Just returned from the Hilton having stayed there for nine nights.
I should start by pointing out the good things about this hotel: the pool on the new side is massive, the beach (and its coral) is delightful, the beer was cold and actually out of a tap, our room was very good and Mohammed our cleaner was very attentive (if not at times a touch overbearing).
Unfortunately we experienced a number of other problems which ultimately mean that we could never recommend staying here, indeed we would positively warn against it.
1. The food and drinks
In keeping with quite a few of the other reviews here: the food genuinely is terrible.
Breakfast on the new side was chaotic and the restaurant was not clean (old plates laying around, food spilled from the buffet not cleaned up). Lunch was the worst. Food is prepared long in advance of it actually being served which is clearly bad for hygiene. (We know this to be true as my girlfriend requested to have no "beef bacon" in her club sandwich only to be told "they are all already made and we cannot make a change.") Another couple we spoke to said they'd seen a member of staff drop a whole tray of salad from out of a fridge before picking it up and putting it back in a different fridge. I personally witnessed a waiter spilling chips on the bar top prior to serving a dish, at which point he just grabbed them with his hands and shoved them back on the plate.
There was just a very obvious lack of care involved. We both lost two days of our holiday, laying in bed, unable to risk being too far from our toilet. No doubt the management will reply to this suggesting that it was just the heat, but my girlfriend is from an extremely hot country and has never had these problems before. Likewise I have spent extended periods of time in hot places without having to spend extended periods of time sitting on a toilet groaning. Similarly the management's line that "as the resort is all inclusive, if there was a problem everyone would be affected" is clearly a very weak argument: different people eat different things, not every dish will have caused illness. That said we encountered a worrying number of people who were affected. It really cannot be a coincidence.
In terms of dinner, the buffets are well described below as mainly consisting of "slop". We managed to go to Il Rustico once which was OK (don't expect the pizzas to actually match the descriptions on the menus however). After our illness we only ate in House of Asia (which you have to pay for) or in one of the restaurants in Soho Square. These were all really good and affordably priced, making me suspicious of the new chef's excuse that the food is so bad because there's a problem getting ingredients from Cairo.
On the drinks, mercifully the beer is cold. Unfortunately for my girlfriend (who doesn't drink beer) the mixed alcoholic drinks and cocktails were generally not. They do put ice in the drinks but unsurprisingly this melts almost immediately. The problem could be so easily fixed by just keeping the mixers in a fridge rather than out on the bar in the sun, but this would involve more effort for the barmen so is obviously not likely to happen. The mixed drinks were also often undrinkable due to the sheer lack of care with which masses of alcohol was hurled into the tiny glasses you're given, whilst the ingredients that went into the cocktails sometimes didn't resemble what the menu said in any way shape or form.
2. The service
There are some good, hard-working staff at this hotel. In particular Mohammed the cleaner on the new side was very attentive. However there are also (particularly amongst the waiting staff) some utterly miserable, moody men. At one breakfast I actually had to ask one of the waiters what his problem was after he made clear his dissatisfaction with the fact that that we didn't want any coffee or tea (we pointed out that there were no cups (for juice) left, he returned with coffee mugs which we politely declined: obviously a simple mix-up, so why did he respond by huffing and puffing?). Another incident that sticks in the memory is when we left our key in the room once, meaning that I had to ask a cleaner (not Mohammed) to let me in. He told me that he didn't have a key and that I should ask someone else. That someone else then sent me back to the original guy who in fact had a key all along and ultimately ended up letting me in. Pure laziness on his part and very disappointing.
3. In summary
As you'll have gathered from the above, this is a hotel with problems. I did attempt to raise all of the above when on the phone with reception once and was given short thrift. Despite this I fully anticipate the management to reply to this saying that they're disappointed that I didn't speak with senior management at the time, but what would the point have been? The problems identified above are systemic and large scale, are they really going to suggest that they would have changed such fundamental things within a massive hotel following on from a discussion with me? More to the point, shouldn't management be proactive in any case, getting the hotel up to the standard its 4* rating implies BEFORE people have cause for complaint? I suspect that as long as the money keeps rolling in there is no real incentive to do this.
Even after all of the above, we did enjoy ourselves (the Red Sea is incredible, whilst quad biking in the desert is also really good). But our enjoyment came despite the hotel, not because of it. We won't return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dive into a Red Sea adventure at the beach side Hilton Sharks Bay Resort, an all-inclusive resort in Sharm El Sheikh. Relax on the private beach, swim in one of 7 pools or try your hand at tennis or mini golf on the onsite courts. Close by the famous SOHO Square where restaurants, bars, entertainment centers, night shows and shopping arcade with less than 4 minutes walking distance. Just 10 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the Go bus station, the hotel boasts a fully equipped health club, a private beach, 7 polls, 13 restaurants and bars, 2 kids' clubs, kids' playground and shaded pool and daily evening entertainment with animation team program. Sporty types will love the dive center. Explore the Red Sea coast and top dive sites or visit Sharm El Sheikh Attractions like the Aqua land Water Park. Treat your loved ones with a private dinner at the beach, or enjoy a cool drink over Red Sea views at the Sunset Bar. Hilton rooms boast a balcony or terrace with garden, pool or sea view. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Sharks Bay Hotel
- Hilton Sharm El Sheikh
- Hilton Sharks Bay Sharm El Sheikh
- Bay Hilton Shark
- Hilton Sharks Bay Egypt