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“Great mini-liveaboard” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village
2.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 275, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt   |  
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Ranked #26 of 229 Hotels in Sharm El Sheikh
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great mini-liveaboard”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

Booked a mini liveaboard (3 days and 2 nights) via Umbi and had a great time on Freedom III. Nour know the Thistlegorm very well and lead us through all the holds via the motorbikes and trucks etc. Good food, lots of fresh vegetables and excellent BBQ on the last night. Bathrooms renovated and better than any other liveaboard that I have been on in Egypt. Dining area could be better laid out but plenty of space (and food). If you've never been on a liveaboard this would be a good introduction to how things work etc. especially if you are nervous about being at sea for a long time. Crew very helpful and free nitrox from a proper membrane system. We'd spent 10 days in Dahab previously so this made our holiday 2 weeks and gave us a chance to see bigger stuff like a MANTA!
After the liveaboard we had a couple of nights at Umbi in the Bedouin rooms which were very nice with lovely views. We didn't do much but chill and went into Sharm by taxi (LE 50 = £5) and revisit old haunts that weren't the same as years ago.....I'd stay there next time I'm in the Sharm area as it feels as bit more local and freindly than the Hiltons etc.
Many thanks to Alex at the dive centre for her patience and Bev for the help with reservations, sorry we forget the winegums......

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We have just arrived back in the UK after a wonderful honeymoon spent at Umbi.

Our room was huge and very comfortable, and even included a tv (although only one English channel...but we had too much else to do to worry about that) and a roof terrace with a stunning view of the bay.

The hotel itself was very quiet, with a nice beach area for sunbathing, a wonderful bedouin tent to relax in comfort with a shisha and a cold beer (and the fruit juices are delicious too) and the seafood restaurant had lovely high quality food.

Breakfast was a bit hit and miss for me, but the fresh omelettes and fruit salad were a definite plus. And everything was always served with a smile by the super friendly and accomodating staff.

Alex and the team at the dive centre were OUTSTANDING, everything was so well organised and we were able to simply relax and enjoy our time there. We opted to do our Advanced Open Water and Yasser our instructor was fantastic. Very friendly, safe, knowledgable and we really enjoyed diving with him. The Freedom boats were great, with lovely crews (we went on IV and VIII) good facilities and the diving was beautiful. We even had some dolphins join us on our way out to Ras Mohammed.

All in all we had a wonderful honeymoon, with beautiful diving in a lovely calm relaxed atmosphere. We cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

We have just returned from our second stay at Umbi Diving Village in Shark's Bay - we have yet again had a lovely holiday, made special and memorable by the great diving as much as the attentive staff at the dive centre (special thanks to Alex, Sameh and Noor!) and throughout the hotel facilities.
It is a great place for divers with good value for money, but don't have any illusions, the hotel facilities are indeed two-star with a mediocre restaurant (though very friendly staff always willing to help) and a bar that can hardly be called that - we ended up having our post-diving drink sitting at the dive centre or the Bedouin sheesha bar in the evening.
Despite the weak restaurant and the half-hearted bar, none of these things detracted from us having a good time and lovely vacation, but it is a bit of a shame as Umbi's diving village has such potential!
The diving is great and the dive team as helpful as you could want. Unfortunately, you can only pre-book two boat dives per day, while the daily boat trips generally consist of three. The third dive comes at an extra cost, which can quickly add up and it would be great to be given the choice to arrange this in advance.
Overall, Umbi Diving Village could make for an even better destination worthy a five-star review with just a little care and attention to the small details that would set them further apart from competitors in the area.

Room Tip: We stayed in a Bedouin Village room with a nice domed ceiling, large terrace, en-suite bathroom and...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basel, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012 via mobile

Enjoyed a fantastic and relaxing long weekend in a Bedouin room, stunning view, comfortable bed, nice little balcony, very friendly and helpful staff, simple but good breakfast buffet including omelett and fruits, spent z evenings eating and chilling out in z beachbar, only the shower curtain didn't fulfill its purpose but so what... did a day of shore diving and two days boat diving, was awesome, again friendly and professional staff, delicious meals on z boat (also enough for veggies!) made me so happy! Thanks all for being such a lovely crew! Hope to be back!!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

Umbi Hotel rooms are pleasant enough (2 nights). Restaurant and food ok. Dive centre well organised and well run in a relaxed atmosphere. We went on a 3 day mini safari to Thislegorm, which included 13 dives, 3 wrecks, a night dive and a magical sunset swim with dolphins. Boat was basic (Freedom V) but perfectly formed for 7 people. Great crew and food on board was always good, and an awesome guide ("Ghandi") made this an unforgettable trip. Highly recommended...

Room Tip: There are several types of rooms to choose from in Umbi Village, but they all seem ok. Boat cabin wa...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dauin, Philippines
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

The Good: Value and diveboat
The Bad: Limited entertainment
The Ugly: Rental gear

This review combines the hotel, dive center, and the day boat operations. I stayed as part of package that included a Bedouin room and two-tank daily boat dives.

Location
Shark’s Bay is in a quiet part of Sharm. This has distinct advantages. One can sit by the water and read or just relax. The boat dock for many of the dive tours is owned by Umbi, so you are already there. This small fact is hugely important! The other divers come in by bus and stand in long lines in the baking sun. Umbi divers breeze right through.

The hotel, and its neighbors, have some small shops for sundries and souvenirs. For anything else- and I mean anything- head into Na’ama Bay.

If you crave some fun and nightlife (as I did on a couple occasions), the reception will get you a taxi. The cab arrived within 10 minutes each time. Fare one-way was 50 LE (<9 USD at the time).

Hotel
The hotel is not five-star by any stretch, but the Bedouin rooms were kept very clean and had everything one needs. The beach huts are cheaper and closer to the water, but I recommend paying the extra few dollars for the Bedouin rooms with AC, view, TV, and fridge. My room was well-cleaned daily.

The breakfast was included with the room. While not spectacular, there was enough quantity and variety to have a hearty breakfast before heading out for dives. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner. The food is good although the selection is somewhat limited. I found the fish and meat to be a bit overcooked. The pizza was nice and can be a fast take-away option.
Beer is available at the beach bar and the restaurant. The beer is Sakara, an Egyptian 4.0% lager. No other alcohol was available.

Service was good across the board, from waitstaff to managers, with no annoying demands for tips “baksheesh.” I was happy to leave tips for a job well done.

Dive Center
The dive center is conveniently located next to the breakfast area and beach bar, and is a short stroll from the dock. Alex runs the shop. She is well-organized and friendly.
I was traveling light, so I had to rent gear. The gear is a mix of mid-level ScubaPro and Mares, but mostly old and in serious need of replacement. I had three minor air leak points throughout the six days of diving, and the diaphragm in the second stage fluttered and moaned with every inhale. The BC was not weight integrated. There were no safety issues- I was just annoyed and having to use crusty gear.

The dive guides were somewhat hit-and-miss. Sameh was the guide we had in the beginning and end. He was friendly, delivered a clear briefing, and matched his guiding to the group’s desires. I don't like to be guided at all, but Sameh was a pleasure. Nour was the other guide. He was more reserved and tended to keep to a set schedule underwater, which forced me to pass up some photos. This was particularly frustrating as I had come for the express purpose of U/W photos. I also had a bit of an argument with him, although this might have been partly from language barrier.

Dive Boat
This day boat gets five stars even if the hotel didn’t. The massive boat had three levels and loads of room. Tanks were loaded by the crew and gear stayed onboard overnight. The boat was kept spotless by the crew. Unlike the other boats we saw- which were crammed with snorkelers as well- we had room to stretch out and nap, read, sunbathe, sightsee, or sip on tea while underway. Lunch is served onboard for 50 LE. It was great everyday and well worth the price.

The captain delivered perfect drops and easy pick-up everytime on drift dives. The crew was always helpful. Two dives are included and a third can be purchased for 20 Euro. One may as well pay the extra bit of coin, because the boat comes back sametime regardless.

General Diving
The diving is spectacular but crowded. Sharm is easily accessible and has a large airport, so every dive site has several boats jockeying for spots. If you are a die-hard diver, consider a liveaboard, maybe even skipping Sharm and going all the way to Hurghada or Marsa Alam. Ras Mohamed Park was my favorite local dive, and we did Shark Reef to Yolanda three times. There are some breath-taking walls large coral structures, especially the Acropora in some areas. Visibility was excellent everyday and usually exceeded 40 meters. We did not see much in the way of large animals, but tuna and Napolean wrasse were pretty common.

Room Tip: Pay for the Bedouin rooms, and bring anything you need/want (esp. food or alcohol) from the Airport...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

After spending a hectic week or so around Egypt Sharks bay diving village was a welcome break... Stayed in the beach cabins which are not bad at all, own toilet, clean beds, and A/C oh and a fridge which is a big plus with the heat!!!! Being able to store your own drinks is very helpful. Staff are very friendly, my husband dived with them and had a great time. He recommends the dive masters highly. The English lady at the dive reception was super cool and friendly. Food at the restaurant is good with good portions and not expensive considering the area. Would gladly stay here again. By the way when you book with them and they ask you. Would you like an airport pick up? say YES!!!! you will be ask to pay 5 euros for the pick up but trust me is will be much much cheaper than trying to get a taxi from the airport to their place which is only 10 minutes away.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village

Address: PO Box 275, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Phone Number:
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > South Sinai > Sharm El Sheikh
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#17 Best Value Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#75 Romantic Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village 2*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique in the area, Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a friendly, relaxing place that still maintains the feel of how Sharm used to be before the arrival of large scale tourism. The Diving Village has a well-equipped dive centre, its own private jetty and a fleet of five boats. There is also a seafood restaurant, beach bar and a full range of water sports. The accommodation ranges from budget View Huts and Beach Cabins to the individually styled Bedouin Village ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village Hotel Sharm El Sheikh

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