I flew back from this hotel on the 21st October after a week stay as a single traveller. Before I get into my review I would say that it's a 4 star but this in Egypt at best means take off a star to get an idea of what to expect. This hotel is no different; I'd also say that expectations of staying here may vary depending on whether or not you got a good deal on this accommodation. It's a hotel that has so much potential but is just missing a number of things that fundamentally changes your stay.
On arrival I was dealt with in a reasonable time...no welcome drink and the guy behind the desk rattled through then breakfast, lunch and dinner was. Don't expect to find any information in your room so it's worth taking note.
The first room...yes I saw more than one. This room was quite fresh but the air conditioning rattled as though there was on it's last legs although it didn't look particularly old. The bellboy rang down to reception but the phone didn't work. He had to use his mobile to get a response and another room. The second room shown had a slightly less noisy air con and the bathroom didn't have a shower curtain. But what you will find is that the bathrooms look as though they were rushed.
It took at least 24 hours or more to et a shower curtain and a further 12 hours before they came to fix the air con unit. The toilet seemed to breakdown on a regular basis and it was at times pot luck as to how quickly it would be fixed. I even had a situation whereby I was told that I may have to move rooms again due to a leak in the room below... you couldn't make it up.
Still at least I wasn't one of those who were asked to stay in their suite room with another guest for a night as the room booked wasn't ready. Yes you couldn't make it up but I spoke to a guest who was asked to do just that.
I’ll do a Good, BAD and Not So Great on the main high and low lights of this hotel.
* Friendly staff and Omar behind the bar is always happy to help.
* Little things like luminous light switches and a small clothes line on your balcony.
* Beach is only yards from the hotel and is part of it's property.
* You now get a 1.5 litre bottle of water per room at lunch, one with dinner & another one left in your room.
* Animation team try to do stuff despite the lack of people around as many are there for diving and diving alone. Beach volleyball at 4pm is a must although as the beach is ultimately rocks covered a deep layer of sand. The court is in desperate need of being raked out to get rid of the stones.
* Free shuttle bus into town.
* Some effort into keeping the grounds in fairly good shape.
* Beds are comfortable.
* Sheets on bed are normally clean but stains are sometimes on them; more industrial that bodily if that makes sense.
* Towels are old and tired; I even saw a guy with piles of what looked like clean/old towels piled up on the floor. A few days before I left they suddenly had a few new towels thrown in. So new in fact they hadn't been washed so when you used them you ended up with lint all over you.
* All inclusive isn't quite all inclusive. In fact the worst example of this was a beach party where they were charging guests for drinks unless you got them back in the hotel bar.
* Food had some variation but at times many dishes were salty and some of the salads and all of the deserts were not covered. In a time of year where there are a lot of flies (but no mosquitoes) it leads to potential to get a touch of Ramesis Revenge (upset tummy or worse).
* Glasses and cups were not always washed with hot soapy water and so only rinsed out.
* Drinks given in small cups so STRONGLY RECOMMEND taking a plastic pint cup with you.
* As ever be weary of having ice in your drinks as ever.
NOT SO GREAT
* Shuttle bus to town in the evening came back at around 11pm.
* There was a water leak through a light fitting right by some of the salads and all that was done was a bucket put under it to catch the drips for days. In fact when I left it still didn’t look like it had been fixed.
* The occasional run away camel roaming the beach front and as times the repeated procession of little boys riding a number of camels back on forth just yards from the sun loungers on the beach.
* A sizeable proportion of guest are Russian who tend to keep themselves to themselves but do come across as quite arrogant & rude. Maybe it’s a cultural thing between Europeans and Russian states. It didn’t affect me as met some lovely people whilst there.
* Always felt the hotel was understaffed and those there were working ridiculously long hours. And despite that most of them still strived to do their best that they could. Again Omar must get praise here in particular.
* On site shop, as in most hotel shops to be fair, sell things higher than you’d find in the town. For example post cards were sold there for 5 Egyptian pounds (they were tired looking too). And yet in town you can get them for 2 Egyptian pounds.
* There is only 1 restaurant and not all that much else so don’t believe anything else that you may be told or read up on it. Anything you may want to eat or order away from the meal times has to be paid for.
In all it’s a hotel that has a way to go for me to say I’d recommend it and I’m sure if you were diving you’d not notice much of what was around you. Or indeed if you’ve not travelled much or been to Egypt before you may take things as the norm. But I have to say taking into account the challenges of any hotel in a hot climate there is still a lot to be done for me to recommend it. But when those things are addressed it could be a lovely place to stay for a week.
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