I’m normally quite sceptical of some reviews on here but in the case of Sol Y Mar they turned out to be true. I spent a week here at the end of February and wasn’t expecting too much in the way of luxury as it obviously isn’t the most expensive hotel in the area but the building itself was fine. It’s a bit tired and in need of some TLC but the rooms are a good size, generally clean and for the price one can’t really complain.
The staff, service, atmosphere, food, entertainment and overall experience however, are terrible! The main bar and the only all inclusive restaurant are in the main atrium and as there was no background music and the hotel was quite quiet it felt like we were eating in reception. The drinks available the bars were very basic and the bar staff seemed either inexperienced or incredibly unhelpful. Other than beer, and the most vile wine/vinegar I have ever tasted, they were only able to make two generic “cocktails” which were rather unpleasant. We gave up asking for any variations in the end as it seemed to throw them into a panic and should you want to take a drink away from the bar area it has to be in a small plastic cup which I thought was a bit over the top. There was only one restaurant included as part of the all inclusive package which was a very basic buffet with limited choice and anything leftover from dinner was recycled for breakfast and lunch. It was also very difficult to identify what each dish was. The one redeeming feature of the restaurant though was our waiter who was the only professional member of staff we came across during our stay and he would do anything he could to help; the rest of the staff were very unprofessional.
The entertainment, which was definitely geared towards the large number of Russians, was very poor and consisted of darts and a few dancing lessons round the pool. For me, this wouldn’t be bad on its own but the staff were incredibly pushy and turned down right rude when we said we didn’t want to take part in the activities and remained so all week. The staff selling excursions were also pushy and insulting when they didn’t make a sale. (I would recommend Sharm Club for any trips. We used them for a two day trip to Luxor and Cairo as well as a glass bottom boat trip and they were fantastic). The member of staff who disappointed me most though was our cleaner. He did a very basic job and didn’t make any effort with towel creations (simple things but I was really disappointed we didn’t get any!) yet he was very aggressive over being tipped and on the last day even accosted us in the corridor demanding to know when we were leaving so that he didn’t miss his tip. On top of all this we had several items go missing from the room. A safe is provided but we didn’t think it would be necessary to put makeup in there yet we later realised three pieces had gone missing between arriving and leaving! As the makeup bag didn’t leave the room and we searched the room thoroughly we can only assume they were taken. A very odd thing to take but still incredibly annoying.
Overall I would avoid this hotel, there are plenty more to choose from. I will certainly never be returning to Sol Y Mar.
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- Also Known As:
- Sol y Mar Riva Mar Hotel Sharm El Sheikh