We have recently returned from a great holiday at the Coral Beach Rotana.
It was our first time in Egypt so we weren’t sure what to expect, we weren’t disappointed. The resort is clean, well laid out and had everything we could have wanted.
The room was a reasonable size, with a large comfortable bed, fridge and a bathroom containing a shower which was clean and worked fine. It was all cleaned daily, with the cleaner leaving us ‘towel sculptures’ of varying complexity on a daily basis. On arrival we were told we could upgrade our room to a sea view at a cost of 11 Egyptian Pounds per night, this was because we had only requested a sea view, not paid before hand for one. We decided against it, even though it’s not a large sum of money, but he did make sure we had a decent room overlooking the main pool area, close to the reception.
There are three pools on the resort. Nearest the beach is the splash pool, which is the smallest of the three and it seemed to us the busiest. We went there on our first morning, then not again. The animation team appear there at 10am every morning and play a loud soundtrack of a bugle call trying to get everyone joining in their various activities, which include morning stretches, water aerobics and volleyball, a bit Hi-De-Hi to be honest. The rest of the day they play non-stop music. As we were on holiday for a quiet relaxing break we decided to give the splash pool a miss from then on. The other two pools are more chilled out and less busy. The one nearest reception is the largest and the other is over by the health club, this is the one with the Jacuzzi and swim up bar. Both are clean, have plenty of sun loungers, umbrellas and pool staff happy to help with anything you need. All the pools have their own bars which start serving from about 10am until the pools close at sunset.
The beach is a man made structure at the bottom of the resort. It’s made up of a number of terraces joined by steps. Each terrace has a row of beds and umbrellas, this has the benefit of you not having hundreds of people behind you and giving you a view over the sea to Tiran Island. There are two jetties taking you across the clear waters with the reef a small distance below. At the end of the jetties, the water becomes deep where the reef drops off. Snorkelling here is very good. You can hire a mask and snorkel from the diving shop for only £3 a day and go and explore the hundreds of different fish that live on and around the reef.
While you’re round the pool or at the beach you’ll get the odd person from the health club trying to get you interested in massages, pedicures and other beauty treatments. At first it can be a bit tiresome, but after a couple of days and they get to recognise you they will just say hello and maybe have a brief chat. Like everybody else we encountered in Egypt they are very friendly. My partner had a full back and foot massage which she said was very good and managed to get what she wanted at a price she wanted.
Now we get to the subject that seems to have caused most concern amongst fellow Brits, the food. As far as we’re concerned we go abroad to experience all aspects of the country, including the food. If we wanted chips and chips with a side order of chips we’d have stayed at home and gone to the chip shop. The food isn’t bad at all. There is plenty of it and it’s not always the same thing every day, although the staple things such as rice and chicken are always there. The one criticism is that there is no real consistency with what’s available, for example one morning there’ll be plenty of butter at breakfast and the next you have to ask someone before it appears. This is just down to the number of people eating there at the same time, and although it’s a minor irritation at the time it’s not something that would ever ruin our holiday. At no point did we feel we had to order in fast food.
The main restaurant is a self-service buffet with waiters looking after seating you and providing you with drinks. We found that if you tip a small amount each time you get a very good level of service. In the evening there are tables outside the main restaurant which makes for a quieter and more relaxed dining experience compared to the inside tables where it can sometimes feel a bit ‘canteen-ish’. Some nights they will lay on a barbeque, which is always good.
Down by the beach is the Fish restaurant. The main courses aren’t very often fish-based but they do have an a-la-carte menu comprising solely of a small selection of fish which is reasonable, and very good quality. This restaurant is a little less busy and a bit more relaxing.
The staff, throughout the whole complex are exceptional, always very polite, incredibly helpful and keen to make your holiday the best it can be. We will definitely be returning to Egypt in the future, probably not to The Coral Beach Rotana, not because we had any problems with it, but because we’d like to see somewhere else.
As it’s hard to acquire Egyptian pounds in low denominations we took a lot of £1 coins with us to tip with.
As we were leaving the hotel at 15:30, it was useful to keep our room for a while longer. We asked at reception who said that as it was only for an extra couple of hours we could have it free of charge. For an extra day it was £12.
If you are going to use a taxi from the hotel, get the reception staff to sort it for you. We took one from the main entrance to Soho Square, the driver arranged to pick us up at a time we wanted at the place we were dropped. He was there spot on time and didn’t take payment until he had returned us to the hotel.
The shuttle bus from the hotel to Narma Bay or Soho Square is also very good. We were met from the bus, then taken to a shop for a look around, but without any major hassle. We then returned to the shop at the pick up time. The same guy who met us called the bus and took us to the pick up point, all very easy and stress free.
The shop owners in Narma Bay will all try to get you into their shops, if you are polite but firm they are fine. To be honest the vast majority of them were very good natured and friendly. When you do go in to buy, haggle away and stick to the price you’re willing to go to. It’s all part of the Egyptian experience, enjoy it.
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- Also Known As:
- Coral Beach Rotana Hotel Tiran
- Coral Beach Tiran