12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Best holiday SolY Mar
"When we got there I could not believe my eyes. The hotel is spacious, modern and very clean. The staff work hard long hours to keep it to a high standard. The food is excellent and well presented. The rooms are well maintained and spacious. The pool is large and there is a jacuzzi. Security at the Hotel is good. The tour guides if you go with Thompson are well organized. They staff are there for you any time night or day."
- Travel date: 23rd September 2012
Nice hotel but very remote
"Me and my boyfriend stayed at the hotel for 10 days in July. We were very nicely surprised by the transfer from the airport - they put only us in 1 car when everyone else was getting on the buses. We thought how VIP is this!! the transfer only took 5 mins but we were taken to a very remote area, the hotel wasn't lid and the driver had difficulties finding the ride in! The reception staff was very nice and polite, not asking for tips or anything. The restaurant and bar staff also very nice and professional, the food was amazing, everything clean and fresh etc. We didn't experience any stomach problems. the rooms were clean but could be a bit cleaner. the guy - Mohammed - who cleans the room was really annoying, always wondering around even knocking on our doors asking for tips!!!! We left some change on the bedside table and on our return it was gone, he probably though it was a tip which it wasn't! another annoying guy was Bob who sells the trips and activities - very high prices and impossible to come up with deals! Everyone was getting really upset when we were trying to negotiate the already super high prices! their reply was "what is one pound for you, you are from England!" They probably think that money grow on trees.... Another super annoying guy is Mohamed who is in charge of the hotel taxis - always trying to rip us off . I would recommend going out of the hotel and grabbing taxi from the street. It's absolutely safe and a lot cheaper. The hotel location is absolutely horrible, there is nothing in 3km radius, it's impossible just to go out of the hotel and take a walk....you would just come to a busy motorway..... To get to the sea you have to get on a shuttle bus which goes every 1.5hrs and which takes you to a sister hotel, which is much nicer than Sol Y Mar. Anyway, we had a nice stay but we wouldn't go back there - hotel was almost empty there was nothing to do.... Gabi"
- Travel date: 9th September 2011
holiday 22 feb 8 mar 10
"first week was excellent going on 4* second week 3*-.service in rest 2nd week deteriated it seemed as if half staff had been taken away. tables were not being cleared.the chef on carvery thought 2 inch square of roast beef was sufficient but if asked would grudgingly give more.same with turkey,never seen it carved like he did..bread was fantastic first week but 2nd week was often frozen and would dry out quickly.food was generally acceptable to all and reps advice of white yoghurt and honey 4 breky to avvoid upset tummy gen seemed to work. with regard to minibus transfers to sister hotel belvedere was first in q on no. occassions but last on due to timid wife getting elbowed out by russkis.i would suggest trying to go to beach after 11am.the bus and beach are quieter in pm as itlialian clients seem to go to lunch and siesta after 12 .hygene at belvedere pool bar.not as good as sol.soho 2miles away but taxi left us in nabq 25 miles away.nabil is star of staff.ent crap"
- Travel date: 12th March 2010
"The hotel was very clean (only 3 months old). The staff were very cheerful and always smiling. Make sure you give the bar staff a small tip and they will make sure your glass is always full! and they serve you in front of the Russains! The hotel had a lot of our Eastern friends who tend to lack manners when it comes to forming a queue. The Rooms are very clean and the air conditioning was always welcome. The hotel is about 5 minutes from the airport and you do get a small amount of aircraft noise, but, nothing excessive. We had A2B transfers which were ok, but, lacked organisation and I would recommend getting a taxi in view of the distances involved to avoid multiple drop offs at various other hotels. The pool was large and there was plenty of sunbeds, although, the water was a little cool. I would recommend using the hotel bus and take the free transfers available to the Sister hotel (Jaz Beverdere) as it is about 5 minutes away and located by the beach. The all inclusive arrangements can be used at their hotal as well so drinks and bar meals were also free there. One word of caution, the bus is small and there was generally a lot of Russain demand so do expect to be at the front of the queue (note to hotel, consider issuing some sort of tickets on a first come first serve basis). The hotel food was good and varied with a good selection at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pool snacks were limited to pizza and chips and the odd burger now and then. Some minor words of warning, the hotel has a lot of steps to navigate and I didn't see any lifts or good facilities for wheelchairs or the elderly so beware. The hotel is also a samll distance from civilisation so expect to get taxis to get round and about as walking in the heat is tough and not recommended. All in all, it was a great hotel, great staff and a totally relaxing break, highly recommended."
- Travel date: 11th March 2010
LOVELY HOTEL - AMAZING STAFF
"We flew with Thomas Cook airlines, not to be recommended, very cramped and it is a mid haul flight, so avoid if you can! Transfer with A2B travel was hassle free and easy in a decent clean minibus and we were second drop, being that you can see the airport from our hotel! Hotel: wow, we walked into a marbled lobby with lanterns and a lovely water feature. We were made very welcome and told to leave our bags, it will all be sorted for us. We were shown to our room which did not disappoint. Absolutely lovely decor, as seen on the brochures and were shown how everything works and where everything is and then our baggage arrived (we didnt mind leaving our baggage as we always secure our cases etc with cable ties!). The hotel itself is quite small, which is great as everything is within easy reach, especially the Marlin bar which is where we spend alot of our time soaking up the early evening sun in peace. The restaurant was not to my taste but I am fussy! I believe it was more continental, geared towards the russians, who bombarded the restaurant the minute the door was opened and filled their plates in a frenzy! We did not have to pay for cocktails or fruit juices and there are mineral water dispensers around so you can top up your bottles from them at any time. The pool is wonderful and all rooms get a pool view (from what I could see). The structure of the building is a circle and in the middle of the circle on the ground floor is the pool, pool bar and eating place where you can get fresh made pizza, burgers, hot dogs etc - Mustafa is great and very obliging when I was being fussy! On the middle floor is the lobby and main restaurant, Barracuda and the top floor has a couple of shops and the Marlin bar with an outside seating area, and its where they hold the evenings 'entertainment'! Nebil is the most attentive person you could ever wish for. Always working, day and night, with a friendly smile and handshake, he always made sure you had drinks and really made our holiday that little bit more special, though all staff were great. Walid made some beautiful creations from towels and petals on our bed almost every day and was always eager to please. The taxi service was great and we used the same driver each time. First stop was Soho Square, down the road, built for the Savoy hotel and it was wonderful. We paid 80LE return (Â£10.00). Soho Square is really worth a visit as quite upmarket and hassle free though beware, my friends paid Â£10 for a malibu and coke in the Queen Vic pub there, so the prices are hiked. Lots of handbags shops and the supermarket on the corner next to the Mandarin Bar is great for some bargains - ask for Marco and haggle haggle haggle, its great fun! Next we went to Naama Bay 150 LE (Â£15.00 return for 4) - hmmm, that whats known as an 'experience'! Very aggressive sellers and men kept pulling at me trying to separate me from my partner, which neither of us were comfortable with, though we had my partners brother and girlfriend with us so felt safer in numbers. Ended up in a Boudoin tent to watch the England v Egypt friendly and it was a real laugh. The Egyptians wre very hospitable to us, it just seemed to be outside on the street that it all got a little but too much. The next day we went to the beach at the sister hotel the Jaz Belvedere. Great beach, nice hotel, totally catering for the Italians! No fish to speak of but you would wade out for a long way before getting out of your depth. Wear beach shoes as the coral in the water hurts! Pour your own soft drinks on the beach bar, or queue for alcohol, nopt big queues though. You can only use their beach bar for food, not the restaurant, but it was decent if basic. The shuttle bus was the offputting thing about going to the beach at the Jaz Belvedere. On our return we were all waiting in line for the bus but as soon as it arrived, the russians would come out of nowehere and push and shove their way on, even a pregnant girl that we were friendly with got scratched and thrown around - they really need to address the queueing system there as the russians just seemed to get away with it, though having broad shoulders they were not getting past me and I made way for the pregnant lady to get on. It put us off returning on the bus. We then decided to walk to Sharks Bay beach, which takes about half an hour. Along tarmac road there isnt an awful lot to see except Pasha are building a new venue which looks like a castle and is very impressive. Sharks Bay was a little off the beaten track, bit grubby and the toilets were rank! The fish were great though, with lots of jetty's to go onto and have a look or snorkel. Nice little gift shop at the end where we got some bargains again! I would recommend that the hotel caters for the British a little more, even if its by putting tea/coffee making facilities in the rooms. A small thing you may think, but actually when you are out there ande just wake up, it would be nice to have the facility to make a brew instead of having to go to the restaurant to get it. They need to get the food sorted too, my partner hardly ate a thing there and on day 5 our tummy's were so bad we couldnt eat a thing, tummy still not right now, though I am not saying its down to the hotel but I am very careful and take antibacterial handwash whereever I go, never drink anything but mineral water etc but hey, it got me, though I didn't hear anybody else complain apart from one british lady who took one tablet that the doctor gave her and she felt fine again. We met some lovely people there and had a terrific stay. Egypt needs to be seen with an open mind as the culture is very different but thats the joy of a holiday to me, the whole experience."
- Travel date: 11th March 2010
Excellent hotel,rooms,pool,restaurant and staff
"I stayed at this hotel with my husband for 4 weeks for the whole of February and we had a great time there. The first two weeks the hotel was only about 1/3rd to 1/2 full and the service was excellent. The restaurant was impeccable, with waiters clearing plates and tables immediately. The food was great, with a large selection of dishes, every evening a carvery of fish or meat, stir fry food, choice of different rice, potatoes, vegetables, other dishes of meat & fish and pasta. Always a choice of soups, breads, and the desserts were works of art and delicious! The lunch times were similar spreads, but different from the evening food. Breakfast choices were cereals,fruit,yoghurt,eggs (boiled,fried, omelettes) sausages (no bacon or pork, as this is an islamic country). Much to choose from, so why some people moaned that it was the same thing every day, I have no idea. The rooms were large and comfortable and cleaned every day with towel art on the bed very often. The hotel was constantly being swept and polished and the pool cleaned and vacuumed every day with water quality checks. The second two weeks the hotel filled up much more and here it showed that that the staff were really stretched at times. There appeared to be a large contingency of upper management walking round all day ( not quite sure what they all did, certainly not many were hands-on!), but they need to employ more staff at the ground level to cope with a full hotel. Whilst this did not affect us too much, there were times when things began to run out, wine, soft drinks etc. and some people did get annoyed at this. The main complaint seemed to be lack of help behind the bar in the evenings and at the odd times in the restaurant when everybody turned up to eat at the same time, again a couple of extra waiters would have made all the difference. The A La Carte restaurant was almost non existent except for one occasion on Valentines night when a special dinner was arranged. Those people who decided not to take up the offer for a 4 course meal for the low cost of Â£18 per couple really missed out. Every course was superb, a real compliment to the chefs, a meal like this in a London hotel would have cost around Â£80 per head. The hotel needs to arrange more dinners like this. Another service that the hotel advertises is the Hotel bank where one can change up monies. This is non-existent. We tried to change English pounds to Egyptian on several occasions and at no time were we successful, always being told "Sorry,very sorry, we have no money or change". Make sure you take plenty of small Egyptian pounds with you. This seems to be a thing here, nobody has change, taxis,shops, hotel! The only other downside to this hotel is its location. It is on the edge of the desert like terrain surrounded by main roads. There is nowhere one can walk out to comfortably, although the hotel does provide a mini bus free to sister hotel in the daytime and for a fee at night to Naama bay. The snorkelling off Sharks Bay is good, straight off the beach, the water was warm and the fish colourful with many varieties. This beach costs 50 Egyptian pounds for 2 beds and parasol. The snorkelling from the beach at the sister hotel, Belvedere, is not at good as Sharks Bay. Having said the downsides of this hotel we had a great time there, found it very relaxing and would recommend it."
- Travel date: 10th March 2010
Fab Hotel, great staff and gorge food!!!!!
"Sol Y Mar was a lovely hotel, after reading the reviews on trip advisor it made our mind up that this was the best choice for us. Some guests have commented that there were queues at the bar and that the tables were dirty and plates piled up. During our weeks stay we did not encounter any of these problems and only have good things to say about the hotel. Nabeel one of the barmen looked after us during our stay and before we had even finished our drinks he replaced them and was so friendly. Whilst round the pool during the day the waiter service continued meaning we very rarely had to get off the sun lounger to fetch a drink. The room was gorgeous; the dÃ©cor was modern and light with a massive bed that was really comfy. It was cleaned every day and the housekeeper was a very friendly chap who always made towel art so there was something different each evening which made for a nice surprise. Towels were replaced every day and we found everything to be spot on and clean. The restaurant was lovely and I couldnât find fault with it at all, there were cleaners constantly sweeping up and mopping the floors, the waiters were very attentive and removed plates as soon as you had finished and also replenished drinks. Some people may have found the food repetitive but there were different themes every night and a variety of different food on offer. We didnât have any problems with this service and if the chefs didnât give you the amount you wanted you could ask for the extra slices of beef or whatever no worries. During the day you could have sandwiches at the pool bar and from lunchtime onwards the chef cooked mini pizzas to order along with chips for a mid afternoon snack. My favourite part of the hotel was the balcony terrace with its luxurious chairs, we often sat up there with a cocktail in an evening watching the sun go down over the mountains before getting ready for the meal and evening ahead. Entertainment at the hotel wasnât as good as others I have experienced in Egypt but often you donât really want a show every night and the relaxed atmosphere of the hotel was second to none. The reason the hotel staff were constantly grouting and painting was because from April Thomsons will be the only tour operator that uses the hotel and with it being new there were a few areas that still had to be completed to the required standard and they want it to be perfect for when the takeover is complete. With regards to the shuttle bus to the beach, it was too small for the amount of people at the hotel and the times were a bit off. Hopefully with the changeover this will be revised and there will be no mad dashes to get seats, as the Russians who were the ones pushing in and often sitting small children on their own seats will no longer be at the hotel. Taxis from the hotel were inflated prices but after a 2 min walk to the main road there were lots of taxis touting for business and the standard price to Naama Bay was 40-50 Egyptian Pounds (whereas the hotel were charging 80) and to Soho Square 40. I would recommend this hotel to anyone, the only drawback is that it is a taxi ride to anywhere and the issues with the shuttle bus but apart from that it was brilliant. All the other guests in the hotel were lovely and coupled with the attentive staff made for an excellent trip."
- Travel date: 9th March 2010
Great hotel food bad
"Stayed at the Sol y Mar Sharks Bay for one week, got home on March 4th. Having read previous reviews before going I was expecting the fantastic food that everyone was raving about, I was sadly disappointed, the food was boring and repetitive. The steak was as tough as an old boot and the chicken was under cooked with blood still visible. On our lasdt day the food improved, I can only assume they must have been getting complaints. The tables in the restaurant were slow to be set, waiting for cups and glasses was the norm and they even ran out of tea bags at breakfast, we had to wait 2 hours for a cup of tea, Quite simply they did not have enough staff to cope when the hotel was full. The room was clean and spacious enough. The pool was really nice the water depth went from a few centimetres to a metre and a half and no problem with sun beds even with the hotel full, Jacuzzi still not working. Free transfer to beach at sister hotel which was good having the AI facility on the beach. Nice bar area with entertainment from the animation team which was ok, pity about running out of gin and wine one night and beer on another. The a la carte restaurant was, as far as I know the pool snack bar, no one really knew because it was never used while I was there, no afternoon high tea or late night snacks, all things that are advertised,. You cannot get around this hotel without using stairs, the pool is on the ground floor, the reception and restaurant on the first and the bar is on the second, for this reason I would not think it is suitable for anyone who finds using stairs difficult. The hotel taxi was nothing short of a rip off 60LI to Naama Bay returned in a blue and white for 30LI, the charge to be taken to the airport was 100LI, it was only a 5 minute trip and in my opinion should have cost 30LI, the problem was that the position of the hotel made it difficult to hail a blue and white. All the staff were excellent. On the whole a lot of the problems during my stay were small and just needed someone to organise things and will probably be sorted in time."
- Travel date: 8th March 2010
A fantastic holiday
"We transferred from another hotel intending never return to Egypt. Our first impression was of a lovely reception, very spacious with a fountain in the middle, a lovely spiral staircase and lots of room. The receptionist (Reki, I think) provided the second, he was so helpful, even taking out his sim card so I could use his phone to call England as the paperwork had not come through yet. We were given drinks and made very welcome although we were unable to book in until later. The rooms were very nice, the towels made into different shapes every day. The beds comfortable, you did not want to get up in the morning. The staff were all friendly and helpful. Everywhere was clean. There was a very relaxed and peaceful feel to the hotel it was ideal to have a relaxing holiday. The location is not great nor the surroundings, it looks like a giant building site but taxis were cheap and easy to get. It is part of its charm, being isolated from the main tourist spots and they were only a short taxi ride away. The food was good, even having a healthy eating section. The restaurant was clean and the waiters extremely helpful. The swimming pool was hovered and cleaned every night and the lifeguards very helpful and fun. In all it was a lovely hotel with very friendly, helpful staff and I will definitely be going back there"
- Travel date: 7th March 2010
4 star accom 2 star service
"The accommodation was good; being a new hotel we would expect this and were not disappointed. To start with the positives : â¢ Nice room (big bed, balcony, flat screen) â¢ Room cleaned daily â¢ There were always plenty of sun beds â¢ They offer a courtesy room for free on your last day after 12pm check out (but donât advertise). They would much rather you pay 38euro for a late checkout. â¢ Animation team were good. Nice activities and not too loud or annoying. In the evening noise stopped at 12pm. Where this place let its self down was service. I wouldn't call it terrible, but there were a few annoyances (some you might find at many âall inâ resorts): â¢ The free shuttle bus was our biggest gripe. Never ran on time and insufficient capacity given the number of guests. The return trip was the worst as you knew a load of Russians would turn up just as the bus arrived and push in. The longest we waited was 50mins due to not getting a seat on the first bus (cos of Russians). â¢ Food was acceptable given the price we paid (but I have had much better at âall insâ). Generally it was bland but edible. There were a couple of occasions where food was inedible due to it either drowning in soya source or the chiefâs hand slipping when adding powdered parmesan/salt. It annoyed me that there were only two frying hobs, so when I wanted omelette or fried eggs in the morning I could not be bothered to wait 10mins. Itâs true about the meat counter being v stindgy and tables not being re-set and cleaned. However NO TUMMY UPSETS! â¢ We gave up on the bar after the first night. One guy serving the bar for 150ish room hotel is a joke. Iâm not prepared to spend half the night at the bar. Blatantly a poor judgement to control costs but sacrifice service. Thankfully we bought some sprits at duty free. â¢ Taxis from the hotel are a rip off. We were quoted Â£10 for a return trip to Soho square (under 2miles) or Â£6 each way. Walk 2mins out of the resort to the road to the right and youâll pay max: Â£3.50(30LE) to Soho and Â£4 to Naama (40LE) but be prepared to haggle a bit. â¢ Although we had already left Â£4 tips for cleaning in our first 3 days, on the fourth day the cleaner knocked on our room begging for more claiming it was his last day (we saw him the rest of the week!). â¢ Although the resort is brand new there were a team of people constantly re-grouting the floor tiles around the resort. Which I thought was a little weird. Only bothered me when they started grouting around my sunbed! Tips: â¢ Get taxiâs outside the resort (see above) â¢ Buy food, gifts, sun cream, drink etc in Naama. We liked the âcafourâ supermarket in the centre of Naama best, as it was the only shop where they actually displayed prices (a welcomed relief). On average things bought in the hotelâs shops are 400% dearer then Naama (e.g Â£1 for water vs 20p) â¢ Snorkelling is rubbish at the hotelâs beach but if you walk apox 1 mile to the left (just at the end of the bay, was opposite some building work) it is much better. Even saw a lion fish on my last day. â¢ Activities are at least 20% cheaper if you book in Naama. If you want to go to Cairo its Â£157 at the hotel or Â£100 in Naama! Itâs the same companies, they pick you up from your hotel. Itâs just not a captive audience in Naama. â¢ If you want to escape the gauntlet of people pestering you in Naama spend the night in Soho square. No one hassles you, the scenery is fantastic and the outdoor seating is great. â¢ Spend at least one night eating out. It costs about Â£20 for two to have meal and drinks and itâs great to have a proper meal after a few nights of buffet slop.(We liked pomodorra in Naama, next door to Pascha)"
- Travel date: 7th March 2010
Accommodation good/catering crap!!!
"New hotel...rooms and leisure facilities were excellent...staff overworked...agree with others comments regarding catering...disorganised restaurant...dirty tables, poor selection and quantities at lunch and dinner...all inclusive was a joke as 15 mins wait for drinks in the evening...ran out of beer, wine, brandy..lots of angry guests...staff very friendly...a la carte didnt exist...no restaurant but when challenged can sit at a plastic table by the pool at night on your own...jacuzzi not working for whole 10 days...promises by management that things would improve just offered excuses that shortage of staff and continual apologies...frustrated with having to complain every day that mini bar not replenished and nowhere else to buy water...excellent taxi service...no foreign exchange facilities as never had currency...weather fantastic...just to reiterate staff great, management inadequate."
- Travel date: 5th March 2010
Absolutely fantastic - our best hoyel stay yet!
"We had a fantstic week here during Feb half term. The hotel is so clean you could eat your food off the floor! Food was fab and plentiful and I am a vegi so that is normally a problem for me. Staff were really friendly and wanted to do anything to make your stay enjoyable. Pool massive and jaccuzi a real bonus. We really appreciated being away from the hub of things, but being able to get to the beach and the livlier sister Jaz hotel if we wanted to, so it was ideal for us. our only moan was the kids club worker was hopeless and had a face like a wet weekend! (Hope she is seasonal) Definately hope to return here again!"
- Travel date: 4th March 2010
Top traveller tips for Jaz Sharks Bay
"Be prepared for plenty of sun, book some trips as it can get boring staying at the Hotel. Enjoy the service of the staff."
Jaz Sharks Bay is also called
- Sol Y Mar Sharks Bay Hotel