Monte Carlo Sharm Resort & SPA
19 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Beautiful hotel, superb service
"I visited the Ritz Carlton at the end of August 2005 - naturally there was some apprehension following the recent bombings in Na'ama Bay but when you arrive at the hotel your mind is immediately put to rest. For a start, the hotel is a few miles past the main area of Na'ama Bay, and lies at the end of its own private road. At the entrance to the road, there is a gated security checkpoint and no unauthorised vehicles are allowed past. When you reach the end of the private road there is a further security post and the entrance to the hotel grounds is cut off to any traffic.
When we arrived at this second security point our cases were opened and checked, and we were then taken by golf buggy to the hotel lobby. The reception / lobby is very impressive; large and spacious with comfortable seating. Just behind the main reception desk is a large lounge area with further seating, a 'water wall' on one side (very relaxing, the sound of trickling water!) and large bar on the other. The main hotel building consists of three floors; the reception is on the top floor, together with the lounge and bar, and La Luna Italian Restaurant. Down one floor are two further restaurants - Fayrouz (Lebanese) and Blue Ginger (Oriental). On the bottom floor is the main hotel restaurant and the hotel spa. The spa is undergoing renovation at the start of September, and we were advised that the massage rooms etc. were moving to another part of the hotel, temporarily.
Back to the arrival; when entering the lobby / reception, guests are shown to seats and given free drinks while they check in; following check in you are then taken by buggy to your room.
The room we had was very nice; on the second floor meaning we had a great view of the hotel grounds, the pool, and sea (the grounds are very well kept, and you notice that there are gardeners constantly working every day to keep them in immaculate condition). Our room had two double beds, refrigerator, in-room safe, large balcony with a table and two chairs, satellite TV, and a bathroom with a bath tub, shower cubicle, and toilet & bidet behind a further door. Rooms are cleaned twice a day, with bed linen and towels changed daily.
The hotel has two pools - the one by the beach is huge and there are lots of sun loungers available (towels are provided for these beds). Pool service is excellent with the waiters from the 'Waves' bar and restaurant constantly walking around and taking orders for refreshments. During the day they also give away free fruit, sorbets, and ice cold face towels to keep guests cool in the hot weather. Any orders for drinks etc are signed to your room and you pay on departure, so keep a note of how much you're spending to avoid any nasty surprises!
The beach is rocky, so there are man made 'coves' with sand and sun loungers (even hammocks) so you can still lay out. If you want to swim in the sea you can do this from the end of the floating jetty. Beware though, the water is deep (around 40 feet) from this point and can get quite choppy so it's best to keep kids in the pool.
The other pool is described on the hotel map as a 'water park'. It is basically a swimming pool with a lazy river which flows around the grounds to this area, and back to the pool. There is a bar / restaurant here, plenty of sun loungers again, and a basketball hoop by the side of the pool in case you want to shoot some hoops while you're in the pool. You can tell that this is an older pool and it isn't as well kept as the main one by the beach - it is still nice though.
On the subject of dining, the main hotel restaurant is fairly spacious and we ate breakfast and evening meals there. Breakfast is buffet style with every kind of breakfast you could want (although there was a lack of sausages and bacon, just in case you like your full English breakfast!). There is also a station where chefs will cook you eggs, waffles and omelettes to order.
Evening meals again are buffet style with a different theme each night. Beware the wine prices when you have your evening meal; the local Egyptian wine (not the best, apparently) will cost around Â£15-Â£20 a bottle, and imported wine (the normal stuff you'd find in any supermarket at home) is very expensive - upwards of Â£40 a bottle (we never had any!). The waiters do seem to push the more expensive wine, but after knocking them back on the first couple of nights, we weren't bothered too much after this. Even when ordering water they will try to sell you Evian but the local bottled water (Dasani) is around half the price and just as good. Beer is reasonably priced for a hotel - bottles of Heineken are around Â£3, and the local beer Sakara (quite nice) for around Â£2.50 a bottle.
We only ate outside of the main restuarant once, when there was a special Lebanese night in Fayrouz. There was a special buffet with entertainment from dancers, and it was a good evening. Other than that, all the other hotel restaurants were constantly empty - maybe due to their price, I'm not too sure.
All in all, the hotel, its grounds, the rooms, restaurants and facilities are excellent. Service is top notch and the staff are all very friendly and can't do enough for you. Feel free to tip the staff, but bear in mind that on every bill you sign at this hotel, a 12.5% service charge is added - presumably this goes to the hotel and not directly to the staff. Some might be put off tipping though because of this charge.
We visited Na'ama Bay once during our week stay. The hotel runs a shuttle bus leaving at 4pm, 8pm and 10pm, returning (leaving Na'ama Bay) at 4.15, 8.15 and 10.15. I'd recommend getting this bus, as the return cab journey is very stressful - for a start you are pestered for business, and then end up in terrible cars with even worse drivers, who try to overcharge you. If you do get a cab, do not pay more than 30 Egyptian pounds for a one-way trip to or from the hotel (roughly Â£3, or $5). The Na'ama Bay resort itself is very very busy, and in the evenings you will be pestered by salesmen trying to get you into their shops or restaurants. Everything you try and buy, you have to haggle for and after spending a few days in the hotel grounds I found it very stressful - I couldn't wait to get back to the tranquillity of our resort.
Do not believe those who are negative about the Ritz Carlton - sure some have bad experiences on holiday, but this place does everything very well. Is it worthy of its 5 star rating? I'd say yes; some comments say that people must not be used to 5 star hotels if they like this place, but I put that down to sheer snobbery. This IS a 5 star resort and compares favourably to other 5 star hotels I've been to, so don't believe the snobs!
My verdict: I'd thoroughly recommend the Ritz Carlton, and would definitely visit again."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of September 2005
"We arrived in this hotel 3 weeks after the bombings. The hotel had tight security and is located down its own private avenue. We felt completely safe and th lobby is opulent with a musical welcome. The rooms are tastifully decorated and we had a wonderful seaview, the staff can not do enough to help. We stayed B&B the breakfast was wonderful with so much choice. The hotel has 5 restaurants however it is very expensive to eat in any of the hotels apart from the buffet restaurant (around Â£100 for dinner for 2). The hotel offers complimentary buses from the hotel to Naama Bay daily however if you miss the boss you can get a taxi outside of the complex for 30 Egyptian pounds (Â£3).
In Naama Bay you can eat out for a fraction of the price I would particularly recommend the Pomodera. Security is very tight and it was ver safe.
The spa in the hotel is fantastic and overall the staff can not do enough for you. Drinks in the hotel canbe pricey but you can buy alcohol in Naama bay cheaply and the hotel will bring buckets of ice to your room FOC so you can chill your drinks.
Overall this hotel is an opulent luxury destination and I will defintely be returning"
- Travel date: Sat 27th of August 2005
A wonderful week in a beautiful hotel
"We arrived in Sharm 3 weeks after the bombings. We were a little apprehensive and we had conisdered changing our destination but we are so glad we decided against this. We were colected at the airport by a taxi and taken to the Ritz-Carlton. The hotel has built an extra security gate about 200m from the hotel. They do not let any unauthorised vehicles past this check point. This made us feel very secure. When we arrived at the next security gate (there are lots of them!) our luggage was opened and checked. This is a little unusual but it was re-assuring. We were then taken by golf buggy to the main lobby - marble floors, beautiful furniture and lovely staff. We then had to go through another check point! Finally we were shown to some seats in the lobby and were given cold fruit juice and cold towels. Once we had checked in another golf buggy took us to our room. The room was clean, decor was pleasant, view of pool was lovely, bed was HUGE!
We then went to explore the hotel. There are 2 super pools, although we only used the larger pool by the beach. We had no problem getting sunbeds and the pool boys would get you towels, drinks etc. The pool was very clean. During the afternoon staff would bring complimentary fruit and cold towels. They offer these services to those on the beach too. The beach has lovely views and there are hammocks, sun loungers and rocking chairs - take your pick! The snorkelling off the end of the jetty was excellent, although the sea was a little rough. Surrounding the pools and the beach are beautiful gardens -you can take a tour around them with the gardener. There are a number of other activities for adults and children throughout the day, including water aerobics and snorkelling.
We were half board so we ate in the buffet restaurant most nights. Each night has a different theme (mexican, caribbean) so there was always something different. There is a bbq outside too so you can always get freshly cooked meat etc. Do be careful when selecting wine - can be very costly! If you always ask to see a menu then you can't go far wrong. One night we paid a supplement to eat in the Lebanese restaurant. This cost us about Â£10 each to upgrade. Food was lovely and portions were a good size. We also ate out in Naama bay twice - very cheap and a good atmosphere. We got the free shuttle bus both there and back. Breakfast in the buffet was one of the highlights of my day! The freshly cooked waffles with maple syrup are a must! There is also an excellent 'egg station', where chefs will cook your eggs however you like them! For lunch we order from room service most days. The price was reasonable and it allowed us to escape the heat, which was almost unbearable by 3pm. It cost about Â£4 for a toasted cheese sandwich and chips.
In the evenings there is not a lot going on in the hotel. However, we spent most evenings in the beautifully lit lobby bar listening to the live jazz music. Drinks in this bar are not as dear as we anticiplated - a local beer was about Â£3 and a cocktail was about Â£3.50. They also give you as many nuts, crisps and olives as you can eat!
We would also recommend the spa. We had an anti-stress massage that lasted about 30 minutes and cost about Â£18. The boat trip to Tiran Island is also a must - we saw an array of sea life including several dolphins.
Overall our holiday at the Ritz was fantastic. The hotel is beautiful and sharm is a fantastic resort. Staff at the hotel do deserve a special mention - they were super (tipping was 'easy' as the service was so good). Yes, there are children around and yes there are children in the restaurants at night (where else are they meant to eat?), but i am a school teacher and went to Sharm to escape little ones, but it didn't bother me in the slightest! We have stayed at a number of 5 star hotels both in the UK and abroad and we would definately recommend the Ritz - we will be going back."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of August 2005
It was OK
"For a five star hotel it was nice but average. Service is terrible - orders are just forgotten. There were children everywhere, even in the restaurants at night. Getting a sunbed was a real challenge as they were all taken by 10.00. The rooms are fine and they are attended to twice daily. The bathroom is a bit naff. The high spot was the food - the breakfast buffet was excellent, as was the dinner buffet which for 2 of us came to less than Â£40 with two beers - there was tremendous variety and it was of a high standard. Room service lunches/dinners was of a good standard and actually pretty reasonable. I think the people who say how fabulous it is are not used to staying in five star hotels and for the price - Sharm is reasonable - are blown away with what they receive for Â£500 a week including fights per person. Better to pay a bit extra and stay at the Four Seasons."
- Travel date: Wed 10th of August 2005
"I can say that my stay at the Ritz in Sharm was very enjoyable.
I have viewed other reviews on this site and to read that the staff at the Ritz are unhelpful is laughable- they could not do enough for you to make your stay a memorable one.
The house reef is excellent for those who like to snorkle and scuba diving is amazing (Ras Mohammed recommended!!!). I didn't dive with the centre at the Ritz Carlton as you can get much cheaper packages using other dive centres (I used Mr. Diver located near the Marriott hotel- which worked out a lot cheaper than Ritz and they were of an acceptable standard).
For those looking for a more relaxing break the swimming pool(s) at the hotel are very nice and clean- my girlfriend and I didn't have a problem with getting a sun lounger, so I am assuming that this problem has been sorted out (again reading past reports!!!).
One thing that I would highlight is the eating/drinking costs at the hotel- we ate in the Lebanese restaurant one night and it was very nice, however, you could get similar standard restaurants in Naama Bay for a lot more reasonable prices.
Finally, travelling around the area in the local Peugot Taxis is an experience not for the weak hearted!!!!! They drive at break neck speeds and don't even bother to turn their lights on in the dark. If you are to get a taxi negotiate a price before you get in or you will be fleeced by the local Formula 1 wannabee!!!!! Â£30 to 40 Egyptian pounds is about the going rate to get to Naama Bay from the Ritz.
All in all a great holiday and I will be returning and doubt that I'll stay anywhere else than the Ritz."
- Travel date: Thu 30th of June 2005
An amazing Hotel
"I have just returned from the Ritz Carlton and don't know where to begin. My boyfriend and I stayed there from the 12th June - 19th June 05 and had a fantastic time. We booked our trip on lastminute and paid Â£459 each with a free upgrade to a sea view room. Our trip was taken care of by Mosaic Holidays who were great. Upon arrival at the airport we had no problem obtaining visas which cost Â£12 each. The airport is very disorganised and our luggage took a while to arrive. Nevertheless we were escorted onto our transfer coach pretty quickly and off we went. We stopped at the Four Seasons and the Hyatt Regency to drop people off and both looked lovely. Upon arrival at the Ritz we were greeted with African Drummers, given a cold flannel and also a drink. We then went to our room and our luggage arrive quickly. Our room was huge. Two double beds, massive bathroom and patio. Plenty of room for the two of us and nicely furnished. Our housekeeper Ali was wonderful and we had rose petals out on one of the beds in the shape of a heart one day which was very nice. We were given tww small bottles of water free each evening by Ali when he came to check that everything was ok with the room.
Breakfast was nice - alot of variety. Lunch at the Waves Restaurant was nice - pizza, burgers and chips or fish/meat etc. There are two pool areas, one with a lazy river and a basketball hoop and another pool by the beach. Both very nice. We had no trouble at all finding sunbeds even at 12 noon or 2pm. The attendants would carry your towels to the sunbeds for you and help you find one. We were given watermelon and cold flannels during the day and also spritzed with water as it was extreamely hot.
The snorkelling is amazing. You have to be a good swimmer to go in the sea or you can hire a life jacket as you have to walk along this long plank and then jump off and you are not able to touch the ground once you are in. There is about a 12 meter drop beneath you but the corals and fish are amazing.
The staff go out thier way to help you and are very friendly. I have never met nicer people. Changing money in the hotel is the same as in town. Naama Bay is fantastic. Plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops. Do not pay more than Â£40 egyptian pounds Â£4 each way to get to town and haggle with the shop keepers. Most of the time I think they make the prices up of the products they sell especially when they know you are tourists.
One word of advice, do not eat salad. I did and got very sick for 24 hours and it has taken me nearly 5 days to fully recover from the 'egyptian tummy'.
We went to Alf Leila Wa Leil which was a good night out. Nice Food, Nice decor, the show was ok not fantastic but the atmosphere and the whole building was fantastic. You'll know what I mean if you go.
That aside, the hotel is wonderful. I suppose it comes down to: 'Would I go again?' Definately. I would love to stay at the Ritz again and can't wait to go back."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of June 2005
A Perfect Retreat
"It was a beautiful warm evening 'pun arrival in Sharm El Sheikh. We had previously been telephoned by a certain 'mahmoud' to inquire whether we required collection from the airport, we graciously accepted. A man from the hotel was waiting for us at the airport and swiftly whisked us to the hotel.
It was the initial level of treatment that excited us, and we began to wonder whether there was more to follow..
worry not said terry, 'the ritz is truly international' - he was proven to be right!
We were greeted with an upgrade to a sea-view suite, by the name of 'Ramses', and it was certainly of Empirial proportions. Two Balconies, Two Bathrooms, Egyptian cotton robes, slippers, dual TV et cetera.
Never in all of 'terry and berry's executive travels' have we seen such a swimming pool! In actual fact there are two separate zones and a lot of swim space. Take heed and pay close attention to the lazy river. If you are smart, call reception and get a club car to drive you the three minute walk - you'll find the vast amounts of staff very accomodating. Small tips or 'tipsy's' are always well received.
The hotel's beach is lacking in any real substance, but is made up for by the excellent reef right outside. We saw many fish, including 'Fistularia commersonii', a magnificent site, a cornet fish to you and I.The snorkelling equipment is all on site and is cheap and easy to acquire. There is usually a 'melon-man / date-merchan roaming around giving complimentary fodder to those with dry mouths from the local teas found in town. There is also regular distribution of ice cold towels, and personal spray-downs with local scents.
Food - Breakfast is good, but nothing to write home about. Beware, as berry soon discovered there was nee salcice, bacon, salami, ham, or any pig. I found the pancakes to be ok, and the choice of fruit was also good. There was also an 'egg-man' and a 'waffle-maker', who knew their stuff. Freshly pressed orange juice was also to hand, along with fine breads (the seeded bun a personal favourite of berry's) and pastries baked in the hotel.
The Italian restaurant- Intorductary breads were delicious and interesting in variety. A varied rustic menu with a free mushroom soup which was offered along with freshly baked grissini. Wine proved to be a problem as the 'local brew' was soily/earthy/watery-we sampled all six. The European wines are prohibatively expensive-a half bottle of Beaujolais red weighing in at Â£25 Uk Â£-absurd.
The Lebanese restaurant wasn't sampled as we went into town most evenings only to regret leaving the tropical,well manicured grounds with clearly labelled plants- for those of you out there with green fingers..
To wrap up- i'd like to introduce to our Top 5 highs and low points of what was essentially a great hotel.
Top 5 highs
1. Service 2. Club car/club sandwich without bacon 3. Swimming facilities. 4. Snorkelling. 5. Cheese burger and chips at The Waves poolside restaurant.
Top 5 Lows
1.'Rubber' pillows-feel them, it's odd. 2. Lack of pig. 3. Price of alcohol in the hotel/quality of cocktails. 4. Lack of beach.5. There aren't any more.
p.s a Wet bar in the upper pool is not to be missed apres lunch- strangely for us we always turned up shortly after 4.20- a pleasant time of day.
A great experience for those who want relief from the hustle-bustle of the city and don't want an excuse to leave the hotel- everything you need is in-house.
Terry and Perry/Berry."
- Travel date: Mon 13th of June 2005
"Our stay at the Ritz Carlton was a mixed bag. Previous experience of hotels at Sharm was the Four Seasons which is a truly superb hotel which unfortunately for us was fully booked the week we wished to travel.
Anyway, here are my comments.
Check-in. Large reception area, efficient staff.
Room - We stayed in a Club Room. Rooms are average, ours was clean but they are pretty tired looking. Bathrooms are small and although clean, because of the need for updating feel rather dingy. Beds extremely comfortable.
Club Lounge - Excellent. Professional and attentive service and can highly recommend. This was the saving grace for our stay at the Ritz Carlton.
Restaurants - The first night we tried the Thai Restaurant and although the food was lovely, the (very loud) entertainment from the Lebanese restaurant was all too apparent. Lebanese restaurant - food good.
Sun Loungers - By 6.45 am many of the sunbeds had been 'reserved' by leaving books/towels, by 8 am most had been 'reserved' even though the pool area was practically deserted and many guests didn't turn up until after 11. Yes, there were certainly guests who were tipping the pool staff in order to ensure they had a sunbed. This is a problem the management need to address to ensure a fair system for all guests.
Dive Centre - According to my husband this was a very professionally run centre, good standard of equipment and excellent guides.
To conclude. This is NOT a 5 star hotel. As I have stated previously, there is no comparison with the Four Seasons.
Another recommendation is the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh in Hurgharda."
- Travel date: Mon 13th of June 2005
"I was expecting the ritz carlton to be trading on its name but i was wrong - i was impressed - I have stayed at 3 other five star hotels in sharm and they were all good but the ritz gets my vote - yes it is more expensive but not that much - and a little tipping - Â£1 or Â£2 here and there helps - eg our loungers in our favourite spot were kept ready for us even though we did not show until after 11.
The childrens club was superb - in that we never saw our children age 8 and 10 from 9am until 5.30pm each day! and then only to put the sun cream on (P20 plus factor 50)!
The thing that i loved was that fruit and iced flannels were brought round to the loungers at midday -it did make you feel pampered. Also the gardens at the ritz were amazing - grass so beautiful - i dont suppose many of the guests realize how extraordinary they were for sharm.
the comp bus to town is a good idea - meals in the town are a lot cheaper
I would find it hard to go anywhere else in sharm again ...."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of June 2005
Fantastic Hotel - loved it
"I can't believe some of the negative comments I have been reading about the Ritz Carlton Sharm el Sheikh. We landed this morning having spent the past week there and found it a wonderful experience. The staff can't do enough for you, every employee is very polite and courteous and the hotel itself is beautiful, elegant and very well maintained with outstanding tropical grounds that are not difficult to find your way around.
We always stay in 5* hotels around the world and this one was no disappointment whatsoever. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
We went as a family of four with two teenage children and my only small criticism would be the lack of activity for them within the hotel although there is plenty for younger ones. The hotel is also about 15 minutes from Naama Bay where everyone goes in the evening but they do run several shuttle busses that most people get from reception or taxi fair is LE35 or about stg 3.50 so very cheap. Don't pay any more.
Great for a completely relaxing holiday, very hot (40 degrees or so at present), great scuba and snorkelling of course."
- Travel date: Mon 6th of June 2005
Hotel was fantastic, this is our second...
"Hotel was fantastic, this is our second time in Egypt, we love it. Ritz Carlton was fantastic. Hotel staff were very friendly, couldn,t do enough for you. The room was cleaned every day, Would definitely be going back. The only problem was we should have flown with Thomas Cook airline but they changed our flight time twice and then they decided to use AMC air lines. Would not fly with them again, also would not go with Thomas Cook again.
The Air Hostesses were not friendly. People kept pressing for assistance it took them a long time to assist. One Air Hostess sat at the front of the air craft with her feet up I was very disapointed with the service. Please avoid AMC Airlines if possible. "
- Travel date: Tue 30th of September 2008
We are a family of 5 and booked half-boa...
"We are a family of 5 and booked half-board for a week. The hotel definitely met our expectations. Our rooms were comfortable and very clean and the air-conditioning was wonderful! As previously mentioned, bottled water was left in our rooms in the evening, which was most welcome. The food was excellent, both at breakfast and at evening time. Drinks and snacks at the pool and hotel bar weren't cheap, but if you stay in a 5 star hotel, then you can only expect to pay 5 star prices.
The staff were so friendly and welcoming and were brilliant with the children. The pools were never crowded and there were plently of sunloungers and shade.
The hotel grounds were very pretty and the views of the sea from our rooms was lovely.
We would definitley go back again. My only criticism was the time of our flights. We missed our evening meal when we arrived as the restaurant had closed and left just before the restaurant opened on our return flight. This has nothing to do with the service at the hotel, but Tour Operators should realize that when you only go away for 7 days, the times of flights could mean you lose money by not having meals you have paid for.
Also, be carfeul not to have ice in your drinks or drink any water except bottled water. I had a very bad stomach the day we left and so did several other people. Apparently, it is known as "Pharoah's Revenge" and is quite common.
All in all, if you are looking for a superior hotel with good food and excellent facilities, the Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh is the hotel for you."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of August 2008