Let’s think about something else than the uncertainty of this sucky situation we found ourselves in and let me tell you something more about my recent trip to Coral Beach in Egypt. It’s gonna be long, but it’s not like we all have something else to do now right?
It hits differently to reminisce about my last travel when travel is forbidden now. It was literally last minute trip in every sense possible, and if I knew it was the last time I’m traveling in a long time I won’t make any difference anyway cuz my vacation in Egypt was awesome.
I spend February 2020 in Egypt. It was a last-minute trip to a Coral beach Hurghada resort we found through a Czech travel agency. This hotel had beautiful photos online, just like any other Egypt resort. What made us choose this one was the great number of positive reviews on TripAdvisor.
It came as a bit of a surprise for us to find out, that the animation team and other staff asked us to leave a positive comment on the said website. Nothing wrong with that, sure.
What was shocking for me was that the income of people working there depends on the number of mentions in such positive reviews. No wonder there are so many reviews of the resort.
You can’t blame people for demanding reviews in order to secure themselves financially, but it does bring a question of credibility of those reviews.
So let’s keep it 100% real with name-calling and pointing fingers even if some feelings might get hurt.
Here is my Coral Beach Hurghada Resort review and what I learned about Egyptian men.
Don’t worry it’s been really cool.
We arrived early in the morning at around 7 am local time. First things first, we checked in, signed some paper with our names written incorrectly, and even our nationality was messed up. No one mentioned that throughout the whole duration of our trip. So I guess it doesn’t matter who’s name is checked in.
Shortly after checking in, we were told that our room would be ready in like 3-4 hours. That sucked.
But as we were 2 young white girls smiling at everyone, we got our room right after breakfast and a short walk around the resort. And that was just the first of our privileges.
Coral beach Hurghada resort is huge as fuck.
The hotel beach itself is 1,2km long and all along this line are shops, bars, swimming pools, diving centers, camel rides, jeep rides, doctor, pharmacy, supermarket, spa center, tennis courts, gardens, and more.
All of the guests stay at this cute little bungalows. I guess all of them look different from the inside, but we realized that on our last day when one lady was complaining that all of her furniture was old and smelled bad.
We were completely satisfied with our room. Each of us had a queen size bed and that was the only thing we actually used in our room besides the bathroom.
The bathroom was large with a bathtub but with just a shower curtain, so the water was all around the floor after every shower we took. We didn’t have any hotel shampoo or shower gel for the first 3 days. After the third day the guy who was cleaning our room and didn’t speak English at all, but greeted us so kindly every time he saw us anyway, ran after my friend and gave her plenty of shampoos.
Besides that, we had a tv in our room we never used or a telephone that rang just once on our last day to woke us up to catch our plane home.
Each room had its own fridge with a daily supply of drinking water, or even a safe we never used. We had a huge wardrobe even though I was dumping most of my clothes on a chair.
Each bungalow had its own terrace with a spectacular view overseas.
Our bungalow was like 5 minutes walk from the beach. 3 minutes to the closest pool where we spend most of our time. 4 minutes to the main building with reception, wifi, and dining room where food was served. Pretty good I would say considering the general size of the resort.
I guess we made a good first impression on a reception guy that gave us this room.
Our first impression was spectacular.
I am judging this holiday as a 24 years old single girl in a resort full of male staff with an enormous obsession with European women. Clearly, my experience could not be compared to the experience of a family staying in a Coral Beach or a couple staying at the resort.
From the first moment, we stepped into the resort everyone was incredibly friendly. Everyone was saying hi to us and making small talk.
People being nice is not something I am used to. And I know it’s what they’re supposed to do, to be nice to their guests and flirt with girls but it still felt great.
Since day one everyone tried to lure us to their shop to “just talk” meaning “please buy something”. From time to time we actually went in, just to see what happens, and felt super guilty for not buying anything. Nevertheless, the whole shopping is an experience on its own when Egyptians are involved.
Egyptians are incredible salesmen. Sometimes it’s too much. Some of them are too pushy, too into it and you feel cornered and lash out and it’s justified. They all know they stepped out of the line there and back out.
Even if it takes some convincing in the end they understand NO means NO.
Our usual day looked like this:
We would wake up around 8:30 and go to the breakfast that’s been serving from 7 am till 10 am. All of the all-inclusive food was served in a buffet form and there were a shit ton of options to choose from no matter your diet preferences.
Meat, dairy, vegetables, pastry, sweets. Toasts, donuts, pancakes, cereal, sausages, eggs, cheese, salads…
For me, breakfast was the best out of the 3 meals just because of my love for breakfast food.
Let’s move on to the breakfast drinks.
On the other side of the massive dining room were juice stands and coffee makers, but we very rarely went to those. All around to room were waiters ready to make all of your wishes come true. Literally. There would be 3-4 guys walking up to us every other minute asking if everything was ok, if we needed anything if we wanted something to drink, or just general small talk.
That’s where we met Mohamed.
23 years old Egyptian eager to befriend us and he did. He was so easygoing with his simple English, always joking around or just making funny faces to brighten our day. We were looking forward to seeing him every morning and lunch and when we didn’t we were actually worried. He grew on me because he was so innocent or at least he played that role really well.
Mohamed didn’t seem like he was used to flirting with the guests a lot. Every time he would see us talking with some other waiter or laughing with someone else you could see his hurt puppy eyes. Later on, he would question us on how many guys we were talking to at the resort because a lot of guys were talking about us. He was horrified when he found out we flirted back with almost everyone and trust me, there was a LOT of them.
Me and my friends took it as an easy holiday flirt, but once shit got serious we had to end things very clearly.
And oh boy did things get serious.
After breakfast, we would change into swimsuits and head to either pool or the beach.
Let’s dissect the pool first.
The main pool that was closest to the reception was where the animation program occur 2 times a day. It was a standard preheated pool, which we really appreciated on some windy days, with a shallow kids section and deeper swimming section. Our favorite part of the pool was the bar.
This bar served both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, coffee, ice cream, and snacks in a form of some pastry with cheese or ham. Besides that, there was a water tank where you could pour drinking water yourself.
At this particular bar worked Ahmed and Mustafa and I have a lot to say about those two.
Let’s start with a story of me and Mustafa.
Mustafa was this Egyptian waiter who spoke quite ok English and knew a few Czech words. One word he used on me a lot and it was “milacik” simply translated as a sweetheart. I was like ok, cheesy but it’s a vacation. He would joke around, make our drinks, a lot of drinks to be precise, and make compliments to me quite a lot. Nothing wrong with that, great confidence boost. I just wish he was not staring at my boobs that much but who could blame him, lol.
On one occasion when he was making drinks and compliments he would actually formally introduce himself. He then continued with a confession that he really likes me, I’m just his type, he doesn’t want to waste any more time and would like to ask me out for dinner tomorrow evening.
I started to feel like he might not be joking around anymore, but hell I was SURE he was saying the same line to every other girl at the bar. So with a little too many drinks in me, I didn’t give him a straight answer just joked around and flirted some more.
That led him on even more and he stepped up his game. He told me how serious he is about at every possible occasion. Once he started throwing around restaurants and his time schedule I realized he’s not joking and I felt so guilty for leading him on.
Now I was facing a tough decision.
How do I say no without crushing his ego?
I hate turning guys down. You could never guess the outcome and I might just have a terrible personal experience but it’s just a really scary thing to do.
So I said something along with “no thank you” and he was all like, “ok I accept and I won’t bother you again“.
Perfect reaction but I was so prematurely relieved.
Not a couple of minutes later he was bugging me again. He was telling nearby guests to convince me to go out with him, that I am his sweetheart, even shit like he wants to marry me and they are invited to our wedding and just genuine peer pressure. Surely we all laughed, but that didn’t seem like he’s not bothering me at all.
By the end of the night, I said no a couple of more times and each time with less and less smile, fuck being polite.
The next day he would say how sad he is every time he saw me. How heartbroken he is that he can’t make a drink for me. Slowly over the remaining days of our stay at Coral beach, Mustafa would ignore me and my friend, refuse to do drink for us or even look in our direction.
Talk about a fragile men’s ego.
So that’s when Mustafas co-worked Ahmed stepped up and started making drinks for us. From the beginning, he was all laughs and compliments as well.
A couple of days in he asked my friend for a selfie and that was a straight no.
We were well aware that Egyptian boys tend to take photos with white Europeans, post it on a specific website, and brag about banging them. That was not going to be us.
Ahmed tried to ask for a photo couple of more times and after refusal, he followed the same steps as Mustafa. Ignoring us and refusing to make drinks for us.
To be fair it wasn’t that bad.
Every time we lost one guy, 3 would come our way eager to flirt with us.
Some would keep it PG13. Like Hasan from the beach bar. Hasan definitely made the best cocktails of them all, spoke the best English, and was the kindest of them all. He always looked way better than the rest with his fancy belts, rings, and branded t-shirts. The way he spoke to us screamed: “I have a girlfriend I love very much but I like talking to interesting people and I love my job”.
Coral Beach has one of the prettiest beaches I ever saw. Maybe it was the lack of people in February or the constant cleaning of the workers, but it was just amazing. There was easy access to the sea, with some bigger stones around but nothing terrible. It was a beautiful bay where tourists boats would anchor, surrounded by half islands with Beach chairs and umbrellas all over.
Judging by the name of the resort Coral beach, it’s pretty obvious the resort has access to the beautiful corals and I talked more about that in my Snorkeling in Coral Beach was no Fun.
We would chill at the beach and every 15 minutes we would say “Hello” “Good and you” “No Thanks” “You too” at a bypasser trying to sell us something.
There was this guy I forgot the name of already who would do smoothies and fresh juices and who would flirt with us shamelessly.
One day he brought me flowers and that was the day I had to stop giving him so much attention.
Animators would keep us entertained for the whole day. Me and my friend were perfect guests and attend every animation program they would offer.
In the morning we would do stretching. Usually with a group of people but more often than not, we would be the only ones there.
After a couple of minutes of drinking at the bar, we would do belly dancing with a sexy scarf in front of every hotel guest and making it worth their stares. Another activity we would attend would be fitness in the water, something like aerobics, darts, volleyball, ping-pong, Zumba, billiard, and our favorite activity yoga. Yoga would be the last activity of the day and even though we tried to drink in moderation doing yoga drunk as fuck is such fun.
Let me tell you about an animator named Mina.
We came to know him when we were looking for a place where yoga was starting and since that, we were inseparable. Mina was super fun and easy to talk to, he spoke perfect English, he was local so he told us a lot about Hurghada in general or about the Egyptian culture. He would check on us every couple of hours and with him, it didn’t feel like just small talk. We became friends.
Until the moment he followed us on Instagram, messaged my friend, and confessed his genuine interest in her. Everything was fun and games. He wouldn’t acknowledge his cheesy and cheeky messages he sends her on the internet in real life which was weird. He became super eager and pushy so she had to put an end to it.
Guys, if you think your pick-up lines are not discussed in a girls group chats you are terribly mistaken. In this case, we would sit on a couch and try to formulate the breakup text in a most gentle form.
Just like with Mustafa he was like “no worries, I want you to enjoy your vacation“, but since that text, we lost him as a friend. Since the text he would just smile at us from afar, wave, be super polite but keeping a distance, doing small talk but always hurrying somewhere and that really sucked. We could see the hurt in his eyes and that sucked even more cuz we missed his energy. Always smiling, always vibing. We missed that.
It sucks he had to catch feelings.
By the evening time of our daily routine, we would pack out things and head to our bungalow to take a shower and prepare for dinner and night programs. We would always come into the freshly cleaned bungalow.
There was this one time we locked ourselves out and it’s quite a ridiculous story.
So it was our last day at the Coral beach and we would do some souvenir shopping. We went to this small jewelry shop at the beach and there was this cool old guy who would tell us stories about his son studying medicine in Russia. He sold oriental bracelets and we picked a couple of them to give to our friends and family.
As we were not carrying money with us all day we headed to our bungalow and from afar we noticed our bungalow door was open. Once we got closer we realized the guy I mentioned before, the one who didn’t speak English but always smiled and watched us from afar, was cleaning our room as we were about to enter it.
We tried to explain to him that it would be just a minute but it was pretty useless so we just grabbed the money and headed out.
But my friend needed to use a bathroom.
The electricity in the bungalows worked only when the key was stuck in the wall port so that’s what I did.
Stucked the key in the wall.
Once we were ready we just headed back and left the door open as the guy was waiting for us to leave so he could finish up his cleaning.
Key stuck firmly in the wall.
In like 4 hours we were getting back and desperately throwing everything out of our beach bags to find our missing key. The reality hit us pretty quickly so we lowered our heads and headed to the reception to explain the situation.
The receptionist was super cute and I have never had a guy listen to me so intensely and having such captivating eyes. That eye contact still gives me chills when I remember it.
So I explained how we got locked out and his first reaction was “well done” with a smirk and that cracked me up. Cutiepie continued to ask some more questions, more of a personal nature, and complimenting my English before he made a few phone calls. After a couple of minutes, we headed back to wait for our rescue that was supposed to be in front of our apartment in 5 minutes.
15 minutes later we were getting cold and frustrated without any help in sight.
We were supposed to be packing for our morning flight and we had a very busy schedule of saying goodbye to all of our new friends.
25 minutes later a guy comes by and asks if we need help.
I explain the situation and ask if he’s the one we’ve been waiting for.
The Egyptian guy just smiles and picks up his phone and types something in. Suddenly he points his phone and me and I see the google translator app so I start talking, so the guy can understand me. Once we’re on the same page he just smiles and says “no problem” and that’s when the golf car comes in carrying 2 other guys.
Once again I explain the situation and one of our saviors victoriously picks up the key and goes for it.
Few embarrassing seconds later we find out he took the wrong key. He turns to me and my friend with a crooked smile and says: “one moment” and starts up the golf car again and disappears in the distance.
So we sat back to the cold stairs in front of our bungalow and curse our luck.
Another 10 crushing minutes later the guys bring back the right key and open up our door.
My one big regret is the fact I didn’t meet my receptionist prince sooner. We exchanged a few more glances and smiles that night but sadly, that was it.
Dinner at Coral Beach was always exquisite.
There were a couple of “normal” dishes along with the special themed ones. For example the seafood theme, Indian food, Japanese cuisine, grill, and many more. The dinner time would be the most crowded in the dining hall but once again, we had our friends taking care of us.
There was this big tall guy whose name I forgot, mainly because he had eyes for my friend only. He would stop her by and confess his attraction to her one day and didn’t stop trying to get her, till the end of our last day there. Every time he would ask us for our drinks preferences for the night he would ask my friend only and be gone by the time I open my mouth.
Thankfully he would bring me the same drink my friend ordered every time so that was cool.
After dinner, we would sit in the lounge to catch wifi, post some photos on Instagram, message home that we’re safe but mostly drink cocktails and chat with animators.
Around 9 pm the program would start and all of the guests would gather up and watch the show. There was an acrobat show, live singer, fire show, belly dancer, fakir show, dance show, and many more. Some better than the other but it was always a nice distraction.
After the show, the animators and the guests would head out of the resort for disco and I have a few things to say about that as well.
We were 2 young girls on our own in Hurghada.
I’m not into a disco but even if I were, my trust issues have trust issues and there is no way in hell I would leave a secure resort and leave with a people I just met and go to a disco in a foreign country in the middle of the night.
But every single day most of the animators would try and convince us to come with them. It was super annoying. They would brag about it at every chance they got.
Everything clicked in place once we found out they work on commission. They have to bring as many people to the disco, sell them the tickets and they get to keep like a 1$ out of the sale. A day’s work for 1$ per person and there were not many people in Egypt in February.
After like 4 days they realize they are not going to convince us to pay 15$ to leave the resort.
Sure it’s holidays and I’m young but I have my limits.
Once the whole animation team realized we don’t trust them the big boss stepped up.
The boss of the animation team Mohamed was this big guy who was the only unfriendly and rude person we met through this whole holiday. He wouldn’t smile at us even if his life depends on it. Not once did he say hi to us first. He would walk around with his head up high, just watching us, never approaching and even his stares were deadly like we did something horrible to him.
So suddenly, one night he comes up to us and tells us, with a straight face, that we can trust him cuz he’s been doing this for 8 years. He told us we’ll be safe and he’s willing to take us there for free.
If a stranger approaches me, begs me to trust him, and offers my free ride to some disco club in a foreign town, I have no reason not to trust him, right?
I know I need to start trusting people, but that was not the day.
Safe to say Mohamed disliked us even more after this nigh.
Let me tell you about our dentist friend.
Among one of the shops around the Coral beach area was the fashion boutique owned by an Egyptian guy we befriended but never learned his name. He was different from the rest of the Egyptians because he studied in the Czech republic just as we did.
His approach was more European. If you want something from his shop, he’s not gonna lure you in, you come at your own free will.
We would sit in his shop, drink date tea, and talk about anything. The saddest part was that even when he finished up his studies, he’s a legitimate dentist and would earn a fortune by working in his field of study he just can’t. He never got a visa to work abroad so he sells clothes in Hurghada. He keeps applying for a visa every chance he gets for over 10 years and his hope is so inspiring.
Our dentist friend would teach us Arabic phrases we needed the most. Phrases like: “That’s enough boy”, “Can I get a drink?” or “I’m not your sweetheart”.
One day we actually left the resort with a bunch of hotel people and hotel guards to visit Hurghada downtown.
It was terrible.
The trip was free and took part at around noon. We met these sweet Czech ladies who could be our mums but they were really cool mums so we convinced them to take this trip with us.
Us and around 5 more residents were placed into this old, rusty, smelly minibus and headed out. It took us around 20 minutes on a hot stinky bus to get to our final destination and I started to realize what an adventurous trip this was going to be.
I was fascinated by the Hurghada traffic in general. No road lines. No signs. Everyone keeps honking all the time.
Just go for it. No one cares.
We were told to hide our hotel all-inclusive bracelets we were carrying on, so no one could follow us back. That was the first hint that things would get freaky.
We got a map of where we can go and where not to go and we got like an hour and a half to shop around Hurghada city.
No pedestrians crossing whatsoever and when a group of 4 females steps to the end of the road preparing to run across it to the other side, at least 3 cars stop by offering to take them wherever.
We couldn’t get a minute alone. From every single shop, men would come up to our faces and corner us, block our way, and try to convince us to come to their shop. Some would catcall from afar and some would even go as far as actually touching you and dragging you in. They would try to push their products like cigarettes directly to your hands. One guy would keep asking how much euros was in his hands and there were just so many of them.
That was one scary hour.
We visited some shops but more importantly, we were looking forward to our ride back home.
All of the city was super dirty, smelly, all you could hear was the honking of the cars. It was terrible.
Needless to say, we never met any Egyptian woman out there.
In general, we had a great time. There were plenty more guys trying to shot their shot by ridiculously blocking our way or whistling like a pair of teenagers. Those are the ones that didn’t get a second glance.
I was taken by the honesty and easy approach of the Egyptians.
Who the hell say exactly what they’re thinking? Where are the mind games? Manipulation? Misleading hints?
I just wish European men would take the same approach.
I like you. Do you like me?
It’s that easy and even as it came as a shock to me at first, it was so refreshing.
If I get to describe Egyptian men I one word it would be loving.
Sure, I know it was their job description to be nice to the guests but I believe there is just so much a person can pretend. Fake it till you make it.
The whole “life is too short so love with all your heart” approach is so inspiring yet intimidating. It felt like a different world out there.
At the same time, how can someone be so open to love?
How can you jump from person to person and fall for someone new every time?
Getting hurt over and over again and still continue to try.
Is that courageous or crazy? That’s not up to me to judge.
All I can say is that no place made me feel so seen, so appreciated, and relaxed as Coral Beach did.
I really hope all of the people I met there are safe and once this whole mess is done I’ll be more than happy to return to Coral Beach. We would all need a little of the love Egyptians provide.