Just returned from a fantastic holiday. We are a family of 5 with children aged 15,14,5 and traveled on 7th August for 2 weeks.
Firstly the flight with Thomson was first class however East Midlands Airport wasn't with most of the catering outlets unable to offer cooked food due to technical problems. Also the Border Control staff were the worst we have ever encountered anywhere in the UK having severe attitude problems and very little manners.
We arrived slightly early but as other people have commented it takes ages to get through Sharm Airport with queue after queue. Well its run by the Egyptian military so what else do you expect, plus its not exactly the nicest of airports. The reps that met us were efficient and we were quickly on our coach for the very short ride to the hotel (around 15 mins).
On arrival at the hotel there was a large queue due to several flights arriving at the same time but cold drinks were available and reception dealt efficiently in allocating our rooms meaning the wait was fairly short. We were shown to our rooms and our luggage followed shortly after. The main restaurant was open and provided soup and cold snacks which lasted us until breakfast the next morning.
Our select rooms were massive with fabulous comfy very large beds. A little dated but kept spotlessly clean and nothing was too much trouble for our cleaner. We were in block 10 which is what we requested as I have walking difficulties and it is part of the main building. There is a refurbishment programme going on and I'm sure these rooms will be brought up to date soon.
The quiet pool is right behind block 10 and this is the pool we used as the main one was always packed and people were seen reserving sunbeds at 5am. The guy running the pool is great keeping it spotless and always checking everything was ok. The only issue with the pools was the code brown events, but those culprits were caught and thrown out. Well done the hotel and First Choice, hopefully these people are now banned for life.
On the subject of food, never once did we have difficulty in finding something to eat and we are extremely fussy eaters, see my other reviews if you don't believe me. We ate every meal in the main restaurant but you do get vouchers for the a la carts which next year we may try. Every night the food is themed and there is also a carvery and bbq. The waiters are fantastic and one in particular Mahmoud entertained us with his magic tricks. Our 5 year old was fascinated and used to look forward to meal times. Drinks were replenished as soon as our glasses were empty and tables cleared promptly. None of us were ill by the way.
We spent most evenings on the upstairs terrace which was nice and quiet and were served mainly by a waiter names Hermina. This guy is a credit to the hotel, always smiling, polite, and very efficient. We were on first name terms with him and hope he's still there next year.
The hotel is very child friendly and the staff were great with them. First Choice operate several kids clubs and provide t-shirts, sunglasses and drinking bottles when they enroll. Even though our kids didn't participate there always seemed to be plenty going on for the young ones.
Staff wise I cannot praise them enough. Other reviews have stated that members of staff were always looking for tips, we never encountered this once but we did tip at our own discetion where we thought it was appropriate. Bear in mind these guys work long hours and are away from their families for 50 days at a time, so a few pounds here and there doesn't hurt.
The shops onsite are more expensive than those outside so it does pay to have a wander but prepare to be hassled. We found Adams Watches to be excellent value and the guy doesn't bother you. He will also advise you on the best places to shop at and he speaks perfect English. Do not ride on the camels outside the hotel as we heard of one family being charged £80 for doing so. If you want a ride then have a go on Bobby the resident camel who you find on the beach together with baby camel Bob Marley who is so cute the kids wanted to take him home.
The grounds are lovely and well maintained but the beach is very hard on the feet being coral particles.
Weather was incredible being in the 40's most days and cloudless too.
Customer service is first class with us receiving phone calls from the desk to check if everything was ok.
Now to the bad points..
The behaviour of some of the Brits is attrocious. Rude and obnoxious both to staff and other guests with code brown events being the norm every day and not once a day either. Also some of the guests couldn't wait to be shown to their dining table and instead would jump the queue. These people were usually covered in tattoos and wore the same clothes for days on end. Maybe benefits in the South of England do stretch to luxury holidays in the sun as theres no way I could see anyone employing them
.Another gripe is the evening entertainment which is the worst I have ever encountered. The First Choice "entertainers" could not sing whatsoever and our cats can do better. They also fly in a so called professional act every week but the one we saw was nothing more than a low grade northern working mens club act from the 1980's. It reminded me of Butlins from when I was a kid. Come on First Choice you can do much better than this.
All inclusive drinks end at midnight and it's an extra charge to drink after this time.
Finally there could be a better range of snacks available.
As I have already stated Sharm Airport is very poor and also very expensive so make sure you eat at the hotel before departing.
We have today booked again for next year and are giving the swim up rooms a try as they do look really good. Already can't wait to go back.
Don't bother taking Egyptian money as everywhere takes sterling.
Also the village is massive so if you have walking difficulties it pays to email the hotel with your preference before you depart. If you stay in a standard room these are all located in block 14 which is the furthest from all the facilities.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Offering the unsurpassed panoramic views of the Red Sea, Coral Sea Holiday Village Resort presents a comprehensive under-one-roof concept that meets the need of every discerning leisure traveler. This 5-star resort houses: 484 elegant guest rooms with modern amenities, superbly-designed facilities and 13 exciting dining and lifestyle choices for a multi-dimensional experience. It is our privilege to enchant our guests with courteous and attentive service that is the hallmark of Coral Sea Holiday Village Resort; we deliver only the best! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Odigeo and Ebookers so you can book your Coral Sea Holiday Village reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Coral Sea Holiday Village Hotel Sharm El Sheikh