My friend and I have just returned from Sol Cyrene. It was our first time in Egypt so we took advice from my parents who stayed in this hotel 2 years ago. In the past there were lots of Italians, Germans, some English and about 20% of Russians. According to parents words, the service was great, food was good and overall they enjoyed it. Well, our expectations didn't come true. It appeared, 97% of tourists in the hotel now are Russian speaking people, Russians make the most part of this number. I have heard stories about rude Russians before,but this rest has made me experience it. My friend and I are from Ukraine, we can also speak Russian, but russians behavior just shocked us. For example, we sat at out table having lunch, and heard how Russians at the next table were saying to their waiter: smile! I command you, I order you - smile! You don't smile - smile..... Or when we went to hard rock cafe to the party by bus- Russian girls were commanding to a boy-animator who was standing at the exit door- boy, dance! Dance,boy! There were many more stories like this, and now I can understand why russian tourists are not welcome in other countries.
As for the hotel service.. The staff is polite and welcoming, they were joking with us, and the atmosphere was warm and friendly. They never let themselves hit on us or say/do anything inappropriate since we were 2 single girls Travelling together.
The room guy was good, he did towels art for us every day, we left 1$ for him every day. But it seemed he didn't clean the floor and the bathtub. There was a battery of empty shower gel tubes on the edge of the bathtub and he never cleaned or put them away. It seemed, he only changed the towels, made the beds, and did the towels art every day.
The food. Honestly, I didn't like it. The menu was quite the same every day. There were various dishes but they all tasted the same and very bland. Macaroni with chicken tasted like glue, stewed broccoli and carrots tasted the very same as other stewed veggies. Having eyes closed, you would never tell the difference ;) the salad dressings tasted all the same. The yogurt dressing with shredded cucumbers in it was bland, salt less, and tasted similar to another dressing that was pink. The brown dressing ( I assume, it was a peanut sauce/dressing) was extremely bitter,impossible to eat. When we went on excursion (we bought it from the local touristic agency in the old market), and they treated us to lunch, there was the same brown dressing but the taste was absolutely different!! It was very tasty, not just extremely bitter like in the hotel. As for the meat choice in the menu, there was only beef, chicken and fish (fish was fat and tasted not good). There was a grill outside, I have tried only grilled beef (very tough, not chewable), chicken ( was good), and fish (okay, was only once). There was a pastry buffet too. The cakes were the same every day, very bland, tasteless. Regardless of the color (brown or white, yellow), glazing ( chocolate or other), they all tasted the same, bland and tasteless. So the food was disappointing. On the last day I took baked sliced tomatoes with cheese on top, and they were very sour, not fresh. I also took baked beans with tomato sauce ( beans were undercooked, tomato sauce was not fresh, very sour), mashed potatoes tasted strange too. I had my friend taste it too, and she approved the food was not fresh.
Night shows were boring, not professional. The dance troop that performed egyptian folk dances wasn't really exciting, except for the guy wo danced with round skirts. The girls dance troop that performed worldwide dances, wasn't professional too. On the other hand, the hotel animators were fantastic, full of energy, their classes and shows were great! Good job, guys!
Considering the hotel being far from the town, there is nothing to do in the evening there. Night shows are not exciting. The taxi ride is about 12$. So if we go to Egypt again, we will choose the hotel which is near/in the city so you can take a walk, go to cafes and buy food you want but not given.
A few words about tour guides and excursions. We went with odeon tour operator. We were met at the airport, an Arabic guy met us inside the airport and told to head to the buses to have a transfer to the hotel. When we approached to them, another arabic guy pronounced our names in a very rude tone and manner, as if my friend and I were 2 prostitutes, it was was very demeaning. I answered him in English and kept on speaking English only. He got offended (why?) and asked us why we spoke English but not russian with him. He stayed in the bus with the rest of us and left the bus every time when it stopped near hotels to help tourists check in in the receptionand helped with their luggage. In our case, he was discussing something with the driver of the bus all the way, looking angry, and looking/pointing at us ( my friend and I from time to time). I got scared he was going to hurt us later.... When we arrived to our hotel, he didnt follow us to the reception ( like he did with other tourists), and he didnt help us with our luggage! We had to take our heavy suitcases that the driver was passing to us through the window of the bus by ourselves.
We arrived at about 10:30 pm. We were told to go to the reception desk next morning at 9 am to have a meeting with the guy- a representative of odeon in the hotel. It was another horrible experience. We were 2 minutes late and the guy - his name is Honey- looked unpleased and angry. For the next 40-45 mins he went on and on and on about what an idiots the local Egyptian people are, that they only want to rip us off and that was it. He said it was very dangerous to go on our own to the old market, and offered a trip from the hotel for 30 bucks... Then he introduced us to several excursions and almost ordered to apply for excursions that he was selling and write it down on the questionnaire he passed to us. He said we had the only chance to do that, and we had to decide on the spot. It was our first day, we were hungry and it seemed he would never let us go. We thought we would miss the breakfast. When we refused to buy excursions from him, he looked very aggressive and unfriendly. At the end, he took 2 vouchers from us ( there were 3, but onenwe left at the airport according to rules) and said he would return one for us to the reception the same day. If you don't know yet, according to new rules in Egypt, you can not go outside of the hotel without a voucher. We were supposed to leave one at the airport, one at the reception and the 3rd one was for us-to enable ourselves travel outside of the hotel. So this Honey took the 2 vouchers and he never returned us our own voucher. Never. When we wanted to travel to sharm wl sheikh- we asked the reception guy to make us a copy of the one we left for the hotel. It was so mean from Honey to do that!!
And the last thing. One piece of advice. Do not buy any excursions from the hotel tour operators - the prices are almost doubled, do not buy any excursions frm the beach - they are more expensive too. Go to the city and do not be afraid do buy excursions from local touristic agencies. In the end, all tourists (the ones who bought them from the hotel, on the beach or by themselves in the city)- will end up Travelling in the same buses with each other in the same conditions;) only the price they paid will be different
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aurora Cyrene Resort enjoys a unique location at Ras Nosrani Bay, with a spectacular view overlooking the entrance of Aqaba Bay and Tiran Island. The hotel enjoys a beautiful 400-meter sandy beach with an easy access to the sea and the Coral reefs, just a 5-minute walking distance from the main building with shuttle bus service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sol Cyrene Hotel
- Sol Melia Sharm El Sheikh