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“Close but no cigar”

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Sofitel Taba Heights
Ranked #5 of 22 Hotels in Taba
Reviewed 22 July 2011

We stayed at the Sofitel Taba for 7 nights, all inclusive, booked through Thomson.

The Good - the hotel, its location and staff, were wonderful. The hotel itself was clean and well looked after - a huge complex, much larger than we had expected, with over 400 rooms and capacity for over 1000 guests at any one time. The hotel was part of a group of hotels located near to each other within the Taba Heights resort. The location was great - the views of the mountains were astounding, the sea and beach incredible and by far the quietest place to be - we spent every day at the beach, without much interruption. The snorkelling was great – there was an abundance of varied fish to see and all within easy reach of the beach. We didn’t use the pools at all – the beach was so good and the sea so warm we didn’t need to. The staff were lovely - the management team came to introduce themselves at our Thomson welcome meeting, and then were available at all times, mingling with the guests throughout our stay, and very approachable people.

The Bad - a hotel can't choose its guests, which is a shame, because that was really the only detractor from our stay. There were guests from all over the world - Russia, France, Algeria, the UK, and more local visitors too; lots of cultures in one place is clearly very hard to manage. We found a few of the other guests to be rude, selfish and have poor manners. Meal times, especially evenings, it was a bun fight! People shoving and pushing - sort of an advert for greed. I got shoved out of the way by a rotund young boy (about 8yrs old!) and his parents were nowhere in sight! The restaurants became feeding stations due to the amount of people all trying to eat at the same time, which was a real shame. There was a dinner dress code of long trousers for men and guests would stand at the door of the restaurant at night arguing to be let in whilst wearing shorts - it was just embarrassing.

The Ugly - the hotel was at full capacity, which means there weren't all the services available that we had been told about. There was an a la carte all inclusive restaurant (The Mediterranean) which was converted into overspill for the main restaurant, and never went back to being a la carte. It was a shame because it meant the selection of food was limited to very similar things every night. The first night it was crazy - they had obviously taken swift moves to split the guests between the two restaurants. The second night was better - the management decided to make The Mediterranean an adults only alternative (still same food) - which was much quieter and you could actually sit and eat a meal without feeling rushed out. The manager did apologise at the end of our stay that his team hadn’t been able to give the guests the attention he would have liked because they were so busy; which was a nice touch.

I would recommend this holiday for families, especially large families or if two families want to go away together, but perhaps it’s not the place for couples looking for a quiet relaxing get away unless they go out of peak season.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CheekyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sofitel-Taba, Directeur général at Sofitel Taba Heights, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2011

We thank you very much for your comment that we have read carefully.
As you said yourself a hotel cannot chose his guest .And at Sofitel we value a lot different cultures specially in a country like Egypt, full of culture and history .We feel very lucky to have a certain acceptable percentage of occupancy specially when due to the last January protest and changes people are avoiding this destination .We are fare from Cairo in a quiet area with possibility to visit Israel and Jordan they are only a few kilometers away.
We do have a dress code at Sofitel, we expect our male guest to wear trousers for diner in the restaurant and also shoes, we believe this is the minimum expected for a five star hotel .It is also the respect for some ladies coming with very elegant dresses evening in our restaurant .The majority of our guest support that and we do have to explain sometime this dress code to our new guest.
We never advertised that the Mediterranean is a restaurant *a la carte* opened to all inclusive you got the wrong information and I must rectify it .It has happened in the past ( and it will happen again )that the management decides internally as a promotion to offer another dining experience to the guests and opened the Mediterranean restaurant as such but it’s not advertised .when the hotel has a high occupancy like this past weeks and because of the temperature ,no guest wish to eat on the terrace, we have to make sure that all our guest get a place inside in an air conditioning area ,we cannot have this promotion .We encourage also the guest not to come all at the same time .You can easily understand that in a 442 rooms hotel if everyone decide to come to eat at 7h30 you may have a queue for 15 to 20 minutes .Most of our guest understand that .We at Sofitel try to have a proactive management and when some guest reported to us that the Aladdin restaurant was noisy because of families and children ,we opened the kids section only in the Aladdin and the second restaurant was given access to adults only and the guest appreciated our effort to solve immediately an inconvenient for them .In our hotel because we understand that we do not have only family ,the guest in couple will always find a place quiet with no children the property is large enough .We have a quiet pool for adult only and a quiet bar .
Again thank you for your comments and we assure you that all the management team of Sofitel Taba is visible and available to assist and solve immediately all inconvenient our guest might encounter

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Reviewed 21 July 2011

An excellent 5 * hotel in a nice location. Staff very helpful and would do anything for you in a pleasant courteous manner. Room clean and tidy with an excellent shower. Need something to protect your feet to go over stones/pebbles in to the sea. Little or no entertainment. Food plentiful and good choice. Restaurant has a strictly enforced 'No Shorts' policy for us menfolk at Dinner. Weather very hot in July as you would imagine, so be careful. Hotel situated about an hour from Taba Airport.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank glynthom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

Staff very helpful and polite,towels supplied for beach and swimming area, a great variety of food provided, so no matter your taste something for everybody, and if you want to eat english then you should stay in England, as different food is all part of the foreighn holiday experience.Boat trip was a good day out if you like to snorkel, however some of the currents can be strong if you are not a strong swimmer. Take a trip to Bethlehem, long day but what an experience!! We had a lovely holiday and look forward to returning in the future, only later in the season.

Room Tip: the rooms were spacious,kept clean air conditioned,nice shower area , shower good flow, fridge in ro...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank mim45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

We chose this holiday location, as we wanted to visit Petra and Jerusalem after doing the Cairo and Luxor trips last year. We booked this particular hotel after it came up during the usual 'value for money' internet searches and weren't really fussed about it being with any specific tour operator, before booking we checked out the Tripadvisor's comments. As per normal - there are good and bad opinions about most hotels, but this was mostly good.

We have travelled extensively during our lifetime as a family and as business individuals and have had the luxury to stay in many hotels worldwide. Although this hotel has been awarded the Egyptian '5-star' rating, my opinion would be that this is a very good English 4-star, in which I can honestly vouch for the standards of accommodation, service and treatment we received during our stay at the Sofitel.

The hotel, gardens and pools are kept immaculately spotless, the beaches are well maintained, sandy and soft. The restaurants provided a great selection of foods to please the majority (bearing in mind your location and religion of indiginous population), the salads and fruit were fresh and bountiful, the soups were gorgeous, with fresh bread any French Patisserie would be proud of. A dessert choice that tickled any tastebuds, with a service that would put most restaurants to shame.

The rooms were absolutely huge and comfortable - with appropriate facilities and storage, cleaned daily. We had an absolute wonderful holiday, which was both relaxing and tranquil - which is what we wanted.

Our thanks go to Moustafa and the restaurant staff, Ahmed and the chefs, Walid, Moamen, Reda and the rest of the Bar-Teams, not forgetting the guys who tended the pools and maintenance whilst we all slept comfortably. We will definitely return here in the future and would recommend this hotel to all that need it.

NB. Taba Heights is not a location you should be going to if you want nightlife! You should also not going here in July if you don't like temperatures of 40+C.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank MichellenLes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

We've just had another memorable stay at this wonderful hotel! We were recieved very warmly on arrival, check-in simple and without fuss. straight down to dinner to be greeted with smiles and warmth from staff who remembered us (Barakat). Nothing is too much trouble in this hotel, ask for anything and they will do their utmost to oblige. All staff, from top management to cleaners ask it you need anything, and they LISTEN!
I wish I could name all the staff who treated us so well,Big Mohamed, Hagagay, Ahmed at pool bar Moamen, just a few to mention! If you are thinking of a trip to Egypt and want to relax, this is the hotel for you!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank lesley_gillingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2011

Bedrooms and beds were a good size bathroom a bit on the small side but clean. Large sea view balcony. Air con in room worked OK, digital safe in room was included. TV had the usual english news channels and quite a few english film and sports (mainly football) channels which all had foriegn subtitles on screen. Room fridge was filled each day with 2 500ml bottles of water if you wanted more (and you did when it was 39c during the day) you had to visit one of the various water cooler stations sited around the resort. The all inclusive drinks went off at 2300. Snorkling at the house reef was good if the conditions allowed it we seen many clown fish, lionfish, moray eels, rays and large sting rays and even large turtles after 4pm some days over the sea grass (which was about 30m in front of the hotel jetty slightly to the right of the jetty). Conditions were rough most days and the sea was very choppy and visability was poor when the sea was rough so if you are a keen snorkerler then you will need to plan carefully. House reef has had some major damage by people standing on the reef this was mainly at low tide when the depth of water was only about 5' deep. Tipping staff wasnt neccesary to get good service like some AI resorts. Although the service was generally good in July when we stayed sunbeds were plenty and we never had to queue for drinks or food. I suspect the Hotel was under occupied and that it could be a different situation if the hotel was fuuly occupied. Plenty of swimming pools (even a sea water pool) which were all a good lengths and good for doing some serious swimming if you wanted to.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank stanhope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2011

Booked this hotel after all the reviews on here, stayed at a Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh recently so fancied Egypt again. The flight from manchester was good as we had paid extra for more legroom. Arriving in Taba two flights had landed at the same time,. Usual Egyptian queues through passport control (sure they make it worse to demean the holiday makers)
Arrived at hotel 40 minutes later and the hotel looked good in the lobby. Checkin was quick and straight for dinner. Usual standard of food (bland and not great)

The next day went to breakfast and waited 30 minutes to be served coffee, in the end approached a waiter and asked for coffee. Complained about this and the fact people were stirring their coffee and tea with knives and forks due to no teaspoons.

The restaurant in the hotel for all inclusive which pretty much everyone is the Aladdin Restaurant, usual all inclusive food except for the seafood which is almost non existant.; the second night we pulled out a piece of metal which was the size of a paperclip and in front of a manager (Rashed) who was apologizing for other issues at the time.
We reported this to Deborah the Thomson rep and this was investigated, they advised it must have been tin foil! we know what we found.
The rep's brief is ok if not long winded (we dont need to know how long the new runway is, and the history of the airport!)
The rooms are of a good standard and we felt these were comfortable, especially the bed.
Around the pool you have the lotus bar which doesnt open until 11am for drinks and 12pm for icecream, a shame as its 40 degrees and people are out from 9am, a matter advised to management to open earlier which wasnt taken up on due to the severe shortage of staff in the hotel.
Not happy at queueing for a place in the restaurant in the evening although told they were on 50% capacity at the hotel.
On the 5th day a lot of Jordanian and Israeli families arrived to fill the hotel, this made places harder to find round the pool and the kids were just totally overpowering.
Remember to pack trousers for the evening gents as this is compulsory for dinner unless you want to stand outside and argue as certain people get in with shorts on.
Overall not the worst holiday ive been on if you want to count a three star hotel in turkey 18 years ago but that was 3 star and i was 18 years old.
I would class this as a three to four star hotel and would never come back again to Taba if this is the best hotel. The grand hotel in sharm will get my business next time, next year off to Sandals in barbados where i can be guaranteed quietness, impeccable service etc...

Special mention to Mahmood in the lotus bar with your wise remarks and cockney riming slang and accent really wound up my girlfriend and you were so lucky we couldnt be bothered to argue anymore.
Also special mention to Mohamed the manager in the Bar upstairs who gets snappy and rude when asked to put less that half a glass of rum in a Pina Colada.

Room Tip: Ask for a room as high as possible then your guaranteed a seaview and they have lifts
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Fromthelakedistrict
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

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
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Taba
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Taba
#5 Luxury Hotel in Taba
Price Range: £26 - £59 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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