Stayed here for a 6-day closing leg of my 3-weeks-plus trip all over Egypt. Main reason to choose was the more than acceptable cost for the amenities offered; my journey promised to be quite expensive due to its length and diversity and I couldn't splash.
Located in Nabq Bay area; very close to the airport. I found it convenient as I made several internal flights from Sharm to Cairo and back. It was however thrilling to see how low the planes were flying right over your head (see photo). Their sound was also disturbing at times.
Surrounding area is nothing close to Naama bustle. If you’re looking for nightlife and clubbing, you can get bored here. But it is certainly not lost in the desert – several shops and restaurants can be found on the opposite side along the road. Naama is easy to get to, about 20min away by taxi. I can be wrong about timing; at a time of my stay Mubarak has visited Sharm, and taxis moved very slow and often got stopped for the documents’ check.
Though I arrived very early, check-in was fast and even pleasant. Reception manager was very nice and offered a room in a better building than I was supposed to stay. I had all documents, including a passport’s photocopy, ready, so the formalities were done in a minute.
The territory is well kept; lots of greens and flowers. And I saw the gardeners busy taking care of them every day.
The room was impressively large and much more spacious than I expected. Decorated pleasantly to the eye, it was comfortable and had all the necessary amenities – plasma TV, A/C, fridge and mini-bar, and ample electric sockets (finally!).
Two beds were a perfect illustration to what king-size really means – huge and very comfy.
A balcony with a tea table and couple chairs could have been very nice if it allowed more privacy from the neighbors.
Bathroom was a bit outdated and not often kept ideally clean.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Three restaurants make part of all inclusive (AI) and three go a la carte (paid for). I was satisfied with AI and ate out in Naama twice, so I didn’t feel I needed any of la carte’s.
The guests are provided with an information leaflet and the resort’s map at check-in. All restaurants and pubs are listed there with an indication of operating hours.
Grill House located on the beach is the smallest one. It overviewed the sun beds, the ocean being in a certain distance. It was not bad for lunch, but you had to be lucky to catch the moment they supplied and re-supplied. Sometimes dishes remain empty and were replenished only by the time I finished.
The biggest restaurant, Riviera, is located in the centre of administrative building, right next to the reception. The staff was faster here to re-supply and there were many more of them. The choice and quality of meals were also quite decent (except bakery), and more diversified. Though always crowded, with its several halls it was never a problem to take a good seat. Especially if you have a waiter who knows you and helps with the table (a smile and a tip really help to get along).
The medium-sized Palmera is situated in the right wing of the administrative building. It has a lovely open terrace with lots of birds trying to steal food right from your plate. It was quieter and less crowded than Riviera, while the waiters were still quick enough to assist.
Not even for once I had any issues with food in Grand Plaza. No stomach problems whatsoever. Nothing at all had ever happened to me! Though I ate everything, including raw vegetables and fruits. My secret was simple: do not overeat (this is not easy with AI!), do not mix incompatible food and stay away from heat and swimming right after taking meals. Those complaining about stomach bug should try following these; they might be surprised.
Bakery was my greatest disappointment; I must have been really spoilt by Isis Luxor. I was never lucky enough to find a fresh croissant or roll in any of the restaurants at breakfast. Also, choice of drinks in the restaurants and bars was a bit limited - no natural juices, for instance. But I had some spirits from the duty-free, and on the first day in Naama bought lots of juice and water, stuffed my room fridge and enjoyed them until departure.
As for the food, it was good and absolutely satisfactory to me. Make sure you don’t miss cooks who make hot appetizers and main courses – some of those were delicious! They tend to serve international cuisine, while the Egyptian meals is sort of "adapted" to the foreigners’ tastes. This is not bad, as at least you are guaranteed from the "Pharaoh Revenge” from unknown staff (if you follow the tips above). They even cooked my favourite Egyptian dessert – Omm Ali; don’t miss it! It’s served twice or three times a week (ask the waiter).
The bar near the heated pool (Luna) is a hot spot, and its barman rocks! I was merely walking by, and only took a sit for a moment to wait for my friend who wanted a drink. The barmen was so very attentive and caring to send a cocktail for me as well, though I wasn’t expecting one and not sitting anywhere near the bar! It was very movingly.
I felt more comfortable observing dress code in restaurants, not only at dinner. But I couldn’t help noticing that some guests were more relaxed, especially in the beach restaurant at lunchtime.
There are several pools, both heated and unheated, and a small pool for kids, almost always empty. There’s also such-called “lazy river”, but there’s no swimming in it, it’s a part of the territory decoration. If you ask me, it’s a waste of space, but it looks so very nice on promo pictures.
I was nearly the only one to swim in the unheated pool (Nino) – it gets really cold during the night and won’t get warmer during the day. At the same time, with the majority of people sticking to the heated pool, the area around Nino was relatively deserted, quiet and pleasant to stay at. And no problem with sun beds here - available all through the day. Tipping the pool boy ensured I had the one I liked ready for me every morning.
Pool/beach towels are handed in exchange for a card each guest is given at a check-in. Cards bear no name or room number, so you can return towel to the kiosk at any pool. Once there were no cards left at a pool I’ve been sitting by, so I exchanged my towel for a card at another no problem. Don't forget to get a card when you return a towel, or you will be charged for the missing card when checking out.
Sea-swimming was truly delightful! The water was warmer than in the unheated pool and it wasn’t as crowded as the heated one. There’s so-called “marina”, a jetty across the lagoon that ends with a snorkeling platform above the coral reef. The swimming is from the jetty only; lagoon is too shallow for that.
The jetty stairs descend into the water at the edge of the coral reef, and then goes the open water, rather deep. People snorkel along the reef or near the jetty holding its bars sometimes. The reef is incredibly beautiful, full of life and colours! And Tiran Island on the horizon makes the landscape inimitably scenery.
Snorkeling equipment can be borrowed from a kiosk on the beach near the jetty or purchased in Naama, if you prefer individual staff.
Beware, the current is really strong there, and on some days “marina attendants” were particularly persistent about cautious swimming. When there’s a probability of a storm, the jetty is closed and a black flag signals there’s no swimming/snorkeling this day.
There are lots of signs about swimming "at your own risk", but the “marina attendants” still used to plead me back when I swam too far away in their opinion. Also, marina has “opening hours”, and I was deprived of my favourite swimming time - at dawn, in particular. These limitations were irritating.
It was windy at night, so taking a shawl or a jacket might be a good idea if you like walking along the shore.
There were guests from the CEE (Poland, Russia, Ukraine), but also lots of Italian and British guests. And I can say British people got better treatment from the hotel staff than Eastern Europeans. It took me couple of days of friendly chatting, tipping and merely greeting to be treated the same very nice way.
As a result, I can not remember a single case of dissatisfaction with the service, except for the housekeeping. Reception managers, concierge, cooks and waiters in the restaurants, barmen, pools’ and beauty salon staff are just a few to mention among those who made my stay pleasant. Friendly and caring attitude and brilliant sense of humor!
Dry cleaning was perfect and fast. I was even damped with their zeal! I asked for my laundry back for the next day and had particularly stated I was going to take a rest and didn't want to be disturbed. And I still got two phone calls offering it back in couple of hours (for no extra cost, by the way).
Housekeeping was uneven, sometimes impeccable, and sometimes poor. The manager checked if everything was all right on the second day of my stay, when there was nothing to complain about. But next days bathroom cleaning was more than relaxed. That’s why I downgraded both service and cleanliness rates of the resort.
All in all, Grand Plaza provided for a very decent completion of my Egypt trip. And it was a good value for the money paid.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfectly laid on the shores of the Red Sea, with private 300 meters long sandy beach, own stunning Coral reef, 90 meters away walk on the hotel own jetty, The Sharm Grand Plaza reflects peacfulness, tranquility and comfort.The one and only resort in Sharm featuring a 2 double queen size bed in all rooms "160 cm wide", Our aim is for you to relax and enjoy the wide range facilities of pools, entertainment and Dinning experiences. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Evoline ltd, Southall Travel and Cancelon so you can book your Sharm Grand Plaza 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:
- Sharm Grand Plaza Hotel Nabq Bay
- Grand Plaza Hotel
- Grand Plaza Sharm El Sheikh
- Grand Plaza Resort
- Sharm Grand Plaza Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt - Nabq Bay