11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great hotel but....
"The hotel and the facilities are good. The hotel is located a 15 minute taxi ride from the hotel (27 EGP) and the town itself had a reasonably good number of restaurants but they mostly did the same food for the same price. There are a few bars and you can always get a taxi back from the footbridge to the hotel (20 EGP)
We had two meals at the hotel, both in the Sails restaurant by the sea. The food is very expensive and poor in terms of quality. The chefs had difficulty cooking rice and I gave up the third time it was sent back. The drinks are also very expensive and are similar to London prices. I appreciate that this is a resort hotel but when it is 4 times more expensive, that is a little rip off to me.
On the plus side, the beach is man made and you need to access the sea via the pontoon but that is fine. The towel guy can't do enough to help, which is the same for all the staff except the chefs! There are good pools and the on site diving school is excellent.
The breakfast is excellent and a really good start to the day.
I would go back and stay there again, I would be happy to take a taxi into town and pick up the essentials from the supermarket!
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of July 2009
Great way to End the Trip....
"We stayed at the Dahab Le Meridian after spending 9 days in Egypt. We found the hotel to be very nice and everything was brand new. There are two things to know before you go: 1. You are very removed from the great dinner scene in Dahab "downtown." However, it is just a 5-7 minute cab ride from the hotel.
2. The staff was still in training when we visited and we found them to be a little eager. As Americans, we expected to never see the cleaning service. But it seemed they were always in our room or knocking on our door when we were there. Friendly, but a little over eager.
Dahab is awesome. This hotel is great! You will be very happy and it is so close to the Blue Hole. And the fresh sea food in downtown Dahab on the boardwalk will blow your mind. Be prepared to just chill out here!"
- Travel date: Tue 11th of March 2008
Palms, panorama, peace...perfect.
"Room: Interior designed; the rooms are spacious, well equipped and are definitley 5 star. The wonderful surprise comes at night when the room is lit up- a bedouin, Middle east flavour is created by clever use of lighting and celing covers. The mini bar is well stocked (as expensive as all 5* bars usually are). The air con is a little noisey and needs to be a little 'beefier' perhaps.
The bathrooms again are designer created; the baths are raised and sunk into a marble surround; very oppulent - the steps up and into the bath may prove a little hazardous to the infirm- however there may be other rooms more suitable, I am not sure.
There is a back part to the room which is a completely secluded terrace with an outdoor shower which as someone else has mentioned could be wonderful in the real heat of the summer.
Front terrace-is spacious with sun beds, table and chairs- and a great spot for sunbathing out of the wind.
The hotel restaurant: We ate in the hotel restaurant 5 times and had an excellent meal each time; the chef is French and inventive, obviously curtailed sometimes in what he can acheive with what is available, also the hotel caters for the Egyptian tourist/business person too, so there is an eclectic mix of Middle east meets West. There is a real effort to produce western food (chips, burgers etc) via room service. The ambience in the restaurant is excellent and the service is efficient and friendly. All our meals consisted of both buffet and hot food ordered and served at the table. The soups were all delicious, the lamb and beef dishes wereextremelygoody. This restaurant in my humble opinion would not be out of place in any British city. The local red wine 'Omar Khyam' was excellent priced at Â£13 per bottle. Dinner worked out at Â£28 per person each evening.
Breakfast was also taken in the restaurant-again, as good as any I have had in Europe.
The pools: there are several pools including a freshwater and sea pool- they are sumptious and make other hotels we have seen with their bright blue kidney shape pools seem very passe! (You will see what I mean when you arrive there)
An attendant was always around when we were using the pool to arrange towels and bar service.
Spa; There is a steam room-which was in operation all day with showers to cool down. There are also separate sauna's for males and females. All easily accessible and hardly frequented by anyone.
Bar- serves cocktails til midnight but was completely deserted which was a pity. Most of the spirits are produced locally but the Tom Collins was as authentic as they come...
Beach: A bar is situated on the beach serving drinks and sandwiches all day. There is an attendant who looks after your needs and is attentive
Service: Exceptional- in comparison to a 5* in Europe, the staff were plentiful, attentive, discreet and friendly too. We had great fun learning a little Arabic with the waiting staff- a good word 'shokran' (Thank-you) was appreciated and always greeted with 'afwan' (you are welcome) followed by a broad smile.
The resort: We did not feel comfortable in Dahab when eating- we tried 'Al Capone' which was recommended by the Thomson Rep but found it a trying experience-cats under the table, dirt floor etc.. We wanted to contribute to the local economy but could not quite do it- perhaps others will disagree. The staff were so friendly though. Perhaps we missed what others have written about and saw. Le Meridian is the most cut off of all the hotels in Dahab- a taxi ride to everywhere.
Other hotels- We vsisted the Iberetol and The Hilton and found them nowhere near the standard of Le Meridian- the site of 'Animation Teams' (written on their T shirts) leading the hotel guests in day time activities was reminiscent of a scene from Hi De Hi; but it is horses for courses-not our scene though.
Trips: We took a Thomson trip to Petra, at Â£210 GB each it was not a cheap trip-but so worth it. Petra is right up there with the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Jerusalem- absolutely fantastic, very tiring, wear enclosed shoes and take sun cream. The first sight of the Treasurey Temple (where Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom was filmed)- is absolutely awesome (in the true sense of the word), so worth the effort. The flight was fun too in small propeller aircraft supplied by Royal Jordanian Airlines!
Mount Sinai: we avoided another guided tour and took the hotel taxi (Limousine-a small but adequate Hyundai). It was well worth the money $65 dollars for both of us. We did not go into St Katherines Monastry- we had heard it was crowded and hard to move around. The burning bush where Moses was given the ten commandment is supposedly housed within the walls of the monastry- a leap of faith too far for us!! Another couple we know tried a tour company in Dahab to their satisfaction I believe.
Summary: Fantastic holiday because we stayed in a fantastic hotel. We are in our early 50's (very early!) but with I think, a fairly young outlook however we have become discerning over the years and hate the 'Brits Abroad' culture that has been created across the world; I would run a million miles away from that scenario. So Le Meridian at this point of its existence (it was only probably a third full when we left) was ideal for us, it was uncrowded, very, very quiet and an ideal place to unwind.
PS Take lots of small dollar notes for tips and take warm clothing; it can get very chilly day and night-despite high temperatures the wind can be very cold"
- Travel date: Wed 5th of March 2008
"In February the hotel was quite with low numbers and as there is refurbishment going on, many of the facilities are not available. All we wanted was a quite holiday in nice surroundings and that is what we got. Very efficient, pleasant staff, Terrific room (given free upgrade) and food buffet style but more than adequate. Both the windsurfing and dive centres are now open, though we did not use either.
As someone else said above, go now before the crowds, but we will be going back for sure.
The hotel manager confirmed that they do not intend to offer all inclusive holidays, hopefully that will discourage a certain unpleasant nationality from using the hotel in plague like numbers (as we experienced in Sharm last year).
Dahab was a laid back resort and we ate out there every other night. Nesema hotel (good steak) and Sea Bride (fish) are the two places we would recommend after consulting widely and then trying. The latter is a BYO of you wish, bottle shop is 50 yards away. The hotel is a Â£5 taxi away from Dahab town, cheaper if you order from town."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of March 2008
Go now before it is discovered!
"Le Meridien Hotel is a super place to stay at present as I don't think it is registering yet on the big tour operators lists. Our deluxe room was superb, and I think the outside shower/rest area will be a godsend when it is at it's hottest, although when we were there it was just too cold to use. The rooms are still slightly rough as part of the hotel is still being built, however there was little disturbance from the building works, just 20 mattresses walking past the swimming pools once in a while! Sheets were fresh and crisp, and a clever solution with the bathroom mirror allows you in some cases to see the sea whilst shaving! The bath was big enough for two as well. We changed room to one further towards the beach, and imagine in high season the rooms next to the pool and entertainment areas will probably be noisier and less private. Breakfast was lovely, although the chesses and meats are exposed to the heat and flys, We loved the made in front of your eyes omelettes though! Lunch was fine - the a la carte has a super funny waiter and names of dishes are things like "when the beetroot meets the tomatoes and cheese" Tourist avantgarde?! One thing to note is checking out: When we booked they quoted us in dollars and yet they did not want us to pay in dollars but Egyptian Pounds - obviously because they lose out on the exchange rate. The management claimed the machine was broken, and yet it magically worked when we insisted that that was how we would pay. All in all - go now whilst there is still plenty of space and everything is shiny and new. I would not be surprised that next year it will be overrun and rowdy."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of January 2008
Don't bother if you value your life
"The management were terrible! We were involved in a boating accident from their private beach and no one from the hotel came to see if we were ok. My partner was molested by one of the hotel security guards and again the hotel did nothing other than to say they would "look in to it". On our departure we were made to miss the transfer coach and nearly missed our flight as they wouldn't accept our credit card that they had originally on arrival accepted for the security deposit.
If that doesn't put you off then the complete lack of other guests and no entertainment will. The only person at the hotel with any customer service skills was our cleaner!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of January 2008
Christmas in Dahab
"We went away for Christmas and New Year and although we use this site regularly, there were very few reviews of the hotel so we had a long look at other reviews for other hotels in the region to give us some idea.
Firstly, regarding Le Meridien, the photos that already exist on this site are absolutely spot on and to be honest, don't do the hotel justice. It is an absolutely gorgeous hotel with fantastic views, lovely rooms (I'm not sure there is that much difference between the different levels of room other than there is an outside bathroom with the more expensive rooms, in addition to the indoor one. We stayed in a standard room and it was absolutely gorgeous).
The pools are to die for and the hotel is split over many levels with pools on different levels giving fantastic views over the sea. The beach is set up beautifully but the sand is a little 'hard' (you couldn't easily walk in bare feet on it), and the sea was too cold to swim in over Christmas if you are wusses like us!
The hotel staff were absolutely fantastic although as with anywhere in Egypt, they will sell you absolutely anything so check your room bill carefully as it is worth haggling over things (they made 2 mistakes with our bill).
The rooms were cleaned daily, the reception staff were fantastic, the bar upstairs near reception is a bit 60's stylie but you can take drinks outside onto one of the many verandahs to overlook the water if you want.
The weather over Xmas / New Year was changeable: 21 degrees to 27 degrees but what made the difference was the wind. If it was windy, it made it really quite cool during the day, irrespective of the temperature, and absolutely freezing at night! We didn't take enough warm things for the evening so be aware - we're not really that bothered by cold but it was actually quite unpleasant until we bought extra clothes - a pashmina for me that I paid Â£3 for - very useful.
The buffet food in the hotel is not great but OK, but as ever, it is much cheaper to eat outside of the hotel. The hotel is located about 10 mins taxi drive from downtown Dahab (we tried walking along the beach and it is too far - we gave up after 45 minutes and got in a taxi), and costs about Â£2.50 each way. You can get cheaper prices than this if you book your taxi from town to collect you, but for Â£5 return between 4 of us, we couldn't be bothered!
When you get to downtown, the taxi drops you off in the main square which goes down to the boardwalk which is where all the restaurants/shops edge onto the beach. We made the mistake of always turning left, going over the bridge, and only discovered all the nightlife the other way along the beach, by accident. The restaurants over the bridge are absolutely fine but are very touristy, very same old same old, so if you want a more hippy / authentic experience, and better / cheaper food, turn right from the square along the beach as if you are walking back to the hotel and you will find some fantastic places to eat/drink.
Try out the restuarant in the Nasima (small) hotel - very good food although not much atmosphere (we paid, with wine, about Â£8 each for a fantastic meal (best steak in town)); further down, the Three Fishes Restaurant, which is a traditional Egyptian restaurant which looks like something from Provence in the South of France. This was the best food we had whilst we were there although you cannot drink alcohol in this place. Most of the restaurants will either get you some wine/alcohol with dinner (they usually don't have it on the menu), but this one doesn't as they are traditional in every way. But the food is worth it, so don't let it put you off! The Mozarella salad is the best we've ever had and the seafood pasta was gorgeous. Even the prawn cocktail was fantastic - well worth a visit. Again, the meal only worked out about Â£7 per head.
The hotel reef is pretty good for snorkeling; a lot of life although hire the hotel boat and go down to the Garden Reef, outside Happy Life hotel, one of the best reefs we have snorkelled on anywhere. The dive shop at the hotel is Poseidon Divers, and they are very professional, western run, but could say a little over-cautious if you haven't dived for a while. Most of the dives they offer are shore dives which involves a fair amount of walking with your gear so if you're not strong enough for this, make sure you ask for boat dives.
We also went quad biking in the desert which was fantastic fun although you can't insure yourself or the equipment so is a little bit of a leap of faith! We went with Sunny Quad bikes who are in the square where the taxis drop you off and they were very professional and stopped the husbands in our group, mucking about and being stupid!
We would thoroughly recommend this hotel and location for families (they are very child friendly), friends, honeymoon etc, although there are a lot of steps over the many different levels so you may want to consider this.
One final thing, there was a lot of bad press on this site about Sharm airport but our experience was that Gatwick was far worse to check into and Sharm was a dream by comparison!"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of January 2008
Best hotel in Dahab
"Just stayed at this new hotel last week and really was impressed at the overall resort, as well as the service. Being an Egyptian, I can unbiasedly say that the service they provided was far superior to other Egyptian-run hotels.
Pros: heated pool, terrific sauna and steamroom facilities, friendly staff, spotless and beautiful well-run hotel.
Cons: Small rooms, Whirlpool has cold water only (not joking - they don't heat it)
Overall, it is definitely the most luxurious hotel in Dahab - you can't go wrong."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of January 2008
"We stayed at Le Meridien in December, when the hotel had only been open for just over 2 months so had some nervousness. There is still some work to be be done for sure, especially around the beach, but it is a fabulous hotel that is going to be stunning. The pools are great (and heated !!), and the a la carte restaurant is stunning. The best part of it all is that it isnt just painted white like every other hotel but is a mix of bright colours that just gives it life.
Staff are very friendly, and look after you well.
We also went diving at the dive centre in the hotel, poseidon divers, which was fabulous and they have their own boat at the hotel so it couldnt be easier. My partner did a bit of waterskiing as well.
All in all a great stay."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of January 2008
5 Star paradise on the Red Sea
"We have jusr returned from the most perfect holiday at Le Meridien resort in Dahab. We were a little nervous to begin with as we knew the hotel had just opened but as soon as we arrived and were whisked to the lobby for a welcome drink whilst someone checked in for us and had our bags taken to the room, we knew we were in for a great holiday.
When we got to our room we were in ovewhelmed at how beautiful it was. An eclectic mix of traditional and modern architecture and tasteful decor throughout. The bed was the most comfortable we have ever slept on with the softest egyptian cotton duvet covers and huge fluffy pillows, it was hard to get up each morning!
The hotel staff were absolutely wonderful. Nothing was too much trouble and service was always with a smile, by the end of our 10 days stay we almost felt as if we were leaving our family behind!!
The food was really good. We had half board but also ate regularly in the a la carte resturante too. the hotel boasts a French chef and you could tell as the dishes were fantastic. Even the buffet was excellent and this is hard to achieve in any hotel.
The pools were lovely and unlike other hotels there was ample space and it never felt crowded or claustrophobic like it can do on holiday. Free bottled water is provided and food service by the pool was good too.
The hotel is quite secluded and as we were looking for a complete chill out it was perfect for us, however it may be too quiet for others looking for a more upbeat holiday.
We have stayed in many 5 star hotels but this one is streets ahead of the rest. We will be back again as soon as we can."
- Travel date: Sat 17th of November 2007
A beautiful hotelâ¦..
"I would recommend this hotel. I only stayed in Dahab for a week but my boyfriend is out there for two months diving, I joined him for a week in the middle of his stay. My boyfriend therefore had the advantage that he could check out all the local hotels before we booked. Whilst there are other good hotels in the area (none of which I have been inside so cannot comment directly) my boyfriend advised that Le Meridien looked like it would be a cut above the rest. He was so confident that I would love it he booked it without checking with me first; a very risky move!
We stayed at, Le Meridien, Dahab between 28th October â 5th November 2007. This hotel made a fantastic first impression upon me, it looks stunning. The staff were very helpful, the level of service could not be faulted.
The rooms are finished to a high a standard, however there are little tiny things that could be improved, i.e. my wardrobe door would not open as it should. However these were very tiny things and Iâm being a bit picky by pointing them out.
The pool area is lovely. Although there are four pools there are really only three that you can swim in as one is far too shallow. We never had any problems finding a sun bed either by the pools or the beach. The beach is ok, I say ok as the sand is not really sand itâs very grainy, and itâs a rocky walk into the sea, however they have a pier that you can walk out over the stones straight into the sea. The Sea itself is lovely, itâs just so clear you donât need goggles to see fishes swimming below you (although I would probably advise taking some). There werenât any showers or toilets by the beach so I did not spend a lot of time down there.
The food in this hotel was excellent. We stayed here on a Half Board basis. Both Breakfast and Dinner were buffet style with a cooking station where at breakfast they would cook fresh eggs for you and at Dinner they varied the dishes cooked there. With breakfast drinks are included with your meal i.e. tea, coffee, fruit juices of which they had a choice of many and water. At dinner you do have to pay for your drinks, these are more expensive than the prices in Dahab centre, i.e. a 1.5 litre bottle of water is 3-00le in Dahab and 14-50le inc. service charge in the hotel, but this is probably to be expected in a hotel. There is also a restaurant by the main pool that you can buy lunch from.
As the hotel had only just opened it did seem to lack a bit of life. It was very quiet both during the day and in the evening. Dahab centre is defiantly worth exploring. A taxi into Dahab centre cost us 25-00le (Â£2-50ish) one way from the hotel and took about 10mins, once in the centre though you can barter for the return trip price from one of the local taxiâs that are about everywhere, this tended to vary between 15-00le and 20-00le. There are a couple of bars in Dahab centre and a few shops. Totaâs bar was recommended to us, it has a live DJ, table tennis and billiards tables. They serve ok cocktails for 25-00le, and had a lot more life to it than anywhere in the hotel at night, although still fairly quiet for a bar."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of November 2007