The pool is an amazing creation with clean fresh towels there for you. The spa is a must! Of course my wife did the spa thing a lot more than me but I must admit it was a great time.
Booked EJ flights and after successfully negotiating a flexible rate for 2 standard rooms direct with Sharks Bay to match the best Bed Booker price I could get, I made my usual request for sea view rooms in Block 1 or 2 on the old side, our preferred choice. Speedily taken to exactly the same rooms we had previously in block 1. Rooms are fresh, clean, and bright and the added mattress toppers easily make it the most comfy bed I've ever slept in.
New or old side is a personal thing and personally I don't believe one side is better than the other. We first started going to the Hilton before the new side was built so for us the old side holds very happy memories. We like the familiarity of it, the flower filled, more established feel of character and most importantly feeling close to the sea.
The staff: The relaxed and friendly feel are this hotels greatest assets and shows why there have always been a high number of repeat English Guests.
The selection of Food is not the greatest but we always found something to enjoy and staff go out of their way to make your restaurant experience a happy one. I actually thought the food was a little better than the same time the previous year. Restaurant service on the old side was very good and tips to our favourite members of staff always produced many drinks top-ups and extras like ice cream and coffee from the downstairs Italian. They remember what you like and one evening our table was prepared with our drinks sat waiting. We tried the new side one evening and despite how lovely it was to see old faces like Ahmed, Mohamed etc, handing out tips it was heaving and the service wasnt great. No refill of drinks and all plates from our starter, main and dessert were still there when we got up to leave. Maybe we got a busy night. This brings me to the beer. Hilton What on earth have you done to it??. Ok you always expect some watering down at A/Is but my husband couldn't even drink it. It is now either so badly watered or they are buying some unbelievably cheap brand. Within 2 minutes it was totally flat. This needs sorting pronto because that one experience has actually made my husband fancy trying somewhere else next year.
Entertainment around the pool during the day is very good. They start at 10am with stretching followed by water polo, darts, water gym, belly dancing, football, all the usual suspects. Whilst we dont tend to participate we always enjoy the banter and there is always music played. A happy and friendly atmosphere.
No idea as to what's now available of an evening but there seems to be a decent enough programme and I believe the chill out bar is now staying open later for DJ and dancing. The entertainment team always do trips down to the various clubs several evenings a week. They must all be shattered ,they really do work very very hard !!.
Really enjoyed the Q bar of an evening on the new side . Made a pleasant change from our usual haunt the Sunset Bar that didn't feel quite the same this year. No children allowed but we took our 15 year old in and just headed straight outside to the rooftop.
All in all still a fabulous holiday that considering we paid £31 per night each (just did a proper calculation) for accommodation, all our food ,drink and entertainment in high season it's fair to say excellent value.
The location was great for us, far enough out of Namma Bay to be quiet & peaceful, but only 20 to 25 minutes on the shuttle bus, dependant on traffic & walkable to Soho Square. Shuttle needs to be booked at reception although it was never full. LE15 per person each way, it goes on the hour from the hotel and on the half-hour from Namma Bay and ran to time. It drops off and picks up from the duty free opposite the Kahramana Hotel.
Loved the setting of the hotel by the sea with all the beach terraces being high up so that you could look down at the beautiful view, nice chilled vibe to it all, slight niggle was you could hear the music from the hotel’s sunset bar, which was fine, but also music that I assume was from the Concord hotel next door although not all the time, so that slightly spoilt the chilled atmosphere but this really is nit picking a bit.
Spending most of our time down there it was good to be able to get a ready supply of chilled water & cold drinks from the bar when the heat got too much. Had 3 lunches at the sunset bar which were normally something in a roll with chips or a salad.
I preferred the pool at Sharks Bay 2 to our hotel, maybe one of the best pools in Sharm, massive with large terraces & many sunbeds, two pool bars & a fake beach. It also has an adult only section at the far end for any that want peace and quiet.
It isn’t a place to go for fine dining, but food is perfectly adequate, based on 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners & 1 lunch in the buffet. The choices were limited, the first night only 6 hot tureens & 3 were boiled rice, roast potatoes and carrots, the others shepherd’s pie, fish in sauce & an unidentified meat in gravy. They had a carved beef joint of which I was given 2 slices the size of 10p coins, my partner had the fish, 3 little fillets, 1 was cooked and too raw.
The fresh breads and cheese were excellent & breakfast fine, minerals were proper coke, 7up etc, spirits local, endless supply of sealed bottled mineral water available which I was impressed with. Beer OK but tasted watered down compared to the Sakkara you get in bottles in NB & Soho Square. Cocktails sickly, due to the fruit juices they use. Coffee was dire.
It is probably standard buffet fayre for a 4* in Egypt, nothing exciting a bit bland but you won't starve and will normally be able to find something to suit.
The staff are fantastic they are this hotels greatest asset, they work their socks off, high fiving you in the restaurant, trying to remember what drinks you like, clearing away & re-setting all the time.
Staff on the jetty are there all day with the hotel guests supervising & assisting with water sports & making sure everyone is OK. Gardeners work non-stop keeping it beautiful. I used the spa at Sharks Bay 2 and the staff were very professional.
I did like the sunset bar the most beautiful setting and you feel really connected to the sea there, both during the day and of an evening.
One thing that irked me though was that in the ladies toilets that served both the sunset bar & restaurant & the beach, all week there was no soap in the soap dispenser. I think it might actually have been broken, considering the footfall these toilets get during the day I felt that was extremely poor in a Country/Resort that is know to get a lot of tummy upsets. These two toilets must get 100â€™s of visits a day, 1000's over a week.
It’s almost like they can get the big things right, but then forget about small things that are absolutely vital. No wonder people feel the need to take anti-bac everywhere with them, the worry will be the few that don’t.
If the deal was right we would go back.
The reason the food gets 4 and not 5 is that it was sometimes a little safe and bland for my taste. All very fresh and good quality though, just personal taste. Fresh bread was fabulous.
I thought the Asian restaurant was over priced. Didn't eat there, but it worked out about £9-10U for each dish.
The hotel was constantly being cleaned. Room was kept spotless with towel sculptures each day.
Couldn't find one member of staff to find fault with. All were cheerful, helpful and provided great service.
The entertainment gets 3 as we didn't partake in any of the evening entertainment, preferring to spend the evening in the Q club instead (no children allowed).
During the day there was aerobics and water polo and darts games around the pool. Have been to the hotel before, and wouldn't hesitate in going back.
If you are allocated a room on the original side, don't worry, they are clean and tidy, and a few are still undergoing a refurb. The noise is limited and won't interfere with your holiday.
We were All Inclusive and found the food to be just ok. The buffet tends to be only warm but with a decent choice available. Don't expect anywhere near fine dining unless you pay at the Asia Resturant where the quality and service is excellent and at UK prices.
The drinks are the local hooch tending to be so so.
The staff again are ok, friendly enough but nothing to speak of relative to the cruise staff. The alternative to the buffet is the fixed menu at Rustico Restuarant again just ok, the Bedouin area is again buffet, done to look like a Beduoin tent - again ok.
The hotel location is right on its own bit of beach (sharks were eating people at the time we were there so no swimming / snorkelling allowed).
Entertainment is pretty rubbish with lots of Russian (most guests were Russian) who think they are Maddonna / Lady Gaga. You can walk up the road to Soho Square which has a few shops and bars. A bus to Namma Bay is worthwhile but prepare for the usual hassle from the shop keepers (you have no idea how many of them are a cousin of William Wallace - we are Scottish).
In summary this resort based hotel is fine, the old part is perfectly ok or you can pay more for the new part, this area is pretty smart, nice pools etc but I did not think the upgrade would be worth it.
The place is clean and a great place to relax and chill out, very comfy sun beds etc - just don't expect too much from the place or you will be disappointed - it is miles away from 4 star accommodation. There was nothing outstanding to say.
The only criticism I have is that the food during the evening meal was not very warm, I am not sure if this was to do with the time we chose to eat or was the general opinion of all people eating at different times.
We went over to the new side to check out the evening entertainment and the facilities and walked into the Olympic bar and straight back out, it was like something out of Benidorm (chav tastic), not for me thanks, so went straight back over to the oldside.
My partner and I are not fussy eaters, in fact we enjoy International cuisine and very rarely eat fast food but we had to resort to ordering in McDonalds twice and pay to eat in the on site Asian restaurant because the hotel food was so diabolical. It was repetitive, tasteless and lacking in variety. Sweets were limited to cake; ice cream only available on alternate days and the limited amount of fresh fruit (pear, grapefruit and dates) looked the worse for wear. Apart from having to queue to be seated in the restaurants and then queue for food, dishes were not replenished quickly enough and those that were refilled were not thoroughly cooked. We found most of the food was not kept hot with rice verging on tepid and chicken being lukewarm.
During our two week stay there were few people who had not experienced some degree of stomach upset. This resulted in anything from a couple of days in bed to admission to hospital. My partner and I had carefully followed all advice given to us prior to this holiday such as washing hands after handling money, drinking plenty of bottled water, no ice in our drinks, not eating any salad or unpeeled fruit, avoiding being out during the hottest part of the day and not ingesting tap water so after 6 days with no problems we felt sure that these precautions had worked. On our 7th day, I began to experience a bit of diarrhoea, which I put down to the usual problem associated with climate change, so went to the local chemist for some medication. Less than 12 hours later I was in the hotel clinic on a drip and over the next 3 days, (at a cost of £365), I received 4 injections, two lots of tablets and spent 3 days in bed.
Il Rustico (an Italian restaurant on the old side) where you could get pizza or pasta has now become a restaurant where you have to book but the food is far better than when it was buffet style, you actually get topping on the pizza dough!
The room we resided in on the new side was nice unlike those on the old side that are tatty and in dire need of an upgrade. Many people we spoke with had problems with flooding and noisy air conditioning as well as rowdy Russians at night through to the early hours of the morning.
It appears you will get better service if you tip staff but we are of the opinion that we'll tip when we get over and above the service we paid for. We took £100 in dollars for tips but shared this amongst just a few staff: the shuttle bus driver (because he was always happy, talkative and took us to our room), our room cleaner for the brilliant towel art and two waiters on the new side who have since left.
All the pools of the resort were good and the surroundings beautiful. The snorkelling was great but the beach is small and sunbeds are falling apart.
There are two Animation teams who provide daytime activities such as darts, table tennis, water aerobics and occasionally waterpolo. On the new side they were far too pushy and a couple of them got ratty if they did not win the games. In contrast, those on the old side left you alone if you did not want to join in but were good fun both in the daytime and evening. We became quite friendly with two of them and this is where we got some valuable information about the hotel food and medication.
To summarise: This is hardly a Hilton. I'd go as far as to say some elements parallel that of a Butlins holiday camp!
We had already been given a free upgrade to delux rooms on the new side but we had requested by email that upgrade to be used instead for seaview rooms on the old side . We spent a lot of time deciding on this but as our preferences were close to the sea and dive centre and not high spec rooms(we had always been pleased with rooms we had previously on old side) we chose to go with the part of the hotel we knew and loved.
Being Easter the old side was at full capacity and after being shown ,offered and refusing (Never have we done that before) 2 sets of rooms that had views of the sea and even better of the building site next door we were told we could wait for rooms to be cleaned in Block 1 near the sunset bar and dive centre with full sea view .You can't get any nearer the sea. Perfect. Have to admit the new side looked further away than I had previously imagined and glad we didnt have to rely on waiting for the bus to get us around . My husband would have rung my neck if he had had to do that whilst on holiday .
I wouldnt though advise rooms so far down towards the sea if any member of your party has walking difficulties . The old side running down to the sea is built on quite a slope and the up and down several times a day in the heat can be hard work , especially when you have been doing nothing more than lying on a sunbed for the week or two.
Admitidly we didnt go near the new side other than for a quick looksey the first evening . Didnt feel the need really and it just felt too far .
As on previous visits over easter we encountered a high percentage of English guests. Maybe as high as 60-70% and all staff their usual friendly selves with many old faces from our previous visits 3 and 4 years ago.
I don't believe the food in Egypt will ever blow you away and HSB is no exception but it is good and we have never experienced tummy upsets here as we have done at other hotels in Egypt.
We only used the restaurants at the old side and nothing much has changed there.
Breakfast is always good with a good selection of breads, pastries, egg and pancakes done anyway you want, cereals, fresh fruit salad and a good selection of hot dishes including scrambled egg, tomatoes , real sausages (A new addition since our last visit) , fried potatos etc. They also now have a pot of coffee ready on each laid table so there is no longer the nead toconstantly swival around in your chair to attact a coffee man . A very welcome new change .
Lunch here can be taken in the buffet restaurant or the snack bar . We mostly ate in the snack bar for lunch which is burgers, hotdags with buns, jacket pots, chips and salad . they used to have grilled meat and Kebabs but we saw no evidence of those now. You can then nip upstairs to get desert from the buffet restaurant and in fact anything else you want from there but you would need to be appropriately dressed to do that.
Evening meals we took at the main restaurant . Always a good selection of soups, bread several main dishes that were mainly stews or involving a sauce + there was a live cooking station and a pasta choice or 2 . Lot's of rice and potato style dishes and a couple of vegetable options. If I had one suggestion it would be for more plain style BBQ styled meats and fish for those that don't like rice or sauces . I always found something to enjoy but my husband who is a plainer eater got bored with eating rice and stews. good choice of sweets .
We also tried the pizza restaurant downstairs one night but the queue was long for a table and even longer for pizzas so we ended up going upstairs to the buffet and bringing it back downstairs .
It's worth pointing out that wherever you choose to dine you can nip up and down stairs for food from one another . Our lads often went downstairs to get a pizza and brought it back up .
Sinai dive centre (on site) still expertly run by Thorsten and Julia (Guilia). Their customer service is excellent although their prices can be a little higher than other dive centres but what you get here is worth the little extra. The help you get from the Egypian lads working here is second to none. They always give lot's of help with getting on, storing and caring for your equipment . Help you all the way to the jetty if you are diving the house reef or using the rib boat. They wash and pack away all your kit after and even deal with any repairs to equipment that you need . One of my sons broke his fin strap on the thislegorm and next day the lads had replaced with a shiny new Mares fin strap (no mention or charge) . They also washed all their kit every night and hung out to dry . Again on collecting kit for journey home all had been thoroughly washed and dried . Do give them a tip because they work very hard.
Overall we had a lovely week and would not hestitate to recommend HSB . You can tell by the amount of long term friendly staff and high number of repeat guests (white wristband) that this is a much loved hotel and it continues to be our first choice in Sharm . Ok it's not perfect and there are always areas of improvement anywhere but the HSB goes a long way to ticking all of our boxes and the atmosphere is always good .
oh would also mention that our older lads (19 and 17) had plenty of opportunities to go into naama bay of an evening with the entertainment team. They do several trips to Pasha ,hardrock and another nightclub during the week and all return safely around 4am . Most nights out are around
Travel operator: DIY
Rooms are cleaned every day,leave a tip!Had some wonderful 'towel art'!On the day of our anniversary,delivered a cake and bottle of wine,all the staff are very friendly,didn't find them over familiar,just right.
There was a good selection of food at all times,in the evening different themes.Tables were cleaned as soon as guests had left,food was checked regularly,drink replenished as required.
We didn't see any of the evening entertainment,started chatting with another couple and met for drinks at Sunset and Q bar.
Seemed to be plenty of sunbeds available at any time of the day,the pools are large so never any overcrowding.
The hotel is close to the airport,however,the planes took off away from us,so the noise was not a problem.
Quite a few guests we spoke to were on return visits,we hope to return again.
Travel operator: Portland
Swimming on the reef was a great experience.
On checking in we were offered upgrade to new part of hotel for
Travel operator: Portland
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