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“Rude staff. Bare minimum service. Not coming back!”

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Sol Y Mar Paradise Beach
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Safaga
Reviewed June 20, 2010

The only thing I liked about the hotel was the beach. I didn't like loud music echoeing from kid's club. Majority of residents were German, so no entertainment for you in the evenings if you don't speak German. Though entertainment was lame.
I had a few arguments with the staff. If you are German or EU citizen you get a much better service than russians get. I guess that's Russians' fault too as they let the hotel staff treat them like that. I was treated real bad when I wanted to make a complaint, but once i told them that I hold two passports and one of them is EU one their attitude changed dramatically.
I wont be coming back for sure.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Toli M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 23, 2010

I'm hoping that I can write a fair review that clears up any confusion with the reviews that I've read about this place. Firstly, it is resort for german tourists with some russians. We were only the 2nd english speakers there in a year. No english reps available at this resort. The room we were given was so small that two people couldn't really move round it at the same time. The bathroom was so small that the light was permanently on as you had to manoeuvre yourself around the sink to sit on the toilet.
A double room meant 2 single beds. We were 100 yards from the disco so we were kept up until 12.00 most nights with techno of all things.
I think they water the plants with recycled water which means that there's a smell of raw sewage that pervades the air most of the time.
In the bumf you read it says snorkeling is excellent. A lie it is a port with no snorkeling whatsoever. There is a beach with a cordoned off swimming area. But boats have killed off all the coral etc. So a boat trip you might think. The price £20 per person and we had the pleasure of being harassed sexually by the lead tour guide. He would not leave us alone for the entire day. Let's just say inappropriate touching and questioning. The reefs we saw weren't worth the money either so all in all a waste of money.
Food, anyone who has been to Egypt knows that this is a hit and miss experience unfortunately more miss than hit, But breakfasts were definitely the best meal of the day. So it was a good opportunity to stock up for the day.
People should be advised when booking their holiday that they will be going to a german resort, russian resort etc it would definitely allow people to make an informed choice. It is not that I feel the need to be surrounded by Brits but more importantly you would like to know that if there was a problem ( and there were several) that there was someone you could talk to who understood what you were saying and were able to assist you.
My advice would be avoid this place and Safaga in general if you want a good Red Sea snorkeling experience.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank troublefishblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2010

Nice and a relaxing hotel. Not too big so it was easy for our children to get around and find our hotel room ect. (children age: 8 and 6).
Compared to the price, we found the food fine. The quality was not 5 stars, but there was allways new things on the menu so we do not complaine.
The staff was nice too and were working were professional.
A nice week with plenty og sun and with a temperature at 30 allmost everyday.

Family from Fredericia in Denmark

Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
3  Thank Mette Kjær L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2009

We have just returned from a weeks holiday at the Sol Y Mar Hotel where the weather was simply fantastic reaching 32c!

I am english, my wife is German and i guess the hotel was 50% German guests and 50% Russian guests. We were all inclusive so didn't have to worry about racking up a large bill. The food in the restaurant was excellent, as was the service. The hotel was very safe and there was always plenty of staff on hand should you have any problems. In fact, there almost seemed too many staff.

The hotel rooms are very simple. we stayed in room 233 which was on the first floor with a small balcony. we never used the balcony because we were always on the beach! The room was always kept very clean and tidy but again they could do to be refurbished.

The beach is wonderful and very clean although it must get very crowded during the high season. You get your beach towels every morning and you have just a few steps to the water which was very refreshing. it was between 24c and 26c whilst we were there. The sales guys (massage, quad bikes, snorkelling trip, haircut) got a little annoying but you could quickly move them on. We did the snorkelling trip from the hotel which cost us €20 per person. Outside of the hotel it costs just €12 so worth shopping around. The snorkelling trip is on bigger boats and last from 10am to 4pm. the snorkelling was excellent and we saw a large selection of fish including triggerfish, butterfly fish, parrot fish and angle fish. The coral is also impressive and very colourful.

We also did the quad bikes which was excellent fun in the desert for approx 2 hours, really lots of driving time. this costs €25 per person if you book from the sales guys on the beach but we got it for €15 per person each outside the hotel. this was tremendous value and the tour guide Toni was a really good guy.

Outside of the hotel there is not a lot to do and as soon as you walk past the shops you are jumped upon by the local sales guys who all seemed very desperate to sell their treasures. As usual they only wanted us to look but a lot of the stuff is just tacky. We did buy some T Shirts from David, a really nice chap on the street around 200 metres to the right of the hotel. David runs the business with his brother Carlos and they have very good quality t shirts, beach towels and other textiles for really fair prices. I bought some T Shirts which cost € 5 each. He has a lot of regular customers who come back to Safaga and buy in large quantities for diving clubs, karate clubs etc. He has a very nice manner and will certainly look after you without ripping you off. He can print T Shirts so if you are a member of a sports club this would be an ideal opportunity to buy your shirts at really good prices. He is married to a german lady but speaks good english too.

All in all we had a most relaxing holiday and would definitely recommend this hotel if you fancy just taking it easy for a week or two. The hotel is ideal for kids too as the animation team are always organising activities for the youngsters.

Be careful at the buffet though, most guests were piling on the weight. Some of the guys looked like they were going to burst any moment!!

The russians are usually half drunk on the vodka and need to learn a few manners in the restaurant and at the bar! Watching one guy trying to steal a whole strawberry cheese cake at the christmas eve buffet before the buffet was even open made me laugh! I think they the hotel staff always have an eye on them otherwise they would do as they like!!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TigerfishCologne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2009

Amaizing to relax, lay in the sun and do nothing, close to the Airport. the staff are so friendly and my life much easier. and the health clup is great.
I had my wife my two kids and my two sisters, the funny thing some Germans thought I have 3 wives because I am Egyptian!!! ...

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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4  Thank Ahmad-Imira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2008

In summary, we had a great holiday and this hotel offers good value for money. The resort is on a lovely quiet beach but the hotel itself looks a bit tired, particularly compared to some of the new hotels springing up along the coast. On a really positive note, the hotel staff were really friendly and helpful. We would go back tothis resort for another holiday.

We are a family (two adults and two teenagers, 17 and 12) and stayed for two weeks in August. It was an all-inclusive rate booked on the Travel Republic web site. We flew into Hurghada with First Choice and the transfer time was about 50 minutes. We booked the transfer through Travel Republic but it was not really necessary as there were plenty of taxis and probably could of saved a few pounds.

German tour operator 1-2-Fly (Tui) offer packages for this hotel and they have a local team running the entertainment, sports etc at the hotel, which everyone can join in. It is mainly German and Russian guests, whilst we were there no other English families were there - this made us quite a novelty and meant that we got to talk with lots of the staff, who seemed genuinely pleased to welcome an English family.

There is good security everywhere, ie checkpoints on the airport approach and on the road to the resort with armed police. There was also a checkpoint entering the resort area and two further security guards at the hotel gate and in reception. It felt very safe.

We stayed in two 'superior' rooms, which were small single storey apartments, bedroom and bathroom only. They were located right on the beach and there were also two storey apartments and bedroom flats in a set of blocks by the main reception area. Each apartment had air conditioning (very noisy by modern standards and so very hard-going at night - we sometimes had difficulty working out if it was better to keep cool and put up with the noise or switch it off to get some peace and then swelter!). The rooms have TV but this is virtually entirely in Italian, German or Egyptian and a fridge. The apartments were cleaned thoroughly every day, towels and bed linen changed. No complaints about the cleanliness at all but the room was small and furnishings tired.

The resort is nicely laid out and landscaped. The two tennis courts are not in good condition. In fact one is dangerous and both nets are broken. This was a big let down for us as we are all tennis players.

Otherwise, the resort was well maintained. Nice pool, with sun loungers round it and a bar which you can access from the pool. Plenty of shade. Under the pool is the disco.

The reception (ATMs, internet and small shops), large dining room, bar (air conditioning was not working) including pool tables are near the secure entrance. The dining room opens out onto a outside terrace with bar. There is also an amphitheatre.

Behind the amphitheatre is a pizzeria (excellent) and coffee lounge.

There are diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, glass boat and sailing off the beach. We particularly recommend the Paradise Dive Centre. We had a family introduction to scuba diving and the staff were very supportive and patient with us! We also went out snorkelling on the local reefs a couple of times. 5 boats operate from the hotel beach.

The beach was excellent, with a plentiful supply of free fixed parasols and loungers. There was also a shower on the beach, cold water dispenser, beach bar and towels available.

The hotel reception staff are fluent in English, as are many of the supervisors and waiting staff. Although the entertainment staff are German, the nightly shows include plenty of music in English. Our teenagers joined in some of the sports (beach volleyball, water polo) and the 1-2-Fly staff made them feel welcome (thank you Jenna if you read this!). In fact, one of them came to see us off. There were aerobics on the beach and in the pool, a sports programme in the morning and afternoon. The programme was excellent and the staff worked really hard.

The main restaurant offered a wide range of meals, buffet style. For the majority of the time there was a good choice, salads, meat and fish dishes. There was always soup on offer, potatoes and rice. There was also an oriental corner. There was also a good selection of sweets, cheese board, etc. Limited types of fruit were always available. Our 'all-inclusive' rate included unlimited drinks - this was excellent in such a hot climate and really helped us to avoid dehydration. To summarise, good choice of food and average quality.

Walking outside the hotel there is a parade of shops, souvenirs, restaurants, clothes, pharmacy, etc.

We all suffered from diarrhoea and stomach pains at some time during the holiday (but not so much that it spoilt our trip); there is a doctor on site but you can pop across the road and ask the pharmacist for something to take, this really helped and cost around £10. The hotel doctor will set you back €50 for the consultation and then there is the prescription.

We took a trip into the desert to visit a Bedouin village. This was good (the driving was a bit alarming).

If you want a good holiday in the sun, with the added attractions of amazing snorkelling and the chance to meet people from a quite different culture, then we recommend this hotel - but don't expect a very luxurious environment, this is a friendly, clean and fairly basic place to stay, in a lovely setting.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank clusazski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2008

This resort would disappoint less if it made less extravagant claims. We stayed as a family (two adults, two young children) for two weeks in July/August 2008, as part of an all-inclusive tour organised by German tour operator 1-2-Fly (part of the Tui group). We stayed in the “villa” apartments, which aren't really villas – they're good sized two bedroom flats in a set of blocks by the main reception area.

The resort is compact, well-laid out, nicely landscaped and generally in good condition. The beach is good, and not too crowded; there are plenty of sun-loungers and (essential) sun-shades. The pool is a decent size, and also has enough room for sun loungers. The main area houses reception (with two ATMs), the dining room, inside bar, terrace bar, and a rather good outside terrace and amphitheatre, along with a little pizzeria. There are diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, glass boat and sailing outlets at both ends of the beach.

Our rooms were in reasonable condition. All our bed linen and towels were crisp, white and spotless every day, and the rooms were cleaned daily to a high standard. (We tipped our cleaner LE50 every 4-5 days or so). The furniture (sofa, chairs) had seen better days and was bordering on shabby. The rooms are simply furnished – a bit of a change if you're used to 4 star hotels in Europe. The “kitchen” in our villa was pointless – it had a motely collection of crockery, a mini-bar/fridge, a sink, and nothing else – no kettle, pots, pans, or indeed, a cooker. There was a TV, with German, Italian and Russian channels, but nothing English. The vitally important air conditioning was very good, verging on over-enthusiastic.

The other rooms in the resort are arranged in small blocks; single height blocks near the beach, double height blocks further back, and a pig-ugly multi-story room block right at the back of the resort, backing onto the main road with views of the desert. If you choose a “family room” (two adjoining rooms with a connecting door), this is where you will be, and it's away from the main parts of the resort. The resort website suggests all rooms can see the sea, but this isn't really true.

The overwhelming majority of guests in the resort were on German-speaking package holidays, followed by small numbers of Russians, and a tiny number of British. Our fellow guests were good, and we never experienced any unreasonable behaviour. The staff are acceptably fluent in English, but clearly more used to German. If you explain you want to speak English, it's not a problem. We found them to be helpful, in a slightly loquacious way. There are enough staff, but you might find getting their attention a game.

The entertainment programme is organised by 1-2-Fly, who are clearly the main operator at the hotel. The programme was excellent, and I can't commend the entertainment staff enough. Our kids are bi-lingual, so were OK with speaking German – our youngest is a reluctant German speaker and prefers English, and they accommodated her just fine. I think if you plunge in, and go for it, the language gap can be overcome. The entertainment staff have reasonable English, and seem willing to work out what you're trying to say. The kids have clubs (Solino for little ones, Maxi for older ones, Teens) and activities are organised in morning and afternoon sessions every day except Thursday. There's also adult activities like aerobics, beach volleyball, water polo and so on. The evening entertainment can be a bit variable, but generally a fine accompaniment to a few drinks on the terrace. The entertainment staff told us that anyone can participate, not just those who booked through 1-2-Fly.

So what's not so good about this resort?

The food buffet was a fairly good size, but after 4-5 days, the selection became pretty dull. They rotate dishes around, but mass-catering will struggle to be good. There were some attempts to do interesting things (the “Oriental” corner), but go in with lower expectations. Veggies will be OK, and there was usually enough kid-friendly stuff. The pizzeria is good, but not included in the all-inclusive, so save it for when you just need a day off. There didn't appear to be an “a la carte” option, other than room service. We went to a local restaurant in Safaga recommended by the entertainment staff, and fed 4 adults and 3 kids for €15 plus €10 for a taxi there and back.

Hygiene wasn't to the standard we expected. (Plastic) glasses were simply rinsed in tap water and re-used, so stick to the white plastic disposable cups or get a glass glass or mug and rinse it yourself in drinking water, of which there are copious supplies in water coolers. Spillages in the dining hall lay on the floor until a cleaner arrived; on one occasion quite a copious amount of pretty foul smelling vomit took 10 minutes to get cleaned up. The food hygiene looked OK, none of the food was obviously bad, and it looked like the catering staff had the right training to handle food safely.

Similarly, the pool didn't seem to be cleaned and treated as often as it could have been. The difference the day after a cleaning was noticeable – the water was cleaner (particularly in the kids pool), and the chlorine was evident in a way it hadn't been for the prior week.

5 of our party of 7 suffered bouts of diarrhoea, we suspect from ingesting too much seawater whilst snorkeling. Our recommendation is to head straight for one of the chemists conveniently (opportunistically?) located close to the hotel and get some local medication for a couple of Euro, as this doesn't seem to be a bug you can ride out. A trip to the hotel doctor was very easy, but expensive at €80 per person.

The Internet access consisted of a PC in reception, and relatively flaky wi-fi signals. It's Western-style prices (LE125 for a day, LE40 for an hour, LE25 for half-an-hour), but we experienced pretty low quality access (averaging about 50-100kbit/s). Don't try flickr'ing your snaps whilst you're there.

We would stay at this resort again, but set our expectations lower, be more concious of hygiene and plan for some more varied dining.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Nick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sol Y Mar Paradise Beach

Address: Km 8 Safaga Road, Safaga 84711, Egypt
Phone Number:
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Safaga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Safaga
Price Range: $56 - $129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sol Y Mar Paradise Beach 3*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paradise Resort is situated on its own virgin sandy beach. All its 190 rooms, including 8 garden villas enjoy a magnificent sea view. With regards to leisure and sports, the resorts facilities include a fully equipped health club, a water-sports center managed by a professional multinational team as well as different playgrounds. Safaga is one of the world's most pristine and amazing dive sites. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol y Mar Paradise Beach Hotel Safaga

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