We stayed here for eight days (17-25 March 2012). This was our third trip to Sharm so we knew what to expect and in fairness did choose the Lido with some reservations. It’s a charming hotel with quite a quirky layout, rather like being in a giant cavern is the best way I can describe it. I’m sure being so open makes it lovely in the summer but it was very chilly when we were there. They really do need some indoor space for people to relax out of the wind in the cooler months and I know they are working to address this problem.
CHECK IN: there are quite a few steps up to reception so it was really nice to be welcomed by one of the staff who insisted on carrying our heavy suitcases up the stairs. For anyone concerned, there is a lift. Check in was smooth, efficient and friendly.
ROOMS: unfortunately we didn’t get off to a good start. When we went to pull the curtains so we could get changed we discovered they wouldn’t fully close leaving a large gap down the middle. Housekeeping came promptly and after a bit of fiddling (their initial remedy was to fix them permanently closed!!) they realised a hook was missing and it was sorted. Then, and my husband takes full responsibility for getting the number wrong, the safe wouldn’t open. Again not a big problem and one that’s usually fixed quite quickly – it took two members of staff 55mins!!! Okay, not a big deal you might think, but by then we were tired, hadn’t managed to change our clothes and just wanted a shower before heading off for dinner. Incidentally the safe worked perfectly during the rest of our stay.
The room was a good size and very clean. There’s not a lot of wardrobe space and no drawers, but as we were only there for eight days it was adequate. The safe however was one of the smallest we’ve encountered – definitely no room for my husband’s small netbook. This had to be locked away in his suitcase when we were out during the day. The bathroom is small but adequate. I was happy to see a detachable shower head, but the shower cubicle itself is small, or perhaps just seems that way because of one of my pet hates, a clinging shower curtain. The biggest problem with the shower was the variable water temperature, one minute freezing cold then in an instant boiling hot. Apparently they were having problems with the water supply while we were there so hopefully this is now corrected as it could potentially be quite dangerous. Housekeeping kept the room spotless throughout our stay.
Our room was on the sea view side overlooking the landing where the boats moor. If you like to sleep at night be sure to stay away from the beach side. Even where we were the noise from PACHA was bad, I had to stuff cotton wool in my ears a couple of nights, and I’m pretty sure it would be unbearable if you were on the beach side. I must stress this is completely out of the hotel’s control, it’s just that they’re situated with PACHA directly facing them. We previously stayed in a promenade hotel much closer to all the action and weren’t disturbed at all. It’s definitely something to consider if lack of sleep a couple of nights each week will impact on your holiday.
LOCATION: the hotel is set on the edge of the bay and sits right on the sea so the views are stunning. Because of the position it can get quite windy here which I’m sure in the summer months is an advantage and provides welcome relief from the heat. During our stay though the wind made it very cold, especially in the evening.
BEACH: our main reservation when we booked concerned the beach which we knew to be very small, but it was early in the year, we didn’t know how warm the sea would be so weren’t too worried……..and after all the hotel does advertise a heated pool!! Actually the sea was warm enough to swim, but being rather squeamish, all the purple jellyfish put us off going in. The biggest problem however was because the wind each morning was so strong we weren’t able to use an umbrella – understandable for health and safety reasons I fully accept - but I do need shade (crispy critter is not a good look) and without an umbrella there’s no shade at all. It was okay by the afternoon when the wind dropped, but the beach being so small means you almost end up sitting on your neighbours lap while chasing that shade. I’m sure this would be an even bigger problem when numbers are up during the busier months. Apart from feeling crowded, there’s also quite a lot of noise coming from nearby bars and hotels so this is not the most relaxing experience. We couldn’t help wistfully looking over at the larger more sheltered and spacious beaches (with fixed umbrellas) towards the middle of the promenade.
POOL: the pool deck is lovely, but again if it’s windy there’s very little shade. Makrem the pool attendant was absolutely brilliant and managed to find us a suitable spot each morning. The beds though were really hard and uncomfortable, unlike the comfy beds on the beach. As soon as Makrem noticed I was struggling, without being asked and with the minimum of fuss, he managed to find a mattress for me. Can’t praise the service from him and the bar attendant highly enough. We understand the beds on the pool deck are due for renewal shortly so hopefully this will be sorted in time for the summer months. The pool itself was supposed to be heated (the main reason we picked this hotel) and indeed on enquiry we were assured it was. In reality it was very cold and we heard a lot of other guests saying the same. Certainly not many people were brave enough to use it for the eight days we were there and sadly we didn’t get to swim at all this holiday.
FOOD: this was the biggest disappointment. Before I continue, I must stress the following is NOT a reflection on the restaurant staff waiting tables. The service was always efficient and friendly. Indeed excellent in every way.
We don’t usually opt for AI in Na’ama Bay as there are so many nice restaurants to choose from, but this was a short break, we got a great deal with Easyjet Holidays (£500 cheaper than Thomson for exactly the same deal) and we’ve always loved eating at On Deck so thought we couldn’t go wrong. Okay eating at On Deck wasn’t part of the AI deal as such, but we figured as the food is cooked in the same kitchen it should be good.
To be absolutely fair the food isn’t dreadful and you won’t go hungry, but it’s really not good either – mediocre, bland and the vegetarian options in particular were often quite tasteless. I won’t deny I’m a picky eater, but my husband isn’t. He’s very easy going and normally happily tucks into anything and everything. In 38 years it’s the first time I’ve heard him say he ate just for the sake of having some food!! Our advice is opt for B&B if you stay here.
Another problem, for me at least, was the cats constantly under our feet whenever we ate on the terrace. Now I know a lot of people like cats, but I’m not comfortable with them that close to where I’m eating. It was also extremely off putting to see some guests put their plates down for the cats to eat from, particularly as however well washed, I couldn’t help worrying I might be eating from the same plate the next day!!
Breakfast – there was a reasonable choice, very strange to be offered mashed potato though, but you could have eggs cooked to order. However, I never saw the pan wiped between orders and the handle was absolutely caked in cooked egg from constant use so a tad off putting. I chose to eat mainly vegetarian food as it helps me avoid an upset tummy so usually opted for tomato, mushroom and cheese to go in my omelette. A true vegetarian however would have been horrified to see the same spoon or gloved hand being used for the ham etc.
Lunch – the vegetarian choices were very limited so I almost always had a fresh tomato, mushroom and cheese pizza cooked to order. This was the tastiest thing I ate all week. To put that in perspective, I wouldn’t normally eat pizza more than 2/3 times a year, so almost every day for just over a week isn’t all that great!!!
Dinner – this is usually the meal we most look forward to. We learnt very quickly (especially after our first night) you really need to be at the restaurant as soon as they open the doors. If not, and it’s too cold/windy to sit on the terrace, there aren’t enough tables inside for all the guests. Also, the food was displayed in very large covered tureens which we didn’t see being replaced all evening. If you arrive later there’s a good chance the food will have been sitting there for some considerable time. I really struggled with the choice most evenings so usually ended up having pasta with very bland and almost tasteless tomato, mushroom and cheese sauce – pretty much the theme for my week!! Desserts were nicely presented, but in reality not very exciting. I ate a lot of different coloured (some too highly coloured to try) blancmange type puddings throughout the week. There were also little dishes of jelly – not very exciting – and lots of small rather dry sponge like cakes all decorated with unpleasant artificial cream.
BARS: there’s a beach bar open all day and a second one with comfy seating near the restaurant which is open each evening. I’m sure in the summer this is a lovely place to sit, but sadly because it’s open to the wind it was too cold to stay there for very long. I must say the bar tender was excellent and rushed round lighting patio heaters in an attempt to make us all comfortable. Work was underway to refurbish an indoor bar while we were there and I’m sure this will encourage more people to use the hotel bars in the cooler months.
DRINKS: we couldn’t really complain as AI says local beer, wine and spirits. My husband is quite happy with the local beer and of the wines I found the rose to be the most drinkable. Spirits however aren’t nice – I tried the gin which was really awful, my husband said the whisky was even worse lol but he did quite like the brandy. We didn’t really expect much different as we’re aware branded drinks have to be imported and are always expensive in Egypt. We’re not huge drinkers so managed okay.
NIGGLES: using a term we heard a lot in America, we did feel there was a tendency at times to nickel and dime. A few examples…..
There’s a charge of 3€ per day if you opt to have the (complimentary on arrival only) coffee - 4 small individual sachets - plus large bottle of water replenished in your room. We didn’t bother as we felt it was a bit mean to charge for this on the AI package, especially as water was readily available from the bar throughout the day, and bearing in mind the coffee didn’t come with milk of any kind.
WiFi – we paid 300LE for seven days access. Okay, our choice BUT the signal was extremely weak, kept dropping out and wasn’t available at all one of the days. Yes I did tell reception, but as I mainly used it late in the evening and didn’t report this instance until the next morning rather than immediately, was told I’d left it too late. My main gripe is if they’re going to charge for this service, it should at least work efficiently.
On Deck – as part of the AI package we were entitled to 10% discount to eat here. To be honest again we thought this was a bit mean. In any case it was too cold and windy for the first part of the week to even consider. When the weather warmed up a bit we were invited to a ‘special’ evening where we could eat from a set menu, receive two glasses of sparkling wine (and of course use our AI package for all other drinks) plus be entertained by a singer at a cost of 500LE. Not so special at that price and definitely not much of a bargain.
STAFF: this is where the hotel scores best, the staff are very friendly, efficient and work really hard. The General Manager was always around keeping an eye on things and listening to his guests. We honestly feel they have a genuine wish to give everyone a good stay at this hotel.
OVERALL: as I said at the beginning, we did book with some reservations, so with that in mind I’ve tried very hard to give a balanced review. I fully accept some things, the small beach and noise from neighbouring hotels are completely outside the control of the Lido. The pool temperature isn’t. Neither is the food and honestly it’s the worst we’ve had in all five trips (7 hotels) to Egypt. I notice from recent reviews people praise the food so I can only assume/hope it’s improved dramatically since we stayed.
All reviews are subjective and I wouldn’t like to put anyone off staying at the Lido. Some of the things we look for might not be issues for you. If you stay B&B, are not bothered about the beach, prefer the pool and don’t require shade you’ll love this hotel. I always say it’s about expectations, sadly in spite of the welcoming atmosphere and very good service levels it was just the wrong choice for us.
Ask for a room overlooking where the boats are moored and away from the beach side.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC