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“Excellent”

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Sofitel Taba Heights
Ranked #4 of 22 Hotels in Taba
Ascot, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed 19 March 2013

A really chill out Hotel. The most relaxing holiday possible. This is our fifth visit to the Sofitel, because we just love it, and all the staff. If we have any quarrel, it is with the Thomson flights. So cramped, no meals. Just a means to an end. Thomson do have a very good rep in Taba Heights, Sayed - who is probably the best rep you will ever meet.

Room Tip: All the rooms are spacious, and well furnished. You just need to decide whether to request a higher...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bluebell188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Stevenage, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 March 2013

What a fantastic time, but:
You cannot visit the Sofitel without spending time in the company of Mohamed - The Laguna Fun Bar.
He has all the charisma and charm, plus the good looks of Peter Andre. Made the visit fantastic at every opportunity!
Thank you Peter Andre!

Room Tip: Facing the quiet pool gives you the chance of peace & tranquility.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank TheChequersBE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sofitel-Taba, General Manager at Sofitel Taba Heights, responded to this review, 23 March 2013
Thank you very much for this wonderful review .We are happy to see that we achieved our goal which was for you to have a wonderful stay.
We will be happy to welcome you again.
See you soon
Best regards from Sofitel Taba Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2013

We travelled with friends in February for our second visit to Sofitel, having only returned two months previously. We were not disappointed and treated by all staff like old friends. Everything has been said before in positive reviews and is absolutely spot on, a little piece of paradise. We have always holidayed in Europe mainly Greece before but have never enjoyed such excellent service as at Sofitel.

There is no hassle when shopping and the jewellery shop is excellent within the hotel, no pressure to buy and some great buys.
As with everyone else has said the flights are awful with Thomson, with some weird booking for extra legroom, which is so hit and miss, it puts you off. Please oh please let another airline fly to Taba. I tried to book with Monarch who are flying on a Monday but unfortunately you cannot book a flight only and cannot go to Sofitel. Thomson have one redeeming feature Sayeed the rep, please give him a medal he is amazing, and should be your role model for all reps worldwide!!!
Taba Airport is also badly organised it took us ages to checkin, felt sorry for families with small children.
We have booked for May 2013 and looking forward to my next Sofitel fix!!!!!

Room Tip: All rooms seem great
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank HolidaysrusLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sofitel-Taba, General Manager at Sofitel Taba Heights, responded to this review, 18 March 2013
Dear Guest,

We thank you for your nice comment and we are happy to see that your stay was up to your expectations. Our philosophy is trying to anticipate as much as we can the needs of our guest and also react fast .You are now part of the repeaters guests of Sofitel Taba .The number is increasing every day we can have up to 30 rooms per days of repeaters .we have a special cocktail for them and some little touchs
Thank you for returning and we will be looking to see you during your next visit we will be there to deliver the same Sofitel service.
With my best regards
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Barnet, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2013

We returned from a week at the Sofitel on 12/3/13 having enjoyed a great holiday at an excellent hotel.
The only negative I have to report is nothing to do with the hotel but is a criticism of Thomson. I would ask them, please, to do something about the lack of space in their aircraft - we are paying customers, not battery chickens !
Back to the resort: The check in process was incredibly efficient, especially as there were three coachloads of guests arriving at the same time. As Sofitel loyalty card holders we were met personally (much to our pleasant surprise) by the acting general manager Mohamed Hammady - an excellent host who made sure we (and all other guests) were comfortable and content during their holiday. The ethos of top class customer service is demonstrated at every level and in every area of the hotel. It is not over the top - just good, professional friendliness and care.
Mr. Hammady showed us personally to our upgraded room which overlooked the swimming pools and the Red Sea across to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
The room was reasonably big, comfortable, very clean with a large balcony and good facilities.
There are a number of swimming pools with plenty of sunbeds. Children tend to gather in the "warm" pool which is also the venue for daily water aerobics. But there are plenty of quieter areas and even a pool some way from the centre of activity called the "Quiet Pool" with its own bar and toilets. The beach area is quite extensive, well equipped and has its own bar.
This was our first all-inclusive holiday and we found ourselves eating much more than normal - cooked breakfasts, lunch and dinner plus a wide variety of puddings. Not a place to diet !
While not MIchelin star, the food was pretty good and pretty varied as well. The staff in the main restaurant were very efficient.
The local beer, gin and wines were very drinkable. Watching the barman pour our first two huge gin and tonics was a great start to the holiday. For those interested, the gin is an Oxford Dry Gin made, I think, in Egypt.
There is a well-equipped gym and a running path along the Red Sea shore.
The spa is a peaceful place with two saunas, a steam room, outside jacuzzi and a hammam (which I do not think is anywhere hot enough). The gym and one sauna are free but the main spa area costs extra which is possibly why it was far too quiet. The treatments are good value and quality and the staff are very pleasant, especially the manager Ibrahim. I hope they can find ways of attracting more people.
I must not forget to praise the Thomson rep on site - Sayed. His attention to detail and his obvious care for his clients was first class.
Finally, I return to Mr Hammady and his staff - thanks for your customer service and for your huge contribution to our enjoyable holiday.

Room Tip: Higher up has better views
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DJKJ123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2013

I booked the Sofitel following extensive research on TA and other sites.  Both myself and my travel companion have stressful jobs in London and we knew what we were looking for - a week's relaxation in the sun being pampered, with a good selection of food and drink.  

We selected the Red Sea/Egypt as it's a relatively short flight for guaranteed winter sun.  It also represents excellent value for money, I guess more so at the moment because of difficulties elsewhere in the country. I had previously had an excellent AI holiday at the Savoy in Sharm-el-Sheik and was looking for something similar, albeit at a different resort. I decided to try Taba.  

I should say at the outset that the hotel is on the whole very well-run.  The management and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. The hotel is clean and the food is not bad. The beach and pools are great. The reef off the hotel is amazing for snorkelling. The rooms are very large and comfortable. The location and the layout/design of the hotel is attractive.  Save for some specific comments below, I have no real complaints with the hotel.  However, the hotel is described (or at least it was by the agent I booked with) as a luxury hotel. In my opinion this is simply not the case and it falls some way short of what I expect from a 5* all inclusive hotel.  I appreciate that 'luxury' may be a term that is banded around fairly liberally in relation to Red Sea hotels. It may well be that similar or lesser hotels are described in similar terms.  And I stress that this was a nice hotel. If it had been described as 4* I would have had no complaint (and it would have still represented very good value for money).  However, I was looking for the best for my week off work and I have therefore come away feeling a little disappointed.  I hope this review is helpful and fair and of use to those considering travelling to Taba.

FLIGHTS/AIRPORTS

The flights are with Thomson. Not much legroom, but staff are polite and the five hour flight is bearable. We were disappointed food and entertainment was not included given the length of the flight.  On the flight out the attendant announced that this was following customer feedback, which sounded a bit odd.  There was a lengthy plug for duty free cigarettes, which seemed a bit behind the times.  Taba airport is just a strip in the desert, but it's only a 30-45 min coach journey. This was seamless and the reps took care of everything.  Taba Heights is small with only four hotels and so if you're not the first off (I think we were) other drop-offs won't waste too much time.   Checking in at Taba airport to go back involved a lengthy queue and the departure lounge can barely accommodate a plane-load of passengers, but this didn't bother me as the airport is at altitude and cool. Given the size of the resort it would be unreasonable to expect more than a very basic airport.  

RESORT

Taba Heights is near the north of the Bay of Aqba, about 10 miles south of the Israeli border. It's opposite Saudi Arabia and Jordan. It's surrounded by mountains. The views are fairly striking particularly at sunset, when you realise how the Red Sea got its name.  

Taba Heights has been designed from scratch. It's very new. Four hotels I think - the Sofitel, the Marriott, the Hyatt and the Intercontinental.  These all back on to the sea front. Nestled between the hotels and the mountains is a golf course that provides some greenery to what is otherwise desert.  I don't play golf, but it looked very impressive.  There is as a small area of shops and restaurants called 'Uptown'. I think no more than half a dozen or so. We didn't go there, but were told it was quiet. I guess it's a young resort at the moment and visitor numbers have probably been affected by the trouble in other parts of the country.  On this topic, the resort felt perfectly safe, although of course the Hilton in Taba itself (10 miles north) was bombed by terrorists in 2004.  Coming from London, which has also been bombed, these unfortunate incidents have never stopped me from travelling to Egypt. I have always found the Egyptians friendly, welcoming and proud of their country. Taba Heights was no exception.  Lastly, there is a marina from where one can travel to Jordan for a Petra day trip (well worth doing). Apparently the marina is being refurbished, but this is no excuse for the appalling immigration controls for those taking a boat trip to Jordan. We had to wait nearly two hours after a 30 minute boat trip from Jordan to have our passports checked.  One would think that the authorities would be doing everything they could to make things easier for tourists.  There were similar delays in Jordan.


LAYOUT OF HOTEL

The Sofitel is large. 400+ rooms over three main buildings with a further large central building which contained most amenities.  It's set in gardens, interlaced with swimming pools and is very attractive. The architecture is impressive and the lobby and dome tower are particularly striking.  It's very spacious and quite easy to get lost!  The hotel rolls out on to the private beach which is extensive.  

ROOMS

My room was very large and comfortable. A massive bed (not the normal two pushed together). Two couches, a balcony etc.  No bath unfortunately.  The air con is good but too noisy.  Two small bottles of water per day were put in the minibar.  I had to pay $15 for it to be stocked with two Heinekens and various soft drinks I didn't want. It's little things like this that disappoint me on an 'all inclusive' holiday. Why not fill it up from the outset (local beer would have been fine)? I probably wouldn't have had more than four beers from it all week, but it would have nice to have had the option, rather than to call someone to pay them to stock it.  The suggestion seems to be that the guests can't be trusted not to overdo it.  Either that or it's a cynical money-making exercise.  

RESTAURANTS

The biggest disappointment for me was that the food was a self-service buffet arrangement in a vast room called The Aladdin.  This is not a luxury service; it's what I had at school.  It's acceptable at breakfast, but I expect to be served at dinner. You arrive at the restaurant and are taken to your seat.  If you are lucky you might be offered a drink.  We were never once asked for a refill. The waiters seemed to be more interested in clearing plates and tables.  On more than one occasion our table was completely cleared whilst we were at the buffet.  This made me form the view that the set up, combined with the number of rooms, was more focused on running high a volume operation rather than achieving the highest standards.  For instance, if you want real coffee or real orange juice you had to pay extra.  On a positive note there was a good selection at the buffet and there was a different theme every night.  The food was not bad and hygiene standards appeared to be excellent. However, the food wasn't great either. It never is with a buffet.  The wine was very poor, although you can of course pay extra (sigh) for a greater choice.

There were three other restaurants in the hotel.  There is a small Mediterranean restaurant, which I'd heard included table service.  I called reception to check we could eat there. The instructions were complicated. It was closed on certain days and on other days you had to queue to book between one and two at a kiosk some 30 or so hours in advance. We were on an excursion and could not do this, but in any event why such a rigid system? Why can't you book over the phone.   You had to pay at the other two restaurants, which in my view is unacceptable at an 'all inclusive' hotel.  

As I said above, I'd have had no problem with the above if the hotel had not been marketed as a luxury hotel.  A hotel of this size should have a number of restaurant options for its all inclusive patrons.  By way of example, the Savoy in Sharm had a dozen or so restaurants where guests were served top quality food a la carte at their table and treated like they were dining at a top restaurant every night. For me, that is luxury.  

BARS

I found four bars, the main one called the Sultana, one on the beach and two by the pools (the larger of which was called the Lotus). However, the latter three were really just outposts to serve drinks during the day.  The bar staff were all friendly and attentive.  The selection of drinks was very limited - local spirits, a local beer (Saqara), local wine and half a dozen basic cocktails. I think there was a greater choice at the Sultana if you paid.  I'd have liked some better wine for dinner, but the beer was good and they did a good job at making my favourite cocktail.  The decor in the Sultana was dreary.

Unfortunately, although we were offered table service on two occasions, we were never offered drinks ago our sun loungers, either by the pool or on the beach. This is a service I expect from luxury beach hotels and have enjoyed in the past.  

ENTERTAINMENT

We were after rest and relaxation on the holiday and weren't especially looking for evening entertainment. I would therefore have been very neutral on this, but the evening entertainment (or 'animation') was so bad and continually in your face (largely because the animation team put a show on in the only real bar every evening) that it became a major negative.  The animation team comprises half a dozen young locals who may mean well, but really haven't got a clue what they are doing.  The only guests that seemed to be impressed with the evening entertainment were the children.  Each evening would have a different bill... Karaoke, dancing competition, pharaonic show, but on each occasion the show quickly reverted to the DJ putting on the same old CD.  Half the animation team would play balloons with a smattering of toddlers that would be running round the otherwise empty dance floor.  The other half seemed to focus their attention on female guests.  Any anticipation the guests had of being entertained after dinner evaporates and slowly the place thins out.  The dancing competition simply didn't happen; a full bar was left clueless.  Why the Sofitel puts its name to this rubbish I don't know. They'd be better off just scrapping the dance area and stage and having extra seating (of which there is a shortage in the sultana). If a 5* hotel is going to have entertainment it cannot be this bad.  This makes Butlins look like the West End.

On a more positive note the animation team organises the regular activities during the day ... Volleyball, water aerobics, stretching etc.  We didn't do any of these, but they seemed very popular with the other guests. If the animation team's role was limited to the kids club and daytime activities I'm sure they'd have no complaints as they seem a lot better in these fields.  

AMENITIES

The hotel has very good amenities. These include an excellent gym and multigym. There is a tennis court, volleyball court and two table tennis tables.  The spa is very good and has a wide selection of treatments at reasonable prices.  There is a shop, bureau de change and ATM.

SWIMMING POOLS

There are about half a dozen very large swimming pools. They are all different shapes and size.  We tended to prefer the sea, but the pools were impressive.   One was heated and one was salt water.  There were plenty of comfy loungers.

BEACH

The beach was great. It's a very long private beach with many comfy loungers, umbrellas and windbreaks.  There is a sandy part of the sea for swimmers.  There is a jetty to take snorkellers to the best part of the reef.   The sea is shallow and the marine life is very rich.  Thousands of colourful fish of all shapes and sizes.  I saw several lion fish and puffer fish (don't touch), an octopus, sea horses and clownfish (nemos).

CONCLUSION

With the exception of the evening entertainment, the Sofitel is a good hotel with friendly and hard working staff.  It offers good value for money providing guests are realistic in their expectations as to the level of luxury they are paying for. In this regard, I would hope that in the future travel operators could be more accurate in their descriptions.  

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank M W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2013

Our room had been upgraded on arrival, a lovely surprise. Impressed by the welcome from all concerned, so different to our awful experience in Hurghada a few years ago. We were very surprised that the welcome meeting was to introduce the hotel staff and not exclusively to sell extras,ie. tours.Nothing too much trouble for the staff everything done with a smile. Hot sunshine and clear blue skies made this a really relaxing week, just what we needed.

Room Tip: Don't worry about the sea view, all rooms seem to have a glimpse of the gulf of Aqaba.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Frances F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2013

I have never written a review on here before and felt I had to based on such a good experience. We booked this hotel on a recommendation from a friend and based on previous reviews here. Every single positive comment is absolutely spot on! Such a relaxed week. The hotel and management are so well trained in customer service that they can almost predict your needs before you can. Lovely grounds and for me the icing on the cake was a running track that follows the beach - what a truly lovely way to see the sun rise. I'm a vegetarian so sometimes struggle with set menus in hotels but here you can pick and choose what you want and there was always a vegetarian option. The only down side was the truly dreadful flights with Thomson. Great value for money and I will definitely be returning here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank NickiJ007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sofitel-Taba, General Manager at Sofitel Taba Heights, responded to this review, 18 March 2013
Thank you very much for this wonderful review .We are happy to see that we achieved our goal which was for you to have a wonderful stay.
We will be happy to welcome you again.
See you soon
Best regards from Sofitel Taba Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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