This was our second trip to Sharm; we were in Shark's Bay last year. We decided to return to Sharm because the travelling is relatively easy, the quality of the hotels is good and for me, most importantly, the snorkelling is fantastic!
We arrived in Renaissance quite late, however the check-in was quick and easy and we were driven for what seemed miles to our room. We were panicking a little because we seemed so far away from the reception, but the consierge pointed out a flight of stairs which took us up to the top pool with reception just beyond it.
The room was spacious, with an enormous bed. We were told that we'd have sea view. Because it was so late, we'd missed the buffet restaurant, however we ate in Zinzina, using our 200 LE dinner allowance. Ali the waiter was great; he wouldn't let us stop ordering until we'd used up all our allowance!
I woke early to check the view; it was stunning! It was a panorama from Ras Mohammed all the way up to Shark's Bay and beyond. The quiet pool next to Acapulco Joe's was just below our room. Being creatures of habit, Liz and I selected beds at this pool, looking back up to our room. This was perfect for me as I was in the shade in the morning and close to the jetty for my morning and afternoon snorkelling trips. Salem was in charge of towels etc, at the pool and he ensured that we well looked after throughout our stay, thanks Salem.
My first few snorkelling trips were uneventful and I was having reservations about snorkelling here, however after walking around the beach walkways we noticed diving boats tying up at the edge of our reef. It was a fair old swim down to where the boats anchored and you have to make sure that you start swimming against the current to make the return swim easier when you're getting a little tired.
What did I see while snorkelling? Well there was a huge Moray Eel, a beautiful Eagle Ray which "flew" right up to me, a Manta Ray which I either saw on four different occasions or it was four different ones, a Barracuda, a number of Giant Trevally and a Titan Triggerfish. I also swam over what I think was an Eagle Ray with what looked like a little white shark hitching a lift on top. The rays and the trevally are safe to approach, however you are well advised to give others a wide berth!
I've got an underwater camera, but unfortunately, due to a natural incompetence, I managed to mess up almost all of my pictures.
What of the hotel? Our room was spotless, thanks to Noor! The buffet was nice and cool and the meals were interesting! Chilli con Carne and chips for breakfast anyone? There was always beautiful bread and sometimes grilled beef bacon on the breakfast menu. Lunch and dinner always had nice soup and chicken as well as lovely beef joints. Special mention to Mohammed in this restaurant and also to the two really friendly young ladies who welcomed you to the restaurant.
Our favourite restaurant, however, was Acapulco Joe's, the service and food here was amazing! Michael, Ayman, Mohammed and the chefs were excellent and really made our holiday! Thank you!
What would I change about the hotel? Smoking on the terrace of the buffet restaurant, meant that we couldn't have lunch or dinner all fresco. Some people feel the need to smoke before, during and after each course! Also the beautiful area below reception, approached by the double curved Marble staircase was pretty much out of bounds for us because it was also a smoking area. The lobby bar was empty for the fortnight that we were there, because it is not covered by all-inclusive and so an excellent asset is unused!
Highlights of the holiday? The kindness, helpfulness and genuine friendliness of the staff and some of the friends we made; we certainly missed Niall and Fiona after they left, however Niall was a jinx with the snorkelling, we swam for miles and hardly saw anything! Everything that I saw, was after Niall left! ;-)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Marriott Managed hotel nestled on a headland & surrounded by the spectacular coral reefs of the Red Sea, overlooking Ras Mohamed National Marine Park. Extends over 95,000 square meters, with 350 meters of its own beach frontage, sandy coves, Lush gardens, waterfalls, its own floating jetty, diving center & 4 Swimming pools. The resort provides a series of two storey villas accommodation, creating a feeling of space around the Resort & affording many of the 384 rooms & suites with panoramic views of the Red Sea Riviera. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Golden View Beach Resort Sharm El Sheikh Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Sharm El Sheikh Renaissance