13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Sultan Bey (El Gouna) - Divine
"A fantastic, friendly hotel, just the place to complete a wonderful but hetic holiday (Nile Cruise + Cairo) We spent 4 days there. It was peaceful with a lovely pool area, There is no entertainment in the evening but plenty going on in the square just a short walk away. Tut Tut's cost about 50p each regardless of distance (within El Gouna) Rooms were comfortable and clean, Food was more continental/buffet in the restaurant but they will keep the remains of a bottle of wine over until the following evening if you don't finish it. The pool area snack bar have very friendly staff and excellent burgers,
A shuttle boat takes you from the jetty by the pool across to the beach area, remember to take your membership card to get free towels and the pick of the sunbeds.
We were let down by our rep (Discover Egypt/Viking Tours) who mucked up our pre booked trips of a Jeep Safari (failed to turn up, he said he was unwell) Glass Bottom Boat trip & Submarine trip. He did sort it out but we ended up having to cram the boat & submarine in on one day (not recommended unless you can do the submarine 1st as the boat can cause slight sea sickness)"
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of March 2008
"I travelled alone knew nothing of El Gouna, or the hotel. I was greatly impressed by both. All rooms have balconies I had one over looking the lagoon the sunrise was breathtaking to watch coming up of the distant hills. My room was well kept and though the bed and pillows were hard the sheets were out of this world and I some became used to the bed. Food and choice excellant the waiting staff very pleasant young men who were over the moon at their national football teams progress through the African Cup they must be rejoicing now they have won the cup.
Take advantage of the dine around scheme which allows you to eat in other hotels in the area, I managed to get paint on my coat whilst out in the town one tea time, reception had it sorted in no time, calling the engineering shop who swiftly removed said paint.Only thing I had to do was wash the smell off.! Use the shuttle buses and boats for only Â£1.50 per week you see so much more. Free use of pool towels also when you go to the beach which is reached my boat. Do pay a visit to Murad in his shop and sample his tea also chat the night away.
Would go back in a heart beat."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of February 2008
Sultan Bey Hotel
"Spent 9 days here, lovely room, staff friendly and helpful, food good. The hotel is relatively small and built in the 'moorish style', ie not a highrise block. Swimming pool quite small but beach within easy reach on the shuttle boat. Travelling on my own and at no time felt lonely or insecure. The guests were mostly European with some Egyptian/Arabic. Spoke to many of them and made some good friends. Russians were a small minority which was very refreshing having had some unpleasant experiences with them in my previous stay in Hurghada. Would not hesitate to go back."
- Travel date: Sat 18th of August 2007
One of the best hotels I've stayed at
"I was so impressed with this hotel. The staff was so friendly and the service was impeccable. We got 5-star service at a reasonable price. We felt incredibly welcome. The grounds are gorgeous and the food was excellent. Perfect for those who like to stay away from the mega-resorts that are so popular now. The Sultan Bey has a boutique feel, and is intimate enough that you feel like you really matter to the staff.
I would highly recommend to anyone."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of June 2007
This was my second stay at this hotel -...
"This was my second stay at this hotel - the first being 7 years ago and I still really like it.
The rooms are a bit "tatty" but basically clean. The minibar is well stocked and as it is a fridge you can actually put your own drinks in to keep them cold. The TV has several English channels - the movie channels showed kids movies at around 6 pm which was great as my 5-year old daughter would watch that whilst I relaxed and got ready for dinner.
The food in this hotel is great - always a good choice and not aimed totally at the Germans/Frenchs. The puddings are delicious!
The staff were very friendly and my daughter is in love with Hany (the barman). He was fantastic with her and spent a lot of time playing with her (which, let's face it, is not part of his job description).
There is a kids club but it is really just a room with a few crayons and stuff which she spent very little time in. The pool is great (not huge but big enough) - only gripe would be that there is very little sunbathing room around it so beds are quite squashed together and it is difficult to move as the sun moves around.
The "beach" for the hotel was a lot less busy so you could always move down there. The boat to Zeytuna Beach stops at the hotel's jetty and takes a couple of minutes to get there - there is then a private area for the hotel on the beach with staff coming around asking if you want drinks, etc.
There is also a very nice beach restaurant/cafe which does lovely club sandwiches.
I would highly recommend this hotel (I have just stayed in a 4-star hotel in Tunisia that was not a patch on this 3-star). Its proximity to Downtown and the other shopping areas is ideal too - you can walk there in a couple of minutes.
I can't wait to go back in October."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of June 2007
A fairly small hotel by Egyptian standar...
"A fairly small hotel by Egyptian standards. Very friendly apart from the dining room waiters who were quite surly until the last couple of days of your holiday. (After a tip)
Plenty of sun beds which were al being renewed on our visit. The pool was freezing. We were the only English in the hotel. Lots of French people about. The rooms were clean. Fridge in room and air con. The bathroom only had a shower, no bath.
The hotel had a courtesy boat to the nearby Zeytouna beach. Here you could get beach towels and free sun beds if you were a guest at the Sultan Bey. The lagoon in front of the hotel was not safe for swimming in due to the amount of river traffic that went by.
The hotel was ideally situated to the centre of El Gouna. Plenty of places to eat. We did find the resort a little too quiet, especially with 2 kids. Nothing to do on a night time once you have eaten.
We love Egypt as a holiday resort. Would return to El Gouna if the price was right."
- Travel date: Sat 18th of November 2006
Not too bad, not to good
"We stayed at the Sultan Bey for 7 days and nights in early September. For the most part we had a decent experience. You really do get what you pay for with these resorts. When we arrived we were greated by many people. Everyone was pretty helpful. We got in on a Sunday morning. That evening was a special dinner out on Zeytuna Beach. It was very Egyptian. All the guests dressed up in traditional Egyptian clothing that was provided (for 10 Euros) by the hotel. The food was really good this night.
Our first morning at the hotel we were delighted with the breakfast buffet. This was always good. Everyone morning we had omlets, crepes, and all kinds of other foods to choose from.
Our second night we decided to eat at the hotel since it was Asian food night. Well that is when my trouble started. The food was terrible. There were lots of people eating there that night, but I found it to be horrific. There was little to nothing Asian about the food. That night I had 'Tuts Tummy'. I am guessing it was from the food, but my husband was not sick. It could have just been a sensitivity, but who knows. Any ways...we did not eat dinner at the hotel again.
The pool was nice. There was only one day when it was mildly crowded, but still not bad. The water was a little chilly in the mornings, but it warmed just enough during the day. Zeytuna beach was decent too. We headed out early one morning to get good chairs. The Sultan Bey Pool and Beach Restuarants are pretty tasty. By far the BEST pizza I have EVER eaten. The service was pretty good too.
About the rooms...well...I have seen better. The carpet in the room was stained and dirty. It was supposed to be white with pink designs, but it was brown with browner designs. The fold out love seat was also stained and ripped in a few places. The bed spread and chair cushion matched and were a very bland design. The bed and pillows were very hard. It was like sleeping with bricks. On a positive note the sheets were great. The thread count had to be at least 400...they were so amazing. There are curtains that help to keep the room dark so that the sun does not wake guests up too early. Oh and the air conditioner is great!! There were several times when we just had to turn it off becuase it was sooooo cold. The bathrooms are okay. Nothing specail (at all). Toliet, sink and a shower stall for one. Oh there is a hair dryer too...but it seemed faster to sit in the sun on the balacony and let the sun dry your hair. We tipped out housekeeper each day and did not receive anything special or unique in our rooms. No towels folded into animals or even super cleaniliness...just the room.
Over all I think the Sultan Bey is okay if you are looking for a discount resort. There were no perks, benefits or anything special. Breakfast was great, lunch from the pool was great, and dinner was something to skip. The staff was polite and attentive. Our waiter always remembered us and was helpful when I had a stomach ache by suggesting some mint tea. I found that the staff never hastled us about services or tips. This was nice. NO staff member of the Sultan Bey ever had a hand out asking for a tip. And they were very appreciative when we did tip.
Over all we gave the whole Sultan Bey experience a B+. Could have been better and could have been worse.
As for the El Gouna area it was pretty good too. Our favorite dinners were at Chez Pascals, El Sayadin and the Steakhouse at the Captains Inn. The Steakhouse was our absolute favorite. We ate there two nights while we were there.
Pretty much every where else that we went people had a hand out for a tip. The Hurgahda Airport was the worst. I felt like they were holding our bags hostage at one point until we tipped them."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of September 2006
Mixed Review - Slow Service, Great Food
"Our family just got back from El Gouna where we stayed at the Sultan Bey Swiss Inn Hotel. I would say it lives up to the name of an "inn" rather than a "hotel". I'll give you my reasons.
Don't get me wrong: we really enjoyed our stay, but there were a few complaints. Let me first give the negatives, and then the positives:
This hotel is listed as a four-star hotel, but i'd really say it was 3-star. First of all, the service was not up to par. We had two children (an infant, and a 2-year old). So we asked for a baby cot, but it took them 3 phone calls to finally get a baby cot to us. And when the cot came, it had to be the dirtiest and filthiest baby cot I've ever seen. It wasn't even working properly - when we opened it up, it collapsed, and someone had to come with a makeshift rope to fix it. We opted to not use the baby cot. My wife slept on the pullout sofa with our infant on the floor, while I slept on the full-size bed with our 2-year old son. Also... I had to ask two times for them to fix our balcony chair. I think the manager is on top of things and calls the staff to do things, but they were too busy with other things. I think the hotel (at least when we were there) was understaffed. There was only one pool/towel man, only one busboy, and it seemed like only a few cleaning crew. I don't know. Perhaps August is not the peak season and they skimp on their staff payroll????
I consider this a 3-star hotel because there was no room service. I've never heard of a four-star hotel without room service. All I wanted was for them to bring me an orange fanta. Oh well. There was also no pay-per-view movies in the room. Just some movie channels. There was no concierge, so I had to ask the receptionist, who didn't seem to know too much about some of the questions I had about some water sports in El-Gouna. I had to go to the downtown information center to find out the real details about all the available water sports.
The extra sofabed in our room was very hard. It had a wooden hard piece in the middle which made it impossible to sleep on. But my wife and little infant had to manage with that. This is an 8-year-old hotel, and the furniture reflected the age. They have cheap wooden furniture, and the wood is getting old. Very simple and plain. Not stylish at all. The bedspreads and in-room design was a bit too simple and non-fashionable to me. But it depends on your taste, I guess.
The hotel, in my view, cuts corners to save money. Again, not four-star quality for this reason. For example, the restaurant uses Baraka bottled water. Since I live in Egypt, I know that Baraka is the cheapest bottled water you can get. And it's not spring water - it's just "natural" water. Some people say that it is just good filtered water. Probably. Also, when you order soft drinks, most hotels will give you something from a can, but Sultan Bey gives you a drink from a bottle. Now I don't mind a bottle. I prefer it actually, bc I think bottled soda tastes better. But my point is that this is very very cheap in Egypt. Bottled sodas are the cheapest sodas you can get. On the streets in Cairo, a bottled coke is 1 Egyptian pound. But with the money they save, Sultan Bey charges 8 Egyptian pounds, making a whopping 7.5 pound profit. That's the hotel business. Also, the amenities in the bathroom. A four-star hotel would provide bottled shampoo and shower gel. But Sultan Bey puts it all in a dispenser attached to the shower wall. This means that a guest can't take any extra shampoo bottles and soaps home with him. That's fine to me, but my point is that they are cutting corners and saving lots of money. This is not four-star quality. Three-star at best. Also, the room was a bit small and narrow without even a desk. I didn't mind it, but just letting you all know.
One big complaint I had was that the pool closed at 6 pm. What is that? In the hot summer months, an evening dip in the pool is what I wanted so bad. But when the beach and the hotel pool is closed, I couldn't do it. I think the reason for this is again because it is understaffed. If they had enough staff and a bigger payroll, they could manage staff in the evenings at the pool.
Now for the POSITIVES:
The best thing was the food in the restaurant. We had half board (including breakfast and dinner). It had to be one of the best tasting food assortments I ever ate. Hats off to the chefs. The restaurant ambience was great. You can choose to sit inside or on an outside restaurant terrace, which was great, with a gentle sea breeze in the evening when the sun is not beating down on your head. The restaurant buffet featured different menus every night. When we were there, we had Oriental, Italian, and Mediterranean. Again, the food was excellent. Also note that the restaurant does have baby high chairs.
The location of Sultan Bey is excellent. You can literally take a 5-minute walk to downtown (both old and new downtowns). With a free shuttle boat ride, you can go to their private beach, Zeituna Beach. You will receive hotel towels and get a nice beach chair with cushion, in exchange for your hotel towel card. The water is shallow and you can walk in the water for about 300 meters before it starts getting really deep. At the end of the sandbar, there is a small section of coral reef and fish. Bring snorkel gear or rent it on the beach and you can go snorkeling with no extra charge there. There is a long pier where you can literally walk to the reef quickly and start snorkeling if you wish. There is also access to other water sports: windsurfing, kiteboarding, scuba diving. The great thing about El-Gouna is that you can share all the other hotel's beaches. You can go to different hotels and stay on their beach (if you bring your own towel). It is a longer walk, though, but there are shuttle boats everywhere.
Sultan Bey is also closer to the Abu Tig Marina. Go there on Friday night, for their weekly festival. It's a great environment where you can sit, have a drink, enjoy live music, and see a Pharonic presentation with horses, chariots, dancing, belly-dancer, etc. You can walk there, but I suggest a hotel shuttle bus. I think you have to pay a bit. I don't know, because we had a car.
Back to the hotel.... the pool is excellent. There is a small 45 cm deep kids pool, and a deeper pool where adults can still stand. They have water polo nets and water basketball nets. There is also a small private beach right next to the pool if you want to sunbathe. But I didn't see anyone swim in the lagoon. Swimming is at Zeituna Beach a boatride away.
Sultan Bey also provided a belly-dancing show on Thursday night in the main hotel central plaza. There is a nice outdoor lounge and plaza in the center of the hotel.
Check-in was very flexible. They say noon, but we were able to check out at 1 pm. They're pretty laid back here.
One recommendation: if you are a foreigner traveling in the summer months (July, Aug, Sept.), I suggest you avoid vegetables and tap water. The hot summer months make bacteria and amoebas more alive. You can get very sick if you eat non-cooked vegetables and order drinks that mix with tap water. If you're not sure, tell them to mix with bottled water. I would buy some and give it to them myself. Getting sick on your holiday would not be a nice thing in a foreign country.
Overall, I would probably go back to this hotel if I didn't bring my children. It's not a bad hotel. But it is average. If you can live with it, I would go to this hotel. It is by far one of the better hotels for its price range. We visited other hotels during our stay, just to find out where we might want to come to next time. Sultan Bey is still the best one in its price range. I also recommend getting the room through an Egyptian travel agent if you can. We paid $35 USD per night per person. So $70 USD per night, including half board. Not a bad deal at all. But I think I was paying the resident price, not the foreign price. So if a travel agent can get you the resident price, go ahead and try it.
If you want pictures of the hotel, you should go to their website. They have many many many photos to download."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of August 2006
"We recently stayed at the Sultan Bey hotel in El Gouna it was one of the best holidays we've ever had. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, the rooms were spotless as was the rest of the hotel. Lovely surroundings, and we felt very safe and pampered there. We will definately be going again. Loved it!"
- Travel date: Fri 17th of February 2006
Hotel is set around a public square but...
"Hotel is set around a public square but opens up onto a logoon.. Rooms were OK but basic, but looking around El Gouna there were many far superior hotels to the Sulten Bey !!
Food was pretty good, but we did get the obligatory tummy bugs - We were a little suspicious when we noticed the manager of the hotel when doing his inspection of the restaurant squeezing & handling the fresh bread to check to see if it was fresh!!!! We also thought the area around the chef that was cooking the eggs etc while you wait could have done with a refurbish !
Had we not seen other hotels in the resort we would have probably given it a 8 but think that 7 is a fair overall rating."
- Travel date: Fri 16th of December 2005
Sultan Bey is less good
"We went to Sultan Bey in May 2005 and we really enjoyed it. Food was excellent as well as service, cleanneless, etc.
The French Director was taking care of us every day ans we always saw him checking all the details of this place.
We came back last month and unfortunately,we were disappointed. Food was less good, hotel was less clean and staff didn't care of us anymore.
The gentle French Director was not here anymore and we believe that was the main reason of these changes.
Anyway, Sultan Bey has still a nice beach and a wonderful location but atmosphere is not like before.
We will come back to El Gouna but we will choose another hotel for our next vacation in February.
Sorry for my little english"
- Travel date: Sun 13th of November 2005
"We stay for New Yearin Sultan Bey, El Gouna.
First of all, El Gouna is a wonderful place and second of all, Sultan Bey is
a marvelous hotel: good food, very nice manager, very clean, friendly staff.
We heard that in the past with previous management, it was not so good but it seems that there is a new management and we really enjoyed this hotel, we will go back."
- Travel date: Thu 10th of February 2005