Strap yourself in and get a coffee, this is a long one, but hopefully worth a read! Before deciding on a hotel, it's always difficult to make a judgement based on reviews. A lot of the time reviews seem to be quite circumstantial, or written according to a reviewer's expectations. My partner and I had never stayed at an all-inclusive hotel, and usually steer clear of package holidays in general, usually preferring a more independent style of travel. As such, I wasn't really looking forward to being trapped in a prison of people dripping with gold, red-faced beer-swilling wide boys with massive bellies, and ridiculously over-filled plates. But this time we fancied just chilling out for 10 days and being looked after. My expectations were absolutely smashed.
Sure, El Gouna (means 'lagoon' in Arabic) is a purpose-built tourist town built around a man-made lagoon that's only 20 years old, so as such the coastline, sand and water aren't exactly on the same level as Fiji or Hawaii. I also agree entirely with 'hatsharrogate' in his assessment of the evening 'entertainer,' who bore more than a passing resemblance to Vic Reeves' club singer on Shooting Stars. This is pretty funny for a short while until you realise that is actually how he's singing. He also brilliantly has CDs of himself. But for me this is where the negatives end rather abruptly...
I had been planning on proposing to my girlfriend on this trip, but being our first time in Egypt I had no idea of how I was going to do it. I decided to get in touch with the hotel to see if they had any suggestions of a romantic spot for a walk, or anything to help really. They got right behind me from the off, offering to set up a table for us on the beach terrace area with our own chef, own waiter, champagne, candles...and also gave us a lovely room (2365) with an ocean view. We were then like mini celebs! My girlfriend is also allergic to nuts, so the buffet style restaurant was a bit of a worry; every night though, the restaurant duty manager would show us round everything and point out what she could and couldn't have, so if you've got any dietary requirements you'll be absolutely fine.
Which leads me nicely onto the food. There is a different theme every night, and always a lot of choice. There were a lot of Egyptian dishes as well, which I was pleased with; I was expecting chips every night just to satisfy the masses, so again my cynical expectations were beaten. The majority of the dishes are help-yourself buffet style, but every meal time there is at least one made-to-order station where a chef is cooking things fresh, sometimes 3. On the whole the food was excellent. Should you get bored of the all inclusive restaurant, however, El Gouna's 'Dine Around' scheme gives you a discount on a whole host of other restaurants nearby. Some of these can be hit and miss though apparently, so speak to the Guest Relations desk for recommendations.
Still on the subject of food, sorry to say, if your diet at home consists mainly of ready-made packets, bland food or jars of sauce, you'll quite likely be 'running' about the place quicker than you can say 'trot like an Egyptian.' Not because there are any issues with the hotel's hygiene, which is excellent, but the food is just plain different to what we're used to. You'll seemingly experience this wherever you go in Egypt, not just here. You get used to seeing the same people around the hotel, and there were notable absentees every day, only to emerge a day or two later looking like a resurrected mummy. The single best bit of our rep's welcome meeting on day one was when she told us to get over to the pharmacy on the other side of the marina and get some Egyptian squirt tablets, just to pre-empt any unwanted bowel parties. Immodium or anything else from home just won't work, and for the sake of about 75p it'll save a lot of discomfort and inconvenience to nip anything in the butt as soon as you start feeling a bit funky. That's that over with.
The hotel's location in the lagoon is matched only by the 5* Sheraton, literally on the shore front. But unlike the Sheraton, at the very least you'll have a marina view room here. I just about made the decision to book here, over Three Corners Rihanna. Having been to both (I did a dive course at Easy Divers, which is at Rihanna) the Rihanna is located 'inland' and doesn't come close to Ocean View's location, which is stunning.
Of the 2 buildings in the hotel, we'd been recommended by a friend to get in touch and ask for a room in the main 'Le Soleil' building, where the all inclusive restaurant is. The 'Du Port' building would still have been nice, where the hotel's two a la carte restaurants are, but the 'animation team' put on 3-4 shows a week in Du Port's courtyard area and if you fancy just chilling out in your room or on your balcony you can forget it until after 10.30pm. Du Port's pool bar is great though, with four-poster sun loungers and is open in the evenings; superb. Either way, each building is within minutes of each other so no dramas wherever you end up. They will do their level best to accommodate any requests you make beforehand, and you stand more of a chance to getting the room you want if you actually ask!
So finally onto the absolute best thing about the hotel: the staff. Put simply, they are absolutely incredible. Special mentions have to go to Amira on the Guest Relations desk, who took complete ownership of my proposal efforts and helped in my quest to actually get something out of my bank (HSBC, which is essentially on a corner of the hotel!). She was great, and a real asset to the hotel - not least because she speaks every foreign language ever! Fouad, the front-of-house manager, also assisted with my proposal and was very nice. And finally, Ezak, the restaurant manager, treated us like royalty; not just because we got engaged but because him and all of his staff are just so nice! The bar staff in the main building are great, and reception always cheerful. Hani, our housekeeper, made us a series of animals out of our towels, which became one of the highlights of our day after coming back from a day lounging by the pool!
To repeat what other people have said - nothing is too much trouble for the staff and they're all genuinely passionate about making sure you have a great time, even if it's just a smile and a greeting in the hallway.
In a general sense, El Gouna is a fantastic little town and the 'owner' (who has THE most incredible house - take the hotel's free lagoon boat tour to see it) has made sure you don't get any of the hassle when out and about that you would in nearby Hurghada. It's safe, easy and cheap to get around and has plenty to do. Please go diving or snorkelling; I've been to reefs in Australia and Fiji and the reefs I went to here rank up there with both of them. We also went to the Pyramids; be under no illusions it's just up the road. We went by car - just us two, a driver and our own personal guide. You can also fly, but we actually got back before the flyers did, only left half a hour before they did in the morning and it was cheaper. We had to leave at 3am (!!) but managed to sleep for most of the journey; this was absolutely worth it to see arguably THE most famous site in the world.
If you're still reading, congratulations. We would never normally go back to the same place but are already looking to book again for next year. If you take notice of only one thing I've said, refer to the title. Stay here.
Thank you so much to all the staff at Ocean View. You have converted a once snobby traveller!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Three Corners Ocean View Hotel**** Prestige acclaims a special location in El Gouna. Stretched along the Abu Tig Marina, the two swimming pools are unique: one overtops the Red Sea itself while the other pool is set in the middle of this superb Marina. The Three Corners Ocean View Hotel, as well in the Le Soleil building as in the Du Port building, offers waterfront lodging, dining, shopping or poolside fun and prides itself in indulging your desires. All guests can enjoy the facilities in our two building freely, no matter where they may have their room. Travelling alone, as a couple, or with a group of friends, Ocean View represents the best adults only quality holidays in an exclusive, stylish environment. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Hotwire, Booking.com, Hotel.de, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA, Cancelon and Priceline so you can book your Three Corners Ocean View Hotel - Adults only reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- 3 Corners Ocean View Hotel
- Hotel Three Corners Ocean View
- Three Corners Ocean View El Gouna