I wavered between giving the Sofitel a four star or five star rating... but in the end decided there really wasn't much, if anything, I could criticise about our holiday here, hence the full marks!
Room: Undoubtedly a five-star by Egypt standards, although not by western Europe standards. The room was spacious, with a large and comfortable bed, a big walk-in shower, good selection of TV channels (lots of English movie and sport channels) and a nice private balcony. We got a room (3327) a five minute walk away from the reception and main pool/restaurant area which at first seemed a bit of a pain but then we decided it was nice to be away from the noise and hustle and bustle of the main area as it was quiet and private. Only criticisms about the room are noisy air conditioning and no mini bar service.
Amenities: With several pools, it was a shame that there was only one which was heated and thus used - all the others were, at this time of year, just too cold to brave, even for the most hardened among us! That said, the warm pool was large enough to not be too crowded, and was nice to swim lengths in. The sunbathing areas around the pools were very clean and nice, and the sun beds comfy.
We chose to sunbathe on the beach most days - there were robust wind breaks which sheltered you from the chilly wind, which was good. Only complaints are the the beach was not the nicest - coarse sand, and a little untidy with cigarette butts and rubbish here and there. It certainly wasn't pristine, but it wasn't bad enough to deter us from sunbathing there.
Activities: There was a large range of activities on offer with enthusiastic staff running them - the volleyball and aqua-gym proved very popular, and there was belly dancing, zumba etc too. My husband and I played some table tennis and boules, and, being runners, took advantage of the jogging track that ran along the beach. The track is 2.5km in length with distance markers every 250m which was great, so we did a few 5 and 10km runs. My husband is a keen snorkeller and enjoyed being able to snorkel off the jetties and encounter an array of marine wildlife.
Spa: I had an excellent pedicure and manicure on my last day of the holiday - the pedicure treatment in particular was excellent - the best I've had - and I'd definitely recommend the spa facilities - the staff were extremely friendly too.
Food and drink: With the all-inclusive package, you only get to dine in the buffet restaurant; none of the a la carte restaurants are included in the all inclusive which is a great great shame as they stood empty or nearly empty most of the time. We dined in the Asiatique once as we fancied treating ourselves, and it was fantastic - it was teppan yaki and the chef invited me up to help him cook which was entertaining! The food was great and as part of the all-inclusive you got a free starter or dessert, and although it wasn't normal practice, we also were offered house drinks for free. It was a wonderful meal but the great shame was that we were one of only two couples in the restaurant that night - I think the hotel should think about how it could allow guests to enjoy the a la carte restaurants as part of the all-inclusive package - maybe if everyone was entitled to one a la carte meal per holiday?
The standard of the food in the buffet restaurant was very good - lots of fresh salads, fruit at breakfast, enough options during each meal to suit everybody's tastes. The evening meals were themed - International, Asian, Indian, French, Seafood, Egyptian etc... the Asian and Indian were fantastic - easily the best of the week. The rest were good, but there was sometimes not as much difference as one may have expected between the offerings on the different nights (there was a particular beef dish which seemed to appear every night but under different names...) But all in all, the food was of a good standard and really enjoyable.
In terms of drinks - a couple of criticisms in that the cocktail list is not particularly extensive, and secondly that you can only get wine with meals and in the bar on an evening, and not at other times - a bit of an unnecessary restriction surely??
Staff: The service provided by the staff is extremely friendly and personable, professional and efficient.We didn't encounter a single bad member of staff - the attitude of everyone we encountered was exemplary, from the waiters in the restaurant to the guys giving out the towels, to the housekeeping staff, and the guys on reception. It was a pleasure to receive such good service and all the staff positively reflect the reputation of the hotel.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Sofitel - it was perfect for what we wanted - a week in the sun and nothing more. The hotel is great for couples and older families. It met our expectations and wants, and we'd happily return in the future and recommend to others.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A truly magnificent location, at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba between the southern Sinai mountains and the Red Sea, Sofitel Taba Heights is also a uniquely designed hotel, inspired by traditional Oriental architecture. This exceptional resort is an all-inclusive property with easy access to the private beach, 3 exquisite restaurants, 5 swimming pools, a fitness center and 3 meeting rooms. Just 20 km from downtown Taba and 40 km from the airport, it's convenient for business and pleasure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Taba Heights Hotel Taba
- Taba Heights
- Accor Taba Heights
- Taba Sofitel