OK, let's get the '5 Star in Egypt isn't the same as 5 Star everywhere else' argument out of the way to start with. Standards just aren't as high in Egypt as elsewhere, but there are no excuses for some of our experiences at this hotel over the last 10 days.
It's not cheap. Our Thomson package was around £2,500 for 10 nights b&b. We also got a taxi transfer form the airport, which took a little finding but was worth it to avoid long trails round other hotels.
We got a little freaked by the security - two airport-style barriers to go through to get into hotel, and sniffer dogs going around every vehicle - presumably for explosives.
The hotel lobby is very impressive, spacious, but the room was very disappointing indeed. Sure, it had the sea view we payed a bit extra for, but the levels of general repair and cleanliness were very poor. There was a rug on the tiled floor which seemed to get lifted every day when the room was 'done', but we found someone's false fingernail and lots of other people's hair in ours. Most high-end places I've stayed at, you can reckon on the staff taking about 30-40 minutes to service a room properly. Here they did it in 10. Bathroom surfaces never cleaned. I surprised the guy once, and it seemed the technique was to change the pillowcases and bunch up the dirty ones to use as a rag to 'dust' over a few surfaces.
Room service was difficult to order (you had to order the menu to be delivered first!) and not of great quality. And when you left any plates/cutlery outside the room, it took several days for it to be removed.
Despite there being a notice saying you can't bring food & drink in from outside, many (I think Egyptian) guests did get take-outs delivered. And their left-overs would be outside their door too for a few days before being collected.
There was mildew all over the sealant in the crappy shower enclosure. Our bath (which we didn't use) had obviously been re-enamelled rather than being replaced.
The 'honour' bar (not 'honour' as I recognise it - I thought that meant you left cash for anything you used - this was checked daily just like any other hotel mini-bar) was not stocked as it should have been, & had hardly anything in it when we took the room. We were charged for daily 'withdrawals' from this bar despite never having used a thing. This charge was taken off as soon as I queried it.
We went toe Sharm to dive, as many do. The 'Pharaoh Dive Shop' in the hotel ground itself was very unimpressive. Other guests said they had never had pre-holiday e-mails answered from the shop; one woman said it was the most uninviting dive shop she had ever been in. When we went to inquire about their packages, the most obvious reaction was surprise that anyone was inquiring! I think they mainly rely on 'scuba experience' packages (in the pool) for new, first-time SCUBA people. We ended up using the excellent Ocean College Dive set-up, which I dived with 10 years ago. They are based out of the Hyatt Regency.
It's a shame because the hotel's own 'house reef' is easily accessible on a floating jetty, and popular enough to be used as a dive site for visiting boats. We saw a juvenile turtle there while snorkelling on our first day.
The grounds are generally well-kept, with a LOT of gardeners looking very busy every day, but also problems here. Large areas of dirt/sand, cracked paving and loose cement everywhere. Nice pools (seven in total), but again everywhere the bodged tiling repairs, messed-up filler, etc. There's a 'lazy river' you can float along around the children's pool, which is OK, but it gets really smelly at one point and the side and bottom of the 'pool' are green with algae. I certainly wouldn't want to swallow any of that.
We were on a B&B package. Breakfast was your average Euro-buffet. We skipped it on many days. There was a self-service buffet available in the same dining room every night for LE200 (about 20 quid) each, and that was actually very good. The other a la carte restaurants were less so. We never tried the Lebanese one, and didn't see a single person in it, ever. The Italian (La Luna) kept having 'special offers', but we avoided it as we overheard one guest saying his meal there had looked like 'dog-food'. We did have a very nice meal at their 'Oriental' restaurant Blue Ginger, which was tasty but a bit over-priced.
I think they only had about 20-30% occupancy while we were there, and were alternating the Oriental with the Lebanese each night, rather than staffing both. On our very last day we wandered to the hotel permieter and saw into next door ('Dunes' I think). There was LOADS going on - lots of guests everywhere, organised beach stuff, and a properly-staffed, professional-looking dive shop. We got very jealous!
Locally there's a small supermarket about 8 mins walk, plus a shop where you can buy beer and some other types of alcohol - we saw Gordoon's gin and Johnnie Wander whisky.
There's a HUGE, UN-MARKED HOLE in the middle of the pavement just near to this supermarket, which I only avoided by luck on our first night. You'd skin your shins and probably take out a few teeth if you went down this. As soon as you've left the gate of the hotel you're goth in the middle of dirty, broken, litter-strewn, electrical cable-strewn Egypt I'm afraid. I didn't see why the hotel could not find some of their staff to get the immediate area around the hotel looking less like a landfill site.
A new-ish open-air 'mall' called Mercato is about another 5-10 mins walk - a few restaurants and a bar selling local beer and cocktails. Nice touch is that you can sit at the bar and ask for a pizza to be brought across from the place over the street. 'Onions' is the restaurant, and 'Stella's' the bar. You can get a couple of very nice pizzas for about ten pounds sterling.
Other than that it's a 15 minute ride into Naama bay, which has loads of places but is dictionary definition of 'hassle.' Hotel offers free shuttle bus at 4pm, and again at 9pm, 11pm, and 1am. Everyone agreed a scheduled one at 7pm would be nice too, but maybe the local taxi drivers objected. 4 or 9 it is.
The newer 'Soho Square' is a bit further away, but a bit higher-end. You are expected to haggle, but you don't get so much of the hassle. They advertise Arabia's only 'Ice Bar' here, which we had to try out. Bit like being in someone's walk-in freezer for 15 mins. Not as fancy as the one in London - drinks served in plastic cups rather than ice goblets. Still, it's a gimmick designed to separate gullible tourists from their money. Worked with us!
Plus points - house reef/snorkelling. Most staff very helpful and polite. Hotel spa - I was persuaded to have a proper Thai massage (Rania is the best) and although it made me cry out in pain, the results were brilliant. My wife had foot and face treatments which she said were the best she'd ever had.
Downsides - general repair of hotel - frankly depressing in places. Level of occupancy low (compared to hotels nearby) which also lends an air of desolation to the place.
It's all just very, very tired and dated. Yes it's Egypt, but it's also the Ritz Carlton. Someone needs to get the rooms properly overhauled, and the grounds/pool areas re-done too. Many things have been repaired poorly already, and in my opinion its gone beyond the 'patch-up' phase. We wouldn't go back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.