Sultan Gardens Resort
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Travel Blogs from Sharm El-Sheikh
2nd visit to Egypt, time for some sun and relaxation.
Went with family and friends, a group of 11 of us.
Today would just be a day of maxing and relaxing and soaking up as much of the 5 star hotel as we could.
So we spent the day swimming, reading, snoozing and just generally chilling. Around 5pm the guys decided they would go snorkelling, Megs and I opted out I was done with that for now, but we headed down to the beach and sat around …
This morning was a case of hurry up and wait.
We had made sure to be up, had brekky and in the mini van that took us to the port where the boat would leave on time. Unfortunately there were about 200 (no joke) other people doing similar trips on similar boats all leaving from the same port purportedly at the same time. So after about an …
After brekky we all piled into Jabula and drove the 45 mins or so to Ras Mohammed. We had to negotiate some questionable driving and one national park entry but when we arrived it was gorgeous. The water was crystal clear and aqua blue. Unfortunately the sun was sweltering so we set up the awning and then jumped straight in the water for a snorkel …
I decided today would be a gym day so I went off and Gary said he would meet me there...45 minutes later he came in dressed and ready for brekky, he had decided that waterpolo later would be more fun.
Straight after brekky we hit the poolside again, but we will never get sick of this and pretty sure we are going to miss it! After lunch we …
How has this resort rated in the past?
TravelPod Member ReviewsSultan Gardens Resort Sharm El-Sheikh
2nd visit to Sultan Gardens, both times in a group of 10+.
Review on tripadvisor.com
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Sultan Gardens Resort Sharm El-Sheikh
The brits just love to moan - Dont listen to them!
Just wanted to write that i looked at this site before i went on holiday and was worried what to expect when i got there!!
As it turns out now i had absolutely nothing to worry about.
Some people moan about the bus only going to Naama Bay twice daily, there are limited places but if you book the day before its fine and a taxi is only £2 so its really not worth moaning about!!
Yeah the food can get a bit boring, the theme did change everynight but it was nearly the same most nights but there was a lot available therefore you could have a change every night. Saying that food is very cheap in Naama Bay, for 2 of us it coz roughly £15 for a 2 course meal and drinks - and its was very nice!! - And there is a KFC, Maccy D's, Pizza Hut and Hard Rock Cafe if you really dont like the food - and alot cheaper than at home!!
The staff are more than helpful and they do not pester you. Whilst at dinner we saw a few people with absolutely no manners treat the waiters like rubbish but i found being polite and simply saying please and Thank you they were very polite and more than helpful!
Lastly if you are travelling with Oddessey from the UK the rep is really nice and between her and the reception team they are more than happy to help you with anything! Our air con in the room was a bit dodgy one night and a handy man was with us within 10 minutes and that was 12.30am!
Overall please dont pay any notice to some of these reviews as they are really making a mountain out of a mole hill! I had to come back and write this as the 'Moaners' made me think that i had booked the hotel from hel before i went - but i couldnt of been further from the truth - Believe me!!!!
Have a nice holiday!!
OK, but not a hotel I would return to.
We went to Sharm for the diving and would give that 10/10. Sharm as a resort probably a 6, the hotel only 2.
Since this is a hotel review I will limit my review to this. We stayed for 2 weeks only booking B&B as we knew we would be spending a large proportion out on dive boats. I have to say that it was clean and tidy and even the building work was not intrusive. I noticed that the rooms close to the site were empty and being refurbished. However the 4 and 5 star rating by the package companies are overly optimistic. There were few English, but I sought out most of them. I held back on my comments asking what they thought first. Views that the prices in the hotel were very expensive and the quality of the food poor, were pretty much unanamous and united the Brits with something in common to laugh about. To be fair none of the hotels whose brands weren't a by word for quality had a similar review.
When we commented to staff that the prices were expensive, they smiled and said that they knew it was cheaper in the town, but we were tourists and would pay tourist prices. You constantly felt that you were being ripped off and both side knew it. Everthing was geared to keep you in the hotel and paying their prices, which were often double that in Naama Bay and similar to London at times.
2 minibuses a day to town for 500 rooms, running to bring you back for meal times.
Policies of not allowing food to be brought in to the hotel and confiscation if you did - even water. (Felt very sorry for a KFC delivery boy trying to do his job and not getting his delivery past security in over 30 mins of negotiation!)
No tea or coffee making facilities in the room - try room service.
A TV that only had CNN in English which rarely got a good enough reception to watch. (Not that I would have watched much, but an illustration of the standard)
In a high quality hotel you expect freedom and choice and staff that can't do enough for you. Not here. You are fairly isolated and they know it. Interestingly we found some European ex-employees who confirmed this was the managements attitude towards business. It was also their real reason for leaving.
In terms of the comment made earlier this year from 2 girls, I didn't get pestered when I was with my husband and I was keeping shoulders and knees covered to avoid it. However, if he left me alone for 10 mins there would be a sucession of "accidental" touches by the staff. Not making eye contact seemed to keep this to a minimum.
If you have booked this, don't be alarmed. The hotel won't ruin your holiday, but there many options that offer better value for money. Stick with the 3 star all inclusives as they offer similar facilities and quality to this hotel. It will work out far cheaper overall, even if you don't eat there, as your drinks will be included in the price. Find one with a shuttle bus that runs frequently and eat in town where there are some reasonable restaurants.
For us, it became a matter of principal not to spend money in the hotel where possible.
If you want real 4/5 star quality you need to pay the prices of the brands you would recognise world wide as 5 star hotels. The rankings on this site are a fair representation of the opinions I found from other English tourists there.
If you are Diving Camel were very good with a court yard bar that protected you from the hassle in the town.
GREAT! HAD A FEW PROBLEMS BUT THEY SORTED IT OUT IN NO TIME!
I went there with my family and friends this year in april. I thought it was average but i have to say that the enteranceis astonishing! There is marble floors and it looks just like a plaace! The staff are really friendly.
I hope you take notice of this revew.
No Customer Comment Form - I wonder Why?
Can I start by saying that I have visited Egypt on at least ten previous occasions (mainly Cairo - Luxor - Aswan) but have not previously stayed at a Red Sea Resort. Now something about the hotel -
Anywhere which has sauce bottles on the side and long queues is unlikely (in my opinion) to qualify as a 'quality hotel'. I was advised (prior to my visit) that the Holiday Inn was five star - in fact - it is barely three star.
From arrival - there's a 'couldn't care less' attitude. I waited ages to book in - I had to find my room in the dark on a sprawling site (no map or directions) - luggage wasn't delivered - all in all an inauspicious start but indicative of the holiday to come.
My room was actually the best part of the holiday - quiet - reasonably spacious - couple of decent size beds (choice of pillow types) and a small terrace giving a slight view of the sea over the roof tops of the tiers of accommodation below. Some folk I arrived with - found their 'similar' room dirty - too far away from the dining room and an 'uphill struggle' (site is built on break of slope so there's much walking and plenty of steps. The rooms on the 'flat' near the dining room and pool - suffer the all day noise from the animation team - mainly noisy aerobics.
The hotel is 60 percent Italians - the rest are French, German, Poles and Russians - I only spoke to half a dozen english people in eleven days. I have nothing against an international group but it did mean that virtually all meals were badly done 'Italian' - not my favourite even when it's well prepared and certainly not when it's barely warm! Don't expect to find a 'quiet' time in the dining room - its queueing at all times and not a lot of room between the tables). When the main dining room is full - they open the relief dining room at about 7.30p.m and you can sometimes get in when the queues are reasonably short. Dining was not a fun experience!
They say there's a courtesy coach (actually a 15 seater minibus) to Na'ama Bay - which there is - but you need to book the day before as there are never enough places. If you don't arrive by 7.45 a.m to queue for the booking list to open at 8 a.m. you don't get a place (by 8.03a.m. the list's full) - not a system for those who like a lie in. When I complained to the management - they basically said - take it or leave it. What they mean is get a taxi there and back - cost approximately £8 - we couldn't care less.
Compared to any other part of Egypt the Sharm El Sheikh area is extortionately expensive. The many Egyptians working at the hotel that I spoke to are all 'imports' and even they say it's expensive. There are no local shops anywhere near the hotel - so for example a bottle of water at the bar is ten Egyptian Pounds (plus tax) - but in Na'ama Bay is two pounds or less.
Fortunately I wasn't ill whilst I was staying at the hotel but many were. In fairness - illness seemed much more rampant at the Pyramisa (next door) but it's probably just an Egyptian thing.
Each hotel is a seperate entity in its own compound - so you have to get past the security guys on the 'hotel limits' if you want to move about (not impossible - a bit of a chat - and exchange of fags normally works). Because of it's location however - many folk I talked to - found the Holiday Inn very isolated. It's certainly a long way from Na'ama Bay (about five miles) so unless you're a keen walker - and don't mind mixing it with the locals and security bods - you could spend a fortune on taxis.
Now the good news. The swimming - even on the coast right of the front of the hotel is superb. All along the coast (with the exception of Na'ama Bay itself) gives tremendous snorkelling. The underwater scene is as good as anywhere (I've swum in a lot of spots including the Maldives and Mexico) but the water in the Red Sea in April was quite cool (20 -22C).
Trips to Tiran Islands and the near, middle and Far Gardens (for snorkelling) and St Catherines are recommended but book them in Na'ama Bay (about half the price you pay in the Holiday Inn) and they'll still pick you up at the door.
An interesting fact about this hotel is that - although there's all sorts of advertising bumf in the rooms - there's no customer comment form (I wonder why).
Contact me if you need any more info.
Beware female holidayers - this place is dangerous!
We had the worst ever time here. We were 2 single girls on holiday alone, and we had more harrassment from the men at the hotel than we have experienced in our collective 45 years in existence!
It started with the night manager coming on to me when we checked in.
Amongst other things, we had a bottle of wine stolen from our room, and our clothes were gone through.
We put a do not disturb sign on the door, and they still came in and tidied the room.
Room service people came into our room without knocking, waiters coming on to both of us. The massage people trying to touch us on the beach... it was intolerable, and we both left.
The GENERAL MANAGER of the hotel's reaction was to say "you are beautiful girls, you should take it as a compliment".
Be very careful if you are females travelling alone to this hotel, unfortunately you may spend most of your holiday fighting off employees of the hotel away. You will be left feeling vulnerable and unsafe.
Holiday to remember
i found the staff very helpful, the shower fell of the wall , i reported it at 11.00am and it was fixed by 12.30pm. the roon was adequate, but nothing fancy, clean but dont think they know wot bleach is. the Bank with in the hotel was open at funny hours and the guy needed to smile alot more, The food was very basic in the main resturant but our holiday in Sharm was one to remember so all in all I can not say the Holiday Inn was a problem to me,
Friendly staff, bland food
Very friendly staff - polite and helpful. They even organised a birthday cake for my girlfriend without even been asked! A great surprise.
Great snorkelling off the beach
Good value (especially as we were upgraded to a suite)
Spotlessly clean rooms, thought they were pretty faded and could do with a bit of redecoration.
Food in the main dining room was very bland and hardly varied at all. Would recommend staying there B&B as evening meals weren't up to much, though it didn't stop the Russian and Italian guests piling their plates high every night.
Beach was pretty cramped
Both big pools were too cold to swim in. Only the smaller one with all the kids activities was heated.
Drinks were expensive (about £13 for a bottle of wine, £2.40 for a beer), though this is probably the case in other hotels too
A little far out of Na'ama Bay, which meant getting a taxi in every night. Having said that, it couldn't have been easier to organise a taxi from reception and the snorkelling was better at Shark's Bay than Na'ama.
It bills itself as a 5 star but it's much closer to a 3 star
The entertainment is pretty low rent. Considering its a few kilometres out of town it should be much better as many people wont bother heading into Na'ama Bay.
You get hassled a fair bit in Sharm el Sheik for taxis and in shops etc, but this is just the Egyptian way and as long as you refuse with a smile its not a problem.
Even though I've put more points on the negative side, we had a great holiday and the hotel wasn't too bad at all.
Room ok, Restaurant was awful
I stayed at the Holiday Inn hotel near Shark's Bay at the end of January 2005. There are apparently two Holiday Inns in Sharm, and the other is closer to Naama Bay.
I arrived at this hotel and had to wait 4 hours to check in because their computer was down and they had no record of me or my tour company (Summit Tours) on the previous day's run of prepaid room check-ins for this day. (My tour company supposedly had prepaid a week before-- of course, they were also supposed to be giving me a First Class tour, which the Holiday Inn is not. It's a nice tourist grade hotel, which I suppose they justify having me stay at by figuring that in Egypt this qualifies as First Class.) The hotel couldn't check with the Cairo office where they would have received payment because it wasn't open yet. I went to the restaurant for breakfast for part of the time I waited. The only option was a buffet: ordering off a menu was not available.
The buffet was very badly organized, with one line crossing another, plates in only one place for all the stations, and no one manning the omelette station. There were too many tables placed too closely together. Half of the hot foods at dinners were burned and none of it was hot. Their green beans almondine were swimming in tomato sauce. The serving hours were rather restrictive. If you waited to let the crowd go down the selection was about halved as they ran out of things. Many of the serving staff did not speak English, or pretended not to. The waiters would also start down a row of tables to refill coffee and forget what they were doing about halfway through, so I learned to sit next to a beverage station so I could pour refills myself. The buffet was definitely not good but as I was on half board I had to eat there.
After breakfast I still couldn't check-in so I wandered around the extensive grounds. I looked into the on-site dive operation but only one of their staff spoke any English, and that not enough for me to get across a question as to how much a boat trip cost. The main clientele seems to be Italian and Russian.
When I finally was allowed to check in I was allowed to pick the area I preferred to be in (near the front as I was going to have to be picked up at the front lobby every day to dive with another dive operation), which side of the building I preferred to be on and whether I preferred ground or 1st floor. As I required a nonsmoking room this put me in Room 160, which turned out to have a lovely view of the ocean and Tiran Island. The bed was rather firm, being a hard foam mattress on a wood platform. The sliding glass door didn't lock, but there was an in-room safe so it did not concern me too greatly.
One day when I returned from diving I found all my things moved from the bathroom counter to a little shelf behind the bathtub, which I thought odd. I found out why when I went to wash my hands and got dripped on from the ceiling above the sink- by the way, this was the panel that two lights were installed in. I turned off the lights and called the front desk to report the leak and ask for maintenance. I waited a half hour and when no one showed up I called again. Waited another half hour and called again. Waited another half hour and called yet again. About that time the tour company rep called and asked how everything was. When I told him about the leak in the ceiling and how after three calls and an hour and a half the hotel still hadn't sent a maintenance person he said he would call them right away. A maintenance person showed up about 10 minutes later. He turned on the lights over the sink despite my pointing out that water and electricity might not be a good mix. He used an ashtray stand from out in the hall to stand on to reach the ceiling panel. Then when he tilted the panel to see where the leak was coming from an absolute deluge came down over the sink, counter, and floor. He then had the bell boy who had accompanied him turn off those lights. He had to disconnect one and replace a bendable pipe which had burst/split. All this took so long I left the room to go get dinner. I will say that everything was cleaned up when I came back.
The beach restaurant was good, although there was very little meat in a shwerma (roasted chicken breasts stacked on a skewer like a gyros) sandwich. But what was there was tasty.
The beach was not great, being made up of grit and little pebbles. Luckily there are tons of lounges so you don't have to lay on this surface. Also, you could only get beach towels when the pool was open, and this was always after I had already left to go diving.
But the snorkeling! The snorkeling off the beach was wonderful! The hotel had laid out little paths of sidewalk slabs on top of the dead reef to let you walk out to where you could swim along the edge of the living reef. Beautiful, colorful corals, brilliant fish, warm water. Superb! But if I went back I would probably stay at the Pyramisa next door, which according to other divers had good food.
Lacking a little lustre
Spent a week here at the end of January 2005 but unfortunately were quite disappointed, expecting better standards with it's 4.5 star rating. On arrival we were allocated a Garden Suite. Not as luxurious as it sounds believe me! It was extremely shabby and had absolutely no view apart from the back of the suite in front of us. We asked to be moved to another room but were told this would cost us $10 more per night. We decided to look at it, and although a standard room it was slightly better than the suite and had a view of the sea and Tiran Island. Back at reception they decided there wouldn't be an extra charge afterall. Once settled in, we received a phonecall from reception telling us we must pay the extra charge per night. I argued the fact we moved to a room which normally costs less than the suite originally allocated but only got out of paying extra after intervention by the holiday rep. 2 days later I was informed by one of the receptionists that he had to pay $30 himself for our room as we had refused to pay. How much truth there was in this I'm not sure. Food in hotel was also a disappointment, and you'll get a much more reasonable meal at one of the many restaurants in town, a short taxi ride away (LE50 - 60). Taxi's are plentiful, but I suggest you pay the little extra by using one from hotel car park rather than the blue & white ones outside the gates. 3 of the 5 pools were open when we visited but only one, the heated one, you could go into as the temp in the 2 top ones was absolutely freezing and racked your body in pain when entered! Security guard at hotel entrance may confiscate any alcohol brought in throughout your stay as they want you to buy from hotel bars which can be pricey, so I would advise you to take it in well camouflaged. Beach was ok but fairly busy and there are walkways out into the sea from which you can view all the fish, coral, etc. Clientele mainly consisted of Russian, a few Itallian and a little British. In my opinion, the hotel needs a refurbishment to bring it up to a good quality standard.
Could be so much better
My partner andI have just returned from a two week holiday (16.12.04 - 29.12.04 at the Holiday Inn Resort Sharks Bay Sharm El Sheikh. I have to say expected a more sleek experience. Upon checking in at reception we were left to find our own room without a map or any sort of guidance. This particular hotel is spread over vast grounds and it took us half an hour to locate our room.
The staffs attitude had a lot to be desired, we encounterd several problems during the holdiay including having to ask for a bottle of water four times during lunch on our last day. When it finally arrived there was no appology.
The hotels lobby had a couple of shops selling jewellery, souvenirs, and diving equipment; personally being a woman I didnt like even walking past these shops as you would either get pestered or chatted up.
As we had paid extra to stay over Christmas I expected more evening entertainment. All that was provided was a singer in the upstairs bar who, couldnt really sing well enough to perform in public and it was far too loud. You could hear him singing in the lobby downstairs as the bar upstairs wasnt enclosed. Sometimes it got too much as they also had two singing Santa claus in the lobby so you couldnt really hear yourself think.
The Holiday Inn had several resturants located in its grounds including a pool bar, Italian, Fish Resturant and a large buffet resterant in the main hotel which was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We tried all of them. the large buffet resterant was very noisy, and not really a pleasant experience. The food wasnt bad, but the staff had a habit of ingoring requests for more tea at breakfast and giving you the bill for the buffet before you had started eating! My partner and I both contracted a stomach bug after unfortunately eating what we think was undercooked meat . On several occasions on ordering different dishes from the Italian and Pool Bar the dishes ordered were served missing ingreatients stated on the menu, for example ministrone soup advertised on the menu with ravioli (I dont know why they would want to put ravioli in it!) but no ravioli was in the soup. A beef and onion roll didnt have any onions in it, to name but a few. They really should know better.
The room was quite spacious but the beds were far too firm. They consisted of a mattress on a slatted wooden base. One day I noticed a cigarette burn hole on the bottom sheet. The furniture in the room looked scruffy and tired. The bathroom was scruffy, tile grout needed a good scrub, the shower was pathetic and would not keep to a constant temprature.
They had a animation team based at the hotel but there was no information on what was happening and when. The situation was the same with the bus which picked people up to take to and fro from the beach (quite a walk) but no times were specified when the bus was likely to turn up.
We took a trip into Naema Bay (the main shopping area) which is wall to wall with tacky shops, nightclubs. We usually arranged a taxi from the hotel and agreed on a price and time to be collected later on. Walking back down the main street to meet our taxi we must of been asked 20-30 times if we wanted a taxi, or that my partner was a 'lucky man' and would give a few camels for me.
The whole holdiay was a bit of a disapointment the hotel could be much improved.The best thing about Sharm el Sheikh are the tropical fish on the reef just off the beach, so if you can ignore your sloppy hotel, being pestered both in and out of your hotel, you should have a nice time. I am going to copy this review to Holiday Inn Customer Services as I cant really recomend this hotel.