12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Nice but will not return
"The Helnan is in a wonderful location and has a great private beach. The majority of staff work really hard and try to help out if you need it. But the desk staff are a different matter, we were given a room with no balcony overlooking the garden area on the third floor right near where there is a disco/karaoke every night until 11.00pm, on the second day we asked if we could have a room further away from the noise but the desk staff were uncooperative simply saying that it was noisy wherever the rooms are in the hotel which is untrue because in the rooms on the other side of the hotel it would not be as noisy, other guests talk about being given better rooms with fruit baskets etc., perhaps they paid more but we certainly weren't given anything like that.
The food was okay with a pasta chef and a variety of food, not great but edible, and neither of us got ill that week.
Also the majority of guests are Russian, with several Egyptians or visiting Arabs, the latter were quite friendly but the former are a pain in the neck, rude and often drunk by mid-day, hardly any British, at one time we were the only Brits there.
Shame really, because it is in such a prime location, but not our cup of tea."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of March 2014
Have just come back from a 12night stay...
"Have just come back from a 12night stay in the Helnan Marina - Sharm-el-Sheikh. This hotel is classed as a 4* (must be for the views alone) but i would say it is about a 3*.
The hotel itself is situated overlooking a bay with its own private beach (a must if you enjoy a beach holiday- not all hotels have them and the public beach is a narrow strip of dirty sand in a shaded area and grubby beds to lie on - give this a miss)easy access to both beach(just across the road or accessed via a walkway from 3rd floor) and town (just 3mins walk). Most rooms overlook the bay, ours had a balcony and was a dream to sit out and enjoy the view with a nice glass of wine (take your own). The room itself was a bit on the small size, the shower and toilet was very small (a bit claustrophobic) but both were adequate and clean. Towels for the beach are supplied FOC and so is the safe in your room. BEWARE when making calls these are very expensive cost about Â£12.00 for 5mins (connected by hotel).
Unfortunately we arrived during major refurbishing - though to be fair it did not cause us any problems - just didnt look nice. All work is done manually - so no cranes or heavy machinery.
This is not a 'British' hotel and is not recommended for anyone who is after British type food - it is predominantly used by Russians. The food, although you wouldnt starve - wasnt really for us, i would only class it as 2* and thats being generous, the salad bar was dreadful, the main courses, though meant to be hot were luke warm and strange combinations. Desserts left a lot to be desired and fruit was limited - a lot of grapefruit!! Breakfast was slightly better, though strange combinations again. We ate out most days and i would recommend this - there is so much choice in Sharm every taste is catered for.
Sharm is an excellent choice - whatever age you will find something to do.
The weather when we were there was constantly between 32-35 degs during the day and 23- 25 degs at night - lovely!"
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of April 2008
Nice renovated Hotel
"The rooms after renovation look very nice with best location of Naama Bay . beach and pool are very clean and organize . food was good and tasty . weather was fantastic
we had wondrful vacation we hope we coming back"
- Travel date: Sun 12th of August 2007
"We just got back from a stay in Egypt that included a stay at the Helnan Marina. When we first booked and I read the reviews here I was nervous and talked to my Travel Agent to see about changing Hotels. He was surprised and said he thought it was a good place, so my husband and I decided to stay there in spite of so many bad reviews.
I am so glad we did. To me it sounds like so many other reviewers and I stayed at not only different places, but on different planets!
The service was the best I have ever received...anywhere. Every single staff member we came in contact with was superb. The rooms were good and the balcony views were spectacular. We had a fruit basket in our room waiting for us and the second day of our stay we were called over to the front desk on our way out, and were asked if we could change rooms. They had a better room open and they wanted to put us in that.
As far as the food goes, well it is a buffet. I do not know what anyone expects on a buffet, but the food served here was just fine. And the wait staff and chefs were so kind and helpful. If you are looking for incredibly great food, go to the hotel fish restaurant on the beach. We ate some of the best fish we ever had there.
If I had to be very critical and find a problem here, it would have to be the other guests. I was a little embarrassed by the lack of common courtesy the majority of the other tourist exhibited."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007
it was a great hotel
"me and my family stayed for 5 days in this hotel in june 2004. the place was so nice the staff very helpful, the rooms were cosy.
The food was the best we ahve tasted ,no where in the middle east we have tasted such a diverse buffet every day.
surely if we go to sharm again we will go to this hotel again and again."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of March 2007
Helnan Marina , Fantastic Hote in Sharm.
"Helnan Marina Sharm is truely a Great Hotel by all Means.
I have been to Sharm el Sheikh for 5 times, and every time I only use Helnan Marina Sharm.
Rooms are Great with spacious Bacony and Stunning view of the Whole Naama Bay.
Food was Really Great and maybe better than any hotel in the area.
Rooms were Clean and New, Bathrooms are very nice, Towels changed and refurbished daily, Room Service is prompt.
I would rate it as 5 strs standard Hotel, and I would definately use it again in the Near future."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of March 2007
Definetly should not be rated as a 4 star hotel
"The Helnan Marina Sharm rooms and all-inclusive service was a complete let-down and in no way should be rated a 4 star. My boyfriend and I have only just arrived home after a 1 weeks stay with an all-inclusive package at this hotel.
The main problem with it was the rooms- what can i say they were dated,not clean and the beds were rock solid, not to mention the yellow coloured water that you had to let run from the taps for 5 minutes before a normalish colur water would run.
The private pool and beach were in a good location- very close to our room but we had been promised a sea view which was impossible as we were in one of the bottom floor/basement rooms with only a small circle which let sunlight in and you could not see the beach or sea!!
The food was OK but all drinks were served in small plastic cups and there was a very limited drink selection - there was also supposed to be a beach and pool bar serving food this was not true it was difficult enough to get a drink at these bars let alone any food!!!
We would definetly not return to this hotel but sharm had a lovely beach, so next time we will be looking into booking at a guaranteed 4 star hotel which we are recommended and has good reviews. I only wish we had seen this website before booking the holiday."
- Travel date: Tue 24th of October 2006
Hotel from Hell!!
"Oh my life - where do we start. Fistly anyone reading this review - you have to believe us - its the worst hotel ever - do not stay here!
We booked this hotel through an online travel agent thinking this was a genuine 4 star all inclusive hotel with all the factilites we wanted for a week away in the sun for some relaxing and scuba diving.
On arrival at Sharm airport at about 10.30 at night on Sat 30 September we were driven by the reps from Trust Accommodation to our hotel. They were telling us on the way there that this was the worst hotel in sharm and we were worried before we even arrived. How right they were!!
Upon arrival at the hotel we saw the reception was very dated - something out of an old 70s horror film and quite smokey. We were checked in with no explantion of what's included in the all inclusive and any details on meal times etc. We were shown to our room and as soon as we opened the door the smell hit us. Dirty drains smell - yuk!
We were left to explore the hovel of the so called bedroom - the decor was dated, dirty and smelt foul. The bathroom should be condemmed and carry its own government health warning. 4 start my a*rse! Mould, dirt, dust, electrical cables hanging out of the walls and possibly the most uncomfortable beds ever - i think they were concrete slabs.
I called reception to be moved to a new room - upon arriving in the second room - it was just as distgusting.
We ventured down to the hotel bar which was a dingy afterthought with low ceilings and very bad lighting. We had a gin and tonic and a beer and even though we were all inclusive were then charged Â£5 for drinks and were told that the bar all inclusive closed at 11.00. Im sure they made this up to suit themselves.
Need i go on - the breakfast was shocking - the second swimming pool had no water - they played loud music out of massive speakers by the pool and on the beach - you couldnt escape it anywhere.
We were also supplied any all inc drinks in tiny paper cups which held about two sips in - so for water you had to keep going up and up and up and the queue was massive. on the beach in 36 degree heat you need water and there was no way you were going to get it unless you purchased a bottle from the bar even through we were all inclusive. The hotel is a complete scam.
By 2.00 pm the afternoon after we checked in - we had already checked out, fallen out with the hotel reception staff and were on route to the Hilton Sharks Bay which was another 4 star all inclusive but this hotel rocks - thoroughly recommend going to the Hilton.
We have made a misrepresentation complaint to our travel agent who has agreed to fully refund out stay at this hole. I attach some photos - i hope you never experience anything so vile."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of October 2006
Got to be the worst hotel in Egypt.
"Well, where do I start. We booked a last minute all inclusive holiday at the 4 star, Helnan Marina Beach Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. I checked out the hotel on the web and it looked good so we were quite excited about going there. When we arrived the reception area looked really nice and the staff behind the desk were quite helpful. We were then taken to our rooms and from then on it went down hill rapidly. Our room was gross. It was tatty and dirty. The air conditioning didn't work properly and when it did it leaked all over the floor. Their was nails sticking out of the wood on the side of the bed and I won't even go into how uncomfortable the bed was. The bathroom was disgusting with mouldy tiles, no plug in the sink, broken shower head and a broken flush on the toilet. The balcony looked like it hadn't been cleaned for months and the glass on the sliding door was cracked. After a long journey from England we were hungry so we decided to go to dinner and tackle the problems with the rooms in the morning. We went into the hotel bar (in the reception area) and was promptly told that we had to pay for drinks in there and that the only all inclusive bar was the pool bar (across the road). We thought that we would be able to get a drink with our meal so we went in and got seated and the waiter came to us and told us that we had to get our own drinks from the bar (a small table set up with a few drinks in the corner of the restaurant). I asked for a gin and tonic, 2 cokes and a beer. They told me that they don't do Tonic Water but if I went to the bar and paid for one then I could have one. So instead I had Gin and Coke and all the drinks were served in plastic pepsi cups! After a disgusting meal we decided to go for a drink at the pool bar. We got down there and it was exactly the same, no tonic water and drinks served in plastic pepsi cups and to top it all it stank of raw sewage. The following morning we complained to our rep and asked him to transfer us to a different hotel and he arranged to meet us at 2.45pm. We waited until 3.30pm and gave up, he didn't show. We got onto our Travel Agent in the Uk (Planet Travel Direct) and he was great, he got us moved to another hotel (The Mirabel Beach Resort) which was fantastic and where all inclusive means all inclusive. I am attempting to claim back some money from Trust Accomodation for the two days we were in the Helnan."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of August 2006
There must be better options than this
"The Hotel is well situated for the main attractions of Sharm el Sheikh, however, there is much that could have been done to make my stay more enjoyable.
The main problem was the insistence of the hotel management/staff to play loud disco music (bad quality) through large loud speakers all day on the beach front.
It was that kind of thumping wave of bass sound that you find in juveniles discos's and clubs.
There were many people complaining but no action was taken, until a guest stepped up and turned the music off at the control point, only to have a member of the "animation staff" turn it back on again, but louder.
Those guest listening to their own music selection, privately and quitely through their own personal I Pods were really angry, and who could blame them. If someone takes their music that seriously, the last thing they want is to have it drown out by the blast of disco beat music at full volume.
Peace and quiet could not be found, other than by moving to another part of the beach, a long way away, or leaving the beach completely.
Given that the paying guest should have their needs and wants catered for, it seemed crazy that even the hotel manager, who arrived eventually on the scene to try and quell the near riot, decided to ignore the guests requests and let his staff heve their own way.
I would not stay at this hotel again, purely for this complete lack of consideration for the guests.
If I wanted to have my ear drums damaged, I could go to a high decibel level night club for that. I go to the beach for peace and relaxation not to endure intrusive getto blasters at high volume.
As for my room, the fridge door was locked and had no key.
Once a key was found for it, later that day, it ws found to be not turned on.
On moving the room furniture to get to the plug, all sorts of ageing filth, debris, dust and fluff was nestling alongside dead coackroach bodies behind the cabinets.
It never did work, so I gave up on this one.
The bathroom was incedibly small, with a shower screen that was cracked from top to bottom, and "fixed" with silicon sealant along its length, the shower haed had no washer in it so the water jetted out the back, not the shower head.
The shower tray leaked, so you stepped out in to a shallow lake of water on the bathroom floor.
The toilet seat was not fixed to the hinges so it slid about when you sat on it, and the toilet in the room above leaked, so that it dripped on me while sat on my toilet below, and stained the ceiling where it came through.
The beds were the hardest I have experienced in all my travelling years, other than sleeping on a solid board when I had a bad back.
The wash basin took an age to drain away, and given that I am slim and weigh 70kg, I wonder how anyone larger than that could actually use the toilet given how little space their is to squeeze in there.
If you got to breakfast at the published opening time, you had to wait around for a memebr of staff to turn up before getting any service at the egg bar, and the toaster made it's own mind up on whetehr it was going to work that day or not.
The bar would close early, so if you returned from a night out, you were met with a stony faced reception desk saying "sorry, the bar is closed"
All in all, a bad choice of hotel, given the others in the vicinity, and desperately in need of a mangement shake up and massive maintenance overhaul.
I have stayed in Egypt 5 times now, but this is without a doubt the lowest level of hotel and service I have encountered.
I would not be happy recommending this hotel to anyone other than a budget traveller, who was not fussy about the standards of accomodation and service, enjoyed loud disco music while on the hotels beach, and didn't object to paying a premium price for it."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of March 2006
The Helnan Marina hotel at Sharm el Shei...
"The Helnan Marina hotel at Sharm el Sheikh last week repeatedly refused guests requests to turn off the loud music blaring out on its private beach front, sending many of the paying customers to other locations to escape the torture on Boney M at maxi decibels!
It seems that the hotels âanimation staffâ were determined to get the guests off their sun beds and into the spirit of keep fit, by playing non stop disco music from 10 a.m. until sunset and no amount of complaining could stop them.
Paying guests who had secured their sun bed for the day, plugged in their I-pods and selected their favourite tracks to relax to, were given no consideration as the thump thump of a huge loudspeaker invaded their privacy and drown out their own personal selections.
Other non âbad disco musicâ lovers who simply wanted to hear the sounds of the waves breaking on the shore were equally put out and complained to the hotel manager, but to no avail.
One group of 23 holiday makers even took matters in to their own hands and turned the music off, only to have an irate hotel employee switch it back on again at higher volume.
It seems that the hotel manger thought more of his staffâs wishes than that of his paying guests, and no amount of negotiation could alter his mind.
With Sharm el Sheikh recovering form acts of terrorism and needing to everything it can to reinvigorate the hotel trade with fresh and repeated tourist bookings, ignoring the pleas of itâs customers seems like commercial suicide.
On interviewing the disgruntled guests it seems that the constant loud music was not the only thing that was a cause for complaint, with one guest stating that the security guard on the front door was asking for a tip before allowing her to exit the hotel!
Along with badly maintained rooms, guests having to wait for staff to turn up in the breakfast restaurant before being able to get anything to eat, and mattresses on the beds harder then the wooden sun beds on the beach it seems the hotel has got a lot to address before it can say that it is supporting the rebirth of Sharm and not damaging itâs reputation.
A search on the internet reveals that this is not the first time that the Helnan Marina has been in the firing line, with the only good reviews seemingly written by its own staff or promoters.
Lets hope the Helnan Marina in Sharm can listen to its paying customers rather than dictate to them, otherwise they might find themselves with many empty rooms. At least this would give them the opportunity to get some much needed maintenance done, with the first job being to fix the leak in the toilet that dripped its contents on to the guest who was sat on the toilet in the room below."
- Travel date: Fri 10th of March 2006
Good Location and Beach - Awful Rooms!
"This hotel is in desparate need of a major renovation. The location and private beach is great. Even the pool area is very nicely done. But the rooms are straight out of 1970.
Linoleum floors throughout. The bathroom was so small you could hardly be inside and close the door. Mold all over the place and an air conditioner that made so much noise you could harldy stand to keep it on. The bed was as hard as a board!
With such prime real eastate you can only hope this hotel gets a complete redo and soon!
But if you only need a place to crash for the night (which seems to be a trend in Sharm) and are on a tight budget this is the place."
- Travel date: Mon 9th of January 2006