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“A good holiday - as expected”

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Sofitel Taba Heights
Ranked #4 of 22 Hotels in Taba
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A good holiday - as expected”
Reviewed 18 July 2011

I chose this hotel based on the excellent reviews and I would say in that, in general, it lived up to its reputation.

The hotel was perfect for relaxation. We enjoyed lazy days by the quiet pool occasionally venturing down to the beach for a spot of snorkelling.

We found the staff to be pleasant and helpful providing good service around all areas of the hotel.

The accommodation was of a good standard and levels of cleanliness were excellent. The 'look' of the hotel was rather dated with some of the furniture rather worn in places.

The food was ok with a decent selection of dishes. Some food was rather bland and conversely some was rather strangely flavoured - for example huge amounts of coriander in the tomato based pasta. The staff in the main restaurant worked hard clearing away plates but often struggled to manage drinks orders and we waited a long time for drinks orders to be taken and delivered on a few occasions. We booked the Mediterranean restaurant and enjoyed a nice meal. Again, service here could be improved, we saw one couple leave after having been ignored and a number of people left waiting at the door with no one to show them to a table. We had a great meal in the Asian restaurant and were glad we booked.

The hotel's close proximity to the Israeli border makes it ideal for day trips with a good selection on offer through different agents. It is also possible to travel independently if you prefer. We took the day trip to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea with Longwood and enjoyed an excellent but busy day.

I can see why this hotel has many repeat guests, I'm not sure if I'll be one but I'd have no hesitation recommending it to those in search of a quiet and relaxing break in nice surroundings.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Karen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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uk
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2011

We booked this hotel last minute ( the day before we traveled ) so we didnt read reviews, just saw a good price , and booked it. Only a few grumbles,
This hotel has all you would expect - however is lacking in a few AI basics. There is a mini fridge in your room, but if you want more in it than water, its $15 to fill it. Which was disapointing. Also you can only get wine AI with a meal - in the bar you have to pay for wine. We also felt there was a lack in al a carte resturants. There are 2 here,but the one that forms part of you AI is used as a over flow for the buffet , and its not fully served, you still get your own starter & desert from buffet. The other one, you have to pay for.

Only real problems we found were service in buffet was slow, and disorganised, took them ages to bring your drink , however if you get up from your table to get your meal they clear it in record time and sit someone else in your seat!! This happened 3 time in 2 weeks, and is very frustrating, as you then have to wait another lifetime to get your drinks again! The food however i could not fault, always something good, good quality, always hot!
Bar service is good, again little niggles, after 11pm you have to pay for your drinks, which we did, but,come 11:30/12 they start closing down the bar ( to be fair it does empty at 11pm ) turning off tv's lights, and turning down / off music until you leave. The bar is ment to be open until 1am.
Pools are big, clean, and beach is fantastic! Spa pool is where we spent our 2weeks, as no kids are let in,and 90% of the time we had it to ourselfs.
Staff are all very friendly, and the rep was very good - we mentioned we were on honeymoon, and within hours a cake was brought to us & late check out arranged free of charge.
We did have upset stomach, but i dont think it had anything to do with the food, just to much sun, drink, not enough water - however the hotel porter Sami called phamacy arranged taxi for rehidration salts, and brought it to our room, for the sum total of $3 !!!!
Our room was kept clean, and valuables / money we forgot to lock away were cleaned around, which we thought was fantastic!
Trips are expensive, we only went on baot trip which was 40 sterling each, and was a fantastic day, Petra is 250 sterling each, Ciaro 100, Israil 190 each, we didnt do these as we just wanted to do nothing, but heard good reports from these & all other trips.

Would we return yes, but not in school holidays for Saudi & Jordan! Thoses guys dont control their kids!
If you are going to book, you will have a great time, but expect uk 4* and you wont be disapointed.

Room Tip: Go on boat trip, few people, good food, and helpful staff
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank kissmecath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2011

We stayed at Sofitel between 14th June and 28th June.

Arrival

Bearing in mind 3 cramped (Boeing757) Thomson flights arrived at a similar time at Taba airport, the hotel reception area main desk room was packed with two coach loads staying at the Sofitel. The hotel thankfully had set up multiple ‘lines’ of family groups checking in and the whole process was very well handled. A staff member circulated between the lines and gave us all blue AI wristbands to save more time. Fruit drinks were also handed out to all new guests. We were given our room cards and asked to go back outside and tell staff which suitcases needed to be taken to our room. The staff then brought the cases along to us later on. The arrival of the cases was not rapid, but considering the sheer numbers they had to deal with, this was perfectly understandable. The front desk is highly efficient and has multilingual staff. There is also a resident doctor at this hotel.

Welcome meeting

It looked good. A meeting room packed with eager new guests and being introduced to the managers of each department of the hotel. I was impressed, a nice touch. The ‘talk’ about the trips and area was not however as in depth as I expected and we were left to look over the forms to book tours etc. The rep does have a room at the hotel and therefore is here often if you need to speak to her. But expect to queue.

Reception areas

The main reception areas are massive. There is an ATM in reception and a shop which sells tourist tat, clothing and beach items plus UK style biscuits and sweets (which are expensive). You do need to be careful, as the floors can be slippery when turning from to go down the stairs to the main restaurant. My husband and I both had near misses with falls.

Rooms

We had a room on the ground floor in block 3 and it opened out onto our own little patio with two plastic chairs and a plastic table. It also faced onto the small quiet pool area, so we only had to walk 30 feet and we were at the loungers and small pool. We were very glad we had this room, as it was not only convenient for that pool but easy access to a walkway down the right hand side of the hotel direct to the main beach.

Our room had a large (bigger than king size) bed, flat screen TV, fridge, small sofa (that had seen better days), small coffee table and one armchair. The wardrobe is a very good size (10 coat hangers|) and the room also has ample shelving and drawers for clothes. The wardrobe contains a digital safe. The safe was fine for 10 days and then it failed, it either could not be opened, or could not be locked. We reported this to reception and they got maintenance out to sort it twice. It still did not work so we gave up and locked all important items in our suitcases for then final few days. The general light quality in the room was quite poor, most noticeable at night.

We paid 30 Egyptian pounds (£3.12) each day to have a tea and coffee tray facility in the room, this was excellent value (cheap) as usually only the upgraded rooms have this automatically included. We therefore had a kettle, two cups / saucers, a very wide range of tea bags (including fruit teas) and coffee / sugar sachets in our room each day. The staff also placed 2 pots of milk in the fridge for us each day. Also they gave us large bottles of water for the kettle. The supplies were generously replenished daily. Guests get a small bottle of water each in the fridge anyway each day free of charge. Ask for this service at reception or, as we did, arrange with the restaurant manager.

Restaurant

The restaurant stayed open late enough to enable us to have a meal on arrival. The restaurant is manic at busy times and you have to weave between people to walk to and from your table to get at the food. The breads were very good, the salads were excellent the first week we were there but the mixes seemed to get a little sparse the second week. The hot food was quite varied, although some dishes were totally tasteless (pasta in white sauce for example). The meatballs were lovely. There is a reasonable selection of hot veggies – these tend to be mixes of carrot/string beans and courgette. Potato is often served in the main restaurant (but not chips as we know them – more like wedges), Desert cakes were a big let down, most were tasteless, regardless of whether you chose chocolate, coffee or fruit, the flavour was very weak. The jellies were the tastiest things on the table. There are also many pastries to be had instead of cake, but very very sweet. A couple of nights they did apple strudel, which was tasty, but the portions handed out were meagre.

The breakfasts are very good. Fabulous selection of ready prepared fruit such as pink and standard grapefruit, peaches, apricots, melon, watermelon, pineapple. Plus yogurts, dried fruits, cheeses, breads. Good range of hot choices also.

The lady greeter in the main restaurant is very pleasant and most of the waiters attentive, friendly and efficient. We did come across a waiter who forgot our drinks order, he said it was because his manager had asked him to get him a drink of water, so he forgot guests orders. So be it. We tended to eat in the lower area of the restaurant near the outside conservatory tables as it was quieter and had better light. That said, you did occasionally gets birds flying around or landing on your table. The outside garden tables had massive black crow like birds flying around them a lot. The restaurant opens at 05:30, so great for early risers or people going out early on trips.

Entertainment

If you are not content with just sitting around drinking every evening you may fund yourself bored. There are some ‘acts’ but they are low key. Entertainment is mostly around the pool bar area in the evening. There were two whirling dervishes one evening. There is a Festival each Friday evening at the El Wakela shops area – this is worth going to. The evening we went there was an Egyptian Band playing a variety of music live (soft rock / rock and others) and they were very good. Several evenings we went back to our room about 21.30 and just had coffee in the room and either read our Kindles on the patio or watched TV. This is not a buzzing resort, you come here for sun, sand, snorkel / scuba, eating and sleeping – that’s it.

Main Pools

Massive main pools with many child friendly shallow areas and entry points. The pools were not so busy. The main pool restaurant serves chips, pizza and burgers (plus other stuff) for those that need taste of home, or who do not want to get dressed to go to main restaurant. It also serves hot and cold drinks and four flavours of ice cream (chocolate, mango, vanilla and strawberry) in cups or cones. Loads of loungers.

Small Pool

The small pool is actually quite large and there is also a baby pool next to it. Plenty of loungers, but to get a good choice pop your beach towel (the hotel give you pool / beach towels) out on your chosen chair by 8am. There is no pumping music here and most people there swim, read or chat. There is also a pool bar there for cold and hot drinks. You do not get bothered too much by the Spa staff here, but they will come up to you occasionally.

Grounds

The grounds are extensive and well tended. I don’t know how the gardeners kept going considering it was 43 deg on several days we were there.

Beach

The beach just keeps going. The beach in front of the hotel is not overly deep, but that does not matter. The beach has plenty of loungers with wind breaks and quite honestly it was nice to have a bit of a breeze, as the heat around the main pools with all the concrete gets a bit overwhelming. The first two days we were there was very windy, as supposedly there was a sand storm in Saudi Arabia (just over the water). When the wind does kick up its like being under a warm hairdryer. The water is warm (hotter spots as well) and to the right side of the jetty the water is deeper than the left side of the jetty. There is also a sectioned off safer very sandy area of water to the right towards the Hyatt. Fish swim up to you. My husband found that the snorkelling off the Hyatt jetty was much better. There were ‘certain nationalities’ walking on and digging at the coral when we were there, they of course got the frantic whistle blown at them – and still took no notice.

Beach Path

We walked the beach path from the end of the Hyatt right around to the Diving centre by the Marina on several occasions (2.50km), just for something to do. It is a pleasant walk and it’s good to see the other hotels. Security posts are at each hotel and the guards always say hello to you. We also walked into the grounds of the Marriott and Intercontinental hotels and looked at their pools and general areas. No one minds. We knew that the Sofitel was not at full capacity, but it looked like the other hotels were very low on guests in comparison. The Sofitel is definitely the most popular hotel here.

Dive shop and bar

The dive shop and bar at the Marina are worth a walk to (about 20 mins at fair pace), turn right at beach and keep walking until the end of the beach path). They sell snorkel and scuba gear at fair prices- this is quality stuff no rubbish. My husband bought a snorkel mask. As it was so hot we stopped and paid for a drink at the restaurant / bar – the prices are good.

Taf Taf

The taf taf bus runs clockwise and anti clockwise around the resort twice an hour. If it’s windy prepare to get blown away. Hard wooden seats but good fun. This takes you up to shops area at El Wakela hotel.

El Wakala area shops

We went up here three times by taf taf and walked it once (30 mins each way). There is a good pharmacy that sells everything you would need for most ailments and conditions. They have a good stock of Antinal should the need arise. They also sell make up, nappies and branded quality sun tan lotion (prices are reasonable) – we paid £9 for a large bottle of Australia Gold. Please step the factor up when choosing sun creams for added protection, it is very hot here. I was also told there is a full medical clinic up in this area, so help is at hand for serious injuries or medical conditions that arise. There is a supermarket also and this sells chocolate ice lollies and other ices, plus water, crisps (Lays), biscuits and sun creams etc. Again all at fair prices. The sun creams are not brands we know at home, so may be better to head for the pharmacy. We had ices from there twice – they were good.

Tipping

We tipped the room cleaner USD2 a day (I left the money on a pillow each day) and we also left USD2 occasionally in the fridge for the coffee / water boy. When we left we gave an additional USD50 in an envelope to go into the ‘pool’ of tip monies that are shared out to all staff. They all have to share tips in any event.

Trips

We went on the Petra trip and this was worth every penny. It was a long day but to see Wadi Rum desert and the Treasury was excellent. Petra site is massive, we had no idea there was so much there. The guide was very very good, the coach comfortable and loo / coffee stops very reasonable. Lunch that day was at the Marriott hotel just before Petra town (very pleasant and great views). It’s a bit of a drag waiting for immigration / passport matters at each port but well worth it.

The St Katherine Monastery trip was good but there were some downsides. A 3.5 hour journey there (its near Sharm) and no loo stops was poor. Well actually there was a loo, it was at the Bedouin camp and no-one had the nerve to try it except the guide and he came back saying it was disgusting! The monastery was interesting but over relatively quick – also one of the monks (guy at the gate telling everyone to be quiet) took exception to our guide and started ranting at him for no good reason. We had a pleasant lunch at Dahab and then a gruelling drive back for a couple of hours (again no loo stop). They do not tell you about the lack of comfort breaks when you book this tour. PS – you have to pay to use the loo at the Monastery entrance.

In summary this is a great hotel with top quality staff and we would happily stay here again. Food is good, comfort good, beach, sea and pools excellent. I will certainly recommend the hotel to friends and family. The downside for us however was the cramped seat pitch on 757 flights to get to and from Taba and the lack of entertainment or ability to go anywhere unless a tour was purchased. If we come here again it will be for only 7 days not 14.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank NJHNorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
worcestershire
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2011

Just got back this week from our third trip to the Red Sea, first two were Sharm in 2006 and last year in Hurghada.
Taba itself was exactly as we would have expected, very similar to the other two, but a bit more worn around the edges. The five hotels resort was good, well proportioned and had everything you might have wanted.
The Sofitel itself is in the centre of the five hotel complex and is good. Clean, presentable and has nice pools.
The service however, was terrible. We were most surprised by this as we have always found the service by Egyptians to be very good. We were very dissappointed.
Things have certainly changed in Egypt (politically) and it was more noticable than we were led to believe before hand. Tourism has dropped off by 70%, you could see this because 4 of the five hotels were empty but for a handfull of guests. It appeared that all the bookings had been either steered or moved to the Sofitel, the others were quiet.
We strongly suspect that our hotel stay had been booked through a budget web site which, could explain the lack of service. We believe that the more money the end supplier gets the better the service we recieve. There has to be a reason why the service we recieved was so shockingly awful.
From the second we arrived, no one could be bothered. Booking in at reception, bags to the room, the room, the cleaning, the bars, the dining room and even the towel guy all were shocking. Please bear in mind that we have travelled a fair bit and always try to represent Britain in a favourable way when abroad, we always treat people with the utmost respect especially when they are serving us (as this is the business we are in). We always ask with a please and a smile and always leave with a thankyou and a smile, but still no one could be bothered.
If we get an answer to the way the holiday was booked it would at least explain the levels of service.
The Red Sea here was good and the only complaint we had about the hotel apart from the service was the smell of sewerage on the lower level of block one, where our room was. After 9pm the only way back to your room was to run the gauntlet of the sprinklers, which sprayed every footpath.
The food was adequate, we always managed too find something to eat. The pool restaurant however, was unhygenic and seemed to be the root cause of many cases of illness. Indeed I was ill for an entire day, couldn't even get out of bed! This was odd for me, as my wife says 'I have the constitution of an ox'. It was horrible and nothing that the usual medicines would sort out, it meant a trip to the chemist for my devoted wife and daughter.
This has put us off of Taba and Egypt for the time being, so now we are looking for some where else in the world that suits us like the Red Sea? Depending on the answers that we get from our travel agent, we may be looking for a new one of those too.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Alan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2011

One of the best holidays we have ever had , the only exception was the unscrupilous beauty salon which is not part of the Sofitel but run as a franchise .

These guys come around the pool and do a good sales job but don't deliver . It's only after you have paid up and they have your money that you realise you have been done . £75 for a 15 min manicure and pedicure that your not happy with is a lot of money .

Please don't confuse this with the in house Spa which we also used for massages etc . By comparison £35 buys you an hour Swedish massage from a trained proffesional who can speak English . Take my advice and treat yourself to one of these you won't regret it .

We did raise our concerns directly with the Salon who were not interested and then escalated to the hotel / Recreation Manager but as it was not part of the hotel they couldn't really do much . Other than that it was a really nice holiday

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank TabaSharkHunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gloucestershire
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2011

From the moment we arrived to a wonderfull welcome, a honeymoon cake in our room, to our very last day, the Staff could not have done more to make our stay more enjoyable. Fay, Mahmood (towels) and Spa Staff, who also welcomed me with a bouquet, were an absolute pleasure, and you can tell that they genuinelly want to do their upmost to make you holiday an unforgetable one. With an exceptional choice and quality of food, we never ate the same meal twice (well, apart from second helpings, I think I put on at least a stone!!) The hotel itself is incredibly clean and well kept, with beautiful surroundings and an amazing beach. And highly recommend the sailboat trip, you are very well looked after and they keep numbers to a minimum. All in all I cant wait to go and book again for our anniversary next year....just dont want to wait that long xxx

Room Tip: Block 2 gives fantastic views of the sea
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank tweeky75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2011

@ start of visit only 40% occupied the weekend when the Arab/Israeli locals arrived in their droves. Queue for the dinning rooms became impossible and the pool very noisey and busy. But saying that the food was good and varied the staff polite (even when being hassled) the sea view room was one of the best and the standard of cleanliness exceptional. But if you are expecting 5 star treatment remember this is Egypt and not the Far East but the staff do try their best.
The trip to Petra was ammazing if not a little annoying as it had been advertised as a boat trip to Jordan but on arrival we were told that it was by coach ( 3 coaches changes in all) and whilst the boarder crossings were easy there was hardly any other tourists around. It was 45 deg C so take plenty of coverage / sturdy shoes / and lots of water. But don't miss this trip when you are visiting Taba it is truely stunning and well corriographed by the organisers. The snorkellin was a little disappointing having been to the resort before but the sea was choppy and probably not the correct season to see the fish although we did see a turtle. The beach is exceptional , clean and sandy until the waters edge when it become a little stoney before going back to sand and then coral
Will we go back? ...probably not in mid July but its miles better than Sharm ......any day

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank thekentishcouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sofitel Taba Heights

Property: Sofitel Taba Heights
Address: Km 42 Taba Newuiba Road | Taba Heights, Taba 46621, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Taba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Taba
#2 Family Hotel in Taba
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Taba
#4 Luxury Hotel in Taba
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Taba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Taba Heights 5*
Number of rooms: 442
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A truly magnificent location, at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba between the southern Sinai mountains and the Red Sea, Sofitel Taba Heights is also a uniquely designed hotel, inspired by traditional Oriental architecture. This exceptional resort is an all-inclusive property with easy access to the private beach, 3 exquisite restaurants, 5 swimming pools, a fitness center and 3 meeting rooms. Just 20 km from downtown Taba and 40 km from the airport, it's convenient for business and pleasure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Taba Heights Hotel Taba
Taba Heights
Accor Taba Heights
Taba Sofitel

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