Aurora Oriental Resort Sharm El Sheikh
116 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
It must be a different hotel?
"We booked the Oriental Resort as a late deal, before we read the reviews on this site. Reading about "going hungry because of the poor food" and other negative comments lead to us to try to change the booking but we didn't - and are now glad we didn't.
So we arrived with low expectations. Reception was good and friendly, we were led to a room that was spacious and well equipped, with a nice balcony, and the standard was maintained throughout our visit. The staff were fantastically friendly and helpful, always joking but nearly always efficient as well. The place inside and out is very clean and the facilities good. OK - it's out of town so not for some, but the on-site facilities are good, pools, gardens, beach, snorkeling and swimming, entertainment team all are good. The bar service is lacking - the drinks range being limited but the beer's OK and red wine drinkable (avoid the white), and there is a pool bar and beach bar though these could provide a better service. We had no issues with limits on amount of wine or extra charges for beer that others referred to.
As for the food - I really can't understand what the negative comments were about - the food was very good - breakfast had typical continental offering plus omeletâs, potatoes, cereals, fresh fruit, great fresh bread. Lunch in the main restaurant was extensive and like dinner offered fresh salads, fish, various hot meats,(incl. roast beef, KFC-like chicken at times for those who want to feel "at home") freshly steamed vegetables, potatoes, pasta, rice, great selection of home-made sweets, including hot puddings, slightly different every night, often as a theme menu such as Italian or Egyptian.. Always enjoyable and with good service in the main restaurant. I can only assume that some people wanted turkey twizzlers, burgers, Sunday roasts and all day breakfast - if that's you then you'll be disappointed - however if you want a good selection of international foods, well prepared, then you'll enjoy it.
The negatives - the limited drinks range and wine only available by the glass could become tiresome especially as the drinks service was slow at busy times in the restaurant, the tennis court (only one) was poor and a disappointment. Depending on the wind you can be under the flight path, but so can most hotels in the area. A hotel booked taxi failed to pick us up for the airport and we only just got the plane - the hotel though sorted this for us just in time.
In summary we enjoyed our stay tremendously, the hotel is not 5 star, more 3 star plus or 4 star from our experience, but one we would recommend and go back to."
- Travel date: Mon 9th of January 2006
DONT GO EXPECTING 5 or EVEN 4 STAR - 3 AT BEST
"This hotel needs a serious DOWNGRADE. If your expectation is that you are going to a luxury complex then you will be SORELY disappointed!
The only good thing I can say about it is that it is clean and the rooms are spacious (personaly for this I would give it a 3* max). Unfortunately the downside is much more pronounced :
1- The food is basic and repetative
2- The bars are poorly staffed and even if you have paid for all inculsive you have to sign for everything you have which further compounds the situation. (Just a tip dont touch any f the wine its like meths)
3- The entertainment is basic and repetitive (same things EVERY day) - in order to get the cusomers to join in the entertainments team tactic is to scream at you at the top of their voice so that you eventually give in - and you think your going there to relax !?
4- If going for some winter sun please note the pool is unheated and literally FREEZING.
5- Generally the hotel is tired and run down without a hint of luxury about it.
Finally I had the dubious honor (NOT) of attending their NEW YEARS 'GALA' Dinner :
The food was worse than normal and had been sitting round for what only looked like hours (soup/salmon/sorbet/veal(??)/baked alaska
If you were vegetarian you had to badger then to even serve you anything and when it arrived they gave you the same thing (yes those sauted veg in garlic and tinned mushrooms only in different shapes!!!).
Alternatively if you were a meat eater but didn't like any of the courses for whatever reason you went UNFED!
Finally having had their guests pay for an all inclusive package they decided to RESTRICT your alcohol consumption to 2 glasses of white and 2 red wine (the meths refered to before)- all other alcohol we were informed we would have to PAY for !!!!!!!
I am not normally one to be galvanised into such an extensive rant but these people are taking your money and it seems that NONE of it is going back into the hotel facilities or guest experience.
I would advise people to take their money to south africa/asia/even the canaries where 5* actually means something."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of January 2006
"Just returned from the Oriental Hotel in Nabq Bay after moving from the Tropicana Garden Palms in Na'ama Bay.
The rooms at the Oriental were clean and spacious although the bathroom was a bit tired looking and in need of refurbishment.
The food was edible but repetitive and I was ill for over 5 days and on 3 different medications. Others were also feeling poorly at the hotel.
The staff were friendly and helpful and Julianna at Guest Relations is a credit to the hotel.
The hotel was full of Russians and they were quite ignorant and boisterous.
The bar regularly ran out of coca-cola and tonic but they could supply cans at Â£1.20 a time if you wanted to pay!! Food at the poolside bar was pretty bad and the all-inclusive at this hotel is the worst I have experienced and I travel frequently.
The Cairo trip by air is overpriced and we booked at Egypt Air in Sharm and got 2 days at the Sheraton in Giza. All in it cost us Â£150 and Thomsons were charging Â£175 for a day trip with no hotel.
Taxis should be no more than 50 Egyptian pounds from the airport to Nabq Bay but they will try to charge you 20USD. Visas can be purchased at any time from the airport and do NOT have to be purchased on arrival as they tell you.
We met up with lots of other people and they all said they wouldn't return to this hotel but perhaps the Laguna Vista or Coral Sea which are on either side of the Oriental.
They also tried to charge us all 55USD for the privilege of a Xmas Eve Gala Dinner......tomato soup, turkey, vodka pudding and 2 glasses of wine. Needless to say we all declined on principle. The people we met at all inclusive hotels next door were given a true Xmas feast with lots of choices and at no extra charge.
I am still unwell after being at this hotel and would never recommend this hotel to anyone. It is more a 3 star and certainly nowhere near a 5 star.
Friends went to the Club Magic Life and they had their mini bar filled every day (we never had one) all branded drinks such as Baileys, Whisky, Brandy etc included. It is more expensive but then again you get what you pay for.
Cairo is ok but very busy and quite dirty and polluted. To see the Pyramids was nice but again quite disappointing at how dirty it was with rubbish all over the place."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of December 2005
Never Again :-((
"Well where should we start.
Arrival: Stroppy Receptionist (man of course), pointed to our room without even looking at us.
1st Night - Food: Oh my god we were so hungry, but all we could find was some oil cooked pasta, and a sole of a shoe they called Steak. They were both cold. Great start. As far a two women going on holiday, the service was apalling, they just ignored us most of the time, running around after the Russian's.
The Hotel it's self was very clean, and well maintained, but's that's the only compliment we can bring ourselves to make.
We both were very pleased that we had only booked in for 7 day's, as we were starting to fade away with lack of food. Good place to go if you want to go on a crash diet !!
As mentioned in other review's, most other Brit's had suffered from sickness of one kind or another. Not the way you want to relax really, is it !!
Last comment to make: 5* my arse."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of November 2005
"My husband and I have just returned from a week at the Oriental Resort. The hotel is very clean and tidy. I was concerned after reading some of the reviews but this was unnecessary.
The rooms were quite spacious (especially if there are only two of you) and we had a pool/sea view. There is an air conditioning unit and a hairdryer.
The pool is fabulous, we always got a sunbed if we wanted to sit at the pool, it was clean and there was the added bonus of a waterfall which was quite nice if you were close to that, you would get slightly sprinkled.
The beach is great, quite shelly but beautiful. Snorkelling off the beach was easy but would recommend that you wear some shoes in as it is quite a bumpy sea bed. We also took a snorkelling trip which was great and was all inclusive as promised.
I was a little worried about the food as I am notorious for getting a dodgy tum on holidays, but I can honestly say I never did here. I thought the food was great, breakfast you have a choice of cereal, pancakes, or omelette. I can see that this may get a bit repetative if it is over a 2 week period. I was not so impressed however by the snacks around the pool/beach but depending on the day you could get a tuna sandwich which was not too bad. I think it depends on your expectations, I will generally eat anything. The italian restaurant that you have to pay for was quite nice and your drinks are still on the all inclusive when you eat there.
The all inclusive deal as far as we were concerned was fine, I had to pay for one cocktail but they told me this before I had it and I was quite happy with that. I generally drink white wine, unfotunately the white and rose had a distinct tang which I could not persist with but I would say that the red wine is great but it did tend to run out by 10.30 (I guess everyone was drinking it).
The hotel runs a bus on a regular basis into Naama Bay, you could go at 8 at night and return at 11. I would say that we found Naama bay expensive and 2 beers cost us 7.38 English pounds. We managed to wander into the old town (Sharm) which was much better and cost about 15 Egytion pound by taxi from Naama bay (they will push for 40). N.B: If you have been to Turkey you will be used to this bartering.
We ate at a restaurant in Sharm called the Red Sea and it was fantastic, I think all up we have a 2 course meal including lobster for a total of 20 English Pounds, but be aware they do not serve alcohol, but apparantly will allow you to buy it next door and take it in with you.
The hotel staff were very helpful and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
Overall I probably agree it is not a 5 star hotel, more like 4. I would definately return to this hotel, especially as it was in the middle of nowhere and I thought this was a bonus. We are both in our early thrities and found all aspects of the holdiay great. We did not attend any of the hotel entertainment.
I would prepare you for the airport, I was very annoyed that we were picked up for the airport at 12.30pm, our flight was at 18.00pm and it did not take off until 19.30pm. I would say however, they do not call you to the gate until the plane is boarding (which in my eyes was way too late) I wish I had gone through earlier as the queue was lasting up to and past the time your flight was due out of the airport. (I would not be surprised if many had a very long wait)."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of November 2005
not a 5*
"A bit of advice for those who do not have transfers booked with your holiday the taxi journey from the airport to the Oriental Resort should only cost around 50-90 Egyptian Pounds at the max (Â£5-9), the drivers try to charge you 300!!!
The hotel was clean and very spacious. We had a little trouble attaining the promised room, however three room changes later we were there! Saying that the reception staff are very helpful and polite.
The accomodation is definatley not a 5* more like a 3-4*. The food was repetitive (especially if you go for two weeks, all inclusive) one couple we met on all inclusive only ate once in the hotel! Almost every person I met in the resort had the runs or their partner did! The majority of entertainment is Italian apart from the singer in the hotel bar who sings in English, however he is there every night, which gets very annoying!
Saying that the beach is beautiful and there are great chances for scuba diving and smorkling, even if you dont fancy that, a walk out to sea and you will experience beautiful fish swimming around your feet. Tip = save a lot of time and go to the pier which you will see to the right of Orientals beach.
As I went with just a friend and we are both young females we got a lot of hassle and grief of the Egyptian men, especially the waiters and towel guys!
I would definately reccomend quad biking in the desert or the snorkling day boat trip which takes you to a beautiful desert island!
However saying that watch out for the TRIPS WHICH THE REPS RUN: (all the annimation team are egyptian) they tell you the party in the desert is all inclusive, and that 5000 people gather, when you get there it is not all inclusive and more like 500 people max! If you get to know the reps they also tell you they will take you out for the night to pasha or hard rock cafe, again these are not all inclusive, even if they say they are and the reps are pocketing loads of your money (especially nunu, who though only earns 100 english pounds a month, drives a harley!!!!!!) The reps are also sleezy and will not leave you alone if you go in clubs with them! If you leave them then another egyptians are all over you, no way wins! Its horrible. Pasha is full of sleezy egyptains! BEWARE! Definately do not let your daughters go out with them!
Saying that we had a great holiday as we met some fab people, and nama bay is great for a few drinks if you go with people you meet there, or if you are in a group already. People try to sell you everything, like any other african country, asda price, calm down calm down! But most people expect this.
In summary, the hotel is not what you expect, loads of people there were moaning about the food and bar service and range of drinks, But there is enough to do in the area, and the temperature was excellent 40-45 degrees each day!!!!"
- Travel date: Sat 15th of October 2005
wont be going back
"Me and my partner have just arrived back from this hotel which they clame is a 5* this has clearly been over rated. The staff are very polite and the hotel is very clean. The food in the resturant is very limited to rice,pasta,patatoes every day which is not very warm at all. The drink glasses in there we found were dirty. we didn't look forward to our evening meals. My partner was struck down with a bug whilst there was in bed 19 hours. Not all the drinks were all inclusive especially cocktails.There are two other bars there which are also not all inclusive,be careful as they dont tell you. The weather was brill and the pool was a good size so we just made the most of it. Entertainment was poor as they catered for mostly italians even the british night was italian."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of October 2005
Not that great
"We have just come back from this hotel and have had a good holiday but the hotel isn't a 5* and not all inclusive in our opinions. The hotel is clean and the rooms are very big with aircon, sky tv and fridge. The food was okay for the first few days and then got alittle samey. The food wasn't always hot. Alot of people had bad tummys. My wife included. We can't be sure if it was the food or something else though. The service is rubbish. It is very slow. At dinner times we had to wait ages for the drinks, most of the time finishing the meal before the drinks came. The staff are very friendly and apologetic about it. The italian restaurant is the best but is not inclusive execpt the drinks. The food is nice and cheap. Steak and chips Â£5.00
The lobby bar, pool and beach bar are just the same. They have 3 people standing there while one person serves with big lines of people waiting. The drinks are all watered down and only the cheap spirits and weak beer are inclusive. The pop is aswell but just tastes like water.
There is nothing to do on the nights. They have a club which opens for about an hour most nights and plays the same music in there. They have beach parties that you have to pay for plus drinks! There is an amphitheater which have daily shows but aren't worth seeing. If you want to have a good night goto Naama Bay. Bus from hotel leaves at 8pm and brings back at 11pm- costs Â£2 each. Taxi costs are different with every taxi. We sat in lobby most nights bored out our minds. Inclusive runs from 10am till 1am. After that the drinks are very expensive.
The pool was good and is very big and has a slide. Lots of sunveds there with daily clean towels. The beach is nice and isn't crowed. The only problem is you have to walk about a mile to get water past your knees. The snorkling is excellent there. Hundreds of beautiful fish.
The security there is top notch. Two road blocks to get to front of hotel. Police and security at hotel 24/7. We did have a good holiday but wouldn't go back to this hotel. For the money we payed we could have gotten a much better hotel."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of August 2005
Not wat I expexted at all!!!!
"Well i couldnt fault the hotel its self, the rooms are a very good size and cleaners do an excellent job of keeping the place spotlessly clean at all times! There is a big pool thats nice the staff are friendly and like others have said the males are maybe toooo frienly with the young females like we found out for ourselves! The grounds of the hotel are kept very clean and tidy and there is a well maintained playground for the younger children but as for the more older people there is absolutely nothing to do there!!! we fortunatly met some really nice people there which did liven the place up and we made our own entertainment as the hotel has nothing going for itself!!! There is a disco but its like a 8 years olds birthday party wouldnt recomend it at all!! Then there is the food well if you are a member of weight watchers forget that just go to oriental for a week and believe me a week is long enough at oriental resort people who were there 2weeks were jelous when we were leaving thats how much people wanted to leave because they were getting soooo bored!! The food isnt very hot and its the same every day no change at all its just rice and pasta mainly!!! Nama Bay is much beter if you are looking for a bit more night life we went down there a few times for a change of senery!!! Overall i didnt let the food and lack of night life ruin my holiday at all the weather was great and the pool so that was ok it was a nice relaxing holiday but if you were going id sujest a weeks enough it was for us anyway !!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 11th of August 2005
"the hotel itself is lovely and clean and big. The rooms are spacious, the pool is great and theres lots to do for all the family. The gardens are remarkable with lots of different routes down to the sea. The food is not bad but could do with being hotter and not just warm l(ots of people had the runs while we were there including us) but the puddings are absolutely out of this world. I have never tasted or seen such a luxury sweet table. The male staff are over friendly with the females very much like turkish men and you will find this everywhere you go. he reception staff are very good though and speak very good English. watch out for the trips which the hotel reps are offering as an upsetting experience has put us off going back there. The bus we were on stopped for 20 minutes while the driver had a full on argument with a guide. we were then made to get off the bus and wait for 20 minutes until the bus returned. He had to go through a police checkpoint area further down the road and was uninsured to carry passengers. We complained to the hotel and the tourist police at the hotel but no one seemed too bothered. Your medical insurance would not be valid if the driver was uninsuerd and you were to have an accident
THE HOTEL SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT THEIR CUSTOMERS ARE SAFE and that their staff are qualified to do their job correctly."
- Travel date: Sun 7th of August 2005
One of our best ever holidays
"We have just come back from our fantastic holiday at the Oriental. My youngest Daughter has talked about nothing else, she made so many new friends and thought the staff were so friendly. My older teenage Daughter also met some great friends. The staff were very helpful, the Chef's were great and wore hygiene gloves. The food was nice, we had a lovely waiter who saved us a table every meal time. Animation team were great fun. Some great staff including Marcos the food director, Mustafa on waiter service, Omar and Islam on restaurant waiter service Muhammad on bedroom cleaning to name but a few, all the staff were very helpful friendly and great. My Husband and I are definitely booking for us all to return next year. Come as a guest and leave a friend is their motto and this is so true. "
- Travel date: Fri 1st of August 2014
"Hi, i have just arrived home in Scotland after staying for 16 nights at the Oriental Resort. What made this holiday special for me was the anamation team espical BABOO he was the crazyiest and most entertaining person i have ever meat :) also ALEX the bar man for the mainpool he was very friendly, EDDIE MURPHY he was always cheery with a smile on his face at meal times lets not forget BOB MARLEY he done some great deals for trips . i would recomend this hotel strongly !!!
lots of love, SARAH, SCOTT, CRAIG,GILLIAN AND PHILIP . (P.S (SCOTTISH) WE ARE THE PEOPLE !!!!!!!!:)
Hope to come back next year xoxxoxoxxoxoxxoxoxo "
- Travel date: Sun 29th of July 2012