A great hotel though I'd say 5 star by Egypian standards, 4 stars by UK.
We were greeted by Concierge and given a tour of the hotel and the restaurants and bars and then shown to our amazing sea view suite. Very VIP, The room was great and right beside the Reef Restaurant & Bar. The room was lovely ... we’d upgraded to a suite and we were pleased we did. My (minor) issue with the room was the hairdryer a) fixed in the bathroom beside the sink (electricity and water beside each other never a great idea) b) not very powerful c) Had to hold a button down to keep it on.
The hotel and grounds are really well laid out but on a hill, so anyone with mobility problems could have issues if they aren't near the main building. It's almost 200 steps down to the beach but everything is spacious and lush. The hotel grounds were impeccable.
We never went to the pools - a shame as they are fab looking pools but to be fair we prefer beaches, but would be good once the sun moved if they were warmer. It was warmer swimming in the sea, which is accessed via a jetty. A friend leant me snorkelling gear... the variety and vibrancy of the fish right at the hotel is unbelievable. It's 45m down from the jetty. I can understand why people are hooked to snorkelling and diving in Sharm.
The staff at the beach bar were great at bringing out bottles of water and keeping it all tidy and always friendly.
The buffet restaurants were ok ... but get into the habit of booking one of the other restaurants at 10am for the following night. Really enjoyed the Olive restaurant which was the Mediterranean one, the Indian meal was absolutely delicious but another couple of dishes on all-inclusive would have been good. We never managed to get into Fusion - which looked amazing and other guests raved about it. We went to the Tapas Restaurant once and it was a bit chaotic. The menu wasn't explained to us, our wine was refilled with another wine, starter plates weren't lifted when the mains came out. All quite basic stuff but there didn't seem much control there from the guy in charge. All the restaurants weren't open every night, probably because it was winter season so opened on alternative nights. Some of the restaurants you had to pay for drinks and some dishes ... I can't decide if this is good or bad.. to me ALL INCLUSIVE means everything is included but if you wanted better wine or a dish with more expensive ingredients, then you paid for it. Probably more appealing for Foodies. What i did like was that the salads were cleaned with mineral water and the ice was made with this too, so no Egypian belly. We discovered the Reef bar later on in the holiday .. great for free wi-fi and not as smoky as the main bar and the guy who worked here was lovely.
The staff were great, really warm and welcoming and really wanting you to have a good time. Akram in Reef Restaurant and Ramy in the main bar really stood out and were always happy to chat and were quick and efficient. There were many others – sorry we didn’t remember your names. We usually tipped the bar staff 20 EP and restaurant 30 EP every day, but they weren’t looking for money but were grateful for it. A couple of pounds to us meant much more to them.
One thing that did annoy me was staff constantly checking their mobile phones. Didn’t expect that in a five star hotel.
There are sellers on the beach who come around everyday to sell beauty treatments, henna tattoos and sand filled glass triangles. A 'No, thank you' should do it at the start.
I didn’t really enjoy going outside the hotel. It was really barren and not what I have seen anywhere else and you got harassed by taxi drivers tooting and stopping and people trying to get you into their shops/stores which made me really uncomfortable.
We went to the animation bar a couple of times, the entertainment was pretty dire. Maybe it was just more targetted to the European guests.
If you are going to go to Naama Bay or Soho Sq, get a price from the limo desk at reception. Maybe it's the inner snob in me, but much nicer cars than you hail in the street and just felt safer with them, as they were affiliated with the hotel.
I would definitely recommend this hotel and if going for winter sun, would come back here above anywhere else. We went the first week in Feb and only had one cloudy day but it gets chilly at night so be prepared.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Hotel enjoys an unrivalled location, with its buildings nestled in stunning gardens set into the hillside, affording guests outstanding views across the Red Sea to Tiran Island. From the lobby bar with its commanding view, to the clifftop restaurant, and the beach terrace, the Grand Hotel provides a perfect location to relax and savour the atmosphere. An excellent diversity of cuisines - with many a la carte options - and several bars, ensure guests are spoilt for choice after a relaxing day soaking up the sun by any of the hotel's eight freeform pools. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Sharm El Sheikh
- Grand Hotel Sharm El Sheikh