This was our 6th visit to Sharm but our first to the Sharm Grand Plaza which was highly recommended by Trip Advisor. I wholeheartedly agree with the many very positive reviews of this Hotel although there are a few areas where minor changes could make a big difference to the customer experience.
The Grand Plaza is an excellent budget- priced Hotel which more than matches some of the more expensive establishments like Baron Palms, Jaz Mirabelle Beach and Reef Oasis Blue Bay in many areas. Guests have to wear a wristband the colour of which depends on your nationality e.g. British –grey, Eastern European red, Italians-blue
First of all and probably the most important, the staff in all areas of working were absolutely first-class. Nothing was ever too much trouble, they were helpful, polite and although they greatfully accepted a tip, they never asked for one! Secondly, the guest rooms were spacious, well cleaned and well appointed in general. Guests seemed to be organised according to broad nationalities and so we were largely with fellow British travellers and the many Eastern Europeans seemed to be placed elsewhere!
Dining quality and experience are very important to us and this was a major criticism that I had of the Tirana Aqua Park which I visited last year (see earlier review). The Grand Plaza tried very hard in this respect and the dining experience was very pleasant and civilised. However, a disappointment was the non-adherence of any dress code in the evenings. Many people made an effort to dress for dinner but many seemed to turn up and eat in the same clothes that they had spent the day in at the pool or beach. The quality of main course food was good and there was always an option for the fussy eater like my wife. Breakfast fare was generally excellent and the range of different foods on offer extensive.However, the range of fruit available at breakfast was limited and didn’t go beyond melon,apple,figs and mandarin oranges. Some dried apricots and prunes with maybe even some processed pears and peaches would have been nice and the kind of thing served at other hotels. A real disappointment was the desert menu at both lunch and dinner. This mainly consisted of various tasteless milky jellies and sponges/tarts with similar but different coloured toppings all with little taste. There was little variation here. The often mentioned bowls of fresh strawberries appeared at times but rapidly disappeared after 2 or 3 guests had their fill and were not replenished for subsequent diners.
The gardens were probably the best planted and maintained example I have seen in my travels to Egypt. They were definitely more sub-tropical in terms of the plants than you normally see in this type of climate and the bedding plants including petunias and marigolds with great bougainvillea were magnificent.
The sun loungers available were always plentiful around the pools and on the beach and although they could have done with a re-varnish, these wooden loungers with thick pads were both adjustable and very comfortable for a lazy day in the sun. Additionally, there didn’t appear to be a mad dash for the best positions from sunrise each day when we were there.
Pool areas and bars were excellent in terms of layout and facilities and importantly, public toilet areas were fastidiously well cleaned regularly throughout the day. Local alcoholic drinks have been criticised but they were really quite good especially as they used bottled Schweppes mixers.
Now the fine tuning! Drawer space within the rooms was very limited although wardrobe/hanging space was great. The gym which was located in the spa building was very, very small and really unusable with more than 3 people in it. There was very little equipment here in a room which was about the same size as a suburban bedroom. We felt that the equipment there although new was not of good,sturdy quality like that you get in English gyms. This was a definite negative point for us as we like to visit the gym and always choose a hotel which boasts good facilities in this respect. This being said, this is a minor point for most people.
A major disappointment for us was the lack of a good indoor bar which was part of the all-inclusive package. Whilst understanding the reasons why the management didn’t wish to use the good indoor bar in the lobby area for this purpose, it is true to say that in the week I was there I never saw a single person there having a drink simply because it was a pay only bar. The Management have to realise that customers who pay for all inclusive want just that and they don’t want to have to pay more for what they consider basic provision. The lack of a nice, indoor bar at this time of the year where evenings were cooler and certainly breezy was a real letdown for us as we, alongside many others I’m sure, get a little dressed up in the evening, like an after dinner drink in a nice bar and don’t want to sit outside in the cold in a poolside bar on seats that have been recentlly used by lotioned-up sunbathers. I urge the management of the hotel to consider this and the fact that the hotel was pretty deserted after 9.30 pm – where were all the customers? To my mind this was penny pinching by the hotel. On a similar track, ice cream was available at the poolside bars between 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm only. 1.00 pm was exactly the same as the restaurant opened and was its busiest. This was either unfortunate timing or another example of reducing demand and therefore cost and spending. Surely a mid-afternoon timeslot would have been better for customers!
With regard to a la carte dining, again we didn’t participate in this pay option but neither did it seem anyone else. These restaurants looked great but were deserted as it appeared to be pricey and at least an additional £40 per person for a basic 3 course meal. The management might decide to include one or two visits to these as a part of the all-inclusive package. I’m sure that guests would pay more up front for this.
To sum up, we enjoyed our holiday thoroughly and would recommend this to anyone given the points made above. It was great value for money and deserved it’s trip advisor award last year. I would return in a shot but not at this time of year, given the lack of a nice bar for after dinner drinks which is all-inclusive. I would certainly return here from Easter to the end of May before temperatures become unbearable. I certainly hope that the management of the hotel takes the points I have made into consideration for the future. You have a good product on offer which could be great with a little fine tuning. Guests I’m sure would be prepared to pay more up front for the suggested improvements.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfectly laid on the shores of the Red Sea, with private 300 meters long sandy beach, own stunning Coral reef, 90 meters away walk on the hotel own jetty, The Sharm Grand Plaza reflects peacfulness, tranquility and comfort.The one and only resort in Sharm featuring a 2 double queen size bed in all rooms "160 cm wide", Our aim is for you to relax and enjoy the wide range facilities of pools, entertainment and Dinning experiences. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sharm Grand Plaza Hotel Nabq Bay
- Grand Plaza Hotel
- Grand Plaza Sharm El Sheikh
- Grand Plaza Resort
- Sharm Grand Plaza Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - Nabq Bay