We went for 10 days this time and from the moment I arrived I was looked after. Check in was easy and they remembered me from last time.
We had the same room and when we got there found a lovely fruit basket compliments of the management and flowers our bags arrived with in a few minuets and there no push for tips,
The hotel is extremely clean. There are men working 24/7 to keep there high standards the garden areas are beautiful to the hotel food was always freshly prepared and as with most Egyptian hotels every night was a different nationality there was always plenty to eat and lots of choice.
The hotel location is about a 15 minute walk away from the centre of Namaa bay. Its a lovely walk up the beach or you can walk through the front of the hotel and up the quiet road but be aware for constant harassment off taxis.
The staff are fab here, they really go out of their way to make sure your every need is taken care of. We had cakes delivered to our room daily - no idea who sent them! There was usually flowers left and lovely fans and swans made out of our pyjamas left on the beds.
There was more entertainment this time. Every night dancers and live music as well as kids club. We didnt stay to watch it as we tend to stop at the blue wave pool as our room was just opposite it.
At night it was freezing there very windy and the pool bar guys were dithering, the day time was a pleasant 28 degrees.
I did see old friends and made new friends and I can honestly say I cannot wait to rebook to go back to Sonesta Beach its the nicest hotel I have stayed at.
There were some restaurants you had to pay to eat in but we never bothered as the all inclusive ones were good enough. There was a problem getting an outside table at the Citadel but there were no shortages of tables outside Le Dome. There was a problem with flies, you could not eat your food in peace they kept landing on you and your plates, this was no reflection on the hotel as the staff worked very hard and were forever cleaning.
The drinks were very watered down and the only drinkable ones were the wine and the beer which we had made into shandies, but as we are not big drinkers this was fine for us.
We went on an Arabian nights trip which I would recommend to anyone, it was a very enjoyable night with food and drinks supplied and they turned all the lights off so everyone could star gaze and we actually saw a shooting star it was lovely.
We were due to go on a snorkeling trip but due to the shark attacks we cancelled, we had no problem getting a refund from our rep Sophie.
I would recommend the Sonesta Beach Resort, we actually enquired at the hotel about booking again, but were told we had to go through a travel agent.
All in all a very enjoyable first trip to Egypt and it won't be the last.
As I'm a fussy eater I am always worried about food, I can honestly say I never went hungry. I ate for the sake of eating, the food was delicious. We did tend to stay at the Citadel as there was entertainment on some nights even though we were nearest the Dome, it was a bit to quiet there for us.
We did put the bar staff to the test when we asked for cocktails that were not on their menus and they never let us down.
I have booked to return in November 2011 to the Sonesta Beach. I could not fault anything about the hotel or the staff and I cannot wait to go back.
We arrived at Sharm airport on Tuesday 7th September and went straight to the toilet after the 5 hr 5 mins flight from Manchester, the toilets were disgusting, none of the toilets were working properly and no toilet roll, great start.
After collecting our luggage and walking outside to find the Thomas Cook rep we were told to go to our coach, it was a mini bus, the driver took our luggage from us and put it through the back window and held is hand out for a tip, after ignoring him we got onto the mini bus. We have always travelled with Thomas Cook and on the transfer from the airport to the hotel we have been given information about the resort, this was not to be, the drivers companion explained in English the order of the hotels that the driver would be stopping off at and then jumped of the mini bus at the next stop.
We arrived at Sonesta beach at the last stop after a 20 minute drive and again was harassed for a tip, we gave the driver £2.
On entering the reception it is a small area which has a lobby bar (not included in the all-inclusive) we was allocated room 105 which was next to the Oasis pool by the reception.
The room was so small a bedsit would be bigger, it had a shower cubicle dating back to the eighties, we both quickly decided that this was not a room that we wanted to spend our next two weeks sleeping in, by the way if you are tall you will struggle with the bed in this room(husband being 6ft 3 not ideal).
We walked back to reception and was told that we could pay an extra £ 35 dollars for an upgrade or move to another room at the back of the complex, we decided to go and look at this room, 15 minutes later we arrived at the room 2021, it was a large family room with a separate dressing area, lounge area, and separate bedroom with bunk beds, bathroom with bath and shower over, this was definitely a better room, although not up to my standards of cleanliness (all cleaners are male)
We decided to keep an open mind as already we were both disappointed with the hotel and we had paid a lot of money for the holiday and had been looking forward to the rest.
We walked to the beach on the first night which took a good twenty minute walk, the beach is great for fish but not for bathing in, very slippery rock/coral, the restaurant on the beach is an extra cost in the evening. We decided to take a walk into Naama bay, after 15 mins we arrived at the Hilton Fayrouz and decided that it was still probably another good 20 min walk into the centre and with it being so warm (30 degrees) at 9.30pm we cut through to the main road and walked back, this seemed to take longer with every taxi passing stopping to see if we wanted a lift.
The following morning we had our welcome meeting with Mark the Thomas Cook rep, he gave brief details about Naama bay and the surrounding areas, we had decided to take a trip to the pyramids by plane (175 each), but with the temperature being in the late forties we thought it best to leave it and come again when the weather was much cooler. We explained to the rep that the bathroom was dirty, the bed was rock hard, the TV was not working and draw in the dressing area was broken, this was all rectified later on in the afternoon although the bed was still very hard.
On day two into the holiday I started to feel unwell, even after watching what I was eating, no tap water, ice cubes, cleaning my hands regularly with the hand gel I had taken. I took it easy for the rest of the day and woke up the following morning feeling the same, this continued until 4th day when I was struck down with bad dizziness and sickness, I could not get out of bed and for the next six days until our early departure this is where I stayed. During this time I saw the hotel doctor (cost £60) who gave me tablets for my dizziness and an injection to control the sickness, this did not work and that evening we spoke to the rep Mark and asked for an early flight home (Monday) he said they did not have a flight available until Thursday and it would cost £ 195 each.
We asked him to book us both on this flight as we were both so scared having seen and heard many people getting ill, I really thought that I might not make it home, I was bed bound for six days only getting up to eat, crying constantly, sickness and the dizziness was with me for 24/7, I slept for at least 19/20 hours a day. During our conversation to book the flights home Mark had explained that it was a regular occurrence the people got ill on holiday, and was nothing to do with the hotel itself, we disagreed as so many people had decided to eat out.
Needless to say we did not see anything of Naama bay, my husband watched TV in the evenings while I slept, it was the worst holiday experience I have ever had and was so glad when the plane touched down in Manchester, we then went straight to casualty and two weeks on I am still having tests.
The whole experience has frightened both my husband and I, being in a foreign country and being so ill after being perfectly healthy before. Check your insurance cover too as we have found out that we cannot claim for coming home early as we did not get a letter from the hotel doctor to say we could not continue the holiday due to me being unwell, but as I explained to the insurance company to get this would mean that I was admitting that I was NOT fit to fly and I may not of been allowed on the plane home, at the end of the day the insurance company will try their best not to pay for a loss of holiday, in the end it cost £450 (flighst and doctor) but was worth every penny to be back on English soil and straight to the hospital for the best care, I am so grateful to be in a country that has the best health service around.
We have a brilliant time at this hotel, the staff could not do enough for you (all of them) The food was perfect, you could not complain about the choice & if previous people were having to go to McDonalds, they've wasted their money because the hotel did chips everyday (for the really fussy eaters) 10/10 for the quality of the food!!
Having been to Eygpt many times I have never known so many struck down with stomach upset in one Hotel without it being investigated.
The room were large, very dark furniture, beds are so hard many were tempted to sneak the cusions of the sunbeds to sleep on. All interior rooms require revamp.
Pleased to say the staff, the grounds and the pool area were its saving grace.
If there are Egptions in the queue behind you they always get served first, if you question this they will not answer you.
Travel operator: Thomas Cooke
All the staff were very very friendly and couldn't do enough for you. The food was excellent and there was something different every day. People who state that the food is the same probably put everything they like on the plate every day. If you go full board you are given one meal, here you have two weeks variety every day. No need to eat it every day.
Prime time holidays you will struggle to get sun loungers any other time you will generally be able to get one somewhere.
Nightime entertainment was generally a group of dancers who were quite proffessional and a mediocre singer. Once a week you will get an amateurish egyptian troupe.
Childrens entertaiment was excellent from early morning till past 10pm.
One thing that isn't mentioned in these recaps is that this hotel is directly on the flight path into Sharm Airport. It didn't bother anyone I met and the air conditioning in the rooms drowns the noise out. In fact any hotel in Naama will have a similar problem.
The beach is lovely but small comparing the size of the resort. We would recommend this resort and we would definately return.
Travel operator: thomson
We spent our days by the Blue wave Pool and there was always enough loungers available, in the evening Mohammed (who works at Cactus pool during the day) was really attentive to everyone and a more hard working young man will be hard to find, well worth the extra tips I gave him. The drinks are served in decent half pint size plastic tumblers and the local beer, Sakara, is ok. This bar also shows lots of football for free. You also get ice cream and packets of crisps free here as well. Beware of mozzies at sunset though, I sat and watched Egypt in African Nations Final and was riddled with bites on my lower legs! We went 28th January - 4th February and weather was great during day but a bit airy at night, so take a light cardigan.
We didn't use the Citadel restaurant. We ate once at Casablanca and were sitting outside, however the light was so dim we could barely make out the menu and both had Kofta which was really dry so we left and went to the Dome to 'top up'. Apparently they do a great fillet steak but we didn't see that, still worth a visit though as it's part of your AI. The animation teams at some resorts are generally not that good, however we felt the team here were actually quite talented, they managed to get several nationalities laughing at same things - no mean feat. They practice really hard until early hours at times, and during the day are not pushy if you don't want to participate.
We did one trip and that was Luxor, it was pricey as you have to go by air, but we knew that and added the VIP package as well which is a much more personalised tour. The Valley of the Kings and Karnak are breathtaking. We booked it through the Thomson Rep John, I can see hands going up in horror at this. Why not book with the rep? This seems to now be a modern taboo, yet it's much safer and reliable. The rep gets a small commission which can be added to their meagre wages. The first person you will run to with a problem is the Rep so give them something back and book your tour with them please!! Furthermore take out some Golden Wonder crisps and Cadbury's creme eggs for them, as they miss such luxuries! John was a very friendly and enthusiastic lad who clearly takes his job seriously and nothing is too much trouble for him.
We had a great time with good weather and didn't let the ill mannered Russians, spoil it. There was not a lot of them there, but mind you there doesn't have to be! Almost forgot, the rooms also have free safes but are a nightmare to use and usually need several attempts to lock or unlock.
Travel operator: Thomson
First of all, i would like to make holiday makers aware that if your suitcases exceed the normal 15-20kg then you will be charged
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
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