54 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"just returned from this hotel ,we cannot speak highly enough ,,,we had an amazing time ,i travelled with my husband and 17 year old daughter , the location is good , the hotel was spotlessly clean , great food , great drink , great waiters , fantastic weather , there was nothing to dislike about this place ,,,,, we are very particular about where we stay and there is only one hotel where i have ever stayed which comes close to the qualitly here ,,,,i would go back tomorrow and re live the last 2 weeks in the Sonesta Resort ,,,,,, met great people there had such a laugh ,,, also had a little Egyptian tummy but as Jimmy the barman said one day : WELCOME TO EGYPT ; easilt solved by a quick visit to the Chemist near the Marriot hotel they supply you with tablets and u r instantly better ,,,,, it would never put me off though ,,loved the Sonesta , loved Naama Bay ,,, loved Egypt , we r planning returning in Oct ,,,,,,"
- Travel date: Sat 20th of July 2013
good fun had by myself
"i t was quite a walk to our room but well worth it after all i had nothing else to do The room was very spacious and very clean and the houseman made it fun with his artistic towel designs a fresh couple of bottleled water was in our fridge every day i must say the animation team made my stay memeroble they make you want to get involved even though the water was freezing special thanks to liam miriam and just a bundle of fun oreally from belgium sorry still cant say your name loved our stay would go again also my fellow friends 16 others enjoyed their stay as well"
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of January 2013
near to nighlife and shops
"we went as two couples following the red sea cruise,weather was warm but got chilly in the evening,the food was good but a bit repetitive.
The hotel was very clean with very friendly staff apart from one who was
miserable & rude,
A swimming pool was out of action until near the end of our holiday.
There was a lack of comfortable chairs to sit on. The beach was like a cove & was small, you need to get there early before all the Russians.
We went to Soho Square one evening as a trip,it was newly open had plenty of shops ,restaurants and show,made a nice change as there was no
haggling or people being a nuisance.
We were upgraded & had a bigger room,we would certainly go back"
- Travel date: Sun 7th of October 2012
"Went to this hotel in 2010 looked through the reviews and thought are no there are quite a few bad reviews, but this hotel was one of the best hotels I have come a cross. Hotel very clean rooms great pools great staff great always something to eat.
They had different food nights, like 1 night they would have English night then the next they would have Spanish night it was good. Abit of advise if you get the Egyptian stomach go straight over to the pharmacie across the road at tell them what your feeling and they give you some tablets. It's gone within afew hours. But overall this hotel is great some people must of been really high Matenaice "
- Travel date: Tue 10th of July 2012
Sonesta Beach & Casino Hotel 5 stars*****
"I have just returned not even 24 hours at this moment
was away for a week with sister/sister in law and mum an dthe place was absolutly stunning.
we arrived with 5 hour delay and was very welcomed by staff.
the rooms are very large and spotless thank you to a fantastic cleaner (macmoud) think thats how to spell it . He was very warm hearted and good at his job.
we intented to spend most of our time at the beach which again the staff at the beach were also very nice and would do anything for you (recreation team)
while our stayed we pampered ourselves with the alex beauty shop in threading and cleansing all team again were really nice and friendly (tito) whom is the pr for the shop is freindly charming and nice person.
after that we endulged in massage ,(oh my good the girls in this shop have magic hands) i my self had asma the first time she was soo sweet , they also have tito and craig david who were very friendly but tito was just a jem he would go out his way to ensure any thing you wanted or needed was at hand for you.
the waiters in restaraunt were also very nice and i do recomend you tip these people as they do work so hard for their money
yousiff/islam/mohamed were always adorable and would do anything for you oh i also forgot soltan was also on his feet ensuring our tables and meals were to standards.
this hotel was definatly a good recomendation and caters for all
only down fall i would have is food. Now the food was nice and diff cultural food per night but i am very picky and i still found something but not everones standards
the chilli con carne on mexican was best meal i had at tea time through my stay
also they do small kids area for diff food incase required so they do attempt their hardest to cater for all ages and cultures.
also we tried ali baba cafe upstairs must for all curious fans as you will not be disapointed
i would defo like to go back to this hotel and the staff we were lucky to meet and spend time with were a pleasure to be around and thank you to you all as if you read this you will know who exactly we mean.
from scottish girls
tina , lyndsay , val and anne x"
- Travel date: Tue 26th of July 2011
Good hotel and location
"We travelled here in February 2011 Half Term, just as the whole Egypt crisis was winding down. This meant that other nationalities weren't flying to Egypt, so the hotel was not fully operational due to low numbers. This did however mean that you could always get a sunbed on the beautiful beach.
Dining was haphazard to say the least, indoor cooking, outdoor cooking, odd selections and lots of walking with plates of food - not ideal. Three of us, 40's, 50's, and teenager, all went down with "tummy troubles". Don't know if it was the food, but definitely need to drink loads more water than you would at home. It's free, so just keep knocking it back! Drinks from the bar are a poor selection, and really shoddily put together. I prefer a pay bar so I can have something decent, but even that was poorly stocked and not professionally served. Steer well clear of the cocktails - UGH!!!
The rooms are well kept, although watch out for flaking paint dropping off all the time - humidity will always be a problem.
Despite losing 2 evenings to stay near the bathroom, we still had a marvellous holiday here. The weather is fantastic in February, really warm sun, and the fish you can see in the sea whilst not even in above your knees are simply breathtaking - you don't need to be a swimmer.
Our personal advice, stay on resort unless you like being harrassed and shouted at, the locals are not friendly outside of the complexes, they are aggressive, rude and intimidating.
We will be returning to Egypt next Half Term, but opting for a large complex where will stay inside for the week and just enjoy the weather, the sea, and not having to cook, clean, or do supermarket shopping!"
- Travel date: Tue 5th of April 2011
"This, our first trip to Egypt, was made with some trepidation having had a bad experience in Tunisia a number of years ago. Clearance through Sharm El Sheikh airport was completely painless and transfer to the Hotel was a bit of an eye opener as the Egyptian drivers are mad to say the least.
On arrival at the Sonesta Beach we were met by the bell boy and our cases were taken from us and we were processed by extremely pleasant Reception staff in a very pleasant Reception Area. The check-in was carried out very smoothly and we were shown outside to where the bell boy took us and our apartment.
The apartment was spotlessly clean on arrival and kept that way by daily visits from the cleaner. The beds were made daily and sheets were changed every other day and the towels were changed daily. The only criticism was that the apartment was starting to show signs of age particularly in the bathroom.
The Sonesta Beach was only half-full due, in part, to the earlier unrest within Egypt although there had never been any problems around the Sharm El Sheikh area. With reduced numbers of visitors some of the facilities were not available, i.e. There are two main dining areas in the complex and only one was open although this did not have any adverse effects as there was plenty of room both inside and outside The Citadel Restaurant which was open during our visit.
This holiday was the first that we had taken on an All-Inclusive basis and prior to our holiday we had heard one or two horror stories about the food served at some establishments and how it could become boring with the same menus every day. I am pleased to say that we were pleasantly surprised.
Breakfasts were as would be expected with the choice of a full English type breakfast, selections of cereals, Continental type breakfasts, fruit, etc. Fruit juices were available on a self-help basic and tea and coffee was constantly topped up by the efficient waiters.
Lunches were from choices of Salads with cheese and cold meats and/or at least four hot cooked meats/fish dishes with vegetables, pasta, etc. There was also a selection of cold desserts and cheese to round off your lunch. During lunch the waiting staff are constantly offering to top up alcoholic or soft drinks at your table. Tea and coffee is available on a self-help basis.
Evening meals were varied every day. Each evening had a different food theme throughout the week. For instance, one night might be an Italian Evening and the next it would be a Russian Evening. On each evening there is also a selection of standard british style meals for the less adventurous diners. As at lunch, the waiter constantly topped up your alcoholic and soft drinks at your table.
All meals are served for 3 hours (7am-10am); (12am-3pm); (7pm-10pm).
The one thing I was pleased to see was that a member of staff was constantly testing the temperatures of the food throughout the mealtimes.
In addition to this main dining area, there was another restaurant - The Casablanca serves Lebonese and Oriental cuisine although this is served at table rather than buffets style. Due to the limited size of this restaurant, guests are limited to one visit per week and this visit must be pre-booked 24 hours in advance at Reception.
Bars are scattered around the complex and some have waiter service whilst others are on a self help basis. Either way there was never any long waits - all drinks were free flowing throughout the day.
The Sonesta Beach has several pools (at least one of which is heated) and they adopt a card system for towels which are supplied clean on a daily basis. Pools do not open until 8am so nobody can go out earlier than this to stake a claim to a padded sunbed. At each pool there is a member of staff who will allocate towels in exchange for the ticket given to each guest on arrival. The member of staff is around the pool all day. When you have finished with your sunbed you can return the towels and receive back your towel ticket.
Before the pools open at 8am the areas are cleaned and every evening the pools are closed at sunset and the areas washed down.
The Sonesta Beach has it's own private beach and the towel system and the bars are open in this area. There is a floating pier out from the beach, from which you can see various types of fish in the Red Sea.
From the complex, guest can walk into Naama Bay which has an excellent variety of restaurants, from local Egyptian through the likes of Macdonalds, etc. and usual variety of Chinese, Thai, Indian, etc. Naama Bay also hosts some of the well named UK High Street stores and the Egyptian Markets where the bartering is not only fun but also worthwhile. You must be prepared to be accosted and the traders will all want you to go into their stall (or shop). And don't forget if the trader won't accept your offer - you can always walk out of his shop. I 'll bet you that you won't get to the door before you are stopped and your offer accepted. If you have not bartered before then take a tip - Start with an offer between 10% and 30% of what they ask. Then you can argue the price until agreement is reached. They all speak English and will give you all their hard-luck stories which you can take or leave.
If you want to go out of the complex for a meal, then you can even negotiate the prices on the menu if you are going to a restaurant operated by a local owner. To give you an example, we decided to have a meal away from the complex on our last night. We were stopped by the owner of a restaurant we had previously looked at and the owner offered us a 20% discount. I said, "I'm looking for more than 20%". He asked me what I was looking for and I told him I was looking for more like a 40% discount. He offered us 30%, and when I turned it down and started to walk away we got the 40%.
To sum up. The Sonesta Beach is in an ideal location and had all the facilities that we expected. It is clean, well run and maintained. The staff are well motivated and, although they rely on tips, they will put the client first and most have a very good sense of humour and will go out of their way to make the client feel extra special. Entertainment was limited which I put down to the reduced numbers of visitors.
We had a wonderful holiday and, if circumstances permit, look forward to returning next year.
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of March 2011
"We went to this resort last year,we gave it 9 out of 10, this year 2 out of 10, last year the food & entertainment was fantastic 7 nights a week, thats why we went back this year, there was entertainment 1 night a week and the food was crap, last year we had steak this year was burgers, pasta & chicken, we lasted 3 days & got moved to club magic life,thank god for good reps who agreed with us. The rooms were dark especially the bathroom, the resturaunts were filthy, would I go back to the sonnesta, not a chance"
- Travel date: Sun 31st of October 2010
One of the best holidays ever!
"My family which consisted of 6 adults and 2 children 11 and 9 years old, absolutely loved this holiday. The staff at Sonesta Beach just couldn't do enough for us. My parents were celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary while there. The cleaner found out about it and left a lovely present in their room the next day, my parents were really pleased with this extremly nice gesture. The rooms were very clean and extremely large. My children are very fussy eaters but always found something to eat. Out of the fortnight 2 adults suffered tummy upsets which only lasted for a couple of days, thanks to the kind barman that made up the special tea to settle their stomach. I don't think it was the food I think it was more to do with the hot weather.
We were all in agreement that this package holiday was the best chilled out holiday we have had. Having been to alot of other holiday destinations. Definitely going back 2011."
- Travel date: Fri 25th of June 2010
"We were very pleased with our stay at Sonesta Beach we were given a huge room (2705) with massive bed and even had a spare room with single bed. It overlooked the Cactus Pool, it was kept immaculately by the cleaning chap. There was always plenty of gardening staff around and the gardens were very well maintained. We favoured Le Dome restaurant as was close, we could sit outside and listen to the Saxophonist,who we thought was very good. He played easy listening background music and fortunately was not Jazzy (like Cleo Lane/Johnny Dankworth) at all. The meals at Le Dome were really good, with a fair variety. We only thought one selection was poor and that was the roast veal. Trying to get the attention of the wine waiters was a bit tedious though.
We spent our days by the Blue wave Pool and there was always enough loungers available, in the evening Mohammed (who works at Cactus pool during the day) was really attentive to everyone and a more hard working young man will be hard to find, well worth the extra tips I gave him. The drinks are served in decent half pint size plastic tumblers and the local beer, Sakara, is ok. This bar also shows lots of football for free. You also get ice cream and packets of crisps free here as well. Beware of mozzies at sunset though, I sat and watched Egypt in African nations Final and was riddled with bites on my lower legs!
We didn't use the Citadel restaurant. We ate once at Casablanca and were sitting outside, however the light was so dim we could barely make out the menu and both had Kofta which was really dry so we left and went to the Dome to 'top up'. Apparently they do a great fillet steak but we didn't see that, still worth a visit though as it's part of your AI. The animation teams at some resorts are generally not that good, however we felt the team here were actually quite talented, they managed to get several nationalities laughing at same things - no mean feat. They practice really hard until early hours at times, and during the day are not pushy if you don't want to participate.
We did one trip and that was Luxor, it was pricey as you have to go by air, but we knew that and added the VIP package as well which is a much more personalised tour. The Valley of the Kings and Karnak are breathtaking. We booked it through the Thomson Rep John, I can see hands going up in horror at this. Why not book with the rep? This seems to now be a modern taboo, yet it's much safer and reliable. The rep gets a small commission which can be added to their meagre wages. The first person you will run to with a problem is the Rep so give them something back and book your tour with them please!! Furthermore take out some Golden Wonder crisps and Cadbury's creme eggs for them, as they miss such luxuries! John was a very friendly and enthusiastic lad who clearly takes his job seriously and nothing is too much trouble for him.
We went into Naama Bay one night to go to the Tavern, where we had been previously 2 years ago. The bar was empty and it closed at 1am, we thought the resort would be 'bouncing' since it was same night as the Egyptian Football team had won the African Cup, but no the resort was quiet so no late night unless you are willing to pay to go to a Disco.
We had a great time with good weather and didn't let the ill mannered Russians, spoil it. There was not a lot of them there, but mind you there doesn't have to be! Almost forgot the rooms have free safes but are a nightmare to use and usually need several attempts to lock/unlock."
- Travel date: Fri 19th of February 2010
"This was our 2nd year of staying at this hotel we took a party of 31 last year 42 this year and if you can come back without one complaint something must be right, they are now asking about next year.
We found this hotel just by chance last year as we are a diving school we wanted to be near Divers International for those wanting to do a shore dive Divers International is just a short walk away from the hotel. We are not all divers on this holiday. The hotel is big or should I say massive everything looks so clean staff are friendly food was good the only thing was some of us had stomach cramps but I put alot of this down to not drinking enough water.
I think the hotel has inproved a lot since last year although I had no previous complaints
Improvements since last year staff have new uniforms a lot more choice in food more different types of veg
Quite a few of our people went quad biking said it was excellent
We will be back"
- Travel date: Fri 20th of November 2009
"Just got back from our holiday at the Sonesta Beach Resort and really enjoyed it. I was a little nervous reading the reviews on here prior to going but we really had no problems.
The Egyptian staff can't do enough for you, the grounds are immaculately manicured, the selection of food available throughout the day is fantastic and if you're on all inclusive you will struggle to make it through the cocktail list with the generous measures you're given! Dine in the Dome if you can find it as the main rest can get a little busy in the evening, especially when other guest 'reserve' the best tables!
The excursions are well worth it too. We went quad biking which included a camel ride. An excellent day out and Rami the rep was very helpful.
The location of the hotel is perfect. Excellent snorkelling from the beach and a little walk away from the shops.
We were surprised at how quickly the sun goes down (dark by 6pm in October) but the sun blazes all day which is perfect, it hasn't rained since 1997 so we were told!
We would definitely go back, in fact we're thinking of booking for our honeymoon."
- Travel date: Wed 14th of October 2009