We went on holiday to the Sentido part of the resort for 8 days between 28th September and 6th October. As we expected, the weather was absolutely perfect, wall to wall sunshine the whole time we were there. We planned on doing not a lot while we were away...and that's exactly what we did.
Upon arrival (we didn't book as part of a package), we were collected from the entrance in a golf buggy and taken to the reception where we were immediately met with a welcome drink and ice cold towel...a good start. We checked in without any problems (always a worry when you book independently) and a kind lady gave us an overview of the resort. We were then taken to our room (2109). The room itself was immaculate and of a large size with a king size bed, seating area and clean bathroom with walk in shower. We were on the ground floor which was fab because we were literally able to walk out of our room to the pool - if you get the chance, do use it because it is idyllic (long and thin, perfect for those calorie burning lengths, but also quiet and very well kept by the pool boy who laid out towels for us each morning and put up our parasol).
The resort is large with two separate parts - the Sentido part and the Reef Oasis part. Not to come across snobby, but if you have the opportunity, definitely do go for Sentido. It is quieter, situated far enough from the crowds and entertainment, but it generally had a much nicer boutique feel. The main restaurant, Mo's was lovely, particularly in the evening, where there was a selection of outdoor tables with plenty of mood lighting. The food, however, while better than most all inclusive resorts was a bit hit and miss at times...the beef teriyaki on the first Friday night we were there was to die for, the same the following week however was more like something you would expect from school dinners. Also, where there were theme nights, the food options didn't tend to compliment each other, for example, on the Asian night there was only 1 or 2 Asian dishes and everything was pretty much the same as every other night. That aside, there was lots of lovely salads to choose from, freshly cooked bread, and freshly squeezed orange/mango/strawberry juice (for breakfast).
There were many other restaurants that we visited during our stay - Cactus Bar (lovely meat cooked on your own personal BBQ), Patio Bar (sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and ice cream when we could fit it in at lunch), the Italian (main restaurant in the other half of the resort that was usually manic and not the best, although the pizzas were good), the beach bar (a selection of nibbles to avoid having to walk back to the resort) and the Pink Elephant. This Indian restaurant was by far our favourite (we went 3 times - typical Brits)! There was always a different variety of food (the choices led by an Indian chef, hence the quality) including veggie dhals, meat curries, fresh naan breads etc. Particular mention to Wad Hakiem, one of the waiters who was so friendly and accommodating. Even on our second visit, he remembered our exact drinks from our first visit.
Onto the staff in general, we were impressed that despite the heat and how hard they work, all staff were never too busy to say hello. They were very friendly and couldn't do enough for us. From the waiters and bar staff to the housekeepers. On the latter, while our room was made up every day with various weird and wonderful towel art things left on our bed, the housekeeper insisted on coming to us poolside every day asking us to check out his handiwork which became annoying. On the flip of this, a special mention goes to Mina who was extremely helpful and friendly to us - regularly bringing us drinks throughout the day. He was an absolute delight and genuinely seemed to enjoy what he was doing.
The beach is for want of a better word...overcrowded. We did go there a couple of times, purely to take advantage of the snorkeling which considering we could walk off a jetty to the reef - was world class. We are keen divers but the amount of wildlife we saw even in these shallow waters meant we didn't feel like we would miss out on much had we chosen not to dive. We saw everything from puffer fish to lion fish and the visibility was incredible. The only thing that spoiled it was the fact that external tour companies brought their boats here throughout the day (because it was that good), and this resulted in it getting busy at times. We found it best first thing. We were disgusted however to see the tourists walking across the coral and given the obvious signage about how bad this is for the reef and how anyone seen doing it would be penalised, we were surprised that no one seemed to be supervising the area.
We didn't really bother with the entertainment - it was meant for the Italians and Russians primarily. The couple of times we did give it a go, they didn't talk in English so we hadn't a clue what was going on. Plus, one of the entertainment team (who were a bit much at times, especially during the day on the beach when we were trying to relax) came up to us, realised we were English and promptly walked off!
Final gripe was the fact that while this classes itself as an all inclusive resort, there is a lot not included. If we wanted a nice cocktail, we would have to pay over £6 for the privilege of better alcohol that didn't taste like paint stripper, if we wanted better cuts of meat or fish in the restaurants, we would have to pay, and in the room once you had drunk your few soft drinks and bottles of water, you had to pay for any refills which was frustrating.
So overall, the holiday was great for a well earned bit of R&R. While the resort was lovely, there are still some improvements that can be made, hence this constructive criticism. We must add that we were always asked how our holiday was going so clearly everyone is very eager to please and ensure the resort is the best it can be.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- FOOD & BEVERAGE • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and light Snacks throughout the day • A wide selection of local alcoholic, soft & hot beverages • Mo's Restaurant available for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner • Breakfast offers a selection of fresh juices • Il Patio Snack Bar presents an international a la Carte dishes for Brunch, Lunch, Snacks and high Tea together with a selection of hot & cold beverages • Oasis Senses Arabic Cafe hosts a variety of traditional Arabic coffee & Tea • Blue Bar air conditioned Lobby Bar offers a comfortable lounge ambience providing a selection of local and cocktails throughout the day • Rendezvous bar serving beverages throughout the day and becoming an elegant live music cocktail venue by sunset • Cactus Bar for self Barbeque and an interactive chill out Bar • Mini bar stocked with soft drinks upon arrival OTHER FACILITIES • Welcome drink and fresh towel at check in • Exclusive area on the beach at The Reef Oasis Beach Resort with private bar • Full usage of all facilities at The Reef Oasis Beach Resort • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lobby • Free Laundry up to 12 pieces per room per stay • Daily turndown service • ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Reef Oasis Senses Hotel Sharm El Sheikh