My wife and I visited for a week (8/11 > 15/11) staying in a beachfront room (2106), that was booked through Thomas Cook. The hotel itself is very grand, with an impressive atrium as the reception, a large pool area,very pretty gardens, a long sandy beach and a number of a la carte restaurants.
Our beach front room was very clean and well maintained throughout the week and was literally as close to the beach as possible - it was nice that it was first floor too, as we had lovely views out over Soma Bay.
We ate twice in the buffet restaurant (once for dinner and once for lunch) opting to eat dinner at the a la carte restaurants on the remaining evenings and at the Azura bar for lunch. I can honestly say we didn't have a bad meal the whole time we were at the hotel - the service was always impeccable and the food was superb. We enjoyed the Greek and Lebanese resataurants most of all - and were impressed to see flat bread being made in a small oven outside of the latter.
We also had the option of eating in the VIP Breakfast room (La Terrace) every morning which was very impressive - a beautifully decorated room with a balcony over-looking the pool area. As with all of the restaurants, it was nice to be remembered on repeat trips (down to tables we prefered and drinks we'd previously ordered etc.)
We spent the majority of the time on the beach in the 'Quiet Area' - we found the reps selling trips a bit distracting, and they didn't seem to bother with the Quiet Area (although to be fair, none of them were really overly pushy). The sea is very shallow around the beach, and 20/30 metres out it still only came up to my waist (and it was a lovely temperature).
Excursions that we went on:
'Dolphin Safari' booked through Thomas Cook (£50 ea) - this was amazing. After reading a bad review we deliberated, but we would have been disappointed to have missed out: As these are wild animals, in the wild, i think you have to be naive to think that you will definitely see the dolphins, but the guides really know their onions, and took us to 4 different areas to find them. And we did! We then visited another couple of very dramatic reefs for snorkelling. Tip - only go if you intend on actually getting in the water: The dolphins won't be jumping around balancing beach balls on their noses!!!! The only drawback was the very early start (5.20am: Due to the hotel's distance from Hurghada).
'Super Utopia' booked through Blue Waves on the beach of the hotel (£35 ea) - snorkelling in a couple of different places, fishing, visit to sunbathe on a sand bar, and some watersports (e.g. banana boat). Good value for money and the guides were good fun...
Worth noting that the food on both of these trips (prepared in a small galley) was excellent: Better than a lot of restaurants i've eaten in in the UK.
I can genuinely say that we both had no complaints/gripes/issues whatsoever with our stay at the hotel - the staff were polite, helpful and efficient, and i had no issue tipping any of them, as they had certainly earnt it!
I was a bit unsure about the tipping, but we tipped in each a la carte restaurant (20-40 LE) and gave the towel man on the beach £1 every morning. We gave the room cleaner 50 LE at the end of the week and left a few tips of 10-20 LE here and there at the Azura/Atrium bars....and the service was always excellent whether you tipped or not.
It was also nice to see that the management of the hotel were always visible and were very approachable and interested in your experience of the hotel......
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly located at the 1.2 km long private sand beach in Egypt is the Palm Royale. Here you can relax and enjoy the perfect holiday with your family and friends. The two bays offer a perfect atmosphere for privacy and enjoying the weather. The Palm Royale is just 45 km away from the airport of Hurghada and 50 km to the city center of Hurghada. Moreover, the city Safaga is just 12 km away from the Palm Royale. You have got the possibility to use the free WIFI from the hotel. Furthermore, the Palm Royale offers a kids club, Babysitting, a playground for children, a gym and four tennis courts. The meals are served in form of a buffet with fresh cuisine in the Palm Royale. Furthermore, several a la carte restaurants offer a huge variety of fresh meals. Many sport activities are offered during your holidays. You have the possibility to play beach volleyball, water ball, use the gym and many other water sports activities. Furthermore, the Palm Royale has got a spa area to relax and enjoy the senses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palm Royale Soma Bay Hotel Hurghada
- Intercontinental Abu Soma Hotel
- Intercontinental Hurghada