I apologise now for the length of my review but if knew this before I went it would of saved a lot of disappointment.
This is the fifth time I have visited Egypt, I stayed at Domina hotel & Resort Harem from the 17th-31st of July with my mum. The hotel itself was great, it had a few negatives but it was pretty much what we expected from Egypt. The hotel is on a complex of 6 other hotels and together they are called Domina Coral Bay, we booked the holiday as all inclusive and presumed that due to the hotel being apart of a complex we would be able to use the services available in other hotels such as the al a carte restaurants and bars, however this is not true and no where in the small print of booking the hotel did it say so. On arrival we had a good welcome from the staff we were given red wristbands to represent that we were part of the harem hotel and then was asked if we would like to catch the end of dinner of which we kindly declined.
Once we checked in we were taken to our room on the golf buggy, out room number was 61151, now the room itself was lovely, cleaned every day fresh towels etc however, one the mini fridge was never refilled you were given a can of coke, fanta and two sprites and two bottles of water and none was refilled during out stay, instead if you wanted more water and ofcourse in this heat it is needed we had to re-fill them at breakfast which I think personally is ridiculous but anyways also when booking out holiday we booked a standard room with a sea / garden view and the standard room bit was met however if they call that a sea view then its a joke because the only view we had was of a palm tree taking up the whole of out balcony! But the air con in the room is brilliant and 100% needed in their heat right now!
We ate in the Spices Restaurant every morning and evening and personally i think anyone who has previously complained on here about it is pathetic and ridiculous, for good sake we are in Egypt you get would your paid for yes it is no 5* cuisine but seriously if that's what you expected you the definition of stupid. Yes the food got reptitive but what do you expect they ahve to cater to everyones needs so having the basic food like chicken, rice, pasta, chips etc every night is needed because not everyone likes fancy foods if you want that go somewhere else and stop complaining! I have to say the best part of the restaurant has to be the pasta station, it has to be one of the best pasta meals I've had, they make it fresh with whatever you want in it. I'd like to give a big thank you to the pasta chef, sorry I cant remember his name but you will know who I'm on about when you go, he's a young chef that talks to the English the most, and constantly checking the food is fine and there is enough out for everyone, he is truly brilliant as we jokingly asked for garlic bread one night and 5 minutes later it was sat in front of use and he made it every night without being asked! At the end of the holiday we went to tip him and he was completely shocked telling us it is his job to make us feel comfortable etc, he was lovely.
There are 4 bars that the harem guests can use for free being; the pool bar, reception bar, main beach bar and bahia bar. However, the deception in this is annoying as you would think where the main entertainment is drinks would be all inclusive but nope for one the reception feels like a funeral home, we sat in there one night and never again, the pool bar is fine apart from the rude Russians pushing in front, the beach bar is fine also however this bar shuts at 6pm just when the entertainment starts and bahia bar is average, we sat in here the most it's where most of the resort will come to get drinks before heading off to watch the show in the area as the bar in there you have to pay for which is not cheap, such a con.
Now for the entertainment, they ofcourse have an animation team, some boys and some girls however only one girl was round the harem pool for about two hours a day where she did aqua aerobics and yoga etc, she was a nice girl but oh my she had the most energy I'd ever seen, some days its grew irritating. The rest of the animation stayed round the beach as the beach was quite big and most of the guests tended to stay here as it offered the most entertainment and of course the beach and a nice breeze and trust me it is needed in this weather! Overall the animation are ok they didn't do anything to us personally we barely spoke to them as we realised they focused mainly on the Russians and Italians as they barely new English or if they did you couldn't really have a conversation with them this is probably because most of them were Russian or Italian, which was weird as most hotels I have been to the animation are Egyptian but yes not the best animation team as they don't make the time to talk to you etc
The beach is lovely, you have no trouble finding a sun lounger at all however the best time to go is about 2pm as this is when everyone goes to lunch and honestly it is so peaceful without the drunk Russians in the background. You have the main beach bar for drinks until it shuts at 6 but for food you can eat at the sandy lane restaurant however you will have to pay as this is not all inclusive and if you want food for free you have to go all the way back up to Spices which is a lot of effort in the current heat there especially with children. Overall the beach is clean and kept in good condition you also have the chance to look at the coral as there is loads on the front of the beach which unfortunately means you aren't able to walk into the sea and swim however they have made a pontoon so people can go and swim in the sea as well as snorkelling.
The pool is also lovely and kept clean an no problems for sun loungers, however the lifeguards on the other hand are another thing, I personally think they are rude and unobservant or should I say observant when they choose to be, I'm the type of person when sunbathing to people watch if you like to call it and one day I noticed the younger lifeguard sneaking off to the animation box to eat and do god knows what, I mean surely if they were allowed to they do it whilst on duty, I think this is so dangerous as if a child was struggling or even an adult the lifeguard would be to busy eating! Other than that the pool is good and the pool barman is sweet and surprisingly doesn't hit on all the guys just keeps thinks friendly and professional.
The shops are good in the complex as you have to travel to the centre of the complex which is annoying but I suppose better than having to go to nama bay every day if you need something. The shop keepers average some will keep pestering you and some will ask you once to come in their shop and if you say no they won't bother you again. However the second to last night before we left we went to the shops to treat ourselves and ended up in the alibaba handbag shop the owner of the shop gave us good bargains as we bought 3 bags and a wallet and he even got one of his employees to come from nama bay where he has a shop and bring one of his fresh new bags for us, bless him. So I'd defiantly recommend him.
I'll tell you what i've never appreciated the London buses as much as I do now, after feeling like im going on a broken down rollercoaster on thos taf tafs! Don't get me wrong there a good idea because the complex is big but they are nowhere near comfortable especially when everyone wants to get one back to their room once the show is over they get packed and you literally have to fit for a seat against the Russians. I advise you now get taf taf 2 instead of 1 it is much quicker to get around in.
The funny thing is they constantly advertise this complex as a social village, p-lease the wifi worked when it wanted to, it would come and go and was ridiculously annoying! If you're like me and spend a lot of time on it go straight to reception and ask for them to put you on it as you need a username and password which is free but they don't tell you this when arriving so I finally got wifi on the second week of my holiday.
Overall the hotel itself is clean and tidy with cleaners everywhere, the staff are very friendly and always wanting to help but their big downfall is advertising it as all inclusive as it is not and once there it is extremely annoying to find out stuff you never knew when booking.
PS. DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT touch the vodka it taste like nail varnish removal and we spoke to a lot of people who were violently ill and sick because of it so if I was you I'd buy some vodka on the plane and use it there. And the lack of English is on another level I'm use to the amount of Russians that usually go to Egypt but I didn't hear another English voice for about two days!
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- Also Known As:
- Domina Hotel And Resort Harem
- Domina Hotel Harem
- Domina Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Domina Harem