Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sharm-el-Sheikh - The stay

Almost all well known hotel chains are present in Sharm. We wanted to stay at either the Hyatt or Sheraton but they were completely booked. I believe that Sharm starts getting booked from Jan end onwards and during the peak season, its almost impossible to find a place to stay...

We finally stayed at a resort called Maritim Jolie Villie Golf & Resort (the erstwhile Movenpick) as it came highly recommended by some friends.

And I must say, it did not dissapoint!! At around LE 500 a night, the rooms were large, cottage style, right next to the pool (thank goodness! It kept the kids occupied)

Stay in the Royal Wing. While its a bit of a trek to the main lobby, golf carts are available to ferry you around. The rooms, as well as the bathrooms, are new and really large. Each has a little sit-out with cane chairs and a table, making for wonderful tea time relaxation. We would sit there having tea, while our kids ran amock in the garden.

One catch is that the resort is far away from N'ama Bay, if you're big on the night life (but to me it was a bonus being away from the crowds). For that you need to have your own transport or you can catch a cab or ask the hotel for a taxi. A hotel limo will cost you around LE 60 to N'ama Bay while a regular cab would be around LE 40. Before you wrinkle your nose and say "cab!", let me tell you that the cabs in Sharm are very different from the old beat-up black and white cabs that you see in Cairo. These are swanky Toyotas, Lancers, Hyundais etc painted a pleasing white and blue. I believe in the last one year, the Governer ordered all cabs to be changed to brand new ones, so they are a very pleasing and comfortable ride...

In addition to evening entertainment, the pool and great food, the hotel offers a lot of water sports. Oh, there are some lovely water slides that both you and your kids will absolutely love, and, will keep the kids entertained for a really long time! The hotel also offers a Snoopy Club to keep the children occupied..

The only other catch is the beach, if you have kids. Cos the beach is not a sandy beach where the kids can play and make sand castles. Its a rocky edge to the sea, which on the other hand, is great if you're into snorkelling. The access to the water is a bit tedious, as you need to climb down to get to the water, but once you're there, the water is a delight. Its a gorgeous ink blue and you can see the corals, and, myriad coloured fish swimming in the water. My son was really excited at the number of jellyfishes that he saw! You can spend hours in the water marvelling at the wonderous colours that nature has bestowed on these sea creatures.. its almost like you were given a blank page and allowed to let your imagination run wild with the colours that you could use.... the added bonus being that its NOT crowded like the other beaches and you're not jostling for space...

Which reminds me.. all hotels offer a glass bottom boat ride which you must do. At approx $15 per head for a one hour ride, its definately worth a one time do. The fish and the coral that you will see are breathtaking! My kid went berserk shooting with his camera and just could not get over the colours that he saw in the fish. Its truly an awesome experience for the young ones...


Joanne said...

I am sitting here in my cozy lounge while there is a Storm raging outside,reading and enjoying your blog (the Egypt part)Thank you for your detailed description of your trip to Sharm the drive sounds wonderful !I would love to go there one day I have only been twice to Cairo I never stop longing to go back especially when I read about it

Right now Cairo is in the news because of the rock slide off the Muqattam hills
I drove through Manshiyet Nasser to see the Monastery of St. Simian the Tanner, when things are save again you must go and see this site ( and blog about it please ) Its not to be missed
I took this photo

and here its how to get there

Manisha said...

Joanne, thank you and I am glad you enjoyed reading it...the drive to Sharm is indeed beautiful, more so for its desolate, brooding starkness, and, never ceases to fascinate me..so we end up driving down (6 hrs) even if we are going for 3 days!

Have been to the Simon Muqattam church, and its beautiful..did write about it but I think ommitted to post it...thanks for reminding me, shall post it now!

The photographs have captured the place very eloquently.

The frescos / carvings on the wall are really beautiful aren't they? And its amazing that you go through the garbage city and suddenly step into this haven of peace and serenity...agree with you, its a must see and experience....