Premier romance boutique hotel and spa in Sahl hasheesh which is on the outskirts of Hurghada.
We were looking for a good value all inclusive sunshine winter break without travelling too far from the UK. We wanted a small quiet hotel with good food and service and no kids ( we're not miserable but we've been there done that and got the t shirt! )We also wanted to be able to snorkel off the beach without having to take a boat trip.
I'm pleased to say this hotel has ticked all the boxes and all the reviews on trip advisor were accurate. It's beautifully decorated with lots of nice features marble everywhere so lovely and cool. It has a private beach with plenty of sun beds and shade and towels provided. There's a bar at the beach but apart from bottled water the rest of the drinks come from the hotel so you can expect to wait for your drinks.
We bought our own snorkels and flippers for 480 Egyptian pounds as we wanted to do it every day - but you can hire them for 15euros a day. It's well worth it as it really is a giant fish tank out there and we must have seen about 20 species of fish. You can also windsurf off the beach. From what we could tell the majority of rooms have sea views. They are spacious and with a lovely bathroom that has a glass wall looking into the bedroom(with option of a blind for privacy) but if you wanted to you could have a bath and enjoy a sea view. There's free tea and coffee in the rooms and bottled water but you pay for the mini bar.
There's also a swimming pool but it didn't feel heated! It has a jacuzzi and a sauna. The gym is a bit poor with only two treadmills, free weights and one cycle and the only air conditioning is to leave the door open! Some exercise mats would be a good investment and a cross trainer if you're reading this GM.
All inclusive here means you get local drinks and bottled water so don't expect high quality wine. The beer is ok and cocktails go down well! You mainly eat in the main restaurant but you also have the option to have one meal at the Chinese and one at the Italian. The main dining area serves a variety of food but lots of beef and rice always a selection vegetables so if you are veggie you would survive but not much vegetable protein other than cheese and egg. They also have yummy soups. Desserts are small cakes and jelly mousses or fruit. All in all the food is good but not european 5 star. Having said that there was always something tasty to eat. They say formal attire in the evening but casual trousers/ jeans and a smart shirt were worn by most men, women tended to dress up more.
We opted to be safe and avoided all salads and prepared fruit. although we did notice the hotel had a kitchen hygiene award and neither of us were ill. We were a bit more relaxed around ice as a mojito without crushed ice just isn't the same. The staff were all really helpful, friendly, respectful and polite and they can't do enough for you.
We deliberately picked this hotel as there wasn't a lot of entertainment however on one night there was an ok singer and another night some belly dancers that were amazing.
There is free wifi in the foyer and restaurant but it's a bit slow.
There is also a spa offering all the usual treatments and they also offer a Turkish Haaman.
Smoking is only allowed in the cocktail bar so the restaurant and lounge bar are a smoke free zone.
If I was to critique this hotel at all it would be the gym - add more equipment, the toiletries in the bathroom should be better quality, but the main one that everyone remarked on was the slow service in getting drinks, they just don't appear to have enough bar staff. Although all inclusive you still have to sign for everything but you don't pay - this might be what slows the service I don't know,
We had an evening flight so asked about late check out. Unfortunately it wasn't possible to keep our room however we were able to shower in the spa but there was no hair-drying facilities and the light was really poor for doing your make up. a bit if a girlie comment i know! The spa team were not that helpful however after speaking to reception they found me a hairdryer. The hotel also allowed us to have lunch and drinks all day which in theory we should have paid for so that's a nice touch.
We mainly wanted a restful break but we did want to do a couple of trips out. We booked them with our rep who warned against booking them with the chap on the beach as he doesn't work for the hotel and he said they weren't insured trips. His description and knowledge of the trips was a little embellished and not entirely accurate. We chose to go to valley of the kings and the island of Mahmya for snorkelling on a bigger coral reef. We paid on credit card as the hotel don't charge for this. Outside of the hotel the rep advised either use Egyptian pounds, sterling, euros or dollars. Don't use a card as it will cost you! There is a currency changing machine here and also you can do this at reception.
Valley of the kings. This is an early start and takes about four and a half hours (not three as advised by the rep) . The road you travel on is new and once they have finished surfacing it I'm sure it will speed up the journey!
We weren't expecting to take photos in the tombs but its a shame that you can't take any photos at the site and they make you leave your cameras and smart phones on the coach. We saw three tombs which were interesting. they are all buried under the desert on average about 90m but one was as deep as 300m. This was to avoid them being raided. We opted to pay an extra 10EP each to visit Tutenkhamun tomb. This was a bit disappointing as it was the smallest and had no paintings but you did get to see him in his mummified state and his wooden coffin. Everything else is now in the Egyptian museum in Cairo.
Lunch was at a restaurant and was buffet style, no alcohol.
The trip also included a stop off at an Alabasta shop where they demonstrate the difference between the real stuff and the fake. You are then encouraged to buy something and we negotiated the price in English pounds from £55 down to £25 for a small vase/candle holder.
The temple of Karnak was amazing and we would have loved to have spent more time here but they had only allowed an hour. Apparently it's the biggest historical site in the world. Our guide was very knowledgable on the history of all the sites and had some very interesting stories.
On the way back we went to another shop where they demonstrated how to make paper from papyrus which they then paint on and you have the opportunity to buy something. Could have done without this at the end of a long day.
We got back to the hotel at 1030pm. The hotel sent bread and cheese up to our room as the restaurant closes at ten.
Things you should know about Egypt
Wherever you go you will need 1EP to use the loo and they will give you some loo roll!
Do not express any interest or look at any stalls or shops unless you intend to buy as they will drag you in! It's hard but you have to ignore them or be prepared to be hassled!
Alcohol is only available in hotels and some licensed restaurants
Everyone expects a tip , beware of anyone coming up offering you a service or advice as they will expect to be paid for it.
Check trip advisor for reviews on hotels on hygiene and what's included. Especially if its at a bargain price. We met some people who were not having the same experience we had and paying a bit more might stop you being ill on your holiday. Stick to cooked food and avoid ice in drinks and fruit that has been prepared already and you will hopefully avoid being ill.
In the shops and markets knock down any price they give you by half... Or tell them what you are prepared to pay for it.
In Hurgada you will need to buy a visa at the airport and it will cost you £15 pp
They don't eat pork so it's not available anywhere but they offer beef alternatives, even beef bacon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Romance king of the hotelsssszz ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Premier Romance Boutique Hotel Hurghada