15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
dont go if your english
"The weather was great the sea and pools were great the room wasn't to bad but very tired and dated it always had clean towels changed every day it took 15 minutes to walk to the dinning room it was ok going there but going back was all up hill with lots of steps there is a Taf Taf bus but didn't look very safe the place didn't cater for the English the waiters and bar staff didn't understand us at all the food was always barely warm it was either Italian food or Russian food nothing English at all and we found the Russians most of them so rude I would go back to Sharm again but never again to this hotel they don't deserve the English to go there because they don't cater for us at all they could at least learn to talk a little bit of English it was mainly full of Russians we didn't meet any English people at all and this is a very big place now I no the reason I would not advise you to go there "
- Travel date: Sun 10th of November 2013
Just returned from a week at the Harem i...
"Just returned from a week at the Harem in Coral Bay. To start off with I found the staff to be very friendly and helpful and that tipping is very much appreciated. Even something as simple as a chocolate bar can put a smile on the face of many of the workers.
The whole complex is rather big and if your looking for a simple hotel, pool, beach kind of thing this isn't the place to go. Buses run throughout the complex called "taf taf" they are very frequent and the drivers stop wherever you want to get off.
If when you arrive they tell you that there isn't a room available at the Harem and they are going to "upgrade" you to Sultan, I suggest that you refuse. The Sultan is incomplete. There is alot of construction work still going on which is noisy and quite dirty.
If you want to take a cheaper taxi, go outside of the main gate. Only use these taxis for short distance travelling to Naama Bay or Old Sharm for example and always agree a price before getting in. These taxis aren't very reliable if you want to go to say Cairo, then I suggest you take a "limousine" from inside the hotel.
The food I thought was very good for a foreign country. If you are all inclusive there is a selection of restaurants throughout the complex which you can go to. My personal favourites were "spices restaurant" and "El Mustaba Kebab house". For breakfast they have thier own on-site baker making hot and fresh crossiants and danish pastries.
The rooms are big and cleaned everyday. The cleaners are polite and do the job quickly and quietly. I recommend you give them some money seeing as they work so hard and only earn about Â£40 british pounds per month. Anything you need, just dial 7. One late night I needed a few more pillows and within 5 minutes of calling they were delivered to my room and then they called me to ask if I recieved them which I found very nice.
The receptionist Ahmed is a great man. He is ready to help with anything and likes a good chat when hes not too busy. Hes friendly and as written in another review he will bend over backwards to help you out.
In the Spice restaurant a guy called Mustafa is another friendly and helpful man. When we arrived Dinner was just closing and he said don't worry have something to eat and set a table for us.
Overall we are happy with the experience at this hotel. It is not quite 5 star I'd say more 4 and half. There is room for improvement when it comes to night entertainment and knowing when different activities are on. Sign posting of the roads is quite shoddy and lack of information sometimes could confuse you as to what is going on where."
- Travel date: Mon 24th of March 2008
Returned last night having spent a week...
"Returned last night having spent a week at this hotel and what a fabulous week I have had!
This is the perfect place to go if you want to just chill out, the resort is beautiful, safe and clean, the hotel spotless and the staff really cheerful and accommodating - nothing is too much trouble and the food is excellent with plenty of variety given the choice of restaurants.
With regard to the Russians - yes they are ill-mannered but I think this is their way they seem to be unable to return even the broadest of smiles, they are so rude to the staff who take it on the chin and carry on regardless, I think that is why we, as British people are treated so well, it makes a pleasant change for them (the staff) to be treated courteously. By the way don't let the fact that there are a lot of Russians put you off they are easily ignored and there is no reason why they should cause you any bother in fact it puts a good slant on the British and their manners (provided you remember them of course!)
I really am at a loss to understand why/how anybody could be negative about this hotel, I have returned rested and full of vigour and ready for anything.
I can honestly say that in the years (many!) that I have been holidaying abroad this resort comes very close to the top if not actually at the top of my list and I will be returning, I suspect more than once!"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of January 2008
Before leaving I read the reviews and re...
"Before leaving I read the reviews and retained only what I wanted to and dismissed the bad points, donât, and believe what you read itâs all true.
This is not a 5 star and having travelled to Egypt some 15 times I think I am well enough travelled to know what I am talking about... 3 stars would be fair.
The Harem is the all inclusive part of this huge complex, the rooms are ok, nothing special in Egyptian standards infact I found the cleaners lazy and the rooms dirty, you get your 5 am wakeup call every day from the workers accommodation being from the resort staff complex which is behind this block, the wailing over loud speakers goes on for about 15 mins.
The food in the restaurant is the same every day, plenty of eggs, bread, pastries fresh fruit and yogurt and salad for breakfast and the same thing for lunch and dinner every day, disgusting, being all inclusive you would think you could eat anywhere on resort, no you canât, you get a 6.90 credit each meal time against your meal and can only have soft drinks unless you pay a premium rate of about 7.50 per drink in other places.
You would think when you go to see the show in the big top you could relax and get a drink, wrong, drinks are premium rate in there and water service, I saw no one drinking and felt the staff would be best employed elsewhere.
The shows were absolutely dire, just dancing, and miming to show tunes, butlins is better.
If you need a courtesy room on departure they charge you 6 euro an hour. Reception male staff are rude.
You need to get on the courtesy bus to get anywhere which is ok and runs all night.
The best thing about this resort is the beach but even there is only one bar your allowed to get your drinks and they are served in kiddie size white plastic cups, yuck yuck yuck.
If it helps you understand how bad this resort is, let me say one thing, time share.
Yes there in there flogging the resort, so you can imagine what itâs like, butlins gone Egyptian.
There are loads of 5 star resorts in Egypt for the same money, we paid 550.00 for a week. Please donât go to this one, it has loads of facilities which look good on paper but in real money are poor and shoddy imitations of the real deal. Even the masseur gives you a price and then ask for money for himself.
The resort is not for people who like a bit of luxury, are use to real 5 star hotels used to quality food, take nice holidays and have seen the real Egypt and travelled the globe.
If you can pick this hotel up for less than a couple of hundred pounds then go but expect nothing flash or nice and you will not be disappointed, do not pay full price for this, itâs not worth it, anyway were off on a cruise to get over this."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of December 2007
I am so excited to write this review! It...
"I am so excited to write this review! It may be a bit lengthy but its worth it I promise and also the only review you will need to read. Firstly I went with my best pal who is 25 and I'm 21, we were just looking for a beautiful place to relax, drink and sunbath, I stumbled across trip advisor and it put me off going so much... we were both super nervous.
So anyway we had a good flight and our transfer was fine, once we arrived at the top of the Domina Bay road, I was completely hypnotized by how beautiful the resort was, so clean and fresh looking.
We arrived at the Harem reception and were greeted by AHMED who I will tell you about later on, he checked us in and gave us towels and our room card. Then we were taken to our room by Mahmood the bell boy, we hopped on a golf caddy with our cases and drove up the hill a few paces away from the reception :)
Our room was beautiful, twin four poster beds, bed side cabinets, lights on the wall with switches to the main room light, an arm chair and table and a sofa bed, also a big mirror over a desk which had a big draw (perfect for make up and other stuff) also it has a hidden mini bar that comes stacked with 3 mineral waterS, 1 sprite fanta and coke (this is restocked every day). The terrace was beautiful with a a wooden bench table and 2 chairs, the view was honestly breath taking, we sat here for a few hours everyday!
The bathroom was clean and big, with fresh towels and gowns everyday and a massive jacuzzi bath (do not put bubble bath in this, as I did and the whole bathroom was filled with bubbles LOL). Massive walk in wardrobes with hangers and an easy to use safe. The rooms are cleaned everyday no matter how messy they are. Tip the cleaners well as they earn about 35 british pounds a month and do a darn good job!
A lot of people complain that it is complicated to understand the AI terms (TUT) a five year old could understand it.
Breakfast is served between 7:00am till 10:30, in the Spices restaurant with fresh bread and danish pastries, also cooking stations to tailor make your omelettes and eggs how you like them... fresh fruit cereal and a toaster, they have cheeses salad and cold meats also sausages, beans and waffles with loads of sauces, all served with fresh juice and tea and coffee!
Morning break is from 11.00am till 12.30 pm in the lobby bar which is in the reception this serves (juice, tea, coffee, local spirits and wines all day anyway) with a selection of pastries.
Lunch is from 1.00pm to 3.00pm served in either Spices-international buffet FANTASTIC ALWAYS, Coral - international cuisine or El Wadi-a rich buffet set on a privileged beach view GORGEOUS!
afternoon break is served from 5.00pm till 7.00pm where snacks and beverages are served daily from sandwiches to mini burgers.
Dinner is from 7.00pm to 10.30pm and you have a big choice from - Spices, El Mastaba kebab house FANTASTIC, Tajine Corner Alhambra - Moroccan, Coral, El Wadi and Gala dinner in Arena, upon invitation which is provided in your vip pack given when you check in.
You can use the pool bar, lobby bar, and the nautilus beach bar during the day.
There is an entertainment board outside the reception so there is always something to do, you can book trips to Cairo, quads, scuba diving, snorkeling and camel riding all through the hotel or the rep. But if you venture to Naama Bay you will get it so much cheaper.
Naama Bay is good it has lots of shops and lookie lookie men and british bars, restaurants and also nightclubs. There is a nightclub within the resort called Space, easy to find!
AHMED the receptionist will deal with anything you want him to and he will bend over backwards to help, also in other reviews people said that he never smiles what a lot of rubbish, out of two weeks I only seen him look unhappy once and that's because he done a 36 HOUR SHIFT NO LIE.
MUSTAFA on the bar across from the reception is such a good guy and gets completely harassed by RUDE Russians.
The Russians are rude and greedy never let them get to you just keep smiling at them this bothers them more,
Venture down to the suk at the oasis the boys at the shop will try get you to come in to their shops, go in if you want a look and you will be offered tea which is lovely, if not simply say no smile and walk away... make your way down to the tattoo stand look out for PICASSO and HASHAM the funniest men I have ever met, say hello from angela and chazza : ) They are both fantastic at henna and hair braiding, watch out for FOUZY he is a charmer and a bit of a con man he makes sand jars which are lovely but they brake, HE LIKES TO CALL HIMSELF MR LUVA LUVA : )
Overall our holiday was fantastic we got back on the 28th Nov 07 and have already booked to go back the 15th may 08 :) :) :) :)
We met people of all ages, family's, singles, couple, young party goers and everyone loved it!
Oh also there is always a security guard on hand. Not that you should need one.
Hope this helps and I honestly believe your holiday will be as fantastic as ours was : )"
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of December 2007
"Harem is a little gem - tucked up in the top of the resort and away from the crowds. The room was excellent - four poster bed , jacuzzi shower and great air conditioning. A few short power cuts but nothing to worry about! Taftafs are regular and take you all around the resort - but if you want a relaxing holiday, simply chill by the Harem pool bar and eat in Spices Restaurant - the food is good - but usually warm rather than hot, as the Egyptians believe hot food is bad for the digestive system! The Calabash bar is not part of your all-inclusive and it's expensive - watch out!
Ashraf, our room clearner was very attentive - fresh flowers every day and a different bed "dressing" to "come home to at night".
Harem Pool bar is fab - drinks on tap all day. Elsayed created some wonderful cocktails; Ramadan kept us amused with his 'dancing' (Tip: take a couple of CDs and they'll play them for you!) and Boules (pronounced bo-les) kept the beers flowing...
Book trips to Luxor and Cairo direct with Egyptair from the UK (make sure you 'tag' the Egypt box and the flights will be around Â£30 each, with eticket confirmation immediately. These were excellent value and much cheaper than the Â£150 per person day trips you will be offered by your rep!).
In Luxor, haggle for a taxi - we paid Â£30 for all day (10am - 6pm) and saw all the main sights: Valley of the Kings, Karnak temple; avenue of the Sphinxes; Luxor temple and Museum; Hotemtop temple, etc. Most places are Â£5 or less to get in to.
In Cairo fnd the Tourist Agency (most likley they will find you anyway though!) and pay Â£50 per person for a full tour (10am to 7pm), including all entrance fees and lunch. You will visit the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids, City Tour, Bazaars, see how perfume is made - shop is very nice girls) and how Papyrus is made (don't take your credit card - the paintings are beautiful but very expensive).
Back in sharm, do visit Naama Bay - it's lively and a little different. Try 'smoking' the water pipes - the strawberry is delicious - and if you choose the "Ali Baba" to sit in/on the barmen dance for you every half hour or so - it's well worth it!
For the die hard Brits among you - the Tavern Bar shows all the main football matches on various screens and the drinks are reasonably priced (it's not the easiest place to find - head down from the taxi drop off point, look out for the "Cataract" hotel on your left before KFC, Pizza Hut and Hard Rock Cafe), then turn immediately right, then right again and it's on your left).
We stayed for nine nights and it wasn't nearly enough - already planning to go back as soon as we can."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of September 2007
"Domina Coral Bay - Domina Harem
My boyfriend and I have just returned from a week's stay at the Domina Harem. Before booking I read all the reviews and was in two minds in booking this hotel, but we decided to go for it as everyone has different opinions and expectations. I can certainly say that we were very pleased with the hotel. Ok, it had it's con's but was out weighed by it's pro's!! On arrival we were provided with a cold drink and cold towel whilst booking in, which was very much welcomed in such intense heat. Then we were transported by a golf buggy to our amazing two floor apartment/room . This apartment/room on two floors had a four poster bed, two bathrooms one having a jacuzzi with breathtaking views of the sea! They also refill your free mini bar daily. I/we have travelled to many countries in our lives and have never stayed in such a beautiful room/apartment! I agree the complex is huge, but you have to decide if you want to explore what is on offer in order to get the best out of your holiday? I/we would suggest eating in the different places advertised in your welcome pack. We ate many of our meals in the Spices but on venturing out one night found the most amazing steak house. Your hotel will give you money towards your meal and you pay the difference. It sure was the best meal we had in our week and worth paying the extra!! During our stay we went go-karting which was great fun, quad-biking and my boyfriend went PADI Diving, all of which was awesome!! We do suggest you book your excursions through a travel agent in Namma Bay as they are much cheaper and many include free transfers. The beach which is a 5min walk away was truly beautiful. You cannot enter the sea from the shore and can only do this via a jetty. The reason for this is there is spectacular coral reef on the shore line. Just by standing on the jetty you have the priviledge of seeing some of the most colourful tropcial fish. The only down side to the whole holiday was the 2 drink rule on the beach, but saying that we coped, just took a large bottle of water with us. In addition to this, having no entertainment past midnight was a shame, but again problem solved as we explored the bars in Namma Bay which were welcoming and friendly. In Namma Bay they have a number of well known clubs, bars and restaurants as well as McDonalds and KFC if your sick of the local food. A taxi will set you back $30 egyptian pounds. It is recommended you take mostly sterling with you as you get a better rate, although a few egyptain pounds will help. The weather was boiling but glorious, thank god for A/C in the hotel. The staff are very friendly and will do anything to assist you where they can. Agreed most of the staff do expect tips which did get on our nerves a bit, but we ended up giving tips to the staff that did not hassle us! Said (Harem Pool Bartender) is a lovely bloke who deserved his well earned tip as he works so hard! Reading some other people's entries, it is agreed the Russians are rude and up themselves. They walk around as though they own the place. They were rude to staff and obviously think they are something super special to everyone else....I must say it gave us all a good laugh at their expense to watch their goings on! Overall this holiday was a quiet one, but that is what we expected, and the opportunity is there should you wish to liven up your evenings. We had a well earned rest and enjoyed our holiday alot and would consider going back!"
- Travel date: Wed 5th of September 2007
"We had 7 people in our group ranging in age from 15 to 44 and we all had a fantastic time! Having read the reviews on this site we had all become a little aprehensive.
We were in the Sultan on AI and found the rooms large with lots of storage, full length mirror, fantastic a/c and the best cleaner we have ever encountered!!! Take your own hairdryer!! All of the staff were extremely helpful, polite, friendly and fell over themselves to provide (especially for a small tip.)
Food! Plentiful and good, choice of restuarants on AI or pay a little extra at some, taf tafs made negotiating the very large site much more fun. Drinks - we had no problem with drinking till 1am+ by tipping waiters and filling table for when bar closed at 12am. Wine was strong,lager drinkable and local spirits strong but ok. NO Tonic!!
Pools clean and always plenty of sun beds available - no 7am rush most people started towards pool for 9am. Free clean towels at pool, which if you got dirty you could swop through the day. The only AI pool was large clean and fun however the lunch was burger or hotdog and chips, we did get the free take away pizza or go to the fish restuarant for an occasional change. Evening show was good however we made our own entertainment dancing in Sultan restuarant and singing in the Sultan bar. Nightclub starts at 12am and the elders of our group attended once Â£9 entrance fee but then drinks free - Kids seemed to like it enough and went a few times, seemed to be safe and lots of security around the whole site.
Snorkelling from beach was amazing, like swimming in a tropical fish tank.
we met fantastic people so high from Carl,Sue Hannah, Dan, Ross, Jo, Daz & Louise to everyone but the Russians who lack manners with special mentions for Sean, Cathy, Sheila and karen from Sunderland Emily, Billy and Jean and all the others that made our holiday.
I would agree that the resort is not all AI, the bars shut a little early and its not 5* as in British 5* however you get what you pay for Egyptian 5*. The site is large and very hilly and I would say even with the taf taf buses it would be very difficult for the very elderly or those with mobility problems.
All in all excellent value for money, wonderful staff, fantastic weather and a holiday to remember."
- Travel date: Fri 31st of August 2007
"What a lovely hotel complex, the Hareem rooms and restaurant were fantastic, All of an excellent standard of hygiene and service. The staff always offered the best service that they could. The rooms were duplex suites which was lovely it had 2 bathrooms with a steam room and Jacuzzi, with toiletries & bathrobes provided. There was lots of storage area`s. In the lounge was a double sofa bed if required, a standard size TV ,3 easy chair`s table and chairs and other general furnishings all very nice. The balcony also had table settee and chairs over looking the sea we had rooms 61145 & 61146.
This part of the complex is relatively new opening up May 2006.
The complex is huge and split up into different hotels each with its own restaurants and pool areas. The Hareem hotel was quiet small compared with some of the others. The complex is like its own town, it has a bank to exchange money with better exchange rate than any where else, shops, restaurants, live shows, beach bars a small market area, and of course a lovely beach stretching 1.25 miles which has 3 large snorkelling jetties.
We had no problems with mosquitoâs or other insects as the whole complex is sprayed every evening for insects at about 7.30pm,
To get around the complex they have 3 bus routes called taff taffs which are 24 hours and run every 10 minutes."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of August 2007
"Me and my husband (25 & 30yrs) stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks. Throughout our stay the service we received was exemplary! Food was faultless and extremely varied, staff were attentive and the drinks were strong and plentiful. Sharm in general is a wonderful place and we had no problems what so ever with the airport upon arrival and at departure. Having read previous reviews I can guarantee you receive more than 2 drinks per day (unlimited) and bottled water is available free whenever you need it.
Overall a beautiful hotel and an idylic setting for a relaxing holiday. Would definitely return."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of August 2007
"Stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks. The Harem is the All Inclusive section of the hotel and was lovely. The rooms are large and comfortable with either a jacuzzi bath or shower. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The hotel is the biggest we have ever stayed in and is split into 6 different hotels that all have their own restaurant and pool etc. Guests staying at the Harem are not allowed to use the salt lake which is a shame. It can be very confusing trying to work out where you can eat and drink all inclusive and the Calabash Bar told us we could drink in there for free but this wasn't the case and we ended up with a huge bar bill so be careful and check with reception to find out which places you can drink in for free. The bar on the beach was great but only serve drinks in small plastic cups ( depending on your nationality !!! ). I wouldn't advise anyone to visit Egypt in July though as the weather was up in the 50's and was just too much towards the end of the holiday as it is hot from morning till night. The Harem pool was also warm and so you cant really get any relief from the heat by jumping into a cold pool. There are regular Taf Taf's that take you all over the complex that run 24 hours, and there are some lovely restaurants , all of which you can use but some at a cost. The beer is also quite expensive if you are not at an all inclusive bar. Overall I would definitely stay at this hotel again as we had a brilliant time and the staff would do anything to help."
- Travel date: Sun 29th of July 2007
"If you have booked to stay at Domina Coaral Bay Harem CHANGE your booking. I have made an official complaint to Travel Republic, who I booked with, and they have done nothing other than forward my complain to the hotel. I feel I have been total ripped off. Firstly I was charged Â£90, yes Â£90 British Pounds for return taxis for a Â£10 , five minute ride. On the return trip the taxi didn't show, so I had to pay again. The hotel knew of this and did nothing, suppling their own transport would have been helpful.
The so called "All Inculsive" is really a complete sham and is aimed at gleaning even more money from you. You are only allowed your free drinks ( which you have already paid up front for) at a certain bar, you are only allocated two each per day, and to add insult to injury in is served to you in a small plastic cup and a sneer. This ruling even includes small bottled water, so if you fancy the hike down to the beach you firstly have to go on the bus to the shop, to purchase the vital fulid. The beach bar is not included in the deal , most of the other cafe and eateries are also excuded.
The room was clean, well decorated and the housekeeping staff very pleasant ."
- Travel date: Fri 27th of July 2007