Well where do I start, suggest you get a brew and a fag cos this review might be a bit long. I promised I would give a honest review and here goes, sorry if I waffle at times (might be the voddie and sprite) lol
We went 28th August to 11th sept.
Not a good start to the hols, had a 4hr delay, due to plane being 1hr late coming into Manchester from Palma, then door at rear of plane not closing proper, took 4 engineers to sort out this,then missed direct slot machester to sharm, had to take on extra fuel so we could fly longer way, then cabin crew were due off duty but no stand by crew available, finally took of 5pm and got to sharm, around 11.30pm as the clocks had gone back 1hr. The saving grace of the delay was 5 bottles of voddie for £35 at the airport lol!
Got to Sunrise Island Gardens around 12.15am, we had booked a private taxi transfer, and I can only praise them , they were there for us despite the delay.(pm me if anyone needs them). We were welcomed in the most warm manner imaginable, they asked if we wanted late supper and were shown into the restaurant, we were very wary about this first supper, it was chicken roll/meat slices and salad, and as we had no idea how long this had been sitting around we erred on the side of caution and only had a small amount despite being starving.
Got shown to room, which was basic as expected but clean, had emailed and asked for a pool side room and that is just what we got, room 156 right by the pool with the slides.
Despite only getting to bed around 1.15am I was up at around 5.45am, I am always like this even at home. Went out and bagged two sunbeds by the pool, despite the early hour I ended up chatting to Tom and Violet, a lovely couple who were in the same block as me, and Carol from Leicester. Even at 11am there were still sunbeds to be had, but the brollys were in short supply, must admit though we did have brolly.
We were not total sunbed addicts , but as the weather was really hot we found that the early morning sun was great, we had early breakfast and would be on the sunbed at 7.30am some mornings. We usually went in the lobby bar around 12 before lunch and when we went back out, I was always under the brolly in the shade until 3.30/4pm. Word of warning, use a hat if you have fine hair like me, or even thining or short hair, that sun is fierce. As the hols went on we heard about more who were in trouble with sun stroke signs in many differnt ways
The pool guy/ life guard was Mahmoud, he was brilliant, tipped him first day and he treated us well, always asked how we were and was very friendly,he even brought us piccys of his wife, she was beautiful, if I manage to go back next year I look forward to seeing pics of his first child as she is pregnant and he is so proud of the fact. Only problem with him is he got a new pea in his whistle for Christmas, he did like to blow it for all sorts of reasons.
The food was much better than I thought it would be after reading some of the reviews on here, I think people go to the main serving area and dont look at what else is being offered. The cooking station at the far left does eggs in the morning. he will cook you fresh fried eggs, or omelettes, they also have beef bacon here, yes I also asked myself how do you get bacon this way but after giving it a try it was quite okay. The same cooking area did pasta at lunch ( just dont have garlic if the older guy with tash doing it, boy does he put lots of garlic in, he must be afraid of the vampire bats ) and at night it had a dish of the day, some people didnt even bother looking here before moaning there was nothing to eat. The theme night was another way to try things you normally would not do, just try a little bit, you just might get a nice surprise or two, the bread was to die for- I normally dont eat breakfast and lunch and only have an evening meal and dont eat sweets, but I was eating every thing, good job they didnt weigh me as well as my case, cos i am sure i would have been charged excess after all the sweets, bread etc I have eaten. The Italian is a must! We had a yummy meal, only a small menu but well worth the trip. Book as soon as you get there as they only have limited places, failing that ask to speak to George the manager, he will get you in where water cant get. The BBQ was nothing special, the mixed starter was great but on the mains the jacket spuds were cold, the lamb kebabs tiny and the meat, well I thought it was shoe leather but it turns out it was liver, BUT the chicken kebabs were lovely, once again though this is only my opinion of the meal. Also if you have special dietry needs or aversion to certain foods ASK, they were more than willing to assist one lady who did not like highly seasoned food,
The pool bar opened at 8am, soft drinks only till 10am, but alcohol after 10am, Elsayed was usually on duty at this time and a friendly smile and a tip meant we got a coffe or a soft drink brought over to our sunbeds every morning.
In the lobby bar (or in my case should that be the looby bar) you will find the lovely Tameer (Tommy), he is a cutie, he went home for a week but still managed to remember what we drunk on his return.
Yes the drinks are not to our standards, yes the beer is not always filled to top, some times this is as the beer is fizzy, the spirts do taste a bit like lighter fuel (omg just admitted to knowing taste of lighter fuel) but they are trying their best, give them a break, give them a chance.
The room boy was a diamond, he lined our cosmetics, shampoos etc with military precision, made pretty designs with our night wear, unfortunately never did the towel flower thing for us but was very good, never ran out of loo roll and towels and beds changed almost daily.
The sister hotel is only a 5 min walk away, and yes it is safe to walk, just remember they drive on opposite side of road to us. The shuttle bus will take you to the top of the path to the beach, ok walking down to the beach is ok but does pull on the thighs of us old ones on the return to the bus stop lol.
The beach is shingle/grainy sand, but ok. If you can snorkel this is great place, if you cant snorkel it is still a great place. Go to the second of the two pontoons, it has a hole in middle of the the main area that the dive school use for trial scuba dive, the fish here are so close, we tried to snorkel but must admit we didnt manage it proper , but we were okay with just the mask and a big breath, believe me the underwater view was mind blowing.If you go the beach you get free soft drinks and free snacks, but if you take your green AI band off they will serve you with beer. Just keep it on you at all times here and say it got snaged on door hangle or something if asked .Also if you returned to the sister hotel at night they give you vouchers(not enough) but in the evening you could also get alcohol, as long as none of you had wrist bands on.
If you want to use the internet dont use the hotel one, it is slow and very expensive. Go out of the hotel front gate, turn rght to bottom of road, about 2 min walk, left at this T junction to the internet cafe, they charge 15EP £1.50 for the first half hour, they have fast speeds, web cams and are really helpful
The hotel bus is 35EP to Namma Bay return, its a long journey there, our bus was always late, we were supposed to be picked up at 7pm but it was almost 20 past when her arrived, the roads are wierd, U turns abound but in the strangest way, we got there at 8pm, but had booked the return journey for 9.30pm so were restricted, it was no way as bad as it had been made out to us, it was no hotter than sitting around the entertainment area at night and the hassle was no worse than being in the bazzar in marmaris. the return is much faster cos no U turns needs.Word of warning here, dont pay in sterling for this shuttle, ask them to book it to your room, same with calls, internet or fruit juices at breakfast, I fell foul of the BAD BAD EXCHANGE RATE, the bus is as I said 35EP per person, I gave reception a £20 note expecting 165EP in change, I got 140EP meanng I lost out quite a bit, so be warned.
I was not ill but my friend was taken VERY ill on our 3rd night in hotel, I went down to reception in the early hours and they offered the doctor straight away, she declined, and thankfully she was ok after about 3 days
They are working on the poolside area, they original floor is cracked and slippy, only problem is they have third of pool side sunbed access closed off nearest bar and the water slides have been stopped whilst they do the area under them, try the big white slide it is brill.
The biggest thing I have to say that lets this hotel down is the evening entertainment, it is awful, infact words cant really describe how bad the entertainment is. Every night they have kids disco, trust me if you are by pool area you will pray for the train song, wont go into to many details, you will soon find out it means the end of the kids disco, then comes the adult entertainment, this is horrid, the animatiom team from the hotel try their best but it is dire, they do have so called proffesional entertainment but trust me your local working mens clubs/pub/bar would never employ them more than once, and then they would try to get out of paying them.
The picture guys have come in for some some stick but I must admit they can airbrush your pics to a fine art, £5 for small pic and £10 for large, but obvious better deals if more pics.
Health Spar not bad, haggle him down.
The shops are ok, we came home with lots of free gifts from them just for taking time asnd trouble seeing what they had on offer
If you have a late flight back you can book courtesy room, you have to do this 3 days before departure, you can also ask to keep room on, £15 to keep it on till 5pm, only thing is they wont confirm if you can keep room on till 10am day of departure, if you cant use the courtesy room you can have a shower at the health club, but go before 5.30.
We never once felt pressured into giving tips, we tipped when and where we felt it was deserved, yes you may get asked to change £1 coins for either paper sterling or EP, we tipped in £1 coins so were well prepared to take them home with us.
All in all the whole staff deserve much more money than they get, I feel so sorry for them especially at the moment, it is Ramaden and they are not allowed anything from sunrise to sunset in that heat, god we would have wilted by 9am without a drink.
I have no doubt left loads of things out, but if you want to know anything please ask away.
Big hi to Jo also known as sandpat on here, she came out on the friday, her Nick is a gent, even though he had to be shamed into blowing the lilo back up, lol
Sorry if I waffled but did warn u all
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This comfortable, relaxing "All-Inclusive" 4 star (country category) Resort with a centered pool lagoon is divided to various 2 floor buildings with tasteful decorated rooms offer you a relaxed atmosphere for a family vacation. ... more less
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- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Despegar.com, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Venere and Tingo so you can book your Island Garden Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sunrise Island Garden Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Hotel Sunrise Island Garden
- Sunrise Island Garden Resort Sharm El Sheikh