Having booked a cheap flight deal at the last minute to Sharm el Sheikh, I browsed countless websites and review sites to find a suitable hotel for me and my girlfriend to spend a relaxing week (hopefully in the sun!) over Christmas.
Needless to say, the Cleopatra Luxury 5* Resort caught my eye, not least because of the many glowing previous reviews on Tripadvisor and the hotel's own website making the place sound extremely inviting. The price of the hotel was £500 through Alpharooms for a week All Inclusive from 19/12/13.
On arrival at the hotel around 7.30pm in the evening, we were very kindly upgraded to a different room at no charge, to one overlooking the main swimming pool. The room was a very generous size, with kingsize bed, flat screen TV, climate control, safe, terrace with chairs and a large bathroom with walk-in shower. We were initially very impressed! We went for dinner that evening in the Market restaurant and found the food choice to be pretty limited, maybe as we had arrived late and towards the end of service we assumed.
The following morning we had set aside to lie in, this being our first opportunity all year to relax from our hectic London working lives and after a very long day travelling. At 10am we were woken by some extremely loud music and an MC/DJ announcing "Wakey Wakey it's Sharm el Sheikhy" before going into a long spiel about the Crazy Animation Team daily activities. Not the best start to our holiday, especially since there's no mention of this excessively loud and continual noise throughout each and every day. Being in a room near this pool means you will be disturbed, without a doubt, every single day. This isn't a criticism of the actual team doing the activities, they were great, enthusiastic and lots of fun but it's way too 'in your face' and meant we were unable to spend any time around this pool as we didn't want this continual noise. Very disappointing as this is where the only heated pool is!
The pool down in front of the beach is better and quieter, although you can still hear the bloody DJ's from neighbouring resorts! The view from here across the water to Tiran Island is fab and a lovely spot to soak up the sun.
Now to the food. I fail to understand how previous reviewers believe it to be good quality/variety. We thought it was very poor, ill thought out dishes, very similar every single day and rarely enjoyable. A chef who tells customers that a dish is vegetarian when it clearly has meat in it, unreal. I've travelled to Sharm before (Holiday Village) and the food was significantly better for a lower star rated hotel. The breakfast was decent, decent selection plus an omelette station, but they serve sautéed veg at breakfast, why?!
Away from the Market restaurant, there is a seafood restaurant and an Italian; we got a voucher for each one to use during our stay. The seafood menu was limited to 3 choices per course, one of the main course choices being lamb chops (in a seafood restaurant?). The dishes were unimaginative, uncreative and totally unispiring. The Italian restaurant menu was a lot better and was definitely the best meal of the week. The beach grill again sounds lovely in the marketing spiel but in reality is a fast food joint serving second rate tasteless fried food, massively over rated.
Many waiting staff cannot speak/understand English and while pleasant enough seem to walk around aimlessly being totally inefficient clearing tables and fetching drinks. Is it really 5* standard service? Mohamed at the beach grill who served drinks at the pool is a fantastic guy and the best member of staff there, really awesome service - train all your staff to be like him and you'll have a much better hotel!
It was Christmas week, so the music in the Market restaurant was a CD of classic Christmassy covers. This same CD was played at breakfast, lunch and dinner, it became something of a joke/stuff of nightmares hearing the same crap day in day out! I hope I never hear "Oh Happy Day" again in my life.
The on site gym is small, it has various machines and two treadmills, one of which was broken and never repaired, meaning it was nearly impossible to get a slot when desired for a run. The dive school which is punted out to guests should be avoided. We booked and paid for two intro dives plus snorkelling and the boat didn't make the stops we were told it would, so we were effectively over charged and the guy from the dive school who said he'd speak to his manager never got back to us before we left. I have dived with a much better school previously in Sharm and will post their info later as I wish we had used them again. This dive school company will try and fleece you once on board to buy a video of the dive and photos taken on board by some guy with a Canon camera who thinks he's a pro.
It may seem I am being picky or pedantic about many things but this is because the hotel promotes themselves as a 5* LUXURY resort. I work in the travel industry and have contracted hotels around the world for the UK market, experiencing levels of service in a 2* hotel which were better than here. Some will say oh that's Egypt and the standards are different but there is no way this hotel has luxury standards when it comes to dining, facilities and a number of the non-English speaking untrained waiting staff. If it wasn't for the fantastic weather this would have been a very challenging week! As it is, we leave with many memories, some good others not so but we definitely wouldn't return. Nabq Bay has very little to offer. Taxi to Naama Bay is 100LE return.
To those who continue to rave about the place, maybe they have totally different levels of expectation to me?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cleopatra Luxury Resort Sharm El Sheikh is located in the Sinai Peninsula in the splendid isolation of Nabq Bay along the shores of the Red Sea with a water front private beach. The Resort offers one of a kind ambiance and style by reflecting the location, culture and history. The Resort combines the tradition of its host community with exceptional Service & Cuisine a luxury product with attention to detail. This distinction elevates Cleopatra Luxury Resort Sharm El Sheikh into the upper echelon of a five star hotel destination for sophisticated travelers. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, LoveHolidays, Hotels.com, Southall Travel and Odigeo so you can book your Cleopatra Luxury Resort Sharm El Sheikh reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Cleopatra Luxury Resort Collection Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Cleopatra Luxury Resort Sharm El Sheikh Egypt - Nabq Bay