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“One that we'd definately go back to...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shams Alam Beach Resort

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Shams Alam Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Marsa Alam, Marsa Alam 0, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #28 of 63 Hotels in Marsa Alam
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“One that we'd definately go back to...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

Having a windsurfing husband and having visited Egypt a number of times at Dahab & Soma Bay & Sharm, John & I decided we wanted to try a different resort this spring and so, on recommendation, we booked the Shams Alam at Marsa Alam with Sportif. Despite it being a 1hr 30 mins transfer, it was well worth it.

The drive down was really nice as you go along the coast road and can see the ocean all the way, although you get to the point of constantly thinking 'are we there yet?'. The hotel really is in the middle of nowhere, but there is a big hotel about a mile north up the beach that people walked to for a change of scenery. There is also a new shopping arcade directly across from the main entrance which has a good Pharmacy alongside the usual nick-knacks / T shirt shops.

Rooms;- Rooms 100 - 500 are to the left of reception and are the ones nearest to the windsurfing centre. Rooms 600 - 1000 are to the right and are nearest the dive centre. All rooms have a sea view which is a really great design side of the hotel. If like us, you arrive after a long days travel and on seeing your room feel a bit disappointed, give it till the morning when the sun is shining and everything looks so much better. We did move rooms before unpacking as we had requested an upper floor room when we booked, and were very pleased when we were given room 409 which is upstairs at the front of the block with amazing views. The rooms have lovely domed brick ceilings and are very comfortable. Khalid who looked after our room deserves a special mention for his helpfulness and his amazing towel creations, especially the monkey hanging inside the door one day which initially made us jump. Whilst not the most modern of bathrooms, the shower and water temperature was excellent, and everything worked as it should, including the plug in the sink... The only down side was that the TV sound kept going off and there was only a couple of English speaking channels, plus there are no tea/coffee making facilities in the room. Comment for the hotel is that you could do with upgrading you TV's.

Beach;- The beach is amazing and the best we have been to in Egypt so far. The sand is pale and soft, and the bay sweeps in a gentle curve, about 300m long from the windsurfing centre at the north end, to the jetty and dive school at the south. John's comments on the windsurfing is that it is a really great spot with cross shore winds so you can sail straight out from the beach and back, with flat water, turning into a bit of chop, then swells further out. He's definitely wanting to go back as the conditions were perfect for his sport. The beach/bay is more or less divided into 3 areas, the windsurfing on the left, then a large sandy area ideal for swimming in the centre, which going right out to sea & where turtles come in close to feed on the grass tufts growing on the bottom, then on the right the reef comes right up to the beach and is partially out of the water at low tide. It was incredible, and heaven for snorkelers of all capabilities. In the shallows you can drift along the edge of the corals and see all the usual variety of fish without going out of your depth, and this would be the most amazing place for children to learn how to snorkel. For those who are a bit more brave, you can swim around the outer edge of the reef from the beach, and come out up the ladder on the jetty. There is a great beach bar that does food at lunch time 'in season' but as the hotel was so quiet when we were there, they were only serving drinks. As with most Egyptian hotels now, beach towels are provided which saves lots of room and weight in your luggage. In summary, great for windsurfing, snorkelling and just swimming and sunbathing. Fantastic...

Food;- As there was no food being served at the beach bar, being on an All Inclusive basis, all meals were taken in the restaurant and were buffet style. There was a different theme each night (Italian, French, Egyptian etc) and in our view the food was good. Due to the hotel being nearly empty (the main Italian Travel Agent that uses the hotel went bust in December) the variety of food was not what you would normally expect, but the kitchen staff did a great job and what was available was tasty and good quality,and the aubergine (egg plant) dishes were to die for. The restaurant staff were amazing and were great at anticipating what you wanted, so your drinks were ready on the table for you when you arrived. As it was still fairly early in the season there were no tables set outside for eating, but it was no problem for us to take our breakfast out and eat in the sun each morning.

Things to do;- Not a lot... Most likely this was due to the lack of Italians/guests at the hotel, but the evening entertainment programme hadn't started yet, the disco was closed, and so most people (about 30 of us in total) strolled around the grounds, sat and drank on the terrace next to the pool, or watched TV in their rooms. It was disappointing that, with the lack of alternative activity going on, the billiard/snooker room was also closed. However we did sneak in and, having done a bit of dusting, were able to have a game on a couple of nights as each table has it's own light above it. There is also a small gym which has everything you need for a workout, but take a towel as this was also very dusty.

We must give a special mention (and a huge 'Hi' from Mister John & Carol if you're reading this) to Hani who runs the Spa at the hotel. What a lovely man he is. By the end of our week apparently we were the only couple in the hotel who hadn't had a massage by him, simply because we don't do Spa's on holiday. Other guests were raving about him though, and when John finally succumbed on our last day to a 5 minute neck & back massage on the beach, he said we would definitely book a treatment when we go back for our next holiday.

The Hotel generally;- This is a lovely medium sized hotel, with an amazing team of staff who can't do enough for you. Having said that, the rooms could all do with a bit of attention and updating, and the grounds are not as well tended as we have been used to seeing in Egypt
So, in summary. If you're looking for a hotel that's plush and perfectly manicured this may not be the one for you. However, if the things that are important to you are the location, the beach/sea life and the team of people looking after you, then you'll love the Shams Alam. We did.

John & Carol - England

Room Tip: Rooms in block 100 are next to the Animation Centre so may be noisy in high season, and block 600 is...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marion R, Guest Relations Manager at Shams Alam Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear Carol,

thank you very much for your extensive review on TripAdvisor and we're pleased to read that you did enjoy your vacation with us.

Thank you that your have been our guest and we're looking forward to welcome you soon back in your second home.

The Management & Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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478 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
torino, italy
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

I came back to Shams Alam after some years and many other hotels on the Red Sea.
Shams still earns special consideration for quality of the reef and the unspoiled beaches surrounding the bay, that allow easy access to the reef.Also the remoteness of the hotel is for me a very important thing. The Wadi Gimal Island in front, and the same name National Park in the desert provide interesting destination also.The realtively small hotel, a little ageing by today standards, had something of the intimate club atmosphere.
But, and this is a big but, the new insallation of the windsurfing center, with part of the bay reserved for surfers, has been a HUGE MISTAKE.It changed the quiet place, where even the aniation group is not intrusive, in a way I can only justify by greed. The instructor of the windsurfing center, caring for 2 or 3 people at the time from the beach, barking loudly for hours in a sort of german venetian language, barking barking barking..
no sleeping in the shade, forget it.
I spoke with affectionate clients and all of the told me " never again"
isn't it possible to preserve one hotel fom the common destiny of the barbarians ?

Room Tip: rooms from number 700 to 1000 are very quiet and have had renovated bathrooms
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

.We came to this hotel because of its location near the National Park , in which we could walk freely and watch the ever changing migratory birds. House reef was excellent for snorkelling and easily reached from the beach or jetty. The dive centre was very helpful and allowed us to go on dive trips suitable for snorkellers. They even took us close to Wadi El Gemal island to look at the birds.
The food was standard buffet style, varied and plentiful. The staff were all excellent and friendly. We class this hotel as a hidden gem away from the commercialism that takes over much of this coast.
The grounds were well kept and nice to wander round especially for bird watchers.

Room Tip: All rooms have sea views.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012

The hotel is located a good hour’s drive to the south of Marsa Alam airport (itself to the north of the Marsa Alam town). The hotel is a self-contained resort hotel which focuses on diving and windsurfing as the activities. When we stayed there were a few guests who were there for the sun & sand only as well; I was in a windsurfing group.

The accommodation is in a number of 2 storey bocks and the rooms are en-suite, have a small beach-facing patio/balcony and of a generous size. The rooms have a safe, TV (very limited English channels), fridge and a hair dryer. The WiFi is chargeable and limited to the Reception area. The rooms are well serviced and clean with fresh towels upon request.

Most guests are on full-board – definitely a good idea as there are simply no alternatives on the doorstep. The food is readily available and generally perfectly acceptable quality; if not exactly European spec Good Food, it’s fine and apparently significantly better than many Egyptian hotels. The food is of Italian influence (due to the resort’s popularity with Italians) and there is always a choice at all meals with salad and a healthy option. The full board includes drinkable wine and beer. The staff are all friendly and helpful and the resort as a whole is well serviced.

I was there for the windsurfing and the Club Mistral resort is exceptionally well run and credit must go to the whole team there. If you are looking to windsurf, this place is well worth the effort, especially as there are no kites to get in the way and we enjoyed good wind all week. If you have room in your baggage, it’s also worth bringing a snorkel, mask and fins as the snorkelling is simply superb.

Room Tip: I was on the ground floor and got bitten by a mosquito or two. The staff will spray your room on de...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Billericay, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2012

I stayed at the Shams Alam hotel for 1 week at the beginning of March 2012. Having stayed in a few Egyptian hotels which had more stars than redeeming features, this was a very pleasant surprise. The hotel is right on the main coast road about 1 hr 30 minutes south of Marsa Alam airport.

The entrance hall/reception area is very grand with a beautiful vaulted brick work ceiling. This feature is continued through the dining room and into the top floor rooms. The rooms are arranged in little blocks of two stories. All of the rooms seem to have balconies or patios with views across the beach toward the sea.

The rooms themselves are a good size with a small fridge and television including some English language channels. The air conditioning in the room also provides heating. The bathroom was clean with towels changed frequently. Of course, there were the frequent towel sculptures left on the bed every day.

The restaurant is large and serves a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every one seems to be on an all-inclusive deal although it is possible to get some particularly nice looking food at additional cost. The standard buffet was very good and it varied every day. There was always plenty that I enjoyed eating. The red wine was perfectly palatable. The beach restaurant serves lunchtime snacks which aren't bad. There is a bar adjacent to the beautifully kept pool which serves all manner of drinks as well as coffee as part of the AI package. Service was excellent across the board.

The reason for the trip to Shams Alam was for windsurfing. I was part of a group using the superbly run Club Mistral Centre, just yards from the hotel, right by the water's edge. This is an excellent centre and the windsurfing is excellent in the varied conditions.

I am told that the snorkeling is excellent from the beach. There is a gym and spa although I used neither. There is a diving centre associated with the hotel too. Herein lies a problem: if you aren't interested in diving or windsurfing, there is not a lot else to do. The hotel can arrange trips though. Otherwise, it's just a beach resort but that is what it's called when all is said and done.

Room Tip: Rooms to the north for windsurfers, to the south for divers.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Coggeshall
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

We booked only 2 weeks before we went so our options were limited as there were so few flights available (it was Christmas too).

The whole focus of our holiday was the diving and in that respect we were not disappointed. Beautiful reefs, good dive staff (with a special mention to Nem Nem), and the hire equipment was all of excellent quality and repair. Excellent house reef for diving and snorkelling. 99% of the reefs we dived from the dive boat were offshore and on average only 45 minutes away.

The hotel was ordinary. It was OK but nothing special. It is literally miles from anywhere and a good hour and a half (not an hour as most travel companies say) from MA airport. I have no problem with it being isolated and you would imagine that being All Inclusive it wouldn't be a problem. There was afternoon tea and cake and also something similar in the morning I believe, but what I found odd was that there was no little shop selling those little things like crisps, biscuits, sweets that you might want over and above the AI provision. A bit annoying and it tended to mean that there was a bit of a scrum at the above times which is not what you want on holiday.

The Christmas dinner/buffet was nice enough, but the Strawberry (yes Strawberry) sauce they served with the turkey was novel to say the least. We ordered a bottle of white wine called Sheherazade for the occasion; do not make the same mistake. It was brown, so brown it was the colour of brandy, and tasted vile. The normal daily options of red or white wine are available from 2 large drums in the restaurant. I have no idea what that tastes like as I didn't ever have it but I can attest that the colour of it was at least what you would usually expect. The restaurant had a bit of a canteen feel about it and although there always seemed to be a lot of food available I found myself sometimes in difficulties finding something I wanted to eat, quantity not quality. The only criticism I would make about the food was that it was ordinary, edible but not particularly tasty. The lunches cooked by the Captain on the dive boat each day were tastier in my view. I'm sure some would say 'what do you expect from AI?' and I would just say 'better' and I've had better at other resorts and dive lodges in Egypt. My personal recommendations are the soups which were always good, the oranges, bananas and the pastries.

Rooms were kept very clean, and the majority of the staff were very polite. The restaurant staff work very hard, and the same people who worked the Christmas and New Year dinners were there the next morning for breakfast so can only have had a few hours break. A lot of the crockery is chipped, you are hard pressed to find a proper soup spoon amongst the cutlery, and a number of the glasses are chipped too. Little things perhaps but...

In summary, there is an outside chance that because of the diving we might go back again if it was the best diving break on offer at the time we booked, but it certainly isn't going to be top of our list.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2011

Beautiful hotel architecture with 160 rooms and a wonderful garden. Located about 60 km south of Marsa Alam, directly at the shore with a lovely sandy beach and magnificent coral reefs.
The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated. All rooms have either balcony or terrace, mosquito nets, television, etc. We did not miss anything. The bathrooms are large enough, a little bit old, but always clean.
The service is very obliging, easy communication, almost the whole staff speaks English and Italian and even little German. All persons are making efforts to fulfill your whishes, the waiters, the room-service as well as the managers themselves.
The gastronomy is perfect. Breakfast and lunch are served as a buffet in the restaurant which is well arranged, divided by pillars and arches. In summer or even in winter with warm evenings the buffet is set up outside, beautifully decorated, all in a nice atmosphere with a market character. The selection and quality of the food is good to very good. At least twice a week there is a barbecue with either large fish or meat supply, and every day you have offers of Arabic food and even diet food. There is a large choice of fresh salads and sauces and especially the prepared salads of leftovers are very tasty. The dessert buffet offers enormous selection of delicious cakes, tarts, creams, and you have always seasonal fruit. The coffee at breakfast is for European tastes too thin (Tip: Bring along instant coffee and mix this with the hotel coffee).
For sports you find dive and surf stations located at the edge of the resort. The Surf Station is well equipped with sufficient material.
The water and wind conditions are ideal for beginners and advanced. There is sufficient standing area to practice and excellent entry and exit conditions (in other locations sometimes very difficult due to the coral reefs). For snorkeling there are tremendous wonderful coral reefs with a huge variety of fishes and marine animals.
The animation is not importunate and exclusively Italian.
The staff of the wellness-oasis was a little bit nuisance, every day they offered their massages and asked for booking them. But indeed we enjoyed their massages.
Tips: All in all a hotel to relax, to make sports in surfing, diving or snorkeling, not suitable for party-lovers and boutique shoppers.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Shams Alam Beach Resort

Address: Marsa Alam, Marsa Alam 0, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Marsa Alam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Marsa Alam
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Marsa Alam
#26 Family Hotel in Marsa Alam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Shams Alam Beach Resort 3*
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Also Known As:
Shams Alam Beach Hotel Marsa Alam

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