We're a family of five, with three kids under the age of seven (twins aged 4 and a six year old), so our week away for half term is important to us. We had an amazing time during our stay here. The hotel itself is immaculate, the staff friendly and the facilities are superb. We stayed in one of the many bungalow style properties that are in the beautifully kept gardens. The accommodation was clean and comfortable with the biggest bed we've ever stayed in, though the mattress didn't quite match the comfort of our mattress at home! The beauty of staying in a bungalow away from the hotel was that we felt quite secluded. There are two pools: the main pool being the 'quiet' pool right by the rear of the hotel which was excellent for the kids as within it, there were also two other pools, one paddling pool and a jacuzzi style pool (without the jets), all of which are kids jumped in and out of all day. There's a second pool at the far end towards the beach, though there's often a fair bit of noise going on here, so if you like to listen to blaring music while you relax on a sunbed, this is the pool for you. The beach is less than five mins walk from the hotel and there are tonnes of sunbeds to choose from. You need rubber shoes for swimming. The tide gets low and there's coral which is great for snorkelling though you will inevitably need to do some walking out in the sea and we heard of someone who tore open their feet because they weren't wearing appropriate footwear, so make sure you're wearing something on your feet!
Going back to pools, you also have access to the sister hotel next door, Nubian Village where there are two more brilliant pools, one of which has water slides. We spent two whole days with the kids playing here. Amazing facilities.
Food was pretty good in the restaurants though not five star quality. The food is much better at Club Med. A huge variety of food on offer, and though we are foodies, we wouldn't be interested in eating half of it. The main restaurant is quite big and catering for a large volume of guests can be challenging and we found it a bit samey. Lots of boiled beef type dishes and we thought the ensemble of foods on offer was often a bit random and dated. A bit like the sort of food you grandparents were cooking in the 1970's. To be fair, there was always a large selection of very fresh salads and vegetables and whoever is in charge of pastries should be snapped up by The Ritz. The pastries on offer were varied and delicious.
However, there are two other restaurants which you can use for free which stood out head and shoulders above the main restaurant, and they were the seafood restaurant (Barricuda) at lunchtime and the Italian restaurant in the evening. The food at both of these places was immeasurably better than the main restaurant and for some reason, these restaurants were always quiet. They were the best kept secret. Though, while you can eat at Barricuda for free at lunchtime, there are charges to eat here in the evening. The Italian place supposedly placed restrictions on eating there too, though we ate here twice and they seemed happy with that.
The staff here were all very helpful and accommodating. The animation team are always bright and cheerful and we all thought a lot of Kate who always made time to have a quick chat and find out what we'd been up to.
Overall we were incredibly happy with our time here, though there were two things that I thought were worth a mention, the first of which was the Russians. We'd read about Russians coming to Sharm El Sheikh on holiday and don't underestimate them. There are loads of them!!! To be honest, their presence didn't really bother us, despite their large numbers and the fact that they tend to barge about the place, especially in the restaurants. We were told that in the hotel the Russians account for 80-90% of all guests. They keep themselves to themselves and we didn't have any issues with them. In fact we ended up making a few Russian friends while we were here, in spite of the language difficulties. Though in the evening, the entertainment is highly geared (inevitably I suppose) towards our Russian friends. Russian songs, Russian singing, Russian dances etc. Our 4 year old little girl was desperate to get on stage and get involved, though of course she didn't have the foggiest idea what she was being asked to do and was completely out of step with her Russian contemporaries!! That didn't stop her from having a great time up there, though one of our British friends made a complaint about the lack of English language songs, so a couple of token English songs were eventually played before it reverted to Russian again. That didn't bother us at all, though I could see that some British people would find this slightly annoying.
The other minor issue for me and I realise it's only a minor point but it is worth a mention....was the selling that went on round the pool. On our first day, we'd been approached by five different guys with clipboards trying to sell us things BEFORE 11am!!! A trip on a glass bottom boat, hair braiding, massage, scuba diving, an island trip, an evening trip to a traditional village in the mountains, a snorkelling day trip, henna tattoos. Leave me alone, please. The list of activities was endless and the interruptions to my peace around the pool was unrelenting. On day three, I noticed that the towel guy had a 'Shhhh, Do Not Disturb' sign which could be hung from umbrellas and that worked a treat. They left us alone after that. Incredibly, within half an hour EVERYONE followed suit and had that sign hanging from their umbrella, so it was apparent that it wasn't just me being curmudgeonly. These guys were a nuisance.
All things told we had an excellent stay here and would highly recommend with the two caveats mentioned above.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in Nabq Bay, overlooking Tiran Island, the Nubian Island Resort Hotel is unique in its architectural Nubian elegance embraced by the spectacular land and seascapes of Egypt Sinai Peninsula. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nubian Island Sharm El Sheikh
- Hotel Nubian Island