We have just returned from a 2 week stay here. We took our 3 year old grand-daughter and chose it because of the good reviews. We always use tripadvisor but this time it's hard to understand the most positive of the reviews!
This is a difficult review to write because the Hotel has so much potential and could be fantastic but the running of it is just so hit and miss.
The grounds of the hotel are wonderful, really clean and tidy and on a few levels. A pleasure to sunbathe at the pools and loads of sunloungers. Some areas are a bit unsafe to let your little ones run around but you always need to keep your eye on them anyway :-). If you have kiddies in buggies its not easy! Loads of steps!
I'd be shocked if this was really a brand new hotel. Parts of it obviously are (and are still being built, which wasn't a problem and discreet) but it was questionable whether our room was, although this wasn't important to us. We would have appreciated hot water though - especially on arriving after a day of travelling! We called Reception the following morning about it and it 'seemed' someone had been to fix it while we were at breakfast. I say seemed 'cos there was a very strong smell of smoke in the room on returning so I presumed a workman had been smoking while fixing the problem. However after a week of the bathroom stinking of smoke we realised that it was actually coming through the vent from the room next door!!!
We were told to run the water for about 5 minutes before using the shower and the hot water would come through. It did! Still, not what you'd really want to do but we just got used to it. After the first week the shower would fill up cos the drainage was blocked but to be fair they came to fix this immediately.
Our mini bar was not 'stocked' as some people have had. Ours had two cartons of orange juice, a can of coke, a can of sprite and one other soft drink. The fridge was never even on!
The room was cleaned and made up every day to high standard. The floors were swept every day but having spilt some suncream one day and cleaning it up we realised they were actually filthy, but looked clean.
To be fair a lot of the pool and bar staff were wonderful but we felt sorry for them, especially the Animation Team. Sokar (Chief Animation), Amy & Kat worked very hard and were very friendly but to be honest it seemed to us that the Hotel must have been on an economy drive! All they had to work with, apart from the water aerobics, dancing and stretching was a set of darts and a couple of beach games! Flogging a dead horse comes to mind!
Evening entertainment was not good. Again the Animation Team tried their best but some of the acts were abysmal. Belly dancing four times in a fortnight??? Spinning man, who was very talented actually, but three times in the fortnight???
Food was adequate but cold a lot of the time. Again it seemed that the chef may have had his purse strings pulled! Especially with the staffing in the main restaurant. In the first ten days we actually ended up setting a table for ourselves as they were so short staffed the waiters couldn't cope. Either that or there was nobody managing! However in the last few days this seemed to be under control and tables were cleared and set swiftly and the restaurant looked more like a restaurant rather than a chaotic school canteen.
We only tried the Indian restaurant and the med one. The menu choice was far too limited (children not really catered for) so we stuck to the International buffet.
Pools were lovely but the children's pool was freezing for three days. The slides are a great feature but the water was too cold for the kids to enjoy. There seemed to be a problem with heating the pools. There was never a time when all the pools were bearable, although again. when they were they were wonderful! Maybe another cost cutting exercise?
Sorry if this is a very mixed bag but it really is! We can only think that perhaps the hotel is trying to run before it can walk? A 'soft opening' is not really a good idea when staff are still being trained. It becomes an expensive trial run for those guests who are victim to the teething problems.
All-in-all, as I said earlier, this hotel has fantastic potential and I really hope they get it together, especially for the hardworking members of staff. It's great that some guests had a fantastic stay, however for us it's 5* rating leaves a lot to be desired at this time. Its a 3* at best at the moment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- SUNRISE Grand Select Arabian Beach Resort offers guests an unforgettable and luxurious escape to enjoy an ultimate holiday. Each with an own private balcony or terrace overlooking the Red Sea and the garden surrounding, the 420 guest rooms are thoughtfully designed and exude the spirit of Arabian elegance and enchantment. Complemented by a host of comprehensive amenities, all rooms and suites are adorned with the convenience of telephone in room, LCD flat screen TV with international channels and news, WiFi internet (free of charge), in-room safe, coffee and tea making facilities, mini bar, individually controlled air-conditioning. Several room categories guarantee to satisfy all guests' needs. Families will find their personal haven in the spacious family rooms, featuring a master bedroom with king size bed and 2nd bedroom with 2 double beds. Experience a new level of pampering in our different suites with private Jacuzzi bath, that cater our discerning guests all the comfort and luxury for an unforgettable stay. Room Types• Superior Room• Deluxe Room • Deluxe Swim Up Room • Family Room • Executive Swim Up Suite• Executive Suite • Dining & Bars For the ultimate gourmet enjoyment at SUNRISE Grand Select Arabian Beach Resort an excellent selection of dining options awaits you. ... more less
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