My husband and I stayed for 2 weeks in May, having first visited in 2007. I have thought long and hard before writing this review but believe it is fair and honest.
Flight with Thomson was bearable, there is no upgrade option, we booked with Longwood and if you do the same please be aware you cannot request an extra leg room seat until 7 days prior to departure, at which point of course they have all been sold. At Taba airport you do not need a Visa if you are going to Petra or Jerusalem so don't bother with the massive queue.
We asked for a room in block one which has the best sea views, we were allocated a room block 3 which was clean, had loads of storage and was perfectly adequate. The beach is perfect as far as we are concerned, clear, calm sea, loads of palapas, no early trip to get a sunbed and a quiet spot can be found if you wish. The reason we loved this place is the beach, sea, peaceful atmosphere and the quietly efficient staff. Try out the massages on the beach - fabulous, particulary the aromatherpay one.
Now for the not so positive aspects. Hilton management have clearly had a shift in policy and made changing which appear solely based on cost cutting. It would seem that this is the reason the Thomson no longer offer this hotel to UK guests - more about this later. Subsequently there were only about 20 British people in resort, which was at about 40% occupancy, so we were told by hotel staff.
* There are no longer soft drinks in your room, just one 1.5l bottle of water daily. That is all very well but when you have to drink at least 2l per person daily, your bottle does not go far.
* There are water coolers in the restaurant, Cafe Pesto and beach bar - fine if they have anything in them but on a fair number of occasions they were all empty.
* Drinks are served in tiny plastic cups, no more than a few mouthfuls, so you have to request a number of them at a time if you are trying to rehydrate.
* The food in the restaurant caters mainly for Russian tastes, there were some bizarre food combinations on offer. Breakfast has a good selection to cater for almost all tastes, lunch is reasonable, evening meal selection was at the very most, acceptable.
* Cafe Pesto serves pasta and cheese drenched pizza, there is a salad bar but the lettuce had a strange smell, which I can only describe as like cleaning fluid, possibly from the serving dishes? We ate there just once this time.
What I cannot reconcile, is that the other hotels in Taba Heights are of a similar price to this resort, but offer what appears to be a far superior dining experience, as reported by other guests and from what I saw when I had a nose in the hotels on the way back to the airport - so clearly it is not a matter of unavailability of produce, but economics.
For the first time in many years of travelling, we decided we wanted to leave our chosen resort and transfer elsewhere. We phoned our Longwood Rep, as he comes to the hotel just once a week and stays there overnight. We asked to move, to be told he would see what options we had and get back to us. He didn't, but he did tell the hotel management who invited us to a meeting with various departmental managers. I can see their intentions were good, but frankly it was like pulling teeth and a holiday is no place for protracted negotiation over soft drinks. The management were insistant that Thomson were still sending guests via Longwood, but I think they are confusing Thomson Airways planes with the Thomson/TUI travel company. Anyway the upshot was that we got moved/upgraded into a bungalow, which was lovely but unnecessary and given more water, a large bottle of sprite, coke and some fruit juice. However, after one week the staff changed over and we were back to square one, not allowed soft drinks and after challenging that, being told we would be charged extra for the water etc, etc..................
We were also told to speak with Sammy the restaurant manager who would ensure a dish to our liking was prepared each night - Sammy and the restaurant staff were fabulous - he is an absolute credit to the hotel and pretty much saved our holiday with his attention and kindness. Chef was very helpful too and prepared the most wonderful chicken Caesar salad I have had for a long time. My top tip re food would be, if you don't like what is on offer, speak to Sammy or Chef, they are more than willing to ensure you get something you will enjoy.
Unfortunately during my stay I also had to make use of the medical facilities at the hotel, the Doctor I saw was very attentive, kind, helpful and I have made a full recovery.
So in conclusion, although we had a nice break, we will not be going back to this resort. With a limited amount of time to take a holiday, when I get away, I want it to be easy and straightforward. We chose to return here because of the beach, sea and the short flying time, however we have had far superior experiences in the Carribean for a similar price.
The issues I have mentioned could be very easily resolved with minimal expense. This resort is in the most wonderful location with a perfect, family friendly beach, beautiful grounds and fabulous staff. Should the Hilton management take heed, listen to this type of review (of which there are many) and make the changes required to restore the resort to it's previous standard, I would go back in a heartbeat. But not until then....
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- Also Known As:
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- Hilton International Nuweiba
- Coral Hilton Nuweiba
- Hilton Nuweiba Coral Resort