Being a bit of an anorak when it comes to preparing for holidays, I was somewhat perturbed by some of the TripAdvisor Reviews - in all honesty, anyone who posts a negative review about this hotel has either set themselves up for disappointment with unrealistic expectations or, where (understandable for such a 'young' hotel) teething problems occur, have not given the staff the opportunity to address them!
If you think you're going to get 5 Star Quality for 3 Star prices, don't go - it is "as described on the tin". It is, quite simply, your common or garden 3 Star Hotel!
My wife and I normally only "do" 4 or 5 Star, but were in need of a short break in the sun, hopefully in the company of similarly-driven (British!) travellers - and we got exactly what we wanted!
To the specifics ...
We booked through Thomson (£600 pp for 7 days AI from Bournemouth) and, being our first flight with Thomson Air, I was very impressed with both flights - comfortable, efficient and convenient times of the day (except for the fact that my wife had some nutter behind her on the inbound flight who spent 3 hours kicking the stuffing out of the back of her seat!).
Transfers to and from the hotel (10 minutes from Sharm el Sheikh Airport) were quick and painless.
Arriving at the hotel at 10 pm, we were greeted by a pleasant (despite other reviews!) reception and were then taken under the wing of Ramadan, who told us that he was there to make our stay as pleasant as possible. We got the tour, late night snacks (we'd missed dinner) and our bags were in our room before us. Ramadan was also true to his word, promptly sorting out the minor problems we brought to his attention (A/C re-gassing, room safe left locked by previous occupants and locking ourselves out of our room*) both promptly and efficiently. (*WARNING: They DO tell you on arrival at reception that you shouldn't leave your front door on the chain and nip out the sliding door, but there is always someone who doesn't listen - in this case, the wife!).
Thomson's Resident Rep Yasmin was very informative at the Welcome Meeting (someone needs to convince her that she does, however, need to take a breath at some stage during her 25-30 minute presentation) and we booked just one excursion - but I'll get to that later.
Overall the Hotel and the Holiday was worth the money spent, with the following Highlights/Lowlights:
• Shower/Toilet - The local water (not for human consumption) gives the bathroom a "dank" smell. Some effective air-freshening could possibly address this?
• Bed - VERY comfy;
• Catering - Varied and of decent quality. I'll just never get used to being in a hotel that doesn't (or cannot) serve bacon or pork sausages. I have, however, addressed this shortfall since our return!
• Pool / Jacuzzi - The Size of the hotel (130 rooms) and swimming facilities made for a good "community" spirit;
• Service - nothing was too much trouble for anyone: the Bar Staff (Islam and Ibrahim), Room Attendants / Cleaners, Pool Men (Emad and Ahmed), Catering Staff (incl. Restaurant Manager Ahmed), Front Desk Staff and Maintenance Men we encountered were all very accommodating - and we even caught a glimpse of Hotel Management! The only 'sour note' was that one of the waiters (not named here for his own good) got a little too close for comfort to overstepping the line between friendly banter and inappropriate familiarity - he's a good kid, though, and will learn with experience.
• Entertainment - the Animation Team had been 'removed' in the week prior to our arrival, so the new Team were on a hiding to nothing, arriving throughout the week we were there. Tunisian Wael (‘Welly’), Egyptian Ahmed (‘Mido’) and Georgian Tatu would appear to have the makings of an effective bunch, once they have sorted out the teething problems you would expect under the circumstances (Wael does, however, need to get his volume control knob fixed, being that it is permanently stuck on full volume!). Their efforts were most appreciated, I believe, by those that participated in the daily water volley ball and water polo games!
• Excursion – we went on the ‘Sinai by Starlight’ trip, which was both reasonable value for money and sufficiently entertaining and educational not to be tiresome. HOWEVER – the fact that we were collected from the hotel at 3:00 pm and then, after almost 1½ hours of travelling to other hotels to make other pick-ups, were dropped at the coach stop – JUST 350 YARDS FROM THE HOTEL! – defies logic!
• Hotel Guests – ultimately it is always for us the people who make the holiday (you know, those friends you make for life that you never see again!?) and the hotel that simply provides the environment for human interaction. The hotel did its job perfectly in this respect …
- A total absence of chavs/muppets: the hotel is neither on the beach nor close to the ‘happening places’, so its location serves as a deterrent;
- 80-85% British Tourists: the Russians, who made up the balance, were largely pleasant, if uncommunicative, with no more than the ‘normal’ level of rudeness we’ve come to expect/accept. Sergei, the gentle giant of a waterpolo goalkeeper is a legend (легенда);
- Thank you to those who made their contribution, however large or small, to making this a really good holiday: Kieron, Kira and Xavier from Dublin; Geordie Joe, newly-wed Mancunian Duke, Mark, Alex the Scottish-accented Pole and all their missuses; Dennis, Janet, Jade and Ryan; and, of course, all the kids (totalling no more than about a dozen) who showed us all how kids can enjoy themselves without it being at the expense of others!
BOTTOM LINE - You get what you pay for. We did!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jaz Sharks Bay is one of the latest additions to the Jaz Hotels & Resorts portfolio, opened November 2009. This neat and modern Four-star hotel is only five minutes away from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport. Just 10 minutes by Bus from a stretch of some of the finest sandy beaches on the shores of the clear and warm Red Sea. The hotel offers a variety of restaurants, a lobby bar & terrace, an internet cafe, a shopping arcade, swimming pool, children's club, 24 hour reception and a shuttle bus to the nearby beach. The main building comprises 130 rooms, most of which overlook the pool. Others look out directly on to the pool deck. A separate two-floor apartment building houses 8 one bedroom apartments.Hotel facilities include one main open buffet restaurant, one outdoor a la carte restaurant, Lobby bar, snack/pool bar and 24-hour room service. A heated main swimming pool and a kid’s pool, shopping arcade and a shuttle service to the beach are also provided. ... more less
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