71 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
I would go there again
"I stayed in Sonesta Club from 20-27.09.2007 as an all inclusive guest. It has been the first time that I travelled to Egypt and I was a bit worried after reading all the bad reviews. But luckily I had a wonderful stay in Sonesta Club and cannot complain about anything.
I had a very large room with a king size bed and the cleaner did a good job every day. (I gave him a tip of 1â¬/day). The room had garden and pool view and although being very near to the pool there was no noise. But to be fair I can imagine that guests staying in rooms at the other end of the hotel complex may complain about the long ways to reception/restaurants/pool and the view to /noise of the building works for a new pool. I just had luck with my room (No. 321).
At 7.00am (when I got up usually) there were still a few sunbeds vacant. However, I personally preferred the beach from the Sonesta Beach Resort and therefore went there nearly every day. At 8.30/9.00am there were still plenty free sunbeds at the beach as well as at the pool. The way from door to door of both hotels took 5 minutes walk; from my room to the beach it took between 10 and 15 minutes. Crossing the street was an interesting venture and I liked it; but for families with children I would recommend to take the free shuttle bus.
I really enjoyed snorkelling at the Sonesta beach â although the corals near the beach are very damaged or even non-existent anymore as too many people have walked over them. But a bit further away from the beach are still beautiful coral riffs with loads of colourful fishes. Best time for snorkelling was in the morning when the water is still very clear. After 10.00 the glass boats really became a nuisance and the water became dimmish.
The food in the Sonesta Club was great. Of course some of the dishes were offered repeatedly but because the range was so large there was no need to eat the same every day. And the dessert was a must!
The staff was very friendly and helpful â at reception as well as at the pool bar / in the restaurant. I travelled alone and one could say this was why they were so friendly. But I saw how they dealt and spoke with other guests and there really was no big difference.
The only minus is that outside the restaurant times you could get drinks at the pool bar only and at one very small stand at the beach. I never tried the beach stand as I took my water bottles (provided from the Sonesta Club) with me. The drinks at the pool bar were not ice cold but they were definitely not warm as stated in some reviews.
Additional info: I did a day trip which I booked with my local travel guide medhotels. The trip included a jeep safari through the desert, two snorkelling stops, a fantastic lunch in a Bedouin tent, two hours camel riding along the coast in a nature reserve and a stop in Dahab. We were collected at the hotel at 6.30am and returned at 8.00pm. This day trip was absolutely worth the money (GBP48)!
Altogether I would book the same holiday and the Sonesta Club again. I had a great time."
- Travel date: Sun 7th of October 2007
nice clean hotel
"me and my boyfriend stayed or two weeks at the end of july, the hotel is lovely, our room was really spacious although i think if their was a third person in there it could feel cramped. We stayed B&B mainly because i didnt want to feel tied to the hotel and wherever you go all inclusive food is always the same. We ate out every night and couldnt fault any of the resaurants, our favorite was definatly CAMAL BAR the food was gorgeous and sitting outside you get sprayed by mist towers, and in the egyption heat they do have the (aaah) factor. Highly recommend the Quad biking in the desert and the boat trips to ras mohammad and tiran island to snorkel around the wrecks. Although the fish around our beach are just as spectacular, there is a bar at the end of sonesta beach called noonas with a rooftop terrace where you can see all of sharm lit up on a night, well worth a visit. Your reps will try to sell you the trips and tell you not to go with anyone else but be warned you can get them at a fraction of the price in sharm town and you will end up on the same bus/boat/bike as them. The only thing i couldnt stand was the heat i have never been anywhere so hot, but i should of known I WAS IN THE DESERT. recommend going at a cooler time of year, even the locals were constantly sweating on a night and normally they are used to it."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of October 2007
Wish id picked another hotel.
"Drinks for all inclusive only at pool bar, you get your own. The waiters only collect the glasses. The drinks are pretty awfull most served warm in scratched and chipped plastic glasses.
Entertainment for kids non existant. Music played contained a lot off swearing. You get what you pay for. Hotel itself ok not 4 star.
Will not go again or recommend it."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of September 2007
IT'S THE PITS!!!
"Advertised as 3+ star and wouldn't get a 2 from me. Paid Â£1000 for 2 weeks all inclusive as a single but the only thing I dare eat there was the pancakes and maple syrup at breakfast. Everytime I tried lunch I ended up throwing up especially the beef stew.
The First Choice rep was as much use as a chocolate fire guard.
Did my PAD1 Open water certificate with Aquarius Dive Club. Excellent instructor and the best part of the holiday. Ate most nights at the Camel bar.
Sonesta Beach isn't any better either going on the people I spoke to.."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of September 2007
better than people say
"people say that this hotel is rubbish and they would never go back but i found this hotel better than what people said.
the food is good for the first week but after the same stuff each day it does get a bit repetitive. but overall the food was nice and it filled you up at the end of the day.
the room was really clean and homely and how people can have any complaints i don't know.
the staff are extremly friendy and a bit cheeky at times but it was funny as they had a superb sense of humour. check in was easy as the reception staff spoke perfect english and they helped us out all the way.
the pool area was clean and tidy all the time. the only bad thing i can say about the pool was there wasnt enough beds.
the night entertainment wasnt all that good but i suppose if you want entertainment you should venture into naama bay.
all in all this hotel is good quality for what you pay for. i have no real complaints at all."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of September 2007
Hot hot hot
"On arrival, the staff checked us in quickly and were extremely helpful. They took our luggage to our rooms and by the time we had gone into dinner, our bags were in our rooms. Our hotel room overlooked the new pool currently being built but to be honest, we NEVER heard ANY noise from the builders in the the whole week we were there. The room was large, airy, clean. The air conditioning was great (albeit a bit noisy). The bathroom was large, clean and had a power shower.
The food was plentiful for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One night we counted 15 dishes you could choose from. Yes, sometimes the salads get a bit monotonous, but overall the quality and quantity of the food was brilliant.
The pool was nice. As other people have mentioned, the only downside is that you have to get up very early to tag a sunbed. On our first morning we awoke at 5.30 (on our own accord) and thought we might as well wander down and put our towels down. To our surprise, half a dozen beds had already been bagged by people....for anyone arriving at the pool after 9...beware. Sunbeds will be gone. Alternatlvely, try the Sonesta Beach. We preferred their pool as it was a lot quieter and there were beds aplenty at whatever time you get there.
The only trip we did was the Ras Mohammed boat trip. Well worth the Â£23 we paid. Out all day, with lunch included and a fantastic guide who took us snorkelling. Would recommend that to anyone.
We found the hotel staff couldnt do enough for us. They were chatty, friendly, helpful and courteous the whole time we were there.
Overall, we had a fantastic time. The weather was hot, in fact it was around 40C which was a tad hot but hey...what do you expect when you're in Egypt.
We would definitely go back to the Sonesta Club without a doubt."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of September 2007
Never going back again.
"I landed in Egypt for the first time with great expectations of this hotel and the people there. When I got to the Sonesta Club, I found the staff rude and unhelpful. They were unable to find me the room that I needed at the hotel. I was forced to stay in another hotel since the booking people here made a real mess of things and totally ruined my week away. When asked for a change I was told it wasn't possible. Very unhelpful.
I was allowed to use the facilities for a few days. The pool was filthy and food was below standard.
One of the worst hotels I've come across for staff attitude towards customers. I am never going back. If you're looking to book here, I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere. I wish I had come on here and paid more attention to the more negative reviews before parting company with my hard earned cash."
- Travel date: Sat 15th of September 2007
This hotel is still bulding
"We got a room number 1200 ,so so far from the reception,food n pools,all the time there were workers n machines were working till really late hours,every where dust.I would never go there again."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of September 2007
Don't listen to bad reviews-sonesta club is great
"Despite all the bad reviews about the Sonesta club, it was a surprisingly well looked after, clean, right sized hotel.
All the qualms about food went away as soon as we ate in the buffet. Although some things were repetitive, for example rice and chips, there were many iteams which wern't. We had all sorts of meats-steak, fish, chicken kebabs and tons of salds and pasta dishes. The food was obviuosly not what you would get at the Ritz in London but it was nice and plenty of it. The deserts were to die for!!!The only thing which was disapointing is that you have to pay for ice cream all inclusive or not!
The cleanliness of the hotel was a 5 star standard. Our room was always clean and the gardens, pools, resturants etc were fantastic not a spec of dirt in sight!The rooms were a large size and the bathrooms although small were great with a powerful shower and clean towels every day!
The pool area was lovely but like you get all over Europe beds were taken by 9 in the morning, this was not a problem as there were plenty at the sister hotel and gorgeous beach!The beach was sometimes crowded but still the water and tropical fish are beyond belief, well worth buying a snorkell kit!
Sharm as a place is fantasic, really viberant and really safe. We loved can't wait to go back.
But one last tip-do not buy exercusions with Thomson-although quad biking and pyramid trips were amazing they were alot cheaper elsewhere!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 9th of September 2007
"Checking in â Was easy, receptionist spoke good English and our bags were taken to our room. Took us a while to find our room however as it was quite a walk from reception and we were only pointed in the general direction of over 1000 apartments.
Rooms â Nice size, and although kept clean with clean towels and sheets each day could do with a re-vamp, chipped and dirty tiles in shower. The rooms were described as having air con, which they hadâ¦but this was a very noisy system and struggled to keep the room cool at night. Even though we booked a room for two adults and one child there were only two beds and after a number of calls to reception this took about an hour and half to resolve.
Food â hmmm if you like the same choice of food day in day out for two weeks, then your in luck as this is what is served, personally there should have been more of a daily variety!
Drinks â we chose all inclusive, be warned this is a con! Warm flat beer and watered down wine served in plastic glasses, all inclusive are treated like second class citizens compared to the paying guests and you only get the all inclusive drinks at meal times and around the pool, you will have to pay for your drinks at the Sonetsa beech and in the night club.
Features and activities â basically very poor, lived near a building site for two weeks where they are building the new and much required pool area. The current pool was dirty with chipped tiles and black scum forming â (we all suffered from ear infections) not enough sun beds if you wanted one you would have to get up very early - managed this only the once, got the last three at 7 in the morning, heard reports from other guest they had seen people getting up at 4 in the morning with their towels to reserve then going back to bed.
Donât expect to play table tennis â unless you have your own equipment, the Tennis courts at the sonesta beech resort had no fence around it and no net!
The private beech at the Sonesta Beech resort was tiny and you would have to pay for your drinks there â the Sonesta Club had a drinks outlet on the beech for all inclusive but this was only open between 10-30/11.00 â 4.00/4.30 with mr no personality serving non alcoholic warm flat drinks in plastic cups.
Entertainment â The same Belly dancer for 20 minutes each night doing the same routine to the same music!
The Staff â Generally very friendly with good sense of humour, the hotels one saving grace!
All the above sounds very negative and I guess it is, but wasnât enough to spoil and fantastic time away. The weather was very hot, the snorkelling was excellent â we went on Bedouin trip and can highly recommend it ! Will be going back to the resort next year but defiantly a different hotel!"
- Travel date: Thu 6th of September 2007
Longwood Holidays Nightmare
"Lovely georgeous hotel but Longwood holidays are cramming as many people as they can and this hotel is overcrowded and the staff just cant cope. The bar was dirty, the food awful, everything that could break broke (air con) patio door, the toilets where disgusting, everything you could expect from a small hotel without enough staff or restaurant facilities. Pool was lovely and its ok if your diving but if your there for the ameneties, dont bother, and dont book through Longwood as they just fobbed me off with crappy excuses when i returned and didnt offer any compensation for an awful 2 weeks. Sadly ive been going to this hotel for the last 15 years, but never again !"
- Travel date: Wed 13th of February 2013
Sonesta Club August 2011
"My wife and I have just returned from a 2week stay at Sonesta Club Resort travelling with Thomas Cook.
The airport was an unusual and confused experience especially the queues for a visa. However, the luggage arrived quickly. Our transfer was on a type of minibus with our bags on the roof for which the guy who hefted them up there expected a tip. He got a British pound.
At Sonesta check in was very smooth and quick and a porter took us and our luggage to the room explaining the facilities and the room layout. We tipped him a British pound also.
The Room was large and the aircon kept worked well. The room includes a free safe, TV, loads of cupboard and drawer space, spacious shower (though cold water is rarely cold) with lashings of hot water. The room we had possessed a massive bed. The balcony was small facing the gardens (we rarely used it in the heat just for a drink before bed). I short a very good room if a shade dated in style of furniture and decor.
The cleaning was very good and as others mention you are sometimes greeted by sculptures of towels or your toiletries organised into tidy lines. With clean towels daily and regular sheet changes we were happy time give a handsome tip to our cleaner at the end of our visit.
The pools are good and well kept although we were there at a busy time and if you hadnât captured a sunbed by 8:30 you would struggle. I got up at 7am on our last morning and half the sunbeds had towels on them at that time. Still we managed to get what we needed. There are waterslides open in the late afternoon most days and pools of different depths. The towel card system is deployed so you exchange your towel card for a nice clean towel and return it to get your card back each time. You may need your towel just to reserve your sunbed.
Bars serve as advertised, some of their cocktails are odd as they use cheaper combinations to achieve the effect, They use branded soft drinks (coke, fanta etc) with local weaker spirits and beers. All in all we found the bar staff and pool staff very pleasant and helpful. They are generally very quick and will obviously help you if you are nice to them. I didnât tip any bar or pool staff but they were always fantastic with us.
The Health club consists of a free but poorly equipped gym ( the only good things were small light and medium dumbbells) with the treadmill and bike being pretty useless. However we did book a series of Egyptian massages which we thoroughly enjoyed as they worked out our stress and aches from lying around all day. The hard massage for a make involved him walking and kneeling on your back (fantastic stuff!).
The food is one of the things where you will have as many opinions as people who write. I am an unfussy, well travelled, adventurous eater and in my opinion the food was well cooked and hygienic, with a more than acceptable variety at each sitting. They are catering for many nationalities in Muslim setting so it will unlikely meet everyoneâs hopes and expectations. I gained 10 pounds weight on the visit. The waiters were very friendly and attentive especially if you took time to chat politely with them. They quickly found us a table no matter how busy the place got and once they knew our tipple they would bring us drinks to our table without us even asking. We didnât tip till our last meal and 2 waiters got a handsome tip from us for what we saw as exceptional service beyond what we expected. We didnât try the snacks at the [pool bars but their pizza, burgers etc that they served there looked nice. You get water bottles to take to your rooms at meal times. Wine is available with meals that is variable in quality from poor to fantastic Iâll have another glass please.
The beach has loads of beds that not many use and is a short walk over the road and through Sonesta Beach hotel (never understood why they have a shuttle bus!). It is rocky so you need to get some rock shoes for about 5 British pounds. It is shallow and warm and teaming with the most fantastic tropical fish so you also need a snorkel for around 9 British pounds. The beach is all about the fish! Like others I would say that the bar provided for Sonesta club needs to provide bigger glasses. Still it meant I walked a bit more! The fact that you can also get a hortel towel on the beach is also good.
Other tips. It is a 20 minute walk to Naama bay or a very short taxi ride. There is a supermarket at very reasonable prices just up the road from the hotel e.g. chocolate as cheap as the UK. Empty your mini fridge and put its contents to one side for your stay so you can use the fridge for your water etc.
We booked trips with Sharm Club on the internet before going and their prices were as good as any and better than Thomas Cook by a mile. They were very good â We enjoyed the star gazing evening with the Bedouins and a trip to Ras Mohamed. We too a long trim to St Catherineâs and Mt Sinai as we wanted to see where Moses had visited but it was a long drive. The hotel has a lot of Russian and Italian guests so be prepared for that (we enjoy mixing with other nationals â it adds colour to life)
To sum up I would say Sonesta gave us a really good holiday. All staff were friendly and welcoming. In international rating terms I would say they fall slightly below 4* as the facilities in some places are dated and very busy. However they are very good value for money and we would go again.
- Travel date: Sun 21st of August 2011