Booked into the Stella Di Mare Hotel for a 10 day winter break, after seeing its rating on Tripadvisor from other visitors.
On arrival, hotel was very impressive from the entrance and the grand reception area. Hotel was immaculate and very clean. We were checked in and taken to our room very efficiently after a refreshing towel and drink.
Room was very smart and clean with a great view of the pool and sea. Beds were the most comfortable I have slept in at any overseas hotel and I had some great sleep whilst staying there. The Internet in the room was fast and reliable but only worked if you had a LAN cable attached to your laptop. There was no wifi in the room. The internet was free though which I thought was a nice touch. Free wi-fi was available in the reception and lobby area free of charge.
During the mornings, there was always lots of sunbeds vacant and the pool / towel guy was very friendly and always laid out our towels for us. He was very funny and always looked after us each day, finding us the same seats we usually sat at each day. During the day he walked around polishing our sunglasses, spraying us with nice cool rose scented water and handing out fresh fruit and cold water. It was such a lovely touch and thoroughly relaxing. He catered for our every needs each day when all you want to do is sit and relax around the pool. We found the top pool with the swim up bar in it was best for those who wish to relax in a more quiet surrounding. The pool on the lower deck was far too noisy and was were the activities took place each day. We avoided it as we didnt really want to be around kids this holiday and preferred the swim up bar being nice and close for instant refreshment.
The beach wasnt quite a beach. Due to the location of the hotel and its proximity to a coral reef, there was only a man-made beach created on the top of a cliff. There was no shore or sandy beach where you would normally be able to walk in and dip your feet in. If you wanted to go into the see, you had to walk through a tunnel or down a load of steps, along a jetty to pass the coral and drop in off a floating jetty with a ladder. The water was not too shallow so you need to be a swimmer rather than a bather in order to swim in the sea, Although I didnt go snorkelling, many people seemed to enjoy the corals below, around the hotel.
The room staff and waiters were all very friendly. We noticed that they all go out of their way to say hello and are very hospitable indeed.
The spa was very relaxing indeed and well worth a visit. It was not overly cheap but great to be pampered for a few hours.
Now onto the negatives....
The food!! Unfortunately, we found the food in the al a carte restaurant to be very boring and bland. Food was similar nearly every day and on some occasions we found it to be inedible. By day 5 we were both pretty bored of what was being offered that we decided to leave the confines of the all inclusive resort and head to Naama Bay to sample something different. Wow, the food there was superb and full of flavour and something completely different to that being offered at Stella Di Mare. Even though Stella Di MAre advertises that it has 3 restaurants, they are not completely included under the all inclusive title. Alongside the al a carte they have two other restaurants, one being Italian and the other Asian. They do however offer a two choice set menu in each for the all inclusive guests but they werent overly impressive. They did offer 25% discount if you ordered off their normal menus which we ended up having to do towards the end of our stay in order to eat some proper food. I have to say, the food was very good which is a shame as they clearly have the talent in the hotel with their chefs. Its disappointing that even though you have paid a significant amount of money to stay at the Stella Di Mare, as an all inclusive guest, you end up having to pay more just to get a decent meal. We noticed a lot of other all inclusive guest also found themselves doing the same as they too were unimpressed by the lack of variation in the al la carte restaurant. If im honest, it almost seems as though they deliberately make the food boring in order to encourage diners to their other restaurants. They are constantly trying to upsell the other restaurants to you throughout the daytime which can become an irritation.
The other complaint is the service at the swim up bar. Some days you end up finding yourself sitting there waiting to be served for around 15-20 mins whilst 4 members of staff stand there chatting to each other with their backs to you. If they arent talking to each other, they seem more interested in getting their receipts signed for by the all inclusive guests as they sign for food/drinks, like its some kind of necessity that its signed for instead of keeping customers happy. Maybe they do it so that it deliberately slows down the rate that they are giving away free drinks to all inclusive guests. We also noticed that those guests who were paying cash for food or drinks got served immediately over those who were all inclusive. Probably because the staff knew they were more likely to get tips from these paying guests!!
One thing that I found very frustrating was that on nearly every day we stayed, they had ran out of something. It was either ham for the sandwiches at lunch time or drinks. On one day in particular, I asked for a Sprite and they said they didnt have any. Then a paying customer asked and they immediately produced an ice cold can from the fridge and served it to him. All inclusive guests get bottled flat Sprite instead of cans. I understand that things can run out but surely it doesnt cost much to use cans if a customer asks for it. I found it very frustrating and a bit of a joke considering how much you have to pay to be on the all inclusive set up.
One last note worth mentioning is the breakfast service times. They advertise that they serve breakfast till 10.30am. However, we noticed that they actually stop bringing fresh food out as early as 9.30am. Therefore if you are a late breakfast guest you generally found hardly any food was left or it was inedible as it was dry and hard. Shame really! The fresh omlette and pancake/waffle stations were good though and we found ourselves visiting these each morning. BEWARE though. They did feel like stopping making pancakes whenever they felt like it! There was no real pattern to their sporadic service times.
In summary, I feel this hotel is far too overrated on Tripadvisor and having stayed in other hotels in Egypt like The Savoy and The Savita and Baron Palms, I found that these were far better than the Stella Di Mare. I would not recommend the all inclusive programme either as I felt that due to the poor food and drinks range and the various restrictions imposed, you would be better off paying as you go, then using the free shuttle bus to go and eat out in Naama Bay. The hotel has a dire evening entertainment offering which finishes by 9pm. You are much better off soaking up the sights and sounds of Naama Bay of an evening instead.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This luxurious 5-star full resort is located nearest to Naama Bay. Gourmet dining, expert diving lessons, and evening entertainment, all with stunning views of the Red Sea. The rooms at Stella di Mare Beach Hotel and Spa feature a contemporary design, and are fully modern with flat screen TVs. Each room includes a private balcony or terrace. Stella di Mare has a state-of-the-art PADI diving center and training facilities on-site. A lavish 600 square meter spa and Wellness Center offers guests full relaxation. Saunas, steam baths, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi are available. Guests can swim in the Stella di Mare's grand outdoor pool, with panoramic views of the surrounding area. The Stella's acclaimed a la carte restaurants offer a variety of dishes from Mediterranean cuisine to Sushi, all prepared by a team of highly-trained international chefs. We also offer guests the chance to play golf on our fantastic short course. Guest's can play whilst enjoying spectacular views of the clear blue sea and can also benefit from our professional golf instructor. The Stella di Mare Beach Hotel and Spa also provides its own evening entertainment program, featuring local Egyptian belly-dancers and international singers nightly. The Resort is located just 10 km from Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport. Free parking is available on-site. Hotel Rooms: 298. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Stella Di Mare Beach Hotel And Spa
- Stella Di Mare Beach Hotel Sharm El Sheikh