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“Excellent even just for a couple days”

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village
Ranked #103 of 231 Hotels in Sharm El Sheikh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 January 2012

We did not have time for an extended stay but did not want to miss snorkeling in the Red Sea. We chose this place because of the onsite coral reef, saving us the need for a boat trip. E-mail correspondence with the hotel was efficient. Airport ransfer arranged by the hotel was not cheap but reliable and fast.

We were very happy with the reasonably priced Bedoium rooms (with lovely fixtures/furniture and a sea-view balcony). We asked for a quiet room and got one high up on the hill. We had a "bell-boy" helping us with our bags so no hassle there. Breakfast was good and our fish dinner was also excellent.

The dive centre, which arranged dive/snorkel boat trips was friendly but a little naughty. The young lady tried hard to dissuade a trip to Ras Mohammed as they did not have the trip on the day we want to go. We ended up going to the next hotel and joined two land based trips both at 30 euro per person. The coach trip to Ras Mohammad included sights in the park and two one-hour snokels. The trip to St Catherines depart at around 8 am and included lunch at Dahab.

We did take a taxi to Naama Bay for a stroll and dinner and was very glad and stayed in a less touristy resort.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SabrinaCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 November 2011

We stayed for two weeks at Umbi. I dive, my wife swims but does not snorkel, so we were hoping to find something that met both our requirements. We booked the Bedouin Village, but as we booked very late we had to agree to spend one night in a beach cabin as all the rooms were booked. Not a problem and we were able to compare the accommodation in each. I will try to cover the various aspects of the holiday separately.
SHARKS BAY
The bay is set to the north of Sharm and is out of the 'party all night and sleep all day' area. However, it is very busy with dive boats coming to the jetty, banana and settee (?) rides and waterskiing. There was loud music from a nearly hotel for a while each day during the morning which I suspect was part of a Kids Club.
Umbi is just 2000m from the runway at Sharm airport and the flight path for incoming planes is approximately 1600m away. There is therefore fairly constant aircraft noise from around 5am until midnight. We counted planes coming in at the rate of one every 3-4 minutes. The airport handles 10 million passengers a year (c.f. Heathrow 67 million). Having said that, most of the noise goes over the top of the bay and it was only really noticeable early in the morning.
There are no restaurants in the bay and nowhere to walk unless you get a taxi to Naama.
UMBI ACCOMMODATION
The Bedouin Village is an imaginative and attractive development with good views from the generous balconies. When built, the rooms were clearly of a high standard with good fixtures and fittings. Unfortunately, our room - and I assume the others - was beginning to look a bit tired. The front door jammed and was difficult to open, the chain on the door was broken, two lights did not work (these were fixed), and the holder for the shower head was loose so the shower hung down and sprayed the wall. Some of the paint and varnish was in poor condition and the bathroom was a bit grubby - with two dirty glasses that appeared to have toothpaste on them by the washhand basin. A spring clean and a bit of paint and varnish would have transformed it at very little cost. The bed was firm with a fairly thin matress on a solid wooden base - not a problem for me.
The television provided good coverage of BBC World News until day ten when it suddenly switched to the arabic version and we had no English channels. This happened to co-incide with the arrival of large numbers of Egyptians and we were told that no-one knew why this had happened and there was nobody who could get it back to English!
On the plus side, the bedding and towels were spotlessly clean and beach towels were provided.
Our overnight stay in the beach hut was uneventful. Everything was clean and the only problem that we found was that there was nowhere to dry anything - not too clever in a diving and beach resort.
THE RESTAURANT
We found the restaurant more than adequate for all our meals during the two weeks. The buffet breakfast, although much the same each day, had a reasonable selection and my only comment would be that the orange juice was just watered down squash and the toaster took for ever.
The lunch and evening menu had a good selections of starters (3 starters between us made a very good meal), pasta, pizza, fish, chicken and beef dishes. Apart from the usual very tough and best avoided beef, we found all the meals to be very good, with more than adequate portions and reasonable prices - most mains at £5.50 or less.
Beer (LE20) and wine (one red and one white at LE110, both drinkable) were available even though not shown on the menu.
We were impressed and surprised by the fresh salads.
The service was good and the staff friendly.
THE BEACH
Umbi advertise a walk in beach - which is really a bit misleading. This coast has fringing coral - i.e. it comes right up to the beach, so entry from the beach is not permitted (it is illegal to walk on the reef). There is one area towards the boat jetty where you can walk in, but it is very busy with divers from Emperor Divers and Sunshine Divers who have operations here. The other option is a good pontoon which enables you to enter the water beyond the reef. The depth is probably around three metres here and the area is used by swimmers and snorkelers.
The beach is coarse grit and small stones and is not very pleasant to walk on - suitable beach shoes ease the pain!
There are parasols giving plenty of shade - maybe too much - and plenty of solid wooden sunloungers, with cushions, that are in good repair if a little dirty; these are free to residents.
At times the beach became very overcrowded as it is open to non-residents (who have to pay).
Although there are a reasonable number of fish (including lionfish, a moray eel, parrot fish, blue spotted stingrays etc) the corals are in poor condition in the bay.
THE DIVING
I had booked a Nitrox course and 5 days of boat diving with the option to do more. The staff at the centre were generally very helpful and friendly. Umbi diving has a very well equipped fleet of five boats. I dived from Freedom One and I could not fault the boat, the dive leaders or the crew who did everything possible to help. Lunches on board, with unlimited free soft drinks and water, were more than adequate and reasonably priced.
Umbi has a huge advantage in that it owns the boat jetty and so getting to your boat is just a matter of walking less than 100 yards along th beach.
We dived in the Straits of Tiran and at Ras Mohammed and had some excellent dives.
The only fly in the ointment was a dive on the Thistlegorm. Unbi will only send a boat when there are sufficient divers and I had not expected this to be a problem during a two week holiday. However, those of us who wanted to go were left hanging and I eventually booked the trip with Sunshine Divers who arranged everything very efficiently, bussing us down to Travco Marina to save journey time. We had an excellent dive and so I booked the next day with them as well. The plan was to go to Ras Mohammed and dive probably at Jackfish Alley; the sea was rather rough there so we went around the corner and did the Dunraven - a really good dive and an unexpected bonus.
My overall feeling was that Umbi would rather stay close to home (Tiran) - perhaps to save time and fuel?
A final comment on the diving: I was surprised to find that equipment was left unwashed on the boat for a whole week. Everywhere else that I have dived we have washed the equipment at the end of each day. When equipemnt was washed at Umbi, there was only one tank for everything and no disinfectant ("we change the water every day" I was told!).

Despite the few minor problems, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Umbi and would be happy to go back.
Incidentally, if you are trying to find it on Google Earth put 27º57'06.58"N 34º23'04.96"E into the search box. The boat jetty is the large angled one and the Umbi pontoon is the one above it.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Peter22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2011

My main reason for visiting Umbi Village was to go diving and accommodation was secondary on my list of priorities. I was nicely surprised when I saw the simplicity but quality of the room and the outstanding service. Prices are affordable and there is a range from the more expensive –although still good prices- for the Bedouin Village room with amazing views, the mid-range beach cabins, one minute away from the beach, and the economical view huts.
The view from the Bedouin Village rooms is better as the rooms are higher, although obviously you have to go up more steps to access them.
Our room was incredibly spacious, clean and cozy, with simple but lovely decoration. It had a lovely balcony with amazing views over the coast and the sea. The staff are very friendly, incredibly helpful and diligent.
There is a lovely Bedouin style bar/cafe where you can go to escape from the heat any time during the day and evenings. There is a small supermarket where you can get you basic stuff such as water, drinks, toiletries and snacks. For fresh food such as fruit you need to go to the Old Market by taxi.
The dive centre is outstanding. The equipment is new and well looked after. I did my dives from the boat Freedom I, which was great. The crew was so friendly and helpful and took good care of us. The skipper took us a few times to a spot where there are dolphins sometimes, and I saw them twice! Adel was an amazing divemaster. He knows the area and took us the best spots at the right times. He is extremely intuitive and knows how to support you when you have any problems or worries. I can’t wait to go back!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank LepAar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2011

We stayed a week at UMBI Diving Village at the beginning of October.
The weather was just wonderful, hot – but not uncomfortably so.
Quiet, relaxing environment -our Bedouin room was spacious and had a great view.
The furniture is in need of upgrade, but the bed was very comfortable and the room was scrupulously cleaned every day. Lots of space too!

We had dinner nearly every evening at the local restaurant, out of laziness after the long day diving – however, the Restaurant staff was very “grumpy”, the service minimal.
Plates were retrieved even before we had finished and the bill pushed on us without waiting for dessert or coffee orders. Bear in mind that the restaurant was always nearly empty; I wonder what was the reason of such behaviour? A mini customer-services course and some friendly behaviour would probably ensure repeated business.

The Reception Staff, small shop attendant and so on were – however – all very helpful and friendly.
We had a few amazing massages by the massage corner on the Umbi Beach (always perfectly maintained) – super relaxing!

The local little shops could do we a new stock of goods (everything was fairly dusty and “old”).

Diving - After diving in Dahab (in very small groups), I was taken aback by the share crowds during our diving trips. Umbi’s Freedom 8 diving boat is great, the lunch was wonderful and everyone was very helpful on board (Ghandi was our Diving guide) but I was not prepared to the diving sites being so busy. I counted 28 divers underwater once, and 14 other boats on the site.
At a point, while diving, the traffic of boats ahead made me feel like being at Heathrow airport :o)

We enjoyed our week, the Red See is an amazing destination, but I would look for a less developed (and less crowed diving place) for my next holiday.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GioMel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2011

One of the best places to go if you are interested for diving. Even though this is not a 5 Star hotel, people there treat like one. The diving center is fantastic. All people are very friendly and helpful more than you can ask. From reservation to execution everything was perfect. They have their own Jetty there so there is zero waiting time for the daily boat trips. Rooms are simple and clean (every day they were cleaned) and with a nice views (Bedouin rooms). Breakfast is basic and a bit repetitive but I did not considered it a draw back. The staff in the dive center for me are simply the best! I am looking forward going back for some diving..
I stayed there for 10 days as a solo traveler and never felt alone..
Definitely recommend it for all divers travelers.

Room Tip: If you are not interested for the view beach cabins are also excellent and match cheaper – fully equ...
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank MikeN_GR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2011

i didnt stay here but i wish i had and will return to stay. I came here for four days to complete my open water dive qual. All i can say is that this place is a little piece of paradise................. Alex runs the show and is great for a chat. My instructor was Ghandi and whilst i was his 'slave' for the four days, he was the most patient and knowledgeable guy ive met for some time.
From booking in the uk, where i got excellent service, to the relaxed but professional approach in the Umbi village. Want to do my advanced now and return to dive at xmas.
Ghandi, watch out, you will be my slave soon......................................

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank paulmcp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2011

Room was close enough to 5 star, the staff was (are) super friendly, the food was great, and not being overcharged is an added bonus! The diving centre staff, are the best!
We will be back soon, you will not find this a better place to stay.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank pmeiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village

Address: PO Box 275, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > South Sinai > Sharm El Sheikh
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#62 Top resorts Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#71 Romantic Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#92 On the Beach Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
Price Range: £20 - £73 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village 2*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique in the area, Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a friendly, relaxing place that still maintains the feel of how Sharm used to be before the arrival of large scale tourism. The Diving Village has a well-equipped dive centre, its own private jetty and a fleet of five boats. There is also a seafood restaurant, beach bar and a full range of water sports. The accommodation ranges from budget View Huts and Beach Cabins to the individually styled Bedouin Village ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village Hotel Sharm El Sheikh

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