The check in was OK; only 20 minutes from the airport so far so good... We arrived in the dark and were 'shown' to our room which was not the service I expect - we were taken to a point where the block could be seen and the porter/concierge just pointed to it and told us the room was 'in that block over there'. We weren't told what time food was served or given any information at all about the facilities. I'd booked the hotel to take advantage of the sports facilities but they were mainly in the other hotel that was across the road - this was not made clear in the brochure. However, due to an injury before the holiday I wasn't able to use them so I can't say what they were like although I would have found it very inconvenient to have to cross the road and try and find my way around the other hotel. No maps were provided to show where everything was.
The hotel is geared totally for Russians. They had different coloured bands and were given preferential treatment (although the rep said they paid a premium to get branded alcohol!). We were told that there was one visit to the on site Italian a la carte restaurant included in the AI package but when trying to book a visit were told we'd have to pay. Turns out green bands (non-Russian) only get a visit on Sunday evening, which is not very helpful when you fly from/to Stansted on a Sunday evening, meaning you can't book!
I didn't travel with children but was told the kids club was for Russian children only - I can't confirm this but if you are travelling with children I would double check before booking this hotel.
The beach towels were lovely and soft (and large) but the towel cards were numbered to your room which meant you could only return the towel to the place you got it. This was a pain if you collected your towel at the beach and later moved to one of the quiet pools. It was also hard to get a sun bed unless you got up at 0630 and claimed one with a towel or you bribed the attendant to reserve one for you. This was very annoying when the beds were often not used for more than 50% of the day but not available for anyone else.
Whilst there was plenty of food available nothing was labelled for vegetarians (do they have these in Russia?) so it was very difficult to be able to make choices and I ended up eating salad for most meals. Although the brochure says afternoon tea is available we never saw it and there were no notices in the hoteI or in the room indicating where it was served (we don't think it was!).
I have never been to a 5* hotel that didn't provide tea/coffee making facilities in the room - this was at extra cost (I was quoted 250 Egyptian pounds) which is ridiculous. Whilst water was available all day it was only in small plastic cups. At previous hotels in Sharm bottles of water have been available at breakfast to take for the day, which is a lot more convenient than having to keep getting up to fetch a small cup of water. (Although to be fair there was a large bottle of water left in the room each day - not the easiest to carry around though).
The shower screen was too small and it was impossible to shower without getting water all over the floor. For two days we didn't get a bath mat meaning we had to use one of the hand towels to mop up the very slippery floor. We had a small patio which got the sun very early (by 0630 it was hot enough to sunbathe) but to begin with we only had 1 chair and then later in the week no chair at all, although one did appear again for the last 2 days we never had 2 chairs at any point! On check out day I went back to the room just before lunch and found my key card no longer worked. I then had to go all the way to reception to find out why. Once I asked they quickly reinstated the key but I had pre-booked a late check out so the key card shouldn't have been cancelled.
Soho Square is very over rated and there should be a rep warning about the 'ice bar' which is a complete rip off (a very expensive visit to a deep freezer!).
I don't want this to sound all bad though - most of the staff were very friendly and the sun loungers were comfortable when you got one! The weather was superb (too hot at times) and the 'gym pool' was very quiet and relaxing. The free wi-fi in the piano bar was a bonus. Although very close to the airport there was very little aircraft noise.
- Also Known As:
- Concorde El Salam
- Concorde El Salam Sharm El Sheikh
- Concorde El Salam Sharm Sheikh
- Concorde Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Concorde Sharm El Sheikh
- Concorde Hotel Egypt
- Concorde Sharm
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