Otium Hotel Aloha
14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Facilities and location good but unhelpful staff let it down.
"We have just returned from our 2 week holiday to the Shores Aloha. Having stayed in many hotels in Egypt now this is the only one I have felt I needed to review. This is an Italian hotel chain and therfore there was a lot of Italians, the rest of the guest base were made up with Russians. The 2 weeks we stayed they had one of there highest number of brits staying that they have ever had...20 altogether! Because it is an Itaillian hotel, all of the entertainment was in Italian, and I mean all of it. There was nothing for any other nationality, adults or children, apart from the Egyption night once a week.
There are a lot of good points to this hotel, the swimming pool is lovely, although they played music all day, not a problem as it was relaxing sort of music, untill the 3rd 4th 5th.... day when you realise they only have 5 tracks to play, after 2 weeks we were almost singing them in our sleep.
The food is standard buffet style but there is plenty of it all day long at the beach bar and the resturant, they have a nice BBQ outside the main resturant in the evenings serving a different thing each day of the week.
Drinks in the all-inclusive were good, at the resturant, beach bar and pool bar there are soft drink and jucie dispensers and also water coolers.
All-inclusive alcohol was only served at ther pool bar and resturant, this included local wine red/white, spirits and local beer 'Luxor'. 'Luxor' beer was not advertized in the welcome pack as all-inclusive, we only found out by chance and it was luck of the draw if it was cold and fizzy or not as they poor you small glasses from bottles that are then left out of the fridge untill the next customer.
The standard room we stayed in was compact but clean and in a nice area right by the pool, no complants about it.
The beach is lovely and has good access in to the water for snorkeling and I was surprised at how good the condition of the reefs were, lots to see. The beach is where most things go on during the day, such as volley ball, football, pilates and lots lots more. Loud music is played all day down on the beach and unlike the pool miusic it is not very relaxing, but ideal if you want to join in with the activies (we stayed by the pool the whole time).
Last but not least, The staff. I have never had such poor service in any hotel I have stayed in, in any part of the world. The pool staff would simply watch you struggle to put your sunshade up, the bar staff did not smile or thank you at any point, the waiters in the restuarant cleared your plates so quick you didn't have time to swallow your last mouthful and somtimes it wasn't your last but you didn't have a choice. Non of the staff said 'hello' as you walked past or even held doors open (common courtesy you would think).
By far the worst was the reception staff. They did not, in the whole time we stayed there say 'yes' even to the most basic of requests and the never gave you an explanation as to why, the answer was simply 'no!'.
It started with a slow check in late at night, no directions to our rooms untill we asked, he just gave us the keys. From then on we made simple requests like...
'Please can we have room service as we have arrived late and dinner has finnised? after 30 mins of talking to different members of staff and getting served cold left over food from the buffet earlier in the evening, the answer was...'no!'
'Please can we change this 100LE note for 20's' ...'no!' (and didn't tell us there was a bank around the corner, just said...'no!)
'Please can we have a breakfast pack for our trip tomorrow moring?'...'No!'
'Please can I use the internet'...'No!'
'Please can I have a reciept for my room bill that I have just paid?'...'No!'
And so on..
All in all we enjoyed our holiday. We got what we paid for and nothing more, which was fine but I would have prefered to have paid a little more money for better sevice as that would have made a real difference to our holiday."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of May 2010
More a decent 3star Hotel than 4 star, but great value and excellent snorkelling!
Food: Average but Egypt is not about the food
Rooms: Some better than others, we moved from teh first one.
Service: Staff doing the basic jobs, cleaning, reception and waiting were great, managers were a bit miserable!
Location: Naama Bay 10 mins away by shuttle/taxi. Great location for snorkelling... drop off the pier and it is awesome.
Great Hotel iparticularly for money conscious and those who just want a quiet holiday. Trips to Cairo, Luxor and Petra are fairly costly at around Â£150 a head but worth it. Most guests are italian or Russian but if you want to avoid 'Brits on Tour' then a good place to go, mostly families, good entertainment on the beach area but note the sea is not accessible for young kids as is pretty much all corel and thus for divers/snorkeling.
Paid Â£650pp for 2 weeks AI, very reasonable overall, there are better places but this is certainly very good value relative to the alternatives. So its a trade off."
- Travel date: Wed 14th of April 2010
If you speak english,it is a hotel to avoid
"I just come back from my vacation and stay at the hotel aloha in sharm el sheikv and thought i had to comment on it.
The hotel caters only for italians and i was the only person speaking english.The italians are extremely loud speaking and specially the women.Sometimes ,at the pool,I felt like being at a fish market with those screaming loud voices.Plus,the place is full of russians and it is not a very nice language to listen to all day long.
The entertainment is all in italian and loud music is sonstantly playing on the beach to please them,I suppose.Not very relaxing considering they play different music at the pool,so it can be very distasteful for the ear.
People at reception are hopeless and it is a struggle to make yourself understand as they speak hardly any english.Very frustrating at times.
I went single and had booked a room for the previous date of my arrival as my plane was landing at 5a.m and i wanted to go straight to my room.But,unfortunately,reception had no recollection of a room reserved for me.I was given the most awful room in an awful state of decoration and not appealing at all.The tiles in the bathroom had lost all the grout and it looked black and dirty.The handle in the shower was covered with rust.The fridge door was broken .I had to ask to be moved at great difficulties as the hotel was supposing to be fully booked.After screaming and shouting,I managed to have a room by the pool.I feel that when you go single ,they try to get rid of the poor accommodations vas they must keep the better ones for couples which is not fair as i paid a single supplement.
It was supposing to be all inclusive,but,bottles of water,tins ocoke or sprite or fanta or beer are not.you have to pay for it.What is free is what is served by the glass.Very strange
No complimentary bottle of water in your room when you arrive.
To change moneyt,you will be lucky to find the bank opened in the hotel as they open as they please.
2 minutes from the beach.
nice swimming pool
excellent food,never seen such a choice of bread rolls,the pasries were out of this world.barbecue every night.tasty food.
restaurant staff,waiters absolutely charming
rooms are cleaned every day to a good standard
excellent location,having supermarkets nearby ,sops,bazaars,an attractive complex called il mercato
taxis are cheap if you want to go anywhere."
- Travel date: Thu 18th of March 2010
Good location - perfect weather
"Aloha is a nice hotel with direct access to the red sea and beatiful corals. The rooms are all air-conditioned and correct. Amazingly good beds.
It is dominated by italians and russians - the animation is very loud but I guess Italians like it that way. It was to much for us reminding me of a fun fair, so we were at the pool (clean and salty) until 12.30 (animation break) and then went on the beach until 15 (animation re-start) and went back to the pool. It is highly recommended as in these periods the music is relaxing and lounge-like. Nice!. Food is plenty and at a good quality/price ratio. A little bit anoying that the so called "all-inclusive" beverages demands an effort especially during the meals - there is no service. But all in all a pleasant stay. Downside is that the only all-inclusive bar for alcoholic drinks ex. beer is the pool bar. Lobbybar etc is not included - silly!
Tip: During the meals the waiters have so much attention to get people to finish the dinner that they litterately take your plates away from the table while eating - so don't loose it out of sight! Service personel is nice, but the higher they get in the hieraci the less service they offer - A smile once in a while could do magic!"
- Travel date: Fri 26th of February 2010
Good hotel, nice people
"We stayed in the Shores Aloha for 10 days. It's a nice hotel, the room and public areas were clean. We had warm water every day.
The crew was polite en helpfull. The animation team was too much for us. All the time they were trying to get you to sport with them, wich was annoying.
The food was pretty good. The salads, bread and cake was fine. The warm part were not warm, but it was still tastefull.
I can recommend this hotel, if you are looking for a nice, low priced hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of January 2010
Great location and good value
"Just returned from one week all inclusive. Had picked this hotel on basis that its reviews were better than most ,and despite having concerns that it was only rated 102 in Trip Advisers listings. We were pleasantly suprised - hotel was clean, staff were mostly friendly and helpful. Some almost too helpful with the expectation of a tip in mind maybe , however it didn't seem to make much difference to service whether a tip was given or not. Room was clean and a reasonable size. We took a travel kettle for early morning tea. The hotel location is excellent, especially for snorkling as the access to the sea is easy and a lifeguard is on duty on the jetty. Took our own snorkling gear which saved on hiring. I was glad of my shorty wet suit but most were swimming without. You really need a hotel with its own beachfront as there's very few public beaches. The hotel does have a lot of Italian and Russian Guests and very few British, which didn't affect us. The Italians were great fun on New Years Eve. If you prefer holiday in company of fellow Brits this probably isn't the hotel for you. Personally it was very relaxing to not understand all the conversations around us. Food was good, with emphasis on Italian food. We kept to fresh hot food and avoided the salads but still had slight travellers tum. Alcohol seemed rationed with only a 1/3 of a glass of wine or beer at a time and only during meal times. We devised strategies to get around this by ordering two glasses at a time and alternating who went to collect the contraband. Between 11.00a.m and 12.00 p.m local spirits were available at the pool and dispensed with some reluctance by the rather indifferent pool bar staff. We looked upon this as a challenge and enjoyed a number of rum and cokes on our sunloungers overlooking the Red Sea. We enjoyed our holiday and if we were returning to Sharm we would go back to this hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of January 2010
Very Nice, Good Value Hotel
"After reading the first couple of reviews I was a little worried about this hotel, but now I am back safe and well, I can happily say we had a great time.
Location - 20 min from Airport.
Very good location, right on the beach with fantastic shallow coral to walk amoungst the colourful fish. For the daring there is a wooden jetty that takes you out to the deeper water. The water was warm and clear blue.
Walking distance to the IL Mercato shopping centre or Old Market for shopping. Be prepared as you will be hassled LOTS! You just have to take it on the chin and have a laugh with the locals. Beware of the children on Camels around the hotel, the will tell you its okay for you to sit on the camel to take a photo and then make the camel stand up and they will take you for a ride. All okay, until you try to get off and they ask you for 100 EGY which is about Â£12. Beware !!
Naama Bay is a 10 min drive, and the hotel offers a free return shuttle bus service twice in the evening. This place is amazing to look at, the colouful lights and different shops are great, BUT the shopkeepers are rude, persistant and annoying. Two hours was enough for us. We only ate out once at an Indian and the food was lovely and very well priced, about Â£13 for meal for two including drinks.
Souvernirs - Please please dont get ripped off in the markets. There is a main gift shop in Naama Bay, opposite the Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurant. There prices are cheap and you can look without any hassle.
Grounds of hotel and well maintained and very pleasant to walk around. The pool area is clean and there was adequate sunloungers but it was end of season. Be warned the pools at this time of year are not heated, and this one was FREEZING COLD. But the sun was hot and it was quite refreshing having a quick dip.
The room was nice, we had a twin room, and it had a fabulous view of the sea. It was cleaned every day and had a TV with 3 english channels. Beware of mosquitos they will bite and not just once, take lots of repellants, they seemed to like some of them. Check the room before you go to sleep, they hide.
The hotel had mainly italian guests, and so everything was geared towards them. You were even greeted by hotel staff in Italian cause they just presume thats what you are. It can get very boring in the evening, as all entertainment is in Italian.
The food was okay. Lots of pasta, rice and fish. Lovely barbecue outside which is included in the All inclusive. AMAZING desserts, so many cakes and puddings to choose from. Did not get bad stomach, but my partner did, however we ate the same so it wasnt necessary the food.
Soft and Fizzy drinks were on tap from the Beach and Pool bar throughout the day. Lunch and Dinner you could also get fizzy drinks, wine or beer. We just stuck to fizzy and water and didnt touch the alcohol, but most people seemed to be drinking it.
Staff were amazing, waiters were quick to clear away dirty plates and helped you whatever you needed. Reception staff were a little rude and impatient but you always managed to get an answer in the end.
Overall we had a FAB time and would go back again. We paid Â£240 with Hotels4U for 6 nights, 2 Adults All Inclusive which i think was an absolute bargain.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone"
- Travel date: Wed 25th of November 2009
"Exellent location close to the sea. Beutiful snorkeling from the hotel beach. This is also an italian club resort, so all of the entertainment is really by italians and for italians. The food is nice (italian people would not have accepted anyhing else). If you are "very english" or picky in your food choices be aware of this. Most of the gusts are italians and russians, a few english and swedish, all of them are good behaving. All of the staff speaks more or less english. It could be smart to go outside the hotel both for ordering a taxi and to book excursions. Would recommend to go on a snorkeling trip by boat to Tiran Island, BUT the snorkeling from the hotel beach is alslo very good. In the winter months bring a "shorty" wet suit. The temperature in the water was 26-27 Celcius in November, but we had days with quite a cold wind, temperatures from 22-32 centigrades during 14 days.
Advice for camel riding : Wear good quality shorts or trousers when riding the camel. DO NOT use swim wear or any type of synthetic material close to your body, as this could create bleeding wounds on your very LOW back... (happened to me).
About Sharm el Sheikh: The unwanted attention towards the oposite sex (my wife and daughters) and the constant hassle, could have made our holiday a nightmare. We never went back to Naama Bay after a shocking two hour experience there. The old market in Sharm is a little better in some areas, especially in some of the shopping centers you could experience far better behaviour from the egyptian men. Much of this holiday I had yo act more like a bodyguard than a holidaymaker.
If you enjoy the extreme attention and very bad behaviour from men, Sharm would be a nice place to go. Personally I would go back for more experiences under the watersurface of the red Sea."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of November 2009
Not English-friendly but nice enough
"Got back from Shores Aloha a few days ago and here is our review... sorry it is a bit of an essay!!
Food. There is a good choice of food at every meal and each night there is something different on the barbeque that's all very tasty. Lots of Italian food as it is owned by Italians but if you like pasta then you're fine!
Drinks. Unfortunately my partner suffered the curse of the warm beer. Instead of having it on tap they keep it in glass bottles that are not always stored in the fridge. Therefore being left on the side in 40+ degree heat does not make nice drinking! The vodka was strange...like a mix between rum, gin and martini. I only found it reasonable to drink with Orange Fanta as the orange masked the taste of the "vodka"! Wine is available at meal times and they give you about a thumb measure so asking for 2 glasses at a time is your best bet. As the rooms have a fridge we found it best to walk up the road to Il Mercanto to buy beer and alcopops (very cheap) and store these in the fridge for evening refreshments.
Accommodation. The rooms were cleaned every day and sheets and towels replaced every day also. The hotel as a whole is kept very clean. The hotel is on the beach which is very nice; clear blue sea and plenty of fish to look at. Excellent for the keen snorkellor.
As mentioned before, the hotel is owned by Italians. Therefore, all entertainment (kids and evening) is in Italian which meant that we spent every evening either in our room or in Naama Bay. Us Brits only get 2 TV channels to choose from; BBC World News and MBC Movies which didn't show a bad selection of films on the whole.
As well as being over-run by Italians there were plenty of Russians who, of course, liked to hog all the sunloungers only to never return to them for the whole day despite leaving their towels and books etc on them. They can also be quite rude so just beware of queue-jumping.
There is a shopping centre about a 10 minute walk from the hotel called Il Mercanto which is very nice in the evening. There is Pizza Hut, McDonalds and Starbucks, to name but a few, if you miss those home comforts. There are also plenty of shops such as Adidas, Quicksilver, Mothercare etc which are open during the day.
All in all we thought it was an OK hotel and had a nice relaxing time despite the odd bit of "Delhi Belly" but this is to be expected in Egypt."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of September 2009
Shores Aloha Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
"We are just back from a week at the Aloha and I thought I'd put finger to keyboard and give the place a bit of a review.
First and foremost Shores are an Italian company and therefore it shouldn't come as any great surprise that the hotel caters mainly for Italians.
Plus points :-
1. Location. Right on the beach, a short walk down to the sea with a jetty to take you out past the coral and into the sea by the drop off. If plunging into the depths isn't your thing then you can paddle amongst the fish in the shallows ( as long as you stay off the reef ).
2. Food. Although aimed very much at the Italian palate there was a great choice of well prepared food on offer, even a gourmet philistine like myself managed to find something edible at every meal sitting.
3. Accommodation. Although a bit basic the rooms were clean, as was the whole hotel. Each room was air conditioned and had a fridge, a safe and a TV.
4. The waiters and bar staff. Very friendly and helpful, a couple of them wouldn't go amiss behind the reception desk.
Negative points :-
1. The reception staff. Whilst the hotel tries and fails to cater for the British the reception staff are particularly inept, being hindered by a lack of English doesn't excuse rudeness or temper tantrums ( and that was even before I resorted to the tried and tested English technique of shouting loudly and waving me arms about a lot ).
2. The drinks. I suppose some saving have to be made to balance the books for all the food. All the spirits tasted the same, the beer was just awful and wine was only available during meals, and even then strictly rationed. For a borderline alcoholic like myself it was akin to being in a cheap Betty Ford clinic.
3. Sette Mari Club. A kind of a cross between an Italian 18-30's and the Italian mafia, basically they rule the joint. The only bars included in the all inclusive deal are the pool bar and the beach bar, when the SMC decide to have a beach party not only do they take over the beach bar but they also nick all the tables and chairs from the pool bar. This leaves the other non Italian guests either standing up drinking or going to bed early. Rumour has it the last hotel manager tried to put a stop to this and woke up with a camels head on his pillow.
In general :-
It's an Italian hotel run mainly for Italians, most of the negative points are because of that reason. In all fairness an Italian commenting on a British hotel being run for the British would probably have a few comments to make as well ! The main problem for me was a lack of communication, an example being a great out door barbeque/ grill available as part of your evening meal which we wasn't aware of until half way through the week. It would also be nice if the hotel had a bar included in the all inclusive price which was separate from the "entertainment" so that those not interested could have a drink in peace and on some furniture.
Although I wouldn't recommend this hotel to a friend, if you are looking for a late deal and this place is on a short list of all that is available then it is worth a look in."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of August 2009
Arrived back yesterday 7th Sept 08 from...
"Arrived back yesterday 7th Sept 08 from 2 weeks all inclusive.
Firstly - Good Points!
Great food, Great weather, lovely pool, great snorkling - Overall lovely hotel, clean and always there cleaning and arranging the gardens.
Arrived with no rep waiting, All inclusive did not include all local beers - had cheap warm canned drinks that were poured into plastic or cardboard cups that only half filled. Rude bar staff to non Italians unless you are female. There are 3 bars there of which the Lobby Bar is all inclusive just to the Italians only that stayed open until 1am - Lawrence Bar - all to be paid for from there - Pool bar stopped serving alcoholic drinks (if you can call them that) at 12am and if they ran out of the drinks they would not get more!
Basically - if you are Italian you are in Heaven, no entertainment for non Italians, Beach Party - invite only and yes just to the Italians!!! No British rep to be seen apart from day after arriving for tour opportunities and he was a local. Basically in a nutshell would definatley return to Sharm but not this Hotel - Ruined what little entertainment you can make for yourself when the bar shuts at the pool as the rude Italians after taking the bar chairs to watch THERE entertainment went off to THERE own bar after drinking the pool bar dry. Have to sign for every alcoholic drink. Shops on site twice as expensive so walked to nearest market (10 mins) which was fine. No egyptian entertainment. And Sette Mari Club really know how to look after there own so be warned... complaints are never followed up on! Try not to tip your cleaner too early in the holiday as they will suddenly forget a towel which they will bring later when they wait around. Pervy barman making suggestive comments to my fiance and they suddenly cant speak english when you tell them not to make comments !
Overall an ok place as still increasing at a quick pace but would recommend a British hotel if you can find one that is with a British rep would help.
Nice Hotel if you are looking for a quiet break...
TIPS: Get up at 7:15am and go get your beach towels to put out on the pool area but also put something there as well as you will get some polish couple trying to claim them. Lovely Breakfast so try and get there for 9am as not so busy. Lunch is packed so get early 12:30'ish unless you fancy the beach snak which is the same everyday - Pizza, Fries and pasta. Dinner is packed so try to get there for 8:30-8:45ish as food is excellent and not so rushed. To stop tummy problems you can get some tablets from reception (FOC) to stop anything or local pharmacy who speaks good english! Also stock up on water from the local shops - 2.00EP (20p) for large bottles as the hotel charges 18.00EP (Â£1.80) But PLEASE wash your hands after handling money as the food isnt the problem its the bacteria on the money !!!"
- Travel date: Mon 8th of September 2008
Upside the resort and rooms were clean a...
the resort and rooms were clean and tidy, the dining room staff were helpful as were the cleaners. The beach was great. The food was varied and in the main quite nice.
The resort catered mainly for the Italians. Don't take children to this hotel if you think the children will be entertained, as the entertainment in the main,was for the italian children and adults, very little english, if any, was spoken. Also we noted that the English had different coloured wrist bands to the Italians. Why?
As far as the "All Inclusive" went, Food great, drinks abysmal. Apart from a glass of wine with your meal, that was it! although on the all inclusive menu, it shows wine is available at the pool bar, it is not. The spirits were watered, the beer was all froth and warm. All drinks were served in small paper cups and had to be signed for. The only bar you could have "alcoholic "(all inclusive) drinks on an evening, was at the Pool Bar, outside, which on a couple of occassions it did rain, also it was quite cool and breezy.
The weather and the english people I met made the holiday enjoyable. The resort is lovely, but it would have been nice to sit and have a glass of wine and relax, either inside, or outside when it was a warmer evening.
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of May 2008