Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada
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TravelPod Member ReviewsSonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada
A very beautiful resort with all the amenities. Originally we were booked into the Marriot but were "upgraded" here. There was really nothing wrong with the resort but we personally would have preferred one a little smaller and quieter. I will say that although the food was adequate it was not among the best that we had on our vacation The main hotel is also a fair distance from the beach and the workers are not as warm and friendly as at other places in Egypt. We did find the constant badgering to get massages or pay for extra dinner parties etc a big annoyance. It all depends on what your looking for in a resort, this was well maintained and had everything you might need it just wasn't my cup of tea.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada
Alles wie erwartet!
Wir buchten eine Reise nach Ägypten. Erst waren wir drei Tage lang im Melia Pharoah, den drei Nächte in Kairo, dann noch eine Nacht im Melia. Ich kann dieses Hotel auf jeden Fall empfehlen. Die ersten drei Tage waren wir in einem Bungalow, sehr geräumig & und mit allem, was man brauchte, ausgestattet (nicht wirklich luxuriös), aber es war eine Erleichterung, so viel Raum zu haben. Das Reinigungspersonal war sehr freundlich und verdiente sich sein Trinkgeld. Wir hatten Halbpension und das war gut (würde nie Vollpension buchen). Man kann zusätzlich im A la Carte Restaurant Essen, aber das Essen am Buffet war generell sehr gut und vielfältig (das Frühstück war besonders gut). Die andere Nacht waren wir im Hauptgebäude, kleineres Zimmer aber für eine Nacht ging das in Ordnung. Alles in allem hatten wir hier einen superben Aufenthalt.
Ok but don't let the star rating fool you
My beautiful (... she may read this!) girlfriend and I went to the melia pharaoh at the end of May, partly on the back of good reviews on here. We were a little disappointed, so thought we'd put an alternative perspective to the praise it's largely been getting.
firstly, this is not a bad hotel, it's just not close to 5 stars. Had it been advertised as 3 stars it would get a reasonable review. However the decor is tired, and the service is hit and miss... more miss than hit we found.
service: we found most of the staff to be either a bit surly, or at the other extreme irritatingly over- familiar... one guy was desperate to find us a 'special' table at dinner, they were all the same, but he wasn't happy with us choosing our own - bless him. One head waiter was genuinely sulky if you didn't go to his restaurant every day.
room: the room was ok (we were in a 1 bed chalet, which was huge but a bit dated). The complimentary teas and coffess were only complementary for day 1 apparently.
buffet: The food was ok as buffet fare. Perfectly reasonable for breakfast. For dinner, well it was certainly ok for what it was but buffet food is buffet food i guess. The hotel was only half full but the buffet was always full at dinner. Presumably everyone (like us) was on half board, and didn't want to splash out on an a la carte restaurant. A particular low point, was the guy 'serenading' us all in the evening. He was to popular music what Ghengis Khan was to international diplomacy. A note on food... if you're on half board, you can get a discount at the other restaurants... something I'd suggest you take up... see below.
Alexandria restaurant: This a la carte restaurant was genuinely very good... Good friendly service and good food. But it was empty because everyone else was at the buffet. Believe me it was worth the extra few quid. The only downside is that you could still hear ghengis destroying popular music as we know it. I'm not sure if you make citizen's arrests in Egypt for crimes against music, but we were sorely tempted.
The beach restaurant (paella) was ok but not in the same league and topped the charts for irritating service.
local reef: There is very good snorkeing to be had on the reef on the hotel beach.
dive school: The dive school at the hotel (independently run) was excellent. We took a five day dive package. My girlfriend, yes the beautiful one, is an experienced diver and was genuinely impressed. The instructors (primarily italian) were very friendly, competent and used good modern equipment. This made the holiday for us, as the diving was about as relaxed and convenient as it was possible to get. There were a mix of nationalities on the boat, but as you'd expect, mainly italian.
I'd recommend the hotel if you want to do a lot of diving because of the dive school. If you do stay there, vary your evenings... use the a la carte restaurants and pop into hurghada - cabs from reception are instant and the round trip is about £6.50. If you stay elsewhere nearby, still consider using the dive school (Dive-In).
For anyone else... I'm sure you can find a better hotel. Though to be fair it was reasonable value for money.
In short, we had a great holiday, but frankly in our opinion it's not a great hotel.
Pretty good stay !!
My wife, 4 yr old and I, stayed at the Melia Pharoah for a week in april this year. The hotel is marketed as a 5 star and probably when brand new it was. It is now a little less than that due to age of the fabrication but don't be put off - maintenance is being done on a constant basis and virtually all of the hotel is very presentable. I'm probably being over picky!! The staff are fantastic - so friendly and accommodating - apart from reception who are normal reception people if you get my meaning. The restaurant is fine but gets a little samey by the end of the week and the beach restaurant does a good seafood buffet once a week - we didn't venture into the a la carte restaurant - because we're too lazy, the prices are fine. For those of you with toddlers or 4 yr olds, the pool is great for safety as it has a 10 inch deep lazy river running around it for them to play in right at the foot of your sunbed which we found invaluable. Regardless of the season, there is always swimming in the indoor pool which is a greta bath!!
OK - the area: go on the quad bike safari it is amazing fun even for non bikers like me!! Don't believe or buy the crap about the perfume oils - we did and spent 50 quid on them and the smell does not last as long as the propriety brands! They smell fine in the shops but they don't last.
3 nights and 2 full days was too short a time to stay in this excellent hotel. We had just completed a Nile Cruise and needed to relax, the Melia is the perfect place to do so. The grounds are spacious and well kept, the pool is enormous and everything is well-maintained.
Note that not all rooms have sea view as one reviewer commented, we were in the annexe off the main building, which looked inland - wasn't too much of a problem but a room in the main building or a bungalow would be preferable if you can.
There seems to be loads of activities, which is probably a good thing since Hurghada as a town did not seem at all worth it to us - if leaving the hotel premises is important to you, you may want to look for a different area.
There weren't a huge amount of dining options (3 restaurants if I remember correctly), but the quality was fine. Tummy problems are always a risk in Africa - take your tablets, but I don't think that this hotel is as risky as other places.
The beach area is lovely, and the best part for us was the whole reason for going - snorkelling off coral reefs. Amazing experience, and the hotel's dive centre was reasonably competent in organising it.
Everything as expected!
We booked a combined trip to Egypt. First stayed 3 nights in Melia Pharoah, then 3 nights in Cairo, then 1 more night in Melia. I can definitely recommend the hotel. The first 3 nights we stayed at a bungalow, really spacious & equipped with all your need (not necesarrily luxuroius), but all the space is a relief. Cleaning personnel very friendly & well worth a tip. We were on half board which was good (wudn't stay full board). There is a possibility to dine a la carte against supplement, but food from buffet was generally good and diverse (especially loved the breakfast). The other night we stayed in the main building, smaller room, but better few ok for 1 night. All in all had a superb stay here.
Sun, sea, sand - what more could you ask for! We have just returned from a week at the Melia Pharoah and loved it. The hotel was unbelieveably clean, the staff were friendly and it was so peaceful. Even when we were up at 5.30am for our Luxor trip, there were staff scrubbing and sweeping everywhere.
The beach was superb and we could always find a sunbed whenever we went down. The hotel-owned coral is just as good as what we saw on the boat trip - just get right round the back. It's fab.
The pool was quite cold, but once in pretty amazing because no one else was swimming. Anyway, us Brits are used to cold water!
The food was consistently good throughout - with my boyfriends digging into four courses at breakfast! We did both get dodgy tummies, but it could have been anything - including the local red wine we drank! I would recommend taking Immodium everywhere! It didn't bother me tho as I expected to feel a bit dodgy, and just got on with it.
The drinks in the hotel were quite expensive (£3 for a glass of wine!). We walked down the road to the supermarket to buy our water (60p for a huge bottle as opposed to £1 for a smaller one in the hotel).
The rooms were kept so clean and the cleaners definitely deserve a tip. The hotel was full of Russians, Italians and Germans but it didn't bother us at all. Egpytians really hate the Russians and they did seem quite rude, and sunbathed a bit nudie and wore skimpy clothes, which is probably why.
Trips recommended: the quad biking was amazing - going throught the mountains was great; Luxor was spectacular, but a long day. The Titantic water park was really fun, but we were glad we didn't stay there. It was so busy and full of kids. Also really slippy and I hurt myself, Not compared to the bloke who allegedely broke his ankle tho! Went on a snorkelling trip - but didn't really see much apart from divers! Think there were far too many boats to see anything decent.
About Hurghada: don't go downtown!! We got hassled to death, but found it much more amusing after a bottle of wine. Go down to Sekalla instead where a beer will cost you 40p. And buy all your tat from Sekalla because there are loads of shops. Also don't use the hotel internet - go to Sekalla - much much cheaper.
And haggle loads because everyone is trying to rip you off. We only paid E£20 to get back from Sekalla.
All in all a good one. Prob wouldn't go back to Hurghada, but might check out another resort in the future. I wasn't sure about Egypt, but once there felt really safe. Most people were really friendly, apart from the hawkers, but just ignore them!!
Think that's it!!
Just back from spending a week half board at the melia pharaoh. Although the hotel is rated 5 star, the rooms would be closer to a 4 star. Rooms immaculate and cleaned daily. 24 hour security staff patrol the complex. Staff were friendly and could not do enough to help. Food was first class.. there was a huge selection available - there was something for everyone. Pool area large and clean, gardens in the complex appeared to be constantly attended to. Towels were also provided for use by the pool and on the beach. Private beach clean with plenty of sunbeds and mattresses. There is a restaurant on the beach too with waiter service straight to your sunbed. From most parts of the complex the beach is between a 5 and 10 minute stroll but there are golf type buggies to take you to and from the beach if you dont feel like walking. Although this hotel is a bit out from a town.. a taxi there will cost around 30 to 40 egyptian pounds.. just make sure you agree a price with the taxi driver before you get in. Also for any of you who need to catch a taxi from the airport dont let taxi drivers rip you off.. they need to pay two pounds fifty in egyptian pounds to get into the airport (and not 20 pounds for the ticket as one driver tried to claim!!!!) and this will be added onto your fare.. try not to pay any more than around 45 egyptian pounds in total but again make sure you agree on a price before getting into the taxi. There is extensive building work going on right beside the hotel but it did not interfere with our holiday at all.. all rooms have a pool/sea view.
This is generally a fab hotel. Superbly clean and most of the staff are "ok". It's spacious, quiet and relaxing. No having to wake up at 7am for a sun bed!! Anytime of day there was ample room even in the school holidays. The food is not bad, although a bit bland and repetative. Surprise, surprise the only 5* I've ever been that doesn't have any chips or beans for the kids!!! It's a bit "out of the way" but the bus comes by very often taking you into town. Beware, prepare to be ripped off, they will try to charge you 20 egypian pounds each but it should only be 2!!! Haggle with them down to around 5 and it's worth it. The hotel shop is also a major rip off, they tried to charge me £25 for a bottle of Piz Buin sun lotion. Take the bus into Sakalla, it's worth the ride and perfectly safe at night if you stick to the tourist spots. It's a brilliant hotel for just relaxing in the sun, away from it all. Fab sized kids pool and quiet private beach resort. Although, very few British in this hotel and the staff are more fluent in German, Dutch, and Italian than English. Have fun, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
Great hotel in the middle of knowhere
Great rooms (care those by the stage area will be noisy at night) I'd ask for one on the ground floor overlooking the sea. Food buffet style plenty of choice of avergae quality for 5 star hotel. Staff variable but most pretty friendly. There is nothing else within walking distance of this hotel - loads of part built properties is what surrounds it. There is no building noise so as a 'get away from it all' hotel it's great. The snorkelling from the pontoon at the hotel is fantastic (you'll pay £26 to buy a snorkel and mask). The hotel is full of Italian and Swiss guests, with very few from UK. The diving school looked OK but we didn't use it. I would go again for a relaxing break. Arrange taxi from the airport before you arrive or expect to get ripped off!
We have just returned from the Melia Pharaoh (5/3/05) after spending one week on a half board basis. The hotel is modern, with nicely laid out buildings and its own private beach. The majority of staff are welcoming, however not all! On our arrival the reception staff appeared stressed and unable to manage 20 new guests. The restaurant staff were often lacking in attention to detail with us often having to ask for items such as a cup etc. The standard of food is not good; repetitive, bland and boring sums it up. Indeed we both suffered stomach complaints and we are very careful travellers!
This hotel needs to sort its management in order for it to thrive, 5 star it certainly is not, 3 at best.
TripAdvisor Reviews Sonesta Pharaoh Beach Resort Hurghada
Travel Blogs from Hurghada
A lovely buffet signifies our last morning on the cruise ship. I have thoroughly enjoyed this leg of our trip. The ship itself was beautiful and well appointed, the staff were very attentive and the food was wonderful. We made some great new friends here and hope to keep in touch. Our last group tour begins right after breakfast.
First stop …
... in the bus. No photos are allowed. We went into the visitor's center and they had an excellent depiction of the mountains, the valley and all of the openings into the tombs (62 have been found so far). On the other side of the display, the underground tombs were depicted. Some were small (only a couple rooms) and others were huge, long passages with multiple storage areas. They all had a burial chamber (of course) but the burial chamber was always walled off from the rest ...
... slow ones are killing me! But sparks some good conversations. Terry's advice, they get easier with age. Which since John and Terry have 30+years each on me I tend to agree. Time to hunt down another beer and some crisps before rider meeting at 5. At the rest day in Luxor, think a room in a hotel is in order! Need to de-sand, and re-organize...... which should have done today, but sunny skies, beach, cold beer, whatcha going ...
... loungers and splashing around in one of the three enormous pools). We didn't hear a lot of English being spoken in our meanderings and noticed that there were indeed a lot of people with rather Slavic features and European dress, or maybe it was just our imagination. We also saw the occasional Middle Eastern family, typically bobbing around in the water, the mother wearing full burkini regalia and usually holding at least one child in her arms, while the father ...
... Luxor Train station which has the best cakes in town, and anywhere else for that matter. They make the best Om Ali, a tradition Egyptian pudding made of milk, almonds and corn flakes that I am addicted to. Today we get a tray full of a variety of cakes - yum, yum.
We go to Luxor Train station to see about tickets to Cairo. They are 230 LE each a tad over £20 for an overnight sleeper carriage one way. I thought this was expensive but on looking back at the info I had printed ...