Just returned from my first visit to Sharm and it certainly was an experience. I chose it because it's one of the few places where you can be guaranteed sun this early in the season and it's amazing value - booked late and saved 50%! Probably the best value holiday I have ever had.
On flying into the airport I could have been landing on the moon - completely desolate with no sign of life for miles but after a 20 minute bus ride my husband and I were transported into a 'purpose built' haven of palatial hotels and resorts surrounded by lush gardens and pools and a shoppers paradise!
We were warmly greeted by the Thomson staff at the reception of the Holiday Village and shown straight to our room whilst the porters brought our bags. Well - what a room! It was a standard room and was around 40 sq.m. where the 6' bed and sofa were lost in the middle, a large bathroom with a huge walk in shower, dressing room and spacious furnished balcony overlooking one of the 10 pools - result! The aircon was very efficient and our 'chambermale' (the complex was run totally by young Egyptian men) kept our room spotlessly clean every day and catered to our every whim. The food, which was presented buffet style 3 times a day, was outstanding for both quality and choice (and unusually served piping hot), we were very impressed with the effort made to provide various themes every night, there was something for everyone and never boring. Again, couldn't fault the service - the waiters were smart, attentive and anxious to please.
As our sole purpose was to spend a week relaxing in the sun we didn't get involved in any of the activities and excursions offered by Thomson and they accepted that and didn't bother us further.
There were about 40 Thomson staff totally committed to making sure that everyone had the holiday that they wanted, they ran children's clubs and workshops and kept them amused everyday with making things, group games and fun so their parents could relax. Although we enjoyed our week as a couple we quickly realised that it was a family paradise as every age child was catered for. As we went outside of the school holidays we wrongly thought that their would be no children there but forgot the pre-school ones which are much noisier than the older ones but we had quiet evenings in the restaurant as we did the 8 p.m. second sitting after the young families had left.
We did get off our lounger beds for one day and took a trip to check out what all the fuss was about with the diving and snorkelling in the Red Sea. We wrongly assumed that we would be able to snorkel off the beach as it was far too shallow and deeper water could only be reached by either wading for half a mile or walking the length of the jetty and then swimming 200 metres to clamber ungainly over the reef to the other side which descended into a dark blue abyss - a mission not worth the effort! We happily spent our days either by the 'quiet pool' or on the beach with the cool breezes blowing over us and waiters serving us cool drinks from the bar.
Thomson offered us a day trip for £60 per head to include transport from the hotel to the port, a 3 hour boat trip to 3 different snorkelling spots and lunch provided on the boat. On one of our forays outside the gates to wander around the shops we came across an adventure company called Falcon where we met Sayed, he sold us the very same trip for £20 a head! Ignoring the warnings of Thomson not to 'go it alone' outside the complex we were treated to the most fabulous day on a spotlessly clean, comfortable boat run by 3 very professional guys who were very mindful of our safety at all times. They took us to 3 beautiful, unspoilt spots where the coral reef and tropical fish were breathtaking, the best value day ever!
We quickly learnt that the Egyptian was of life is all about bartering, they start off with a crazy price to sound you out but if you are tenacious enough you can get them down less than 50% of what they were originally asking.
Of course, everyone likes to plant a little seed in your head about terrorism or sharks when you mention Egypt but we had a fantastic week and we found the locals to be very friendly and liked to banter with the tourists. There whole lives depend on tourism and they know it and they go to great lengths to keep us coming back. The young lads working in the village, of which there are hundreds, only earn £20 a week for their amazing efforts. We had a cheap holiday so we were happy to be generous in our tipping to some of the ones that made our trip memorable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Offering the unsurpassed panoramic views of the Red Sea, Coral Sea Holiday Village Resort presents a comprehensive under-one-roof concept that meets the need of every discerning leisure traveler. This 5-star resort houses: 484 elegant guest rooms with modern amenities, superbly-designed facilities and 13 exciting dining and lifestyle choices for a multi-dimensional experience. It is our privilege to enchant our guests with courteous and attentive service that is the hallmark of Coral Sea Holiday Village Resort; we deliver only the best! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA, Hotwire and Hotels.com so you can book your Coral Sea Holiday Village reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Coral Sea Holiday Village Hotel Sharm El Sheikh