At first we were somewhat disappointed by what is said to be the number 1 hotel in Sharm el Sheik. We’d chosen a super deluxe room and were allocated a ground floor room: something we hate. In addition, the patio was very close to the noisier of the two swimming pools and adjacent to the kiddies club. We were moved the following day to an identical room of the floor above (240).
The room didn’t have what I describe as the ‘wow’ factor not helped by horrible beige blankets that need replacing with bright modern duvets. However, as the week wore on, we were won round as it had everything we needed, it worked and was in the right place. For example, opening the room safe didn’t require me to get down on hands and knees, the shower was powerful, with consistently hot water and didn’t flood the well stocked bathroom, the sink plug didn’t leak, the electrical socket at the desk was in the ideal position for my lap top and two chairs and a table were great for playing our nightly game of chess.
Food was excellent and my waistline was pleased, that unlike most guests, our package was not all inclusive package. All meals were buffet style which I’m normally not a fan of, but they were done so well and there was so much choice, with none of the dreaded queues, that I became converted.
Breakfasts had a wide range of hot and cold food but after a bowl of fabulous fruit, I quickly became hooked on a meze platter of tahini, baba ganoush, hummus and salads which varied each day. Themed dinners came from around the world: Russian, French, Oriental, African etc., but there was always the ubiquitous salad and pasta bar. The staff were equally as good as the food with professional, friendly service. Despite notices that ‘gentlemen require long pants’ in the restaurant, this was not the case. There are also two a la carte restaurants, where half board guests get 25% discount, but we liked the buffets so much, we didn’t feel the need to try them.
The hotel has a beach and two pools, and there is a range of activities: stretching, water gym, water and beach volley ball and body toning. I’m afraid the most stretching I did, was on my sun bed. Fruit is brought round twice a day, towels are laid out for you and sunglasses cleaned. We didn’t try the programme of evening entertainment in the ballroom, but at the weekly cocktail party, the managers were really keen to listen to our views on the hotel.
The weather was very mixed during our two weeks in March with overcast skies, cloud, hot and humid sun, hot and dry sun – but it was invariably windy. On our final morning, we had to retreat inside to avoid being sand blasted on the beach.
So what didn’t I like? The hotel is situated high above Naama Bay with little surrounding it although there is a free shuttle bus five times a day into the town (although during the day, we walked in about 30 minutes through Genena City Shopping Mall). The tiered beach is man made and getting into the sea involves walking along a wibbly-wobbly pontoon and then climbing down swimming pool style steps. Getting in was easier than getting out!