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“Fantastic Holiday and looked after very well by the staff”

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Sofitel Taba Heights
Ranked #6 of 22 Hotels in Taba
Reviewed 21 July 2010

Me and my husband have just returned from two weeks at the Sofitel and what a fantastic time we had from beginning to end.
The hotel was superb, very clean and that was because the staff were out day and night cleaning the communal areas. Our room was cleaned every day and was spotless.
The food was very good - for the amount of people the staff have to cater for they did an exceptional job - Soma was very welcoming and if there was anything you needed you just had to ask. All the staff just couldn't do enough for us - as soon as we entered the restaurant we had water, ice and one red wine and one white wine on our table! Now there's service for you. There was a huge variety of food that catered for all needs, however if there is anything you would like you just speak to the head chef and he will gladly cook whatever you want. On our last night he cooked me and my husband a lovely fillett steak - we hadn't requested, but had seen us in the restaurant during the week and informed my husband he was expecting some steak from Luxor and he would cook us some when it arrived - and true to his word, he did.

If you want a chillaxing time around the pool I suggest you use the quite pool which is situated between block 2 and 3. Ahmed looked after us the whole of our stay - he placed towels on our sunbeds every day for us (thanks Ahmed).

I had never been snorkelling before, so decided to have a go - my hubby had snorkelled several times before and had taken mask and snorkel out with him. It was fantastic, just like swimming in an aquarium - I now want my own mask and snorkel. (I suggest you take your own as they are quite expensive to buy out there).

If you do happen to be unlucky and suffer with a tummy bug (my hubby had a mild attack but I didn't suffer at all) - the pharmacy in El Wikala subscribes some very good tablets to treat it very quickly. It was nothing to do with the food, it is always fresh and I ate most things especially the fresh salads, drank plenty of bottled water - as did my husband. The bottled water is freely available - bottles are placed in your fridge in your room and there are plenty of water bottles around the pools to fill up. I think it is just how you re-act to the heat that causes the tummy upsets and nothing to do with the hotel.

Craig the Thompson rep was very helpful and always eager to help with anything - not that we needed anything as it was just perfect.

The only minor thing I would say is that wine is only available at meal times and if we went to the bar for a drink in the evening I ended up drinking soft drinks as I don't like beer or spirits - a cool glass of wine would have been nice. It would also have been nice to have had a quiet bar (without children running about) for the guests who were without children.

Apart from that an absolutely idealic holiday and would definatley go back there again.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank susyq1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 July 2010

stunning hotel,great friendly staff,amazing rooms.food very nice but like most all inclusive places repeats itself in the 2nd week.restaurants a bit overcrowded now in july,at night you are having to wait for a table.they will try and send you to the smaller restaurant across the courtyard which is ok but not the same choice.hotel is getting a bit over-run buy rude,fat egyptians who dont understand queueing or manners.no wine is served apart from mealtimes.pool and surrounding area is lovely.not really enough sports facilities,tennis courts are a joke and only 2 table tennis tables.the gym is quite good,its in 2 bits,weights in one then cardio machines in other.we played the golf course which is superb,very scenic and well kept.there is no taba town which we were expecting,its just a hotel complex with tourist shops and an overpriced supermarket,tho not as overpriced as the shop in the hotel which is unbelieveably overpriced.i would advise you to but snorkelling equiptment here also coral shoes.they are overpriced there.the snorkelling on the beach at the hotel is brilliant.you can swim thru a gap in the coral to the other side then swim along the reef,its a must.loved the hotel and the place but dont know if id go back during the egyptian holiday cos they are a bit annoying with their greed and bad manners.we done the overnight climb of moses mountain which is a great trip,£50 for the trip with african safari.

Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
1  Thank fras65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2010

Having read the reviews on tripadvisor before we went we found the hotel exactly as people described...the hotel is stunning and stands in a prominant position right on the beach.The rooms are huge we were in block 2 ,room 2438 and as it was the top floor it had stunning views of the sea. Block 3 is a bit away from the beach but theres a lovely quiet pool right next to that block...although people have said there are plenty of sunbeds ...we didnt find this...as by 930-10.00 everyday all the beds by both pools had gone so i would suggest if you want a bed by the pool get down early..on the beach we never had a problem finding sunbeds. The snorkeling from the jetty is fantastic and would def recommend to anyone...top tips buy your snorkels, masks and diving shoes in the uk as the hotel shop was selling snorkels for £50!!! although we did buy some diving shoes in the town for £3 (shope name was surprise) which we were very pleased with (didnt even barter..lol)..in town you can also buy a waterproof case for certain digital cameras (£15) (kodak shop) this worked a treat as we started off with a disposible waterproof camera then moved onto our own camera and the pics are fab...we saw....clown fish, puffer fish, assorted angel (butterfly) fish , and two octopus..the fish are amazing its just like swimming in an aquarium....there are hundreds of species...you do need the shoes though as the coral is sharp and also the sand was red hot when we were there (burnt our feet 1st day).
Although the hotel supplies toiletries in the rooms i would suggest taking some hair conditioner as the sea and sand takes it toll on your hair and the hotel shampoo is ok but isnt sufficient to cope with the elements...beach towels are provided daily so no need to pack these.
The hotel runs a free bus into town which runs in a circle so you need route 1 for going into town and route 2 coming back. There are only around a dozen shops but the shop keepers dont pressure / hassle you like they do in many countries.
The food is excellent great choices at breakfast, lunch & dinner...omelette station in morning is fab...we ate in the quiet alcove and Ahmed our waiter was excellent we tipped him beginning of week and then everyday he'd have our drinks on table waiting for us..excellent service.
I would highly recommend this hotel for a peaceful, relaxing beach holiday and would certainly return in the future.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank BaldEagleNotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2010

I couldn't fault this hotel for a truly relaxing, great value, all inclusive break. For the money we paid (we paid the going rate and didn't get a cut price deal) I don't see how anyone paying a similar price could really expect anything more.

The staff were excellent and very accomodating, especially when we asked to move rooms for a room on an upper floor. Rooms were spacious and kept really clean, as was the rest of the hotel.

The pools are amazing whether you want a cooling dip, gentle swim or an aquarobics session. There are plenty of sunbeds with umbrellas and towels provided. The beach is lovely and you can see loads of sealife on the shore or from the jetty. We would hihly recommend a snorkelling boat trip as we saw some of the best array of sealife of anywhere we've been to in the world. It's breathtaking!

We were very impressed with the food at the hotel, especially given that some people had posted bad reviews about it beforehand. We stayed for two weeks and did not get bored of the choice. For dinner they offer a rotating buffet menu with a different theme each night, but with plenty of dishes to choose from. If you've got an open mind about food of the world and remember you're in Egypt, therefore won't get all the same ingredients you do in the Uk, then you won't be disappointed. The Head Chef was very diligent about standards and ensuring everything was properly cooked and hot when it should be.

Just a quick note about stomach upsets. There are lots of things that can cause these on holidays like this. The VERY hot weather, getting sunbun or sunstroke, accidentally drinking pool or sea water, eating different food than normal or (as you do on an all inclusive) lots more food than normal, drinking more alcohol than usual, handling the money - or a combination of these things and others. People automatically blame the food which isn't fair.

Finally, we found the Thompson rep Craig was was really friendly and helpful.

We can't recommend this hotel and holiday highly enough.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank smithykath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2010

We stayed for 1 week all inclusive-this was perfect.Both my husband and i are vegetarians - chef Wahid catered for every need. If you just inform him what you like he will make it.The restaurant staff Manager Al Mahed and Soma were very welcoming and accommodating.Our rooms were sea view with balcony -Beautiful views!Manager Mohamed Hammady made sure our stay was pleasant and enjoyable. The pool side and day time activities (aqua aerobics, belly dancing, water volleyball) were fab ...thanks Chiko. Take your snorkels with you ...as the fishes and coral is worth seeing. You will need aqua shoes for the beach as it is pebble/stones near the water side. I would definitely go again!!!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank shorty2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2010

From day 1 to day 14 The whole holiday was a unique experience. The Hotel is clean and tidy and the staff cannot do enough to help you. The food was second to none.
The highlight of the holiday was just a few yards from the hotel where you enter a world of the most beautiful sea life I have ever seen. The only time I have seen anything like this is on the TV.
I would recomend this holiday to everyone from the elderly couples to the young familys.
If you do go please say hello to Big Guy (mohammed) who spends most of his time behind the bar at the pool. TOP BLOKE.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank xrichieroox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2010

My boyfriend and I have just returned from a fabulous two weeks at the Sofitel. We always trawl trip advisor before we book and before we fly so felt it only right to submit our own review, please forgive the length of this review and I hope you find it helpful. I also understand the hotel staff set much store by trip advisor and it is important to them when staff are mentioned so they can be commended.

If you are looking for a chilled out place to relax for a couple of weeks, this is definitely the place for you. My boyfriend and I wanted somewhere where we could unwind, without any commercialism or nightlife, where we could enjoy snorkeling, diving and a good luxury hotel atmosphere. The sofitel did not disappoint. It is certainly the best looking hotel out of them all at Taba Heights, with the best location, beach and pool. The grounds are immaculately kept and the resort pristinely clean. The gardeners all work so hard. All the staff from the gardeners to the managers always have a smile on their face. We cannot recommend this hotel highly enough.

Rooms
The rooms are very spacious and immaculately kept. Our room was cleaned every day before we got back from breakfast. The cleaner left us flowers and the one day I was extremely ill he left extra water bottles. We were in the third block and on the third floor which has beautiful views over the sea, and from the front aspect, lovely views of the Sinai mountains. There is plenty of storage space and a good selection of film and television channels in English. The bathroom is very clean and has a massive walk-in shower area. There is also a hairdryer (and a phone next to the toilet?!)

Beach
The nice thing about the Sofitel, unlike many Egyptian resorts, is that you can walk out into the sea to the coral without the need for the jetty (although the jetty certainly enhanced the snorkeling experience). Coral shoes are a must. The beach is very clean and there are always plenty of sunbeds, we never had a problem at any time of day finding somewhere – in fact we were always spoilt for choice!

Snorkeling
The house reef, both at the Sofitel and at the Hyatt (next door and the only two hotels with jetties) are both beautiful and well worth adventuring. Some days it was too choppy to snorkel, but other days the water is extremely calm and inviting. There are many clown fish, parrot fish and cornet fish in the area. Beware of the lion fish who hide under the jetties. The damsel fish are nesting so will swim around you until you are well away from their nesting sites. We saw numerous barracudas and one day saw 5 stingrays (the place to look for these are away from the jetties and in the sea grass near the three corners beach). It is such a privilege to snorkel here and it is so upsetting to see some guests not respecting and not understanding how special the coral is. One family would feed the fish at the steps of the jetty every day, which made massive problems for other guests getting in and out of the water. They even picked the fish out of the water and walked up and down the jetty with them! My boyfriend and I, and so many other guests were absolutely appalled and disgusted with this. We told Ibrahim, one of the managers, and to his credit he did go straight away to the jetty to investigate this, but the family had left. The next day the same family were there again, this time kicking the fish and catching them. The staff in white polo shirts and shorts just looked on at this, we reported this to them, and that’s when they went and had words. The jetty needs to be policed more by the staff. It is not enough that they have quiet words with guests who walk on coral, feed fish and even touch/catch/hurt fish! They have to move to a zero tolerance policy if the red sea is ever to stay how it is. I really do fear for this house reef the way some guests carry on. We saw numerous people feeding the fish and standing on coral – is the chance to get a good photo that important? If you take coral through the airport they will charge you £500 for each bit, and I question why abusing the reefs in other ways don’t incur similar penalties?

Red Sea Water World
Although not related to the hotel at all (and I stress this) I thought I would mention the dive school. As a qualified diver I was so excited to introduce my boyfriend to the world of diving. Understandably apprehensive about diving to a max of 18 metres and having to complete numerous skills we were glad that there was a PADI dive school at Taba. However, this has to be the worst dive school I have ever encountered and I have dived in many places. My boyfriend completed his theory in the UK and was looking to complete his referral in the red sea. The staff here (the European staff, not the Egyptian staff who were very kind) were quite abrasive at times, my boyfriend was made to feel pretty stupid for much of his referral. It is one thing to be thorough, it is quite another to make students feel silly, uncomfortable and ultimately not enjoy diving (and in the red sea of all places!) The staff here did absolutely nothing for his confidence, so much so he couldn’t continue with the referral course for fear of having to endure another day with the staff here who made him feel completely disheartened when it came to diving! He was not the only one who complained, I saw numerous students completing their course who just couldn’t take the stress of this dive school! I did two boat dives, they were well run and the guides were very good, but the aura of the place lacks that of a proper diving centre. There doesn’t seem to be any fun or any enjoyment – the dives were simply two dives rather than amazing life experiences (to be honest you see much more snorkeling from the hyatt jetty!) It is such a shame that Red Sea Water World have the monopoly on Taba Heights – another competitive dive school could do so well here.

Restaurants and Food
For an all inclusive resort, and bearing in mind that all the food has to come from many miles away (deliveries from Cairo are once a week I think) the food is excellent. There is so much choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there is a different theme for dinner every night. We enjoyed trying new things and came back having put weight on! Like everybody else I shall mention Wahid, the executive chef. He was very friendly and always had a smile. We too were promised fruit baskets and chocolate would be delivered to our room (numerous times) merely for being so polite (although these never appeared!) The service in the restaurant however is lacking somewhat. Despite generous tips at the start and middle of our holiday the service didn’t really improve. The waiters try hard but sometimes it takes just too long for them to take orders and serve drinks. Many evenings we were nearly at our desserts before we were asked, and a couple of times we had to get up and go and ask for drinks. The waiters do work very hard though; I just think there are not enough of them. The two ladies who show you to your seats are both very sweet.

The Lotus restaurant (the snack-lunch restaurant) is an experience to say the least, attributed to the sheer gluttony shown by many guests here! I was so embarrassed when I ate there (only once in 2 weeks) to see how people push and shove for chips and hotdogs. On the Sunday the chefs come and party by the pool and bring out a massive sandwich, this is fantastic fun, but again – people crowd and push and shove to the front like food is going out of fashion! This is also a problem in the Aladdin restaurant, where many guests just cannot queue! Expect elbows, people peering over your shoulder while you get your food and occasionally people pushing you out the way to get to the food! It is a shame that a minority of guests can ruin such a lovely place; this is not the hotel’s fault at all.

The sultan bar staff are extremely lovely. I apologize for forgetting names, but I hope the hotel staff will know who I mean. Many thanks to Mahmoud who spent most days in the lotus bar and evenings in the sultan bar, for his cheery smile and for making us smile. The young very thin man in the football shirt (Brazil I think), who always knew we wanted a kakada in the evenings and was so attentive in the sultan bar, and the gentlemen in the blue shirt who managed the sultan bar. They really did make our evenings special and are to be commended. Also thanks to Fathy the waiter in the restaurant and Karan, the chef (at the omlette station at breakfast, and outside doing the barbeque at night) who always looked so happy to see us. All the staff are so polite, work extremely hard (for long hours and little money) and are to be commended. One minor point is that I feel the all inclusive should start earlier and end later. We are early risers so the all inclusive starting at 11am wasn’t very convenient or indeed comfortable. In the hotel’s defense they do provide 2 water bottles in the room every day and there are plenty of water stations around the hotel.

I usually agree with others comments about the dodgy tummies being down to too much sun, dehydration and too much alcohol, but on this occasion I was struck down with true food poisoning. For 48 hours I had crippling stomach cramps which meant I could not leave the room. I phoned reception and asked the concierge to send some of those magic local tablets to fix my tummy. This service was terrible! The prescribing doctor (I don’t know if it was a doctor or pharmacist) did not ask my symptoms, my age, my allergies or any of the other important questions. As a medic myself, I considered the service given by the doctor and pharmacy quite poor but I was desperate for some help. It took the concierge nearly 3 hours to get some medicine sent from the pharmacy (a 10 minute taxi ride away - I couldn’t leave the room, and my boyfriend didn’t want to leave me) and that was after many phone calls back and forth (they had forgotten about me for the first 2 hours). The medicine prescribed was a broad spectrum antibiotic for gastroenteritis so not your usual Imodium (which is not an antibiotic and merely ‘plugs you up!’). Being a tee-totaller, and devoted fan of the factor 50 suncream and continuously drinking water this situation was not down to dehydration, it was food poisoning caused by a bug. However, I attribute this to eating in the red sea water world restaurant the day before and not to the hotel’s restaurant in the slightest. Avoid the restaurant at the red sea water world at all costs! We only ate there because the dive school wouldn’t give us enough time at lunch to return back to the sofitel!

Trips
As a young couple we found most of the trips a little bit too expensive for our price range. We did however do the snorkeling trip to Pharoah’s Island (through red sea water world and not through Thomson) – this is a brilliant trip and not to be missed! It was so much fun, enhanced by the fabulous Egyptian staff (I think the tour guides names was Ashraf) there was laughter all day on a boat with only 12 people on it! I have fantastic memories of this day.

Other
Initially I was quite concerned about how close the hotel is to the Israeli border considering the ongoing conflict there, in fact we nearly didn’t book because of it, but Taba Heights feels very safe and secure indeed. The entire resort is self contained so you never feel uneasy about getting on the taff taff buses and going up to town or the diving centre. Please be careful at the airport – it is very small and the boys there will try and get tips for taking your bags off the carousels and putting them onto the coaches! If you can pre-book your seats together going home, although Thomson have a policy where if you are travelling as a couple you are automatically allocated seats together the pandemonium at Taba airport, and the crude way the staff there allocate seats (a sticker chart and about 300 holiday makers waving their arms trying to get the seats they want) means that sometimes I think this will not be the case.

The rep, Craig, is very helpful and always has time for you. My only quibble is more with Thomson than Craig. Craig was sent to Sharm the day before our departure (a big change over day with 3 British flights) – without him at the hotel before our coach pick-up ended in a nightmare. The first pick up coach left without any problems and a second coach (15 minutes behind it) left half full. This left around 30 guests (including ourselves) at the sofitel with no transport to the airport. The Egyptian Thomson rep did his best but there was very poor communication with us and the hotel as nobody really knew what was going on. All the guests left felt twitchy and a little apprehensive about the situation after seeing all the coaches leaving in convoy. A third coach arrived after half an hour – with a flat tyre! We were told a wait of 15-20minutes. The hotel staff were nowhere to be seen at this point and the Egyptian rep had very little information for us. Thankfully the hotel let us back in to have drinks in the bar while we waited (anxiously I may add, desperate to know if we were getting to the airport and if the airport even knew we were coming!). The tyre finally got changed! It took an hour and 45 minutes from time of expected pick up to finally getting on our way to the airport. Thomson really should have a representative like Craig on the day of such a big turn-around (which is only once a week!), if only to reassure us! In the end it was a pleasure to not have had to spend hours at the tiny overcrowded airport.

Once again many thanks to all the staff at the Sofitel, for such an enjoyable and wonderful holiday. We have taken away some fantastic memories. It really is a fabulous place and we were very sad to come home. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank Rachiecakes
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
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Taba
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Taba
#6 Luxury Hotel in Taba
Price Range: £23 - £67 (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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