16 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
don,t believe all you read go and try it for yourself
"after reading the reviews from other customers we were very wary about going to garden beach but on arriving we were pleasantly surprised the staff could not do enough foryou kevin and ibrahim were really great as were most the staff we asked fora kettle and mugs which were put in our room straight away.people moan about the food why the restaurants were excellant and always something that you could eatyes the russians no manners always pushing in and towels on the sunbeds early morning (or put down late at night)but don,t moan just beat them to it overhule we had a really great holiday and would recommend it to anyone thanks to all the staff at sunrise garden beach we will see you again"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of August 2011
Definitely not a 5 star
"My husband and I stayed at this hotel from 6-20 July 2010 in room 2306.
Firstly, I should say that my husband and I have absolutely no complaints about our room, the cleanliness of the public areas or the bar staff (in fact, we would like to praise a particular member of staff, Ibrahim, from the Lobby Bar). However, there are several areas of this hotel which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency if you want to retain customers from the UK in particular.
1 It was apparent from our first day that there are not enough sunbeds around the swimming pools and that, despite signs saying that the sunbeds cannot be reserved for longer than 2 hours, most people were having to rise at 7 a.m. in order to reserve their sunbeds for the day. I am sure you will agree that having to set the alarm clock for such an early start is not desirable when on holiday. The 2 hour rule was never applied, such that some sunbeds which had been reserved first thing in the morning were still vacant at 5 p.m. Unfortunately, it was a case of "if you can't beat them, join them" so we found ourselves rising early in order to reserve our sunbeds.
2 The gardens are watered with recycled waste water, which is completely understandable in such a hot climate where water is in short supply. However, it is not acceptable for this to be done in the middle of the afternoon around the pool areas when it is windy. Apart from the foul smell, on one occasion my husband was sprayed with this water when the wind carried it. He complained at Reception and was told someone would take a look at what was happening, but an hour later the watering was still continuing and no one had appeared. Why this could not be done last thing at night or first thing in the morning when not many people were around is beyond me.
3 It is always nice to have a swim up bar and we were looking forward to making use of this facility. However, there is no point in having such a facility if there are no bar staff in attendance. In fact, the staff were most reluctant to step down to serve at the swim up bar, which defeated the object of it being there in the first place.
4 Lastly, our main complaint and the one part of this hotel which lets it down badly, is the Giardino buffet restaurant. While it was apparent that 80% of your guests are Russian, not ALL are Russian and your hotel should cater more for other nationalities. The choice of food was extremely poor and repetitive, the "English corner" was an absolute joke (do you really think that is the sort of food British people eat?) and why on earth was "Kid's Corner" cleared away at 9 p.m. every night? The worst part of this restaurant, however, was without doubt the absolute bedlam that ensued once it opened. If you weren't in by 7 p.m. then it was impossible to get a table and if you delayed eating until after 8 p.m. then the choice of food diminished. Because this restaurant is too small for the number of guests using it, the waiters were rushing around like madmen clearing tables so fast that you had to be careful they didn't take your plate while you were still eating! In fact, if you were a couple and both of you wanted to get something at the same time, then more often than not by the time you returned to your table it had been given to someone else! There were times when plates ran out, when cutlery ran out (it was almost impossible to find any tea spoons) and the staff were extremely dismissive. On one occasion my husband actually had his glass snatched out of his hand while still drinking! Things got so bad that when this same situation happened on our last night we complained to one of the supervisors who told us that the tables are cleared so quickly because that is the way the Russians like to eat! Well we are not Russian and when on holiday the evening meal is something we look forward to as a time to relax at the end of the day. Sadly, it was impossible to relax in this restaurant due to the "factory canteen" atmosphere and by the time we had finished our meals we were so stressed that we could not wait to get out. Incidentally, why are the chefs who serve at the carvery so reluctant to give a decent slice of meat? Time and again we were given what amounted to no more than 3 square inches of meat and if we asked for another slice we were give a surprised look! It appeared to us that the chefs had been instructed to ration the amount of meat given to each guest.
Following our complaint, we returned to our room late that evening to find a basket of fruit and a bottle of wine had been left obviously as a goodwill gesture. Neither of these were of any use to us as we were leaving the next day and couldn't take the wine with us. We had already received two baskets of fruit at the beginning of our holiday (as had most of the other guests) so fail to see how the management of this hotel could possibly think that this somehow made up for the poor service we had received. It would have been nice to be offered some other sort of compensation but when I enquired at Reception about the possibility of us keeping on our room for a few hours on the day of departure I was told that I would have to pay â¬30 since I had not booked through Thomas Cook (those guests who had booked through Thomas Cook received 3 extra hours free).
In our opinion, this hotel does not cater for British guests in any way and I have already been in touch with this hotel and made a formal complaint. All in all, we had a very disappointing stay at this hotel and would not consider returning under any circumstances. This hotel falls well short of the 5 star rating which it has been given and I can only assume that this situation will not improve in the foreseeable future.
For information, while I have received an acknowledgement from the hotel group's head office regarding my complaint, so far I have received NO response whatsoever from the hotel.
- Travel date: Tue 27th of July 2010
"This was the best holiday ever. The rooms were spotless, laundry service was very efficient and very cheap. Food was exceptional, especially the italian restaurant. It was a great place to meet and make friends with lots of different nationalities.
What made it so memorable were the fantastic staff - nothing too much trouble, after only one day they knew what we were drinking and it was ready before we asked. Our glasses were never empty before they were refilled - yes they like to be tipped. Why moan about it - if our wages were equivalent to theirs we would be doing the same."
- Travel date: Fri 9th of July 2010
This was a reasonably good value-for-mon...
"This was a reasonably good value-for-money holiday for myself, wife and 14yr old daughter. The family room was spacious and well-equipped with excellent air-con in both rooms. Rooms were cleaned daily to a high standard. Good choice of food and no need to book in the a la carte restraunts, just turn up.
Soft drinks and fresh juice drinks were ok but the alcoholic beverages were very basic offering one (weak) local beer and locally branded spirits. The wine glasses at meal-times could do with being bigger, 2 slurps and its gone!
Good swimming pools and excellent private beach BUT beware of the recreation/lifeguard helping you to locate a sunbed and always expecting a tip for something you could easily manage yourself. I also noticed they save best located sunbeds for people later, take the towels off they had earlier put down making out they were taken and expect a tip for this. For a 5 star hotel this pratice is pathetic and gets peoples backs up. Beware if you have teenage daughters as the waiters/bar staff are a little too forward in their suggestions.
Apart from the last paragraph containing my complaints this is a well-kept hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of August 2008
Just got home at the week-end, had a bri...
"Just got home at the week-end, had a brill time hotel was just as stated in brochure and the hotel staff were fantastic, they all spoke English and went out their way to help. Food was great but not much imported alcohol drinks (could do with more branded alcohol). Management team were also very good, best workers at this hotel was the chambermaids the rooms were always spotless and beds changed every day. Would go back to this hotel and would recommend it to family's as well as couples. Only downside was there was not enough British guests.10 out of 10 from us."
- Travel date: Wed 20th of August 2008
Had a lovely holiday, service was amazin...
"Had a lovely holiday, service was amazing with rooms always kept clean by friendly staff. All very good english speaking. Great shops just across the road with 2 inside lobby. Easy to get taxis from inside resort. Lots of entertainment and things to do onsite but expect to take double the money if you plan to see any pyramids as 13 hour coach journey away! Great stone baked pizzas by pool bar all lunch time. The food was very varied with themed nights every night of the week on a 1 week rotation (if you're there for 2 weeks then be prepared for this) the food was not of great quality overall but service and free booze makes up for it!
Have a wonderful trip, will definitly go back after we have seen the world!"
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of June 2008
2nd time - still great!
"Just returned from staying at this hotel for the 2nd time and it was just as good as the 1st!! We had NO problems with sunbeds. The food was great, as it was last year, and the service was 1st class, again, as it was last year!! As a returning guest we received an upgrade in our rooms which was great. Members of staff remebered us from last year and was so pleased that we had returned to their hotel, this made it that little extra special for us! I cannot fault this hotel in anyway or form. I would definitely return again. We are guaranteed the service, the friendliness and definitley the weather!!"
- Travel date: Mon 25th of September 2006
Great Place To Stay
"We are a family of 2 adults and 1 child of 14 years,from Lincoln.We have just returned from this resort,after spending the last 2 weeks of August here.
All in all a very good experience for us.The people looked after us.yes we were in the minority against Russians and Germans,but it was the manners that got us a long way..not just the tips.
We didn't have any trouble saving a sun lounger.We woul;d be up at about 7.30 am and they still had some free!!
The food was of good quality and variety but be prepared to see some wierd breakfast combinations,e.g chili con carne,,rice pudding,salads etc,plus cereals breads youghurts etc.
We did 2 excursions through the Rep,Luxor and Cairo.Fantastic value for money,well managed and great guides who know and are passionate about their history and speak good English.
Went on a 1 day boat trip through the Aqua centre near the beach.Excellent value-cheaper than rep.Moses comes around the pools asking if you wish to go on an excursion.I would recommend if he finds you before your welcome meeting ask him what trips he does and at what prices.
I would recommend this resort to anyone.This is our first trip here and first time for all inclusive.We will certainly be returning.
Evening entertainment a bit hit and miss but definately see the cobra show!"
- Travel date: Fri 1st of September 2006
(Long Review) No Hype - Just a candid and fair view of what we experienced
"Myself, my wife, daughter (16) and her best friend (15) all spent two weeks at this hotel from 4-18 August. Firstly you need to understand that in Egypt 5 Star is not (r) not equivalent to the usual international understanding of the term 5 Star. On that scale this hotel is 3*+ at most in my honest opinion - I have travelled extensively around the world by the way (both on business and pleasure). This is not to say that all the staff don't try their best to make it 5 Star but building standards etc in Egypt will never produce this standard.
Last year we stayed 11 nights in the Holiday Inn, Shark's Bay in Sharm El Sheik this in turn followed 3 nights in Le Meridien in Cairo. These are 4* compared to the Garden Beach.
What we did find is divided into negative and positive comments for you to make up your own mind - NO Hype just facts as WE ALL agreed, both at the time and afterwards on reflection.
Firstly - the beach is man-made and despite the best efforts it's not that nice - also the wind which was present for most of the visit is quite welcome from the sunbathing point of view but a pain in the neck if you want to spend any decent time in the water - white horses and waves most days throughout our stay. We had been spoilt in Sharm with a house reef right in the hotel grounds - no such luck here I am afraid. Secondly, the hotel is in dire need of a decent bar to relax in during the evening - even if it's just a coffee you are wanting. The only bar other than the hotel lobby was an awful attempt at an 'English Bar' again tucked away in the corner of the Hotel main reception area. This area did prove popular with the younger generation though - so my daughter tells me.
The beach area is crying out for somewhere to relax in the evenings - those that know the Sunset Bar at the Hilton at Sharks Bay will know what I am talking about. Also, I don't know about you but we go on holiday to relax and do what WE WANT - the constant nagging by the animation team and various boat trip/diving agents got through after a few days. The male staff also paid far too much attention to my daughter and her friend than any of us would have liked. Despite obvious subtle comments this theme continued until I spelt it out in plain English by telling them that we found their behaviour both inappropriate and unwelcome. Again this was not a problem the previous year.
Next is the food - apparently pretty standard Egyptian hotel fare but not what you would expect to find - we didn't see anyone eating the oven cooked 'Dinner' meats or boiled vegetables which were served every day at BREAKFAST - to be fair, there were other European dishes but most of the Brits stuck to omelettes, cereals, etc. although some of us ventured into cheese slices and German sausage etc. For Dinner, there was a decent enough selection of 'International' side dishes but we all found it lacking in main dishes and when they were served, they were generally satisfactory but mass produced and therefore lacking somewhat in taste - also there never seemed to be enough to go around the hundreds of people - this to me says the catering staff need to look closer at what is being eaten and what is being left. We did bring this to the Head Chef's attention but I do not think it will make any difference. Also there is no clue or rationale to 'What is where' so you spend quite a lot of time looking at dishes that never seem to get eaten by anyone. Despite this there was generally enough to eat and it was well cooked. The so-called A La Carte restaurants were less populated, much better service but again the standard was not quite A La Carte so be prepared. The food served at both the pool and beach bars (sadly, they both close at 1800) was generally better than the main dining area - freshly made Pizza and Chicken Fajita type wraps (Egyptian style) and lots of fresh salad too!
We suffered several power cuts (5 hours at worst) which on their own were not too much of an inconvenience but reassurances by the senior hotel staff that newly fitted cables and services would prevent them re-occurring, did not go down too well a few days later when we had the same thing all over again.
As far as the pool goes if I say Germans and towels in the same sentence you will get my drift... however as I found out a little too late for our benefit, if you speak to the towel boys they WILL sort it out for you there and then. I honestly believe it's 'do unto others' or put up with no sun bed! - we did the latter out of choice and not wanting to become part of the problem - as you will be aware, this is not merely an Egyptian problem. These problems never seemed to appear at the beach areas of hotels do they?
As an aside we did not feel intimidated by the abundance of Germans or Russians and we certainly did not get 'less well looked after' on the contrary, if anything, our manners helped us get better a response from everyone - including (sometimes) the Germans themselves! Mind you... why DO they insist on wearing SPEEDO trunks (grin)
On the positive side and there are MANY - the locals are generally very friendly and will do whatever they can to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The rooms were kept spotless as were the remainder of the hotel grounds. We became quite attached to one of the waiters in the Lobby bar who looked after us for the duration of our stay and he explained a few things to us that 'kept us out of trouble' and made our stay all that more enjoyable.
The diving (we used the hotel-based dive centre) was good value - average 23-25 pounds for a 'Two dive ' day on the boat with equipment included in that cost. That is based on booking multi dives - my daughter and I did a total of 5 days therefore 10 dives between us, which cost around 232 pounds based on the exchange rate of the day. By the way, eat lunch onboard for 2 pounds 50 pence English, rather then the hotel boxed lunch. The lads at the dive shack are great and have a good sense of humour - the dive guides are excellent.
The Thomas Cook rep was great but left a few things out - if you get the dreaded 'Pharaoh's Revenge' then 'yes' you can go across the road to the local pharmacy but expect to pay more than the 3 quid she quoted - cost us over a tenner for stuff we probably didn't need but he (like all Egyptians on their own territory) made us feel obliged to buy what he had to sell. Yes I should know better but wait until you try it! Also there is no Money Change facility once you check in at the airport for your return journey - so either spend all your Egyptian pounds in the shops (NOT taken in the Duty Free by the way) or like I had to ... pay a member of the tourist police a Baksheesh (yes even the police are at it) to take me back through security to the only bank in the airport!
All in all on this, our second successive year in Egypt, we felt pretty neutral about the whole visit BUT please bear in mind that this is in direct comparison with the wonderful time we experienced the previous year at Cairo and Sharm (yes! even including the bombing).
If the Sunrise guys are reading this then PLEASE, please, please... either open up the beach bar until midnight or build a terrace area on the beach where people can sit and laze away the evening (nice though the lobby is ... it does get through after two weeks!).
This review is NOT meant to put you off - Egypt is a great place with lots to do but everyone outside of your hotel will do whatever they can to get money from you, their livelihood and very existence depends on it ... sometimes it's quite fun (haggling) but you NEED to be ready for it and understand its not for everybody. If they want 100 Egyptian pounds for it then chances are you will get it for less than 40 but once you do remember... it's worth around Ten! A firm NO! is all that is needed, it works every time and they don't take offence either.
Would we stay here again? not at this hotel unless I read on here that the problems above have been addressed, but then again...Sometimes it's better to have tried it and regretted it than to have never tried it at all.
Finally, as a plug for this site... If you read these reviews but don't write them THEN DON'T COMPLAIN if they are not to your total satisfaction - get writing!
Any further info contact me privately (home at weekends only) at [email protected]"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of August 2006
"Went for a diving holiday by myself (Treat from the wife!) Weather as usuall fantastic, sea temp approx 30c.
The hotel was pretty good, staff were very helpful and the place was very clean, food was the norm for an all inc in Egypt, nothing special but it was fuel, reccomend the beach barby area for burgers and things.
There a a lot of germans but as i can get by in german i had no problems, the Russians however are a different matter, they want (In order) booze, food, beach!! they in general have zero manners and do not even try to speak annother langauge. Having said all of the above i would go back.
'Easy divers' are based next to the hotel and are very proffessional (PADI) trips are excellent and the food on board is better than the hotel.
- Travel date: Thu 17th of August 2006
What a wonderful experience, will never forget it.
"I visited Hurghada during a two week stay in Egypt and I absolutely loved it. If there was ever a real life fairy tale world that is the place. I stayed at the Sunrise Garden Resort for a few days and wished it would never end. What an absolutely beautiful romantic place. The wine was ever flowing and always lots of delicious food to eat. The beauty of swimming in the Red sea right outside your hotel room was overwhelming. It was such a tranquil place. I highly recommend visiting Hurghada. The people are so warm and delightful. Visiting the downtown area was lovely. A nice man gave me a camel ride through town. I could go on and on. Believe me if you have the opportunity to visit there, you should take it."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of July 2006
Staff great, but don't expect a lie-in
"We stayed at Garden Beach for a week 7-14th July '06. The Bar Staff, Waiters (particularly the Intallian A la-carte), cleaners were all great. English guests were spoit, if you were polite of course. We were in the minority mainly German and Russian. So we had a problem with sunbeds, if we wanted to be by the pool we wouls have to get up at 7, which by then all but a couple had been 'reserved'. Tip is to keep hold of your towel from the day before to then reserve your bed. There is a sign that any towels on beds will be removed after 10, never happens. Any problems tell your rep, they will have a word. The Russian guests can be rude, but keep themselves to themselves so no problems there. Our negative point came right at the end of the holiday. Our case was broken between our room and the reception, where it was left for the transfer to the airport. The Management knew when our pick-up was and so used every delay tactic in the book when we made our quest for compensation, until it was just too late, but again the Thomas Cook Rep sorted us out with an insurance form but still does mean we won't be going back. Which is a shame as we loved the rest of the staff, but don't want to risk another bad end to the holiday so no more Sunrise resorts for us. Have never in the 25 years of going abroad had anything like this happen, have never had to complain before.
The food: good, but better in the Ala carte."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of July 2006