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“Sonesta is OK”

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Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada
Ranked #61 of 222 Hotels in Hurghada
location
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Sonesta is OK”
Reviewed January 17, 2009

Sonesta Pharaoh Beach hotel was an overall good experience.
Staff is friendly, hotel is clean, food is good and the rooms are beautiful.
On the other hand I will never return to Egypt. Outside from the hotel, the intensity and annoyance of street sellers and hustlers is almost intolerable. And the tourist prices are inflated to such absurd heights that you dont know if you should laugh or cry at it.
I am not sure that what Egypt has to offer is so special that you couldnt see it somewhere else, with 500% more peace of mind.

Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank tripsno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
st helens
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2009

We Went to the sonesta pharaoh on a two day trip from Luxor from 28/12 till the 30/12/08 on arrival we were initially quite impressed. the reception area is very nice and the desk staff where quite friendly. We where given room 215 overlooking the pool area which is really large. What let the hotel down for us was the basic rooms and terrible food. We had just come from the Sonesta hotel in Luxor which was truly five star to a three star masquerading as a five star. the rooms are quite basic with tiled floors and basic fittings, but the TV was good as it had Fox movie channels. The pool area is really large but the water was soooo cold you could not swim in it. Although the hotel did have an indoor pool so you could still go for a swim.

We where half board but the majority of the gusts where All inclusive. We ordered a snack around the pool and for the 120 Le which it cost for two of us with water I have to say that it was the worst food that I have ever had. My bread was frozen on one side with slab of cheap cheese on and a bit of wilted salad. My husband fared slightly better in that he had a roll that was defrosted. The restaraunt on the evenings was OK, and there was plenty of choice to be had. the Breakfast was quite nice except it was a shame that the coffee was awful and the juice was diluted cordial. This hotel is miles from anywhere and unless you are all inclusive you are at the hotels mercy with regards to service and price. it was really expensive for a bottle of water 13LE can of coke 15Le or a beer 23Le.

There was a shuttle bus to downtown Hurgurdha for 2 Euros twice per day if you wanted to go shopping or have a change of menu. Hurgurdha is a very large place with hundreds of shops and really cheap places to have a meal or drink 6Le for beer. if you go on the shuttle bus though, by the time you get dropped off you only have an hour and half to browse before the bus picks you up again.

The beach at the hotel site was no sharm el sheikh. The sand was dark rough and lumpy, just like the stuff the gritter lorries spread when it's icy. We did not go snorkling but some of the party we travelled down with did and said that apart from the water being cold, they saw some wonderful fish.
I think that the sun loungers are in a really shabby condition on the beach and are in real need of replacing.

Overall my impression of the hotel is that it is mainly geared towards the Germans and Russians who make up most of the guests. You need to be all inclusive because of the distance it is away from anywhere else. The reception area of the hotel looks five star but the hotel is typical three star.

I would not go back to the pharoah beach again, for the simple reason of it being in the middle of nowhere and the beach being such a let down. I would rather pay the extra and go to Sharm when i want a beach holiday.

  • Liked — Movie channels
  • Disliked — basic room, not 5 star
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank angandyStHelens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kent
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2008

Stayed at the sonesta pharoah from 31 oct - 7 nov 2008.
All in all a pretty good holiday all round. Id read one or 2 negative reviews about the place before we went but kept an open mind and im happy i did.
Overall the hotel is in lovely condition, very clean, well presented and looked after. The hotel swimming pools are amazing and if youve got kids then they will have a riot cos theres waterfalls and a mote round it that is nice to paddle in for the younger kids.
The water is alittle cold but there is an indoor heated pool too for people that like to swim in relative warmth.
Also offered is a large beach, fully equip with sunloungers, windbreakers and umbrellas, which it seemed with the loungers by the pools is more than enough to go round ( no need to be up at 4 in the morning to reserve your sunbed ).
The weather was beautiful, 25 - 30 degrees everyday and i only saw 2 clouds in 7 days.
The rooms were a good size, come air conditioned and have a mini bar which is half price for all inclusive guests, and if your in the main blocks, come with a balcony overlooking the pools and sea. There are also little bungalows dotted all over the complex and im not sure if they were for higher paying customers or not, either way id emagine they were pretty nice to stay in too, but do not offer a pool view.
Food wise, if your all inclusive it is pretty good. Both me and my partner are vegetarians and generally there was always something to eat, although they do love filling you with carb based meals so dont expect alot of healthy options. They do have salads everyday with all meals which is a nice extra.
Sometimes it can be a bit bland but dont let that put you off, egypt in my opinion is learning europeans likes and are doing better each time weve been.
Due to the lack of publicity of not being advertised properly until later this month, (november 2008 ive been told by a thomas cook rep) there was a distinct lack of English holiday makers ( about 8 couples in a 600 room hotel ) so is mainly occupied by Russian and German people....again, dont let this put you off because although their cultures are different to ours (curtiousy can be lacking at times) it wouldnt be enough to put us off staying again at all.
As for the staff in the complex, some are good, some are dire and can look unapproachable, just ignore the attitude and be as nice as possible, some will warm to you as the days go by....only tip the good ones!!!!
The 3 plus rating in the Air tours brouchure is very honest and it lives up to this rating.

  • Liked — quality and size
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank lilianjenkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worldwide
2 reviews
Reviewed October 5, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Sonesta Pharaoh for one week 16-23 September. The weather was beautiful, 95 degress everyday and not a single cloud in the sky.

LOCAL AREA:

I have been to many third world countries, including Korea, Thailand, Turkey and China, but I have to say that Egypt was a definate "eye-opener." Hurghada is a resort city, there is no downtown city center, or at least I did not get to visit it. The hotel offered a taxi service for 2 euro, but I think the driver took us to his local neighborhood and it made us feel a bit nervous. You can barter with the locals, but let it be known once you start negotiating with them you have agreed to buy the item. The locals will not let you buy items individually, they insist that you pick out everything you want then they will tell you the price. Be firm with your offer and they will eventually back down. I don't recommend going "downtown" if you are at all weary about your safety, because at times it was very unpleasant.

HOTEL:

Our hotel room was what I expected for a 3/4 Star hotel. It was cleaned very well everyday (I tipped the maid 5 USD/day) and we always had fresh towels and new shampoo/body wash. The staff was very friendly and pleased to have Americans in their hotel instead of the Russians and Germans. NOTE: There are A LOT of Russians and Germans. =P The hotel pool was quite nice (a bit cold) and the lounge chairs all had new padding. There was a hotel bar that served many different kinds of drinks, but the liquor was a tad bit pricey. The local beer, Stella (Lager), was only about 3 USD, tasted pretty good on a hot day (everyday). The beach was a pretty long walk and like all the beaches on the Red Sea when the tide is out you have to walk a little bit to get in the water.

DIVING:

My wife and I are scuba divers and this hotel has their own 5-star PADI dive center which is one of the reasons we booked this hotel. The staff at the dive-center were great and the dives were simply AMAZING. My wife and I have dived in the Carribean several times, but the Red Sea is absolutely the BEST! It was like diving through an aquarium. So many fishes and beautiful coral. The dive-center is run by Italians, but they also speak English, German and Russian. The hotel has a house reef that is available for dives everyday as well. The house reef has nothing on the Nature Reserve, but it is a fun dive and under the dock there is quite a bit of sea life.

FOOD:

My wife and I were half-board and I'm glad that were were because the food was not that good. I'll give them some credit for having A LOT of different types of food, everynight was a different theme, but it did not have very much flavor. My wife and I both had mild upset stomachs, which is to be expected. You have to buy all your drinks on half board, water is 7 EGP for a small bottle and 12 EGP for a large one. Drinks are free at breakfast (coffee, tea, orange juice, grape juice) There are special diner events throughout the week including a beach-side and pool-side BBQ.

OTHER:

There are A LOT of other trips and excursions one can take during their stay. My wife and I rode quad-bikes and camels in the Sahara Desert one afternoon which was A LOT of fun. They also have day trips to both Cario (5 hours) and Luxor (2.5 hours)

To save you some hassle I'll explain the extra trip process.

You have to book any additional excursions with your travel company that arranged your trip to Egypt. We booked with TUI so we had to find our TUI representative and call him on the telephone (add. cost) I did not like that part of the trip, but once I figured out how to get a hold of an agent everything was smooth sailing. They tour operator picks you up at the hotel and takes you to whereever your excursion is and brings you back promptly after its finished.

Tipping (very little) and a friendly smile goes a long way in Egypt. Don't be afraid to have some fun!!!

  • Liked — The on-site Dive Center and diving in Red Sea!!
  • Disliked — The food.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Scuba_Diver13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Romania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2008

My wife and I stayed in this hotel in the early 2007. Although it doesn’t have the standards of a 5* hotel, the place is nice overall, well landscaped between the road and the sea. It has interesting buildings, a beautiful garden, good pools and a very well kept beach.
The rooms are basic, clean and pleasant if you don’t expect too much. The room furniture shows it has served quite a few seasons.
The staff is average for this kind of tourism, mostly friendly, sometimes helpful; a minus to the reception staff.
Unfortunately I have to agree with all the other members who gave a minus to the food in this hotel. Although there is a certain variety and the food is even well presented, there is something wrong either with the ingredients the kitchen uses either with us, the guests who get ill after eating there. I had to eat dry biscuits for 3 days and to take medication after the first dinner at Meliah.
Final observation regarding drinks: if you don’t have an all inclusive package, the drinks (water + few beers per day) will cost you a lot (if you bother to do the math in the end).

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank betandwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2008

DO NOT GO TO THIS HOTEL!!!!!Not a 5 star more like a 3 star.
room was clean but dated and basic.Food was awfull(we both still have dodgy stomachs)same food all week and not much choice.I was also put off with all the flies in the restuarant.Staff within hotel restuarants are ignorant,service is rubbish.
Pool needs a good clean and no way is there enough sunloungers to go round,You had to be at pool first thing in morning to get one or you had no chance.The flies flying around are unbelievable,ive never experienced so many flies before.Also overrun by germans!
Egypt is a lovely place dont spoil your holiday by going to this hotel.All inclusive is a joke.we were aware of some limitations going all inclusive but what we were offered was terrible,we were made to feel and treated like lower class citizens!!!Really we can not stress enough DO NOT GO TO THIS HOTEL.!!!!!!!

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank zolo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hungary
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2008

We have just arrived from Hughada. The hotel was under our standard and I think it is not 5-star. We were lucky with our room in the main building, but other travellers from the group who cannot speak english very well were not so pleased. Because they paid extra money for sea view and main building, and for double bed, but the room was just in the side building and view to the garden and the receptionist could not change it bec. the hotel was full....
The staff were friendly mostly and we were contended with the housekeeping.
The most annoying thing was the food we paid for all inclusive so we have the full experience (breakfast, lunch, dinner). However it is a 5-star hotel, the food was really really not delicious, has no taste and there was no variety. We were 4 and everybody got some minor our more serious problem in the stomach during the whole week of our holiday. if you understand what I mean...
The best thing what we had is the trip with the glas-boat. It was a wonderful experince, you can see the sea life through the glas and if you like you can swim and snorkel also. The captain Mohamed is very helpful and friendly to show you the best places, and corals of the red sea.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 50269
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
#33 Top resorts Hotel in Hurghada
#50 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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