Just got back from a 10 day stay at the Aqua Blue and have to say it was absolutely fantastic. Having read some reviews on here before leaving I felt a little nervous as to what we would find, but the hotel didn't disappoint. From the moment we checked in to when we left the staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. Treat them as you would like to be treated and you can't go wrong, take an attitude like the Russians and you won't make friends. Sadly the Russian take on queuing is simple.... they don't! I felt for the staff having to put up with their attitude, thankfully the staff seemed to know how they are.
The park is full of water slides, over 30 I believe. This makes for a great holiday for the kids and adults, the slides are fully staffed and after feeling a little nervous at first, their presence is reassuring. The water areas are well kept and well stocked with sunbeds. Get up early to get your slot and you can't go wrong. We didn't have any problems with getting sunbeds, even during the busy half term period. All areas of the pool are swept, tidied and kept very clean and tidy. Add to this the numerous bars that are around the pool and slide areas and you can't go wrong. All bars serve beer, soft drinks and ice cream in the afternoons.
The restaurants are what you'd expect from an all inclusive, lots of choice, as much as you like, but they get a little repetitive after 5-6 days. Not the fault of the hotel as they have 4 big restaurants to cater for your tastes, Chinese, Italian, Mediterranean and another with a bit of everything.
The evenings were spent outside at one of the bars above the main restaurant. The bar staff were very very helpful, bringing drinks to our tables whenever we looked 'dry'! We tipped appropriately and got the service in return. The kids loved the various cocktails on offer (alcohol free). Again, I couldn't fault the staff here, very friendly and helpful.
Our rooms were kept clean by daily visits from the 'maid'. Again, another very friendly and helpful chap. Nothing was too much trouble, extra pillows, toilet roll and towels were met with extra supplies.
Overall the hotel was exceptionally clean and tidy, the grounds well kept and watered and all in all staff were eager to help. Strangely the only staff that seemed unhelpful and surly were the reception staff (where you would expect the best service surely?). On one occasssion we needed the number for the Hard Rock Cafe to ring and make a reservation. They didn't have the number and made no effort to find it. A short trip to the internet cafe brought it up in Google in 5 seconds, why they couldn't have done this I don't know??
Now the bad points....
The rooms although clean and tidy don't have connecting rooms, so a family room means you have to share with the kids. Our room also didn't have a double bed as standard, I'm sure they would have supplied this if we'd requested though. When we pushed the two beds together to make a double the positioning of the lights meant whenever your head moved the lights came on!!
My major gripe with the hotel is the lack of free WiFi internet access. The reception charges around £8 per hour (in half hour blocks) to use their WiFi. Very expensive when your business means you need to check email etc each day. Luckily I found two outside the hotel. The Champions Pub directly outside has free WiFi when you use the pub (good excuse for a draught Heineken!). Also, just down the road their is an internet cafe which charges about £1.20 per hour, much cheaper and better than the hotel. Although don't be fooled by the buildings' exterior, they're really nice and helpful guys in there, saved my life work wise!!
Come on Aqua Blue, it's 2010 - help your guests by giving them free WiFi access in reception, or atleast make it affordable.
Sharm El Sheikh itself is very underdeveloped. There's really nothing outside the hotel itself and the area has the appearance of a war zone in some areas. You need to venture to the Old Market or Na'ama Bay areas to find shops and markets.
A word of warning - when visiting the markets, stay alert and DO NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING, even taking a picture of a camel can land you in trouble with demands of money. Make sure you haggle for everything, start at around 50% of their price to get the best deals.
A quick guide on tipping. I never knew what to tip for what. For room service we tipped the guy about 10 Egyptian Pounds every couple of days, he seemed fine with this. For bar staff we tipped around 20 - 40 Egyptian Pounds for an evening of service. And for cabs, again about 10-20 Egyptian Pounds for a short trip. There's no hard and fast rule, but the staff seemed happy with that. Of course, you don't have to, but the staff rely on tips and will reciprocate with good and prompt service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aqua Park Resort is ideally located on umm El Seed area. Only 15 minutes from downtown, 25 minutes from International Sharm El Sheikh Airport. The resort is on the area covering over 140,000 sq. m. Sport & Entertainment• Volleyball• Jacuzzi• Fitness room• Darts • Boccia • 1 Tennis court• Basketball • Children playground• Mini golf• Gondola on the Lagoon• One multi purpose court (handball, basketball and volley ball)• Water Park (62 slides, adults slides 17, 45 children slide)• Day and evening animation program• Beach parties during summer Facilities for children• Children’s pool • 45 Water slides• Children play ground Restaurants • Cave du Roi Main Restaurant (International Buffet)• L'Asiatique Restaurant (Indian & Chinese Buffet) • Mediterranean Restaurant ( Mediterranean Buffet)• Il Caminetto Restaurant (Italian Buffet)• Food Court (a la carte) against charge with 5 corners (Grill House, Italian, Chinese, Crêpe, Egyptian) Bars• Lobby Bar• Columbus Bar• La Canelle Bar• Cowboy Disco Bar• Club House Bar• Goofy Bar • Lagoon Bar • Beach Bar• Pool Bar• Kids Pool Bar•Billiard Bar• Jazz Bar• La Veranda Cafe ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Aqua Blu Sharm Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Aqua Blu Sharm El Sheikh