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“Excellent hotel let down only by a few hidden rules and poor management.”

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Sofitel Taba Heights
Ranked #3 of 22 Hotels in Taba
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel let down only by a few hidden rules and poor management.”
Reviewed 15 June 2013 via mobile

Where to start? My family returned from vacation here on 5th Junr and I confirm that the majority of the reviews are accurate, the staff generally try to please but there are a few hidden rules you need to be aware of more of which belorw.

FLIGHT
The flight out was good, cabin staff efficient we booked extra leg room which was vital as I am 6ft and a little overweight! The 28" standard pitch is too tight for me and I understand the industry's worse, Easyjet and Ryanair give more. The seats are narrow so 3 men would have difficulty sitting together in comfort.

The flight home only 1 extra legroom seat was purchased as we would all need to sit apart according to the rep sayeed. However when we eventually boarded the plane 4 extra legroom seats were given 3 free of charge and all together so dont waste your money just book 1 seat and get the rest free!

Our flight was delayed on the way home
by 2 hours and we were treated like cattle both boarding the coaches and at the airport (no porters, no assistance, children being split from parents in security queues meaning they had to lift their own 20kg suitcases, long queues for check in)...

HOTEL
Most of the reviews are accurate the majority of staff try to please, the check in was efficient considering they had to deal with 3 coaches and they still managed a welcome drink. Be prepared though to part with your passport for 24 hours while they catch up and do not try asking for a wifi code until things have calmed.

On the coach it seemed the other hotels offered free room service on arrival but here they keep the main buffet restaurant open.

However there are a few rules to be aware of at this hotel (which in over 50 stays I have not encountered elsewhere) namely:-

1. You cannot wear tshirts in the pool "unless they are waterproof". Yes you heard correctly it came from the recreation managers own words Ibrahim.I asked for an explanation and was told it was to do with the pool filters then I was told that it was because they have many international guests (not sure what that meant). I dont think it was a hygeine issue as we saw babies in nappies and women wearing full burhabs in the pools and it appeared the rule only applied to weastern visitors as we have plenty of photos of asians in the pools eeating cotton t-shirts.In fairness the Manager upon my complaining (I didn't relish 114f without cover) did agree to my wearing tshirts but I had to produce his card to each member of staff who tried to eject me.

2. No drinking from the supplied plastic glasses while in the pool I was thirsty at the side of the pool and my wife gave me the cup to which I was admonished by the security (labelled recreational) staff (this rule I do understand).

3. Long trousers must be worn for dinner (this is published, well known and understandable to maintain standards in a 5* hotel and something I wholly subscribe to however its ok to wear flip flops with your trousers and I heard that the rule is not applied during peek season ! This smacks of a 4 star hotel with pretensions. .

They have an al a carte restaurant called the Mediterranean, you have to book between 1 and 2pm the day before to use this. They offer Steak, Chicken or Smoked Salmon all of which are delicious. However booking this was like an episode out of Fawlty Towers! They have a booking booth outside the main restaurant, I tried to book on a Monday for Tuesday but no-one was there. So I asked at Reception but suddenly they couldnt speak english and my Arabic is non existent. The client liaison officer was called (a lovely lady) who seemed surprised at my assertion no-one was at the booking office. We then proceeded to the booking booth only to find my assertion was correct. I then followed her into the buffet restaurant and the Receptionist was asked about the situation but she indicated she had no idea. The restaurant Manager (another lovely chap) was summoned and he explained that it only operates Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. However on Wednesday it is Oriental night in the main buffet and apparently as everyone loves that night they dont bother to open on a Wednesday. When you book the al a carte you need to tell them in advance whether you want steak, chicken or smoked salmon (do not change your mind) oh and the al a carte waiter service in the Mediterranean restaurant has a buffet starter! Confused? You soon will be as the kind Manager took my order and reservation for Thursday and reminded me that he had it every night on the lead up to Thursday (it became a joke whenever he saw me).To my surprise his staff asked me on the Tuesday if I also wanted to dine there on Wednesday which offer I accepted. When I told the manager it was open and I had booked he seemed surprised.
Needless to say when Thursday came they did not have our booking and we had to wait for 10 minutes while the managers sorted it all out!

Hey we were on vacation so found the whole episode amusing but as you can see this is not a true 5* hotel by european standards.

The recreational manager Ibrahim apologised over the tshirt issue and bought us Shisha in the bedouin tent which went down well but failed to meet us on our 2nd complaint which was disappointing.
The facilities at the hotel are good but overall expect a 4 star and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kevin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Derby
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2013

We returned from the Sofitel on Wednesdy morning. Very good stay, partner in a wheelchair and we found it very accessible- ramps and a lift within the hotel. Food is very good- good choice and a different theme every night- and the BBQ is lovely they put on some nights! No need to take towels- you will receive a towel card throughout the holiday. Hairdryer in the bathroom and complimentary shower gel and shampoo. Accessible rooms are avaliable with a opened shower unit- just no chair for wheelchair users so we used the outside chair. Staff are lovely- if my partner went to the bar for food/drink they would send him back to the table and bring the food/drink across to save him struggling. Any ramp he went to go up staff were straight there helping to push him up. Very relaxing and the quiet pool is perfect for couples just wanting a rest away from everything. We had a swedish massage which was very good. Approx £28 pp. You must also eat at L'Asiatique- the onsite restaurant (not included in the all inclusive). Teppan cooked gorgeous food and for the 2 of us cost approx £30. Definately worth it though. Cannot recommend it enough- we will be back!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amy146
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, 1 August 2013
Dear guest ,
I would like to thank you for choosing Sofitel Taba Heights for your recent visit to Egypt
We would also like to thank you for this great review
We are all proud that your overall stay was up to your expectations and that you have enjoyed your stay with us.
I will share your comments with the different departments in the hotel.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Thank you and best regards

Bert Plas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Potters Bar, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2013

This is our third visit in two years and we cannot wait to return. The staff are exceptionally helpful, the whole hotel immensely clean, food and service is second to none. Thoroughly recommend Sofitel to anyone, without reservation. Enjoy!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PatMacPherson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2013

Just arrived home this morning from Taba. The Sofitel is lovely and the staff are excellent, very attentive and always wanting to be helpful. The snorkelling is fantastic, especially off the jetty from the Hyatt hotel, just five minutes walk away. There is a jetty from the Sofitel but we thought the coral and fish were better from the Hyatt. The beach however, is man made and not very attractive and you will need sea shoes as the shore is very rocky, but they have lovely sun beds with shades and wind breakers if you prefer to spend your days on the beach. The pools are gorgeous, we especially loved the adult only pool. This hotel has it's guests pleasure and comfort in mind, so well done Sofitel. Now for the bad side, we too had the sickness and upset stomachs for three days and for the other days, from the second day, we had stomach cramps. Went to the Pharmacy and got the pills which were recommended by other guest who had the same problem. We were told when we were picked up from the airport that a lot of Brits who are not used to the heat and drink ice cold drinks would become ill. I looked at my husband and he at me as we have travelled to many very hot countries both for business and pleasure and have not been affected by the heat. So, for the price of this holiday I would have given the Sofitel an excellent rating had we not have become ill. We were sitting next to a family of Moslims one night and there was Duck on the menu. When the family had finished sucking the meat off the bones they left a pile of bones on the tablecloth and left. The waiter came along, cleared the bones but did not change the tablecloth. He laid up the table with fresh cutlery so I pointed out the fact this was how germs like campilobacta and nasty things were passed on to other unsuspecting guests. The Manager came over, apologised and agreed the table cloth should have been changed, simple hygene is all it takes! Otherwise, a lovely hotel, beautiful views across the bay to Jordan and Saudi Arabia. P.S it is very hot in June, we had 40C in the shade so spent most of the time in the pool or snorkelling in the sea to keep cool.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank macmoore007
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, 31 July 2013
Dear guest ,
I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to write this review.
We are happy that you have enjoyed your stay as well as the hotel services.
I will pass your comments to the concerned team members and we will be waiting to welcome you back in the near future.
Thank you and best regards

Bert Plas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2013

Spacious and stylish hotel with lovely original looking Arabic design (perfect for photos). We received excellent service from all staff at this hotel. The restaurant is extremely well managed, the most efficient we have stayed in, the manager even came over and introduced himself to us, (we have never experienced that before). Staff anticipated my needs on more than one occasion (including been brought a drink and snacks when we had finished our old one, slick!). We had a lovely sea view from our room and the jetty is great for glam photos. What made this hotel fab for us was the bottled water been included in the price as we drink tons on holiday. Sayed, our rep was the most hard working rep we ever did see, he was so busy he didn't even take a breath!!! Everyone speaks good English at this hotel (even the cleaners). For a couple without kids this was the perfect place as the adults only pool was so peaceful and calm. Our room had the biggest bed ever. Calm and tranquil hotel, great for tee-teetotallers like us that just like a relaxing week! Free hot chocolate on the pool side too. No hassle in the local town either, which was refreshing.

RELAXING THINGS TO DO - I would recommend the Salt Caves (it looks like santa's grotto inside) as it was only £11 each for 45 minutes (it is in the town bit only a 15 minute walk away) The pamphlet do not do it justice at all, it is beautiful in there and soooooo relaxing. The Spa in the hotel was worth a visit too (about £10 for 1 hour) especially laying on the hot concrete bed thing at the end, lovely.

ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE - Alas there was two massive draws backs for us to this lovely part of the world, firstly the weather in the last week of May was just too hot for us (it was 45 on one day!) Secondly my hubbie and I got ill on the 2nd day of the holiday and we could not shake this off, we are still not 100% after been back home for a week either (there was a few other cases of illness in the week we where there too). On a positive note there is a 24 hour doctor in the hotel who was amazing and really looked after us (he is quite handsome too!)

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PrincessPink653
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, 31 July 2013
Dear guest ,
I would like to thank you for choosing Sofitel Taba Heights for your recent visit to Egypt
We would also like to thank you for this great review
We are all proud that your overall stay was up to your expectations and that you have enjoyed your stay with us.
I will share your comments with the different departments in the hotel.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Thank you and best regards

Bert Plas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Watford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 June 2013

Stayed at the Sofitel in May, this was a last minutes booking and we got really good value for money. The hotel is pretty much as described, right on the beach with a jetty that lets you get out into the crystal clear waters. Not a lot to do, but if your looking for a quiet relaxing sit in the sun kind of holiday, this fits the bill.

Hotel was clean and spacious, although that could have been because it was under occupied but got the feeling it was well maintained and clean however busy they maybe. Large clean well maintained room, with a beautiful sea view.Food got a bit sameish but only to be expected and the level of service dipped a little in the second week. Staff from Managers to the cleaners were friendly and helpful.

We found the "adults only" pool so lovely and quiet and beautifully clean. Great for reaxing and people watching.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Freemanclan25
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, 31 July 2013
Dear Guest ,
On behalf of the team members ,I would like to tank you for this great review .
It is a great pleasure to see that you had an enjoyable holiday at Sofitel Taba Heights.
We will be waiting to welcome you back to the hotel.
Thank you and best regards

Bert Plas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 6 June 2013

Perfect holidays, with good service and great value!
The staff was lovely and we would highly revommend that hotel!
There is plenty of space at the beach and at the pools... The rooms are big and comfortable, the hotel is very clean !

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Padpadpaddy
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 Best Value Hotel in Taba
#2 Family Hotel in Taba
#3 Luxury Hotel in Taba
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Taba
#3 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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