We stayed at this hotel for a week in Janaury 2014. Arriving on 5th January, it was nice to be greeted with all the ‘Happy New Year’ lights, and to see some Christmas decorations.
We arrived at nearly 22:00, to a very busy lobby and it took a while to get to speak to a receptionist to check in. We were asked to find a place to sit to complete the necessary paperwork and our wristband applied, given our room key & towel cards then taken to our room in block 10. We had booked a ‘Garden View’ standard twin room through Thomson, but I would say it was more of a ‘Building Site View’ room. However, this didn’t really bother us, we hardly used the balcony and the site was not noisy. If you looked a little further, the view of the mountains in the distance was beautiful!
Overall, the room was lovely, airly and big. We were happy to find that we had been allocated a double room (rather than twin beds) and the bed was huge, but very hard. There was a small table & chairs, television and minifridge. We watched a few films later in the afternoon after the sun went down, often found horror movies on which was good for us, but if you’re travelling with a family it would be best to avoid these! The minifridge was stocked well with bottled water everyday. We felt that the rooms needed tea and coffee making facilities, as it is an All Inclusive hotel, but if you wanted this, you needed to pay.
There was a lot of wardrobe space, although the smell inside was a little strange so my Husband didn’t want to use it. We used the in-room safe, nice to have. The bathroom was lovely and clean too, with some simple toiletries supplied. The shower was a large head, gravity fed one which I found dribbled, so made washing my hair a lengthily process!
The grounds of the hotel are kept very clean and tidy. The lobby has the main bar in the evening, which I felt was a bit of a letdown, but there was lots of seating, some comfortable sofas and the bar staff – especially Baher – work very hard to take you orders.
The pool bar is open from 10:00 and Jimmy runs this very well, he works extremely hard. He is a token to the hotel, learns everyone’s name, drinks, and really adds to the atmosphere of the hotel.
The drinks are local spirits – so not the best tasting – and at the beginning of the holiday I was struggling to enjoy them. They put HUGE measures into the glasses, so I ended up asking for a small measure and they were much more enjoyable. You can get 2 drinks at a time, which some staff are extremely strict about, and when getting drinks for others we met by the pool when doing a ‘bar run’ can get a little tedious. The All Inclusive runs from 10:00 – 00:00, and after this you even have to pay for water. It was cheaper to drink vodka & lemonade after midnight than it was get a bottle of water!
The snack bar at the pool is very good, offering hotdogs, chips, pizza and other toasted ‘panini’ style sandwiches.
The main pool was very cold in January, I only managed to paddle and sit in the shallows but there were some people swimming. The main pool needed painting as looked a little scruffy. The heated pool was nice, but we chose not to sunbathe around here as it was very noisy with children. The slides were working, but I never saw anyone use them.
The beach was easily accessible, the hotel runs half hourly shuttle buses that you book onto via reception. We got the bus there the first time and then walked back ourselves, took us about 15 minutes. Towels are provided throughout your stay by exchanging your towel card at the hut by the pool, be sure to get your towel before you head to the beach. The beach bar and food on the beach were good. We didn’t go swimming as it was too cold for us, but there were people snorkelling. There is a very long jetty running out to a reef (it took us about 20mins to walk to the end!) where they supply equipment to get in and snorkel with the fish, take a towel and sea shoes with you.
The food at the hotel was excellent, we had no complaints, however we are not fussy eaters so can always find something. I had heard horror stories about food quality in Egypt and was dreading getting ill, but not here! The salad was cold, the other food piping hot. The pasta station was lovely where you can pick your sauce and ingredients, and then a grill section where they often had one type of fish or meat on offer. There were always chips, and even chicken pie one day (which my Husband said was delicious!). Overall, we could not complain about the food. However, the desserts let it down abit, but we’re not huge pudding lovers so again didn’t really affect us.
They have 2 a la carte restaurants; Italian and Chinese, which you can visit as many times as you like. Just book with Sam at Guest Relations in reception upto 16:00 on the day you wish to go. We used each one once, as we thought the food in the main restaurant was just as nice, but it was nice to be waited on rather than always using the buffet. Sam was very approachable, came to talk to us around the pool and asked if there was anything we needed, she works for the hotel so can often give unbiased advice unlike the Thomson Rep.
We didn’t do any excursions as we literally went to relax, lie on a sunbed and have done many things on other holidays, but we were offered quad biking, swimming with dolphins, boat trips etc. Don’t book any excursions with Thomson before you go, wait until you get out there and see what else in on offer, as you can often haggle and the trips are the same! I was surprised that Thomson were still trying to offer trips to Cairo, despite the FO advice not to travel, a little irresponsible I thought. The sales people by the pool got a bit annoying, for the first few days it was constant trying to sell you things, including the spa, but when they knew you weren’t interested they tended to leave you alone, but still said hello.
Overall, this was our first time in Egypt and we were very happy with the hotel, and I would recommend it. When we stayed 90% of the guests were Russian, and I found them to be very rude, not only to us but to the staff. The staff work so hard and they deserve a please and thankyou. All the entertainment was aimed at the Russians, and so we often just kept ourselves to ourselves. My Husband joined in the darts a few times by the pool and found that they ganged up on him to get him out so we avoided it after that! We often got pestered, as I am a young blonde woman, outside the hotel. Even in the hotel my husband often got told he was ‘very lucky man’ and offered camels, but we took this with a pinch of salt really and just smiled, but it did get a little old.
I can imagine that the hotel can feel very full in the summer months, and getting a sunbed round the pool, or finding seating in the lobby can be competitive, but this was not an issue in January.
Overall, a good 4* hotel with excellent food, great staff and we had a lovely, relaxing time.
Thankyou Tropicana Azure Club!!
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- Also Known As:
- Primasol Tropicana Azure Club Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Tropicana Azure Hotel
- Hotel Tropicana Azure