We chose Sea Gardens for the simple reason, that it was the only hotel with good snorkelling for my wife, that we could get a package with convenient dates for. However, our only option turned out to be a very good one.
The Sea Group have a campus of three hotels on the coast at the south end of Nabq Bay, near Sharm airport. There is free access to all facilities, most of which are triplicated, anyway, but especially the Sea Club's jetty out to the reef drop-off, which is quite close at this point. They appear to be marketed principally to Russian tourists, secondarily to German and British tourists, and there were also small numbers of other nationalities amongst the clientele. Sea Gardens is the smallest and apparently oldest of the group, with a larger proportion of British guests. It is on the inland side of the plot, with beach access through the Sea Life hotel, while the larger and grander Sea Club occupies the entire left half of the site. The Sea Gardens are a ring of two-storey blocks, each of a dozen very spacious suites, around a pool and garden, with a pool bar at the centre and a lobby bar and restaurant at the entrance.
Coming in on an evening flight, we checked in slightly after closing time for dinner at the restaurant. However, the friendly and helpful receptionist made arrangements for us to go for supper at 11pm. I think the large selection of salads and cold meats offered to us was destined for the following morning's continental breakfasts, but we certainly appreciated being granted access out of hours, which was a good deal more than most hotels do for off-schedule guests. At the other end of our stay, they were equally hospitable about letting us have dinner between check-out and pick-up, which again compares very favourably with the hasty snipping of all-inclusive bands and consignment to limbo that we have had at a couple of other hotels.
The rooms are large by Western standards. We booked a family room, which was a suite of a big shower room, a central lounge with the settees made up as beds and a vast master bedroom with a balcony. The main bed is a very comfortable queen size. Contrary to the warning elsewhere on Tripadvisor, there is a kettle provided in the room, with coffee and tea sachets, although there are no milk portions. You can fetch coffees from the lobby bar in the time it takes to boil the kettle, anyway. The air conditioning is powerful, but loud. I personally found it hard to sleep through, and unpleasantly reminiscent of my job in a cold store, but the rest of my family were unbothered.
There is a good selection of food at the Sea Gardens restaurant. Each night there is a theme changing on a rota, and the other two hotels are staggered on the same rota, so if you have particular preferences you can go to the respective hotels for them. There are also three free meals at the a la carte restaurants on the other hotels included, but we prefer the more informal buffet and did not take these up. Being a fairly small hotel in terms of guest numbers, the waiter service is personal and friendly.
There seems to be a reasonable provision of entertainment, although I did not get the opportunity to sample the main shows at the Sea Life amphitheatre. Some evenings, the Sea Gardens has very capable singers with karaoke backing, and each pool has a disco playing pop/house music all day. I did think that there was a gradation of DJ quality around the three hotels, though. Despite the genre seeming much of a muchness to my middle-aged ears, Sea Club's DJ seemed to play a better selection than Sea Life's, which in turn was better than Sea Garden's. Anyway, it is a bit of music without the egotistical chatter of the radio back home..The “Freak Animation” team, mainly Russian, French and German girls,. also provide Kid's Clubs at each hotel. My 10 year old daughter sampled the Kid's Club one day, when her older sister was on a snorkelling excursion with Mum, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
In contrast to our previous visit to Sharm, when there was a massive military presence giving the feeling of having strayed into a war zone, there was no sign of metropolitan Egypt's continuing troubles this time. However, the situation seems to have discouraged many tourists, leading to quite a low occupancy, which is to the advantage of those who do come: No queues at the bar, ample sunbeds everywhere and attentive service.
There are the customary touts for activities and cosmetic treatments, but the management must be quite strict about their behaviour, as they are noticeably more polite and respectful about taking no for an answer than an experienced traveller might expect. Haroun from the beauty parlour did sell my wife a good value pedicure and manicure with his genuinely friendly and funny pitch, though.
One day, we accidentally snapped our key. Housekeeping services were prompt in rendering assistance and a new key was soon cut for us.
Overall, I would recommend Sea Gardens as an excellent hotel for anyone who likes sunshine and swimming with pretty fish. The accommodation is excellent, they feed you well, and everyone is friendly and hospitable from Mahmoud, our Cosmos rep, through the receptionist, waiters and housekeeping team to Ottah, the hotel cat!
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- Also Known As:
- Sea Gardens Hotel Nabq Bay
- Sea Garden Hotel
- Hotel Sea Garden
- Sea Gardens Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - Nabq Bay