Ocean Bay Hotel
Travel Blogs from Sharm El-Sheikh
The reason I love Sharm el-Sheikh so much is it's a holiday mecca! The place - a gorgeous sea view beach setting - has everything you need for a relaxing holiday. Yes it's nice to see the locals and culture on holidays, but here you don't experience the down sides of this. From clubbing to quading in the desert, diving to fine food, this place has everything for an enjoyable ...
... here are indeed crystal clear. Unfortunately I didn't see many big things aside from a few turtles. It is good diving though, and I'll probably come back here some day. I did 2 dives in the Straits of tiran, which sits between sharm and the island of tiran. The island of tiran is contested territory between egypt and Saudi Arabia. Apparently the island is famous for being the second most land mined piece of land in the world, so we stayed on the boat during our surface ...
... and the hostages were released. The next story concerned the Beirut Hostages of which there were many. As last time Terry Waite took us to the point where he was about to get into a car with the hostage takers and then said, ‘sorry times up, you’ll have to wait till next time!’ This was predictable but very funny.
The next lecture concerns his 5 years in solitary confinement and how he coped. The final ‘session of enrichment for the morning’ was ...
... the restaurants sell fresh fish so we order some. The fish comes out grill with Egyptians spices and it's delicious. I can get use to eating fresh fish from the red sea, it's amazing. We have a big day of diving tomorrow so we muster up all the will power possible to avoid all the bars and clubs which are starting to fill up with people from all round the world. It's tempting but I want to strength an alertness considering I'm diving in shark invested ...
... cheek and talk to him in a attempt to wake him up. Just when I think I'm going to have to try a bucket of cold water or a slap his eyes slit open.
His hands and arms still out far to the sides and slightly up (no where near me) he blinks and stares at me. Still talking, he continues to stare at me as you would if you were to wake up with something, not entirely pleasent resting on your chest. That whole "I dont want to touch it to remove it, but I can't believe ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Ocean Bay Hotel Sharm El-Sheikh
Better than the Ocean Club? Possibly not
I stayed at this hotel for the first time having previously used the sister hotel the Ocean Club (which is a bit cheaper being located a 10 minute taxi ride form Sharm - both hotels are booked up by Explorers Diving in the UK) - the rooms are comparable between the 2 hotels in most ways.
However, even though this is a more expensive hotel than the Ocean Club, in many areas it falls well short. Breakfast in particular was a shambles - there were never coffee cups on some tables, there was always a shortage of spoons (each day we had to specifically ask for spoons and coffee cups) and unlike the Ocean Club, a lack of multiple coffee jugs and no chef to cook fresh omlettes and the like. Breakfast choice was more restricted.
The staff at this hotel also seem less friendly than those at the Ocean Club - the room cleaner in partiucular spent the whole week angling for a tip which got very annoying after a while. There is also a good deal of noise from the tacky Irish pub and associated bar on some nights so if you want peace and quiet choose a hotel elsewhere - the front rooms get noise from the courtyard, the rear rooms get noise from the pool bar.
Arrangments for giving out keys on arrival and getting everyone on coaches at the end of the trip were a total shambles.
Rooms and beds are however clean and comfortable although number of TV channels varies widely between rooms as does cleanliness of towels. Showers go from scalding hot to cold with no warning and no means of controlling things.
Overall, if I book with Explorers again I will give the Ocean Bay a miss and return to the Ocean Club for friendly more efficient service, a quieter hotel and take the ten minute taxi ride as a price worth paying.
Ok for divers
Well, writing this i have just got back from sharm, stayed at the ocean bay hotel,from the 28th of jan to the 4th of feb,
The accommadation is ok stayed in a twin with my dive buddy,the room was clean with plenty of space and air conditioning, the sheets are changed every day from what i could make out,don't use the soap and shampoo they supply if you tend to go out on the pull...be advised take your own, other wise u could end up smelling like a camel.
theres only the need to take one towle with u as they supply them, but you are not allowed to take them from the room(we did when we went diving)the shower's have a mind of there own..u know hot cold fast slow,
Reception is open 24hrs, there are no safes in the room, they are by reception at a cost of 3.50 a week the staff are helpfull, when u leave if the guy who doe's your room has been good leave a tip of 50 egyption pounds..about a £5..bugger all really if you leave less they let u know. the pool is a good size but is used a lot for diving course's by ocean college who we dived with be warned take your own kit as their price's are a rip off and they pick and choose wether its in £..$..or euro's, in all this hotel is really for divers not romantic couples.and breakfast..well its there if u want it, but there are plenty of place's to eat out, and not a sign of deli belly,the camel bar doe's great food,in all a good hotel for divers cheap and cheerfull, don't forget to barta, barta, barta,its fun...oh theres no coins there so don't accept any and don't take any there,they hate them..
Clean, Comfortable and an excellent Location
We stayed at the Ocean Bay Hotel for a week in January 2006. This hotel only offers bed and breakfast. There is a Mongolian BBQ offering dinner on some nights depending on the season at £7pp. This will also include some local entertainment.
Location: The location is ideal as it is far away enough from the hustle and bustle of the main streets, but near enough from the centre of Naama Bay (3 min walk). The area around the resort is quite peaceful as normal traffic is not permitted on the street (King Abdulla Street). On inquiring we were informed that this was due to the Aug '05 bombing that took place at the taxi rank on this street. The taxi rank is not used anymore and security is very good with the Police patrolling the entire area.The immediate vicinity around the resort is not very developed and there seems to be many abandoned sites, so it is extremely peaceful.
Room: You will get what you pay for. From our experience travelling in similar places such as Turkey, Tunisia and Malta, this is definitely a well rated 3* hotel. The rooms are cleaned on a daily basis and are a good size, containing a dressing table, side boards & wardrobe space. Unlimited A/C is available as well as satellite TV (with CNN, Discovery, Paramount and Movie Channel). There is no safety deposit box on hairdryer in the room. The safety deposit boxes next to the reception counter is in full view and only manned by 1 person at the counter (don't know how safe that would be!). If this is your preference it costs £3.50 for a week.
With regards to the en-suite bath, the shower cubicle is a little on the small side with the shower curtain a little large for the cubicle resulting in the shower curtain either hanging out and flooding the bathroom or hanging in and limiting your space making the area available in the shower too little!! Soap is provided in a dispenser and it does not smell like soap, more like a chemical cleaning substance. It also has a shampoo dispenser, which is o.k but it is best to bring your own. There is also fluctuating pressure from the shower and taps, but it was not too bad for us. On the plus side the bathroom has a powerful extractor fan and its own boiler.
Hotel Facilities: The pool is an average size and contains varying depths as it is used for diving training. The sun beds around the pool are in full glare of the sun so great to get a tan. There is however no lifeguard.
Breakfast is a modest affair with a small choice and not a lot of variety but it serves its purpose just!!. The selection includes bread rolls, Danish pastry's, sweet bread, cakes and sometimes biscuits. The hot selection consists of croissants, pancakes, beef sausages, chips, scrambled eggs and boiled eggs. Orange juice is also available (diluted and not fresh). On the plus side if you are due to go an excursion leaving early in the morning before breakfast is served - they provide a breakfast box for you so you do not miss out!! There is a shuttle service between Ocean Club hotel and Ocean Bay Hotel. Ocean club is a little outside Naama bay.
Local Amenities: 200 meters down the road from the resort is a Supermarket which sells all you could possibly need and at somewhat reasonable prices. There are also a wide variety of cafes and restaurants ranging from Lebanese, Italian, Indian and local cuisine. There is also a Pizza Hut, KFC and McDonalds for those who want familiar fast food chain names.The beach is a 10 min walk away and divided up into sections. Each hotel has its own section of 'private beach'. Ocean bay hotel does not have its own section but vouchers are available from the reception or you can use the Public beach for free!
Excursions: Please read the forums for tips on excursions. Only beware of the prices that explorers charge for excursions. Explorers charge a lot more for ALL excursions e.g for the glass bottom boat excursion we bargained elsewhere and got it for only £4 pp while explorers charge £9 pp . We paid £115 pp for a day trip to Cairo by plane while explorers charge £149 pp. Get the gist...
Overall - highly recommend to those who want a bargain break but who also want to in walking distance to Naama Bay!
Beautiful, Unforgetable Sharm!
When i first booked to go to sharm i was very unsure of what to expect from the resort and espically the hotel. Me and my boyfriend had only booked the previous week so we were very excited about going. When we first arrived at the hotel we had a very warm welcome and we was helped up to our room by a bus boy who insisted on carrying all our lugguage. We were very pleased with our room, very spacious, clean and the hotel had also provided us with information about the resort with prices of excursions.
The pool was divine i loved it!! it is for divers but they were very curtious and let us swim around our own space. The shops which is located close to the hotel be very careful of!!, we were ripped off £90 for the perfume so be warned!! The shop keepers insist you go into there shop and have a look round but don't! casually walk on by and ignore them, i know this sounds harsh but believe me they can be very pushy and very annoying!! I will be looking to go back again around september/october as i thoughourly enjoyed myself. I hope i have helped in letting people know about the hotel and the resort. In 3 words Beautiful..Exotic..Paradise!!!
Well worth going
For a cheap and cheerful diving base it's hard to beat. Hotel is modern, clean and tidy. It's close to the resort centre, the service is spot on and the facilities for what they are (faux Irish bar, a basic US style diner and a poolside bar) deliver what they promise.
Worth noting if you're diving is that Ocean College is on site and provides excellent service in all ways. Note of caution though - book everything you want as far as the diving's concerned before you go and it'll be a lot cheaper - extra days etc all appear a lot cheaper in the brochure but can sting if you book them whilst you're there.
Good value, friendly, convenient
We got a great deal on lastminute - 9 days for £149! The hotel is close to the airport, and the flight was organised by Explorers - so plenty of signs and people a the airport organising the visas and bus etc.
Small hint - don't take a trolley if offered! The guy will stick his hand in your face, full of £2 coins expecting a tip. For passing you a trolley!
The hotel is nice and clean, basic but not budget by any means. The pool area is great, though there isn't much shade if you're not a fan of the sun.
Our cleaner was awesome, he made animals/flowers out of our towels every day, and was extremely accomodating. On one occasion that my girlfriend was staying in bed (ill) for the day, he went to the effort of picking some flowers and handing them to me in a small glass of water to take to her. He also insisted on taking our luggage at the end of the holiday, well after giving him a tip. Small things like that make it more enjoyable!
The location was great, only a few minutes walk to Naama bay.
I would recommend that if you want to visit a beach, you visit one of the ones in Naama bay and not the Terazzina beach that Explorers promote. It was not nice at all. The "Kasabah" (or something similar), for which you can get tokens from the hotel for about £2 per day, was great and had a small section of coral reef just off the shore that had all the fish you'd ever want to see.
We did the following trips:
Boat trip - snorkelling: Was a great day, stopped at about 3 locations. Two of which we jumped off the back of the boat for a while, the other we did a 'drift snorkel', good fun.
Ras Mohammed National Park: A day driving around the national park of Ras Mohammed. Our guide was terrible, he slept most of the day! And most of the trip was just 'so-so' - the mangrove forest isn't much to look at, even though we were really looking forward to it. However, one of the snorkel sites we stopped at ... something-bay, I forget the name ... was breathtaking. After wading around rocks for 10 minutes, you literally 'dropped off the edge' of a huge reef. It was rough and the current strong, so the lifejackets (that we thought they had ripped us off with) were vital for us to feel safe. Even saw a tuna fish =0)
Sunrise Horse Riding - treated the girlfriend to a horse ride at sunrise. Wasn't my cup of tea, but she loved it, so definitely worthwhile.
Good Location, Not Much Else
As previously stated the location is fine, just 300m downhill to the main parts of Naama Bay. I find little else to recommend staying here when I could have forked out an extra few quid to stay at the Hilton. The hotel does not have a private beach so if you are looking to sunbathe it's either the hotel pool or pay to get on a beach. I think the main attraction for this hotel is for divers, I heard good things about Ocean College and my experiences with them were great as well.
Air conditioning. You can't do without it and most days it was on from the time I got up till the early hours next morning. The a/c worked a charm in my room, it was as cold as I wanted it and I could adjust the temperature with a remote control. During August it is literally boiling and the a/c in the room is a welcome relief.
Food is relatively cheap, as it is throughout Sharm. It's decent quality, and I found the Mongolian BBQ in the courtyard was well done. You choose from a selection of beef, chicken, veal and calamari along with sauces, mushrooms etc and the chef cooks it for you on a big circular bbq.
Breakfast was ok, good to have scrambled eggs available. I wouldn't touch the cold stuff they put out though, but each to their own. A couple of times the things I wanted to order from the menu were not available, but overall the food at the hotel was ok.
There are no 'Do Not Disturb' signs to hang on the doorknobs. Combine this with my room cleaner who at least 4 days out of the 7 began knocking on my door before 9am wanting to clean the room. If you're an early riser, no problems. But as I was on holiday and had been out a few nights the last thing I needed was this guy knocking on my door at an early hour. Then at the end when I checked out he followed me downstairs and stood there while I checked out and paid my bill. He then followed me over to where I stashed my luggage and told me my tip was 'small money'. It was! But I was unrepentant and he then handed it back to me. I'm happy to leave a generous tip where it is warranted so here I feel no guilt at all.
The shower pressure and temperature was a bit of a lottery. Not a dealbreaker but worth mentioning I feel.
Also from the waiters overall in the hotel as well as generally in Sharm I became very cynical. My 2nd night at the Mongolian BBQ I ordered a bourbon and coke (which incidentally cost more than the food) and the waiter asked if he could have one as well. I answered yes without thinking and of course then realised what he was asking. That kind of ticked me off, along with the next night when he asked if I wanted a beer, which in my opinion meant he wanted one as well.
As previously mentioned there is no safety deposit box in the room. They are located in full view in the hotel lobby. You can rent one for 35EP for a week, which I did. But I found it so inconvenient I ended up storing things in my suitcase which I locked whenever out of the room.
These are only minor things but every day they add up, and you can do without it when you just want to relax and chill out. I would return to Sharm to do more diving, but next time I'll pay the extra few pounds and stay in a 5* hotel.
Food Poisoning, additional costs ....
Ocean Bay Hotel.
My recommendation (being to Sharm twice this year and done both 5* and this hotel) - book a 5* hotel, splash out, you can afford it. Believe me, the additionals do add up, and you've paid for a holiday, not to lie in bed ill.
The hotel was in the best location, if you have been to Sharm before just 3minutes walk from the KFC. The room was comfortable and relatively clean, though the bathroom was of a large size, there was no bath and the shower pressure left something to be desired. Not only was there no pressure, the temperature kept changing from scorching to cold. Although a few things in the room could improve, at least the air conditioning was working.
If you are given a room, close to the pool, request a change, the pool is open 24hours. It does gets used at all hours, and is really noisy.
There were additionals throughout our visit to this hotel. First we encountered - no safety deposit box in the room, this was however in reception, in plain view of everyone, and at the additional cost of 35LE a day.
The hotel is closely linked with the Explorers excursion planners. On arrival one of the representatives gave us an introduction, and a list of activities we could participate in. All at an additonal cost, in pounds sterling. We booked 3 of these trips, listed below: (and had bad experiences on all)
As the hotel does not have a private beach of its own, you either had to pay to go onto Terrazzina beach (few miles away), or pay to use one of the other hotels beaches. Ranging from 20-30LE per day. There is a public beach but this also charges 20LE per day.
£4 for Terrazzina beach use or £8 including one inflatable ride. Although they collect you from the hotel in the morning, you have to make your own way back to the hotel by taxi, which ranges from 20-30LE. (not stated in their brochure). On the brochure, the pictures wrongfully eludes to the fact that comfortable loungers on the waters edge are for use. (Also confirmed by the Explorer representative that we booked through the previous day) However on arrival these were only for VIP guests, and Explorer guests had to sit at the back of the beach.
Cairo by bus 1day.
£69. On booking this trip, i asked the rep if the bus would be comfortable. (as the person i was travelling with has back problems and sitting for 6 hours would be a problem). She informed us that it was the large bus, that collected us from the airport, with on board toilet, and comforatble seats, and were a person with back problems could stand. When the bus did arrive it was a small taxi/people carrier, where sleeping onboard was impossible, standing - a safety issue, and no toilet, although you do stop for one break, but have to pay for the toilet. (My advise DONT DRINK before you leave!) The trip to Cairo was great and well worth the money spent on it, although keep in mind that toilets are charged at 1-2LE. The lunch which was included was an exceptional buffet, although not stated in the brochure once again, drinks are not included.
On our departure back, once again another 6 hours no sleeping, 24 hours in total. We stopped for dinner, at a place chosen by the guide which was not worth the money paid, but the ONLY place to eat. (Advice -while in Cairo, get somehting to eat for dinner). Once again even though you are a customer of the restaraunt, a charge was levied for the use of the toilet. (This is the only toilet stop on the way back to Sharm). If I had known that we would be travelling like we did, i would have booked by plane, a 45 minutes trip.
Blue Hole Safari, and Camel Ride.
Safari vehicle collects you from the hotel. Snorkelling at the Blue Hole, which was NOT exceptional, I would highly recommend any of the other dive companies, such as Sinai Divers or Red Sea College - and arrange to go by boat with them, snorkelling to Ras Mohammed, this will also not cost you £25 as quoted by Explorers). Unexperienced guides, who rushed you to swim faster, swim faster. So the hour we were meant to spend snorkelling took 25mintues. A proper introduction to snorkelling was not given, neither were we asked if any of us had done this before, (i know this sounds strange - but we had children and elderly). We were not told, "do not touch the coral", (for the reason of deadly scorpion fish!) Being a diver, i know this, others did not. Drinks were included in the day, but only while you sat at the venue and bottles were provided per table, not per person, as soon as we asked if we could have bottles to take with on the camel ride, this was all of the sudden at an additional cost. Toilets on this excursion also need to be paid for, at a cost of 2-3LE per usage. (I do not understand that when you have already paid for an excursion, you then need to pay again to use the facilities.) Although lunch was included, DO NOT EAT!. There is no other place you can get lunch, so i recommended take your own - if you do this trip. All of us that went (23) with Explorers got violently ill with food poisoning, the following day. The day after being ill most of them returned to the UK. So their last day was spend in bed, or on the toilet. I went to the offices of Exploers located on the outside of the hotel, to put in an official complaint. This was met by the manager, and quickly dismissed. He insisted that i had dehydration. (having dehydration before, this was not the case and that 23 persons got ill - 23 People do not get dehydration at the same time). When i enquired about a refund, he said that a form had to be completed, and they would investiage and get back into contact with me. (Which i found amusing as we were leaving in 3 days, and there was no contact detail information, (telephone, address, email) on the complaint form. When i asked if i would be compensated after the investigation, he said probably not, but that at least their service would improve. I also had no way of ensuring that this investigation would be done, and that my complaint for would not be in the trash bin, when i left their offices.
In the hotel room, the sheets were meant to be changed daily, accedentially, one day i spilt suntanning cream on the sheets, they were not changed for three days.
We did not see our room cleaner once in the 7 days, though his trolley was permentantly parked outside our door, on the day of departure, there he was requesting his "tip".
Although other hotels might be slightly more expensive, there are no hidden costs, safes in rooms, tips not demanded, rooms cleaned to a 5* standard as expected, beach assess at no additonal cost! And food poisioning is not brushed aside as a regular occurrance by the manager.
I Visited this hotel from 26-05-05 to 02-06-05, we booked one week before and got a great price of £199 each. We used teletext but you could get the same price using the Explorers web site. The Hotel is one of many run by Explorers in Sharm. They also run Ocean Club, which we looked at while we were in Sharm but it's a bit out of town.
The Hotel is mainly used by Divers and you can book your dives with the ocean dive centre before you leave the UK.
The hotel is only about 15mins from the airport so no long transfers. The staff are friendly (sometimes over friendly with female guests) but harmless enough. The hotel is very clean and well maintained, our room was adequate enough, tv and air con are included with every room. Note, this is a 3 star hotel, if you want luxury then book a 5 star!! The pool is great, 25m long with various depths from 1m to 4m. During the day its really quiet as most guests are out diving, so if you just want to chill out or if you're a diving widow with kids then you have the pool to yourself. The pool has a bar which serves food and cold drinks which are reasonably priced. Sun beds are padded and a nice man will bring you a towel which is free. As mentioned before this is not a 5 star so it doesn't have lovely lanscaped gardens to walk through and the scenery around the hotel isn't the best, some building work going on (sharm is still growing), although we didn't hear any work going on as it was too hot to work.
Which leads me to the weather, wow, if you want blue skies every day (we played 'spot the cloud' every day and it was still nil-nil at the end of the week) then this is the place for you. Its 30oC + every day and still warm at night. We loved the heat but stayed in the shade during the midday sun as it can bake even the brownest people. We saw some terrible sun burn which can spoil your holiday. We used factor 20 most of the holiday and came back with a great tan and no peeling!!!!
My last tip..if you buy anything in the town you will have to haggle (not food or drink) so check out the hotel shop for gifts etc, they have fixed prices like in the UK, we did this at the end of the hol and found that we could have saved a few quid, and a few hours haggling!!!
My very last tip, if you are going to Egypt for the first time the conversion rate is £1 to 10 Egyption pounds. All Egyption currency is in notes so 1 egy pound is 10p. We were told to tip our cleaners daily (1 egyption pound is enough) and expect nice shapes of animals etc made from our towels, we weren't disappointed. See pics.
Review of Ocean bay hotel, Sharm
Oceans Bay was only built 6 months ago (at time of this review which is May 2005) It is a 3 minute walk from Sharm centre, but it is all built up so its a safe walk there.
Overall I have given the hotel an above average rating but I?ve broken down the different aspects to see if it is going to suit everyone:
Rooms: The hotel works around internal and external courtyards, this means chances are you are going to be looking into another room in one way or another. my rooms which was singe and quite small, looked over the main stair well. I was out diving all day and drinking in the evening so i didn't spend too much time in my room, but if you are a fan of complete silence i would suggest you specify a room with a window to the outside.
I saw some of the double and twin rooms and they were really generous in sizing - each has a lovely big bathroom with only a shower. The water pressure in the rooms on the 2nd floor was a little weak, but I think this issue is being resolved.
Swimming pool: Really nice swimming pool set in a courtyard behind the hotel which acted as a real sun trap (to be fair not really needed in Egypt!) lots of sun loungers and a really laid back pool bar. the swimming pool is used my the dive college which means that you might have to be dodging scuba divers when you are doing your lengths.
Restaurants: There is a diner where breakfast is served, this is a 50's theme restaurant. its basic but there are plenty of staff which are really friendly and all speak English. good selection of English style food this serves both breakfast and lunch. There is also Shanagans which is an Irish theme bar, open lunch and evening. English menu - very competitively priced. There are TV's in there if you are wanting to catch some sporting events which happen to be on at the time.
Shop: little shop next to reception which sells the basics and essentials. very nice shop manager who will talk you to death given half the chance - i guarantee you that you will have your name written in hieroglyphics even if you don?t want it!
dive centre: Ocean College is part of both Oceans bay and Oceans Club (a hotel just out of naama bay (Sharm centre) they are a really reputable firm with very experienced dive instructors which are really friendly and helpful to both brand new and experienced divers. their transport if good and their boats are clean and safe. You get to dictate the sites to go to - r they can advise on the best areas. Book you course in advance to avoid disappointment although you can book when you get there, like I did, but expect to get up early on your first day! THE DIVE CENTRE DOES NOT ACCEPT MASTERCARD!
As I have said the hotel is in the perfect location is Sharm, 3 minutes from the centre, but you don't have the noise like a lot of the hotels suffer from. Also you are 5 minutes walk from the harbour to catch you boat in the morning.
This hotels offers a very good deal for those which are looking for a good location cheaper hotel in Sharm. If luxury is your thing then go for the 5* hotels in sharks bay. This hotels offers all you need and in the perfect location!
Little tip to remember if you are going to Egypt, take with you as small denomination notes as you can when you first go out there, to tip the bag boys etc. you are unlikely to get small notes from the bank when you exchange your money but ask friends which have been they may have some lying around. 5LE (Egyptian pounds) is a fine tip and is about 50p