Written on: 10/05/2005 by adz1478 (1 review written)
Food was good
Long wade to reef
Probably 4 star +, not 5
Entertainment in italian
Returned from Hostmark Oriental Hotel yesterday (9th May 2005). I have stayed in Egypt on 4 previous occasions and am finding it difficult to fault the hotel in general, considering other reviews and the amount we paid.
Weather was great, and our room was excellent. A good size which easily accommodated a king size bed and a sofa bed. There are fridges and TV's in each room and the air conditioning appears brand new.
The restaurant staff were very helpful (especially GIMAI our waiter), but order your drinks early as they can take a little time to come. The food was generally good and consisted of different types of beef, chicken, rice, potatoes and a good selection of salads and vegetables. The chefs also made omelettes for you and pancakes at your request. The sweets were excellent and highly recommended.
The all inclusive is great value, just make sure that what you want is included first, mainly all the local beer, soft drinks and spirits were flowing aplenty.
The pit stop is the inside bars were all of the football and sport is shown. This will cost you 15 LE (£1.50) to get in and includes 1 free drink. Not bad if you want to watch the game, but a bit cheeky if you are all inclusive.
The taxis are the biggest rip-off merchants you will ever come across. Do not order one from the hotel, walk the 100 metres to the road and get a taxi for half the price. petrol over there is 9p a litre and they will try and charge you £10 to get to and from Naama Bay. We were paying about £4 for 9 of us in one of the mini buses which was OK. Two of the normal taxis would have cost us more. This brings me nicely on to the next point, the driving. OH MY GOD, where is Richard Brunstrom when you need him, they drive like absolute lunatics. It is not uncommon for them to be 4 abreast in a dual carriageway doing about 60 mph. I say about, because none of the speedos work in the 30 year old Peugeots they all drive. There are no seat belts and they rarely use lights. If they are trying to rip you off - as they will - walk away, they will soon offer you half the amount and drop even more. Once they have you in the car they will try and talk it up again, but stick to your guns and they will relent.
The locals are very friendly and they love kids. In the town, airport, and toilets will all try to get money from you. There is no pride amongst these people, they are beggars and will all but pull you into the shops. Again be assertive. This behaviour is not allowed in the hotel and staff are sacked on the spot following complaints. However, this is were you can tip if you wish, for example the guy in the towel hut gets paid £12.50 per week, but was so friendly we didn't mind tipping. This is how he supports his family in Cairo. Tips over there indicate that people are happy with there service and is at your discretion. It is not expected, however the smile is worth a few LE.
The distance from Naama Bay is about 15 minutes on PEACE road or the Sharm race track. If you can take your eyes off the impending accident ahead, the drive has the Sinai desert on one side and the red sea on the other and is quite magnificent
The pool and facilities for the hotel are great. It does smell a little when they water the gardens but the lushness of the grass and palms is well worth it
The trips are brilliant, the quads was the best by a mile and highly recommended. Take sunglasses and maybe something to cover your mouth due to the sand/dust coming from the quad in front.
The national go-kart track is in sharm, right by the airport and is well worth a go
The dolphin swimming is amazing to do, but I have to say the pool is far too small and a bit upsetting to see these magnificent creatures cooped up like they are.
For the first time I have had no dodgy guts. I believe the hotel has a water purifying system. I still only drank bottled water, but for cooking etc. it works great
The diving is some of the best in the world. On my second dive I dived with a juvenile Manta Ray witch was happily swimming along by white knights and stayed with us for 15 minutes. One of the best experiences of my life. The colours of the fish and the sheer size is awesome. I have dived all over the world, Seychelles, Cancun etc. but keep coming back here as it is that good
The health club in the hotel is very, very good. All modern equipment, 2 squash courts, table tennis etc. There is a football pitch. basketball etc but take your trainers because it is not on sand more like a gravely surface with hard bits
To snorkel here is quite a walk as the jetty has collapsed. The hotel next doors is OK and allows you to walk out to the coral. The thermoclines in the water are amazing. In places it is like a hot bath. The fish are very attentive and you will be swarmed if you take some bread for them. We saw baby barracuda eggs being laid and the rest of the area is aquarium like in its diversity and visibility. The currents were slack when we went, but be careful of going too far out as the straits of Tiran is known for its drift dives.
All in all, a great hotel. There were probably as many Italians as British and the majority of evening entertainment was Italian. The only other point about Italians is that they queue like they dive
Would I go to this hotel again? For £370 all inclusive, definitely!!