I landed back from sharm yesterday, on the monarch flight that came into Birmingham.
I stayed in Naama Bay @ the Hilton Sharm Dreams Resorts for 10 days.
There is absolutely no trouble in Sharm, well nome in Naama Bay where I stayed.
I was out every morning and every night until the very early hours. No sign of any trouble. I only found out about the conflict in Cairo when I turned on the TV and watched Sky News.
I was very apprehensive before leaving, but going there and seeing it myself, I wouldnt want anyone to miss out on their holiday. Out of all destinations Sharm is probably one place that would even consider returning to.
Yes it is slightly expensive as the shop keepers are trying to rip you off because they have no trade. It is very quiet in sharm and business slow. Just before I left for sharm, the only trouble was petrol, where the transport industry (taxis, buses, coaches) were not able to get hold of petrol, but that was only for a day, and saying that, at the same time there were plenty of taxis still available as we needed dropping off to the airport. We could have opted for hotel transfer but we managed to haggle for a much cheaper rate with the taxi man.
I can safely say it is all scaremongering, even while going onto the excursions and leaving Naama Bay, there were security checkpoints. I honestly don't feel anything or anyone threatening can enter sharm from the outside. It's desert after desert and then you've got sharm on the strip of the Red Sea.
I also personally believe no one is stupid enough to start trouble in sharm itself. Their livelihoods depend on sharm and the tourist trade. It's all men that have travelled from other parts of Egypt, left their families behind to make a living.
Don't book your excursions through the hotel rep, as its daylight robbery. They rip you off and make a heavy commission on top. I would recommend asking the excursion people in Naama Bay Central who are every where to be found. With the hotel we paid £15 for quad biking. Went into Naama Bay town and the guy was offering £8!
In our 10 days we did
* scuba diving @ Tiran Island
I would highly highly highly recommend this amazing experience. I can't swim but you don't need to know how to swim. Aslong as you follow thier instructions you will be fine. I went into the water and my face mask came off but ayman was there to make sure everything was fine. We had one dedicated instructor with every two scuba divers. He was there right by our side and helped us with everything. I booked though Eastmar Tours. He really was an amazing instructor and I think he is usually found on the boat called Al-Madina.
We had our photos taken and got a certificate and on board lunch too. All equipment was included. Take your towels with you.
* snorkelling @ Ras Mohammed Park
Snorkelling was so much fun, we did it 4 times in total! Again this was this ayman and his team but on a different date. You can buy your own mask and flippers for about £5 - £10 or hire from the boat for £5. Take your towels with you.
* Bedouin Dinner/Star Gazing
I can't recommend this relaxing experience enough!! So beautiful to see the sunset while in the middle of nowhere in the desert. Went for a camel ride and had food at the Bedouin tent. Beautiful feeling being in the mountains away from the world.
A bit too long, and especially having no shade made this kind of difficult but at the same time a fun experience in the desert. Take a scarf with you if you already have one but you can buy one from the organisers for £3. Wear old clothes as you will be covered in sand by the end.
Cheap and peaceful, nice experience and you can also get your photo taken on board but the price is extortion
* Old Market/ Old Egypt
This is a little shopping Village/Market about 10minutes from Naama Bay. It is supposed to be cheaper than Naama Bay, but we found the prices pretty much the same. Everything, as in the shops, clothes and good are all the same. There is not much variety. I would not recommend you buy anything for the first two days until you've had a look around the shops. The EXACT same products will sell in a different shop two doors away for half the price which is what happened to me. So don't buy, just ask. Then when you have found the cheapest price just come back to that shop :) simple right?
Soho square is the up-market area where generally everything is slightly more expensive, fixed price and absolutely no scope to haggle as the shop keepers are so rude that if you make a silly offer, they will just ask you to leave because they know someone else will pay an extortionate price. Nothing different to be found in soho square that we weren't able to find in Naama bay apart from the attractions like the water show at 9pm, ice bar, ice rink, live entertainment and clubs and a british pub. The Duty free shop is also at soho square where you can shop within the 48 hours of landing.
Aqua park was full of watersides, one pool, and a couple of places to eat aswell as a kids area. I didn't enjoy this much as it was very busy.
If you get a stomach upset, take diaoralyte with you and buy Antinal from there.
General prices are very expensive. Pretty much on par with the I'm if not maybe more. We were having to pay £4 for a big bag of lays (walkers) crisps just because they were "imported"
Our hotel was amazing, as we got given a villa within the Hilton complex. It was 3 bedrooms with en-suite and tv in every bedroom, kitchenette and lounge including balcony. Plenty of space to sleep 6 people. We had water bottles delivered to our room everyday. Cleaner also came everyday.
They had a golf cart to transport us to our rooms. The food was Amazing. All buffet service, and as many drinks as you with all inclusive. I have seen people on here complain, but every one is different. The food was most certainly edible. Breakfast was top notch.
I only got bit by a couple of Mosquitos not as bad as I expected.
The guys at BYBLOS SHEESHA CAFE (right opposite Hard Rock and right next to Tropitel) were absolutely amazing and treated us like royalty every day. Even though the wifi is not all that great but the guys and entertainment makes up for that.
Don't be shy and always haggle. If they don't agree your price don't worry, walk away and just go to the next shop few feet away selling the same item :)
Same applies to the taxi services.
If you are doing snorkelling or scuba diving, you WILL NEED the visa from the airport.
I had to pay £13 per person for the visa upon landing. If you KNOW you are NOT leaving your resort then don't bother with the visa as it is not needed for staying within the main area of sharm.
I hope you found this information useful, any questions please feel free to ask :)