We spent 19 days travelling around Egypt and decided to spend our last 5 days chilling out by the beach. I researched many places in Sharm and didn't like the fact that it's a purpose built tourist resort so I chose Dahab which is a more authentic Egyptian village. Happy Life had great travellers reviews and the price was right so we booked fully inclusive.
I am so glad we chose Happy Life Village - the staff are all wonderful and we had excellent service, particularly from Nazmy (waiter in restaurant), Akram and Marten (pool bars) and Basem (beach bar and shisha bar). The cooks were also great and we had lovely food to choose from at every meal, including an egg station at breakfast where you could choose the ingredients for your omelette or have fried or scrambled eggs. At lunch time and evenings, there's a pasta station where they will personalise a dish to your own tasting. There's always a large selection of sweets and pastries to choose from if you have a sweet tooth.
Going fully inclusive meant that we didn't have to think about price as all our drinks were included and our bill at the end of 5 days came to just 6 Egyptian pounds because I tried a shisha pipe one night. You can have wine with lunch and dinner but not outside these times, but you can order beer, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks and tea/coffee from the bars from 10 am till 11 pm.
Our room was spacious and comfortable and had a safe in the wardrobe. I requested more coat hangers which were brought immediately (only 5 in wardrobe). I took a washing line which came in handy for drying swimwear on the balcony. The bathroom was OK, but the shower head was in a fixed position and soaked the floor if used like that. I found best way to shower without having a swimming pool on the floor was to sit in bath and hold shower to direct it - if you put the plug in, it fills up fairly keeping you warm too. Shampoo and soap was provided and towels changed every day. Beach towels are also provided by the sea which we appreciated. There was no hairdryer which didn't bother me but take your own if you use one. We had a couple of small water bottles which came in handy for refilling at the water stations provided for those on fully inclusive. If you like a big cup of tea or coffee, take your own as cups are quite small. A few guests had taken travel mugs with them and I'd do that next time as queues can develop at the self service hot water station for tea/coffee in the restaurant.
I loved the location of this resort - it had its own private beach and jetty by which to enter the sea without damaging the coral reef which is spectacular. I'm a scuba diver and did one dive with Club Red Sea Dive Centre in Dahab (cheaper than one on site and great service) but to be honest, snorkelling on the resort was actually better so I didn't do any more dives. Many other dive clubs come to this resort to dive here too and the reef is pretty shallow so you see so much from the surface - it's like being in a large aquarium and the colours of fish and coral are vibrant ... it's stunning.
There was entertainment on just one night when we were there and the Egyptian dancers were excellent. It didn't bother us not having more entertainment on because we like peace and quiet, and we also made use of the free bus service into Dahab centre which runs at 12.30 pm returning at 2.30 pm, 6.30 pm returning at 8.30 pm and last bus back is around 11 pm (think these times are right). On the day we dived, we got the 12.30 pm bus (takes around 15 mins) and spent the afternoon there, returning at 8.30 pm.
After our dive and looking around the shops, we spent a few hours at Yalla Bar & Restaurant taking advantage of their 2 or 1 cocktails and the free wifi. I ordered a Chicken Shwerma wrap which was served with chips and salad and it was absolutely delicious. Price for 6 cocktails and 2 meals came to less than £20.
Whilst at Happy Life Village, we went on a 2 hr quad biking trip to the mountains and saw an oasis and White Canyon, then Teto, our guide, took us to Easy Tuwailat Bedouin Camp where we chatted with Bondok (owner) whilst drinking Bedouin tea. If I return to Happy Life, I'll spend a couple of nights at this camp which is very basic but beautifully located in the mountains away from it all. We also went horse riding for 2 hours along the beach coastline which was lovely. This was a new experience for me and I loved every minute of riding Mona Lisa.
Looking at the sea, if you walk to the left there are some very friendly Bedouins who invited us to have tea with them. And every day some young Bedouin girls came to chat whilst we were on our sunbeds, selling jewellery that their mothers had made. Although I didn't want to buy any, I did anyway because they really depend on tourism and we have so much in comparison. I also gave them surplus shampoo, soap and other bits and pieces that I didn't need so if you see them, don't dismiss them - see if you have anything that you can give to them. One of the girls had cut her toe so I went to my room to get some antiseptic wipes and plasters which I gave to her.
So would I return to Happy Life Village? Without a doubt YES! It's a shame that the resort was so quiet because tourists are staying away from Egypt at this time due to the political situation but for us, this is the best time to go. The resort capacity is 700 and there were only 150 people there. Make sure you show your appreciation to the staff and tip them. We read previous reviews so took some Galaxy Hot Chocolate drink and sweets with us and shared them out with those who had given us the best service. Baksheesh (tipping) is a way of life in Egypt and is like an informal welfare system where those who have give to those who haven't got as much, and those who haven't got much give to those who have got even less. We really are millionaires in comparison so budget for tips, even if it means stretching yourself.
One final tip, if you're independent travellers like us, we found it cheaper to book our taxi to the airport in Sharm from Dahab rather from reception. We wanted to have a look at Sharm El Sheik on our way to the airport so booked a taxi from 11 am till 3.30 pm and asked our driver to take us to the Old Camel Market in Sharm (which was like a ghost town when we went) and to Naama Bay where we stopped for a couple of hours and had something to eat before heading to the airport. I'm so glad we didn't choose to stay in Sharm ... not our scene at all.
Our room was ground floor nearest block to the beach with sea view. First floor would have been bet...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC