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“Good food. Bad service.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada

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Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada
Ranked #60 of 229 Hotels in Hurghada
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good food. Bad service.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

I will start with positive: The food is really good, especially if you stay no longer than 5-7 days (as in my case).

As for negative:

On the day of departure the person from reception called us exactly at check-out time and on the excuse for 10 minutes delay because we were packing started shouting!! sent a porter who just opened the door without knocking and was staying at the door as we were packing!
The reason is that they want money from guests for literally every little "service"!

Similarly, they were not changing blankets and bringing bottles of water even though we were leaving tips! until we complained.


For minor points: In the middle of the park there is an artificial lake. That would probably be a positive point if not the mosquitoes. Though the risk of getting a malaria in Egypt is not high I would still be cautious. On the beach there is no escape from flies.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Natan Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
badramani, Assistant Regional Communications Manager at Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Natan Q:

I am sorry about what happened during your check out , I am checking with the hotel what happened and will get back to you as soon as i hear from them
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,497 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (136)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

we were a group of friends & we had really a bad experience with nearly everything, so the check in took more than 3 hours, then during our stay the service was bad, also they gave us only 1 access card for the each double room which is so silly, this was our first & last time.

Room Tip: choose normal rooms in the main building as the Chalets r very far.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank A-Kasseb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
130 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2013

Stayed there over X-mas 2012 for 5 days.
On the Pro:
- Extremely clean facility and living space, excellent food a la carte at the Middle East and Sea Food Restaurants,
- the All inclusive (including alchohol 10am to midnight) was great but glasses were baby size!
- Guest relations staff were helpful and very polite.
- the site is extremely clean every where, but furniture in our unit was oldish (like 80s) but an lcd tv in the living and no tv in the bedroom even if connection was there.

On the Negative:
- We got upgraded to a stand alone house on the property which provide lot more room but mosquitoes found their way in 3 nights out of 5 and ruined the pleasure of living there; the hotel does not do any thing to control these insects in these buildings unfortunately.
- Smoking is allowed in all rooms and rental so if the previous tenants smoked a lot.. you will NOT enjoy your room if you are an non-smoker and will have to try another one until you find one Not smelling.
- DO not spend anytime at the Chinese a la carte restaurant... they have no idea what chinese food is like and i would rate the food at 3/10... waste of time. buffet was generally fair and good.
- the hotel clearly cater for Russian first ((60%) and German (35%). If, like me, you are in the other category, you will not be able to read what is on board for activities!. but it did not disturbed my spouse and I since we did our own things.
- The hotel is on the strip of resort at the end of them... and lights is very limited at the end of the day and we go harassed by 2 teens trying to sell us papyrus on our walk back to the hotel around 7pm from the road and they were extremely agressive blocking our path and not letting us pass... almost turned into a fight.. we have dealt with thousands+ and several dozen sales people that day during our trip to Egyp (Luxor to Aswant, Cairo and Hurghada) and, if you are polite and funny with them, they will leave you alone after 1 or 2 attempts to get you in their store or selling their stuff. YOU HAVE TO PLAY THEIR GAME... IGNORING THEM WILL MAKE THEM MORE AGRESSIVE!
- The hotel booking will be usually done via a local travel agent to get maximum discount and great price on your stay. Unfortunately, the agent will meet you and he will say they want to make your stay wonderful.. and will suggest various expensive activities for you to do during your stay... if they hear you are shopping around for prices and content... they will get upset and will treaten you to report to the local tourism police and will block you from doing any activities if not with them.. they have low respect for woman in negotiation, so let a man do the nego if possible.. we did do our own booking for instance going to Cairo (pyramids, nile and egypt museum) by bus with another booking.. cost us 50 GBP per person versus 80 GBP that this agent was asking us...for the same trip and the same bus!!

Other comments: if you like diving, the hotel have a new diving shop organising trip which is good, but you buy a day event every time meeting around 8h30am and returning between 5 to 7pm. The boat they use is very large (about 20m), very comfy, run very slowly (about 8km/hour) and also cater for snorkeling and day outer...the food provided on board is better than the buffet at the hotel. Experienced divers know that a double dive trip should be leaving around 7am and you would get back before lunch so you can do something else with your day. Quality of the dive was great and highly recommended. did not see much coral damaged. dived little and big griffon islands. Equipment rental was only 4 months old and in great condition. price was the cheapest at 40 euro for day trip with double dive... food is only 5 euro extra and truly worthed it.

Room Tip: if you hate mosquito like me.. DO NOT GO in the self unit unless you bring repellent. stay in the ho...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank The_French_Canuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Voronezh
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

Visited the hotel from 22.12.2012 to 02.01.2013. The hotel itself is pretty good: huge area, a lot of greens, attantive staff. But a separate BIG respect is to the animation team. They know how to turn your rest to the real holiday. They are dancers, acrobats, singers, actors at the same time. What they have prepared for the New Year was unbelievable. That was my best new year party! I saw different animation crews but none of them stay close to the Sonesta's one! If I return to Egypt
I know what will be the hotel for sure!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Yulia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

I absolutely loved The Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort. The welcome was great,the room was perfect ,the staff ,especially Ahmed,the towel guy, and ALL the restaurant staff were perfect. Our room was spotless and cleaned everyday with fresh towels,tea and coffee and a bottle of water. 80 degrees plus, The pool was clean and sunbeds always available. We were served drinks that were brought to our sunbeds ,and regularly . We got to eat in two of the specialist restaurants the Sea Breeze ,delicious,and The Italian ,wonderful. Daniel in the Hotel shop was so friendly and helpful . The beverage and Food manager always found the time to talk to us . What a great holiday. But hold on a minute, we were the only English people staying in the hotel ,everyone else was Russian. apparently it was their holiday season, I wish we had known . They were rude,greedy,incapable of saying excuse me or thank you, or sorry. they barged in for the food,obviously not understanding that queueing is the norm. They took HUGE amounts of food ,tipping it into large bags,and this included RICE and SLICED CUCUMBER! enough Bananas to satisfy the monkeys in Gibraltar ! When stopped by the staff they pointed to their all inclusive bracelets and argued ! They didnt follow the dress code and wore swimwear in the dining room,not a pretty sight if the person wearing it happens to be on the large side! My husband and I felt sorry for the staff, who were only doing their job. Quite a few of the staff apologised to us about the behavior of the Russian Guests . It made the Germans and the Towels drift into insignificance. We decided not to get upset about it all and treat it as "the cabaret". we played guessing games as to where they all went between meals,they wern't on the beach,they wern't by the pool, general opinion was they were in their rooms eating what they had take in bags from the restaurants.
Dont get me wrong about my rant, I found it all very amusing,they only annoyed me slightly and I am just warning people of a different temprement who might get very angry.
Please go to The Sonesta ,Im sure its not the only resort that has these problems, You will love it ,you will love the Hotel and the staff and you will laugh at the antics of the Russian people,lots of stories to come home and tell friends and family . Would I go again ? probably but definately NOT in November .

Room Tip: Rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors have better views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
badramani, Assistant Regional Communications Manager at Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear protos1234,

Thank you for sharing your opinion with other readers , sorry that you got bothered by the Russian , yes it is their seasons and they are plenty of Russian nationality in Hurghada in general , despite this we are glad you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you soon at our resort .
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2012

we've just come back from a weeks 'holiday' at the Sonesta Pharoah Beach in November and we honestly need another holiday to get over this one.

-- Unless you're Russian, please avoid this hotel --

We didnt believe the bad reviews on here as we has stayed at the Sonesta in Taba and found it wonderful.. this one, sadly couldnt even compare. Upon arrival we were 'upgraded' to a chalet 'with a sea view' if you are ever offered this, do not take it, its a major downgrade. your chalet will be next to a dead lake with rusting metal barrels, im sure is where millions of mosquitos reside. We immediately asked to be moved to the room which we had actually booked and paid for, which was slightly better than being eaten alive by the mozzies, and spending the whole afternoon swatting flies.

The hotel boasts landscape gardens.. what a load of bull! a few wilting cactai, dead plants and some bushes do not a landscape garden make. After getting over this, prepare yourself for the dining experience: the food for breakfast is the same everyday, the lunch is also the same, with some of the leftovers being served for dinner - the Russians dont mind, as this hotel caters to them with cabbage, potatoes and any kind of root vegetable being served daily. there is o dress code, guests waltz into the dining area barefoot, bare chested, even at dinner guests were still in their wet beachwear... save yourself the agony and eat at the only decent a la cart restaurant the hotel has which is the Isis Restaurant, that we can't fault as the food was excellent.

now on to the beach... and what a dreadful beach it is, due to the type of guest that stay at this hotel, the beach staff have given up on collecting empty glasses, plates and cleaning out the cigarette butts from ashtrays, which means your day is spent swatting and shoo-ing flies and listening to Russian guests being rude to hotel staff.

There is one good thing about this hotel, and thats the hotel staff, once they know that you're not russian, they go over and above to make you comfortable, despite the circumstances and a shout out to the guest relations manager Mr Hussain Mohammed who really tries his best to sort out your hotel issues. The hotel staff know that the standard of the hotel is well below that of a 5* and try their best, but due to russian guests and their behaviour, they dont want to put in the extra effort.

Bottom line, this hotel is for Russians only, and if you enjoy being with rude, greedy and unpolished guests then this is the place for you.

we paid £500 extra in order to change our flights and return home early - in tis case, this was money well spent.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NiaLole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonestaEgypt, Assistant Regional Communications Manager at Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Dear NiaLole,

Thank you for caring to write this review despite the bad experience you had at our hotel , I am really sorry about this and I am happy at least you enjoyed the food at Isis restaurant . all your comments will be taken seriously and forwarded to the GM , I hope you give us one more chance in order to enjoy a better experience
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cracow, Malopolskie, Poland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

it was a great holiday, I spent nice time there with my friends.very nice people, especially a group of leaders who not for a moment did not let us get bored :) if holiday in Hurghada it is only at the Sonesta Phaorah Beach Resort :)))) recommend

Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Kinga G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada

Property: Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada
Address: Safaga Road, Hurghada, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Hurghada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Family Hotel in Hurghada
#31 Top resorts Hotel in Hurghada
#49 On the Beach Hotel in Hurghada
#54 Luxury Hotel in Hurghada
#56 Romantic Hotel in Hurghada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada 5*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada, stretching across the sands of the Red Sea with a distinguished blend of modern and Pharaonic architecture. The resort's 360 unique guest rooms, family rooms, suites and bungalows each feature a private balcony or patio. The resort offers a private beach for the world's best scuba diving in the Red Sea's legendary waters, one outdoor pool, one indoor heated pool and one children's swimming pool for relaxing laps in the sun. There are several options for dining and entertaining at the resort's bars and restaurants as well as various choices of sports activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada Hotel Hurghada
Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Hurghada
Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Hotel Hurghada
Sonesta Hurghada
Hurghada Sonesta

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