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“A place to rest your mind”
Review of Penguin Village

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Penguin Village
Ranked #15 of 53 Hotels in Dahab
Reviewed 4 December 2011

I have stayed at Penguin several times over the last years and I will be coming back. The place gives me a genuin good feeling. Good beds, nice people, great views, value for money.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Mort1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 - 152 of 277 reviews

Reviewed 6 November 2011

I stayed at Penguin Village in October of this year, and it was great!! For what you are paying it is great value for money. Rooms are very cosy, air conditioned with a good shower!! The people who worked there were great, so very helpful and friendly. They organized me a trip to Petra, organized me a bus to Cairo and when there was a problem with my Egyptian Visa they personally took me to the port to get it resolved. The diving school was great, everyone was very friendly, and very affordable rates. Last but not least, the food...I very much liked the Egyptian cuisine, Stews, mezze..and be sure to try the kofte and shish tawook..lovely!!! I hope to go back there!!

Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
Thank Amir K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2011

Our first night there was horrible, partly due to our fatigue as we arrived in Dahab late. We were given a ground floor room with attached large balcony facing the sea. I was tired but could not sleep the first night as there was many mosquitoes in the room and the nearby restaurants were playing loud music. The toilet smelled like those in Venice after every flush and I was terribly disturbed at having to shower in salty water.

We were transferred to a 2nd floor room further away from the restaurant stretch the next day. Mosquitoes were absent and the room was quiet.

The staff are helpful and attentive but things just do not run smootly at times. Showering is salt water turned out to be of no issue after I tried it (all dahab hotels use salty water).

To be fair, apart from the first night, my wife and I really enjoyed our 4 day stay there. It has so much potential being located at the main eatery/retail/holiday stretch. Laundry and internet services are just next door and wifi is available in the rooms. We will return despite all the hiccups.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank DrJohnWong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2011

I traveled with a friend and we had a great time there. Thankfully, it is far away from the downtown tourist stores and the harsh lights that come with that.

I disagree with other reviewers. The staff is phenomenal. If you pay attention, and look hard, then sure yeah not everyone loves working there but that was 1-2 people of the whole bunch. However, everyone is so lighthearted and enjoys cracking jokes. It's also just good practice to try and get to know the staff at any hotel/restaurant because that is often the best way to gain insight about the local people. Anyone working in reception here knows English so be friendly and maybe try to learn some Egyptian Arabic (colloquial form).

Our room was simple but great. Look on your bed for a cool surprise once they prepare it for you. Yes, the water was slightly salty but my hair still felt clean after showering. Just remember to buy water bottles for drinking (about 2 LE for 1.5L, 5 LE for 7L).

When eating at the restaurant, I'd recommend not ordering an appetizer right away because it sometimes comes free (as does dessert). When you consider the location, the staff, the FOOD!, and the free appetizer/dessert, then the dinner price is a great value. Meal prices were pretty standard across all restaurants but here you get so much more. Ask if they can make fish in the Bedouin style---amazing. We ordered it twice because it was so good. I'm missing it now as I write this.

In regards to side trips, I'm pretty sure we were overcharged but unless you know Arabic then I'd suggest accepting the fact that commission is included in the price. Note: overcharged by Egyptian standards but still SUPER CHEAP by US standards. And everything should be included so be skeptical if someone along the trip asks for payment.

Room Tip: Don't be afraid to ask to see different rooms before picking one. Not all rooms have the same am...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Alexandra G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2011

Well, I came to Penguin Village to take a diving course. It was supposed to be a package deal, with the diver's license and the room at a discount. The discount disappeared and the 'package' deal turned out to be more expensive than just paying separately. I was also cheated out of an extra dive (which my dive partner received) because I pointed out the pricing discrepancy.

Do not got there, they will smile and lie and cuss in your face.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2011

Now, I have been studying in Egypt for three years and I stayed at Penguin three times. However, never again! Do not get me wrong, the place has all the amenities one could wish for (i.e. for Egypt, if you stay here long enough there is far worse and Penguin will line up in the top third of your choices). Plus, as for all the Dahab "backpacking"-restaurants the Penguin one is one of the few that doesn't make you puke.

Now, why did I give such a bad rating then? Well, any other s*** hotel takes pride in hospitality, even though the hotel is cockroach-laden and run-down. At penguin you will encounter three people a manager, who is constantly drunk (though fun if you get to talk to him ever, by fun I rather mean amusing), an acting manager, who will ignore you, insult you in your face in Arabic if you look western, be outright rude for no reason... a receptionist, who is probably just dense, he simply is not aware of anything going on around him.

However, what begins with the acting manager is embodied in the diving-gear cashier Hanan. She may seem nice at first, but if you pay attention (and know a little Arabic) you will notice the insults (for no reason whatsoever). You will notice that she randomly changes prices and policies, not even by a small margin, and you will notice that she embezzles change. All this may seem inadvertent, but believe me it isn't it happens elsewhere in Egypt too, but usually not in a place handpicked by lonelyplanet. I set her straight in Arabic and left without paying the final day of my diving course eventually. Just unbelievable.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank RaphDe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

Nice rooms for the money! Good restaurant and dive shop right next to it!
Will go back next april with a group!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank gdecarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Penguin Village

Address: Mashraba St, Dahab 46617, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > South Sinai > Dahab
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Best Value Hotel in Dahab
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Dahab
Price Range: £18 - £18 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Penguin Village 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly, clean hotel located on the waterfront. A range of rooms including ones with A/C, private bathrooms and balcony with red Sea views. Onsite restaurant and dive center offering recreational diving and PADI courses. Pick up service from anywhere in Egypt and assistance in arranging tours to surrounding cities and the Sinai region.hope to see you soon> ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Penguin Village Dahab
Penguin Village Hotel Dahab

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