just returned from 2 week stay. I travelled with my wife, daughter (8), son (15). This was our first time in sharm after years of holiday in balearics and canaries. At times this holiday experience felt a little like a series of "the hustle" (or maybe hastle) which got a little tiring after a while.
We were shown to out room which was small and contained 2 beds and just a little bigger than singles and a tiny sofabed. Im not sure who was supposed to sleep where but there would have been murders if we had to stay in there, so back to reception to request an upgrade. This started at £450 request , we ended up paying an extra £210. The room we then got was I have to say was very impressive and worth the upgrade, hug double bed, large beds for the kids, two rooms, two bathrooms and very comfortable. however from talking to other guests who had got free upgrades I did feel a little cheated. It occurred to me whilst waiting reception that a great deal of people returned to request upgrades an I wondered if the first room offered was in fact a bit of a scam. So we had checked in, upgraded and then we got a phone call that reception wanted to see us because they wanted more money for our 15 year old son. This again seemed to be another popular scam to get some more money as there were other people who had to go through the same experience of saying "no, im not paying any more money".
Anyway, got all that sorted and settled in. I have got to say I find it suprising from other reviews about the glowing reports about staff. yes, there were certain individuals who were good, but this was largely based on tips. if you tipped and kept on tipping then you got above average service. If you didn't tip you were ignored. Tipping also instigated quite a few arguments amongst the staff, especially around the pool where there seemed to be a territory war of who was going to save sunbeds for you. I witnessed countless arguments amongst the staff and I certainly don't need to speak the language for this to be uncomfortable. Comparing to other holiday experiences I found the staff priority to be tips rather than service.
Food : repetitive, unimaginitve but adequate. Im unsure how this compares to other hotels in sharm, I have a feeling that its no worse than others and therefore if I was to return would budget to eat out a lot more. My wife did have quite bad stomach cramps throughout the holiday. The eating experience is however pretty poor. Too many people packed into a relatively small area and sometimes queuing at the door to get in. For the first two nights another smaller restaurant was opened opposite the main one, which was close to our room and a better experience but this was shut. and we were all horded into the main one which had all the charm of a school canteen.
Entertainment : got to be honest , bloody awful. and it didn't need to be, the mini disco for the kids I thought the staff looked quite disinterested at times and It was more about them and self promotion than entertaining the kids. I think with a bit more effort / stage craft on the whole the entertainment would be good, I personally thought the Bedouin tent - entertainment venue was impressive but just not used to its potential. The animation team staff were equally impressive, especially the men but again lacked direction. The very limited posters advertising the entertainment around the park were never correct and there was no mention of times of activities that might be going on at other pools or other parts of the resort. Would it really cost so much to send a sheet to each room telling them what is on and where it is on. It took well into the second week to fine out about organised football games, water polo and volleyball because it seemed a secret.
The pools are impressive and the waterpark is amazing, worth going to the hotel for these facilities alone and to be honest these are the main things that I would return for. The layout of the park inn is excellent and it is very clean and well maintained.
Constant harrassment from the health spa staff is unbearable and after having to explain the you don't want a face scrub or massage for the 5th time a day is too much, in fact I felt more stressed an in need of a massage purely for having to go through this every day. Got to say I did have a massage and it was very painful and not relaxing at all.
Access to the beach is easy through the other raddison hotel across the road and there is even a small bus that runs you down to the beach. It is very beautiful at the beach but the sand is like gravel and not a place to spend too much time because of the heat. facilities are good at the beach with a bar and a jetty where you can see into the clear waters and see all sort of fish.
Overall we are talking a 3 star hotel with potential to be great.
We went on few excursions : swimming with Dolphins (tip : get a taxi, pay on door, or pay max £60, watch out for the photo cons, they wont let you take pictures close up as they want to make a few quid out of you paying for photos, if you are going to buy these , buy them from the photo desk inside the dolphin centre not your guide or anybody else they will over charge you)
Quad bikes in desert : a great trip and good value, get to have tea with Bedouins and hear echo of desert. again don't get conned with pictures, wait until end to buy them.
Diving / snorkelling boat trip : tiran island. this only goes to tiran island it seems if the boat operator can be bothered other than that he will stop at a couple of places along the coast of sharm and let you swim in the sea. this is a very long day for kids and the meal was awful, and again photographers pester you throughout, but if u like diving and snorkeling then don't miss out, the views are amazing.
old town market : go later on at night about 9pm and there is less hassle and heat. I heard loads of people say this place was hell, but I thought it was ok. I could have spent more time here.
Soho : Overated, a fountain that is lovely but other than this overpriced shopping and mutton dressed as lamb bars.
Namma Bay : worth an explore especially at night.
out and about ; get advice on taxi prices etc. typical taxi fare to nabq centre should be about £3 / 30 egyption pounds. Some people were paying £20 for this. nothing is free, don't go into any shops you don't want to go into then be surprised when they lock the door to keep you in, don't follow somebody into a shop because they have convinced you that you need their business card, don't even speak to camel guys unless you want to ride a camel and pay £30 for the privilege, try and agree prices up front, haggle like hell, never pay first price, aim for half and work up to a price you feel comfortable with. Have banter with shopkeeper don't take it all too seriously or it will stress you out, keep moving.
If anybody wants some authentic egyption jojobo scented oil stuff that Cleopatra herself used to wear get in touch I will do you a good deal (better deal for English money :-)
Oh one last thing..... if ur Scottish get English notes and exchange money over there, you will get a better rate.
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- Also Known As:
- Park Inn By Radisson Sharm El Sheikh Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Park Inn Sharm El Sheikh
- Sharm El Sheikh Park Inn
- Park Inn By Radisson Sharm El Sheikh Resort Egypt - Nabq Bay