We were at the Palm Royale from 4th June to 18th June 2013. The last time we visited in November 2012, the hotel was full, but this time occupancy seemed much lower. This was an advantage as the buffet restaurant was not nearly so busy.
I had emailed ahead requesting a room in the same location as last time and we were in fact given the exact same room. Thanks go to Stepanka for arranging this and also to Tomislava of Guest Relations who were always so polite and helpful.
We did not arrive at the hotel until around 11.30pm. This was due to the flight being slightly late and also an interminable transfer dropping off at other hotels. Owing to the late hour, there was no food available and in fact we were too late for even an drink on the All Inclusive deal. However, when we got to our room, there was a ham salad and bread left for us. We then had a soft drink from the mini bar. We were not ready for sleep at this point so we walked around the complex. We never saw another soul and this feeling of emptiness really persisted every evening of our holiday.
Our room was clean and comfortable although the bathroom was looking a bit tired. We had a ground floor room with a massive terrace. We really enjoyed sitting there in the late afternoon with a cup of coffee people watching.
We spent most days by the pool where we were looked after by Omar. We are early risers but he had our towels out in our favourite spot each morning. The weather was extremely windy most days and there were only two days when the umbrellas were allowed up around the pool. Omar took beds on to the lawns to give shade from the palms. The main pool was still very cold although not yet as bad as in November. My companion swam everyday but I only went in completely a few times.
We took advantage of the free massages included with Thomas Cook. Very enjoyable.
We found the food in the buffet to be better on this trip than last time probably due to there being less guests. We only went into the buffet on one evening as we preferred the a la carte restaurants. Last time the Asian was favourite but this time we liked the Greek best. We enjoyed the Asian and the Lebanese and went several times. The only disappointment was the Italian. The first time we went we thought the food was just about OK and wondered if we had made the wrong choices. Then went for a second visit and the meal was truly awful. We had soup which was tasteless and lukewarm and then shared a pizza and a salad. The pizza was cold and we had to ask for the salad to be brought.
The service in the main restaurant and the a la cartes was excellent in all cases. Because we were returning visitors we were treated as VIPs everywhere. The bar service was also good in most cases although having to sign for everything becomes a bit of a chore. Other reviews have said that the All Inclusive is limited and many items are chargeable. I had no trouble finding food and drinks which were included and did not find it necessary to pay extra for anything.
We chatted to lots of other guests and heard people complaining of being ill. We were both fine and had no issues. We are careful over the sun and over indulgence. We also make copious use of hand sanitizer especially after handling utensils in the buffet.
In my November review I described the elegance and ornateness of the Palm Royale. The gardens and grounds are immaculate. Last time I had nasty bites on my legs and I was worried this would happen again. I did use repellent and I am happy to say that I had a bite-free holiday!
The evening entertainment was not for us. We are happy to have a good meal and a few drinks and perhaps pleasant conversation. The animation team seemed to do their best but there are only about 6 of them and they have no proper theatre. In fact, the stage that is set up is so wonky they daren't dance on it. We actually felt very sorry for them.
We had a simply excellent holiday at the Palm Royale. This is not the place for shopping or night life as it is very isolated. But if you want to completely relax in beautiful surroundings with good food and drink, then book now!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly located at the 1.2 km long private sand beach in Egypt is the Palm Royale. Here you can relax and enjoy the perfect holiday with your family and friends. The two bays offer a perfect atmosphere for privacy and enjoying the weather. The Palm Royale is just 45 km away from the airport of Hurghada and 50 km to the city center of Hurghada. Moreover, the city Safaga is just 12 km away from the Palm Royale. You have got the possibility to use the free WIFI from the hotel. Furthermore, the Palm Royale offers a kids club, Babysitting, a playground for children, a gym and four tennis courts. The meals are served in form of a buffet with fresh cuisine in the Palm Royale. Furthermore, several a la carte restaurants offer a huge variety of fresh meals. Many sport activities are offered during your holidays. You have the possibility to play beach volleyball, water ball, use the gym and many other water sports activities. Furthermore, the Palm Royale has got a spa area to relax and enjoy the senses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palm Royale Soma Bay Hotel Hurghada
- Intercontinental Abu Soma Hotel
- Intercontinental Hurghada