71 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
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
"Absolutely loved this place and have already arranged to go back! Staff made me feel like a princess, dont think anything would make it better. The food was not bad, i enjoyed it but I am also willing to try new things for fussy eaters the option of chips and pizza was always available and there was always an option of salad as well. Entertainment was actually not bad (although it finished to early for my liking) hotel was spotless, when we arrived and had to get an extra mattress to accomodate for the three of us (which took ages to come) i thought the holiday was going to be terrible, but i was completely wrong! Room did get infested with bugs but was sprayed everyday after we told the staff. I also celebrated my birthday there, I was sang to and presented with a huge cake and the staff in the shop even gave me a prezzie. Not much in the choice of alcohol however I found a love for a new cocktail (Tequila Sunrise). Couldnt really appreciate the beach as was closed due to shark attacks. Pools were great millions of them and slides too, just a bit cold! Jet2 rep was superb, i could not get over how brilliant he was and we have to send him a special thank you on the last day as we could not get over the standard of care and hospitality he provided! One of the best hols ever!! "
- Travel date: Sat 20th of August 2011
Nice Hotel, Shame about the Restaurant
"Just returned from a week here with my husband (50 and 52 yrs).
Here are my views on the place
Overview - hotel in its own grounds adjacent a busyish dual carriageway. Beach about 10 mins walk away at sister Hotel
Rooms - very clean, fairly basic, but a good size. Some of the design of the rooms were such that instead of a french window to a balcony, they had a door. So unless that door was open, you got no natural light into the room.
Pool Area - two pool areas, which although busy, we always managed to get 2 beds together. Free towels each day too. You did get 'hassled' by people from the Beauty Salon each day, who could be quite pushy. I even had one pushing on my leg to wake me after I pretended to be asleep on time !
Beach - about 10 minutes walk at sister hotel, Sonesta Beach (a FAR nicer hotel). Very small, very cramped and full of Russians !. Worth a trip just to snorkle etc, but don't go for anything else.
Restaurant - Now here is my main gripe about the place. There was basically only one restaurant for the entire complex. There was a small pleasant area to eat outside, but it obviously got filled up very quickly. The inside area was more like a factory canteen. The service was appalling - most of the time you got ignored. the waiters tended towards arrogance in a way. We were told you could order drinks via the waiters, but forget that. Quicker to go the small bar outside the main door. If you only wanted water, there was a water dispenser inside. They were slow to make up tables, even if they saw you sat there waiting. They were slow to clear tables, EXCEPT if you left your table to get more food and then you would come back to find they had taken your drinks, your cutlery etc etc ! Food was OK - good selection of breads and salads each day. Tended to be warm rather than hot!
Bars - 2 main bar areas. Service here OK. Although forget about trying to order a cocktail ! Ordered a whiskey sour and got a luke warm whiskey and coke. Another time I ordered a Gin Fizz and got a nice drink. Went back for a second and got a totally different and not very nice drink ! Gave up after that !
This is our 4th trip to Egypt and I have to say that the hotels here don't have the same edge as the ones in Spain / Carribean - especially in the bar /restaurant departments. But on the other hand we haven't had one day of bad weather in all 4 holidays !
Would I recommend this hotel? Well perhaps not, although everything other than the bar / restaurant was good. But if you have booked here, then I would say you would be OK and go and enjoy yourself."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of March 2010
Just more than OK
"Just returned from a week at the Sonesta Club with my husband. This is our third trip to the Red Sea and I have to say that the Egyptians haven't quite got the edge that the Spanish countries have got in terms of hotel standards. Saying that in 3 trips we haven't have ONE day of bad weather or even a cloud !
The hotel is OK, set in its own grounds (very clean). Rooms were cleaned well too. The style of some of them (ours included) were such that instead of a french window onto the balconey, there was a door, which meant that there was no natural light coming into the room unless you had the door open to the balconey. As it was mosquito season, we couldn't leave the door open after dusk, so the room did tend to be darker than it could have been. But then how much time do you spend in your room.
Restaurant - My main gripe with the hotel was the restaurant. There was only one main restaurant for the entire hotel. It was more like a factory canteen than a relaxing place to eat on holiday. They did have a few seats outside, but not that many and so they filled up quickly. As someone else posted, and I agree with totally, is that the service was terrible. Dirty tables left for ages - the only time they seemed to clear them was when you were half way through your meal and went to get a another course and went back to your table to find your drinks gone, your cultery gone and on one occasion. someone else in our place. You also waited an age to get your table made up in the first place, and as for waiting / ordering drinks from the waiter well forget that. Luckily there was a small bar by the entrance and it was quicker to use that. The waiters were rude to the point of arragance. There was no personal service whatsoever. None of the waiters seemed responsible for any group of tables as it the norm. There was a Restaurant Manager who stood about, but we could never be sure exactly what he did. Another poster commented that they refused to offer her daughter water at breakfast - only tea and coffee - which I find a bit odd as inside the restaurant there was a water / juice dispenser, together with help yourself tea and coffee.
The food was OK - good choice, although tending towards warm rather than hot. They had a good selection of breads every day and a good salad selection too. I always found something to eat, even if I was limited to one or two main courses.
Drinks / Bar - there were 2 main bars which were OK. Although they didn't seem to understand what a cocktail was, even though there was list on the bar with the ingredients. I ordered a whiskey sour one day and got a whiskey with coke. I ordered a gin fizz another day and got a really nice drink, when back to the bar to order another and got a totally different drink !
Pool Area - 2 large pools and plenty of sun beds. Never had a problem getting a bed even though the hotel was full. You did get hassled by 'touts' from the beauty saloon looking for business and they can be quite pushy even if you pretend to be asleep.
Beach - the beach is about 10 minutes down the road accessed via the sister hotel Sonesta Beach (a much nicer looking hotel). Very small and very cramped. I think they stuffed as many sunbeds into the space as possible, but it was worth a trip just to snorkle in the sea if nothing else. Either get down there first thing, before 9am, or wait til after lunch and go down.
Main Resort - There is a esplanade with restaurants etc leading down to the main resort of Naama Bay - worth a walk down there, but do expect to be hassled. But this is Egypt, so it goes with the territory!
The hotel is also full of Russians, in fact there were more Russians than anyone else. They are also rude to the point of arrogance - they barge past and never acknowledge by a nod or smile if you hold a door open for them etc etc.
Would I recommend this hotel ?? Probably not. There are better hotels there. But saying that if you have booked a stay there, then I would say that you will be OK. Just don't expect the Ritz !
Finally I have to say that this was the first time I have been to Egypt and NOT been ill at all !"
- Travel date: Mon 29th of March 2010
"I had heard so many bad reports about Egypt,but i was so glad i didn't listen two any of them.It was or first holiday abroad for a number of years and boy was it worth every Penney.The staff at the sonesta club were so professional and courteous.It made our holiday even more enjoyable.There was twelve of us traveled together and all said they would go back to the sonesta club.The rooms were cleaned every day.With clean towels left.Our house keeper left beautiful towel displays every day using our beach towels,that we had no need to even take because like i said as well as clean bath towels there were clean beach towels for your sun longer every day,which you could use for the beach if you so wished.All the staff work extremely hard,including the gardeners who i think are grossly over looked when the tips are dished out.We all made a point of tipping the gardeners everyday and they seemed so grateful.they never forgot your face,as they would nod everyday till they learnt mourning meant the same thing.the display of food in the restaurant everyday was marvelous,beautiful displayed.You would not starve as there was something there for everyone.Our son has a very limited diet so occasional we would take him to mcdonalds which was just along the street.The waiters work especially hard as our second week more guests arrived.There was one waiter in particular called him self Wayne Rooney and all his work colleges called him Wayne to he was so funny.he worked so hard to make our stay so enjoyable.shopping is another ball game.To harassing the shops in naama bay are like Blackpool,all the bag,towel,souvenir,watches,perfume,and everything else there. are all the same contents shop after shop.you can't get a good look because they harrassed the life out of you.we found going into government owned supermarkets where much better,and where often much cheaper.You could shop in peace.I could go on and on about our holiday and how wonderful it was,I would go back to the sonesta club tomorrow if i could so i have no hesitation in recommending it to others.Ops!the only negative point and there is only one is the entertainment on a nighttime what they have is rubbish.If they got more adult entertainment they would have the hotel sorted."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of July 2009
"I have just returned after a weeks stay at the Sonesta as one of a group of six girls. We all lost at least a stone in weight. Who needs Weight Watchers when you have the Sonesta Club. We took all the precautions you could (handwash, bottled water, no salads etc) but were all still crippled with The Mummys Revenge (sickness, diarrea, tummy cramps) for most of the holiday. Our rep used the feeble of excuse of blaming it on the sun, and the fact we were eating 3 full meals a day: Not true, as most of us couldn't stomach much! The food was luke warm to say the least, and generally heated up with a tealight if you ate at the BBQ. EVERYONE we spoke to in the resort had also been ill, but the hotel refused to accept any responsibility!
I have to be fair though, the rooms were cool, and basic but adequate. The actual hotel and grounds were lovely. Lots of space in and around the pools. Most of the staff in the restaurant are rude, and only want to help when they know you are going home and they might get a tip.
Henry the Henna guy is great fun. I will miss his 'Hey Bibbi' every morning, afternoon...and evening!!!
Keep away from Doodoo the hotel beauty treatment type lady. She rarely delivers what's promised. She as the talk of the pool for that reason exactly!
Sharm El Sheikh as a resort doesn't seem to have much going for it. Brace yourself for marriage proposals galore, and for the fact you will have to 'haggle' for just a cuppa!
The one redeeming feature of the resort is the snorkelling on the private beach. The fishes you will see are amazing. I have never snorkelled before, and was speechless at how close the fish swim to you. It's def worth a try.
- Travel date: Sun 21st of June 2009
"having just returned on 11/06/09 we were glad to be home in England. this hotel is beautiful in the grounds, pool areas,outside pool bars,the bedrooms BUT where it let itself down is the restaurant!!!!!!! CANTEEN more like it was terrible, service is atrocious the staff were ignorant, rude, bad mannered, bad tempered ...dirty tables ,no cutlery on tables, waiting for a drink for over 20 mins. they wouldn't give my 7yr old a glass of water at breakfast said only juice or tea/coffee for her how ridiculous i complained nearly everyday till i was sick of hearing myself but to no avail .we were polite, well mannered,even tipped them ,doesn't make a difference unless you are Russian or a couple of young girls travelling alone you don't get a good service.As a party of 9 (6 adults 3 kids) we paid nearly Â£7,000 to stay here what a let down we waited all year for this ..I have been to Egypt before and did not recieve this kind of behaviour in previous holidays here ,I think they need to look at how it is being run.One good thing i do have to say is my daughter cut her foot on the coral in the sea and needed stitches the Doctor was absolutely fantastic, very clean,very caring,looked after my little girl as if she were his own ..we were so happy with his care and professionalism . Un fortunately we won't be going back to the SONESTA CLUB and pity anyone who is going shortly we all had a bad stomach, sickness never again!!!!! they use plastic glasses that look filthy that supposedly go through a dishwash ,they were disgusting maybe this is why we were all sick. the weather was glorious ,towel man lovely Darwish and mohammed at poolbar great to chat with .swimming pools great .Beach is not very nice ..very cramped sea very stoney,paid to go on public beach ..even worse .Cleo park is a dirty filthy waterpark lots of broken tiles around pools disgusting toilets don't bother with it try the bigger Aqua Park .hope this helps .it is all true."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of June 2009
"I've just got back from 2 weeks all inc with my wife and 3yr old girl,and after reading other reviews before we went,we had some reservations, but i cant see where some poeple were coming from.Everything about the resort is fantastic:the gardens are beautifully kept,the waiter's are fantastic(if you've got any manners with them...they appreciate a "thank you"),the pools were a little cold, but in 38 degrees..that's welcoming and once you got in,it's a lovely pool....all the staff couldn't do more for us and my little girl was doted on by everyone there......o.k ..the food can get a bit repetitive,but if youv'e been all inc before ...it can!!!!( how many different types of food are there)...we ate well for 2 weeks ..and failing that maccy D's is 200 yrds down the road:)
our room was kept spotless every day by Essam...and to think these guy's get about Â£50 a month and work very hard for it.....overall we found the resort and holiday the best we've been on and will definatly go back...maybe even to sonesta club."
- Travel date: Fri 8th of May 2009
sonesta club by room 167
"We have just spent 2 weeks at this hotel. We found that everything was spotlessly clean, from the room, resturant, pools and the gardens.Our bed was a super king size which was harder than we are use to but not bad. Our house boy was amusing with our towl designs and kept everything very clean. The food was to cater for all nationalities and did extremelly well to cover them. We always found food to our liking that was cooked very well.The display of food was good although I would have prefered it to be covered over or enclosed within glass.The cakes and pastries were to die for. The snacks that are available are ok but not brilliant. Wine is only served in the resturant but is a good quality. I found it pleasant to eat about 7.30 and enjoy a glass before dining and then relaxing with a couple more after our meal. The entertainment, at 8, in the main dining area on stage, is 1st class, dancing which is such a high quality all will be amazed. There is also entertainment for the kids, all day as well as a disco for them early evening, then a mixture for all until 10.30 every night. The paths and floors around the complex were swept every morning and pools cleaned and ready for a dip early. There are 6 pools some with tubes which was used by adults and well as kids and three were heated to 28deg, warmer than the 23deg weather so very pleassant for a swim.The sister hotel across the road is only 10 mins walk, don't bother with their bus it isn't reliable.We took a small box (my own) filled with salad from dining room at breakfast to eat at the beach as cobs available were dry and unappetising.The club is treated as the poor relation at beach and you get dry cobs with cheese or meat, pastries, soft drinks or beer.You get lovely thick towles to use at pool and beach and the beach is a wonderful adventure with the fish to enjoy.We bought the shoes to wade into the water and enjoyed our swims watching the different colours and shapes of the fish.We feel that the resturant and bar areas could be overcrowed in high season but March was perfect and will be there again in 2010.We stayed in room 167 wich was also perfect and so sign ourselves as such.Special thanks to Peter for sorting out our tonic with the gin! c u next year. 167."
- Travel date: Wed 18th of March 2009
"This was my first time in Egypt and it was amazing.
The hotel is spotless - the grounds are so pretty and extremely clean.
The staff are very polite and are always on hand to help. Girls be warey they are very flirty, and can come across as quite seedy. But they mean no harm and don't mean to offend at all!
The pools are great! If you use the slides - watch out for the yellow one... and keep hold of your swimwear ;-)
I've noticed a lot of people commenting on the food about getting ill. The food obviously is cooked differently so you may get a slight stomach upset. Why people are slating the hotel for this is beyond me as if it were really that bad - why is the hotel still there?
I was fine while there, admit my friend wasn't but lasted 3 days max.
My doctor advised take plenty of immodium with you - works a treat and then you can enjoy the holiday without being ill!
If you get the chance to go to Luxor - do it!
Avoid the bedoin night dinner - not worth it.
Quad biking is an absolute must also.
Oooo definately go to Montys bar!
I cant understand why peopl are moaning but maybe i just got luck - who knows. Yes there are lots of europeans there but its a holiday resort! what did they expect - full of english - its a holiday resort! seriously! anyway enough of my moaning at other comments haha.
Overall its a top holiday and I'd recommend this to anyone.
I'm going back in in May/June this year so if you're about let me know on [email protected]
- Travel date: Thu 8th of January 2009
"i've just arrived back from this hotel.
it's absolutely amazing and it's the most fantastic hotel i've ever been to.
the staff are so friendly and the animation team,well cant fall them if your going in the next 33 months make sure to say hi to john from jasmine!
the hotel is so clean,at one point they were steaming the sunbeds and the water slides!
the food,is lovely but it becomes a little repetitive.
if you get a doctor in the hotel,dont
he charged my granma Â£600! and she was still poorly
but dont worry it wasnt the hotels problem.
you dont get tea making facilitys but it's fine they have tea and coffe in every bar & resteraunt
the rooms are perfect and you cant fault them
go all inclusive it's the best thing to doo.
make sure you do areobics between 11 & 12 at the pool near the main resturaunt wich is situated near the reception.
christmas and new year was the best,they go all out with the decorations and everything.
if youur planning on getting your hair platted in the hotel ask for bands not glue!
you may find the people in naama bay intimidating,dont there lovely what i learnt is to not give them eye contact and just egnore them.
if your a sweet lover,take your own sweets because i paid Â£6 for chewy,a lolly and a chocolate bar! rip offf.
the entertainment isnt brilliant at this time of year because the weathers so cold but the animation team are amazing,there some of the bst people i've ever met (L)
- Travel date: Tue 6th of January 2009