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“a holiday from hell”
Review of Sand Beach Hotel

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Sand Beach Hotel
Ranked #197 of 222 Hotels in Hurghada
devon
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“a holiday from hell”
Reviewed 5 January 2008

IF YOU PLAN ON HAVING A GOOD HOLIDAY PLEASE READ THIS FIRST THEN BOOK SOMEWHERE ELSE........
My Girlfriend and I decided to go away for Christmas and new year and booked three weeks at Sand Beach ha ha ha...... we booked all inclusive ha ha ha ..... we arrived 2 hours late and were given a room that most people would not leave a dog in so were offered another bigger room that looked slightly better although it was dark. food in the restaurant had finished but they had saved us a plate of un-chewable beef/camel, a hugh lump of rice, some salad that looked as though it had been through a blender and some cold hard potatoes yum yum.... just what you need after a 20 hour journey.....

After a lay in we decided to give breakfast a miss.... wise move as when i got up the bed collapsed leaving rusty nails sticking into the matress and a nasty bruise on my arm. on closer inspection we found bare wires hanging out of the wall behind the bed, a large lump of plaster was hanging off the wall the plug in the hand basin didn't work and the room was filthy. The fridge was broken inside and rusty outside. after kicking up a fuss a team of workmen arrived and nailed the bed back together sorted the plug out pushed the wires back in the wall and covered them with mastic knocked the falling plaster off and painted the wall beneath...... I've stayed in some poor rooms over the years but this was along the lines of a hostel for the homeless.

After 3 days of the same food (see above) we decided to give the restaurant a miss and eat the snacks that came with the all inclusive..... problem was there were non..... all inclusive in Egypt means you get 3 meals a day but non of the snacks that we were told were included in the price of the holiday. after a heated argument with the management and our travel rep ha ha and threats of moving hotels we were allowed snacks at the pool bar between 2 and 5..... we suffered these for 3 days but got sick of cold chips raw chicken and stale bread and salad and decided to eat out for the rest of the holiday. Drinks were included if you could attract the attention of one of the bar staff that found it hard to seperate serving drinks from trying to con people into buying expensive fake perfume and rubbish silver jewelery from one of their many brothers/cousins etc etc. Though on the whole drinks were not bad and you got larger than average measures but in plastic cups as all the glasses went to the paying russians.

90% of the staff were rude and bad mannered offering litte or nothing in the way of customer care, most prefering to spend their time smoking talking to the russian and german guests or just ignoring everybody.

The hotel itself should have been knocked down years ago The brochure boasts 3 pools but all had broken tiles missing drain covers, dead insects and general litter floating in or littering the bottom. all in all if you want to swim in it get your tetanus jabs up to date. The beach is made from builders shingle though the sea is very clean and good for snorkeling. Sunbathing is a nightmare as you are constantly pestered by the many salesmen trawling the beach area selling everything from coloured sand to a full body massage...... believe me they are worse than time share salesmen. The whole place it set up to cater for mainly russian and german guests and in the 3 weeks we were there we only saw 10 other english people and they all felt the same as we did.

Hurghada itself is a dirty smelly mixture of not so good hotels and slums. The national sport of most Egyptian men in Hurghada is ripping off tourists and slobbering over anyone female. you will get nothing for nothing and the best way to avoid being draged into the thousands of shops all selling the same tat is to just keep walking and dont speak dont shake hands with anyone cos thats how they get you in their shops........ be as rude as them its sounds harsh but it works

There are a few good points.... We found 2 excellent restaurants one called Mafia (an Italian) and the other an argentinian steak house both serve piping hot yummy food at good prices. £17 for two 2 course meals with sides and beer. you can find them either side of the Shedwan beach hotel which if you turn right out of sand beach and walk for about 10 mins past the shops and papas bar... though seeing the Shedwan makes you realise just what sand beach lacks.... The snorkelling trips to Giftun Island are good value at £11 each for a full day with a reasonable lunch. Avoid the paradise island trip as its just giftun island without the snorkelling The super safari although good value is not for anyone with a bad back (but they wont tell you that) they just want your money. If its too late for you to cancel your holiday and you got no choice but to go your only true egyptian friend will be a lovely guy called Zak..... he's got a stall on the right hand side of the hotel as you go towards the pool trust him he will help you not rob you he saved us lots of money he was the highlight of our holiday.

I've been as honest as i can and my advice would be go to Sharm-el-sheik not Hurghada

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
6 Thank Big-LaLa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2007

The hotel is worn down and the pool was half full and had dead bugs in it. The staff is very unfriendly and stares at European women in a very uncomfortable way, and demands bribes if you don’t want a room that is more of a wardrobe than a room. The persons at the door to the restaurant only opened the doors Egyptian people, and ignored Europeans. Once inside the restaurant, the chef took several laps around us, continuously staring.

We were almost the only European people there, and my girlfriend simply refused to be at the pool. The Egyptian men had jeans and t-shirts when they were at the poolside, whilst the women were fully covered in black, only showing their eyes. Everyone staring at us of course, with suspicious faces. We thought that maybe we could avoid the staring by going to the hotel beach instead, but realized that it was more of a mud pool than a beach.

The thing with Hurughada is that you are limited to the Hotel which you are staying at, since there are no nice public beaches. Make sure you stay at good hotel, which excludes Sand Beach hotel.

I had booked our journey before I read the other reviews on this site, and though “Hey, they must be comfortable people not used to traveling outside of Europe. I’m a backpacker that has traveled the world and lived in shady places, Sand Beach will be fine. We won’t have to spend so much time there anyways if it's bad.”
I was so wrong. If you already have booked, rebook. If there are no other available options, I would rather cancel the trip, especially if you are going as a couple.

  • Liked — Leaving it
  • Disliked — The unfriendly staff
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Traveler_of_Sweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Hurghada hotels

Leicester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2007

Don't go there!!! Beds are horrible and as extra bed we had a beach sleeping bed!!!!. The toillets door didn't close at all!! The buffet is messy and we couldn't bear the smoke. The staff are not that friendly compared to other hotels. We had to pay to get our brekfast in our room.

Again DON'T GO THERE.
Francis from UK

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank abz_osi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
leyland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2007

went there for a week on the 26th Jan, got to the hotel and thought it was going to be niceish as it is a 3*, when we got to the hotel the staff seemed nice saying they will bring the suitcases and us to the room which though was nice. the porter who took us to the room wouldnt leave until we had to tip him to get out of our room.

we were half board and the first night the food was ok but after a few nights it get bad as their buffet is the same every night rice rice beef beef and more rice and beef also hard potatoes and salad. So we thought it would be nice to go out for a meal but the furthest we got was a little bar/restaurant to the left of the hotel when you walk out. that was nice food and frienly staff who dont PULL you in.

The most terrifying thing about hurghada is that the people are so pushy they all want you to come into their perfume shop and drink tea with them which leads to you spending a fortune and being invited to their family home!!! its ok if you are usedto pushy people on holiday but we wernt and it is very off putting.

Be careful when you go to buy anything they almost tripple the price even try to rip you off on cigarettes.

here is a simple price and trip guide:


L'n'M fags: 5 egyption pounds = 50p
200 L'n'M fags 50 egyption pounds = £5
Beer stell 13-20 egyption pounds = £1.30- £2.00
HAGGLE ON EVERYTHING
Taxi to down town hurghada 10 egyption pounds per bus/taxi = £1
Jeep Safari trip 100 - 150 egyption pounds = £10 - £15
Snorkleing trip 75 - 100 egyption pounds = £7.50 - £10

The hotel reception staff are useful and if you want a taxi to anywhere ask them and they will get you 1 and agree a price when you get in

The best trip was safari really educational and verrrry interesting
also go to sharm el naga for snorkleing rather than trip if you get talking to the manager at the hotel and the sons owner he will take you and pick you up for 150 egyption pounds = £15

and also go to el gouna like toy town
dont be decieved by nice people in bars who seem really nice and informative as they all turn out that they want to sell u a trip!!

The hotel staff disco and oriental coffee bars are really good we stayed in there most of the time the hotel is ok once you get used to it but the outside spoils it with nasty people also if they get on your case say i will phone the tourist police!

DONT GO IN THE ENGLISH BAR DOWNSTAIRS IN THE HOTEL ITS LIKE A LAP DANCING BAR!!! HA hope this helps NICOLA MICHELE AND JAY FROM PRESTON

  • Liked — the helpfulness of the staff the cleaner made shapes out of our bedding really nice
  • Disliked — wanted tiping all the time
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank nicola07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 4 March 2006

We stayed late feb/early march for a cheapie week getaway so we didnt expect too much in terms of luxury! the weather held up in the 80's (and oct to april is off season apparently!) which was fab and as we heard there hadnt been rain for 11 yrs it's a pretty safe bet for sunseekers year round.
although snorkelling/scuba diving seems to be the main thing to do here the people we spoke to who had done that in hurghada were pretty non-plussed by what they saw (or didnt see!). the glas sbottomed boats seemed a bit old hatso we didnt try that and there were no jet skis or anything like that - beware treading on urchins in the water which i thought was v clean by the way. the public beach is a nightmare, concrete and barely accessible.
the resort was OK, clean enough, no bad smells, hot water, daily cleaning. the rooms are v cramped tho (lots of bruises from walking into the beds u had to squeeze past to get to the bathroom (shower only) and despite the resort beng quiet there was alot of shouting outside the rooms late at night and early morning by the egyptian workers/visitors. its prob juts the cultural difference of speaking louder but if you're looking for lots of peaceful sleep on your holiday you may not find it here!..alternatively request a diff room as some people we met did and got a better one at that. our pool view did indeed face the pool but as we were ground floor there was a wall between it and us! the resort is quite well planned with pools leading down to the beach which is as others have said very small and built on stone - seems it would have been better left alone. they didnt seem to mind topless sunbathing which was unexpected but alot of the brits were....women need to cover up to go to mosques and in parts of cairo (legs ankles and shoulders).
we didnt really leave the resort aside from a couple of trips as the drinks were well priced (£1.30 for a large bottle of stella and 50p for a latte), dinner buffet was about £3.50 per person but beware veggies its very random you'll be lucky to get anything more than olives some nights! on the last night we found out both food and drink were cheaper outside the resort (£1.50 for a good size pizza and 60p for a beer)...that aside our main reason for not going out was personal safety as 2 women travelling alone and the fact that EVERYONE stops you in the street to sell you something and i mean EVERYONE. shake someones hand and they will NOT let go! its non stop and IS amusing then tiring and eventually annoying. a laid back attitude helps but it would have been nice to just walk around without it for an hour - not that theres alot to see - a luggage shop(!) then a tshirt shop (beckham tshirt anyone?!!) a shisha and not great jewellry shop then the same thing repeated along the strips. they def seem to be under the illusion that english equals lots of money which is presumably why they shout 'english'? at you constantly! for female only groups or singles be aware the guys (we didnt see any egyptian women out and about) seem to be looking for british wives (we were told this on good authority by the egyptian rep and it seemed every youngish guy we met did have this agenda and were under the illusion that this was their ticket to an amazing life!) they start off friendly then get persistent - it got too much when the rep who picked us up for the airport transfer on the way back groped, kissed and mauled my friend despite her clear protests and tried to make her give him her address. with no british representation were were not happy with this but swallowed more than we would anywhere else of this kind of behaviour for that reason. i wouldnt go back because of the people im afraid - while they are really lovely on one hand the hassle just doesnt fit with a relaxing holiday. that said it is a beautiful country - the cairo trip is well worth the money...you can see the alabaster mosque, pyramids, sphinx, egyptian museum etc and we had a very well educated and fab tour guide (go by plane or its 7 plus hours each way on a coach). one word of warning we wish we'd known - you pay £2 to go inside the middle pyramid but what you arent told till it was too late was that you have to crawl down a c3ft x 3ft tunnel with rungs on the floor but not steps on a 45 degree downward slope into near darkness, this takes you into a chamber that holds about 6 people half comfortably and you cant stand up straight in, then you face the same size and length tunnel to go up inside the pyramind which is basically another small pretty dark and very airless chamber like the first where apparently a tomb was. its not that i'd recommend you dont go in and its great thing to say you've done but if you're a large person, disabled, claustrophobic, elderly, have breathing probs or are a bit wobbly on your feet you might want to think about it or at least be prepared! they seem to find it funny to see people clambering out pouring with a sweat and mid panic attack - egyptian humour i guess!! oh yeah and the only way out is the way you came in in where 2 people cant pass so if theres a line of people coming in you have to wait it out in the middle chamber. quad biking in the desert is great fun and a great price for the whole day (tho prepare to wake up next day with very stiff muscles!) we were incorrectly told the resort would ONLY accept dollars or UK pounds - that wasnt the case and you got a lot more for your money by using egyptian pounds (approx 10 egyptian pounds to one british so its easy to work out the prices), they would accept sterling happily but we soon worked out we were losing each time we did that as the change is in egypt pounds. in retrospect i would have taken UK cash for trips as we ended up paying alot more in egyptian pounds (the trips being priced in sterling) cairo was £141 rtn by plane inc entrance to everything, guide, lunch etc, the quads out into the desert to a bedouin camp, lunch, camel ride, sunset and entertainment til dark was only £35 each). for everything else - meals drinks and anything you want to buy i'd def take egyptian pounds - they did exchange at the resort bank for a very fair rate and no fee which was very good. they dont much like credit cards (dont think i would use one there to be honest but a nearby hotel has an ATM which charges the expected cash advance rate and also limits how much you can take at one time)
new hotels are going up at an alarming rate with the apparent assumption that if they build it we (the brits) will come. not so sure this will be the case if they hassle you every time you open your eyes (or even if you;re fast asleep at the pool or beach!)...i felt there was a genuine misunderstanding of how the brits generally like to holiday and its a shame when you end up having had a nice chat with a worker on the resort only to find yourself dodging them for the rest of the week as they stand by your sunbed and just wont go away. we managed not to be rude and im glad of that but it got to the point where we felt like it. even while stepping into the sea they will come up and try to sell you a trip! i hope the place does well as i did have a genuine liking for the people if not their methods. one more thing i was very glad to be made aware of - the tourist police are obviously keen to keep tourism safe and when a woman complained that she had been asked for money in the airport loo our rep reported him and he got a year in jail which im sure none of us would wish on someone for asking a question - its easy enough to just say (a very firm) no! we hadnt heard good things about the place once we'd booked it so it was in many ways a pleasant surprise but i think that was our first and last trip hence taking a day out to travel to cairo and see the pyramids, for that reason it was a trip to remember

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2006

This hotel, without a doubt, has to be the worst hotel I have ever stayed at in terms of room cleanliness; food; service; and personal safety (if you are a single female travelling) and general ambience. Firstly, Sand Beach is a 'man made beach' comprising what was likely sacks of grit from a hardware store or gardening centre.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing apples and oranges here - I've done five star city and resort as well as off the beaten track camping - plus I work in the hospitality industry. Regardless of star rating, the minimum you should expect is a 'clean' room. If you stay at Sand beach and there is a feint aroma of mushroom/aspargus/damp wafting around your room try looking under the mattress - this only came to light when I lost an earing - the concreate bed frame is actually hollow (like a coffin) and the mattress sits on top. There was also oily stains on the headboard and crusted up food all over the telephone. On personal safety issues - the waiters try and follow you into your rooms and are beyond over familair (without encouragement) and is very uncomfortable - again I have lived in the middle east and was used to the harrasment but this was so much worse. Also, they serve glass bottles/drinks by the pool - I saw someone break a glass and bits fell into the pool. The beach is dirty as is the sea - the hotel itself is just a few minutes walk from the nearby military base. Notably, it was very cold but even if the temp was up neither the sea or pool were appealing. Also when they service your room, they never double lock your door, even if you left it that way. Another thing is if you order drinks/food by the pool (waiters in your face every five minutes) and you order from more than one waiter, each will present you with a tab. Hurgada itself is pretty ropey (old town) but a good base for divers, apparently. I've only touched the tip of the iceberg here - it really is absolutely awful! In it's hey day - it was built in the 1980's - it was probably OK! But if you want a clean, safe and friendly place to stay, avoid the Sand Beach Hotel, Hurgada, like the plague.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sand Beach Hotel

Property: Sand Beach Hotel
Address: El Corniche St, Hurghada, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Hurghada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #197 of 222 Hotels in Hurghada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Sand Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 136
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Also Known As:
Sand Beach Hurghada

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