Domina Hotel & Resort Harem
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Travel Blogs from Sharm El-Sheikh
Only a 4 1/2 hour flight, arrive earlier than normal so a couple of hours sunlight left. Interesting journey via taxi to the hotel, which included having to get out of it as we got grounded on a sleeping policeman! Hotel is very spread out, nice gardens. First rooms not to good but the girls manage secure new ...
... from the UK. When we returned to the "public" beach we found that it cost $2 Euro each to use the 30 foot wide access to the beach....with only about that much space at the beach front. Other beachs cost closer to $12 Euro each...so we did like our find.
There were two little Egyptian boys playing and we got a kick out of them and their families.
... travelers and enjoy getting to know them better. We are travelling with some amazing people, and I will always be grateful for the blessing of meeting these new friends.
We get cleaned up and head to dinner (which includes the yummiest hand-made pita/tortilla things), and then hit the shops next to our hotel. One shopkeeper offers a free cup of hibiscus tea (an Egyptian specialty). My friend Carrie had already tried it and hadn't died, so I figure it's safe. ...
Today we decided to take the shuttle into town. Sharm is a very large resort area with a nice long walkway that goes by all the hotels, cafes, etc. There are named hotels here like the Marriott, Hilton. Although this is the Egyptian Easter week, there were no crowds on the beach or walkway. Again, very few people are coming to Egypt.
There are beautiful flowering trees and ...
... where there is a sandy bottom at 22 meters. Still calm in the body and my resting heart rate is minimal. When we came around the corner off the coral block, we see a 1.5 m width leopard ray. When it´s spotting us, it turns around in two seconds and disappears into the blue deep water in front of our eyes. Me and Jeff are looking at each other with big eyes and laughs.
At this point im swimming between two coral blocks and comes ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Domina Hotel & Resort Harem Sharm El-Sheikh
We were at this Hotel 3rd to 10th June. Rooms are fantastic and we were lucky enough to get a pool and sea view. The room was exceptionally clean and spacious (on two floors) with 2 bathrooms!. We only ate at Spices restaurant because the food at each mealtime was excellent and suited our tastes (try out the Tai menus). Service was excellent from all the staff, and every one was very keen to smile and make sure we were happy. The beach is fab and the 2 sea swimming pools a great idea. It's only a few minutes walk along the beach to the bar (plastic cups! but what the heck it doesn't matter). Little taf tafs (buses) take you around the whole complex and are every 5 minutes, overall we had a fab time and would definately go back. It was quiet the whole of the week whilst we were there and I dare say it might be a bit crazy during peak times and school holidays. First class place and we don't understand what it is that people have to moan about really. Before we went on this holiday we were a bit concerned (with reading previous reviews). If you only eat macdonalds and don't like fresh fruit and veg then maybe it's not for you. We will definately go back though.
Confused but ok in the end
on reading reveiws that were already on here we were like every body else not quite sure what to expect but when we arrived we were greeted by frendly staff that bought us a cool towel to to wipe away the dust we arrived one hour later than expected so it was dark, just,we were told we had been up graded to their duplex suite which had a jucuzzi shower bath which was nice also a mezzanine floor upstairs with four poster bed , as other people had said the rooms we ok but on reflection were getting tired, but were cleaned by nice young men,the all inclusive package we found out has only been running for a year or so ,so we thought its best to give them time to sort it out .
when we booked it we did so through med hotels and their website kind of was missleading as it said you got everthing included in the all inclusive way but when we handed our information on the hotel leaflet it said you were only allowed to eat in a selection of places for breakfast lunch and dinner and not all of them included your drinks,the biggest problem was on the beach you have an area to go to which is your beach with your colour towels but the bar along side is not your dedicated beach bar we could only get water from there,no lunch or beer or wine.we had to go to the other side of the resort for that which took half an hour with clothes on and two buses or the taff taff that they called it, or we had to go back to our reception area where we we can get a beer etc where we had to go fo breakfast,we had one small stand up bar on the beach 500 m away,that gave us beer or alcoholic drinks but in small plastic cupsThe food we could not fault for what was a very very large resort,all the ingredients used were of a good quality they even have their own allottment but i think they only use those ingredients for their fancy restaurant which we didnt get chance to sample as we were only there for 1 week .
entertainment was a bit late sometimes by the time youve worked out where it is ,its over but we were not botherd .
when you had finished you dinner where ever you decided to eat the other thing that was a bit silly was that you had to come back to the reception area of your dedicated hotel to get another drink
which puts a bit of a dampener on the evening as you feel like well you shouldnt be there as there was no music or anything to want you to stay.the whole concept was clever really to not make you drink very much at all.so on relection we said we would go back to this hotel and pehaps chose the prestige hotel because maybe you get a bit more choice in where you can go .
they also have alot of timeshare properties in the resort too. so you are sharing some facilites with allsorts of people.
Oh Deary Deary Me!
When i first arrived there it was like a Haven, after the airport situation!! which i can tell you, i nearly lost the will to live because they are so unorganised.
our room was beautiful and very clean and the view was amazing!
the service was good but only if you tipped someone, i tipped Mohammed at the pool bar and i swear it was the best Five pounds i spent on holiday.
he was at our bec and call and even when we didnt ask he was always there to help.
i didnt bring my mobile phone with me and i used the Hotel phone to ring home, i was on it for about 4mins and i got charged £60 in English!!!!!
then the Hotel had made an Imaginary phone call up and tried to Charge me a £100!.
there was a woman at the reception who made my stay a misery, nasty remarks was her forte.
i has only bought 200 pounds with me and the battle for that 100 pounds was difficult, i asked the rep to sort it out, and after days of hassle from this woman she cut it down to £7.50, i said to her "thank god for the rep" and she turned round and said, "just remember, its not you or the rep who has power, i do!".
apart from that god awfull woman, it was bareable.
we did meet 3 other couples who had experiences with her, and one of the cuoples actually had Bed Bugs, and the woman refused to move them from there room, what this silly woman doesnt realise is that one of the people who it happened to works for a big Pest control company!!
dont get me wrong i know im complaining constantly, there were good aspects of this holiday and good people i would recomend staying in Sharm el Shiek just do yourself a favour and dont stay here!
Not ultra all inclusive not even all inclusive
We booked this holiday after reading the brochure description.From this we were expecting an Ultra All Inclusive holiday but were disppointed to find we were not really even all inclusive. Only 2 drinks per day from the beach bar after that you had to fill in forms as long as your arm in 40 degree heat,then get bus to another hotel and stand in a long queue to pay.On an evening their was no entertainment or bar to sit in in the harem so you would either have to sit in the lobby or get a bus to another hotel.The other hotels would only let you purchase non alcoholic drinks without a charge.Although hotel is beautiful i would never return and strongly advise you not to go either as it was not worth what they charge,dont let it put you off egypt though its fantastic and will retuurn but not to any of the coral bay hotels.
Value for Money!
Firstly want to let you know about the cost of this hotel. My friend & I paid £480 per person for 10 days at the Harem hotel in the resort all inclusive (don't go unless you go all inclusive as it just is not worth it). For all those moaning about this hotel, please get a life! For £48 per night including flights, were you really expecting the Hilton!!!
There are 3 different types of room. We went for the sea view expecting to be on the sea front, but the hotel is situated around a 5 min walk from the beach., but the view was still nice. We met some nice people at the hotel & had a look at their pool view room & it had the same layout, but a better view (go for pool view). The rooms are spacious, clean, well maintained & have everything you need for a comfortable stay. The TV also has 2 channels dedicated to English movies so if you do get sunburnt as I did & want a night in, there is plenty to watch as you chill. One piece of advice though, do NOT open your door to the balcony after sun down & leave it open or there will be a million mosquito's there when you go to bed & you will get eaten to death! Make sure you take repellent or you will be down to the pharmacy for your first few days!
The food is bit repetitive in the spices restaurant (the restaurant for this hotel), but if you like Thai food, then there is a nice different meal there every night. You do get to use 3 other restaurants there for free, but all of them are pretty much the same, just larger & in a different location. If you do want to use any of the other restaurants that are not included in the package you get £7 each to use against your bill in any of the other ones & can expect to pay around £10 each for a good meal & drinks for some variety. If you are going for a budget holiday then staying in the free restaurants are ok.
This is the only thing that annoyed my friend & I. At the Harem hotel there is only one small bar to use in the evening (along with the pool bar during the day) & they are quite awful with service (we didn't get on well with the lad behind the bar). They are fussy with serving you repetitively. They only have a small amount of glasses there & make you feel guilty for drinking a lot. Small glasses for beer (1/2 pint) & if you want a spirit & mixer they tend to give you a small plastic cup which only holds around ¼ of a pint which means you are constantly going for re-fills. Considering you are all inclusive, they are really do make your life difficult with drinks (this is not the fault of the staff, as the management make sure they do this).
The pool bar is pretty much the same. With around 100 people around the pool, they only have 50 or so glasses available which means you have to wait for drinks all day! If you are on soft drinks they are ok about it, but if you are drinking anything alcoholic, they make you wait what seems like hours to get a re-fill! If you ask for a bottle of water at the bar, you get the ¼ pint cup of water (they wont give you a bottle) which is quite frustrating at times! The way to combat this is when you go for lunch (between 1pm - 3pm) make sure you take it in turns to go to the bar at meal times. My friend & I would go up once each & get 2 bottles of water & take our bag in with us to sneak them out (they don't like you doing it but you can get away with it) This way you don't have to wait all day for the water you need to drink to keep the fluid intake up.
The only way to combat this is to tip the staff. At each bar if you make your face known & give the staff there a £50 Egyptian pounds (£5 English), they will look after you like a king. We only figured this out after 5 days, but once we had done this at each bar (the pool & in the hotel), the staff completely change their tune & even start giving you table service. The guy on the pool bar is great, but you need to look after the staff. They only get paid £50 English pounds a month for 16 hour days, 7 days a week.
If you pay for drinks in any of the other bars you can expect to pay inflated prices. A pint will set you back around £4! So if you want to drink, either stick to your all inclusive or go to Narma Bay. You will pay £2 per beer in Narma Bay
If snorkelling is your thing, make sure you go to the beach (buy your equipment at Narma Bay as it will only cost you £5 but in the hotel shop £20). The coral & sea life is fantastic. We spent hours in the sea swimming & really does make the difference in giving you things to do. Reps do try & sell you snorkelling trips around various spots, but I would advise against it as we went on one & you don't see anything different to that at the beach at the hotel. It cost us £25 for the day on boat & although we enjoyed it, looking back we would not have gone if we knew. The way they sell it you expect to see dolphins and sharks, but its exactly as it is at the hotel. As it's a coral beach you don't get to paddle, & the only way to get a swim is to jump off one of the jetty's into the water, but we were happy with this.
We did the Cairo trip & what a great day. You have to get up at 4am to go but its well worth it. A walk around the National Museum, a boat trip around the Nile. A good feed at a restaurant overlooking the pyramids, a papyrus museum tour & finally a couple of hours looking around the pyramids & sphinx. This is what you go there for and its well worth it. It will cost you £5 to take a walk into the middle of the pyramid (not included in the trip) but well worth doing. Don't go near it if your claustrophobic though. You have to be a dwarf to make it through. It costs around £140 but you cant really go to Egypt & not go. You could probably do it a lot cheaper if you organised it yourself, but I would recommend the package as you get the whole history.
Both my friend & I were 29 years old & had a great holiday. We got exactly what we needed on a break. This hotel would suit all types if you want to go away & chill, but if your looking for a party holiday & a lot of drinking & clubs this is not for you.
All in all I would say this was a great holiday & would recommend this place to anyone. Don't go there expecting the Hilton, as for this sort of price you just wont get it! You get what you pay for & somewhere actual 5* will cost you £1,000+.
Go Go Go!! Fantastic!!!!
Weave just returned from a week all inclusive at this resort. We d a few reviews on here that left us little unsure but we had a fantastic
time. The first thing to say is that it is a 5* resort. According to them a 5* glamour resort. A nice resort it is but i would have rated it as a 3* superior. Not that it is a bad thing. The room was kept clean and tidy, the maid taking good time to ensure care in cleaning.
The air con was broken when we arrived, but 15 mins after a call to reception and it was working again. Nothing but appologies and excellent service. The shower had massage jets, and the bathroom was nicely tilled though the finish was a bit, rustic? The pool was great, kept at a good temperature, clean with a swim up bar. Plenty of loungers with a permenant lifeguard who issued towels to you. The bar service was great too.
Eating was a pleasure, a really good choice of restaurants makes deciding easy. On site is the spices restaurant which I would reccomend when your too lazy to travel.
The site is so big you need to use the TafTafs to travel around it. The beach is a 10 minute journey, but this trip is comfortable. There is a pier onto the water with two pools in the sea! Snorkling off the end is amazing and you have to do it.
In the center of the complex, is the main reception for the site and a mass of little shops. Be carefull, the staff are great at getting you in and once there will be your best friend till you buy. If you do decide to run the gauntlet, make sure you make a good excuse and they leave you alone.
Nama bay is a 10 minute taxi ride away, and at the main gate you will find plenty of drivers ready to take you, but make sure you pay a reasonable price. No more than $8 US at max. It is a journey not to be missed.
Some reviews say there are russians everywhere, but we didnt have a problem with this. They are around and more abrupt with the staff, but make a fool of themselves by drinking too much so it can keep you amused!!
Finally, in the centre of the complex you can find companies offering trips out. We took advantage of 3 of them. Cairo for the Pyramids, Quad biking in the desert, and The boat trip to the ras mohamed. All of them come highly recomended, especially the quad biking as its close and only 3 hrs.
The staff here are great, just make sure you pick who is looking after you in the first few days and tip them well and they remember and look after you.
One last thing, with the tide you will find a lot of jelly fish around the pier, but dont worry, these are not the stinging type. You are safe with them.
Anyone going here will have a great time. Eat at the different restaurants, explore the place and have a great time. We certainly did.
We booked the Reef Oasis, but when we arrived at Sharm we were told the Reef was overboked and were sent to the Harem instead, as an "upgrade".
We were disappoined at not being able to stay at the Reef, but this was soon forgotten when we saw our room, which was fantastic, a split level apartment, with jacuzzi, massive 4 poster bed, the lot!
The view over the Red Sea and Tiran Island was spectacular.
Not all of this site is All Inclusive, but if you follow the instructions in the welcome pack, you can eat and drink AI if you want to.
Unfortunately, our holiday rep didn't make that clear to us, which caused a few problems, as we had booked and paid for All Inc., but the hotel manager was more than happy to help sort things out for us.
All of the staff here are great, from the cleaners up to the management, always courteous and helpful, they couldn't do enough for us.
The food in the Spices restaurant was the best, they have an excellent Thai chef, and the Steak Bar is also very good, but you do have to pay a bit extra for that. Be wary of the Alhambra and the Kebab House, they were about the worst of the restaurants.
The beaches are good, nice and clean, with plenty of space and sun loungers. The beach attendants even have first aid kits.
Sadly I have to agree with everything said about the Russians, they are appalling, rude beyond belief, loud and always drunk.
Fortunately, there is enough space on this complex to be able to keep away from them most of the time.
We will definitely go back next year.
Ignore the Russians!
Myself and two other females stayed at this hotel for a week in March. After reading some reviews we were apprehensive to say the least!
Om arrival at reception we were given a list of restaurants and bars we could drink in that was included in our all inclusive package and were advised that if we wanted to eat at other restaurants we would have to pay. Once you have the list and map (you need the map the resort is huge) it is fairly straightforward to work out where you can eat. Basically the only bars that you can drink alcoholic drinks for free are the two bars at this hotel - the pool and the lobby bar. The pool bar shuts at 6pm and the lobby bar midnight. They do not serve branded drinks and the less said about the wine the better but spirits and beer seemed to go down rather well! We were given soft drink vouchers that we could use at other restaurants that were not AI and other bars so if we wanted to try another bar and not drink alcohol the drinks were free.
For breakfast we only ate at the Spices restaurant at the Harem hotel, however for lunch we went to The Coral Restaurant that served the same sort of food (pasta, salad, rice, chicken, beef, fish and desserts) as Spices but on a bigger scale and the food was kept hot in silver bowls with lids on them, at spices they are not kept hot and therefore a lot of the time food is lukewarm.
Dinner we ate at every restaurant we could around the resort, there are complimentary Taf Tafs that pick you up outside the reception and take you around the resort. Make sure you try the Kebab restaurant, it is included in the AI and the food was fantastic. It made a change to sit down and have someone bring the food over. The kebab and Moroccan restaurants are near the Casino and Oasis reception and there is also a fish restaurant, however the Fish restaurant is not fully AI and drinks are not included. You need to use your soft drinks vouchers and the only meal that is AI is the set menu so if you don't like that you have to use you meal allowance and have something else. We ate out at all the available restaurants and are room bill only came to 37 egyptian pounds - £3.70. It is not a lot and it makes a nice change to eat at different restaurants. There is also a pizza restaurant that we visited and although we had to pay a couple of pounds it was worth it as we were all craving chips!!! There are no chips in the buffets and the only place we saw them was at the Pizza restaurant!
On a down note, the Russians!!! There were 1800 people at the resort when we were there and 1200 of them were Russian! They are rude, arrogant and obnoxious and never say please and thank you. We found ourselves apologising to the staff for them and saying please for them as it was so embarrasing. They spoke to staff like they were nothing and the women walk around as if they are the most beautiful people on earth! As long as you ignore it it won't get to you.
There is NO evening entertainment at the Harem, you have to travel to other bars for that and of course that means paying for you alcoholic drinks. We found the Disco - £9 to get in and free drinks all night. It was open from about 11:30pm til 4am and they played english music and the drinks were large measures! Well worth a visit if you want to watch a load of people try to sing along to words that they can't pronounce and also to have a little boogy and let your hair down.
Visit the beach and the floating swimming pools, all included, as are pool and beach towels.
Do not use phone in the room - £3 per min and it is cheaper using your mobile. also drinks around the resort in the bars are expensive - £5.50 for a shot of vodka - not incl mixer!
Do not change your money up over here - there is a bank at the Oasis reception and the exchange rate was 10 egyptian pounds to £1. The rate is better there than at home.
Finally, as long as you don't mind drinking alcohol in the same bar every night or paying if you go further afield then this is a great hotel. It is not fully AI but for what we wanted it was fine.
The rooms are great and they clean and change the towels every week.
If you go say Hi to Hany in the lobby bar - he looks a bit like Craig David and is lovely.
Overall enjoy it and close your ears to the russians!
Not 5 Star Luxury!
My husband & self stayed at this hotel from 31 Dec-7 Jan07. We chose this particular hotel from the 'On th Beach' website as the description promised 'ultra all inclusive pampered luxury with premium branded drinks' & much more.
We got such a shock when we eventually arrived at the hotel (there are 7 on the complex) The reception was average & it certainly didn't help to be greeted by a drunken Liverpudlian shouting that he was trying to 'get out of this ---'! (He certainly didn't as we saw him cavorting & swearing in the pool later in the week)
We would rate this hotel as 3*. The bedroom was the best feature & came near to the description, but the food was average & never hot. We only had a choice of 3 restaurants for lunch & 4 for dinner. The Coral Bay restaurant was like a bunfight. The choice of food there was quite good but it was a battle to find a table, then find a waiter to clear & set. it. When y ou got your food it was like an obstacle course trying to get back to your table with it-there wasn't enough space & people never moved to let you past.
We were given vouchers to use for soft drinks & water only at the beach bars. When we used them at the beach bar near the sectioned off part of the beach (naturally n/a to us) we were given the soft drinks poured from a pop bottle into a plastic carton but the other people - presumably the ones on the purported Ultra AI, had theirs in glasses with swizzle sticks etc. We saw no sign whatsover of the premium branded drinks. We were made to feel like second class citizens & don't get us started on the ill mannered Russians! There were some good aspects - the beach, the coral reef & tropical fish.
If you don't mind staying at a large complex similar to Butlins, don't mind a BASIC AI package & can book for a reasonable price then this may suit you, but unfortunately we were charged 5 star prices for a very disappointing 3 star holiday.
A tip for anyone going to Sharm - if you can stand the horrendous queues, the goods are priced in dollars at the duty free in the airport, & the russians keep their place in the queue whilst the rest of their party dash around for the drinks. Quite frankly it's better to buy your duty free on your flight.
Don't bother keeping any Egyptian pounds unless you are prepared to pay £4.50 for a tube of Pringles & £5 for 2 cans of coke & a bottle of water! We won't be returning to Sharm el Sheik any time soon!
Pat & John, Newcastle