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Charmillion Gardens Aqua Park
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Reviewed 25 July 2013

We have just returned from staying at this hotel and initially i would like to say we had a great time . We stayed at the sea gardens which is part of a group of 3 hotels on site, the other 2 hotels are the sea life and the sea club.All inclusive gives you the flexibility to utilise the facilities of all 3 hotels, pools, bars and restaurants . We stayed in a 2 room suite which was lovely and we had loads of space with a nice balcony facing the pool . The room was cleaned every single day to a nice standard. Facilities in the room included 2 TVs , shower , toilet and sink area. The pool area was always kept very clean and sunbeds were always available. The main buffet restaurant was one of the key areas for us personally, the food was absolutely amazing and always a great variation on offer at all times. We were travelling with our 17 year old son who has type 1 diabetes,we did have a little concern on where to get food at any time, especially night-time before bed. We spoke to the restaurant manager, Mohamed, who introduced us to a chef by the name of Osman, who said he would personally cook for him at any time and what ever he wanted . This to us was absolutely amazing and would like to say a very very big thank you to Osman and Mohamed , outstanding . All the staff in the restaurant were absolutely brilliant and very friendly and always smiling. I would like to say a very big thank you to Karim in the restaurant , lovely guy and very funny to go with it. He helped us in too many ways to write about. Many thanks Karim . There are 3 a la carte restaurants that you get to visit once during your stay, we ate at the Japanese and the Lebanese , both very good and highly recommend the Japanese one . Evening entertainment limited, as mostly seems to be the case in Egypt , but there are several bars to choose from in the evening and again its great to be able to utilise all 3 hotels which are minutes apart. We enjoyed the sea club bar at night as it was more spacious and indoor with air conditioning , which was nice after the heat in the daytime. The other bars were fine but we just liked the space in the sea club one. All 3 hotels lobbie bars are available on the all inclusive side 24/7 which is nice but the latest we stayed out was until around 0130, , i think the heat knocks most people out fairly early anyway. The beach is available at sea club and sea life and has beach bars at both and again always plenty of sunbeds . Regarding the beaches, they are not sandy beaches so take rock shoes, Tesco £6.00, well worth it . My partner was bitten and had a nasty infection but this was treated expertly and very professionally by the medical doctor and his assistant at the on site medical centre, this is based at the sea club hotel . I could go on and on but think the above review sums up our time spent at the sea gardens. I hate repeating myself but i am going to anyway, excellent hotel and predominantly lovely smiley staff who cant do enough for you. Many many thanks to all the staff we came across during our stay, again a special warm thanks to Mohamed , sea gardens restaurant manager , Osman the chef, your a star Osman and of course i cant end this without saying a big thank you to Karim . {Banana man }

Regards

Phil , Tereza and Joshua

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank fozziersv1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
5MouradIskander, General Manager at Charmillion Gardens Aqua Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2013

Thank you for recommending our resort, it's a pleasure to read such a detailed and pleasant review.

We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay and found the hotel met all of your needs, particularly that your soon found everything suitable for him. Your thanks and appreciation will be passed onto those staff members so highly commended in your review.

It's pleasing to read you made good use of the facilities within all three hotels, we hope that your husband is recovering well from the bites.

Look forward to welcoming you back to Sea Group Resorts in the future.

Kind Regards
Mourad Iskander

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2013

This was my third time in Egypt. We booked through Hotels 4 U, which was a package including Easyjet flights. The holiday cost us £1,200 for two travelling on 6th July for one week. Broken down, the hotel part of this cost was only £230 each....the rest was the flight....so I do think people should bear that in mind when considering value for money from the hotel.

The Sea Gardens hotel is the smallest of the Sea Group hotels on this plot. It seemed to be older? I'm not sure if this is correct, but the reception area was tiny and far less grand than the others. Obviously you don't spend your holiday in the reception though, so this isn't exactly an issue! Our room was HUGE. It consisted of a huge bedroom area, then a separate living room area, with fridge, air con, TV, all the usual bits. The bathroom did let the room down - it was shabby and the actual shower is pitch black and in need of a re-fit. The room was spotlessly clean, well air con'd and perfect for what we needed - the bed was comfy and also massive! I think the rooms are definitely in need of a refurb but not to the extent it bothered us. We left the cleaner a tip on the first day and he looked after us from then on - I would recommend this tactic!

The grounds of all three hotels are really amazing - so well looked after and the poor gardeners deserve medals! We spent a lot of time by the Sea Gardens pool because it was a little less crowded and also very near our room (lazy!). The beach was about a 5min walk away - you need to access this via the Sea Life or Sea Club. The beach itself is not great, but good for Sharm. It's quite rocky and the coral comes right up to the shore with no pontoon which enables you to walk out and swim further out. This is quite unusual for Egypt as every hotel I've ever seen or been to has a pontoon. If you generally like being near the sea then its fine, as the beds are comfy and it was very quiet with beach bars close by. The snorkelling was great (we bought the snorkel gear and shoes at the Sea Club hotel shop)

Food - This was my one disappointment. The food is bland. We tried to book in for our free visits to the Italian, Lebanese and Japanese but the Japanese can only hold 11 people per night so we were unable to visit during our stay! We ate at all three hotels during our week, I'd say sea club offered the biggest variety as it was a bigger hotel....however the standard of food is the same throughout. No real flavours, rock hard potatoes, pizza with no tomato sauce, sloppy pasta.....even the traditional night was a let down. After days of chicken and rice we were really excited for our free trip to the 'Italian' - I use the term loosely....Those who have now been will chuckle when I say that our 'Italian' meal consisted of exactly what we'd eaten at the buffet every single night! Fake mozzarella and tomato on a skewer, followed by BBQ chicken and rice??? We left half way through the main utterly disappointed. I appreciate that the hotel caters for a huge number of guests but in these individual restaurants they should really offer guests a little respite!
I'm sure many will think the food is 'fine' but when there isn't much else to do in the evenings the food is quite important (I am far from a fussy eater!)

I saw a lot of people rave about how great the service is and how the staff really make the Sea Gardens....now I do agree with this, but I have to say this is only true after you have tipped them! I don't want to spend my entire holiday being forced to tip people - in fact on one occasion a member of the team trying to sell watersports said he could smell our money...I think this sums up their motive??? We were completely hounded one day for massages, watersports, boat trips, quad biking.....to the point I was close to being rude. Every day we were asked, even after booking a boat trip and some water sports - I have experienced this at other hotels in Egypt so I think you just need to accept that this is how they do things! I would recommend the boat trip with 3 stops for snorkelling, it was a good day out and worth the £30 a head we paid (included all drinks and lunch).

We had a really nice break lazing around the pool with a few activities to break the week up. Evenings were spent drinking and eating, entertainment was laughable, and so could be considered good!! Food aside, it really is a decent hotel, extremely safe and lots of places to walk around in the evenings. As a young couple a week was plenty as there was little to do at night - but we were happy with this as we wanted to chill out. I would recommend to families and older guests who love sitting around the pool and relaxing. Also as a base for diving as they had excellent packages on offer. Considering the money paid for the actual hotel I feel we got a good deal!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank RachaelHolly84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
5MouradIskander, General Manager at Charmillion Gardens Aqua Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review regarding your recent stay in Sea Gardens Resort. It's good in general you found the hotel to be good value for money. Your comments regarding improvements are greatly appreciated as this enables us to improve our facilities and services.

We are currently in the process of refurbishing and updating the rooms and bathrooms within the Sea Gardens, as we have just done so with the sister hotels. We do however have a Jetty available to snorkel from towards the end of Sea Club beach, you may have missed this had you been using the beach directly in front of Sea Life hotel.

It's with regret that you didn't find the food met your expectations, particularly as you were unable to reserve the Japanese and Lebanese which are usually very popular. Had you made this known during the stay, particularly that you didn't enjoy the variety in the main restaurant or Italian, the chefs would have been happy to cook alternative meals more suitable for your tastes.

Should you decide to return in the future we hope you will notice improvements, if so please contact the guests relations upon arrival to ensure you are booked into all three A La Carte Restaurants.

Kind Regards
Mourad Iskander

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Reviewed 23 July 2013

Sea Gardens Hotel
Grounds of the hotel and the 2 adjoining sister hotels are superbly maintained. Gives a great overall impression of the attention to detail.
The family rooms are large with good aircon although decor and fittings look a little tired. Cleaned to a good standard every day. Good selection of food in the buffet restaurant everyday and unless you were really picky there was something to suit every taste.
The staff in the hotel were really friendly and attentive other than one waiter who seemed to have an issue with western women. Spoke to a number of families who felt exactly the same. He would always speak to the male in the group and totally ignore the women even when drinks were requested etc, Probably a cultural issue, but that being the case, perhaps a career in tourism is not for him.
Traders around the pool can be a bit wearing. Everyday a procession of touts for tour companies, massage, hairdressers etc etc etc prowled the grounds. A polite and firm 'No thanks' was accepted by them, but by day 7 we were getting fed up with it.
Had a couple of issues with problems at the hotel but these were dealt with by the management in an efficient way. Would only have been a real issue if they hadn't done so.
The hotel group is isolated between the airport and Nabq Bay itself so it was not possible to go anywhere on foot. We did use taxis ordered by the hotel and found them to be reliable.

Entertainment in the hotels was dire. I particularly liked the keyboard player one night when having a break from singing out of key with the music he was playing, took his hands off the keyboard to have a drink using both hands and mysteriously the keyboard managed to play along waiting for his hands to pick up the pace again. Fabulous stuff!

Didn't go into Nabq Bay but did go to Naama Bay for a look. This was a dreadful experience. Lots of complete rubbish on sale and harassed by traders at every turn. Well worth avoiding.

The airport at Sharm is shambolic. We used Thomson flights with the inevitable delays in both directions. All the charters flights to the uk seem to leave around the same time so complete chaos in cramped and uncomfortable surroundings. Security is a farce as well. Probably the most lax approach I have ever experienced.

We went to Egypt for guaranteed sunshine and got that. Other than that there wasn't much about the area that would encourage me back again.

Room Tip: Get a room on the upper floor. Avoids the ceepy crawlies.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Fifie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
5MouradIskander, General Manager at Charmillion Gardens Aqua Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review regarding your recent stay in Sea Gardens Resort. It's pleasing to read that generally you found good levels of service and a good selection of food available on the buffet.

We are just starting the process of updating the rooms in Sea Gardens as we have done with the sister hotel Sea Club. Your comments regarding the waiter who you felt was only willing to speak to males, have been noted and taken seriously to ensure this does not happen again.

We have animation shows available as well as live music in the evenings, the day time entertainment will be reviewed to create more activities suitable and appealing for older children.

Your comments are greatly appreciated as it enables us to improve our hotel and facilities. Should you decide to return, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Resort.

Kind Regards
Mourad Iskander

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

We chose this hotel purely on the excellent reviews, however we were very disappointed!!

Arrival – we arrived at approx 10.30pm after being delayed 50mins in the UK. First impressions were ‘shock’ as there is no luxurious entrance lobby as experienced at other hotels of this rating but instead we were dumped outside, having to walk through the lively open bar area to get to the small reception area.

Check in was prompt with friendly staff however we were starving upon arrival but were told there was nowhere to get food until the morning. (When visiting Egypt previously at a different hotel we arrived after dinner service but the hotel was expecting our arrival and ensured there was food available).

Room - was very large having a 6ft bed with an additional room having twin beds; we had a pool view which was lovely. The cleanliness of the rooms and hotel in general was acceptable although not exceptional.

Facilities - It was great that you could use the facilities of all three sea group hotels on the complex which are Sea Club, Sea Life and Sea Gardens. Sea Gardens is the smaller one of the three and is predominantly English guests whereas the other two hotels were predominantly European guests. The staff were excellent at all hotels, however, I would definitely say that Sea Life and Sea Club have better food and facilities.

Pool – the pool area was nice however not quite big enough; if we were not up and sun bathing by 9am, there were NO loungers left. There is a pool bar with waiters coming round throughout the day taking drinks orders.

Beach - was approx 5-10mins walk through Sea Life hotel which wasn’t a problem as we knew this hotel wasn’t directly on the beach.

Location – you could only go outside of the resort by taxi, as there was nothing within walking distance.

I have to mention that we both had upset tummy’s throughout our stay, this was topic of conversation with other guests as most had similar experiences. As we had visited Egypt previously we were aware of this possibility and had gone prepared this time with re-hydration drinks, and all the medication you can think of, however, nothing worked. Previously this was minimal with little effect on the holiday. However, on this holiday it began on day 2 and lasted the whole duration of the holiday with my husband having to stay in the room most of the time due to the severity of this. Due to us not leaving the complex during our stay our thoughts are that this had something to do with the cleanliness, food hygiene, etc of the hotel itself.

When it come to the last day and leaving, we were not being collected until 6.30pm and despite being told at the welcome meeting that a shower room would be available, this was not the case. I was informed that this was not a facility the hotel had available due to them being fully booked. I was subsequently told to shower by the pool (this is in the open right next to the pool) This was not resolved by the hotel and so i contacted the rep who himself said that he has never come across this before at any hotels he has worked at in Egypt! He managed to get us a room to use in order to shower which was a positive outcome. However, I must add that this room was ‘out of service’ due to renovation works therefore had plaster, grout and paint everywhere.

I’m not sure why this hotel has such great reviews, although I appreciate that everybody has different standards, ours are not high by any means. This was our second holiday to Egypt and without a doubt the previous resort was better all round - this was the Tropicana Sea Beach.

Room Tip: We stayed in block 5 which was pool view.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Selina-00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
5MouradIskander, General Manager at Charmillion Gardens Aqua Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2013

It's with regret that you did not enjoy your recent stay with us, all of the comments made are appreciated as it enables us to improve our facilities and services to ensure future guests have a pleasant stay.

We have snacks available in the Lobby bar from 1am until 3am for those guests who may arrive late or prefer a light snack late at night, I will ensure all future late arrivals are informed about this. We have the doctor available in Sea Club hotel 24 hours, had you made us aware of the illness a visit to the doctor could have been arranged as well as meals specially prepared.

Although we do not have courtesy rooms in the hotel there are showers available as you stated beside the pool, however there are showers available inside the swimming pool bathrooms of the Sea Club for those guests who prefer to change later after checking out.

Your comments are appreciated as this enables us to make the improvements to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay with us.

Kind Regards
Mourad Iskander

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Reviewed 20 July 2013

We have just returned from our second trip to Sea Garden and had an amazing time. We had a family room which consisted of a double bed and a separate room with 2 single beds. I agree with other reviews that the rooms are a little dated but they are clean and comfortable. Sammi was our housekeeper and did a brillant job of cleaning and tidying our room. With 2 messy kids he had his work cut out! Sea Garden is the smallest and quietest of the three hotels but we preferred this. The pool was smaller but ut was perfect for us as it meant we coukd keep an eye on our kids more easily.The dining staff were all amazing..especially Karam who served us for the 2 weeks. The gardening staff work so hard to keep the grounds looking beautiful and everywhere is spotlessly clean. They are a pleasure to walk round. Every other day we would take a walk to the beach and along the jetty. You can snorkel from the jetty. The coral and sealife are amazing. There are a few bars along the way so it's nice to stop and have a drink.
The sales reps didn't worry us at all. They were all very friendly and without them we might have missed out on some lovely trips. We did the boat/snorkelling trips to Ras Mohammed and Tiran Island. Both days were incredible and really worth doing. We also went to the Sea Group Aqua Park a couple of times. There is a free bus every half hour from Sea Life Hotel.
We found the buffet restaurants very nice with a good selection of food. We split our time between Sea Garden and Sea Life. A special thanks to the pizza chef at Sea Life (sorry I forgot his name) for allowing my daughter to make her own pizza. There are 3 other restaurants on site. You are allowed one free meal in each per stay. We didn't actually try any of them but I've heard they are good.
I really can't fault this hotel. We were all made to feel so welcome. The staff go out of their way for you. On our last day we were given a free late check out which was really nice. After we checked out we were waiting for our transfer which was running late. Hossam from the lobby bar could see we were all getting hot in the sun and brought us over some bottles of water. That was really appreciated.
I've read some other reviews and some aren't particulary nice..but I can honestly say this place is amazing. We felt totally spoilt from the minute we arrived to the minute we left. The only downside to this holiday was that it came to an end. We will definitely be going back next year!!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Emzy73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
5MouradIskander, General Manager at Charmillion Gardens Aqua Park, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2013

Thank you for choosing to spend your vacation in Sea Gardens and taking the time to write such a positive review.

We are delighted to read that you enjoyed the holiday with us and found good levels of service throughout. You clearly enjoyed the Buffet food as you didn't visit the a la cartes, please ensure you do try those restaurants when you return as I've no doubt that you and your family will enjoy them.

Look forward to welcoming you back to Sea Group Resorts for another memorable holiday next year.

Kind Regards
Mourad Iskander

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