First off, I will give you a review of the Sol Verginia hotel:
As I am a Canadian who was travelling with a Russian friend, we booked an 8-day stay at this hotel through a very good travel agent in Moscow who gave us specific details about the hotel as she knew them and did say most of the people there would be Russians travelling all-inclusive.
We felt this would not be a problem for us as we booked to be half board so we could experience meals and nightlife elsewhere. When we arrived late on first evening, the night desk clerk (who was very helpful at other times) wrote out a form for us indicating the times of breakfast and lunch.
On our first full day there, we were almost finished with lunch when the food service manager came over and told us we had to pay US$12 each for the meal. We showed him the form that indicated half board was breakfast and lunch but he insisted the front desk clerk was wrong and we owed the US$24. Despite two of the busboys and the front desk clerk indicating otherwise, we paid the money and realized we would change our schedule around to now have breakfasts and dinners at the hotel. I must also mention at this time, we later found that local restaurants charged far less than US$12 each for far superior food than what was offered with the continuous buffet at the hotel.
That said, for the next few days, all else was ok with the hotel...the restaurant busboys were great, front desk help was good, the owner of the gift shop was very helpful (and reasonably priced with many things).
During supper on the evening of the 5th day, the food service manager came over to us once again and insisted we had to pay US$1 each for any beverage we had with our meal (regardless of tea, coffee, water, etc.). As we purchased half board, up until that time we had each been having one cup of tea after breakfast and one after supper...but apparently beverages were not supposed to be included with half board at all here! I found this totally absurd as I had never experienced such a thing in all my travels and went to speak with the hotel manager. He did not feel that it was worth waiving $6 worth of tea to let us enjoy our stay the remainder of our vacation...only offered to let us purchase an all-inclusive meal plan for US$110 each so we could drink anything we wanted (including alcoholic beverages) for the next 3 days!
The non-management staff was very sympathetic and felt the hotel manager and food service manager were being ridiculous but they could do nothing to help either.
If you were to choose to stay there, my advice would be to not opt a meal plan and eat at nearby restaurants. You can purchase water and other beverages very cheaply at nearby stores for SUBSTANTIALLY less than what the hotel would charge...and you end up with much better variety of what to eat and drink than the hotel offers. The nearby El Mercato mall has excellent restaurants and gives you a nice evening walk from the hotel as a side benefit!
Overall my impression of the hotel was that they should not be allowed to continue advertising themselves as a 5-star hotel. Being VERY GENEROUS, it really is at best a 3-star...it is clean and adequate but nothing spectacular.
Now we come to the critical part...a review of the location! So why do I suggest you avoid Sharm El Sheikh you ask?
Again I will mention that I travel extensively...have been throughout Canada, the US, Central America, Caribbean Islands, North Africa, Europe...and this trip was 29,484 kms of personal travel with friends through Spain, Russia and Egypt by plane and train for most of the month of March.
My Russian friend and I primarily picked Sharm El Sheikh because it was a reasonably inexpensive spot where I could scuba dive in the Red Sea and we could generally relax in a sunny atmosphere.
I have to admit, the Red Sea was amazing...reefs and fish were probably next best I have seen to the barrier reef off the coast of Belize. A day trip to Ras Mohammed National Park was well worth the effort.
Beyond that, there was not much else worth seeing in the area.
The "free local beaches" (said so on their signs) cost US$5 each to enter. The "free" hotel beach was closed to swimming every single day that we were there.
Naama Bay could be a ticky-tacky touristy spot almost anywhere in the world...selling mainly cheap knock-offs of high end products and very cheap 'made in China' souveniers.
Shopkeepers and restaurants there and in the Sharm Old Market consistently would try to short change you when you purchased anything...mainly by giving you a LOT of very small Egyptian bills as part of your change (figuring you would not likely count it).
As well, despite their initial friendly appearance, those same shopkeepers would have a dialogue that went like this:
"Hey my friends! Where are you from? Come..come into my shop!"
We would reply we were from Russia and Canada.
I would either get the answer of "China?" or "Hey...Canada Dry!" (to which they would laugh but no one could explain why it was funny).
Then when we would say we were only out for a walk to enjoy the sights and the evening they would almost universally tell us to "[--] OFF!"
Quite honestly, I have found that Canadians are usually VERY WELL received when they travel...and I have never been told to [--] off so many times in my life!
In chatting with the few locals in Sharm El Sheikh who were very friendly, they all suggested we come back again but stay in Taba or Marsa Alam since they were not so touristy and the locals much nicer.