I am not going to go into quite as much detail as I normally do but I am going to give an honest and open review of the location, staff, rooms and food.
Myself and my partner visited from the 13th to the 27th of December 2012 and were very happy when we arrived, not only was it a 15minute trip to Exeter Airport from home, but the transfer at the other end was only 15 minutes too....bonus.
Hotel looked very grand from the outside, staff were polite at the reception and a porter took our bags and showed us to our room.....1201....good location near to the top pool and snack bar.
A lot bigger than we expected, bed was bigger than a king size and the balcony was very spacious. 2 good sized wardrobes and a FREE safe, that was a surprise too. Bathroom was a good size and kept very clean, the cleaner was in every day and did a brilliant job, even making some towel animals on a few occasions. On Christmas eve he even bought us a stocking around containing an orange and some fancy biscuits.
The hotel was really clean, all of the time, there were guys out watering the plants and clearing things all day, they were extremely polite and chatty which was nice. The pools are great, though the top one was not being heated at the time so it was like jumping into an ice bucket....my heart nearly stopped. Having said that, we were very lucky whilst we were there, it was 30 degrees + for the entire 2 weeks, with not a drop of rain, so a cool off was occassionally welcomed. The other pools were much warmer and again they were cleaned/netted for debris every night.....they looked great at night when the lights were on.
All in all we were really impressed by the hotel and having visited the sister hotel and casino complex across the road, we were glad we chose this one, much nicer in our opinion.
As you'll note, I never complain about the food as I believe you can always find something to eat on an AI holiday, so I am not going to start now. However the choices were quite limited on a few nights, but the staff were great, especially Esseem who seated us every night and bought our drinks etc to us, they work really hard and all get clapping and dancing if it is somebody's birthday....great fun.
The one stand out night was Christmas Eve, they really pushed the boat out, the food was amazing, the decorations they made out of bread, fruit and veg and chocolate were stunning, felt really we looked after and they couldn't do enough for you. Filled my boots that night. We both had a funky tummy for a couple of days during our trip but I think that was due to the weather being so hot and our cold british bodies didn't know what was going on for the time of the year. In conclusion, time of year probably played a part in the amount of variety, but again, still found something to eat......oooooh and the pizza at the pool bar at lunchtime is very nice......drinks are plentyful and the beer is bottle, not from a tap so that is great, keep an eye out for MO the bartender, he is a legend, though he did call me baldy for 2 weeks...but he bought us drinks to our loungers and was a really top guy......
Beach at the Sonesta Beach Hotel
Nothing to write home about, could barely see sand as they crammed as many loungers on their stretch as they could (not ideal if you are taking children who like to play on the beach). The sea was warm and the fish were nice to look at if snorkelling, however the reef has been trampled and there is really nothing left of it, so would recommend a boat trip to a better reef if you want to see better marine life.
Hints and Tips
Take pound coins, they like them as tips, a few here and there (Think I did £20 in all) are appreciated and get you that little extra service wise.
Be careful on the spirits/cocktails, they are quite generous.....beer was always cold, from the bottle and very tastey.
If you have a spa treatment early on, you will be remembered by the guy who sells them to you and he doesn't push you to do anything else, my partner found it very relaxing.
The onsite doctor is a bit funny, Em's got bitten pretty badly by mosquitos, early on, tried to get some anti hystamines for her and he wanted to give her an injection + cream, plus tablets and you had to barter the price....upset her a bit so we just said no thank you and left...there is a pharmacy just down the road on the right who were very good and all looked official.
Take Vitamin B1s for 2 weeks before you go, helps keep the Mozzies away, we forgot on this trip and both paid the price....there are mosquitos........
Get in the queue early to get through security at the airport.....they are slooooooow, took us 2 hours of queuing, which drove me mad and didn't end my holiday on quite the high I had hoped. you DON'T need a visa if staying in the Sinai area.
All in all a big thumbs up, great location, very clean, great pools (oh forgot to mention the water slides which were great fun - Hi to Chris and Sarah who we had a blast on those with) and the staff were great, would highly recommend the Sonesta Club.
So much for keeping it brief, hope it helps you though.
- Also Known As:
- Sonesta Club Sharm El Sheikh - Naama Bay Hotel
- Sonesta Club Sharm El Sheikh - Naama Bay Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Sonesta Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Sonesta Sharm El-Sheikh
- Sharm El-Sheikh Sonesta
- Sonesta Club Sharm El Sheikh
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