My boyfriend and I stayed at The Grand Hotel the first week of June.
Our room which although rather dated/tired and not 5* (more like 3) was clean and perfectly servicable and what I was expecting for the price and from other reviews I had read.
The pools and hotel grounds are all stunning and meticulously cared for - they would easily fit a European 4* or 5* resort but you do have to get up early to get a sunbed (more a comment on the guests than the hotel tho). The staff are all friendly - they work hard and rely on tips so naturally you get better service when you tip, but this is to be expected anywhere in the Third World - I think some of the reviewers on here forget that that is where they are and expect far too much from a £500 holiday...
The only real dissapointment was the eating arrangements.
The buffet restuarants - both serve the same menu and seem to mostly cater for the German/Russian guests so there were only one or two dishes that us Brits liked. Breakfast was the same with a wide selection of sweet pastries and German meats and sausage. I stuck to toast with fried eggs or croissants with jam and a pot of yoghurt which was good (try the fig jam it is delish!) and and my boyfriend enjoyed the omlettes he had.
To eat dinner in any of the 6 or 7 'al la carte' restaurants you must first book your table the morning of the day before... And to do this you can't just call the restuarant or reception you have to que in the lobby from 10am (or later that evening from 6pm but by then only two restuarant choices are left). There are no 'walk-ins' for the restaurants either if you haven't booked the day before it's buffet for you or nothing, even when you can see half the tables are empty (this is their idea of fully booked)! This is a ridiculous and frustrating system which makes no sense and made what would have been a very relaxing holiday rather frustrating.
The Mexican 'Fajitas' restaurant - very dissapointing chicken fajitas, they were bland and the tortilla wraps were stale and undercooked (rubbery and inedible). We complained and were shown some 'good' bread that we could have had and were offered a free tequila so the service at least was OK.
The mediteranean/Italian 'Olive' restuarant - Our starters were OK, but our mains were not, we complained to the service manager who had them redone. The replacements were spot on but then desert was diappointing too. Again we were offered an alternative, which we declined.
The indian 'Mumbai' was good, we had the meat and the vegetarian set menus which did come under the 'all inclusive' package only our drinks were extra charge, and we were very happy with our meal. Although I should add it is not really the same as Indian food you would get at home (but then indian food in India is very different from British-Indian, so I gues Egyptian-Indian is different too).
I am not a morning person and did not go on holiday to get up at 6am to reserve a sunbed and then set an alarm/reminder for 9:45am so I can remember to go and stand in a que for 30 minutes in order to book a table for dinner the following evening. And for these two reasons I would not return to The Grand in a busy month like June, although overall I did have a very good holiday there and think more organised early risers would have little to complain about.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Hotel enjoys an unrivalled location, with its buildings nestled in stunning gardens set into the hillside, affording guests outstanding views across the Red Sea to Tiran Island. From the lobby bar with its commanding view, to the clifftop restaurant, and the beach terrace, the Grand Hotel provides a perfect location to relax and savour the atmosphere. An excellent diversity of cuisines - with many a la carte options - and several bars, ensure guests are spoilt for choice after a relaxing day soaking up the sun by any of the hotel's eight freeform pools. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Sharm El Sheikh
- Grand Hotel Sharm El Sheikh