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“nice hotel but could do better - possibly the most difficult review i've yet done”

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Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Nabq Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Back ground – travel with other half and young child. Usually stay in 4 or 5 star and do a mixture of travel agents/self books. Well travelled throughout the world.

Booked this 14 days before departure and got a reasonable price. Beat the canaries price wise hands down. I tend to bear price in mind when reviewing a hotel. The more I pay the more I expect for my money.

This is possibly the most difficult report I have written yet as this hotel in parts is absolutely excellent and in other areas shocking. I can see why its currently no 1 on trip advisor and perhaps more reflects its clientele rather than the hotel itself – a huge assumption to make but perhaps some staying were not so well traveled or unfamiliar with decent 4 or 5 star accommodation. Plenty of visible tattoo's, trainers and tracksuit trousers from all nationalities.

Before reading this you need a bit of background info. On reading the forum and gaining advice from others more familiar with Egypt than us we didn't take any £1 coins and took a few £20 notes to change at the airport at the banks on arrival. However we didn't appreciate these would be shut at 6pm. We didn't know there was an ATM at the airport so didn't think to look for one (and to be honest after queuing for our free visa and then queuing again for passport control then waiting for our luggage and struggling to get our courtesy bus it was the last thing on our minds. We would have immediately changed some English notes into local currency at the hotel ATM straight away on arrival but it was out of order nor were we prepared to venture outside on our first night at 10pm after our evening meal with a 2 year old to find the local bank. This made a huge difference to our holiday as you will see below.

arrival and check in was quick and smooth. Initial first impressions were good but when sitting down I noticed that all the fake leather seats were worn, dirty and ripped in places with loose stitching. We had emailed the hotel beforehand requesting a room on a high floor on the sunny side with a bath for my little one. The room was on the sunny side but was only on the 2nd floor (which turned out to be a godsend as we couldn't find a lift so had to carry the pram up and down the stairs every day). They couldn't give us a room with a bath as they were a 2 level upgrade and wanted quite a lot of money for the upgrade (which is fair enough but out of our reach this particular holiday). Greeted with a soft drink and quickly walked to our room by one of the reception staff. He seemed to linger in the room for some time (I assume looking for a tip which we couldn't offer as we had no currency either LE or pound Stirling). Suitcases arrived shortly after and again the porter lingered looking for a tip – and when we explained that we had no currency as the banks at the airport were shut and the ATM in the hotel was out of order he demanded pound Stirling (which we didn't have). He switched to Arabic and became quite agitated and loud before storming out the room. Not a good start. We returned to reception to see if they could help exchange money which they could but only a #10 pound note for a 100LE note so no good for tipping.

Room was a good size with a huge comfy bed but on arrival no bed for our little man. Quick phone call to reception and the chair in the room was quickly converted into a bed. Closer inspection showed chipped tiles in the bathroom and holey/ripped bottom sheets in our little mans bed. There were stains on the toilet door and previous occupants toothpaste on the door itself. The unit round the underneath of the sink was scratched as was the door. The tv was well equipped with english channels which was nice but the crowning jewels in the room were lovely patio furniture and a kettle, cups, tea and coffee with instant whitener. Never have I stayed at an all inc with tea coffee facilities in the room. There was a fridge stocked with chargeable items but leave these out and the cleaner removes them. Two 1litre bottles of water are left in your room each day (free).

lobby bar

went to the lobby bar on the first night and was shown a cocktail menu with prices next to it. No one explained that these were available on the AI package so for the first night we stick to beer. Unable to tip again because of the money situation and this affected our service for the rest of the week (even when we did tip). The second night we asked again about cocktails and the bar man pointed to the ready made drinks display on the bar saying that was it. We chose one off the bar and he brought them over. We drank them but whilst doing so the bar men were watching us, commenting in Arabic and laughing. Over the course of the next few days we realised these were 'display' drinks and sat there all day and all evening. How we weren't ill I’ll never know. We gave up sitting in the lobby bar and started to sit in reception choosing to get our drinks from the sports bar (who had a cocktail menu for AI). However on the 3rd night the bar men in the sports bar stopped us from carrying drinks in glasses out to the reception saying we had to have them in plastic glasses even though we were staying inside and told us to go to the lobby bar if we wanted drinks in glasses. When I explained that there drinks were better with more choice in the sports bar they told us that the cocktails from the lobby bar were also AI and the waiters would bring them out from the lobby bar. Not once were we served in the reception by staff from the lobby bar so we resorted to sitting on a table in the sports bar, being served a drink then moving to the reception. Tedious and not what I would expect from a 4 star hotel.


sports bar

IN addition to the comments above the sports bar in the evening is very very loud. You can't have a conversation with someone sat next to you. There is a kids club mini disco but it starts too late at 8.30 and has chart/pop music. There is something just so so wrong in watching a group of young children dancing inappropriately to the “Time Warp'. Just one rendition of heads shoulders knees and toes during our time there. Furniture again is tired, faded and ripped. Our little man wore brand new white canvas shoes and white shorts and whilst I understand and accept children do get dirty neither could be worn again all holiday as the stage was absolutely filthy. All the evening entertainment is in the sports bar but I will cover that further on.

main pools

Sunbeds are not allowed to be reserved before 8am and as such hotel pool towels are not given out until then. However the practice does exist with clients using their own towels, kids lilos and tipping/bribing the pool attendants to use other items to discreetly reserve them. Saying this it never caused us a problem around either the main pool or in the waterpark itself. Sunbeds are all good quality and great condition. The main pool is heated but half a day here was enough for this family. Everyone comments on how good the entertainment team are and if you enjoy that sort of thing then I can understand this. However, again, you can't have a quiet conversation or sit in peace due to the incessant noisy exuberant loud shouting from the team and the pumping disco music that blares out all day. If you want a quiet room during the day then don't have one surrounding the main pool. Our little boy couldn't have his day time nap given the loudness of the entertainment and its team. Quiet and peaceful it is not. If I hear another whoo whoo I'll scream (and I am now trying to explain to my 2 year old that this noise is not acceptable!!!) We were only hassled once by the spa representatives. A firm no was soon understood and they didn't bother us again.

Waterpark

Almost (but not quite) the gem of the hotel. Lovely slides, great facilities for little ones in the form of a walk round pool, 4 baby slides, water guns all under shade, a pirate ship with climbing frames and slides plus water bucket and a gently sloping wave pool. The downside was that only the wave pool was heated and this was lovely. There were only a few children brave enough to use the slides, pirate ship or walk round baby pool and slides as they were absolutely freezing. Such a shame. The flo rider is also good (so my hubby tells me). The lazy river isn't heated either. However the lazy river and all water area's have large bits of paint peeling off and the fence around the lazy river is falling apart/down in places. It was very good to see regular water testing done during the day in all area's.

A major concern though was my hubby noticed the life guard on the childrens slide pool was taking pictures of the children, specifically little girls (and some of these included my son given he was holding hands with some of the girls). I raised this straight away with the guest relations lady and to the hotels due they acted swiftly. The pool staff manager was brought in, the lifeguards phone was obtained and he was removed from duty. The guest relations lady confirmed that he was new (2 days in work) – that there were a large number of photographs that had been taken and that they had deleted them all. She also told me that there would be a policy implemented that none of the pool attendants would be allowed to have their mobile phones/photographic equipment in these area's (not sure this has been enforced though so parents please be vigilant). These could have been taken in innocence but I certainly am not willing to take that sort of risk with my child in his swimming costume.

Pool food and drinks

basic food with sometimes lax opening times. One food and drink area really well hidden reached by crossing a bridge over the lazy river near the childrens water guns and turning right. From here you can get burgers and chips Another one near the main pool was supposed to open at 1 and shut at 4 often didn't open or wasn't ready for food serving until past 1.30 and I had the cheek to go at 5 to 4 to get an ice cream for my little man only to find it had already been removed. The chef doesn't appear to understand English so it was pot luck what you were given (only choice was pizza or cheese on toast so difficult to see how to get this wrong). A much better option was to go and sit outside the main buffet restaurant and get food from there. We often had to ask for knives/forks etc and take drinks with you but the quality of food was much much better. At approx 5pm there was also a selection of snacks served here. Food (small sandwiches) could also be obtained from the lobby bar as an option for late breakfast for a limited time in the morning.

We tipped quite generously here to the pool waiters and were amply rewarded. Swift timely service and it was quite a delight.

American restaurant

Only one word describes this restaurant – awful. Air con set to freezing. We had deep fried breaded cheese for starters. Undercooked and the cheese was solid. We also ordered 2 steaks – one rare and one medium. They were served to the wrong person. The meat had been battered to the point of no return and was inedible. The waiter when collecting our plates didn't like that we had left it and seemed disgusted with us that we had the audacity to say it was horrible. Another couple returned theirs whilst we were in there. We swiftly left and went to the buffet restaurant.

oriental restaurant

absolutely fantastic. Liked it so much we ate here twice. Lovely atmosphere, great service, fab food. And so so friendly towards my little man even when he fell asleep just as they brought his dinner out.

main buffet restaurant. Fab food and great friendly staff. Not at all like some of the other all inclusive 'canteens' we have been to. Waiter service for drinks and if you are carrying more than one plate they will often help you. Only disappointment was quite a lot of chipped crockery.

Breakfast
cereals, an egg station, plenty of toast machines, a pancake station, freshly baked bread in all sorts of flavors and varieties and croissants to die for. plenty of other fresh options too. Sadly the beef bacon can't replace pork bacon but unavailable as Muslim country.

lunch and evening dinner

again lots and lots of lovely choice, fab soups, and made to order pizza. My little man never went hungry. Lovely touch to have childrens plastic plates available. No smashed crockery!!!

day time entertainment
LOUD LOUD LOUD. No other way to describe it. Pool aerobics held in front of the pool towel attendants (who seemed to be pointing at hapless people really trying to keep up and laughing quite loudly). A quiz each afternoon and in between lots and lots of modern loud music pumping out. Not my cup of tea but a lot of people seemed to be having a good time.

evening entertainment
Appalling. Don't know how they can class it to be entertainment. The entertainment team seem to be the entertainment. In 2 weeks of staying here the only outside act was a magician with a rather tired, old and grey goose. Best to be avoided. The only volume that the entertainment team have during the day is loud and this carries on right though the evening. The lobby bar has some quieter entertainment (violinist, guitarist, singer) but this was often spoilt by the entertainment team whoop whooping through at regular intervals right up until closing time)

Surrounding area the hotel is a good 20 minute walk away from the beach. The beach is a coral beach but well worth the effort in the searing heat to visit for the coral and sea walkways. Lovely walk along the front. Close to hard rock cafe, McDonald and KFC. Wifi is incredibly dear at the hotel so a good excuse to turn off but if you do feel the need much cheaper to make a purchase from here and use their free service for users. One thing that most reviews haven't mentioned is the constant aircraft noise. I noticed before departure that it was only 15 min from the airport and I should have clicked then that there would be lots of noise. Aircraft start passing overhead early in the morning (it was still dark) and were still flying out at 10.30 at night.


so...the all important question – would I go back? I honestly don't know. I've stayed at a splash resort before and it was nicer than this one. I've also stayed at cheaper hotels and been more impressed with facilities, condition and staff relations. Here the majority of the staff are lovely and the food is just to die for. But it is by far way too noisy for me. Funiture in communal area's is tired and shabby and some of the waterpark pools have peeling paint.

What might bring me back though is the fabulous weather and as my little man grows up he will love the water park. I might be tempted however to look at the coral sea resort with its new water park before re-booking to the coral sea splash resort (or aqua resort or whatever it is due to be called). I still had a lovely holiday once we learnt to avoid the brassiness and loud noise levels that the hotel offers.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank linksmanmischief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 16, 2013

Myself and my partner returned from a holiday in the coral sea splash resort on thursday 14/03/13.This was one of the best holidays we have ever had. the resort was spottless, beautiful and had something for everyone of every age range.
The staff were so helpful, courteous and friendly. We had a different piece of towel art everyday from Mohammad who cleaned our room and who couldn't do enough for us to remi the bar man who was a great laugh.The food was great with a selection to suit all for all meal times. Fab snacks by the pool and the American restaurant was lovely.
The Animation Team are the ones who made our holiday these guys wrk 14hrs a day and always smile especially their 2 egiptian members Kimo and Mr.Bob. The Animation team are the biggest asset to this resort Will defo be back!!!!
The Irish :)

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank IrishStephen5835
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

When I and my family first arrived at the hotel we had such a warm welcome from staff.
We had our suitcases took to the room by Ramadan and the service was good. When we was escorted up to the room by Ramadan he showed us where everything was in the hotel and if we needed anything to just ring reception.
The food was so good, it was buffet so you can just pick whatever and how much you wanted to have. The Asian and American diner was just amazing, the food was absolutely delicious, the service was fantastic.
The animation team always had something fun going on at night e.g karaoke, magic shows, cocktail parties and through out the day had water polo, water aerobics etc! Nemo (one of the animation team) made everything fun, tried to get everyone involved and made the activities more lively.
The cleanliness of the room was fantastic, we had a cleaner come into the room every day to make the bed and clean, some days we had towel art on the bed e.g big flower, swan, heart and a peacock!
I would definitely recommend this hotel to everyone that is thinking of going to Egypt, best service!
Thank you for such a wonderful holiday, I am going to book a holiday again in this same hotel!!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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7  Thank PaigeeBx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Me and my partner just returned from coral sea splash today. We had an amazing time! All the staff in the hotel are great, they couldn't have done anymore for us. The rooms are so clean as is the rest of the hotel. Pool areas and slides are great and so are the bars. The food was great too, always a great selection and there's something for everyone. What made our stay here so amazing was the animation team: Rachel, Bob, Kiimo, Luke, Cheryl, Caroline and Larissa. They work so hard and do so much for the guests. They are so down to earth and easy to talk to. We will 100% be back to see them again. Thanks so much for an amazing week ;) see u again soon.....The Irish :-) xxxx

  • Stayed: March 2013
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3  Thank Jlama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

We got back on Sunday after 7 days . The staff just want to please ; nothing is too much trouble. Food is excellent - lots of choice and you can get something at any time of the day. The voucher for the American and Asian restaurants is a nice touch as you get waiter service : you can go more than once an pay but with the quality of the main restaurant there really is no need.

The staff work to keep the hotel clean ; Cleaner comes in every day and replenishes everything ; the towel art is something special. If you want the beach and Red Sea that is a 200m or so walk out of the hotel - free use of sunloungers : you can either hire a towel of £2 or take the one from the hotel ( not part of hotel so you also lose the all inclusive ) but worth doing for a change.

Outside of the hotel it depends on what you want to do : if you're into excursions and scuba diving there's plenty on offer. If you like looking at interesting buildings and churches there isn't.

All inclusive covers everything local.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are nearer to the pool and restaurants - easier access but noisier. If you want...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Phil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

My husband and I travelled with our 3 sons, partners and 5 grandchildren to the coral sea splash resort on 25th Feb. We had a fantastic holiday with everybody enjoying the slides and wave pools and the pirate ship. Food was readily available all day and there was always something to suit all. The waiters especilly Mario and Daio were great and were very friendly and helpful all holiday. Our cleaner Reda was great and was there straight away when 1 grandchild had an accident!! What can I say about the Animation team!!! We had a great night every night at the childrens disco and the entertainment that followed. Special mention to Rachel, Larissa, Cheryl and Nemo! Kids club was great for the 5 year old too.
Our rooms were lovely and very clean and had everything you needed. we used Falcon tours and found them a lot cheaper than Thompson and very helpful and friendly.
All in all a GREAT HOLIDAY and would recommend to all.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank rubyrubyruby21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

I went to coral sea splash with my husband, sister in law and my 18month old daughter, between the 28th feb-7th march
I was a bit nervous about factilites for the baby i.e bottle warming,food etc but all the staff were amazing and catered for our every need.
The food was ok- standard all inclusive food. They had severel BBQ's over the week and they were lovely. The two al-a-carte resturants served lovely food it was the best asian i have ever eaten. We went down to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch of day just for a change it was resonably priced, serving standered american food.
The water park and pools kept my daughter and husband well amused allowing me to have quality sun bathing time. The only bad points about the pools is, only the wave pool and main pool were heated, the kids pool and lazy river were absoulty freezing, although it didnt stop us going in them it would of been nice if they were a bit warmer.
We had a double family room it was lovely and clean and very spacious. The housekeeping staff restock the bottles of water every day. The mini bar is quite expensive but if you empty the fridge and tell the house keeping staff to take the food away they are more than happy, we then put our bottled water in there.
All of the staff in the hotel are so nice, they will bend over backwards to make sure you have a excellent stay. The waiters in the main resturant are fantastic especially Mario ( he wears white glasses). The pool bar guys bring around drinks on a tray throughout the day.

Now for the wonderfully amazing animation team- what can i say they are so fantasic at their jobs. Luke, Bob, Kimo, Cheryl, Racheal, Larissa and Caz truley made our holiday more fantastic then what is was already. Kimo is as mad a box of frogs, but puts a smile on yor face all day. The mini disco was great my daughter loved it! She was up dancing on the stage from when the
music started until it stopped, they even came out when we were leaving to say goodbye. The are all just so amazing x.
Thankyou for making this holiday truley special.

From Freyas mum

Room Tip: We had a double family room (3120) it was a real suntrap.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank rie1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort

Address: Sharm El Sheikh, Nabq Bay, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > South Sinai > Sharm El Sheikh > Nabq Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Nabq Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Nabq Bay
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Nabq Bay
#9 Spa Hotel in Nabq Bay
#9 Luxury Hotel in Nabq Bay
Price Range: $64 - $1,752 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Feel the dynamic pulse the moment you walk into the Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort. It is home to the most prestigious aqua park resort in the fashionable Nabq area on the Red Sea. The aqua park entertains guests with: Boomerang and the Speed/Bowl slides. On top of that, you can race down the multi-laner or go for something calmer like the lazy river. But the real big boy has to be the flowrider ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coral Sea Splash Hotel Nabq Bay
Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - Nabq Bay

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