Stayed here for two weeks all-inclusive at Christmas and New Year 2006/2007, we being my wife and I, and we picked it as it had very good reviews on Trip Advisor and was very reasonably priced.
Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm is a man made resort on the Red Sea coast and is basically just one straight road in the desert, running parallel with the coast, with the airport in the middle and then many hotels either side of it. The hotels themselves are more like mini resorts than just hotels, and are either on the sea side of the road with sea frontage or the desert side with none but access to a beach over the road. Many of the hotels have more than one pool and some have fun pools with slides and water falls etc., they also have other things going on like zoo’s, casinos, shopping centres etc.. They all seem to have multiple resturaunts and bars which is obviously very good if you are on an all-inclusive as most people in Sharm seem to be.
The airport is quite well organised and your hotel will only be about 20 minutes from the airport at the most on the main road which is actually very good as it is quite new. All the drivers are completely mad though so be warned you will be in for a frightening journey.
There is not a great deal to see in Sharm itself as it is just desert with a load of hotels built on it but there are the obvious sights to go and see like the pyramids which you can get an internal flight to if you fancy basing yourself in Sharm. What Sharm is really good for, being on the Red Sea coast is snorkeling and diving, and if you are into this then it really is the place for you.
Nama Bay is the main town in Sharm El Sheikh and is a pretty good night out to be honest if you don’t mind paying to go out from your all-inclusive, and has loads of bars and restaurants, including a Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Fridays, as well as plenty of shops which seem to be as good as 24 hour. The Hauza Beach Resort is about six or seven kilometers from Nama Bay and the hotel puts on a return shuttle bus service for about 1 each or you can get a taxi for about 5 each way.
Old Sharm is another town in Sharm El Sheikh and is not that far from Nama Bay really this also has lots of shops and bars and restaurants but the shops are a bit better and quite a bit cheaper than Nama Bay and also it is a lot quieter and you don’t seem to get hassled as much.
The Hauza Beach Resort Hotel In General
Th e Hauza Beach Resort Hotel, as I said earlier is about six or seven kilometers from the main town Nama Bay and about three or four from the airport, making for a really quick airport transfer, and has two pools, three main restaurants, four bars and a zoo. It is quite a large resort and is on the sea side of the road so has a beach and sea frontage, when we were there there was also a Bedoin tent on the beach for special nights like Christmas eve and new years eve, I don’t know if this is up all the time or just Christmas though. There are water sports on the beach, non-motorised ones are included in your all-inclusive and motorised ones are payable. There is a dive shcoll on site if that is your thing and a jetty to get you out past the coral for snorkeling if that is.
We had a standard room with queen size bed but there are also twin rooms, twin and queen suites and ‘family units’ the latter having two bedrooms and a lounge area I believe. All rooms have their own private balcony or terrace and decent views they claim, we had a sea view, they also all have air conditioning, television with 28 satellite channels, bathroom with hairdryer and mini fridge which is stocked daily with water and fruit drinks.
The room we had was very spacious and had a queen size bed, we also had a nice balcony with sea view and the bathroom was very nice and quite modern, with a bath with shower over, sink, toilet and bidet. The bed was extremely comfortable and the room was tastefully decorated with a tiled floor, it was very comfortable.
Food And Drink
The food at The Hauza Beach Resort was absolutely fantastic, we have stayed at quite a few all-inclusives now and this was one of the best for the food. The main buffet restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner was excellent and offered plenty of choice, including lots of sea food, a pasta station where you ordered what you fancied and watched them cook it for you, loads of different meat, pizza, fruit, stews etc.. There was also a BBQ on outside the main restaurant every night with something different every night, including home made burgers one night, kebabs, Steak, chicken and everything off the bbq was really good. At breakfast there was all the usual breakfast type food like cereal, fruit, toast, eggs, bacon (but not proper bacon as they don’t have pork) etc..
There was also the Tirana restaurant which overlooked the sea and served seafood, this was open for lunch and dinner, we ate her twice and you needed a reservation, it was also very good, although to be quite honest there was much more choice in the main restaurant and they also had most of the seafood that was served here, although it was table service at the Tirana, whereas the main restaurant was self service. Then there is the Al – Jazeerah restaurant which is far eastern and Indian cuisine, we actually never got around to eating hear but we did meat a few people who did and raved about it, I think we just decided we were happy with the choice in the main restaurant and couldn’t be bothered to go elsewhere, we also thought the BBQ was excellent so that swayed us a bit really.
There was also a snack bar serving burgers and that kind of thing and a pizza place down on the beach with a proper pizza oven. This was fantastic and we had lunch here most days, you had to queue up and then the chef would press out a pizza base for you from a dough ball and ask you what you wanted on your pizza then he would cook it while you waited. These pizzas where lovely and the little man who made them was a right character also making us laugh every day.
Everything about the food stations is very clean and we had heard of problems with getting the runs etc. in Sharm but we had no problems at The Hauza Beach Resort, so the staff are obviously observing the hygiene rules.
So with the food being so good we were hoping that the drink would be as good and we had been told that the lager they have was Stella, so we assumed that everything would be fine is this department, however we were very disappointed. If you like your drink on holiday, one of these resorts might not be for you. The lager was called Stella, but it certainly wasn’t Stella Artois, it was just about drinkable but left a horrible after taste. The wine was undrinkable, and there were six spirits; vodka, gin, brandy, white rum, dark rum and whisky all were in the same type of bottle and wern’t very good, the vodka was probably the best of a bad bunch. If you go into Nama Bay you can get any drink possible though so we did this a few times just to have a decent drink, but it annoyed me slightly that we were effectively paying twice for our drinks. The soft drinks were ok I suppose.
As I mentioned earlier there are two pools at this hotel, the first one is just a normal pool quite large and with a separate area for children. There is a pool bar and snack bar nearby and sun beds all around. The second pool is a fun pool and is split into five sections at different heights connected by water falls and slides, with bridges over and also there was a big hot tub at the top. This was quite good fun to go and have a hour on some days however the water was extremely cold when we were there (Christmas and new year) but this kept people out a bit so you did not have to queue as much if you didn’t mind braving the cold!
The zoo had quite a range of animals in it and we used to walk down to it most mornings and see them. The best for us were the monkeys as there were three baby ones there when we were there and they were really cute. You could pay extra and have a tea party with the monkeys if you liked but we, regrettably never got around to this. The only problem with the zoo was that the animals didn’t have as much room as they might have in English zoos and you couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for some of them, however to be honest they all seemed well fed and happy enough.
The staff at The Houza Beach Resort were brilliant, especially the bar and waiting staff. They all work really hard and really long shifts for very little money and don’t seem to mind too much, they are very happy and extremely attentive. You seem to get adopted by a waiter within the first few day, ours was called Osama! But not Bin Laden as he kept telling us! He was fantastic, he waited on in the main restaurant but he also was an English teacher and taught the other staff at the hotel English. He decided to teach us some Arabic and soon had us speaking a few words and signing our names in Arabic, he also liked to do little table tricks for us which were very simple but some were quite effective, with other waiters helping him out on some of them. We also had a male room cleaner and he was also very good, he offered to go to the chemist for my wife one day when she wasn’t feeling very good , and one night he took us and another couple out into town. His friend picked us up and took us into town and then we went for dinner at the chinese that Tony Blair likes and he negotiated a discount with the owner on the bill. Then he went around all the shops with us and bartered with the shop keepers for loads of discount, much more than we could have got. He wouldn’t even take any money for any of this and you really had to force a tip on him at the end of the holiday. For me I think the staff at this hotel made the holiday in a lot of respects.
All in all we thought this hotel was fantastic. To be honest I don’t think we will return to Sharm but if we did it would be to The Hauza Beach Resort Hotel, and if you are thinking of going I would definitely recommend it to anyone, couples and families alike. It is a Five star hotel and we paid 2,300 for two weeks all – inclusive for two people. This we thought was very reasonable as we normally spend Christmas and new year in the Caribbean which costs 3,000 to 5,000 depending on where you go and that is normally a four star also. The only problems with Sharm are the drink and there isn’t really much to see unless you want to go on an internal flight to the pyramids at a cost of about 300 per couple. There is the diving of course but that is not my thing unfortunately, however you can still see all the lovely fish from just standing on the jetty as the water is crystal clear and the fish seem to swim near the surface anyway. But as I have already said if you are going go to this hotel, you will like it, I would have rated with five stars for the hotel but Sharm itself knocks it down to a four I’m afraid.