Hi Hubert, as promised this morning, here is my report about our visit to El Gouna.
We Stayed at the Sheraton Mirmar and loved it! Our expectations were immediately exceeded the moment we stepped through the door of our room. We had been allocated a huge room with a king sized bed. The room had a domed ceiling which was about 18 ft high, so even though we had a very good air con unit, it was always comfortable in the room. We had our own terrace with sunbeds, overlooking the lagoon, which got the sun most of the day. The bathroom was a good size with a large shower. Our room was in a great position – close to the pool, the beach and the main hotel bar/restaurant, but far enough away not to be overlooked or to hear noise.
The hotel itself is run so efficently. It is kept spotless, and the staff are the most polite, friendly people that I have ever met whilst on holiday. For the waiters at breakfast, the pool entertainment staff, the gardeners, the maintenance people, the reception staff etc, I have nothing but praise.
We booked on a bed and breakfast basis and were happy with our choice, as the restaurants at the marina were of a very high standard, particularly La Scala, Le Deauville (both have European chefs) and Bleu Bleu. The marina was, in my opinion, a more upmarket place to eat than the downtown area, though I can recommend Jobo’s in the Tamr Henna area of downtown for a good meal on a budget.
A meal at one of the nicer restauarants (eg Le Deauville) would cost about £6 pounds for a fillet steak. Please note that the Egyptian wines are quite raw, and though I am not a wine snob (I do like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Shiraz and do not usually pay more than a fiver for a bottle over here or £10/£12 in a restaurant) I found them quite undrinkable. The Egyptian bottled beer (Stella – not the European Stella!! – and Sakara is quite nice though. The only restaurant that I would not recommend is the Steakhouse – awful!
My partner and I came here to enjoy a relaxing holiday where he could do some diving and I could top up my tan and maybe get a bit of culture.
He rated the PADI diving centre at the hotel very highly. He completed his Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Nitrox courses here at approx 60% of the price in the UK. He swam with dolphins, dived two wrecks and raved about the fish and coral.
I went out with him on a dive boat and discovered snorkelling while he dived (I am talking about me who doesn’t even like getting my face wet and has a morbid fear of getting water up my nose). Thanks to the boats captain who insisted I go and see his Red Sea and held onto me for 40 minutes, while he showed me the some of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. When I got back to the hotel, I went to the shop and bough a snorkel and mask, practiced in the pool and a couple of days later went out on a snorkelling trip. The guide said that it was the first time he had ever seen anyone go snorkelling holding a big yellow lilo, but hey..I snorkelled!!!!
Did the trip to Luxor on a coach, well worth getting up early morning for……can’t describe it, you need to see it for yourself.
And I could go on and on….
We came back, after 14 days had flown by, on the 22/4/05 and within 5 days we have booked to go back again next year for another two weeks, this time to see Cairo and do more snorkelling. I did speak to a friend who went to Sharm at the same time as us, with a view to going there next year. She said it was like Blackpool and she would only stay for a week if she went again, so we’re sticking to what we liked.
If you have any questions on the hotel or the resort, I will be very happy to answer them if I can.
[email protected], Carol from Manchester, England