Ok. Sit back and relax. This will be a long review but I guarantee it will be worth reading.
First of all, my friend and I were really wary about going to Harem after reading some of the reviews. Read on and you'll see I had nothing to worry about!
You may have read about the receptionist called Almeira or Ameira...that she's horrible and will ruin your holiday etc. Well, good news! She's been fired after the Harem received complaints about her from all over the world! lol Something else not to worry about!
Harem is beautiful. It is clean and well kept. The staff are lovely and will bend over backwards for you if you have any problems. The receptionist Ahmed is fantastic and we couldn't fault him at all. Please remember, if they're a "bit off" with you, it is simply because they work between 16 and 72 hours in a row (not kidding!) and only earn the equivilent of £35 a month. Please tip them what you can when you can. They deserve it.
The resort is massive as you've probably read in other reviews. It is extremely simple to get around the resort. From the Harem you get Taf Taf 1 and 2 which takes you just about anywhere you need to go. If you're not sure which Taf Taf you need, simply ask reception or the Taf Taf drivers who will be more than happy to help you. There is also a Taf Taf directly to the Beach.
All inclusive isn't all inclusive. You can upgrade to Ultimate All Inclusive if you want but my friend and I certainly didn't need to. You can use 4 restaurants (El Mastaba is the best) and the food is BEAUTIFUL. I'm a very fussy eater and I have no complaints at all about the food. The local spirits are just fine and its perfectly ok to have ice in your drink as its prepackaged and not from tap water.
One thing which is true about all the reviews I read before I went is the Russians. They are unbelieveably rude! They blatantly stare at you and if you smile or hold a door open for them etc, you get nothing back. I even had a guy take the spoon out of my hand while I was serving myself food!!! The best way we found to deal with them is just to stare back. It sounds childish, but it certainly works. They treat the staff like 2nd class citizens and it really is terrible to watch sometimes.
You really have to search for entertainment on the resort. My friend and I didn't need any as we became very good friends with the guys at the Henna Tattoo place in the Oasis Hotel. They sell jewellery, make sand bottles, do henna tattos and also hair braiding. They're a good bunch of guys, very funny. If you see them, say hello :-) (Just watch out for the guy called Fawzy as he's a con man!!!) Picasso (aka Ayman) and Hesham are excellent at the tattoo's and hairbraiding.
If your tour guide is called Michael, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE avoid booking excursions through him. We booked star gazing and quad biking through him with disasterous consequences. We were picked up 2 hours late for star gazing and we'd been given no information about it at all even though we'd asked numerous times. He booked the quad biking through his friend and the whole situation was dodgy. He's through a company called Hotel Beds (through Globespan and possibly others) You can book quads/star gazing/paragliding etc etc through other tour reps at the hotel or through Coral Hotel.
One tip...If you are a "larger" lady like myself and my friend, be prepared to be oggled. The Egyptian men LOVE larger women!!! Although it was nice to be noticed for a change (LOL) it really did get a bit much sometimes. One word we used a lot was "La" which simply means "no" The guys in the shop will try and get you into their shops. Simply smile and say no thank you or "la" They will not harrass you about it further. It is also against Egyptian law to harrass tourists so if you find you are getting problems, simply tell one of the many security guards and they'll help you.
DO NOT buy flights to Cairo before you go to Egypt like we did (typical Scottish, trying to save a few quid lol) It is more expensive when you get to Sharm but it includes EVERYTHING. Coach transfers to airport/flights/food through the day/guide/pyramids etc. We really wish we'd done it that way.
I really recommend you ask the hotel to get someone to spray the INSIDE of your room everyday for mosquitos. We never saw one single mosquito when we were there but my 72 bites prove they were in the room! They spray the outside every single day but you can ask for them to do the inside. Thats what I'll be asking for when I go back in September!
Thats all I can think of just now but please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. I'll be more than willing to help as much as I can.
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- Also Known As:
- Domina Hotel And Resort Harem
- Domina Hotel Harem
- Domina Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Domina Harem