We spent 14 days here at the end of Septemebr, and wouldn't reccommend it.
The star ratings in Egypt are one below the UK - We went to Taba last year and stayed in a 4 star hotel, so was 3 star to our standards, so this year we went for a 5 star expecting luxury. It wasn't.
We spoke to several other familiies - They had been told by staff members that the hotel had lost a star rating and was now only a 4 star. No idea if this is true or not.
My overall opinion of the majority of Eqyptians is that they are all on the take, all out for what they can get. You can enjoy your holiday so long as you give the staff money. Why should you do that when you have paid for a 5 star holiday?!
We requested in advance a pool view room. They showed us to a dingy tiny room at the back of the hotel with a small sofa bed for our 2 year old son. It was clearly unsuitable. When we said this, they said it was the only available room and our only option was to "upgrade" for £160.00. We had no choice. Yet other guests were offered free upgrades on arrival? Because I made a special request, they saw an opportunity to make money!
We were given 3 towel cards. They were tatty laminated credit card sized cards which cost nothing. We dropped one by the pool and went to reception for another one - they told us we would have to buy a new one for £15.00! For a tatty piece of card! We refused and made do with the other 2 and our own towels. On checkout, we were followed out of the hotel to our taxi by 2 members of staff demanding our towel cards and asking for money! We told them no chance.
My wife suffered with a poorly tummy. We asked reception where the nearest pharamcy was. They said no worry - we have a resident doctor who can supply you with the pills we need. After a quick consultation and being given some tablets, we were then given the bill. £100.00. A hundred pounds for diaraohhea tablets! I suffered witht he same problem a week later - we went to naama bay to a chemist and brought exactly the same tablets for £10.00.
The staff are either frienfly, or miserable depending on whether they think they will be given money by you. The restaurants/ bar on the evening is supposed to be table service. The waiters were running backwards/ forwards to the same old tables, and just ignoring the rest so we had to queue out the door!
The guest relations manager is a joke - we were sat in reception taling to a cashier - she walked over and just started talking to him even though her was in mid conversation with us, without so much as a smile - they she tells him to answer a ringing phone at another desk. What a rude women!!!
Chez Pascal is a belgian restaurant which is built above a water feature. This was on for 4 days which was quite pleasant. Then the pool was drained and cleaned and stayed empty for 10 days. The small of sewage was overpowering - absoloutley disgusting. Onth the one occasion we ate in here, the food isn't very nice - I didn't see the chef scooping chips with his bare hands, but it wouldn't surprise me.
There is a mexican restaurant which you have to pre book. Why? Because there are only 4 tables! We ate in here one night - the food took ages to prepare - they took ages to bring you drinks, and the beef fajitas is just meat a fried onions - you don't even get tortilla wraps!
The pools are not like the pictures on the website. The beds are 3 deep. We learnt on the second day, you need to be up at 7.30-8.00am to get a bed. The floor around the pool is all chipped, so when walking barefoot it hurts your feet - not good for children. And the childrens pool was very dirty. Fag ends/ hair within the pool - and all collected on the sides. A not very pleasant "scum" was on the surface of the water in the onme corner. You point it out to the staff, and that night you see them scrub the sides of the pool - but all the dirt is just going back in the pool!!
The pool bar is smelly - it needs a good scrib - it smells of stale beer. They serve drinks in plastic cups which is for H & S reasons. But the cups are tiny. They serve soft drinks in larger cups - why not just do them all in these? There is another resort in Sharm, the Kiroseiz St Georges. They all came down with food posining and it was thought it came form their pool bar glasses (They used solid plastic ones which weren't being washed properly)
The beach is great, but getting there is a nightmare. There is a free bus which runs on the hour, but only holds 25 people. They say it is on a first come firtst served basis. We always arrived at the pickup point 20 minutes prior to the bus leaving and were always the first there. People used to come along 5 minutes before it left and jsut barge there way to the front of the queue, and just get on it as soona s it arrived. People can be so selfish! There was quite a few arguments because of this. It was suiggested having a proper bus stop so people can queue, or even giving out tickets in adavcne to secure a seat, but this wasn't listened to. The bus driver used to cram people in - on one memorable trip coming home from the bus, there was 12 people standing on this tiny bus, 4 people in the fornt and a guy standing on the steps. Very unsfae. There was only 2 lanes on the main road, but the traffic drives 3 abreast - all they seem to do is bib/ flash each other - the only right of way is whoever is the bravest! Anyway, on this overcrowded but, the driver tried to undercut a petrol tanker - the lorry driver was having none of it and cut him up, meaning he had to brake sharply and swere to avoid hitting the kerb. We were all panic stricken - the driver laughed - to him near death is an everyday experience.
Naama bay is an experience. From the minute you get out the taxi you are hassled. We kept getting ambushed - it is not in out nature to be rude, so were politley saying no thanks - within an hour you are saying "Just leave us alone!"
We had a drink - we ordered 2 beers with staff who spoke english. The menu said 20 eqyptian pounds each. When the bill came, 2 men brought the bill over for 90 eqyptian pounds. We argued with them, but suddenly they no longer speak good english. You have to pay just to leave!!!
We ordered 3 cocktails at another bar - we ordered 2 cuba libres. They weren't on the menu, but they siad no problem (it is only rum and coke) The bill came for 110 Eqyptian! We complain and they say this is the price!
On our return we were looking for a taxi. The guy in charge of the taxi rank asked where we were going, took us to a cab, negotiated the fare, then help his hand out asking for a tip!
The thing is, in England you tip for good service. We would have tipped these people if they just did thier jobs, but the fact theat they were constantly asking for money made us very reluctant to give it to them!
There were only 3 people who worked hard - our housekeeper was always friendly and chatty, the guy who gives out the towels and looks after the sunbeds was very friendly, as was one waiter who bounded everywhere with a big smile and happy to help. 3 members of staff out of at least 100. There is one particular guy who works in the pool bar with gammy teeth - if you have been here you will no who he is. He serves who he likes in any order - when you protest he ignores you. One one occasion there was a queue of 10 people and he decided the time was right to reaarange his cups!!!
There is an animation team - they walk round asking people to join in activites - the frist we heard of the activities is when we sw people doing them. In the 2 weeks we were there, they never once asked us to play water polo/ volley ball etc. Of an evening they were circualting the bar talking to their "favourites" - they never made no attempt to talk to a lot of people, and it got on a quite a few peoples nerves.
They want you to play bingo - it costs £6.00 to play!!! They was a dance / singing competition which went on for 1 hour - the prize was a bottle of the all inclusive red wine!
We have stayed in places throughout the world and no what to expect in certain environemnts. We paid a lot of money for this holiday and it wasn't up to a 5 star standrd in Eqyptian terms. If you ask for something, they react as if you are acting out of the ordinary. The fact is, in a 5 star hotel, you shouldn't have to ask for anything!
My personal opinion is that Eqypt, in particular Sharm El Sheikh, is the new Tenerife. It used to be a luxurious far away place but now it is full of people on cheap late deals. I am not a snob, but if in the past I wanted loud rough people full of tattoors, swearing loudly in front of children and getting drubnk by 1pm, then I would go to Tenerife or Lanzorote. Not a 5 star hotel in Eqype.
We saved up all year to go on this holiday. It was such a let down - At the end of 2 weeks you are always ready to come home, but we felt like this at the end of the first week.
I hope my comments come in useful. I am sure you will relate to a lot of them. if you have already been it would be nice to know if you agree!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.