Gardenia Plaza Resort
66 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
I only hope you have not booked yet
"I have never had to complain about a holiday before and am currently waiting to hear back from our holiday provider.
On arrival to the Dominia Gardenia resort we were not expected and had to wait 45 minutes with numerous phone calls to Britain on our part, to get our holiday firm to e-mail our booking reference.
Once we were finally shown to our room we noticed that there was another door attached to our room. This door was locked and we soon realised that it entered an ajoining room. At the weekend we were woken at 2am with our "neighbours singing there heads off" (Wouldn't have minded if we had paid a budget price but for the holiday we paid Â£800 each) I would at least expect a room to ourselves for this price.
Had random phone calls to or room in the middle of the night from strangers.
The hotel was so near the airport you could literally wave to passengers within the plane as it went overhead this did not stop at night and kept us awake. Cockroaches present in bathroom.
All inclusive was a joke and there was only 1 all inclusive restaurant to eat in with the same repetative foods which were not hot and the website for Dominia state that there are about 3 all inclusive restaurants. The plates were filthy had grease and fingerprints all over them.Had to drink from small plastic cups in 45c heat this is inadequate.A can of coke is not even included in all inclusive and had to drink sodastream cola! The egyptian barmen were very friendly but the bars inside were not free and you had to pay for bottles of water which were very cheap but none of the barmen had any change! Conviently. Rat traps outside our room, found insect parts in bar snack. Swimming pool had lots of algae floating in it, never saw the filter working within the pool then noticed on our last day the pool was bubbling and saw that the hotel was having an inspection. Alot of the guests that we spoke to had diahorrea and sickness, like ourselves.Took the bus to the beach and arrived at a rundown beach with a collapsed bridge leading into the sea was in the middle of nowhere and the barsnacks were not included in 'all-inclusive'. Purchased a cheese sandwich that was foul and then had an upset stomach for over week.. I Must stress that neither my patner or myself are fussy eaters at all. There is no aqua park in the sea as advertised on the website.
I am writing this review in the hope that nobody else will have there holiday ruined like ourselves. Even our complaint letter that we have written to our holiday company is not for personal gain it is to highlight how disgusted we were to read all these negative reviews and for this hotel to remain open."
- Travel date: Fri 21st of September 2007
the worst hotel ever
"This hotel was the worst hotel we have ever stayed in when we arrived our rooms were not ready, they put is aroom which was not fit to put pigs in,it was dirty there was no bed for my children, my husband had to sleep on a put me up bed,and when he lay down onit he fell through the middle the chains were broken, the bathroom was filthy, they put us another room which was ok, but the pool was filthy and dangerous, the children slides were placed over stairs where people walked into the pool so the kids kept hitting into people.The food in the resturant was disgusting it never catered for english people or our children. when u eat ur food it was always covered in flies. It was the hotel from hell , it should be closed down and rebuilt."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of September 2007
Not for British
"The hotel looks great on its web site, The reality is a bit diffrent, the hotel is in the middle of no where and is a taxi or bus journey away from anything. The food was catered for the locals only with no variety to what was on offer (Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner). Not all drinks and bars are accesibly to AIl guests (there is a extra fee for this locally). The cleanliness of the hotel and pools in general was very poor. I did not take advantage of the all inclusive holiday which I paid for and ended up eating and drinking out in Namma Bay every night. Hotel does run a shuttle bus to Namma Bay if you can fight your way through the crowds pushing on it even after you have purchased your tickets, taxi is approx Â£5 each way. If it had not been for the good weather and the fact that it was cheap enough to eat out I would have been looking for a flight home!"
- Travel date: Tue 11th of September 2007
A Holiday is what you make it!
"Date of Stay 21-28 Aug 2007
On arrival at the Hotel/Resort we must admit our hearts did sink slightly, it was not what we expected after seeing the lovely pictures which had been posted on the Internet.The Resort is in the middle of nowhere - it is situated approx 15 mins from Na'ama Bay itself. The cost of a cab to visit Na'ama was on average 25 EP (Egyptian Pounds) approx Â£2.50. It is advisable to agree on a price with the driver before you get in the cab. If you do get a cab from the Airport you should pay no more than 50 EP approx Â£5.00.
Check in was easy - we were offered the chance to upgrade to Deluxe AI (All Inclusive) which we accepted - this cost an extra $8 (Â£4) each per day - included in the offer was a trip on a Glass Bottom Boat - A meal in the specialised Fish Restaurant on the resort - Access to all bars on the resort - Room service Breakfast - Free Laundry service and late checkout of 6pm. Those who did not upgrade when requested an extension on their checkout were asked for a payment of 200 EP (Â£20) per person. So we felf if only for the late check out the initial upgrade was worth it.
The room was spacious with a living area with tv and sofa, a Bathroom - a sperate bedroom with a large kingsize bed and another tv. We were very lucky to get a ground floor room which led straight out to the pool. The room was clean and all was serviceable - we had no problems with the Shower, WC, safe etc.. etc.. Our room was cleaned each day to an acceptable standard - we did miss one day which was entirely our fault for being too security concious as we had bolted the door. We did phone housekeeping who sent out a cleaner within 5 mins of our call.
Reading the reviews with regards to the pool cleanliness and the problems with the slime etc.. in the pool - how many of us applied ample amounts of suncream and did not shower before entering the pool? This we believe is the primary cause of the problem with the cleanliness of the pool, as first thing in the morning when we would arrive at the pool it was clear with no problems at all. They do provide a shower at the shallow end of the pool - we did not see one person use it! Just to warn parents and big children! There is another pool within the resort which does have large slides the use of these are chargeable at 20 EP (Â£2) per day.
The Food was not fantastic but was edible - We certainly did not visit Egypt to each Fish and Chips or Mcdonalds (although McDs does offer a delivery service to the Resort!) On our visit all dishes were labelled clearly with what was on offer - when dining though we did find that they did request we eat in the top level of the dining area, where all the British, and other nationalities were dining. We did find the catering on the lower level better quality and ate there ourselves with no questions asked. The food which was laid out did sometimes go through to the evening meal. On one occassion we did find ourselves walking in then out again because nothing on offer appealed to us. We were stopped by the Restaurant Manager who was concerned that we had walked out to ask what the problem was and that he would get something made for us. We just feel personally that if you want British Food stay at home or go to a European Destination. The Salad in the restaurant is apparently cleaned with tap water so is advisable to steer clear, but having said that how many years have we been advised before going abroad anywhere not to eat salad or have ice cubes in our drinks even to European Destinations.
The situation with the AI seemed to span the whole of Sharm and not just our Resort as we heard many complaints about this issue at the Airport on the way home. AI to the Egyptians is local alchohol and soft drinks ie. Sprite, Fanta, Pepsi and water from a dispenser. Bottled Water is NOT included in AI at this resort but there is a shop within 2 mins walk where it will cost 5 EP for a large Bottle of Water (approx 50p). Ice Creams and Ice Lollies are not included in the package. We were not happy about this to start but when we referred to the print off we had taken with us about the Resort and the AI package we were receiving exactly what we had paid for.
We did suffer slightly from the Pharoes revenge or Egyptian Belly which is stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea neither of us was sick though. We did visit the pharmacy which is situated a mins walk from the resort where they were very helpful gave fantastic advice and medication which sorted the situation within 24hrs. Some of the problems with illness at the resort we would put down to the intense heat - Heat Stroke. The temperature did reach 45 degrees on some days. We would advise parents to be strong willed with their children and insist on them wearing T-shirts and hats in the pool and drink plenty of water - it was sad to witness some children having to miss some of their holiday and joining in with the fun in the pool because of too much sun and suffering with sunburn.
One thing that we were not happy with was the attitude of some British Holidaymakers who were verbally abusive - verbally agressive and just really rude to some members of staff. One 'lady' made us embarrased to be British through her foul language that she used because she could not obtain a free drink at the pool bar. We can understand frustration but found ourselves apologising for her behaviour to a member of staff who earns just Â£20 a month working behind a bar to support his family - why should he take this abuse?
The Egyptian way of life and culture is very different from our own. The Egyptian men like the British ladies and would warn you that they are quite full on at times. This did cause a few problems both at the Resort and Out and About with some couples and parents of Teenage girls.
The Resort Staff were in general helpful and friendly and would go out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible. There is pool entertainment everyday twice a day with the 'Animation Team' doing their best to keep all entertained. One piece of advice the bottom of the pool is very rough so if you do join in with activities a pair of swim shoes is advisable. We have very sore feet after the water aerobics and water polo!
Dont get us wrong there are some things that could be worked upon at this Resort to take it to 5* standard at the moment it would probably stand at 2*+ or 3* at a push. The main problem is you never hear about the good things you always hear about the bad - within 15 mins of being in the Resort we had been told about the rat (which was now 5ft long!) the problems with this that and the other. To be honest we had a great time and a holiday which we will remember for many years to come. Instead of finding fault with everything which is what some guests seemed to spend all their time doing and thrive on any fault found. If there was less time looking for negative and more time spent enjoying a holiday you will find you will have more positive reviews against this resort. We have stayed in many Hotels and Resorts and this is not the worst by far. To be honest we could find fault where ever we go and even in our own homes.
To finish off we just want to add that some people believe that because this is mostly positive we would work for the Resort I can say this is not true and we arrived home Tues evening and we are missing Egypt already.
Go and enjoy your holiday with a clear mind and find out the positives and the negatives through your own opinions - we hope that you find some of the information given on this review helpful"
- Travel date: Thu 30th of August 2007
Its not that bad.....!
"Having read previous reviews after we'd booked this hotel, we were really not looking forward to it but went with an open mind! I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised! I've paid alot more to stay in far worse hotels! Yes, it's full of egyptians and Russians but they keep themselves to themselves, yes you get plastic cups around the pool - but how loudly would you complain about broken glass in the pool???? Our room was great, although fairly basic, they staff made animals out of the towels everyday and sprinkled flowers on the bed, linen and towels fresh everyday, pool areas constantly being cleaned and tidied. Food is typical Egyptian, but if you want egg and chips, go to Blackpool!!
Didn't see any rats, yes there is building going on everywhere, but not in the main areas of the hotel, so you would have to go looking for it, staff brilliant although english is limited, they really try!
As for the deluxe upgrade - it was Â£36 english pound each for a week and well worth it. It included boats trips, late check out etc as well as free drinks in the inside bar.
There is free entertainment for everyone every night, if you want it. if not sit in the bar and chat. If you want wild clubbing, go to Ibiza!
All in all, we booked a cheap and cheerful week in the sun and thats exactly what we got! Wouldn't go back again out of choice, but if you've booked and are dreading it, don't, its not that bad!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 29th of August 2007
Worst hotel ever
"We booked a two week stay at this nightmare hotel. The pool was filty, slim gathered on the bottom. It was so rough on the bottom that the children cut their feet. On one accasion someone was sick behind the bar. The vomit made its way into the pool and no-one came to clean it up.
We saw rats in the bar area near the kitchen. When we bought this to the attention of the hotel staff they just laughed.
All inclusive does not mean all inclusive. It means two bars and the main restaurant. We ordered room service as we were so sickened by the smells in the eating areas and this was very expensive.
The hotel was so awful we moved in the second week to a better hotel.
We would NEVER go to this hotel again, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of August 2007
Beware Egyptian Timeshare not for the British!
"We stayed 11/08/07 - 25/08/2007
I've stayed in hotels from 2* to 5* and I can confirm that this hotel is a 2*. I wasn't expecting the Ritz knowing it was Egypt but thought I'd be safe booking a 4* and in theory it would probably be a 3*, how wrong I was!
I was ill on my third day with severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. I have never felt so ill luckily we met a great group of brits whilst there and they advised me go to the Pharmacy where I was prescribed some antibiotics to clear the gastroenteritis bug, I did improve over a few days although I'm home now and still feel ill. Other brits who were ill called the on site doctor and were put on a drip at a cost of anything between Â£150 - Â£250.00. You have to ask why is there a doctor on site 24/7?
If your going to this hotel please be careful what you eat I put my illness down to the lovely looking salad which is washed in their tap water!
We originally had a ground floor room until we found a rat in the room we then moved to an upper floor room which was fine. Our towels were cleaned daily and were of good quality and the bedding was changed once in the two weeks.
Don't book your trips through the rep as he's not intrested in your problems just whether or not your going to spend your money on the trips. He is called Mohammed Abbas if he is still there when you go.
The pool is filthy and is supposed to get cleaned everyday but doesn't! It gets cleaned every other day in the dark with a wire brush. Unfortunately the filters don't work so they clean the pool but the muck doesn't go anywhere and is still there the next day - which could also be a cause to all the bugs going around
As other reviews state it's not AI, it has two outside bars that are open from 10:00am till 12:00 midnight. You have to sit on plastic chairs that fall apart when you sit on them and have to drink out of plastic cups. While at the Egyptians Bar they sit on lovely sofa's and have nightly entertainment (for free)!!!!
The staff are great and will do anything they can to help and a big thanks to Ali who never let our plastic cups get empty.
On the brighter side we meet a great group of people at the hotel and in the end we just got on with and didn't let it ruin the holiday and had a good laugh. So big thanks to Matt, Sarah, Kim, Hayley, Si, Zoe, Ian, Tracey, Olivia and Cameron for making it a memorable holiday in more ways than one!!
I'd go back to Sharm again but not to this hotel im my eyes it needs shutting down, a good clean and a change in management as it does have the potential to be a great hotel. Pay the extra money and stay in the Hilton as you'll end up paying more having to go into Naama Bay and eating out on a nightly basis.
If anybody wants to ask or see any photo's then just e-mail me at [email protected]"
- Travel date: Sat 25th of August 2007
"Well what can I say, warning this hotel is an egyptian time share and so the customs and practices adhere to standards considerably lower than that seen in the UK, which ok fair enough you are in Egypt not Blackpool. However the state of the hotel is not reflected in the spectacular website, the hotel appears to be under construction including the restaurant which has rubble and leaking air con units next to food preparation areas.
All inclusive does not mean all inclusive, it means 2 shacks to drink from and food in the restaurant. If you pay the 60 quid to delux you can then drink in the only inside bar but without this you have to pay and the prices are similar to that at home ie 2-2.50 for a bottle of beer. All drinks in the other bars served in plastic cups. We paid this as we had read a review on here and so were prepared but many others were not.
The pool is slimy and bristles from the cleaners brush were found sticking out of an 8 year olds foot during our stay, always pleasant. To add insult to injury, we found a dead rat in the grass area surrounding what was designated as the european pool by the holiday rep, telling us the pool with the slides in (which cost money differing depending on nationality depended on the price) was the egyptian pool. This segregation merely raised further questions about the levels of service provision between different nationalities i.e the shuttle bus to Naama Bay from the hotel free for egyptian tourists by British tourists made to pay and subject to a pushing and shoving contest as to whether you could get a seat on the bus.
myself and several others have lodged complaints both with the resort during our stay and now with our travel providers in the UK in a hope to salvage something of this disaster.
another huge put off for my friend and i was the fact that every brit there had a complaint and many had been on intravenous drips during theirr stay, which ok may not have been due to just the hotel alone but it doesnt present a very positive picture at all.
if you can cope with bare minimum then no worries but if expecting 4 star, the only thing that is are the staff they are fabulous and do bend over backwards shame the resort is so bad their efforts are in vain to an extent."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of August 2007
Worst AI ever
"Stay: 23rd June â 8th July
Warning: As with comments it is dependent on the personalities of the individual. Watch these reviews, some might be written by the hotel themselves or locals trying to big it all up, but the general consensus from all the reviews is DONâT GO THERE!!!!.
One thing that I have to mention is that after reading all the posts before writing this review, is that times have changed, and some of the issues mentioned in the posts we did not experience, such as the living insects in the pool, and the mice droppings which looks like the hotel have resolved by the time we had made or visit.
Beware: July is prime time for Egyptians, with a lot of Egyptian timeshare.
Also if you have sensitive skin bring something you can cover yourself in as we came over with a rash all over the body because the lack of cleaning of bed clothes, as mentioned below.
POOL: Filthy and they relied on the filters to clean out the bits floating in the water, but filters were blocked so it never cleaned the pool. Every night thereâd be 3 guys with brooms scrubbing the sides of the pool, scrapping off the grime, leaving the filters to do the rest.
ROOM (top floor of a block):
Booked with On the Beach and when we got to the Gardina we were told that they couldnât find our reservation. On the beach failed to give us our hotel voucher. (Came back from holiday and the voucher had arrived and was in amongst the post). Hotel staff gave us the excuse that there system was down for the reason why they couldnât find our booking. (We spoke to other English guests who didnât go through a tour operator and the same had happened to them).
Shower was just a dribble and so we had to fill plastic cups up from the wash basin to use and filled a plastic bag with water from the wash basin to gather enough water to wash my hair.
Drain under the wash basin leaked water out all over the bathroom floor.
No batteries in the safe box, so wasnât able to use until a group of men came to fit new batteries, then was asked to sign a letter that was written in Arabic. (Wasnât sure what it said, our guess was to say that the other people who tagged along were witnesses). Our safe wasnât screwed down so it was quite easy to take it from the room.
We had no light bulbs in a few of our lamp shades.
Ants crawling up the wall but was told itâs expected at this time of year.
After 3 days we changed rooms as our original room with the dribbling shower was unbearable, we wasnât able to wash our hair properly as there wasnât enough water coming out the shower head. This time we were located on the ground floor and found that this helped the water flow, although not a power shower, there was enough to wash our hair.
Be warned, if you have long hair, the hairdryer provided by the hotel is only 1200 watt so bring your own.
Towels, although changed daily, came back stained with brown and dark red marks. Thankfully we bought our own towels and used the hotel towels to mop up the leaking drains. (Leaking drains in this room aswell!)
The hotel didnât provide us with any local transport or guides to read about the local area which made it difficult to explore everything there was around the local area.
They donât label the food in the restaurant so you donât know what your eating
In the middle of the night, you get these nuisance calls, not sure who they were, possibly kids messing around and calling random numbers.
There are no railings in the balcony to hang out damp clothes, so we ended up laying our clothes on the table and chairs in the balcony
Hotel shuttle buses are those dodgy old creaky mini buses that look really dangerous, and you are always trying to fight your way onto it. Plus your never sure if itâs the right bus because its not labelled.
The nearest beach Sharks Bay, you have to purchase a beach ticket once your on, but when you refuse to buy one, the guy walks off and leaves you alone.
We got hassled by one of the shop keepers on the resort, you wouldâve thought that theyâd be more pleasant and leave us tourists alone on the resort.
They sprayed this insecticide around the resort during the day, it wasnât just the odd light spray, it was intense smoke, you had no choice but to walk through it and it was a thick cloud so you couldnât see where you were walking.
The cleaners use rags to mop the floors which are old sun bed towels that the hotel provides beside the pool. Because the cloths are damp, it makes the guest room smell of the horrible musky smell.
The cleaners change the bed sheets but the duvet covers didnât get washed once during our 14 night stay.
The never provide enough toilet tissue in the rooms.
Fridge isnât cold unless you leave the cupboard doors open in which it sits in.
There is the option of delux(e) all inclusive for an extra $8 per person per day, minimum 5 days. The only up side to this is the pool bar drinks.
Standard all inclusive drinks are provided in plastic vending cups and you are only served on drink at a time.
The food is warm and not hot, even if you are the first few to get there.
Plates and plastic glasses are dirty, cracked and broken.
Table cloths are stained and dirty and are rarely changed. Stains on the table cloths from the morning are still there for the evening meal.
The resort is in the middle of a building site! Its still in the stages of development, the beach is a 20 minute walk down the road, but because the weather is so hot its better to take a taxi.
They have black out blinds in the rooms to block out the intense sunshine in the early morning.
Air conditioning works well if left on for long periods.
There are two terminals at the airport, so make sure you know which one you need to be at, as we had to lug two full suitcases in the heat from terminal one to terminal two.
Make sure you bring tissues with you when you go to the airport, you have to pay 50p for a few sheets of toilet tissue which is guarded by a woman who sits on a little stool in the toilets.
There are a lot of flies so be careful with your food.
Make sure you bring plenty of $1 bills, as you get ripped off if you pay in Egyptian pounds for the shuttle bus."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007
Had a great time
"Was a bit worried when we read privious reviews but couldn't find fault staff were great more than helpful couldn't get the kids out of the pools. Food was ok not british but if I wanted british food I would have gone to Blackpool.
Will be staying here again."
- Travel date: Tue 24th of April 2007
Holiday ruined by threatening and abusive staff!
"My sister, her 3 year old daughter and I recently made a trip to Sharm and stayed at the Gardenia Plaza. The hotel is okay for a 4 star (but be mindful that Africaâs 4 star is different from UK 4 star standards), the grounds are well kept; however, the rooms could do with some renovations which are being addressed as my sister and I did notice renovations taking place in parts of the hotel whilst we were there. I have to say that we were lucky enough to get a sneak peak of a couple of the new rooms and an apartment which does look really nice.
The food in the hotel was okay but I found a majority of the restaurant staff not that welcoming and would sometimes give the food that Iâd ordered to the Russians who came in after me. Mongee, who works in the restaurant, is an exception to the above, as if he was on shift he would always give us a big warm welcome, take our drink orders and make us laugh. Thank you Mongee for making our dining experience much more enjoyable!
Loved the Shisha bar, very relaxing, modern with a chic look to the bar and seating area.
My niece was in the pool this time round as she loves it, however, we couldn't allow her to stay in it for long, as it's not a heated pool and the cold made her lips turn blue. When we stayed in the summer the pool was fine, as it was hot and the sun kept the water warm but December is much cooler.
Unfortunately our experience with the Timeshare rep named Walid Mohamed who works in the Gardenia Plaza went from pleasant to a horrific nightmare. When Walid didn't get his own way he became abusive and threatened my sister and I. Itâs bad enough that he used such profanity to recent hotel guest and potential future customers, but to be threatening women is just disgusting and scary to think that the hotel can be associated with and permit this kind of behavior, which Iâm sure no tourists such as ourselves, would expect or accept from any hotel - staff or Timeshare rep. Surely this is not the impression the Gardenia Plaza is continually providing to guests.
Please note that I have evidence of his abuse and threats and of the fact that we had done nothing to receive this type of disgusting behavior. I have been in contact with the hotel management for assistance, however, to date the hotel have not been that effective in dealing with this individual so it looks as if contacting the authorities is the better approach. "
- Travel date: Mon 18th of May 2015
Worst Hotel Ever Stayed At!!!
"Went for 2 weeks in March 2014, room was dirty, bedding stained, the whole place below average. The cleaner was a young boy (who looked about 12) I had to show him how to clean shower, make the beds etc. The food was fair, lots of rude Russians, so they do cater for them. Hated the whole of the holiday. We did fly to see the Pyramids which was the highlight of the holiday. Reported it to Thomas Cook who we booked with, they didn't want to know!!! Will never go with them again. "
- Travel date: Sun 20th of July 2014