I have been asked to write a review so here it is [this is my personal opinion only and I have worked extremely hard to be able to stay in the best resorts across the world]: It’s my seventh excursion into Egypt, and second time in Hurghada and the Oberoi Sal Hasheesh is the best hotel I have come across in Egypt. I was planning on giving up Egypt for sun and looking to the Middle East, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha for mid-haul luxury accommodation but the Oberoi may just have swayed me and I would visit a second time if I get desperate for sun again.
As other people have mentioned, Hurghada is not exactly an attractive place but as a sun seeker, I had no real interest in visiting Hurgahda which makes the Oberoi’s isolated location special (approx. 25mins drive). Personally, I felt I was in the Caribbean as opposed to Egypt as the hotel décor and architecture looks much more colonial than Egyptian. The complex is set across an enclosed coastal resort in the style of most luxurious competitors, such as the Banyan Tree, Anantara, Rosewood, etc. There is security at the main gate off the main road and your car has to pass security, drive up a long drive and into the hotel grounds.
On arrival, I was disappointed. The wow factor just wasn’t there and the entrance and lobby was too small. I felt like I was rocking up to my friend’s house. After check-in, I was taken to my Grand Suite by golf buggy and dropped off. Really didn’t like it. I felt like I was in an aparthotel studio with the convenience of private pool outside. Whilst the suite was pleasant enough I wouldn’t be happy stuck in a bland, white walled studio apartment/ villa for ten days. The pool itself felt soulless with just a pool surrounded by white walls and no vegetation, and I didn’t like the compact layout with having the bed two metres from the living room and TV area with no partition to separate the areas. I am sure the suite is more than adequate for others but it didn’t do it for me.
Managed to check-out and check-in to the Royal Suite. I was advised the best Royal suite is 402 situated on the beach. I agree, the best Royal suite is definitely on the beach in addition to the two Grand suites and one duplex suite on the beach. The hotel complex starts on a hill where the main reception is located with villas and suites working their way downwards to the beach and sea. On one side of Royal suite sits a Duplex suite and this connects to the Royal suite so the Royal suite could expand to a 2 bed suite if necessary. There are two or three Grand suites connected to the Royal suite on the other side and these four suites/ villas (401-404) are the only properties on the beach. The suite has amazing views. On one side is the internal courtyard and private pool and on the other side you can see the beach and sea which is two metres from the front door. Suggest you look at the suites/ villas on the Oberoi website to get a feel.
The Royal suite is twice as large as the Grand with separate kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom, two bathrooms, pool, courtyard, and pavilion for al fresco dining. Still not amazed by the suite as it was looking a bit tired and the kitchen needed a real deep clean, but overall, much happier knowing I would spend ten days in larger accommodation.
Hotel specifics: Built in 2000, the hotel does look remarkably well maintained on the exteriors and I often saw painter decorators working on empty properties. The hotel was running at 25% occupancy so exclusivity and privacy worked well and I would probably see 4 other humans at most per day (excluding staff) which is exactly what I like. Complimentary WiFi as standard with individual routers in every suite ensures you have a stable connection although I did have a few minor connectivity issues.
Being a real food monster, I have struggled with food from so called five star Egyptian hotels being somewhat lacklustre and not really tasting quite right. However, the Oberoi really does come out tops for Egypt. The food was a real unanticipated but nice surprise as the standard and quality of food was good. I also found the prices for food to be extremely reasonable. Major pluses for me: all Grand and Royal suites have the option of having breakfast delivered to the suites in the morning (at a time of your choice), free of charge. That’s a special service and I am yet to come across this option anywhere else in the world.
Lunch is not allowed to be served at the beach area due to hygiene reasons but if you are staying in a beach property it really is very easy to go back to the suite to dine and then come back out to the beach. If lying on the beach, the towels and beds are tended to promptly and you will receive complimentary water and factor 25 sun cream, which I thought was a very nice and personal touch.
I used the Spa and really enjoyed my treatments. Again, I thought the services provided represented excellent value for money and the Thai therapists were a) actually Thai b) really well trained and happy and friendly. Unfortunately, the hotel committed a cardinal sin of placing the small gym onto the spa so if you are having treatment, you have to hope nobody is working out and making grunting noises or pounding the treadmill. Kind of defeats the peace and serenity one is trying to achieve. The gym is small and basic and if you’re into the new HIIT training routines, there is unfortunately no studio space so best to borrow a mat and work out in your suite/ villa. Also had the pleasure of using the hairdresser which was an experience…
Staff are all friendly and dedicated and I particularly enjoyed using the hotel limousine service. Again, fantastic value for money with a return trip to Hurghada with one hour waiting time approx. 150LE. I often used the driver to go to the malls and he can wait for additional hours at 20LE per hour so it’s a real bargain in my opinion. You have the choice of two mercs, low and high range but I found the low range C class Kompressor to be more than adequate to get about without drawing too much attention. If you are offered private transfers with your travel agent, I would rather contact the hotel directly to ask for a pick up and drop off as it will be cheaper and in a nicer vehicle.
If you get ill, the hotel has a doctor who will visit but this is a paid service. 35Euros for a consultation, 15 Euros for the outcall and xEuros for medicine. The doc will provide an authorised invoice slip which you have to pay onsite but can claim back via insurance.
Finally, the complex isn't that big although a golf buggy service is available and prompt. Request a beach property unless you have mobility issues, and enjoy the sun.
Select a beach property (Rm 401-404)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 15, 2013
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Thank you for your detailed review of our resort and for considering us the best hotel in Egypt. I am pleased that overall you enjoyed your stay at the resort and are considering to return at a later date. Thank you for personal feedback on the design and location of the suites and the product in general. It is nice to note that you enjoyed the food at our resort. We do have future plans of renovating our spa and gymnasium. In the interim, our Thai therapists do provide the best holistic experience.
Please contact me personally once you decide to return and I once again thank you for your valuable feedback.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.