We stayed at Delta Sharm (DS) for 3 weeks from Dec 29th 09 and are now at Sunrise Tirana Aquapark (STA) for 2 weeks (from Jan 22nd 10).
For those interested, I thought I'd review each resort side-by-side.
DS cost us £20.47 each per night and STA £20.43 each per night - these are All-Inclusive rates and exclude the cost of easyjet flights.
The DS price was for a one-bedroom suite and included a premium for several days over the New Year period and the STA price is for a std double room. Both were booked thru alpharooms around 6 months before departure.
General Resort Appearance.....DS is best described as a park with low level apartment blocks spread around. It is a vast resort and very green with beautiful pools spread throughout. There are roads inside the resort which are very quiet. You could stroll around the place for a good hour. STA is the total opposite in that its a huge block of concrete - there is nothing beautiful to look at and a stroll around STA would be over in under 10 minutes.
Resort Shopping......DS has a number of convenience stores, clothes shops, internet cafes, barbers, hairdressers, cafes and restuarants within the grounds. There are also 3 ATMs. STA has a very small shop and a few gift shops, but no ATM.
Accomodation.......We booked a one-bedroom suite at DS, which was a very modern apartment with kitchen and washing machine, dining table, 3 piece sofa, large bedroom and modern bathroom. Our suite had 2 balconies and each overlooked a 3 tiier swimming pool (look for my review of the hotel and see the pics). Our room at STA is very nice and modern but it just cannot compare to the spaciousness of the suite. Our balcony at STA looks out to the main pool and concrete.
Restuarant Appearance.....STA is a modern clean room and laid out very well. Tables are clean, placemats and napkins changed adn cutlery spotless. DS is best described as disgusting.
Food....there doesn't seem to be much difference in the food at either place. It just looks better at STA and you think the kitchens are probably cleaner. Dessert selection at STA is bigger but salad bar smaller.
AI Drinks........drinks at DS come in small plastic cups. Spirits consist of around 5 choices and there are no cocktails. STA drinks are served in large cocktail glasses (if you ask) and the choice is 1000 times better than DS. STA offer a choice of 11 cocktails, which weren't too bad at all.
Restaurant/Bar/Pool Staff.....the staff at STA are much much better than DS. They all have a smile and are keen to help you. At DS they were just ignorant and couldn't be bothered.
Room Cleaner......we had 2 or 3 cleaners each day at DS and every day they were different. This made tipping very difficult so we left a large tip at the end of our stay and let them fight over it (one of them probably had the lot). Our cleaner at STA was so bad that we insisted that he be changed somebody else. He told me off for calling reception with a request for toilet paper after he failed to leave any and he started poking me in the chest when I had to do it for a 2nd time. They all cleaned the rooms OK though.
Noise.....our suite at DS was a 10 minute stroll from the main bar/disco and was very quiet at night - even during the days it was quiet around the pool area in front of our suite. STA on the other hand is very very noisy. You can cope with the planes going overhead all day but you really struggle with ignorant people who think its OK to have long loud chats in the hotel corridors at 2.00am. The corridors are really echo-ey and door banging all night will stop even the deepest sleepers (take ear plugs). The noisy ones all seem to speak Russian BTW.
Clientelle....this is a tricky one as (generally) the hotel is not to blame for the actions of its guests. We didn't have any hassle at DS and everyone queued for their food and all nationalities seemed to get along. The age groups seemed higher at DS (the Aquapark would account for younger ages at STA). On our first night at STA, there was a fight between two Russians which was building for several hours - the hotel staff took them outside several times but kept letting them back in and serving them drinks, until it finally kicked-off and all hell broke loose. The Russians dont give a fig about waiting their turn at STA adn it does annoy a lot of people. STA certainly seems to be catering to a "certain type" of Brit and its noticeable all day long - I wont ellaborate further but you know what I mean.
Location....DS is a 20LE taxi into Naama Bay whilst STA is a 15LE trip into Nab'q. We MUCH prefered Nab'q as we could actually cross the road. Nab'q is much quiter than Naama and it looks much nicer too.
Taxi from Airport......Taxis insisted that we pay 150LE to get to STA but we walked away and (to saev further hassle) agreed a 30LE fare just as we were about to walk out the airport. The fare should probably be 20LE but for the sake of £1 it wasn't worth the hassle. The taxi fare to DS should be no more than 70LE.
Storm Damage.....both resorts suffered from the recent storm but they seem to be getting things together slowly. The only thing noticeable now is a few pools are still brown and some ceilings are covered in plasterboard.
After all that, which would we prefer?
The spaciousness of the suite, greenery of the resort and lower noise would take us back to Delta Sharm. We're hoping that their new restaurant will solve the dining issues.
Im sure there's more that I meant to type so will add later. If you have questions, ask away.