In mid-October, my wife saw a bingo offering of local touristic agency for 5-star Hurghada Egypt arrangement, and it really was cheap, so we decided to go (alone, wo/ kids, to get some rest and sun before winter comes)...
Departure from Ljubljana was late at night, so we arrived at Hurghada at 3.30am, and it took us additional 40 minute bus ride to our mysterious hotel. Our fears disappeared as soon as we entered the hotel, which was one of the smallest for local standards (only around 300 rooms), but with nice interior.
We got a room on 2nd floor, with a view of no-activity pool with beach/sea in the background. Rooms are spacious, with large balcony. Furniture shows some signs of age, but all in all rooms were very clean. Beds were incredible – I slept great the whole week! And the sliding door to the balcony stops 99% of all sounds from outside! Only air conditioner was noisy (only one speed setting seemed to work) - so we cooled the room in evening, and then turned it off for the night, which worked out very OK.
Going all-inclusive meant we had all the meals included in price. Food was OK, but mostly same selection every day (but selection of 8+ dishes) so we managed the week. Drinks include local alcoholic beverages, which taste funny, but if you mix them with sodas its better..
Hotel has 2 pools - with smart policy - the main pool is non-activity pool (quiet, for swimming only) allowing you to relay and get some beauty sleep during the day, and on the other side of hotel wing, is another pool - with children playground on the side. It is there where water activities are done, and in the background there is Amphitheatre for evening animation.
Hotel is located on the sandy beach, which is very nice! Sunbeds are plenty, but a lot of guests reserve them in early morning, so they are hard to get later on. Sea is awesome! You can walk for 50 meters to reach depth above 2m – and on the right of the beach there are few small reefs - so everyone who wants to see tropical fish - including Nemo - can snorkel there (water depth 1,5m). But hidden gem is on the beach to the right behind a peer (where abandoned hotel is) - there are remains of old peer, with pillars still in water - and you can see millions of fish there, including corals and squids ... Awesome! (water depth 4-7m).
During the day its a bit windy (but its pleasant) and on the sea there are many kite surfers (outside marked swimming area, so no danger, but fun to watch). On the beach every sunbed has its own wind block, so this is even better. Wind stops during the night.
Service in hotel is OK, but small tips do magic. We gave our waiter 2 euro coin on the first day, and for the whole week we were served superbly! Always with smiles and extra attention! I also must congratulate to the "bosses" of personnel. They were 3 or so of them - and they managed younger boys serving there (no girls to be seen) with respect, smiles and professionalism. They seemed as well-oiled machine, which also gave away good energy!
Some shops that are inside the hotel have not too pushy sales people.
Hotel is clean. OMG – I’ve have never seen this amount of detail targeted toward cleanness. They vacuumed the pool every evening, sweeping the floors several times per day, cleaning even the lamps outside! Crazy, and very positive! Must say they very pleasantly surprised both of us.
Only downside for me is the lack of free wifi at least in hotel lobby. The prices for wifi were terrible - in the range of 10eur/h+ ...But being on holiday, and not wanting to spend such money on internet, forced us to enjoy ourselves even more!
Location of hotel is great. There are 3 other hotels around, and this is it! Sea in front, desert at back. Hotel is 20-30 minutes (by taxi which you can get at the back of hotel if you walk towards main road) from local town of Safaga (small village where poor local residents and pure Egyptian lifestyle can be seen) - taxi costs 10 eur (both direction! taxi will wait for you in Safaga for as long as you want, and you pay them when they bring you back!). If you want to go to Hurghada, the hotel personnel is organizing a mini-bus, where you buy a seat for 6 eur (both ways included). Its a bumpy road, trip takes 50 min in one direction.
- Also Known As:
- Imperial Shams Hotel Hurghada