Very disappointed. the photos used to promote this hotel (and I use the word loosely) are clearly old ones. This hotel should be sued under the trade description act.
The taxi driver took us to the Royal Grand because the taxi drivers do not know this hotel by this name. Although the manager maintains it is the Sahara Grand Sharm It is more well known Poinciana and was previously known as the Creative Grand Sharm. All letterheads etc still have Poinciana on them. Sahara is the group that has taken the hotel over and I would suggest that they need to take good look at this property.
We arrived at 5.30pm and were taken into the 'reception'. This is like nothing I have ever experienced. it was dirty and unwelcoming.
we were told that we had been upgraded to a suite which was very roomy but the furniture was battered - the lampshades were dented and the furniture shabby. I immediately had to request the room be sprayed for mosquitoes and this was done but a window left open so a waste of time.
We went down for dinner at 7pm when the restaurant opens. Again this was dirty and there was very little choice - egg plant au gratin, fish pieces, potatoes, rice and some limited salad stuff which looked dry and as if it as leftover from the night before. Despite us being there the minute they opened the food was cold and we could not eat it and had to go out for something. During the night the air conditioning squealed waking us up several times.
Breakfast the next morning was just as abysmal with egg plant au gratin being served again along with mashed potatoes and beans. No evidence of cereals, fresh fruit and salad stuff was dried and the meat and cheese on offer curled up at the corners. there were some bread rolls and bread for toast but no nice fresh crust bread and rolls you would expect. There were freshly cooked pancakes, omelettes and fried eggs on offer as well. The restaurant does have air condtioning but this is very poor and only over the door as you come in.
After these experiences we went to meet with our Hotels4U rep and told him we wanted to move. he wasn't much help and said that we would have to email them and request to be moved. This would have been difficult as there is no internet access unless you have facility on your phone and then you have to pay for the internet.
The hotel advertises a number of facilities that are not available. Among these facilities is an animation programme however there was nothing on offer other than a young man playing music and giving kids a ball. There was no aerobics, Volley Ball etc and the evening entertainment comprised of the young man playing music round the bar area via PA system until Friday evening when the Egyptian guests arrived then there was entertainment over the weekend in the form of a bellydancer who did a very short performance and all the chairs were taken by the egyptian/arabic guests.
It was also noticed that the food improved significantly at the weekend in that there was fresh crusty bread available but this was not fresh daily and by Saturday it was stale and inedible.
There is a dart board, a ping pong table and pool table around the bar/pool area.
The only bars are at the pools. You can buy snacks here, even if all inclusive these are not included.
Although you can see the sea from the hotel it’s a good walk or about 5 minutes by the shuttle bus which stops across the road from the hotel
There was no currency exchange and I saw no evidence of a gym unless it was in the spa and the swimming pool is not heated until winter (we were there beginning November and it was not heated and a bit on the chilly side.
The hotel advertise a kids club and playground and whilst there is a hut for the kids and there were kids there, there was no evidence of staff to run it or activities.
You have to pay for access to the wifi which is only available in certain areas.
I saw no evidence of a laundry service and there is certainly no lounge. The only seating area was in the reception which is not inviting and there is no provision for drinks/communal TV etc.
The beach is not private. It is used by lots of hotels. The sunbeds here are in bad shape and not clean so we only used this once, preferring to remain at the hotel where they were clean and in good shape.
Not sure if there is room service as we did not use or request it.
Safety deposit boxes are free and available in reception but most of them were not working and the room they are kept in is dirty.
There is a very small supermarket and shop just at the entrance but the stock is very limited and there are larger ones very close by which are better.
There were no public telephones but if you need to contact your rep/transfer company etc they will allow you to use the reception phones.
After only one night we advised the rep with Hotels4U that we could not stay there and wanted to move. We also told the quality control manager and a meeting was held with the manager and head chef to whom I expressed my displeasure in no uncertain terms. We were given a complimentary meal and renegotiated our package with an assurance that things would change. To be fair there was some improvement in that the food was more acceptable but not brilliant however it was noted that when the Egyptian guests arrived on Friday the standards raised significantly. Whilst we were there painting began in the restaurant and reception but it appeared that rather than keep the place clean they painted over the dirt. The grounds were given a major overhaul and the place was fumigated for mosquitos but when the bar was full of guests and people could not see for the smoke and were choked. It was very lucky that no-one had lung problems.
It is a real shame because this hotel is in a prime position for shopping and has real potential with the right management and structure. Being on the main road it is handy for shopping and access to transport. It has two very nice pools which are clean but the bridges over the are loose and unsafe (fastened up with other pieces of wood for strength). The whole place needs a refurb.
The staff were helpful however lots of them appeared to be hanging around chatting at the bars all the time rather than being engaged in useful activities. One complaint about the staff was that they take your food away in the restaurant before you have finished, one tried to take my plate whilst I still had the fork to my mouth.
Definately lots of room for improvement here and with the right management and a little effort this could be a lovely little hotel.
I have never had cause to complain about a hotel directly to management before but did so on this occasion. I accept that any property has some wear and tear however I felt that this hotel was so lacking I could not help but put in a formal complaint. Whilst management did meet with me and gave assurances things would change I got a sense that they really had no idea that whether they are catering for 20 or 200 guests their standards should be the same.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- sahara grand sharm is one from sahara group hotel which have 366 day sunny beach and pool. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Grand Sahara Hotel Sharm El Sheikh