The stay at Le Meridian Resort was comfortable and restful. The design and layout of the hotel complex offer privacy when wanted, and chance to ‘people watch’ when you don’t. The beach has nice sunbathing chairs, an attractive pier, and views of the Saudi coastline. Passing tourist touts for camel and horse rides add to the feel.
We were on a B&B basis only, (wanting to eat locally rather than the usual overwhelming buffet dining).
The room was very comfortable, with a clean and well-designed bathroom. Really good kettle and hairdryer provided.
Our sea view did include the roof top water heaters –but no complaints really. Remember that like all Red Sea locations – it can be windy so a bit chilly on the beach at times. And there are mosquitos so spray your ankles!
We enjoyed fresh juices, breads and eggs for breakfasts. The weekly ‘newsletter’ was a good service.
We mostly ate in Dahab town. This is a 5 minute taxi ride from the hotel. As usual, the hotel complex is situated quite a way from the town base, but taxis were no more than Egyptian pounds/ £GB3, or you could use the free hotel shuttle bus. My only criticism with that is that the shuttle bus timings are a bit odd – I guess for people dining at the hotel in the evening – it would be great if they ran more frequently.
Walking beyond the hotel complex puts you on a rubbish-strewn beach – just shows how inconsiderate tourists are to their environment.
The hotel bars are smart but welcoming. We ate and drank at the xx beach bar, and found the food well presented, clean and fresh. The mezze is enough for two for a lunch time snack. The a la carte restaurant likewise served fresh Asian-style food which was really nice. (Beer prices are OK, but wine and spirits are pricey as you would expect in Egypt).
Unfortunately a number of factors made the hotel too quiet for us (perceptions of the recent civil upheaval, the Syrian situation, economic slump – or just being January?). So we felt a bit isolated and lonely in the hotel at times. (The discovery of Star Wars movies on TV helped!)
Given that it was January we were not surprised to see some maintenance work going on in the hotel. We had no disturbance or complaint, in fact I would suggest that the hotel could have been more confident in closing some areas off for storm damage repair.
Dahab itself is a small place for tourists (although the residential and local area spreads out a lot further), with just one ‘promenade’ of shops and cafes along the sea front.
There are lots of places to eat – with non of the international chains and brands now dominating Sharm. Good Egyptian menus are complemented with some Asian and European options.
We ate at The Cave which was cozy and relaxed. (Quite arty and chilled).
Ali Baba Restaurant felt a bit like the kind of large scale Indian restaurants you get in Manchester and Leeds – lots of bustle, fun waiters and both Egyptian and tourist customers. Really good quality sea food and meat. The portions are pretty big, and they give you mezze dips and a sweet too! Pop to the loo and pass the kitchen where you can see the bread being made. The at table hand washing is a lovely practical and hospitable touch.
The best coffee I had was at Scoops cafe in the Lighthouse area, (off the main drag). Amazing waffles and great toasties.
The Kitchen Restaurant did very reasonable Chinese – again, fresh and clean.
Note that most restaurants are alcohol free but you can BYO – there is a nearby beer and wine shop. (Bottled water is only about 3 Egyptian pounds / 30pence UK).
We popped into Churchills Bar – but frankly thought it was a bit of a dump – not worth seeking out the ‘ex-pat’ style bar unless you have agreed to meet up with other people/ divers there. Pretty crap service, tatty and unwelcoming.
The tourist shop owners do constantly hustle you – but there seemed to be a good variety of t-shirts and Arabic – style decorations to buy. I think this seemed to be a nice place to wander with children.
There are lots of cats – and restaurants provide water squirters to put of feline beggars!
There are hundreds of dive shops and it is really entertaining to watch all the divers entering the water next to the cafes and shops. If you are a diver you might want to pick your centre carefully as some kit looked a bit tatty and some of the centres cater mostly for Russian or UK divers (pick your preference).
We can recommend H2O Dive Centre as a good international team, with UK style training at both recreational and technical diver standards.
If you have only been to Sharm or Hurguargda you will find Dahab a lot more laid back, and water sport orientated, and with a lingering ‘hippy’ feel. Once you get used to the unlit streets and Egyptian friendliness it felt like a safe and welcoming place. (I was here over 12 years ago when there were no big resorts so glad to see the place has retained some originality).
We had a private car airport transfer – the drive through the desert landscape added to the holiday. Note that the airport toilets at Sharm are terrible, and the airport can be packed.
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Dahab Hotel Dahab
- Dahab Le Meridien