Hotel tip: Take a travel kettle + T-Bags
The hotel, grounds beach and staff were fantastic I could not fault the hotel - ok just one minor issue if you choose to have a massage have it on the beach as the massage room is next door to the gym and you have the constant noise of gym equipment while trying to relax - apart from that it was one of the best holidays I have ever had.
What made me write this review was that after I booked the holiday I googled a1travel.com and noticed a some bad reviews that to be fair they were old, nevertheless I was very concerned about my holiday. I even tried to cancel a day later but was told that we could not cancel for free due to the airline charges so I reluctantly kept the booking in place. I am so glad I did.
When we arrived at the hotel check in was swift and we were allocated a fantastic room with sea view even though we just booked the standard room. All in all I would recommend booking with A1 Travel their service was fantastic.
The food was quite good, breakfast is till 11am and all the restaurants were ok but we felt like because we had to buy all our food from the hotel because there were no bars or restaurants to walk to we might as well have gone AI and saved a fortune.
There was not much entertainment at the hotel and no other children for mine to play with, they were very bored because usually we go on pedaloes or for a game of mini golf but there was nothing to do except play pool which they were barred from doing after 2 days because you had to be 16 to play.
The staff are very friendly,sometimes too friendly when you just want to be left alone and also our cleaner never left us any toilet rools so i had to take some from the public toilets.
A final word about the resort it is very hilly and there are thousands of steps, it was so tiring just walking to breakfast so be aware....
Travel operator: thomson
The hotel is very impressive in general however, the rooms, particularly the bathrooms are now looking a little dated and could do with refurbushing.
The service and staff made this a hotel a good choice as did the location, with its own coral reef. I think anyone who goes to Egypt has to bear in mind that whilst lots of hotels may be billed as 5*, this is not equivalent to true 5* ratings. I would say this hotel is at best 4*.
The food in the hotel restuarants was good, particuarly lunches at the Aqua Pool Bar & ZinZina. On an evening we ate out once at El Fanar (a lovely italian close to the hotel)and then twice at Pomodoro in Nama Bay. Neither of us had stomach upsets and I think this was down to the good standards of where we chose to stay/eat.
The weather was good although on occasion a little windy (the hotel is cliff side so slightly exposed). Only negative things I can say about this hotel is that it was slightly expensive for food/drink compared to Nama Bay but I suppose that is to be expected given that it is a Marriott. Also you do get pestered alot by various people while sunbathing for massages/spa/dive school. I also think quality of towels/toiletries coud be improved as these were poor, particularly for a hotel of this rating. These are very small niggles but wouldn't stop me recommending this hotel to anyone. I'm not sure we would return, if we were to do Sharm again we would stay at the Hilton Fayrouz in Nama Bay or possibly try the Four Seasons for proper 5* luxury.
Travel operator: Partner
You cant fail but to be impressed with the entrance to this hotel with its sweeping staircases, marble and large domed atrium.
Check in was quick we had booked two rooms and requested for them to be next to each other. The reality was amazing, we were given a twin room for our children with an interconnecting door to a large lounge/diner, a full kitchen, large sofa, TV, enormous fridge freezer, then a further interconnecting door to a delux room for us with a six foot bed. In effect 3 rooms, 3 TV's, 3 large furnished terraces. Two huge bathrooms with both bath and walk in shower, fresh white bath, hand and face towels everyday and complimentary toiletries. All was spotless. There were minbars in each bedroom which you might need to watch if you have young kids as they had Mars Bars, Kitkats etc.
Complimentary safes in both rooms and air-con should it be needed.
Possible downside for some folks, our rooms didn't get serviced till about 4pm eveyday, but someone has to be last. This didn't bother us.
Breakfast was in The Coast restaurant and was good. Silver tureens with hot food, an egg chef cooking fresh omlettes and fried eggs to order and a waffle chef doing the same. The rest was buffet, a huge selection of breads, pastries, conserves, cereals, fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, fresh orange and mango juice and cold milk. The system of table allocation was good, they always had a clean set table for you, proper napkins not paper and your thermos pot of fresh coffee/tea appeared as soon as you sat down.
We took lunch at both the Rotunda pool bar and the Aqua pool bar and had it served to us poolside once. We often only had two meals between four. Huge fresh Margarita pizza, spicy chicken wraps and chips, large Sakara, 2 7up's, litre water, plus 2 ice creams, came to approx LE 20. Which we though was good for a 5* hotel.
We only had 3 evening meals in the hotel. Two in Zinzina where there is quite a good choice and the food is perfectly acceptable, although the service can be a bit slow. It's great for your first night as most UK guests arrive early evening. Two courses plus drinks for 4 about LE 45.
We ate in the Mexican a la carte 'Acapulco Joes' down by the sea, nice fajites and deep fried ice cream, plus a pretty setting but more expensive. Didn't try the Italian.
On bills there is 12% tax and 10% service added this is standard, but I did see an Italian chap query this as newbies see the menu price and forget the hike up.
We always tipped on top as I wasn't convinced the staff saw the 10%.
Most other evenings we cabbed into Namma Bay for food although we ate at 'El Fanar' across the road from the hotel this was excellent and a must if you stay at the Renaissance, people come from all over Sharm to this and it's on your doorstep here.Its sometimes called 'the lighthouse'.
The hotel has 3 cabs which look safer than the blue and whites but you have to wait for them. Ask the guy on the steps of the hotel to get one for you. Blue and white to NB was between LE 30 and LE 40 depending on who bartered.
The location of the hotel is at Om el seid hill, about 10 mins by cab from Namma Bay and walking distance to the shops and shisha bars at Fantasia. We liked the quiet of the area but the close distance to NB and Old Sharm. No good if you want to walk to NB though.
The staff were excellent, we did tip as we went along, 10% on top of food and drink costs, we had good service, our towels were out for us every morning,bottles of water were put in ice buckets and brought to our beds, mocha milk shakes were made with or with without expresso whatever you asked for they tried to accommodate you. They were amusing too but without being pushy and seemed well trained. They seemed to like the British guests.
Very little organised entertainment, some music and a belly danceroutside Zinzina, but we went out most evenings. It shuts down about 12pm which is just as well for those whose rooms are near the top pool, as ours were, as you can hear it.
Premiership matches on in Zinzina some evenings for anyone who needs a fix of Man U or Chelsea. Also a pool table.
The pools were excellent though cold in April we used the lower pool the first two days and the top pool for the last four we received the same service at both but as we were at the top pool more we made a friend of our pool boy. The pools and surrounding gardens were stunning, staff seem to work on the gardens all the time.
Hubby and kids said the snorkelling was not as good as on the far garden reef last year. The sea was a bit choppier which makes it more difficult. No beach but regulars to Sharm will know it's normal to enter the sea from a jetty so as not to spoil the coral. Lots of sunbathing terraces by the sea and the hotel had its own dive school in the grounds, think it was called 'Dive In' but can't recommend as we aren't divers.
Roxy tourist services run all the usual excursions from this hotel. St Katherines & Moses Mountain, Ras Mohamed, Cmael rides etc. We didn't do any as we just went to relax. They were much cheaper than Panorama/MyTravel for the same thing.
All in all a great hotel. Anyone who chooses it should not be disappointed.
Travel operator: Panorama
The hotel itself is fantastic, first time to Egypt already booked for March.
The staff, quality of the hotel takes some beating.
We travel three times a year and found this one of the best hotels we have stayed in.
The food is the only five star let down but that is comparing it with five star hotels eleswhere.
Free shuttle bus to Narma bay where the food is great pavement restaurants serving a la carte food could go on about them forever!!
We are going to stay at the Hyatt Regency in March as this is supposed to be the best hotel in Sharm we are going to see if the Renassance can be beaten?
If you are unsure about Egypt don't be I loved it not sure what all inclusive hotels are like? but they seem to get the thumbs up so if you like hot sunshine, staff what can't do enough for you even without tipping like good food out then try the Renassance brilliant.
Travel operator: teletext
The hotel is spotless and the surrounding grounds are beautiful and well maintained. No fighting for sun longers; there are plenty for everyone and at the pool that we chose to use most (by Rotunda Bar), Mohamed the towel attendant offered to put our towels out each morning.
The staff are a credit to the hotel and to the country. Everybody was polite and extremely helpful at all times. We had B & B and the breakfast was excellent with something for all tastes. My husband and I did not feel we needed to eat until the evening!
The only downside is the entertainment which is a shame as I'm sure that many would enjoy stating at the hotel in the evening rather going to Naarma Bay on occasions.
Travel operator: Portland
We would describe the food as continental but there was something for everyone even if you are fussy and it was all well cooked.
The hotel is lovely and clean and they seem to have an army of staff.
The hotel is situated a few miles out of naama but easily reached by taxi at 25 egyptian pounds but do not let them con you at Naama Bay coming back as some will ask for 50 we got it once for 20.
There are some shops locally selling gifts etc and a good "off licence" selling booze cheaper than the hotel.
The staff at the hotel are excellent.the entertainment is low key.at this time of year there is no problem getting a sun bed especially near the sea but if you feel you want a certain area everyday see the towel boys slip them a few local pounds and they will look after you especially Salem (mick)who operates down near the sea.
Travel operator: portland
It started when we first saw the hotel, and were blown away by how luxourious it was - definatley worth the
5* advertised in all the brochures and the photos don't do it justice.
We emailed the hotel prior to arrival to ask for an upgrade to a family suite, and when we checked in it was all arranged and we met person we had been emailing! The room was well worth the upgrade, and was very well laid out with 2 rooms, kitchen and bathroom (which was massive!), and 2 balcony areas with chairs and tables.
The hotel and grounds were spotless and so pretty with views to the sea from all areas. One word of warning - use a high factor suncream as the constant breeze masked just how hot the Egyptian sun is and it was still Winter time for them! I got very badly burnt and blistered which did spoil my holiday as I had to keep covered up for rest of the week.
The staff are all so friendly, and the pool boys cannot do enough to help - they really made our holiday - especially Sammie who was looking after the lower pool area which had the swim-up bar. He had our sunbeds ready every day, complete with towels, and came over to chat to us several times a day. We tipped him every couple of days, as they are so poorly paid and it does mean alot to them.
We avoided the 'heated pool area' which was by the Mexican restaurant because it is next to the building work going on and on a couple of windy days there was some dust blowing across to the pool area. But there are so many other pools it really didn't matter.
The breakfast selection was excellent, and there was plenty of choices which were different each day. We ate breakfast in the top restaurant which has a balcony area overlooking the main pool with spectacular views. We got to know the waiters, and by the end of the week they even 'reserved' us a special table!
We did eat in the hotel one evening and had the buffet for about
Travel operator: Panorama
Hotel is excellent, they are cleaning all the time, security very good. Building work going on next door, but you wouldn't really know it unless you went looking. There were a couple of areas around the top pool that had had to be dug up to find a leak, but this did not really deter from your enjoyment.
Staff are so helpful everywhere, particularly the beach boys and restaurant staff. Males everywhere, we saw no females at all on the staff side. Reception staff were a bit cool, but it is all down to pecking order in Egypt.
Food was good, lots of spiced food, but plain meat dishes or pasta if you wanted it. Every night there were around 6 chefs doing live cooking in the restaurant.
This hotel I would mark as a 4*rather than 5* just due to a few items. We paid extra for a suite and would have loved a hospitality tray for that early morning cuppa! They also let anyone, in any clothes, shorts,t/shirts etc., into the restaurant at night. Just spoilt it a little if you had taken the trouble to dress up!
Travel operator: Panorama
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