We had just been blessed with a newborn ( 7 months old ) , we wanted to take a "DREAM" vacation to Sharm , we researched, budgeted and planned it for weeks , our requirements were complicated to say the least , we didn't want to stay at a resort because we wanted to save money and extend our trip in Egypt , but we wanted to be right next to a really really nice beach, and we wanted our own kitchen in order to have the ability to cook for our daughter and prepare her food and milk. We also personally prefer to cook our own food , its much cleaner , that said i should admit , we love restaurants and fast food and eat out about 60% of our meals. We wanted the place to be safe , and we wanted to have our cake and eat it too ! WE WANTED IT ALL , OUR WAY, this vacation was going to be different than our past visits to 4 and 5 star resorts in Sharm, this trip was a gift to our newborn and our family, we needed it to be just right !
In order this is what we wanted :
- A SAFE & CLEAN vacation rental in Sharm El Sheikh, a place we could call home.
- Beach Access , a clean kitchen , very clean beds/bedroom , upscale compound.
- Sandy Beach was a MUST ! ( as some beaches are rock based in Sharm).
- Close to the action but not in the action. Secluded but not too secluded.
- A nice area with plenty to do and see.
- Supermarkets , markets and shops nearby.
- Away from Naama Bay so we could be away from the noise and crowds and avoid paying tourists prices.
- Pharmacy nearby
I spent weeks researching the perfect place for our family to stay at and in the end concluded that the apartment/flat offered by Pia at Laguna Vista Residence was the Best in terms of VALUE !
Little did we know we would embark on one of the BEST holidays we had EVER had, it was beyond my wildest Imagination, it was simply superb !
The apartment is a short drive from the Airport , we paid the equivalent of 6 USD.
The first night was the ONLY bad night, I must admit ! Our problem was we arrived at sundown so it was dark and unfamiliar compared to the comforts of our previous vacations to Sharm and because it was dark we felt a little secluded (NOT RIGHT AT THE BEACH WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THE WAVES HIT THE SHORE AS WE IMAGINED) and the residence "seemed" further away than we anticipated, " did I make a mistake should we have stayed in a resort, what about the baby and making her food, what now " i asked myself !
We decided to go back to our room after inspecting the grounds and wait until morning to see what was actually around us. The comfortable and clean apartment and the very clean and comfy bedroom gave us comfort in that first night of not being so comfortable with the walk down to the beach ( 15-20 min walk ) and not really knowing what was around us ; but i did here the faint sounds of music blasting from the Hard Rock Caffe nearby, and I knew we were in one of , if not the best areas in Sharm , so if the Hard Rock was here , you know the area must be nice i remember thinking to myself ! Somehow I fell asleep very comfortably that first night , we all did.
The first morning i woke up in Laguna Vista Residence is a scene i will probably never forget , we all somehow woke up at the same time ( probably something to do with the baby ) , i remember opening the bedroom window and BOOOM all i see is a scene out of HEAVEN ! Ladies and Gentlemen i kid you NOT , There was palm trees and butterflies and a wide array of flowers BURSTING into my vision in every which direction I looked. It was something we really wanted , something we really needed , a place we found comfort in , a place to call home for the next 8 weeks !
A few small steps from our balcony and garden on the ground floor was the pool, it was clean and we used it for the first 3 days. I am not a pool person , i was very impressed with the compound and the clean pool and decided to wait to see the beach , this should tell you something about how nice the compound grounds are themselves. They were AMAZING but remarkably , the best was yet to be seen, because the Resort itself was even better ! Did i mention from the entrance of the residence compound you can see the beach just a short walk away. Imagine you wake up , take a few dozen steps and you can already see the beach , 60 days , this is what we woke up to , this is how we lived , such a change from the city life we live. I can never forget that BIG BLUE BEACH staring at me overtime i left or entered the compound during daylight !
The resort , in order to get to the resort , you must exit the compound , walk across one roundabout which is literally at the front of the compound gates , you cross the street and walk for about 3 min down a safe road strip with shops on each side of the street, the shops are used by locals and tourists alike, in fact , these shops are much cheaper than shops at say Naama Bay, the shops are mostly used by locals who work at the resorts and foreigners who live in Sharm or have a summer home home in Sharm and know its cheaper. Moving on, next, as the short street ends it turns into El-Khan Market , which is basically a local tourist market filled with all kinds of shops that sell Souvenirs and The coolest Egyptian Styled Clothes and beachwear , and just about everything you would need for the beach, you can bargain and make sure you do by the way ! The market takes about 5 min to walk through(the entire time I'm staring at the beach which i can still see, completely ignoring the vendors trying to rip me off (jokes, not really) at the el-khan tourist market as we march towards the beach, thank god for that view, its nice they built it that way) as we had the baby and a stroller to push around ! Next we crossed the road (nice area full of shops and plazas nearby) and right next to Hard Rock Caffe is the entrance to The Laguna Vista Hotel & Resort, which is a HUGE resort ! So...so far the walk down takes about 10 min , so its a 10 min walk from the door of our apartment in Laguna Vista Residence (which is the compound behind Laguna Vista but is separated by a street and market) to the Laguna Vista Resort front gates.
Once you have entered The Laguna Vista Resort you will find a beautiful modern hotel entrance , yet its designed in an ancient Egyptian theme mixed a few other themes , truly a masterpiece in terms of architectural design and creativity. Next is the hotel terrace ( WOW ) in the back that views the pools, resort, swim up rooms ( yes , rooms that you jump out of bed and into your own private pools ) and finally behind it all the BEACH !
WOW , the BEACH ....but before the beach let me say , the walk down from the top of the resort to the beach shoreline is unlike any other resort i have stayed at , and I've stayed at a few from Cuba to Costa Rica to the BEST in Sharm, The Laguna Vista Resort property is truly a Garden of Eden and the walk down to the beach from the top of the resort to the beach becomes so much more beautiful as you get closer to the beach. It takes about 7 to 10 min walking from the top down to the bottom depending on how fast you will be walking or taking any breaks as we did sometimes because of the Summer heat, had it it been spring or any other season i bet i wouldn't even be talking about the "walk-down" to the beach ! REMEMBER we stayed in Sharm in May and June, so it was Summer and HOT and we had the baby to push around, thats probably why the walk down took a few days to get use to. It really didn't matter because once we saw the beach we knew we were in Heaven. The beach is very unique , aside from it being a lagoon in the Red Sea in one of the most spectacular coral infested areas of the world , the beach was sandy in MOST parts (LIKE WE WANTED) and rocky in others, which was also a welcomed change in terms of sea life. The beach itself changes colours obviously because of tide and sunlight , the tide plays a huge role in the way this beach changes, there are times when the tide was low and all of a sudden AMAZING golden sand dunes that were hidden underwater appear just a few feet away from shore, we would walk up and spend hours on those islands , secluded, tanning our bodies in complete exclusivity ! Imagine that , every time there is a low tide , you get your own personal islands in the form of little golden sand dunes that appear out of the blue , literally !
The Beach , The Butterflies , The Flowers ... The memories we made as a family most of all... WAS IT ALL A DREAM ?
NO , it was one of the BEST vacations we EVER had , thank you Pia for everything you did for us. You are trustworthy , informative , kind and caring .
Let me just add something that i probably shouldn't ( Sorry Pia ) , On our last day we ran out of cash and couldn't access our bank account via a cash machine, we needed to get some extra formula (milk) for our newborn daughter , our flight was leaving in less than 18 hours and when we informed Pia and our favourite Taxi driver of what happened both of them RUSHED to offer assistance in this embarrassing yet uncontrollable circumstance, it is something we will NEVER forget !
This is Pia , this is who we met , this was her home that became ours, this was our trip, these are our memories of the places we saw , and the people we met and we will never forget this truly AMAZING vacation to Egypt !
Thank You Pia...
and Thank You to Egypt and the Egyptian people (99%) for the warmth and kindness you showed us , especially Moussa "Moussa Nice Face" our taxi driver and friend who showed us what a true Egyptian is , when we need someone most !
May I just add that "Shaaban" the main security guard at the front gates of Laguna Vista Residence , is probably the kindest and most honest person I've ever come across. When i become a millionaire (and i will) i won't forget that guy ;-)
Pia , once again , THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING !
*We saved hundreds of dollars by staying at the Laguna Vista Residence , had we stayed in a resort , we would have spent the same amount of money we spent in 60 days in 14 days or less.
*We saved and could saved much more by eating at home , the grocery stores are clean , our kitchen was clean , and we could have made so many nice dishes. We mixed it up , some days out at VERY expensive restaurants (Best in Sharm) and somedays we ate from an amazing local Fish shop that delivers. The fish shop honestly served out some of the BEST fish I've EVER tasted , and I've taste a lot ! Imagine 3 huge fish , rice and delivery all for less than 4,5,6,7 USD depending on the weight of the fish.
* Taxis , overpriced in my opinion , please don't let them rip you off , most are good guys , but some are not, just pray to god you run into our taxi driver Moussa , good luck , lol. You can also arrange for private drivers to take you places , but you should know who you are dealing with, it should be a referral.
* FOOD is VERY CHEAP in Egypt , i can't stress this enough , you can really get creative in the kitchen if you want to ! Make sure you go to Carrefour Supermarket, the biggest one in Haddabah if you are staying at Pias' , It should be one of the first things you do when you arrive, its got everything you need from A TO Z , can't stress this enough !
Last Thing... Don't drop your iPhone and Samsung phones in the water like we did !
WHO IN THE BLUE HELL TAKES PHONES WITH THEM TO GO PARASAILING !
First of all , i was looking for a quiet place - this location was perfect! Peaceful , quiet , safe .
Apartment is located 10 min away from the beach - a nice walk - on the way to the beach you can have a coffee at Starbucks :)
Apartment is very well furnished , clean and space enough for a couple or a family of 3 people.
Pia, the owner of this apartment (which i did not met personally , unfortunately , let everything set for us , coffee and honey (thank you !)
Center is by car 20-25 mins away , which was great from my point of view . I could see most of the city , and had amazing sunsets on the way !
We had great time here !
If you want a lovely private apartment look no further. This sweet flat has everything you need, it was modern and clean and has a beautiful garden 10 secs walk to the pool! It's easy walk to the local shops and to Nabq. My husband and I have stayed here a number of times now as it's so wonderful. Pia is so hospitable and if you're lucky you'll get to try her home grown delicious honey! Beautiful apartment, lovely landlady, can't wait to visit again!!