I'll start with an apology for the cryptic title. The hotel itself is great. The staff are brilliant, attentive, helpful and friendly - without exception. The food and drink mostly leaves a little to be desire (I'll explain what I mean in a while) and the facility is very clean and well maintained.
However, for me the resort didn't hit the nail on the head. It's not really what I look for in a holiday, but that's fine, different strokes for different folks and all that. That's why this may seem a slightly confused review and I've awarded Sea Beach four points. I've tried to be objective and judge it for its merits rather than where it didn't tick all of my boxes.
For example, if you consider the dining experience to be an integral part of your vacation, then you should probably choose a different hotel. For me the main restaurant would be better described as a canteen. Again, I'm not knocking canteens but if you don't mind busy, noisy, echoing rooms with queues for the food and the constant fear that your plates will be cleared and your table taken by someone else if you go off to grab a bread roll, then this isn't for you. If you just want to be well fed and get on with the rest of your evening, then this would be fine for you. Personally, holidays for me mean alfresco dining, with waiters fussing over you, with good local food. If you stick to the local stuff and ignore their hardy efforts to make Shepherd's Bye (sic) and Lasanga, then you'll also be fine. If you want burgers and chips (why go to Egypt at all) then you'll be disappointed. Their on offer at lunch on the beach, but then the burger is a flat kofte (again OK if you don't mind eating local food - which I don't).
The entertainment was dubious at best but the little ones seemed to like it, especially the dancing man in a giant orange costume. Again, for me entertainment is talking to the family, playing cards with perhaps some local music in the background and the odd visiting local dance group. If you want best couple dance contests, quiz nights and karaoke then you'll be fine.
The beach wasn't really usable other than for sunbathing. The sea is too shallow (not the hotel's fault) and the reef is at least a mile away. There are two nearby hotels with wooden piers out to the reef, and if you're quick you can use these before the guard notices your all-inclusive band colour. But again, if you want daily snorkelling, choose a resort further south down the peninsula where the beaches aren't as sandy but the reef is just off shore. We went on a snorkelling trip which was great, the boat wasn't busy and the guide made sure we could kick back and relax (but why play dance music so loud again - nature's sounds are music enough aren't they).
Back to Sea Beach. The kids loved the aqua park which was a two minute stroll, the other side of the reception area. It was safe and clean and the guards were attentive but also didn't stop the kids having fun. Surprisingly the aqua park was less busy than the main pool area in the resort. There are about 15 slides to choose from including a wave machine. There's also an area for the smaller kids.
The pool in the main complex was great. There are three pools. A large heated one where water aerobics and water polo is available and a quieter, meandering unheated pool. This also had a couple of small water slides that were open for a few hours each day. There weren't enough sun beds around the pools but again if you don't mind getting up at 7am and putting your towels out, you'll be OK. Personally I don't like this practice and don't understand why hotels can't come up with a better more fairer scheme or just put out more beds...
There were life guards around each pool and guys willing to hunt out the odd available sun bed and trying their best to find enough free ones for the family. Alas, many missed out. On two days we did so we just went to the aqua park.
There are a number of bars but you can sit anywhere on the resort and a waiter will bring your drinks for you. As for the food, if you drink because of the taste then Sea Beach won't deliver. If you drink just to be sociable then it's fine. Pick a friendly waiter (they all were) and tip him 10 Egyptian Pounds when you order your first drink each night. For the equivalent of £1 a night you'll be treated like royalty. I never got to the bottom of my glass before another one appeared. Same goes for anything around the resort. All the service staff pare great, but if you tip small and often, you'll get better service... The hotel will change you're 100EP notes into 10s and 20s (£1 and £2). You can also tip Sterling but they prefer EP and will often ask if you can change pound coins to £5 notes as they can't exchange coins in the banks.
By the way, the exchange rate is better in Egypt than the UK. Hotel receptions are notoriously poor in what forex they offer, but even the reception were given 10EP to each £, in the UK airport it was more like 8EP per £.
We went on the Sinai Starlight trip. Rode some camels, had some sheesha pipe and ate nice Bedouin food in the open, surrounded by barren but beautiful desert. Well worth it, even if the star gazing was a bit disappointing (the full moon didn't help as it drowned out the stars).
Back to the hotel. There is a Chinese and an Italian a la carte restaurant to complement the canteen. Ignore what the Thomson/First Choice brochure says as you can use these 5 nights each week. However, the rules are you must book one day in advance as they only each have about 10 tables and 2 sittings a night. However, when we tried to book the customer service lady (the only miserable member of staff in the whole place) said they were already booked all week.
We complained to our rep who got us a table at each. The rep was great by the way and not just interested in selling excursions like some can be. The Italian was ok - nice change from canteen slop - but nothing to write home about. Everyone in the Chinese was whispering amongst the tables how terrible the food was. I've eaten Chinese food in several countries and it normally has it's own local twist. This was just deep=fried food taken from the canted serving hatches.
However, the day was saved, from a culinary perspective, with the new Aladdin Oriental restaurant that opened whilst we were there. The kids didn't like it but we adults loved it. Great service and tasty local food served with a nice ambience, the only entertainment being a belly dancer who got a few of the younger girls to dance then left.
The rooms are relatively large and the beds comfortable, the showers powerful and hot. The rooms are clean and the cleaner changes the towels and tidies up every day. However, be warned - the entertainment is held outdoors in front of reception so until 11:30pm you will hear the loud music and compare in your room. If you have small kids, go early to bed to rise early morning or just like sitting on your balcony drinking fine wine and listening to the waves lapping the shore - this isn't for you. We also had a noisy generator on the roof which took some getting used to.
All in all, if you like laying on a sun bed listening to loud dance music and don't mind eating in a canteen, this is an OK hotel. We won't be going back because it's not what we were after - but we still had a great time despite its flaws. What they do, they do well, so I gave them 4 stars...
- Also Known As:
- Tropicana Sea Beach Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Tropicana Sea Beach Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tropicana Sea Beach HotelAddressAddress : Nabq Bay- Sharm El sheikh-South Sinai-Egypt.Location Located direct on the Beach, ideally located in the middle of Nabq Bay at a short distance from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (08 Km) and the famous shopping arcade and night life of Sharm El Sheikh Na'ama Bay (22 Km). Combining an exquisite blend of Moorish architecture and refined services, the Tropicana Sea Beach Resort will be a flagship of the Tropicana Hotels & Resorts HospitalityCharacteristics Located directly on the Beach, around large swimming pool Check out 12:00 noonElectric current: 220 VCredit cards: Master and Visa cardsGuest Rooms Facilities 365 comfortable appointed rooms including :-359 Standard rooms: 36 SQM bedroom Min. 1 adult, Max. 2 adult + 1 child.Shower Cabin, WC, hairdryer, air condition, direct dialing phone, sat-TV, Mini bar, telephone in toilet, safe deposit box, balcony/ terrace.6 Family Rooms: 65 SQM (bedroom, small additional room with two beds) Min. 2 adults + 2 children or 3 adults, Max. 3 adults + 2 child or 2 adults + 3 children. Bath/shower, WC, hairdryer, air condition, direct dialing phone, sat-TV, Mini bar, telephone in toilet, free safe deposit box, balcony/ terrace.Restaurants & BarsMain Restaurant ( Sea Horse) : Open daily serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Buffets featuring international cuisine.Italian Restaurant ( Marco Polo): (With previous reservation open for dinner only. Free of charge once per stay) Vast choice of tasty Italian cuisine offering a selection of salads, pasta, pizza as well as other choices from our chef.Chinese Restaurant (Shangahai): (With previous reservation open for dinner only. Free of charge once per stay) Authentic Chinese delicacies served in a truly elegant setting.Lobby Bar : (Open 24 hours) All inclusive from 10:00 am till 24:00The ideal meeting point for guests to gather.Two Pool Bar: (Open daily from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm during winter and 06:00 pm during summer) Refreshing drinks and light snacks served around the large swimming pool.Beach Bar : (Open daily from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm during winter and 06:00 pm during summer )Theater Bar : (Open daily from 08:30 pm to midnight) Service : Multilingual reception and concierge services.Laundry service.(Extra)Limousine service. (Extra)Kids club.Shuttle Bus.(Three time per day free & four time per day with charge)Medical assistance 24/7 on call. (Extra)Shopping arcade. (Extra)Recreational facilities :Outdoor swimming pool.Private beach.Mini Aqua Park.Kids Club.Table Tennis.Animation Health Club (Sauna, steam, Jacuzzi, Turkish Bath, Gym room, Hairdressing and massage rooms). ... more less
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