Having stayed at this lovely hotel in the past, it was a pleasure to return again. The management continues to improve the hotel; we are looking forwards to seeing the completed new beach bar when we next return (I suspect that this was the construction that a previous reviewer alluded to, however we were never aware of construction noise during our 3 week stay, & so it wasn't a problem). The current beach bar is being transformed to improve the entertainment area, looking forwards to seeing that too!
A very tasty new addition that we enjoyed this visit were the freshly baked chocolate brownies, available early evening just around the corner from the children's buffet. The chef from the Hard Rock trained the RAM staff how to make them and they are simply delicious. I also enjoyed the fresh salad, made to order outside the Cameletto restaurant in the evenings. Incidentally, the manager of this restaurant is excellent.
My top tips for future guests:
• Prior to booking: I recommend that first time guests e-mail Joseph and ask him to send a link to the most recent hotel information brochure. This document is very informative re room type options, airport pick-up etc. Many travel agencies, particularly those on-line, are not informed re the room options available and consequently some guests arrive without managed expectations. This puts unfair pressure on the reception staff, with some guests expecting room types that they have not actually booked.
• Tipping: I believe in tipping for good service, however I have received excellent service from the entire team regardless of whether I’ve tipped them or not. Some guests tip in £1 coins (which the staff is very appreciative of, however they cannot change the coins at the banks for local currency). I take paper sterling, £20 & £10 notes to exchange their £1 coins for them. If tipping for the length of stay, I recommend £notes upfront (£10/£20 …) otherwise tip using $USD notes.
• Hotel transfers from the airport: These can be pre-arranged by e-mailing Joseph. The current standard cost is £24 per taxi (up to 4 passengers). For this, you will have a driver waiting for you with your name on a board & a quick transfer to the hotel. We take this option as we’ve experienced chaotic coach transfers in the past & are travelling with a child with an ASD. It is however much cheaper to haggle at the airport upon arrival, between £12-15, if you are travelling as either a group of up to 4 adults or as a ‘main-stream’ family.
• Mosquitoes: We take plug-ins for each bedroom & also a decent but cost-effective repellant spray (recommend Boots – Repel Tropical strength (50% Deet)). Alternatively, pack leggings or alternative long trousers for the after dusk hours (from roughly 4pm at this time of year). Any problems, ask your house-keeper for a spray /plug in or visit the in-house shop, we’ve found them v competitive. Do be careful with the on-site pharmacy, my husband didn’t check the amount before he keyed in his pin-code and was badly over charged.
• Passport & Visa: British nationals travelling to Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba resorts for up to 15 days receive a free entry permission stamp upon arrival. If you intend to travel out of these areas or stay longer than 15 days, you must get a visa. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Egypt. Several guests during our previous stays were either caught unawares (staying for >15days) or bought a visa un-necessarily (not travelling outside above areas). For most excursions you won’t need a visa as they will be within Sinai.
• Spa / beauty /bright-shark excursions: I am surprised at previous reviews. As a 4th time repeat guest I can honestly say that I’ve never been ‘hassled’ by sales staff. The red flag system (ask at reception, (however I’ve never needed to use it but have seen it in action)) works, as does a polite ‘please don’t ask me again’.
o Spa: Well worth a visit & if you are prepared to pay a fair price for a great massage you won’t be disappointed. Very cheap by UK standards & very friendly staff. I couldn’t fault them. Do haggle though.
o The same applies for the beauty bookings. If you are visiting with children, the girls will be delighted with hair braiding & children’s pedicures / nail varnish. They really do go the extra mile with nail decorations and super braid designs. On my last visit, they were offering buy-one-get-one free, meaning that they topped up the original service to be perfect again the second time, which we used just before our return home.
o We had 3 weeks (minus 4 days due to wind /or low tide) of fantastic snorkeling on the house reef. The lifeguards are superb & if you are a strong swimmer / experienced snorkeler they’ll lend you some fins, (necessary in my opinion, given the current on the return swim) to explore the wreck to the right of the jetty. It’s well worth the swim.
o Dolphin trip. An experience of a life-time, we booked through Bright-shark, the reps in resort. Although you can get this cheaper using sales people outside the hotel, you honestly do get what you pay for. B-shark offered us the best all-round experience & @ a very reasonable price.
We had a private transport from our hotel to the aquarium & return
We had a personal guide accompany us every step of the trip
We were given the first slot of the day, which was also the first day after the dolphins’ ‘day off’
• So we had dry ‘wet-suits’!
We had a dedicated dolphin for our family for the whole time
• Animation team: Very funny & absolutely brilliant with our children; they were hilarious & infectious with their enthusiasm for the Christmas week.
• WIFI: The reviews from previous guests are correct, the free wifi is poor.
o Sinai Safari Adventures, website sinaisafariadventures.com Contact them in advance if you can.
• Keycards: If you keep them away from magnetic fields (mobile ‘phones / tv’s etc) they’ll be fine.
• Funny tummies: I do agree with a previous review, the only issues with hygiene stem from other guests. There are (as always) ‘a few’ that do not place the towel between their hand and the bread loaf whilst cutting their slice, for example. We (family of 5) had no tummy troubles whatsoever during our 3 week stay, but we avoided food that had the potential to have been touched by other guests’ hands. This was actually very easy to achieve, not a problem at all.
• Our family includes children following restricted diets (vegetarian, gluten free) & also an ASD. This hotel lends itself perfectly to such situations, particularly using the ‘live cooking’ stations where you can tailor the food as needed.
Staff deserving special mention:
All of the staff team is amazing, but I must mention the following people, who really stood out on our most recent visit:
Attia El sayed, Front Office Manager. Extremely helpful and professional.
Ahmed Amer, our house-keeper (absolutely amazing, he made our holiday extra special with his effort & made a fabulous display of towel art for our daughter’s 13th birthday, totally unprompted). Megan sends a big hug Ahmed.
Abdelahed Gamel (beach bar, outstanding service) looked after our family superbly. He went the extra mile with decorations on their glasses, a very consistent and attentive waiter.
M. Saed, the lovely & biddable waiter that you will meet on the terrace is a true gem. If I could have packed him in my suitcase I would have done, my children adored him, and he worked so hard, always with a lovely smile.
Awad Khald, our children adored him, & he looked after them so well. Do pay him a visit and enjoy the delicious ice-cream. Gaby recommends the toffee sauce
The active pool bar staff (as always) are amazing. They cope so well with some really tricky guests, and they do it so professionally and with a smile.
Can't wait for our next visit!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.