Like so many people I spent hours reading the reviews of hotels in Sharm El Sheikh and worrying about the random few bad reviews on certain hotels however we eventually booked The Cleopatra Luxury Resort Hotel in Nabq Bay.
Having just got back after two weeks (18th Aug - 1st Sept) I can definitely say we made the right choice , I will split my review down into topics which will hopefully make it easier to browse through.
The Cleopatra is 10 minutes from Sharm El Sheikh airport so if you don't have transfers then you'll get a local taxi (blue/white cars) for about £3 from outside the airport.
If you walk outside the hotel there are a lot of shops / pharmacy / english pubs etc which is nice if you fancy a stroll after dinner and they are all within 10 minutes of the hotel.
The hotel is about 20 minutes from Naama bay which I would recommend a visit one evening. Its a very vibrant bustling town centre with loads of shops , bars , restaurants , shisha lounges etc and also has a Hard Rock Cafe , TGI Fridays and a few good nightclubs.
You will get pestered by the local traders which initially is quite entertaining as they are all quite funny but after an hour it gets a bit tedious and its best just to totally ignore them even though you feel a bit rude but it works and they leave you alone !!
Also 10 minutes from The Hotel is Soho Square which is a busy area in the evening with a lot less hassle than Naama Bay , it has bars , restaurants and lots of nice shops , definitely worth a visit , you will pay about £3 in a local taxi. (Top Tip … Don't use the hotel taxi's they cost a fortune , just go outside the front of the hotel onto the street and flag a local taxi down) Don't pay anymore than 30 Egyptian Pounds to Soho square and don't pay anymore than 70 Egyptian Pounds to Naama Bay (They will try and charge you more but do a bit of negotiating and agree a price before you get in the cab !!) Always book one way only as they will try and get you to book a return journey but its a scam as they get you to wait for them in a friends shop and leave you there for ages hoping you'll buy something so book each cab separately !!
It was generally about 40 - 46 degrees whist we were there which is ok providing you have a breeze which this hotel gets off the sea most days however there were a couple of evenings where there wasn't a breeze and it was unbearable , we were sweating just sat having a drink on th balcony about 10pm so if you aren't that keen on intense heat then consider going early in the year or later in the year (I'm told October / November is a nice time to go) Make sure you take a hat and lots of sun cream , I saw a few hero's who thought they didn't need it and burnt to a crisp within 4 hours !!
The hotel is spotlessly clean and very impressive , there is a large reception area with concierge , taxi desk and all the travel reps desks , the reception also has free wifi although its quite slow in the evenings when everyone is on FaceTime and Skype etc
The complex is just about big enough , its only a 4 minute walk from reception down through the complex and onto the beach , I have stayed in other Sharm hotels which are far too big but The Cleopatra is perfect. There are little golf buggys to run you around should you need them and the blocks are split around the complex and the three pools. At sunset each evening a guy walks around with a fumigator which makes the hotel look like a Rod Stewart concert for about 20 minutes however the smoke is non toxic and gets rid of any bugs , mosquitos and flys etc and as a result the complex has virtually no bugs at all , I didn't see anyone with a mosquito bite and I only ever saw the odd fly , great idea that works however I would advise you to keep your balcony door closed for 20 minutes whilst they do this as the smoke smells a bit funny but is completely safe.
There are three pools at The Cleopatra , the main pool behind reception has a swim up bar in the middle however this pool is also where the animation team do all their water polo and aerobics and yoga etc so its quite a vibrant busy pool but some people prefer that.
Our favourite pool was the infinity pool at the bottom of the complex which looks over the beach and sea , its a lot quieter and has toilets on hand as well as being next to the beach bar for drinks and food etc. The pool is looked after by two guys called HANY and AWADALLA , I can't say enough about these two as they were the nicest guys and really made our holiday , they work so hard looking after everyone around the pool , moving your umbrella as the sun moves , keeping the pool area clean and are both very funny to have a chat with , thanks Hany & Awad :-)
The other pool is also very quiet at the front of the hotel if you want to be away from the activities etc. All of the pools had spare sun beds all day so you don't need to panic in a morning about getting a sunbed , you can get up and go to breakfast and wander down to the pool about 9/10am and still get a sunbed in a nice location. When you check in at Reception they will give you a towel card each which you can exchange every day for a beach towel (fresh towel every day) Don't lose your towel card though as its 100 Egyptian Pounds fine !!
The beach is quite gritty but has lots of sun beds and a shallow coral reef that you can walk around in and see lots of colourful fishes etc but you MUST wear shoes as there are urchins and sea snakes in the reef which I wouldn't want to step on !! The snorkelling off the pier is great and there are lots of beautiful fish and corals to see right next to the pier :-)
The rooms are stunning , they are large , spacious , tastefully decorated , very clean (cleaned everyday) and air conditioned which is lovely !! The beds are huge and VERY comfortable , I've never slept so well as I did at this hotel. There is a fridge in the room which gets 2 big bottles of water every day for free , there is a small hairdryer in the bathroom however ladies if you have lots of hair I recommend taking your own hairdryer. There is a free digital safe in each room where you set your own code which we used with no problems. The plugs are 2 pin but use the same adapters as Europe. Al the towels are provided so you don't need to bring any.
Block 2 , 3 and 6 are my recommendations as they look over the infinity pool and are away from the noise of the entertainment at night , block 5 is also ok but has the fish restaurant below it which would put me off due to the fishy smell from the food. Blocks 1 , 8 and 7 are all around the main pool and reception area so will be a bit noisier in the day and in the evening.
The food at The Cleopatra to be honest is good however it is rotated quite quickly so in a two week stay you may get the same themed night 3 times and some of the themed food is a bit obscure , it would be much better if they had core food types every night instead of some of the weird and wonderful dishes they prepare. There were quite a few families there so chips or wedges and sausages , fish fingers , chicken nuggets or something similar would be great for the kids and I'm sure a few adults too but don't let this out you off the food is good here.
We were looked after by a couple of great waiters MOHAMED MABRUCK and FAVAG in the main restaurant , they were amazing and always on hand serving you drinks and making sure you were happy , thank you guys !!
There are 2 other ala carte restaurants on the complex , there is a fish restaurant which over looks the beach and sea which you normally pay for however if you are all inclusive then you get 4 visits during your 2 week stay to use either this restaurant or the other italian restaurant. Both are very nice but have to be booked through reception , you will get 4 vouchers when you check in. The drinks on the all inclusive package are great , we are not big drinkers so tended to live on alcohol free cocktails and soft drinks , the guy who serves drinks around the infinity pool (MOHAMED EL SAID) is amazing , he serves you drinks to your sun beds and as soon as you finish one drink there is another waiting for you !! Thankyou Mohamed :-)
The beach bar is great for lunch as it serves Pizza , Fajita , Burgers , Fries etc (included in the all inclusive package) and is in the shade and has wifi so its lovely to sit down there for an hour whilst the sun is at its strongest and have a bite to eat and check your Facebook / emails etc
The entertainment team at this hotel do the best with what they have , I wouldn't say the evening entertainment was great but its ok , they have a few themed nights with Egyptian dancers , fire shows , snake shows , karaoke etc and every evening is started with a kids mini disco from 8.30 - 9.30 pm which is great for the kids.
The team run trips out most evenings to Naama Bay , Soho Square and various nightclubs and beach partys (If thats your cup of tea) we didn't bother as we found the heat made us quite tired by the evening so we generally , had dinner , watched the hotel show for an hour then went to bed about 10pm !!
There is plenty to do in the day from water polo , aerobics , yoga etc all by the main pool and the entertainment team are all very friendly and not too pushy to get you involved unlike some other hotels.
Your travel rep will have a meet & greet meeting when you arrive and try and sell you lots of days out etc , I would recommend doing some of the excursions whilst in Egypt as they are fantastic HOWEVER don't be in a rush or put under pressure to buy them from your travel rep , they are much cheaper elsewhere , there is a english pub about 10 minutes walk from The Cleoptara called The George which is run by an nice english couple and they do exactly the same excursions but a lot cheaper , if you are going to do a few trips then you will save a lot of money. I would recommend Flying to Cairo and seeing the Pyramids / Sphinx / Egyptian museum , its £170 through your rep or about £130 from The George pub but its worth every penny , the pyramids and the museum are breathtaking and you get a lovely lunch at a nice restaurant thrown in too !!
The snorkelling is a MUST !! I would recommend Tiran Island on a day trip , they take you out on a boat all day and stop at 3 different AMAZING reefs where you can snorkel or dive for about 45 minutes and you get lunch on the boat which is lovely (Don't book the VIP version , you only get a BBQ thrown in extra and is not worth the extra £20) These trips are £30 through your rep but you can get them as cheap as £10 for exactly the same trip so shop around !!
The quad bikes are also amazing , they are about £20 for 3 hours and they take you into the desert to a bedhouin camp where you have egyptian tea and drinks and then drive back through the desert back to the base … AMAZING !!
The hotel has a spa and the guys will come round and offer you the treatments however the few couples we spoke to were not overly impressed so perhaps if you're thinking about a massage or a treatment then it might be wise to ask for a 5 minute taster before you book !!
You will get hassle when you go outside the hotel complex and especially into Naama Bay , don't let it put you off , its all quite friendly but just a bit tedious.
DONT let anyone take photo's for you , they WILL expect a tip.
DONT stroke the camels , the owner will expect a tip.
DONT accept flyers , some people expect paying for them and won't let you hand them back.
STAY out of perfume shops , some of them are not keen to let you leave until you have bought some of their perfume !!
Haggle with everyone , expect to pay about a quarter of the starting price when you buy something !!
If you feel you've had good service then feel free to tip your waiter , pool guy , room cleaner etc but don't feel obliged , The Cleopatra is quite strict with its staff so you don't feel pressured into tipping everyone like you do in a lot of other hotels in Egypt.
If you feel ill then the doctor at The Cleopatra is amazing , I spoke to a few people who went to see him with dehydration and the odd bit of stomach ache and he sorted them all out within 12 hours !! Great guy don't be afraid to go and see him if you feel unwell.
Advice To Hotel Manager
You have a great hotel at The Cleopatra and I would consider coming back , however if you wanted to make the hotel completely AMAZING then I would ask that you consider the following points :-
Increase the variety of food , the food is ok but a little obscure/weird with your choices and there are not enough basic food types , it would be great if you had a section with basic vegetables , chips , sausage , chicken nuggets , jacket potatoes etc especially for the children EVERY NIGHT !! Not so many themed nights would be better but just a larger variety of standard dishes. Everyone at the hotel said the food could be much better !!
Entertainment in the evening needs addressing !! There are so many talented bands , singers , tribute acts , illusionists & variety acts which would be appreciated by all nationalities which I'm sure would be grateful of the chance to come and work around the hotels in Sharm and they would be far more entertaining than watching Egyptian dancers every week , most people I spoke to at the hotel were not impressed with the variety and choice of the evening entertainment.
The entertainment team at The Cleopatra are in my opinion far too young and are not suited to that type of hotel / holiday , they all appear to be better suited in a young persons / club / pub resort and not in a family orientated relaxing hotel such as The Cleopatra , some of them even moaned about the fact they were not happy and wanted to move , I went on holiday to relax and not to hear other people moaning about their job !!
The music on some days on the external speakers outside the restaurant was not what you would expect from a relaxing quality resort , it was far too loud and dance orientated , I have stayed at other resorts in Egypt where the music is very calming and relaxing (spa music) and adds to to the feel of the hotel , it really needs changing !!
The pools need some attention , there are tiles dropping off the walls and floor of the pools on a daily basis , especially in the infinity pool !! It makes the pools look untidy and unkept , it would be a very quick job to rectify this but it doesn't seem to be getting done , disappointing as the pools are otherwise amazing !!
The pool sun bed cushions and umbrellas are ready for a change , they are ok but not what I would expect of a 5 star luxury hotel !!
The Russian Guest Relations girl (Blonde Hair) is the most rude and unhelpful person I have ever met , she is the worst person in the hotel to be in Guest Relations , not a good impression for the hotel !!!
The supervisors often walked around the pools inspecting the pool areas which is great however they were shouting at the pool staff in front of guests which is awful !! The pool staff work so hard and do a great job so please stop your supervisors shouting at them , its unprofessional and not necessary as the pool guys are amazing !!
Great hotel , could be made AMAZING with a few changes but if you are thinking about booking a good reasonably priced 5 star hotel in Sharm then I would definitely recommend The Cleopatra , if you want to spend the extra money and want to be pampered then consider The Rixos hotel , The Savoy Hotel or if you have lots of money then go to The Four Seasons hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cleopatra Luxury Resort Sharm El Sheikh is located in the Sinai Peninsula in the splendid isolation of Nabq Bay along the shores of the Red Sea with a water front private beach. The Resort offers one of a kind ambiance and style by reflecting the location, culture and history. The Resort combines the tradition of its host community with exceptional Service & Cuisine a luxury product with attention to detail. This distinction elevates Cleopatra Luxury Resort Sharm El Sheikh into the upper echelon of a five star hotel destination for sophisticated travelers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Cleopatra Luxury Resort Collection Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Cleopatra Luxury Resort Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - Nabq Bay