Firstly, I ought to declare that I can't comment especially well on value for money. This holiday was my honeymoon and I didn't really consider rooting out the cheapest hotel - this one was selected based on the Tripadvisor reviews and gut feeling. I was prepared to pay for a hotel where I was confident that we would have a relaxing time and where we mattered enough to the staff that they would do everything possible to enhance our stay. Nevertheless, I do think that I got a very reasonable package (the Dahab and Petra Explorer deal), especially when you see the entry price for Petra and the delicious buffet (late) lunch in the Marriott hotel after leaving Petra.
The location is fantastic - certainly a cheap 15-20 EL taxi ride into town and only a small road between the red sea shore and the hotel lawn. We went snorkelling in front of the hotel a few times and the reef here displays many of the pretty and large reef fish as soon as you get into a metre of water. The sea breeze keeps the place cooler and light traffic on the road in front of the hotel allows a relaxing atmosphere.
The hotel is very nicely laid out with comfortable sun loungers, free towels, sun umbrellas, verdent lawns and palm trees. The swimming pool was saltwater, which I liked. It was clean and a lovely temperature for cooling off, but not too cold to stay in.
The individual room balcony/patio areas are all the same size and focus in on the swimming pool area; none of them look to be any better than the others, so you won't feel short changed. The restaurant, where we had our B&B package breakfast was well situated, close to the pool with views of the sea and the Saudi Arabian mountains on the far coast. Breakfast was nice and there was a broad range of options. The rest of the menu is fairly western but tasty and portions are good. Hot food is available until 10pm but you can get cold food and drinks 24hrs a day!
Our room was spacious and simple, with a clean bathroom, TV with BBC world news and a couple of english language movie channels, fridge with complimentary champagne (they knew it was our honeymoon) and bottle of water. The bed was large and comfortable, with a mosquito net that we used, but I'm not sure we needed. Our balcony had great views and a couple of comfortable deck chairs and a small table for drinks etc. The balcony was well shaded, making it suitable for use throughout the day.
The staff were the best part of the hotel, with nothing being too much trouble for them and someone always on hand to help. There was a problem when our names were not on the passenger list for the ferry to Jordan and Petra, but a phone call to the hotel from the port saw a rescue plan (via tour guides in Israel) take us by land, and a nice air-conditioned minivan, the rest of the way to Petra. As well as ensuring we got to see Petra, they gave us a complimentary meal to say sorry and knocked US$70 off the bill to more than cover the 155 EL we had to pay in extra border fees.
It is to Dahab Paradise's credit that they handled the (no blame attributed) problem so well. I think this is the type of experience that others ought to base their decisions on, when they are fortunate enough to find out how a hotel behaves in a problem scenario. I felt that their #1 Tripadvisor rating gives them a huge incentive to put the quality of the customer's experience high on their priority list and it seems to have worked out that way.
As a die-hard cheapskate when not travelling on honeymoon, this experience has changed the way I think of value for money when buying holidays. I hope this review is helpful to anyone else wondering whether to stay here and I'm confident you won't regret it unless you are a particularly fussy customer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dahab Paradise is a new boutique hotel located in the heart of Sinai Mountains with an impressive panoramic view over the Red Sea Gulf of Aqaba. The colours of the surroundings are mirrored in the bright blue pool and the earth colour design and antique woodcraft dating from 1920s. In this genuine meeting between nature and authentic design, we aim to inspire beauty and happiness to all our visitors. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dahab Paradise Hotel Dahab
- Paradise Hotel Dahab