Concorde El Salam Front Hotel
126 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We have just returned from this fantastic hotel in Sharm el Sheikh. If you want to go to sharm, then this is the only hotel to stay in. It was truly a wonderful experience . The complex itself is immaculately kept, the staff are super friendly without being false in any way at all.We were dreading the airport but it turned out to be no worse than anywhere else that we have been, Just let me say this to anyone who is not planning any excursions,write on the back of your immigration form that the air crew give you "SINAI ONLY" and sign it, it will get you through customs quicker.
We read all about tipping the staff but it seems to me whether you tip or not they are superb, we tipped little and often except the last day when we gave the pool lads a nice one. Its true about the towel arrangements in your room, they are really clever when they do it. We had no problems with tummy troubles and we ate just about everything that they put out over the week as the food was superb. The italian restaraunt is all inclusive upto 4pm and even then there is 40 per cent off the bill which is dirt cheap anyway,certainly recommend it for lunch by the way. Dont buy any souvenirs in Naama Bay as they are three times cheaper outside the hotel, The Hard Rock Cafe is good value if you decide to eat in Naama Bay, ie three meals with large beers for about Â£22.oo english that is.I could go on and on but most of it has already been written by others. By the way its true the Russians are the most ignorant lot of people that i have ever met, they are really rude to the staff demanding instant attention,dont be surprised to turn around and find one has just walked in front of you whilst queing, saying that, they certainly didnt spoil our holiday.Pictures dont do this place justice, Just go and have a fantastic time. the all inclusive finishes at 11pm but once you get to know the waiters they will make sure you have got enough beer on your table to do you for a good while after.Try the red wine,It is really good,goes down very easy but goes down better if you add a tiny drop of water to it (honestly). Hope this is of help to someone."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of November 2005
Superb - Highly Recommended
"Just returned with our two teenage children having had a fantastic time. Our girls loved the water sports from the beach and we thought the prices were reasonable, donuts Â£6, banana boatsÂ£5, parasailing Â£12.50. The rooms were clean and comfortable, pillows were foam but plenty of them. Some days we would come back to pretty towel displays on our bed with petals which was a nice touch. Towels changed every day, and you each had a beach towel card to change when you wanted.
Food - exellent selection every night, including a wide range of vegetarian, Heinz tomato sauce was available as well as English mustard, the tea and coffee was fine, tea lovely and hot if you ask for a flask of hot water. There were no tea making facilities in the room so next time we would take our travelling kettle as we did miss this facility. We have all piled the weight on so the food speaks for its self. Iced tea and coffee is not inclusive which was a shame as it was hot and would have been appreciated.
Trips-- much cheaper if you book with Omar or Shaggy and not the reps. They walk round the pool and beach daily and we saved Â£30 PER PERSON!!!! on our Cairo trip alone. Be warned they do not take credit cards but there is a cash machine in the lobby and there is no Egyptian charge for using it. They seem to prefer English cash and American dollars but will take anything. We went to the pryramids and flew it cost us Â£150 English each, it is a long day which we enjojed but too rushed ,the internal flight took 50 mins and was very comfortable.
Quad bikes cost Â£20 for an afternoon trip and was great fun. Omar also arranged for someone to take us out to the reefs by speedboat with a guide for 2.5 hours for Â£15 each. This is better value than a normal trip which uses a slower boat and takes about 30 people. It doesn't include lunch or anything so make sure you take some water.
Beauty treatments are cheaper than UK prices, dont be put of by the mature lady, she is lovely, and extremely kind and concientious. As per the normal uk pedicure she removes any hard skin like a chiropodist ,costs Â£12.50 and is good value.The massages were also great with various ones to choose from.You could have a treatment on the beach or by the inside pool.
The only negatives---- if you need a the third bed in the room it is Z bed and we were told it was very uncomfortable. Lastly the Russians were ------- they have no manners and were constantly bribing the waiters to save the best tables outside ,which was very irritating as it didnt give other guests a chance. Some English people we met had been there for two weeks and never had a table outside, it should be on a first come first basis,so if you see a hat ,magazine or a lonely drink,beware! It is being saved for the Russians while they are having their evening shower,trust me, we witnessed tables empty for an hour. If you have an issue or any problems go to guest relations as they are very supportive. The only other issue was that the plane was delayed for 5 hours, which had nothing to do with the hotel but when we were returned to the hotel we were told that the all inclusive runs out at 3pm on the day of departure. This is a problem if you have spent all your money and we thought it was a bit unfair as an hour before we had given out loads of cash on tips and only asked for a glass of cola. Problem seems to be with the supervisors in white shirts and not with the bar staff who were always friendly.
The brochure pictures do this hotel no justice, the view from the infinity pool is magical to have had the experience was awesome. Our whole family would like to return as we had a fabulous time.
Feel free to contact me with any queries"
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of November 2005
"My husband & l have just returned from the Concorde, as most people said the hotel is brillant, l tend to get tummy up-set where ever l go & was very worried about this, but we had no problems at all. The staff were excellant (so friendly) nothing was any trouble for them. The rooms were cleaned every day, with clean towels & bedding, some days we had a nice creation left on the bed (a heart with fresh petals) No need to take beach towels as you can get clean one's every day. The entertainment was abit naff & the drinks very basic (but strong). we went to Cairo & Luxor which were both ewesome, we paid the First Choice rep Â£183pp per trip, we were told after we booked we could have got them cheaper through Omar the guy who sells trips in the hotel for Â£140pp per trip. We went Quad biking in the Sinai desert it was brilliant this cost Â£20pp through Omar."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of October 2005
Can't wait to go back
"Where do you start reviewing something like this?
Whenever you talk to someone about the accomodation most people say " well as long as it's clean I don't mind, I won't be spending much time in the hotel".
For those of you that use the same rule of thumb I have good news. The first thing that struck me upon arrival at the concorde was the cleanliness(even though we arrived at midnight).
The Hotel had laid on a small buffet for the late arrivals as we were delayed by nearly four hours at Manchester, this gesture was much appreciated as many hotels would be happy to just pack you off to bed at such a time.
Our room was cleaned daily and the guy who cleaned it was very accomodating should we still be in the room when he came to clean. As many people have written, the works of towel art are great and our daughter would get excited to see what was waiting for us upon our return to the room(crocodiles, swans, lovehearts)
Upon waking up on the first morning I was gobsmacked by the view of the infinity pool overlooking the sea. The pictures on reviews are great but don't do it justice.
The Hotel obviously prides itself on the quality and variety of food, and I can honestly say that I never ate the same meal twice(Dinner). The speed with which empty food trays were replaced was also very impressive, and the food was always hot, contrary to a few reviews I read before my trip.
The service during our first week was very good, Mohammed our waiter made sure we were kept topped up with drinks and doted over the kids. Mohammed was moved to the other restaurant during our second week and the standards dropped considerably. The one thing that disapointed me regarding service was the fact that during our last two days the staff seemed to up there game, seemingly to earn a large tip at the end. As we tipped regularly during our stay I felt this was unecessary.
Everyone mentions the Russians, and I'm no different. The Russians can be extremely rude when it comes to waiting for meals, or even failing to allow my pregnant wife and 2 year old daughter through a space between tables, which very nearly caused my daughter a serious injury. Having said that I met two great Russian guys whilst on a diving trip, so I suppose my advice would be play them at there own game and you'll be OK.
The Sports Complex is great, and is still seemingly ignored by most guests. The food at the pool bar was outstanding, the ingredients were always fresh and even though it was just a burger the presentation was excellent. I read before my trip that the Horses at the riding school were starving and somewhat mistreated which concerned me. Although I'm not a horsey person I went to check it out, and to my relief found the horses in extremely good condition, and the stable lads extremely attentive and knowledgeable when asked about the horses in there care.
For those looking for the quiet life the Concorde also has two smaller swimming pools with kiddy pools alongside them. We found these great when trying to keep tabs on two small children. The staff at these pools were brilliant, not even allowing my wife to carry her towel to the sunbed.
We encountered just one member of staff who was rude, a cocktail waiter in the main foyer snapped at us when we ordered a drink one night. This I'm glad to say was the exception rather than the rule and generally the staff were always ready to help should you need it.
The security at the hotel was very good, bags were checked at the gate when you entered from a trip outside the hotel. We also had a guard sat outside our room every night which was very reassuring.
The Hotel is just a stones throw from the airport and the planes can be heard throughout the day but are not a nuisance. I was woken once by the sound of a plane taking off, but this was made up for by the fact that the Hotel has an exquisite reef for those wishing to see some of the amazing fish the Red Sea has to offer. I would have slept on a sunbed for two weeks for the opportunity to snorkel there.
Many people I spoke to hadn't even been in the water during there stay, which amazed me. I can only say if you go to the Concorde without snorkelling at the house reef then you have only had half a holiday( The pics I have placed with this review were all taken at the concorde reef).
My overall experience of Sharm was great, but the Limo Taxi company joined to the Hotel provided the worst experience of our holiday, the travel rep told us that if we used a Limo we would be charged a set fee. When I asked the driver how much it would cost for a trip to Delta Sharm he told me Â£100LE return. When we arrived back at the Hotel he said Â£150LE, this caused quite an embarrassing situation at the Hotel entrance. The money was not the problem, the fact that the guy tried to rip us off really cheesed me off, especially as he became abusive and the hotel staff seemed to ignore it. Please use the hotel bus or a blue and white instead and agree a price, every time we did the driver was very courteous and never let us down.
If you are looking for a five star hotel, the concorde isn't it. However most people are intelligent enough to realize this when they check the prices, so my advice would be go in there to enjoy yourself and don't spend time checking for dust in the hotel room.
All the facilities required for a good time are here so go and enjoy them.
And don't forget to have dinner in the Italian at least once during your stay, the food is great and the service is better."
- Travel date: Mon 17th of October 2005
Fantastic, Concorde Hotel
"For anyone thinking about going to Sharm el Sheikh, please book the Concorde Hotel. My wife and I have just returned from a 2 week stay, and it was absolutely fantastic. We booked through Direct Holidays, and flew with MyTravel. On arrival at Manchester I have never been booked through so quick, and the flight was excellent.
The Concorde Hotel, was fist class, with views of the Red Sea, from the main reception, and most places in the hotel. As with other reviews, again their are plenty Russians, apart from pushing in when getting food, or drinks they dont cause any problems. For anyone going, try and get 5,or 10`s for tips, unfortunately we could not get any when getting the currency here, and they are reluctant to change any high currency notes at the hotel, unless you are changing english money.
The staff work extremely hard and long hours, for we were told about 50.00 a week, they are always friendly with a smile on there faces. Nothing is to much trouble, and the food was very good and plenty of it too.
A word of warning though. When we booked with the Rep, trips, to Cario, and Ras Mohammed, I paid by credit card, any was charged "wait for it" 11% which on trips worth in total 440.00, added another 50.00, so please be aware of this, I have since returning taken this up with Direct Holidays, and am awaiting a reply.
Some people we spoke to got the trip to Cario, about 40.00 cheaper with another rep, so it pays to look around.
The trip to Cario, is a must, so what ever I say about will not do it justice, you have to go and see it for yourselves, and to see the "Death Mask of King Tut, is jaw dropping.
I cannot praise the hotel and everything about it enough.
Please try it you will not be disapointed/"
- Travel date: Fri 14th of October 2005
Stunning Hotel, Wonderful service, will go again!
"I went with a female friend - all inclusive for a week, and loved it! The accommodation was of a high standard, good quality, clean and comfortable. At first, we did have problems opening the lock on the door, we eventually got used to the odd twist and pull routine, but each time we harrassed the the night porters (and it was quite a few times) to let us in they were very patient with us!
The food was varied, kept me bursting at the seams each night, they offered a wide intercontinental range to accommodate for every palate.
The staff could not go further to help, and we discovered that if you tip one of the waiters they will look after you all night!
The location was stunning and although it took a day to get our bearings in the large complex, it was so beautiful it was a pleasure to get lost on the way to the main reception!
I think this is a truly superb hotel, and the view of the infinity pool from the staircase of the lobby is one to behold!. The dining area overlooks the sea and paths stretch down to the beach. On our first exploratory journey down to the water, I was surprised and pleased to discover there were two beach bars, they serve lunch and offer a full selection of foods to save us from trekking up to the main dining area - very nice when you are in temperatures of 40 degrees +! The beach hut toilets even had marble floors! - I could not really find fault with this place, one of the best of all my lasting memories will be of paddling in the Red Sea with various multicoloured fishes swimming all around me.
The downside to my trip, not the hotel, was being hassled by the locals on our day trip to Naama Bay, I'll definitely go back, but will take my boyfriend with me as if they see you with a man, you get left alone. So single female travellers beware."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of October 2005
The magic of Sharm
"This hotel is unbelievable, it should be 5 star not 4 star. It is on only 10 minutes journey from the airport and about 20 mins from the resort centre of Nama Bay, you can see the planes near the hotel but you cannot hear them when you are sleeping. Upon arrival at the hotel it was even nicer than we expected, its even nicer than how it looks in the brochure and the brochure does not do it any justice, There is 1 huge swimming pool with a bar overlooking the sea, there are 2 or 3 smaller swimming pools around the resort which are decent size with small bars. The Piano bar is cool as you can sit inside or sit outside and overlook the lighted up pool and the sea. The evening entertainment was okay, some of it was bit boring, you can watch that outside the eating area, the only thing i found really annoying was the Entertainment Team, the girls do this really annoying sound, at first it is funny but after 2 weeks it gets to you, it goes something like "ohh eeh" also watch out as some of the holiday makers they are very ignorant and never say please or thank you. The bar at the pool do really nice cheeseburgers, hotdogs, fries etc and they take real pride in the presentation (i know its only fast food)!! The beach bar do a nice BBQ during the day but at a small cost, its worth it though. The main Buffet Restaurant do really nice food from pizza, pasta, fries, chicken dishes, fish etc. The nightclub plays some decent R&B and dance music, we only went once but we had a good nite. The Italian is not included in the AI option but they have a sunday buffet which is free, but drink is not free at the Italian.
They have almost finished building another addition to Concorde across the road where the supermarket is (i did not hear any noise) there is a huge swimming pool with a slide and a swim up bar, and a big type of river surrounding it, more apartments, another reception area, horseriding, tennis courts, a floodlit sports field, almost like a football stadium but fewer seats, ice skating rink, allsorts of stuff.
The Egyptian workers are the most friendliest people and they do anything for you, they work really hard, a majority of them work 2 jobs a day, start at 8am and dont finish until 10-11pm. When you go shopping to Nama Bay, do not accept the first price you are offered you can usually get them down to at least half the price. If you want to go quad biking etc its cheaper to go to Bobbos on the beach, they are located down the left hand side of the beach. The beach is okay, i was not overly impressed as you cant just walk into the sea and go swimming because of all the rocks and coral, however you can walk off the jetty's in the sea and go snorkeling, there is some amazing fish and coral, so close to the hotel which you wouldnt expect. To say thank you in arabic it is pronounced "shokram".
I could go on forever but im running out of time. Overall i would recommend this hotel to anybody, myself and my partner will be going back again sometime next year and a few people we met are also going back."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of October 2005
Brilliant Hotel.... can't wait to go back!!!
"Firstly, forget the negative comments that are on other peoples reviews,(these are probably from the annoyingly fussy people that let the flights etc ruin what this forum is about (the Hotel).
The one thing that can make or break a holiday in an all inclusive hotel are the staff (and I do not agree with some previous comments about tipping to get good service). We tipped little and often to 3 or 4 members of staff, but ALL of the others we did not tip treated us just the same. They were all excellent!. As and example of how good the staff are, checking in took a couple of minutes, but 3 days later when I went to pick up my passport I was served by the same man, who rembered my name and room number!.
We had an excellent room with loads of space. If you ask the guy that cleans your room you can get robes and slippers, and if you build up a good relationshiop you could get a free fruit platter delivered to your door, and he will even get you fresh robes for your final day that you can take home ... well this is the kind of stuff we got!
if you feel he does a good job then tip the guy (you don't have to.... I think that as long as you are nice to them they will provide excellent service to you... which is why they don't seem to like the Russians.... (sorry but they are generally quite rude to other guests and staff).
We had no problem with our aircon (and the key card that powers it). But this could be the cause for most people's tummy upsets..... if you leave your room on the lowest setting 24/7, then with the extreme heat outside, you will get a dodgy tummy. We pu the aircon to about 19 degrees when we left the room in the morning, and when we returned in the evening we would turn it off. this way you are not always in the extremes of temperatures, which leads to a dodgy tummy.
There is a safe in the room which is free, towels and bed clothes are changed daily and you also get toiletries and a fridge in your room. As a previous post suggested, go to the supermarket outside the hotel.... we got a 6x1 litre pack of water for Â£2. Choose the food in the supermarket carefully, as there can be a great difference in price for similar products (i.e. chocolate..... some bars are made in Egypt so cost about 50pence each, but some are imported so will cost about Â£1.20 (ask the assistant for prices if they are not displayed)
The main buffet at the hotel offers a wide choice and does change daily. I would highly reccommend the pizza (which is freshly made to order). The Italian offers a free buffet for lunch, breakfast and on a Sunday night you can get an evening buffet (but you have to pay for drinks, so you may as well stick to the main buffet). The rest of the time the Italian is a la carte... which you have to pay for. Both pool bars offer sandwiches, burgers (yummy) hotdogs and chicken for lunch (which does make a nice change from the buffet). The buffet at the sports complex is in a newer and a little nicer bulding (you have slightly less choice but it is less busy (not to say the main buffet got too busy). The bbq on the beach was really nice and also meant you had a great view over the Red Sea. You can get room service in your room (although personally we didn't have it, some friends we met did and said it was lovely)
If you find a waiter who serves you well then stick to him, i.e. in the evenings the waiters all have about 15 tables that they look after, so if you stick to his patch you can build up a good relationship and he will even have a table waiting for you when you arrive and drinks will be constantly topped up! (Ehab looked after us excellently!). We found that after a few days, we ate the rice, had ice in our drinks and had all the things we had been advised not to eat..we didn't have that bad a time of it..the main cause of a dodgy belly is roasting in the scorching heat (go in for a rest from 1 - 4 when it is hottest) and from having the Air Con too cool!! The food is FAB!! Meat eaters and veggies alike will always find something that they like.
There are 2 main pools in the complex. The one on the sports complex was never busy, and also a bit deeper with a big slide (so if you wanted to relax a little more then this is the place for you). You can walk to get to it which takes about 5 minutes or you can jump on the bus which runs to and from the main complex every 15 minutes. The Main pool was excellent and Goma at the pool bar served us brilliantly for 2 weeks. You have an excellent view from the infinity pool, of the Red Sea. We tended to get to the pool at about 9, get our towels and get a couple of loungers, then go and get breakfast. If you tip the guys by the pool they will look after your stuff and put up the parasol for you.
The sea is reached by a stepped beach which had great views and lots of sun beds (and a well kept toilet). You have to use the jetty to get in to the sea (because you have a reef right by the beach) but this means that you can see an amazing array of fish right at your hotel. (We went to Ras Mohammed national park (and to be honest we saw more and better fish from the hotel)
Well, what can i say Stavros (thats what we called him) was interesting, he is there every day entertaining?!? the crowds! He was a bit dodgy, but listening out for the bad notes etc was entertainment for me!. At 9 pm you can get drinks at the pool bar, so if you head down there you can't hear him as much. Generally throughout the day, there are various activities, including volleyball, aqua gym etc, which when you get into them are quite fun.
We went with Airtours and to be honest, we payed over the odds for our trips. BUT... we went to Cairo, and we went on exactly the same plane as cheaper tours, but when we got our bus we met our armed guards (none of the others we met who were on similar cheaper trips had this), although at first it was a bit weird, it was very re-assuring. When we were dropped off at the pyramids one of the guards followed us (my wife and I) everywhere we went, but this meant that the guys trying to sell stuff kept away, and if they came near, our guard ushered them away.... brilliant!
If you are doing the more local trips (like Quad biking in the desert) you may as well save a few quid and go with the guys from the hotel.... as these trips are exactly the same (but cheaper).
We haggled at the shops and got a lilo for 7 quid, snorkels start at about 4 quid, you can get cheap t-shirts etc from here as well. You can get all sorts of toiletries from the shops... so don't do as we did and go 11kg over the weight limit on the plane by taking everything (apart from the kitchen sink)..... we were let off without paying an excess by the way.... woohoo!.
As soon as you get to the hotel, use the bank in the hotel to change your larger notes to smaller ones for tipping (its good to have lots of 5s,10s and 20s)
Please remember if you are fussy, you can find fault with everything, this is the main problem we found with other guests i.e. complaining about the food.
If you fill your plate up with a little of everything for the first couple of days then you may get bored with the food. If you have a normal meal i.e. meat and 2 veg then you will never get bored and will really enjoy the great choice of food. Finally, you are in EGYPT where things are different so relax, expect to get a slightly dodgy belly and enjoy your hols!"
- Travel date: Mon 5th of September 2005
Concorde El Salam - The facts
"We stayed at the Concorde El Salam during Aug, booked through Direct Holidays and flew from Gatwick with My Travel Airways.
The staff at check in didnât seem to know what they were doing and were 40 minutes late opening the check in desk. I asked for seats with extra leg room and was told that our seats had been pre allocated and he couldnât change them. On the aircraft there were 20 spare seats most of which were the exit seats with extra leg room and people were changing seats to get them as the normal seats are a bit cramped. I phoned My Travel prior to departure and got an extra 10kg baggage allowance each for sports equipment at no cost as the normal allowance is 20kg.
The flight was OK and there were 2 good movies to watch, however you had to pay Â£2.50 for the head phones and the screens were in the cabin roof about every 5 rows and not in the seat back which meant that you had a very small and sometimes obscured view. The head phones are the type with 2 jack plugs so take your own if you have them. The food was OK but you had to pay for drinks which were quite expensive (Â£3 for a small bottle of very poor wine).
On arrival were all had to get Visas and no one had given anyone the visa form so you then had to complete the form whilst in the queue. If you do not intend to leave the resort you do not need a visa and you just write âSinai onlyâ on the back. If you want to go the Ras Mohamed Park you will need a visa even by boat. You will meet lots of friendly Egyptians at the airport who will want to sell you a trolley and expect a tip. You only need to carry your bags about 300m to the bus. If you do want one make sure you have small change with you 50p - Â£1.
On arrival at the hotel (15 minutes on the coach) you have to go through a metal detector and they will search your hand luggage but not your suitcase as it doesnât go inside the main hotel. The check in at hotel is easy and they take your passport off you give you your room key, towel cards, AI bands and power card. Ask the staff for a map of the hotel as it is a big site. Once you youâre your room key go back out side and see Fez (youâll understand when you get there) who will ensure that you bags get delivered to your room. You then need to find your room (this is where you wish you had asked for a map)
The rooms are clean and well presented and sheets are changed every other day, towels daily. There is a small safe in the room which is free to use, TV with some English programs and a fridge. The bathroom has a WC, sink and shower over bath. There is also a large mirror, clothes line, hair dryer and a shaver socket. Remove your power card from your room key and leave it in the socket by the door as your aircon, fridge and any chargers you have plugged in will stop when your out. The cleaner will remove the card unless you ask him (tip him) not to do so. You will need bottled water to clean your teeth as the water isnât good, this you can get from the hotel if your feeling rich or from the Supermarket outside the main entrance for about Â£1 per bottle. The aircon is not particularly effective and needs to be on most of the time, it is a trade off between the heat and the noise. The cleaner does the room every day and if tipped will leave fancy towel creations on the beds and flowers in the room, we tipped either 10 or 20 LE each day (Â£1 â Â£2). There were a couple of flyâs in the room every day, which provided entertainment, boy are they fast. I would recommend that you take some fly paper or something to kill them as they become very annoying when your trying to sleep.
The main Restaurant is below reception and is very well presented but gets a bit boring after the first week, the best bits are the pasta and salads. You can also eat at the BBQ restaurant on the beach (hygiene is a problem with birds eating from the serving spoons) the Italian (very good) or the Waterfall restaurant in the sports complex (same as the main restaurant). The Italian restaurant is not part of the AI in the evenings, but is well worth a visit as the food is excellent. A sea food / steak meal for 2 including a couple bottles of wine came to Â£45. The bars are all pretty much the same, we used the Piano bar and the pool bar by the infinity pool in the evenings. Drinks are local and vary in strength, dark rum, vodka, whisky and beer are the main drinks. Ask for your drinks to be made with diet coke or lemonade as it comes from cans, is not a sweet and has more fizz. Again tips are expected by the staff, tip early and they will ensure that you get served promptly
There are 4 pools within the hotel complex. The main infinity pool is very crowded and is quite shallow at approx 1m (it dropped by about 150mm when we were there) high sides and only has 2 ladders to get out. I thought this could be dangerous for small kids. The beds are the same the world over and have towels on them very early, which is stupid. The other pools in the main hotel complex are smaller and quite but 1 has no bar. The best pool is across the road in the sports complex; the staff are excellent and ensure that you have a good position with plenty of shade. This pool has no edge around it and is deeper than the others at 1.2m. It also has a big slide. The swim up bar is good and serves food. This pool is a lot quieter than the others but is only a 10 minute walk or there is a bus every 15 minutes.
The entertainment in the hotel is very poor with traditional tourist culture stuff every evening. You can recognise the songs but canât understand the words
All the staff are very helpful and speak good English. The only down side is that they expect to be tipped for everything. I think it cost us about Â£250 in tips in 2 weeks. If you donât tip them you are ignored. This was the most disappointing aspect of the holiday. I will happily tip for good service but object to it be mandatory just for being there.
The reps will try to sell you trips at the welcome meet, these are very expensive and you can get the same if not better from the guys (Shaggy and Omah) by the main pool (Quad biking was Â£15 each cheaper) Diving is available from the pool guys or Sinai divers in the next door hotel at a good price. If you are diving take your log with you if you have dived within the previous few weeks as you will not have to do the assessment dive (Â£21). If you havenât dive for a while you will need to do it at all the dive operators. Buy masks, snorkels and fins in the UK as the kit there is poor quality and reasonably expensive. We never saw the rep (Paul) during the 2 weeks as his visits are early each day.
Money changing â we took sterling and changed it in Namma bay as the exchange rate is better than the UK. They will take sterling and US $ as well. The Egyptian pound is written as LE and there are approximately 10 to the pound.
Expect to be ill during your stay. Everyone gets stomach upsets during the first few days, the pharmacy outside the hotel near the supermarket will sell you some pills called Antinol which will cure it within a day. We also had flu like symptoms during the first week which may have been caused by the aircon (heat or sleep?) which put a stop to any diving being done.
There are tourists from other countries in the hotel, mainly Russia. The Russians are rude and not liked by the staff although I donât think anyone had a problem with them. Sadly some of the Brits in the hotel made me ashamed to be British by there actions, language and dress sense, luckily these were the minority.
We had a few fears about going to Sharm El Sheikh following the bombs (we should have been staying at the hotel that was bombed) but we felt safe all the time. There are lots of police and security guards and the hotel has metal posts in the road and large concrete planters outside the entrance to prevent vehicles driving in. Taxis are a experience, do not use a âblue and whiteâ unless you like taking risks (swimming in a crocodile pool at feeding time is safer). You will be unaware that a 20 year old Peugeot 507 can do 90mph until you get in a blue and white and at night this will be without lights. Always ensure that you agree a price first, Namma bay from the hotel should be LE45 â 50, if they want more walk away, the price will drop. If you ask Fez he will get you a âLimocabâ which will collect you at a specified time, this is about LE5 more each way
On departure day you have to leave your room by 1200. The staff will collect your bags from your room from 1100 onwards or you can leave them outside the door for them. At reception you will have to hand back your key, power card and towel cards. They will cut off your AI band and give you your passports back. You will have to pay (sterling only) for anything charged to your room. You can continue to use the restaurants and get non alcoholic drinks until your departure. The reps will ensure that you get the coach, just wait in the reception area. Ensure that your bags are loaded if you want to see them again.
The coach stops right outside the terminal so you donât actually need a trolley, although they will try to sell you one. As soon as you enter you will have all you luggage X-rayed and then queue for the check in desk, again ask for extra leg room, this time we got it. You will have to complete the exit visa and show you passport to the whole of the airport staff (again!) to get into the departure area. The duty free shops are all priced in $ so ensure that you know the exchange rate before you leave the hotel if you are planning to shop. There is a lack of seating in the main area but you can go to the gate area where there is plenty of seating and leave again to use the toilets etc
The flight back was the same as the one out except the food was worse. Remember to have your headphones in your hand luggage. The seats of the flight back were old and offered no lumber support.
On the whole we found the hotel to be at a reasonable standard with good service (if you tip well) but it was not a 4 star as described by Holidays direct. The resort has a substantial amount of building work on going and will so be very cheep, tacky and not somewhere you would wish to go unless you like Blackpool with sun."
- Travel date: Sat 27th of August 2005
"We have just returned back from this hotel and must say we were a bit concerned about going regarding the bombings of Sharm and being relatively close, but if you have booked this hotel please do not worry. The hotel is very safe and it is of reasonable size to not want to go outside. The main gates which is about half a mile from the reception area have security and do not let taxis through â we were there a week.
We did venture into Naama Bay and thought it was a hell hole. Even if there were no bombings we would not have enjoyed this area, although we did eat in a nice Lebanese restaurant this evening before returning quickly to our resort.
I must say we thoroughly enjoyed out stay it was extremely hot in the mid 40âs and some days sunbathing was unbearable the only place I think that could be hotter would be the Sun and I dont think they have started doing holidays there yet!!!!!
We did not find sunburn a problem. Care and caution is all that is required. The cause of sun burn I would imagine would be it inappropriately applied sun factor or not reapplying. I used Piz Buin once a day factor 15 and it was excellent.
Bad stomachs we managed to totally avoid although these mainly can be caused from various things including too much heat . Donât have drinks with ice or crushed ice in them. Drink plenty of water due to hydration. Donât eat the rice which is the biggest offender of bacteria and should be immediately eaten and not reheated. Avoid the above and stomach troubles will definitely be avoided.
There are really only 2 mains restaurants to eat in and the Italian is excellent although there is an extra charge which is pennies and definitely worth it if you want something a bit more upmarket which we are use to.
On a whole this hotel is truly good value but I would say definitely not five star but definately the staff make me rate this hotel above average they are so hard working. Treat the staff nice with a please and thank you and you will get treated like royalty they cant do enough for you.
The entertainment is what I felt let this hotel down it was over powering and truly appalling. There was a singer in the restaurant that sung too loud and out of tune and the only thing that made it worse was when a holiday maker got up and started singer a Marie Carey number badly â oh how we laughed. The entertainment was definitely for the lower end of the market which package holidays generally cater for â definitely not for us.
All diving and beach activities are well organised and fun. I felt the diving was bit over-rated if you have never dived then it would be excellent but I have divided a few wonderful locations and they are definitely better than the red sea â but still worth the experience.
We did the quad biking through the dessert â well if thatâs what you can call it more like a land refill site anyway our group had mixed emotions on this one!!!! Go with an open mind and you may enjoy it!!!!!
Even with my few negative comments I would still recommend this holiday make sure you can cope with some unsavoury English folk that you always find on package holidays and for me they always make me want to feel that I am some other nationality.
If you want a quick cheap getaway mainly relaxing in the sun for a week this would be ideal."
- Travel date: Thu 11th of August 2005
Our stay at the Concorde el salam
"We have been going to the Concorde El Salem for 14 years, we have all ways been treated well and had no problems with the food, yes it is 80 per cent Russian but they didn't bother us in any way. The staff are great and they will do anything to help you which is very nice its all part of your holiday. Mr Samire the manager of the hotel is very nice and very approachable, if there is a problem, and Mr Serhat is very nice and is all ways willing to help, Hannie the bar man makes you all the lovely cocktails, and not including all the rest of the staff, which will do what they can for you. The foot is lovely and plenty of choice, if you cant find what you like they will sort you something else, so there is no need to go away saying you couldn't find anything. Ahmed the singer will sing anything you like and the Animation team are brilliant, Muestafa, does a lot of his own dance moves they all work hard, all the staff do.The customer relations girls will help you any way they can. I can highly recommend the Concorde El Salem
- Travel date: Mon 19th of May 2014
Concorde El Salam Sport
"We had the misfortune of staying at the Sports end for 2 weeks. I could spend hours detailling every issue but will condense into as few points as possible:
1) On arrival at 2am (due to 6 hour delay) we were quickly processed through reception and handed "snack bags" which were produced from under the reception counter. The snacks consisted of (possibly) chicken rolls, which if probed by an envorinmental health officer, would have been condemned!! They must have been at least 20 degress as they were warm to the touch.
2) On arrival at the room which appeared spacious and clean, we were only fit for bed. We put on the A/C which closely resembled the sound of a Harley Davidson! After kids had been to bathroom, I went in, found the floor wet, assumed, someone had missed the bowl..... turns out there was water seeping UP through the floor tiles between the grout. This was reported the following morning, nothing was done about it. I again reported in 24 hours later and again.... nothing! Our room cleaner then took it upon himself to do something (possibly because he was tiring of picking up 5 or 6 soaking wet towels every day) A maintenance guy arrived with a spanner (??) walked on the tiles, shook his head and left. This was to be repeated by two other guys later in the week but still nothing was done. This issue somehow filtered back to the towel guys at the pool as they started knocking on the door daily, handing us larger, bulkier towels and taking away the wet ones, even though we never mentioned it to anyone other than at reception.
3) We were in an inter-connecting room which had a locked door between our room and the next and the noise from the other room in the first week was just about bearable,the "parties" in that room generally ended at a respectable hour... around 1am. In week two it almost drove us crazy, we were like zombies from lack of sleep and the children were very cranky and as a result took to having naps during the day. The "guests" next door seemed to come alive around 3pm, they would have music playing from then until approx 10pm, whilst they tanked up on alcohol. They would then leave the hotel and arrive back between 2 & 3am and party some more until 5, sometimes 6am. We pleaded with reception staff to either be moved or have them moved but their solution was to ring the room, the "guests" wouldn't answer and that was the issue solved. On the third night, I lost the plot and went to reception to complain in a more stern manner. Again, the guy on reception phoned the room and gave them a "warning" that they would be "expelled from the hotel" if there were any further incidents. By the time I got back to the room, the party had escalated and they were now using the inter connecting door as a drum!!
4) Towards the end of the first week, I got the dreaded "bug" and had to make a quick departure from the pool back to our room!! In doing so, the kids followed on later but left some personal belongings, namely, footwear, inflatables and sunglasses on the lounger. Later that evening one of the pool guys advised he had taken the items to reception and filled out a docket for them and all we had to do was go to the guest relations desk and they would be returned. We followed this advice and after wasting two hours waiting for the items to be retrieved, we were advised that they had been moved to the front hotel and would not be returned to the sport area until that evening. Another 90 mins were wasted that evening, they never turned up and they denied that the pool guy handed them in. I struggled with this as he had no reason to go out of his way to tell us he had handed them in?
5) On the third day, our 10 year old wanted to try out the kids club. I cannot definitively state that the "leader" had no English but I highly suspect that she was trying to promote the idea that she hadn't as she tried to communicate with me in Russian, as did her colleague who turned up some time later. Regardless of any language barrier, we were made to feel most unwelcome to the point where after a few mins we were completely ignored and we left. While talking to the only British family in the hotel later that day, they also advised they had received identical treatment. Numerous times throughout the rest of our stay we would see the kids club walking past the pool area and all the kids were Russian and were being spoken to in Russian by the leaders.
6) The drinks service in the restaurant was shambolic, many times we would have finished our meal by the time the glasses of water we ordered were delivered, in some cases, they NEVER arrived. Whereas, all Russian guests were immediately served without as much as a please or thankyou. I quickly realised we failed in our attempts to be served because we didn't roar or grunt at the staff. We were lucky enough in week one to have a very attentive waiter who couldn't do enough for us but he was promptly sacked one evening as he didn't serve drinks quickly enough to a Russian couple who bellowed at him. They then decided to get into a full blown confrontation with the unfortunate waiter who tried his best to explain they were understaffed and he had ordered their beer from a member of the bar staff. One of them got up, went right into his face and started roaring at the top of his voice at the waiter. Thankfully the one and only British family who witnessed the incident from start to finish, took the issue up with the general manager and had the waiter reinstated, however, his sanction was to work either two or three days without pay.
7) The hard working staff were constantly berated, corrected and humiliated by management in full view and earshot of guests, it was the most dispacable treatment of a workforce I have ever seen. On Sunday 24th July a large number of the staff walked off the premises and held a silent picket at the front of the hotel. The reason for this being that a lot of the staff were from neighbouring cities such as Cairo, Alexandria etc and they were all due to return over the coming days for their annual holiday to observe Ramadan. They had not been paid and when this issue was raised with management, they were advised they would not be paid as the hotel was not "busy Enough" Bearing in mind, the hotel was at maximum occupancy, the staff refuted this and continued their silent protest. It would appear that staff were then drafted in from other hotels (mainly managers) who made a pathetic attempt to run the evening dinner session in the restaurant. Thankfully, for the staff who were affected, they were promised their pay and returned to work.
8) The food at the hotel was of extremely poor quality and it would appear that uneaten portions from one sitting would be "reinvented" for the next. Regardless of title, just about everything tasted the same. By the end of the first week, we ate out every evening as we couldn't face any more of the same slop!
9) We had to get THREE mini friges in the room before one actually kept the drinks cold!! One of the two sockets in the room didn't work and the kids cartoon channel was scrambled after the first few days.
On to the positives, there are three biggies for this hotel...
1) The ground level staff... waiters, bar staff, pool staff and cleaners are exemplary. In the face of all adversity, they are polite, courteous, helpful, honest and above all hard working individuals who give their all (god knows why considering the conditions they work under!) They work a minimum of 16 hour days and there wasn't as much as a grumble or frown from any of them.
2) The hotel grounds and pool are spectacularly clean, again, testament to the hard working staff who tend them.
3) This is by far the best thing about the hotel..... the exit!! Out of the hotel I thought I would never get. If contacted by the Concorde group now, I would not return to the hotel if THEY PAID ME!! It is not worthy of 5 star status, even by Egyptian standards. If this was a Western Hotel, I believe it would stuggle to achieve 3 stars.
The one saving grace for The Concorde Sport is the downtrodden workforce, I must admit I was torn, it was heart wrenching to see how they were treated and the knowledge that I, as a paying guest, contributed to this didn't sit well with me.
I do not expect individual or preferntial treatment but at the very least, I expect fundamental problems such as crap seeping through the bathroom floor, personal effects going missing and rowdy guests next door to be addressed promptly but it would appear this hotel is geared firmly towards Russians and Eastern Europeans. We met many Egyptians, Libyians, Saudi Arabians and Algerian guests who although natives and close neighbours they also agreed that the hotel management were quite tilted towards the one persuasion.
This hotel does not offer comfort or value for money. Shop around and avoid at all costs."
- Travel date: Sun 31st of July 2011