights. Hiring a private car and driver will give you the most flexibility or there are several options for groups tours.
- Sliders Cable Park – one of the world’s largest cable parks is located just 25 minutes north of Hurghada in El Gouna. This is a must-do if you love wakeboarding, or, if you are new to the sport they offer lessons and intro packages.
- Go shopping at the Souk Makadi – visit the shopping center with over 145 shops and outlets.
- Play a round of golf – if golf is your sport-of-choice, then you’re in luck because Madinat Makadi boasts a championship 18-hole golf course in a gorgeous setting just minutes away from Jaz Aquaviva!
So what are you waiting for? We’ll see you in Hurghada! (Just look for us by the pool sipping daiquiris…)
Planning a visit to Egypt? Check out our favorite books!