Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..
Senior retail consultant at our Thorpe travel agents in Norwich, Kerry Sabberton, travelled to Egypt for four nights. Her trip included visits to a variety of different Hilton hotels and much more besides…
(Hotel names/Ship name): Hilton Dahab, Hilton Sharks Bay, Hilton Dreams Bay hotel
Duration: 4 nights
We all met at Heathrow, Terminal 3 and got checked in for our Egyptair flight to Sharm El Sheikh via Cairo. After an easy check-in, we ventured to the airport lounge which was very nice; loads to eat and drink and a great way to start the trip and meet everyone.
Air Egypt is a dry airline, however, they do allow you to buy your own drink from duty-free and drink it on board. After spending two hours sitting on the tarmac this seems like a good idea!
When we finally arrived at Cairo airport, they had thankfully held our connecting flight to Sharm El Sheikh and, even though we arrived into Sharm safely, unfortunately, our luggage didn’t have the same safe journey!!
We were met by our escorts for the trip and transferred to the Hilton Dahab where we arrived at 4am. We were met with a refreshing drink and a promise that our luggage would arrive on the next flight and in the meantime we were given an emergency pack with toothbrush, toothpaste and a pair of flip flops!
We were all up bright and early the next day, so met for breakfast at the hotel. After which, our luggage arrived so we could finally get changed in time for a look around the hotel. The Hilton Dahab is set out nicely with white blocks of 5 rooms all set out around a feature of a large lagoon, which may look very inviting, but is not to be used as the pool! Each room has a large terrace or balcony, with its own large hammock and spacious interior; the only negative comment is the bathrooms could do with being updated.
We then went next door to the Coralia Club Hotel for an inspection and a wonderful lunch. We were greeted by the hotel manager who gave us the tour. The Hotel was lovely; the rooms were bright and cheery and all have their own quirky setup. The bathrooms have separate showers and a big double-sided copper sink with mirrors on both sides.
We were then transferred onto our third hotel tour of the day at the Mercure Dahab Bay View. First impressions of this hotel were that it has the wow factor. It is set on split levels, offers fantastic views of the ocean and the accommodation is also split with the superior rooms up at the top with their own private pool area. While it is clearly a stunning property, I think we only saw around 20 guests whilst we were there, so it seemed as if we had the place to ourselves. This can help to create the perfect holiday for some but, for others, it may seem a bit strange.
We then transferred back to the Hilton Dahab and went for a walk along the beach to one of the bars to watch the sunset, which was stunning. After a few drinks, we all got ready and met in the restaurant for dinner; a BBQ was put on with all the trimmings! We were then taken to a bar in Dahab town called the Tree Bar where we danced the night away.
The next morning, we had a bit of free time and there were a few options for us to choose from. These included: a strenuous bike ride into the hills, which made up the backdrop to the hotels, a windsurfing lesson or the chance to just lay by the pool and relax. A few of us decided windsurfing was the way to go as Dahab is quite windy and a great place to learn. A special thanks goes out to Andrea (Travel Cube), the guys from the Coralia Hotel and Neilson as they provided a 2-hour lesson free of charge! After catching our breath from windsurfing, we all met at the Seafood restaurant at the Hilton Dahab Hotel and had an amazing lunch.
We then transferred to the Hilton Sharks Bay in Sharm El sheikh, where we were met by the hotel manager and all the heads of departments. Canapés, sushi and cocktails were brought round while we were told a bit about the hotel. All the deluxe rooms are situated in the newest building and all other room types are on the other side of the resort. There are two buses that travel in a constant loop between the two areas, so you can easily use the facilities at both parts.
We checked into our rooms and had a few hours of free time to get settled and ready for our evening meal. The rooms here were the best we stayed in; they were very spacious and well set out, and the bathrooms were very large with separate rainforest showers and twin sinks. This was my favourite hotel by far.
After another lovely meal under the stars, we took a slow 10-minute wander to Soho Square. This is a great selling point for this hotel as it is very new, with marble floors, a few boutique shops and some nice restaurants, bars and clubs. There is a colourful water fountain display that dances in time with the music and you can sit and watch from all the bars; a very relaxing place to spend an evening. We were taken to the Ice Bar where you have to put on fur coats and ski gloves and even the glasses are made out of ice! We found out that Kiss FM were in one of the clubs in Soho Square so off we went for another night of dancing!
The following morning, on our last full day in Egypt, we were joined by the hotel manager for breakfast. And after a quick thank you to all the wonderful staff, we were taken to our private yacht where we were spending the day! We travelled to an island about an hour from the mainland and those that wanted to were taken out scuba diving over the reef.
We then had lunch on board while we were taken to another part of the island where, with the shallow waters, sand banks and turquoise blue sea, we could’ve easily been in the Maldives. A speedboat took us to one of the sand banks, where we spent a good hour on the bank playing games and exploring the wildlife that seemed very interested in us! After a wonderful and relaxing day and as the sun set, we made our way back to the mainland. However, the beautiful sky was not the main attraction, as we had 9 dolphins join us and swim alongside the boat all the way back to shore.
We then made our way to the Hilton Dreams Bay hotel in Na’ama Bay, where we checked in and got ready to be taken to the Tropicana Grand Azure for our evening meal. This is a very large resort and was full; a bit too big for my personal taste but a stunning resort so I can see why it is so popular! After our meal, we were taken to Little Buddha Bar where we had our very own VIP section. A few drinks later, a few of us went on to Pacha night club, which has the added bonus of being an open air venue. The atmosphere was fantastic and we enjoyed another evening dancing the night away!
After an inspection of the Hilton Dreams the next morning, we walked over the road to the Hilton Fayrouz, where we were met again by hotel management, local musicians and dancers who took us to have breakfast at the hotel. This hotel is quiet compared to the rest and most of the rooms are set out like bungalows amongst pretty gardens; perfect for people looking for a quieter holiday.
We then travelled to the Hilton Waterfalls Hotel for an inspection and lunch. This hotel is set on a steep incline, but there is a monorail that runs regularly up and down. However, on the day we were there it was closed for maintenance, which would cause problems for anyone who has any walking disabilities. After a quick lunch, it was time to go back to the Dreams, grab our luggage and check-out to make our way to the airport.
It was a teary goodbye to the people who took such great care of us and as a leaving present, they gave us all a DVD of our day on the Yacht, a t-shirt and some other mementoes.
On the flight home, I and three others were lucky enough to get upgraded to Business Class, which was very good. After another very emotional goodbye to everyone on the trip, we all went our separate ways.
I would like to say a very big ‘Thank You’ to Steve and Louise for giving me the opportunity to fall in love with Egypt and another big ‘Thank You’ to Andrea and Anna from Travel Cube, Laura and the guys from GTA and everyone who was on the trip for such a wonderful and memorable time.
Must see? A beautiful beach sunset
Must do? Dance all night in Soho Square
Must try? Windsurfing
Why not drop into one of our travel stores and book a holiday similar to Kerry’s trip? We have travel agents in Felixstowe, Ipswich, Cambridge airport and many more locations in East Anglia.