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“A Great Week of Winter Sun” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay

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Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 15, Soma Bay 84711 , Egypt   |  
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Ranked #1 of 9 hotels in Soma Bay
London England
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“A Great Week of Winter Sun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Soma Bay is about 40 minutes south of Hurghada airport on a peninsular with 3 hotels on it, the Kempinski being one of them. We were looking for a week of doing nothing and as soon as you arrive at the hotel you start to relax as every single member of staff without exception was welcoming.

The hotel is designed on a Moorish style set around a large central pool area. Entrance to the hotel is via a splendid reception lobby with plenty of seating. To one side is the main restaurant area and the other the bar. The rooms were in low rise buildings set around the pool. We had been upgraded to a sea view room, but it looked to us that all rooms had a sea view !

Our room was a very good size with a balcony, a large bathroom with separate WC a decent size bath and a walk in shower and the largest bed we have ever seen (it must have been 2 doubles pushed together) with lovely Egyptian cotton sheets and pillows – very nice! The room staff kept it very clean and tidy and every evening would bring bottled water and a summery letter of the next day’s activities / weather etc. The mini bar was soft drinks only but it was “free”. Wifi was also free and available thought-out most of the hotel including the beach (just!)

The pool area had plenty of beds with shade but none were on top of each so you can have privacy. The beach area also had plenty of beds with shade and a wind break. The beach was really clean and was swept every morning. The pool and beach staff would take you to your bed with clean towels and a bottle of water. There was a small bar on the beach as well.

Food in the main restaurant is buffet style and all of good quality and variety. It had seating both inside and out but being winter we tended to eat in as it was warmer. We were there in the first week of February, but there were a quite a few families from other countries with small kids and the restaurant could be a bit noisy so we ate a bit later when it was more relaxed. The Egyptian wine was also surprisingly good.

We highly recommend the Bamboo shoot restaurant (Asian) the quality of food and service was fantastic. You have to book as its only small so in peak times that may mean you miss out. At this point we must apologise to the head waiter, he looked after us very well and we wanted to tip him on our last day but could not find him (sorry!) which was a real shame because this is the first hotel where we have genuinely been pleased to tip a large number of staff because they were all so helpful. The general manger also came round a number of times during the week to talk to guests and make sure they were happy.

The hotel has a small gym but what we found far nicer was to wait for the sun to go down and then jog along the sea front past the adjoining hotels and back.

Being on the Red Sea we had intended to dive. The dive centre is in the adjoining hotel (Robinsons) but they insisted that we have a Dr Certificate either from the UK or obtained locally at 50 euro’s. We have never had this anywhere else we have dived it’s usually a self cert. The cost per dive with kit (looked very good quality) was also fairly high so as we only wanted to do a few dives this made overall cost unacceptable and we gave it a miss.

So in summery – Egypt is not getting good press at the moment but this should not stop you, we had a great week away and with so few tourists they appreciate every one that goes. The Kempinski is a nice hotel, the room comfortable and a good size, food was good especially in the Bamboo Shoot and the staff were great and it all added up to a very pleasant week away – more than happy to recommend.

One final point – when you get to the airport you will need to buy a Visa. As you may have read elsewhere you will be approached by reps offering to organise this, but to do it yourself as its cheaper. We heeded this advice, side stepping the man who pounced on us as we entered passport control but he turned out to be our tour guide! Another party did allow him to get theirs and as far as we know we all paid the same so how true it is I don’t know.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
MichaelSchibler, Resident Manager at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Sir,

Thank you for the very positive and detailed feedback.

We are impressed about your detailed and warm description about your holidays at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay!

We will share your praise with our entire team and will send special thanks to the Indian Chef Thiru and his team from the Bamboo Shoot restaurant.

As you correctly mention, Soma Bay is a peaceful place and invites for relaxing vacation in a luxurious 5-Star-Hotel at Pearl of the Red Sea.

Warm regards

Michael Schibler
Resident Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Excellent place to stay, very clean room and premium food. Would like to thank Magdoline and Anwar from the reception desk for thier efforts and warm attitude ..
The beach is amazing and the water is so clear
Room 8404

Room Tip: Higher level on the sea view are great
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
MichaelSchibler, Resident Manager at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dir Sir,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback and for evaluating our property, Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay.

Magdoline and Anwar were very happy about your personal regards.

Hope to see you back soon!

Kind regards

Michael Schibler
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manama, Bahrain
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We had a perfect stay at Kempinski Soma Bay! Staff, food, outlets.....just perfect! Chef in Bamboo Shot makes amazing food, he went en extra mile with us! Staff is very helpful, polite, proactive in anything you may need. We would go back any time!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MichaelSchibler, Resident Manager at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Sir,

Thank you a lot for your amazing feedback.

Our Bamboo Shoot is indeed pampering the taste buds of our guests! Chef Thiru and his team are magicians in the Indian and Asian kitchen.
We are already looking forward to welcoming you back!

Sunny regards

Michael Schibler
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon, England
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

I agree with many of the reviews, the hotel is spotless, the lobby exotic and beautiful (loved the smell of the burning oil too) and the beach is fantastic. We had a connecting family room overlooking the pool. As bottom of the range, these were still good (although the curtains don't work). The mini bar was stocked every day with free soft drinks and the room was cleaned very efficiently. We were B & B and enjoyed lovely breakfast buffets. However at a staggering at 40 euros per person, we tried the evening buffet only once. It was nice but the atmosphere was a bit too much like a school dining hall. It was much better in the Bamboo Shoot, also owned by the hotel and only a short walk along the seafront. Here the food is Asian and the setting much more intimate, it also proved a much cheaper option for us. We also ate at the Italian restaurant at the nearby Sheraton - the food was not nearly as good.
From the reviews, it is clear that many customers come here for a bit of peace and quiet. However our only complaint would be the bar. It is like an uncurtained four poster bed with no optics, soft lighting or atmosphere. It really wasn't inviting and as a result it emptied by 10.30pm. In this respect the Sheraton Hotel bar wins hands down; it is still low key but people sit and talk around the bar, the staff are also chatty and the lay out is much more cosy and conducive to cocktail drinking. Although it reached 30 degrees when we were there during half term, the nights were cold - take some warm evening things (and it isn't very dressy in the restaurant). I was disappointed that we took at taxi into Hurghada the day after the mass protest on Tuesday but no one warned us there had been trouble in town (and in spite of me asking for a map of the town from reception). We only found out from a fellow traveller on the plane home. I don't think this was very responsible.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MichaelSchibler, Resident Manager at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

We are very sorry to hear that we were unable to exceed your expectations.
Kindly note, that the protest had nothing to do with the political situation in the country.
In fact, this was a dispute between two families which then attracted many onlookers.
Rest assured that I have shared your points for improvement to our Department Heads.

Best regards

Michael Schibler
Resident Manager
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North Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The other reports are right. It is very difficult to fault the hotel anywhere. We booked through holiday-designers.com who got us off to a good start by providing a fantastically efficient and helpful transfer service. The hotel reception greeted us warmly and Anwar immediately upgraded and invited us to get back to him with any requests we might have at any time. Our room – 5217 – was spotlessly clean and very spacious indeed and well furnished and had a super shower and bath. The bed was enormous – about 9 or 10ft wide and 7ft long. Sheets and duvet covers were changed daily and kept spotless.
The buffet style food at breakfast and dinner was excellent with a good choice including freshly cooked meat and fish daily – I recommend the Kingfish. The waiters were always cheerful and attentive and did everything at the double so no table was left uncleared for more than a minute. Lunch at the poolside Al Mar restaurant was equally good with attentive waiter service. The sandwiches were so big that we preferred to share one between two but we usually had just soup and the fish chowder is excellent.
Our room 5217 had a glimpse of the sea but not a lot of sun on the balcony. If you want a sunny balcony then you need to face the pool. Rooms beginning with 3, 4 or 5 are, I think, the smarter ones. Those beginning with 6, 7 or 8 are nearer to the Robinson Hotel and so probably noisier. The Kempinski has occasional musical entertainment in the evening at the Sultan Lounge bar but this does not go on till late so it certainly would not disturb the peace and quiet for any residents.

There is a good sandy beach with plenty of well spaced out thatched sun shelters and very good moveable woven windbreaks which also give some privacy. The excellent beach attendant – George - is very helpful with new towels and ensuring you are comfortable. Even on windy days we could sit on the beach and be comfortable. The sea is very shallow and sandy for about 150m which is where the reef starts. It is an excellent smallish coral reef with lots of varied fish and there is another patch of reef a little further out. If you want even better snorkelling then take the free shuttle beach-buggy to Breakers which is about 5 minutes by buggy. Here there is a 400m wood jetty to the far side of a magnificent reef, The beach shuttle only runs in the afternoon but you can take the regular hotel shuttle bus which would also take you to any of the other hotels on this part of the bay where you can eat or swim or take a massage and be treated as a resident. A great system. The massage at the Cascade Hotel given by Nid was the best my wife has ever had.
Altogether the Kempinski and its marvellous staff made our holiday memorable. Nothing was too much trouble for them and always done with a smile.

Room Tip: Sunny balconies face the pool. First floor is better than ground floor which they call lagoon view...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 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.
Petworth
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

By any standards, this is a top quality five star hotel. Superb rooms (excellent plumbing, large comfortable bed, top quality sheets and pillows, all the expected facilities), excellent food (the main dining room is an extensive buffet with hot food prepared for you by chefs at counters), excellent recreational areas (large and varied poolside with restaurant, beach, tennis, squash, spa, gym, sailing (take a certificate of competence), diving (you need a medical certificate) etc), attentive management and friendly staff. There is also kite and wind surfing and nearby. This is one of five hotels on a secure promontory at Soma Bay, making an oasis in the surrounding desert well away from Cairo's political problems. There is continuous sun with a breeze. You need a pullover on February evenings. We booked bed and breakfast, which gave us the choice of other restaurants (the Bamboo Shoot was particularly good and cheaper than the buffet). We also visited other hotels in Soma Bay). With a young family the main buffet for full or half board may be preferable, but it is a bit soulless for those wanting to linger over a bottle of wine etc. (and the Egyptian wine was entirely acceptable and reasonably priced).

Room Tip: We booked a room with a sea view. (The middle price) It was everything we could have wanted with a b...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MichaelSchibler, Resident Manager at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Sir,

it is our pleasure to share your great comment with our team! Thank you for taking the time for evaluating our property.

Indeed, Soma Bay is an Oasis in Egypt. Peaceful, calm and with a wonderful natural underwater world.

Did you know that we also provide an exclusive pillow menu in our rooms?

Hope to see you back soon!

Kind regards

Michael Schibler
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bornem, Belgium
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Hidden Pearl at the Red Sea!

Dear readers of Tripadvisor! If you think that pearls don’t exist at the Red Sea read this! They really exists! We just returned from a winterbreak at the Kempinski Soma Bay the last week of January. And we must admit this was surpassing our expectations! We all know that the situation in Egypt is frightening people to go there on vacation but we can assure you . . it’s still such a great place to visit.

I had booked a week as I wanted to surprise my wife with a ‘romantic pre-valentine package’. More about that later in the review!

We we’re picked up at the airport with a smile -part of the romantic package - and our driver Mustafa brought us in no time to Soma Bay. And yes Hurghada has changed. My wife and I have travelled already a lot and we’ve seen Egypt from north to south, Cairo, the Nile, Abu Simbel and Hurghada quit a time ago. But if you already visited the Emirates, Oman, Malaysia, Thailand and other places in Asia you do have high expectations. When entering Soma Bay you enter a secured area with 5 hotels, a golf course and you could say a little heaven on earth. How comes? Opened in 2009/2010 the Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay is superbly located facing the sea and with a little help you can walk from your room right on the sandy beach! Looking for a pearl? Kempinski Soma Bay is one . . . .

When we arrived at the hotel we we’re welcomed with a local drink and a fresh handy towel. But what a ‘warm’ welcome! It was as if we felt immediate the generous and warm hospitality of the whole staff who wanted to say without words ‘we welcome you and we want you to have a pleasant stay with us’. All the premises are kept very clean and the staff - every one of the staff deserves good points as they are all great! – were doing everything to make our stay a unforgettable one! We just have to say that the level of service is sooooo gooood! Our room was located in block 7 and again it felt as coming home. A very nice room - with 21 red roses as part of our romantic package - with an adjacent comfortable bathroom, a terrace with chairs to sit outside at sunset to sip from a glass of bubbles! And if you see a member of the staff they always salute and say hello. If you say hello or ‘Sabaah Al gheyr’ in Arabic you can make a smile on their faces and that can do miracles! The hotel is ‘big’ so it’s interesting to find your way in this venue with lots of water cascades, a lazy river, a very good centrally located Jacuzzi and a nice swimming pool. The staff is doing their outmost to please the guests and there is an atmosphere of a heavenly retreat hanging over this resort. At the beach you will find very comfortable sunbeds and the ‘beachboys’ will bring you large sunbed towels so you can relax and enjoy the scenery. The water is crystal clear and ideal for snorkeling and diving. You can also go for a lesson in surfing or sailing with a catamaran! And if you are more into walking there is very nice promenade passing the other hotels. Try also the ‘icecream car’ who drives you along the promenade both ways. The small marina is the departure place for divers who go diving at the nearby dedicated locations.

What about the food . . . well again it’s a pleasure . . if you go for the breakfast in the morning - with a glass of bubbles - or having a buffet dinner in the evening with a glass of wine you will find something that you like. Morning or . . . evening . . . a team of chefs is preparing traditional and local dishes for the foodies amongst us. The hotel has several restaurants, a lounge, a beachbar and if you like you can go for room service. What else can we say . . . yes the ‘romantic dinner’! During the warm summer months you can have a dinner on the beach but this was wintertime so we were invited at the ‘Presidential Suite’ to have a ‘romantic dinner’ at the terrace of the suite. We were treated as ‘royals’ and we had an exquisite dinner prepared ‘à la minute’ while overlooking the whole area of the hotel – beautiful lightened in the evening!!! Yes this was one of our highlights! Looking for a pearl . . you will find it at Kempinksi Hotel Soma Bay. We know that the hotel is run by a management team but really the whole staff is of such a high standard and service is remarkable! Of course you remember names but u can’t mention them all, but we give it a try. . . so thank you Daria, Amr, Mohammed Adir, Ellatif, Ghaled, Mustafa, Rabab, Ahmed, the chefs who prepared our food and the other good stuff, housekeeping for doing a wonderful job every day and all the others . . we won’ t forget you! We were treated as a real ‘guests’ and with that warm feeling of being amongst you all we can only say . . . we want to come back! And for other travelers if you are looking for a pearl in Egypt . . . your holiday starts at the Kempinksi Hotel Soma bay!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay

Address: PO Box 15, Soma Bay 84711 , Egypt
Phone Number:
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Soma Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Soma Bay
#1 Luxury Hotel in Soma Bay
#1 Family Hotel in Soma Bay
#1 Romantic Hotel in Soma Bay
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Soma Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Where the Red Sea mountain range blends majestically with aquamarine waters and pristine sandy beaches: this is Soma Bay. Overlooking one of the finest beaches you find the Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, the first Kempinski luxury hotel in Egypt. Come and enjoy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kempinski Soma Bay

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