More about Melia Sinai
Fantastic staff, experience. Not so great cost of extras...
First the good, then the bad.
We loved this hotel. It had it's few problems (see below), but for a "relax by the pool with the kids" holiday, it was great. Not much entertainment was laid on by the hotel, but my kids are eighteen months and three and a half, so I wasn't expecting them to be catered for (the do have a mini-club for over 4s, not sure if anyone used it). The staff were almost all very friendly, many of them sat and chatted to our kids for ages every day (even though it was Ramadan and they had often not eaten or drunk for hours in the hot hot sun).
The rooms are spotless, the public areas are too. The hotel has four swimming pools (one kiddie, two adult and one scuba practice) all of which are kept pretty well, and are nicely designed.
The snorkeling is out of this world. You can walk the 2 mins to the pontoon, jump off and see the most amazing world of colourful coral and fish. Some guests reported spotting rays and even a turtle. As mentioned elsewhere, many boats stop off around the hotel on snorkling tours.
Food was fantastic. I'm not sure why people keep on saying that you might tire of it. Each night had a good change of the basics, and in the course of a week, I think they'd covered about 15-20 main dishes and more veg varieties. I think people just don't like buffets? Anyway, there was almost always something there that was very tasty and enjoyable. Amazingly for this part of the world, the eggs were even delicious.
Maid service was great, I think if you regularly tipped, they folded your towels in amusing ways, flowers, crocodiles, people etc... I tip at the end of stays, and even so got a few over the two weeks.
Generally, it must be stressed, this is a really good hotel. If we return to Sharm, we're pretty likely to return to this hotel.
Now for the bad.
Biggest gripe for me is the cost of extras. The hotel charges £1.20 for a bottle of water, £2.50+ for a beer, £1.50 for a can of soft drink, £4-6 for a cocktail and £14+ for a bottle of wine (£16 for the cheapest drinkable). Sandwiches and pizzas for lunch are £4-6. All of that is WAY out of line with what they should cost. My feeling is that they're selling off the rooms very cheaply in order to make it back from extras.
It goes on. Obviously the reps in the hotel overcharge for the excursions. Typically about 50% premium. Just avoid them, pick up a leaflet in Naama bay and use anyone else.
Worst of all, the hotel has an agreement with a taxi service. They want £14 return to naama bay, or £19 return to sharm. I argued them down to £9 and £10 respectively, but it was a headache every night. They have a coach that does the trip every night, but it's a the silly times of 11:30-1:30 for the afternoon or 9:30-00:00 in the evening. Pretty much useless if you've got kids. Also, I believe this was the service that simply failed to turn up to collect me at the airport as I had requested by phone a few days before arrival.
My only other gripes are regarding kids. I called ahead to ensure that the room could take a z-bed and cot as well as the usual bed. They said "no problem". When I arrived, I was shown four rooms before giving in and asking to pay for a suite. The manager ended up giving us the upgrade for free the next day, for the remainder of the stay.
Once we got our room, the cot was delivered, but it was useless for a 18 month old. The sides went up to around his hips. However, after a visit from 4 senior staff (for 30 mins to an hour), much discussion and a carpenter, they modified it so that it was adequate (took out the slats, stuffed blankets and a mattress under the legs), nailed in some extra support. Other families reported sleeping with their kids in the bed with them.
This one is pot luck; not a lot of families use the hotel, so your kids are unlikely to have many or any other kids to play with. Even less likely to have ones that speak your language. Luckily we had the fabulous Edith for the first week, but the only other english kids the second week were too young to play.
Finally, some hints and tips.
1/ Snorkle. Really, it's amazing! We bought a 35mm camera and case on our flight (£8.50 from XL), that we could re-load with standard film. We took 120 underwater shots!
2/ The Baron hotel is a 10 min walk down the beach (to the left). They have a street of shops, ending with a supermarket. Although the prices are still expensive, they're WAY cheaper than on-site at the Melia Sinai. (eg, £0.60 for a bottle of water rather than £1.20). They also have a Pharmacy and several other useful shops. Another nice thing is that if you walk around their pool, you'll be very happy that you chose the Melia Sinai :)
3/ The irritating taxi service can be bargained down. Ask for a bedouin taxi, they'll refuse, tell them it's the price, and ask for them to take you there and back instead (I got it for 90 egyptian pounds for the family to naama return, and 100 to sharm). Also, say no if they roll up in the crappy beaten up old sedan, and demand that they turn on the air con.
4/ Watch out for tricks and cons. Two I had were both related to correct change. The first camera shop on the left in Naama Bay (from the main road) didn't have change for 100 Egyptian pounds (£10). He also quoted me 30 to get a roll developed, and demanded 45 when I arrived. In all, I ended up paying him about 50 to get out of there, but I did get to scare off 4 or 5 potential customers.
Also, a Bedouin taxi I used to get back to the hotel said that he thought we were going to the Grand Sinai, not the Melia and demanded more when we arrived at the Melia. I didn't have the right change and he drove off with an extra 5 egyptian. Less than I would have tipped him, so more fool him.
I think that's everything. Summary is to go, but budget some for extras, and expect a 4* hotel in some respects, and 5* in others :)
Fantastic place to stay
Myself and my boyfriend decided to take a late deal at the end of September beginning of October 2006 for 2 weeks staying at the Melia Sinai Hotel in the Ras Nasrani region of Sharm El Sheikh. We got a good deal 2 weeks bed and breakfast for around £900 for the two of us.
We've just got back and had great time and have decided to share our experience and provide some handy tips and information.
The hotel is very nice and clean, an egyptian 5*. This would equate to around 4* in England, but is of high enough standard. Someone always seemed to be cleaning something! The hotel is situated around 15-20 minutes away from Naama Bay, but there us a shuttle bus that runs twice a day to both Naama Bay and Old Sharm, mid morning and at night. This costs around 30 egyptian pounds (2 euros, £3) for two people, return. Please be aware thought that the bus does get booked up quite quickly so try and book it in advance to avoid disappointment. The driver also plays some very dodgy bangra music that is quite painful!! The hotel does run a very good taxi service if you dont manage to get onto the bus, if you barter you can get to Naama Bay for around 120 egyptian pounds (£12) return. Be very wary of the bedouine taxis in the town thay see pound signs on your head and try to rip you off.
The rooms are very spacious all with their own baclony or terrance and are cleaned everyday.
Around the hotel there isn't much to do with regards to shops etc as its out of town and therefore the hotel has the monopoly on food and water etc e.g. a bottle of water in the hotel would cost 150 egyptian pounds (£1.50), whereas in Naama Bay it would cost 20-30 pence.
The hotel restaraunt if buffet style for both breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a huge variety of things for breakfast which is served between 6.30am and 10am. The evening meal also has a huge selection but I think if you were half board or all inclusive it may get a bit repetative. We ate in there around 5 or 6 times and found it very nice. They have a different theme each night and vary the food accordingly. There is even a chef that makes pasta fresh in front of you, with whatever you want in it. This is highly recommended, so good the Italians loved it!
There is entertainment each night at the hotel but to be perfectly honest it isn't all that good. There are activities throughout the day such as aqua aerobics, line dancing etc, however we cannot comment due to the fact that we didn't fancy jumping around in the 40 degree heat! For the divers there is a huge coral reef on the hotels private beach which hosts a large variety of fish. There are always loads of sunbeds, in fact there is an umbrella on the beach for each room in the hotel, so there is no need to put your towel out early to get a bed.
Overall the hotel is very good, staff are friendly, prices are a little inflated but worth paying for the chill out factor.
Naama Bay is a great town to visit for nightlife, shopping, eating out and just going for a drink. It has to be seen to be believed. We loved it. You have to barter for everything and keep your money hidden until you've agreed a price. Dont fall for the pater of the locals, they're only trying to get you into their shop, just say no thanks and keep walking. There are many bars and clubs e.g. pacha, hardrock cafe, little budda etc. There is a big shopping mall with loads of shops selling all sorts of things mainly touristy things, but again barter with them to get a bargain. We visited many restaraunts in Naama Bay and here are a few of them:
Peking Chinese - great food, very cheap, great ambiance
Hardrock Cafe - great burgers!, cold draft beer, bit pricey but worth it
Tandori - nice food but not much of it, quite expensive compared to everywhere else and they were stingy on the popadoms and chutneys!
Fawnes Lebanese - nice fresh meat, but average food for average prices.
There are loads of little bars everywhere with reasonably priced beer. Spirits are expensive due to the fact that they are imported, unless you want to drink the local spirits. We didn't give it a try, we stuck to what we know and just drank the beer.
You must visit Tche Tche and have a Shesha water pipe it costs a £1 for whichever flavour you want and you get it refilled all night, however fill up on beer before you go as this is an alcohol free establishment.
There are loads of trips that you can go on. We went quad-biking which was great value for money as it cost £25 each for around 2 hours. You must go on the afternoon as you can watch the sun set behind the mountains. Also take a bottle of water with you, head covering and sun glasses and try to wear long trousers as its very dusty.
We also visited St Katherines Monastery. This was a great day out and a nice place to visit even if your not religious. We had several stops on the way and on the way back and lunch was included, however wasn't great. On the way back we visited a bedouine village with an oasis in the middle of the desert. Yes I did say oasis, its got to be seen to be believed, absolutely astonishing. Great value for money but a bit tiring.
We also went on a Submarine glass bottom boat which was really nice. I wouldn't recomend this to anyone who is clostraphobic as it was very cramped and extremely hot and sticky. The underwater life was beautiful.
Take a visit to Old Sharm, this is a local town mostly for the local people. There are loads of shops but again they mostly sell the same things. Prices are a little cheaper than in Naama Bay.
You can also take a trip to Cairo to see the pyramids, we didn't go on it as we thought it was a little expensive at £135 each and we wanted to do more that one thing. These are just a few of the trips but there are many more available.
A few general tips are that most small bars tend to share toilet blocks and you are expected to pay for the privalege. They do not have toilet paper or hand towels in them so take some tissues in your bag, unless you want to pay for them. Some of them are not to a very high standard, so try and use the toilets in the hotel bars and restaraunts or the shopping mall.
You cannot drink the tap water so buy plenty of bottled. We even used bottled to brush our teeth.
Most people get a dodgy tum within the first few days of being there so take some imodium with you. We found the milk and dairy products fine, but they do tend to make you more regular than usual shall we say!!
Their money is like monopoly money as they dont have coins, they even have the equivalent to a 5 pence note! Watch out for the " I have no change" trick as you may end up paying more than you wanted. They also round everything up as they dont have any other pence notes.
Overall this was a fantastic holiday and we would definately visit there again. A great place for some sun, sea and sand and definate relaxation. A very romantic place and what made it even more special for me was my boyfriend proposing to me.
I would highly recomend this to couples wanting to have a great time. The hotel is a nice distance away from the hustle and bustle of the Naama Bay so you have the best of both worlds, complete relaxation with the odd night here and there for some partying in Naama Bay.
I hope you found this informative and we hope you enjoy your holiday as much as we did.
Loved the Melia
Just returned from the Melia and had a great week. I went with my son and daughter.
Met loads of people who chose this hotel because of this website, so well done Tripadvisor.
The Rooms are large and always kept very clean, we had a corner room with a dual aspect balcony so had a sea view and views of the pool and mountains, and distant towns.
The service was always with a smile and they were very helpful.
The pool(s), we just stayed at the one by the Juliana bar, was always cleaned first thing in the morning, so no problem there.
The food in all the eating areas was varied and well presented.
The evening entertainment was poor to non existant some nights, which we were aware of and if you really wanted to, you could go into Naama Bay.
We had a wonderfull time at this great hotel.
Hi to Andrew and Annette who will be posting later.
I will return at some point and would highly recommend this hotel.
Can't wait to get back there!
Returned from this patch of paradise on Saturday - boo-hoo!
Everything everyone else has said is spot -on so I am not going to repeat it all again here. The only points I would like to re-iterate are:
Drinks in the hotel are an absolute rip off and you must get into Naama Bay as soon as possible to get soft drinks. If you want spirits then grab a bottle of duty free on the plane - it will save you about £100.00 on your bar bill - honestly. Beer is not too bad but spirits and soft drinks are a extortionate price.
I would go along with what someone else said about initially thinking the food was good, but by the end of the week we were eating out not able to face another night in the buffet. The food in Naama Bay is fantastic and cheap so don't be afraid to eat there. Next time we would go B & B and eat out, occationally staying in to use the buffet.
All the good points people have said about the hotel are true, lovely people, lovely rooms, lovely location, all beautifully kept but of course best of all is the facility to just pop out for a snorkal whenever you feel like it. Simply mind-blowing. Then, stay on the raft for sun-set and try your best not to fall in love with the place!
I think we will be back there pretty soon!
a little bit of heaven
We have just returned from a week at the Melia and can not praise it highly enough. It is always a dread when you arrive that the hotel will not be what you are hoping (dreaming). This was all and more. All the guests staying here were friendly and we chatted to more people here than most other holidays.
Hi to Elaine, Gina and Andrew.
The rooms are well sized, clean and with great views over the sea and Tiran Island. The staff were always kind, helpful and prompt. This extended to room service which is reknowned for slow delivery.
The food was well presented and they endeavoured to ring the changes, with themed nights, but there was always something there for everyone.
What has to be the biggest plus is the fact that you only have to walk 100 yards to the best snorkelling around. All other boats from other hotels and tours come to this spot, which can get a little annoying, but never for too long, and it is a little price to pay for such a great experience whenever the mood takes you.
Without doubt, one of the best holidays we have had, and we will certainly return. However, there is a lot of construction going on so how long it will remain so pleasant....?
Great hotel, especially for divers and snorkelers
We have been to Egypt for the 4th time and Melia was the best hotel so far: the best service, best house reef and best management.
The staff is very friendly, really well trained and attentive. The resident manager of the hotel introduces himself personally to all new guests, so you have a direct contact in case problems happen (in Egypt they happen anyway:)). And he really cares.
The location is superb both for snorkelers and divers. For snorkeling you can walk up to Conrad hotel (Ras Ghamila) and swim the way back (1 - 1.5 km). The scenery is very diverse through the way as is marine fauna. Tiran Straight is 10 min by boat from the hotel, so you don't need to waist your time going to Sharm's marina to get to the reefs of the Straight. The hotel's diving school has two RIB type boats that make regular trips several times a day.
The hotel is not big, rooms and hotel facilities are concentrated in a rather small area . Therefore you need to have particular rooms to escape from the noise of pool, diving school (from 8 a.m. ) or animation (10 p.m. to midnight). Ask for that when checking in. It can happen you can be asked for an upgrade fee (we paid 15 EUR per night) to get a proper room (though rooms mostly differ by location only), but it can be worth if you are a noise sensitive sleeper.
Food quality is very good, though variety of cold plates can be greater comparing to other hotels we stayed. The main restaurant has a beautiful terrace with magnificent views to the sea, Tiran Island and the mountains. We liked it very much for breakfasts (until sun is not high) and dinners (when you can enjoy the breeze).
Rooms are clean, convenient and spacious enough. The hotel is rather new, has its own small bazaar, spa, gym and a diving school. So in fact you can have a very convenient stay without leaving the hotel. In fact we did so - leaving the hotel only when going to the sea.
There are not so many attractions for kids until they cannot snorkel or reach junior diver age.
There are fewer guests at the hotel in the end of June. That also contributed much to the convenience of our stay. Most of the guests were Swiss, German and British at that time.
That is a place to come back. For sure.
Lovely, with a few reservations.
Everything on this post is about right. Lovely hotel, great staff, great reef for diving/snorkeling. The down sides are - you are a long way from Naama bay so taxis are a bit more than from most hotels. The drinks are a ridiculous price (dearer than my local!) and if you want to buy anything on site be prepared to pay way over the odds. (Tampax 5 pound a small box)
There is NOTHING (except building sites) outside the hotel. Book your trips with 'Charm of Sharm' as they were brilliant and massively cheaper than the rep's prices.
The hotel caters for the right amount of guests. Get up late and you still get decent sunbeds by the pool. All in all we were pleased to stay here but take some drinks with you to put in the fridge.
They Bought Their Five Stars From Mc Donalds in Naama Bay !!
Just returned from a 7 night stay at this hotel last night & after reading all the positive reviews i feel that i was stopping at a different hotel to the rest of the reviewers.
This is our 4th visit to Sharm having previously stopped twice at Hyatt once at Radisson SAS & must say compared to the Melia the Hyatt is in a different league & Radisson was still good overall.
Our biggest beef is that the Melia calls its self a Five Star when it really should only be an average Three Star hotel, although they were charging Five Star prices for drinks & other services!!
First impressions count & upon arrival at the airport, hotel car which we had pre-booked failed to turn up so ended up getting a taxi, when we finally arrived at hotel it looked more like a villa complex no real frontage & Lobby area reminded me of a Spanish hotel from the 80,s. Security was a joke & we ended up carrying our own cases into lobby Bell Boy ( scrufffy looking) eventually turned up to take our cases to our room.
The room well kind of had all your basic requirements but was poorly maintained everything looked around 8 to 10 years old TV out of the dark ages ( remote taped up to stop batterries falling out ) not that it mattered because choice of English channels well limited to say the least, Bath had all fag burns in bottom of it, No plug in sink which was never rectified the whole week, Minibar well had a fridge which ended up defrosting myself because it had more ice in it than the North Pole & from day one it remained empty,Bed was rock hard more like a futon & the general fixtures & fittings just looked very cheap & tired.The only thing we thought was good was the Air Con, very efficient & good powerful shower.
Food although only on b&b basis thank god, was poor to average. The choice of outlets well there wasnt any really, Buffet Restaurant & Pool Bar for a lunch time snack.Breakfast seemed to have a lot of choice loads of pastries but loads of flies around so didnt bother as they were not covered over Oh & their fruit juice resembled Kia Ora Squash also every morning things were always in different places milk one side of restaurant next day another, maybe they were trying to make things more interesting lol !! We Ate lunch at pool bar nearly everyday & was nothing special you wouldnt need any weights if you were going diving after their lasagne lol service also all over the place on a couple of ocassions my wifes lunch would arrive just as i had finished mine!
The hotel is also a long way out of Namma Bay in the middle of no where now this is not their fault as location is something i should have considered before booking however they have you by the short & curlys as regards transport their limousine service if you can call it that is highly unreliable & the guy in the lobby who takes their bookings is a rude & arrogant considering we used them nearly every night to go out to eat, more about him later anyway. Hotel does offer a shuttle bus service £2 each to Namma Bay return which is fare enough the only thing is it is always booked up well in advance so be warned!!
Did complain as soon as checked in about room but nothing happened in fact i reckon i was on their blacklist for the rest of the my stay on a few ocassions actually felt they were happy to be very condecending back to me almost "go stop somewhere else if you dont like it attitude" & honestly i am not rude or even that fussy if we had booked a Three star hotel for less money i would have been a lot more complimentary.
If you are a diver which we are not, then have to say hotels jetty is superb very easy for snorkelling with some great Coral & amazing marine life seem to have a big scuba centre their aswell.
The icing on the cake though was that a day before depature we booked transport to airport at the lobby for 4 of us. Now they normally operate these big people carrier type cars anyway after waiting in the lobby for car now 15 min late i decided to go ask why our car still had not turned up five min later it arrived & to our astonishment it was only a small 4 door saloon in terrible condition now how were 4 people plus driver & 4 large cases going to fit in that "No Problem" they said as they stood there scratching their heads ( no people carriers apparently because they were out on diving trips ) eventually we lay two cases across back seat & crammed god knows how 3 of us into back , the two remaining cases hung out the back of boot as it was to small to close ,even the police on the gate at Sharm airport where laughing their heads off when we arrived. Pathetic is not the word to describe this experience!!
Please draw your own conclusions from the other reviews but this hotel is never repeat never a Five Star !!!
Loads of Nice People We Met - Marcus & Lauren
One of the best holidays we have ever had.
Hi to Annette and Andy , and also to Tricia and family (please contact us)
Quiet - wonderful
Staff- superb esp Omar
Snorkelling - out of this world!!!
Pretty good, great reef!
Booked this hotel with snorkelling in mind, and were not disappointed. The house reef is fantastic, and this was our fifth Sharm holiday so we have a good basis for comparison.
Room was unexceptional but adequate, and our air con was not great, should have complained but couldn't be bothered because we slept OK anyway. Beds very firm.
The pool area was fantastic, mainly because it was peaceful with no music most of the time. For some reason they did crank up the sounds on one day, but turned it right down to an unobtrusive level when I complained. Plenty of sunbeds for everyone, and a short walk to the jetty and wonderful reef.
We were half board due to the remote location, and the food was adequate but boring and bland. Buffet dinners usually are. Best food was lunch from the pool bar which we paid for, but the menu is limited. Prices are a bit high in the hotel but I thought it was worth it for the peaceful atmosphere.
Disregard the entertainment offer, it's so poor it's irrelevant, but I find that on every holiday everywhere. It can be boring in the evenings so recommend booking the shuttle bus into Naama a few times to avoid going stir crazy.
Thought the hotel was a bargain, probably because we don't drink a huge amount so the prices are not much of an issue to us. I recommend booking flights and hotel independently, saved us a packet.
All in all this hotel generally met our expectations with the reef and the peaceful pool exceeding them. Ideal for a one week or 10 day relaxing break.
Bedouins making bread
The Burning Bush
poor dolphins :-(
Melia Sinai Hotel, Nabq Bay
Just wondered if anyone has stayed at this hotel and could give me any tips or reviews?!
My boyfiend and I are going on October 4th 2006, It is our first trip to Egypt so am pretty clueless at the minute!!!!
RE: Melia Sinai Hotel, Nabq Bay
Go to Holidays Uncovered on your computer.There are some reviews for this hotel there.
RE: Melia Sinai Hotel, Nabq Bay
There is www.holidaywatchdog.com and www.holiday-truth.com
Is anyone staying in melia sinai 29th april onwards??
Im travelling to Melia sinai on the 29th April for 10 nights.. on my own! Just wondered if any one else is travelling their, it would be nice to have someone to talk to and do excursions with.
Re: Is anyone staying in melia sinai 29th april onwards??
Probably easier for you tio find travel companions at a travel buddy website. Here is one. Good Luck!
Re: Is anyone staying in melia sinai 29th april onwards??
I will be there in Sharming inn from 5th to 9th may..travelling alone:(
dnt knw if your place is near to this hotel. is it??
buzz me at firstname.lastname@example.org .Cheers, Ballav!!! :D
Re: Is anyone staying in melia sinai 29th april onwards??
Hi Liz, I am in the Hotel Tiran Sharm until 18th May. Happy for some quality company! Let me know your situation
Anyone know anything about the Melia Sinai Hotel?
Hi, Just wondering whether anyone has stayed here? I'm thinking of booking for October just want somewhere quiet and relaxing with good food.
RE: Anyone know anything about the Melia Sinai Hotel?
All I know is it is in Montazah,pretty close to the airport.
RE: Anyone know anything about the Melia Sinai Hotel?
just got back this morning was delayed by 6 hrs ,it is very quiet, a bit pricey the beer 28 le about 2.80 in our money.cash machine not instaled yet go to barons 10 min along beach,realy beautiful hotel and cheaper.the shutle bus goes to town twice a day have to pay.but for snorkling and quiet and sun great place,breakfast brill ,other meals good as well ,really clean,done every day,staff freindly.
RE: Anyone know anything about the Melia Sinai Hotel?
Thanks for the info. Is it just the drinks that are expensive or is the food expensive too? My son could eat for the Scottish rugby team!