The trip to Egypt was my birthday gift for my girlfriend. We travelled from 24.04 to 01.05.12 during one of the best time of the year for visiting Egypt. The air temperature varied from 31 to 34* C and the sea temperature was 22-23*C.
We went on HB basis because from 7 days 2 were dedicated to full day trips (Ras Mohamed and Petra in Jordan). Another day we spent it at El Fanar beach because we are snorkeling lovers and we wanted to see the marine life also in El Fanar bay.
The reason why we have chosen this hotel is similar to the motto of the hotel: "Discover the reef".
1. The Room
It is very spacious with a big bed, lot of room for clothes, very old TV (needs replacement), minibar which we did not use due to very high prices, nice bath with bathtube, shower, big sink. Slippers and robe were not provided by the hotel (this is a minus).
We stayed in the southern part of the hotel in the 1700 wing so we had to walk a lot and climb many stairs to reach the lobby. This did not bother us we like to walk mainly in a resort with beautiful grounds, plenty of palm trees, flowers, waterfalls and trees.
2. Restaurants and bars
We ate in the Coast Restaurant. The breakfast was very diverse, I liked a lot the Benedict egg and the orange natural juice. Also you could eat beans, boiled or scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, jam, sausages, fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, melon), milk, cornflakes, croissants and pancakes.
The dinner was also nice with different themes (Italian, American, Egyptian, Arabic). Plenty of dishes to choose from: chicken, seafood, beef, rice, potatoes, pasta, kebab, greek and caesar salads, soups, steaks, several cakes and fruits.
The drinks were not included in our HB basis so every night we were spending around 45 EGP (LE) - 7.5 USD (final price) for one beer and one pepsi. Be careful regarding the prices for drinks and food. They do not include 10% city tax, 12% service charge and an additional 1% tax. So to all the menu prices you have to add up 24% to reach the final price.
Zinzina Bar: Here we ate one night when we arrived late at dinner at the buffet restaurant mainly due to the hotel fault which is showing on their local TV Channel a wrong timetable for dinner (up to 11pm instead of 10pm). We ate a nice mushroom soup and New Zealand lamb ribs.
Rotonda Bar: Here we spent a lot of time because at every drink you took you are receiving a 20 minute free wifi so you can check your emails. Also Renaissance Burger is very good, is made from beef and the french fries are delicious. Do not order cocktails - they are very pricey (around 63 EGP / cocktail) and the quality is very bad. Turkish coffee is ok and has the same price - 16 EGP - like the other varieties of coffee: nescafe, espresso, cappucino.
Aqua Bar: Here we ate a very delicious Movenpick icecream: coffee, pistachio, lemon-lime, blackberry and wallnut flavours are great. 12 EGP / cup. They are serving also the same drinks as in Rotonda and as in Beach Bar.
3. Sea, beach and pools.
The resort has a jetty from which you can swim with the fish or you can dive.
If you are a reef lover, come with your own mask, tube and fins. You will see plenty of groupers, surgeon, butterfly, angel, trigger, lion, puffer, parrot fish and grunts. There are from time to time banks of blue jellyfish but do not worry they do not bite. Only the yellow ones (like a bulb) are biting. Do not step on the corals or harm the fishes. There are plenty of coral types which are very lively.
The beach is a stepped one and had plenty of sunbeds due to 45-50% occupancy rate.
The hotel has 3 pools for adults (1.6 m maximum depth) - one near the lobby, one near the beach at Aqua Bar near the kids pool and playground and one near Acapulco Restaurant in the northern part of the resort.
Very close to the hotel you can find belly dancing and snake taming shows at Alf Leila Wa Leila - ticket price is 110 EGP.
Close to Alf Leila you can find an italian mall Il Mercato with fixed prices where you can find Mc Donalds, KFC, Costa Coffee, electronic devices and toys shops and opposite to it you can find several local boutiques with perfumes, papyrus, fake clothes and other souvenirs.
There is also a Metro supermarket for buying drinks and food which has convenient prices. You can not find alcooholic beverages here.
We have been also to Naama Bay. We have paid 25EGP one way for the taxi and we were interested to buy a Mares vest from Naama Mall. Here you can smoke shisha and enjoy free wifi. We did not try, we are non smokers. The prices in the supermarkets here are very high. Avoid and go to Metro.
One day we spent it in El Fanar private beach, we paid 40 EGP instead of 60 due to negotiation. In the price you will receive one 0.5L of water and fruit sandwich. In the right part of the jetty you can see 3 clown fish hidden sometimes in annemones and plenty of angelfish from which the emperor is the most beautiful one.
The best moment we had here was when we spotted a Napoleon fish - very very nice.
Trips are very pricey if you buy them from the hotel. We went to Ras Mohamed - great snorkeling trip - and also to Petra - one of the 7 Wonders of the World - very tiring but worth it.
In the end I will suggest the hotel managers to change the TV from the room, to reduce the prices for food and drinks (very high for Egyptian hotels), to change the ingredients for cocktails and to update the information they broadcast on their local TV channel.
If you do not like to walk ask for a room near the lobby, if you like pools ask for a room near the...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC