I was somewhat worried after reading the July/August reviews about cleanliness etc and pools being closed but they got better in September maybe because the resort wasn't as busy. Saying that, when we were there end Sept/Beg Oct, they were practically full with over 2000 people but you'd never think it. The resort is so huge that you'll always find somehwere to relax and you never have to 'bagsy' a sunbed as there are hundreds of them! We stayed at the beach most of the time as it was quieter and the breeze was wonderful and made sunbathing much easier in 35C heat. Room was basic but kept very clean and the huge shower (could easily fit 4 in it) was lovely. Our cleaner (all male) was very helpful and we gave him a tip half way through and at the end of the 11 days.
My only couple of niggles would be the food which was very repetitive so we ended going out a couple of nights - also just to be served - as going up to a buffet gets tedious. We ate in the Italian with our complimentary voucher and I'm afraid I thought it was our worst meal! We didn't have the pizza or pasta as we'd had plenty of that over the other meals so we ordered meat main courses which were basic to say the least. Plus their desserts were not 'italian' at all..they had the right names...Tiramisu etc but what was put in front of me was far removed from the Tiramisu I know! The people who said they had Pizza etc seemed to have enjoyed their meal. Went to TGI Fridays one night in Naama Bay which was fab..and cheaper than the UK I think.
If going to Naama Bay, use the hotel shuttle as it's much cheaper than taxis and you know what you're getting.
Trips: We did the VIP Cruise and the Ultimate Desert Experience....
VIP Cruise - I loved it as I love boats and they only book 25-30 people on a boat which can take about 45 so there's lots of room. The snorkelling wasn't so great on the first 2 stops but the last one (near the port) was great. Beautiful coloured coral and an abundance of exotic fish. Unfortunately we didn't get to see a turtle but the stingray and trigger fish made up for it. Lunch was nice and plenty of it. Soft drinks all day (no alcohol).
UDE: I thoroughly enjoyed the quads as I'm quite adventurous and have done it before but my friend is the opposite and didn't really enjoy it at all. She was nervous and quite slow and so felt the whole thing was quite a task. The camel ride was ok, it is what it is..the dinner and show were awful. Very basic and I didn't eat anything apart from the rice and pasta (I don't have a basic palette either). So we went to the hotel restaurant when we got back to eat. Our guide was fab and very knowledgable and spoke excellent English.
Beach: we loved the beach because we weren't into proper swimming or snorkelling so paddling in the shallows with no waves crashing on to you was fabulous. The water only goes to calf height at the deppest although there is a little dredged out area market with buoys ig you want something up to about waist height! If you're not walking out to the reef then flip flops will suffice on the rough sand.
Tipping/Haggling: Haggling is fun at first but starts to get very boring because you have to do it for everything, even in the pharmacy! Tipping - try not to get roped in to tipping all the time just because someone else is doing it. We saw two extremes. One family tipping ridiculously but yes, they did get very good service..but another family not tipping at all until the very end and having equally good service! We did a bit here and there and had no service problems.
Thomson Reps: We only really had interaction with Craig and we thought he was absolutely fab. We loved that they were in the hotel twice a day for long periods so no rushing to get to see your rep once every few days for a 1 hour slot! Craig was very courteous, knowledgable and friendly although he may not be there when you go as I think he is moving to Goa soon!
1. When you arrive in the airport, it can be very confusing. Go straight to passport control UNLESS you want a visa (to go to Cairo or outside Sinai). If you want the visa, vere into the left hand queses where you will see Thomson and First Choice signs.
2. The driver loading your case onto the coach will hold out his hand and ask you for a tip - don't feel you have to but he will take a British £1 coin if you don'y have small Egyptian notes.
3. All inclusive finishes in the bars at midnight
4. Topless sunbathing - people do do it but it's not meant to be allowed and as it's a Muslim country it's frowned upon but your choice in the end. We didn't, just out of respect to the locals.
5. Beach party is great fun and good music - on twice a week.
6. If you want a much more upmarket evening out go to Soho Square near Sharks Bay BUT it will cost you dearly! 2 drinks cost £16 but you don't get hassled etc
7. Fake handbags - a lot of them are not even real leather even though they say they are so just take them for what they are. I bought two just because I liked the design - didn't matter to me if they were leather or not.
8. Hotel room hairdryer is good so you don't need to take your own if you don't want to
9. Laundry service is excellent and not very expensive compared to other 4* hotels.
Right - think that's all I have to say as I'm still a bit tired from the travelling as only got home at 4am this morning! Must just say hi to Matt & Jodi :-)
Have a wonderful holiday - there wasn't a cloud in the sky!
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- Also Known As:
- Jaz Mirabel Beach Hotel Sharm El Sheikh
- Jaz Mirabel Beach Resort
- Jaz Mirabel Beach Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - Nabq Bay
- Mirabel Beach Resort