Just back from Sharm at the Sensatori - initial impression coloured by the fact that we had booked a swim up sea view room - but were put in a swim up room that had a view of the Stone Grill restaurant. We would have to be 6 feet tall and stand on a chair and lean out of the balcony to find the Sea - we rang reception and were relocated, happily to the kind of room we had expected - but the chap at reception was less than pleased with us and was a bit brusque. The staff have all been told to say 'with pleasure' when you ask for something - but Amir at the front desk says it through gritted teeth!
The food was excellent, desserts fab, and something for everyone. The chefs who cooked at various stations had no English and looked a bit blankly at you when you asked them one more question than was strictly warranted - they would probably have preferred for you to speak Arabic, and failing that just grunt and point to what you wanted - so they came across as unfriendly, until one understood that they were probably terrified of being talked at as they would not be able to understand.
The room was clean, large and comfortable - perhaps not up to 5 star standards, but good enough. A waiter patrolled the road outside the swim up pools and brought drink and crisps from the bar, there were plenty of sun loungers, towels were available to all.
We were expected to pay to have the mini bar filled, and if we finished the 4 teabags supplied by the hotel, they would be replaced at a cost of 10$.
Very dispiriting to have to queue up to book tables for restaurants - people muttered that it was like during the war, and rationing was mentioned more than once - that was the worst aspect of this holiday - people then became competitive, and booked into the restaurants even if they didnt particularly want to, just because they could!. The Marhaba was Ok - arabic food - terrible rice pudding - there were better desserts in the main restaurant. We went to the Stonegrill - ordered rib eye steak - tough rubbery gristly meat - we complained, and the manager didnt charge us for the meal, and we had to go to the main restaurant to finish our meal, we were that hungry. Although the manager didnt charge us, he didnt seem very apologetic, and did not say sorry - that would have gone a long way.
Had lunch at the Tiran Diner - a burger in a dry bun with a lettuce leaf and a cucumber slice - no mayo or butter - limp salad - wouldnt go again.
We went into the desert - Starlight something or other - had to buy a jacket and gloves in the hotel - freezing cold, so definitely warm boots, socks, gloves etc are needed. The Astronomer from Cairo was good and we got to look down some fab telescopes - the food was terrible and so was the guide - indeterminate meat and cold Bedouin bread. The bedouin camp was a grotty mud adobe building with rag rugs on the floor, the Shisha pipes were hard work - if it wasnt for the astronomer the experience would have been terrible. Most people suffered the rest of the evening to get to the telescopes - I cannot decide whether the whole experience was worth it!
We went in a submerged boat and that was great, so was the VIP cruise with snorkelling - saw a shoal of dolphins amongst other marine life - the food on that cruise was fab too.
Tipping is ubiquitous, and all the tour guides mentioned it - some even told us what we ought to pay them. We gave the cleaner some money when we arrived, and a bit more when we left, and he kept the room spotless.
There is a supermarket round the corner from the hotel - buy your milk as soon as you get there as the hotel does not provide it - only powdered cream - disgusting in tea, and you have to pay over the odds to get a bottle of milk from room service. Hotel shops are Ok, but they are very laid back and havent a clue how to use a VISA card machine - I had to go back 3 times to find that the payment had gone through - the assistant wanted me to pay twice, as the machine appeared to cut out just after I had paid with my pin number, but I asked him to give me written proof that the payment hadnt gone through - had to go back as I said before.
Entertainment - fab pianist, joined later by what we called 'the screamers' - a group of young English girls and boys who thought they sounded much better than they actually did.They had daily shows in a theatre that we didnt go to, hoping to escape the screamers - but after, they made an appearance at the Piano Bar and a lot of people left every night around 11 pm - they were people who wouldnt have got past the first round on the X Factor! The pianist was fabulous, but got overtaken by the rest of the troupe after 11pm.
On the last day we booked a late check out at the desk - 50$ till 3 pm and 70$ beyond that - we wanted the room till 430pm, so agreed to pay up the 70 - better to book with Thomsons with a flat payment up front. Our friend Amir at reception again with a take it or leave it attitude - he really could do with a personality transplant - or a different job. We were told we could check out/ pay whenever we liked from the evening before, so went after lunch at 2pm and paid - when we went back to the room, Amir had deactivated our room key/TV etc even though he had collected the money for us to have the room till 4pm. The cleaner let us in as our suitcases were still in the room and reception was a long trek from the room, but we then had no TV to watch - Amir didnt like us at all, did he!!!
The Thomsons/ Sensatori reps were very helpful throughout, transfers managed smoothly, excursions booked - there were 4 of them on site all day, very professional.
All the pools were cold - not 'acclimatized' as advertised.
Take warm clothes for the flight - Thomsonfly charges 5£ for a 'comfort pack' including a wrap - the flight is run very cold
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sensatori Sharm El-Sheikh Resort puts you just footsteps from the sand. It is set on a beach overlooking Ras Nosrani Bay across 37 scenic acres of landscaped gardens fronting a stretch of over 600 meters of pristine sandy beaches. Sensatori Sharm El-Sheikh Resort is located across Tiran Island and close to the world-famous Ras Mohammed National Park, both considered to be two of the best diving spots in the world. The resort is also conveniently situated near Sharm El Sheikh Airport, the city centre, marina and the various attractions in and around Sharm El Sheikh. BALANCE and CHOICE, running through the whole Sensatori experience. On the one hand there are action-packed activities; on the other, ultra-relaxing spa treatments. Likewise, gourmet cuisine sits alongside fast food. The secret to it all and the main focus lies in the attention to details. The hotel offers 470 guest rooms and suites categorized to 19 room/suite types, all dressed in modern stylish fixtures and furniture. All rooms are equipped with electronic key lock, 32” LCD television and 40” in suites, mini bar, safe box, iPod docking station, iron/ironing board, tea and coffee kettle and a luxury bathroom with a Jacuzzi bathtub and mood light. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sensatori Sharm El-Sheikh By Coral Sea Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Conrad Sharm El Sheikh Resort
- Sharm El-Sheikh Conrad