• SONESTA BEACH RESORT HOLIDAY REVIEWS

Sonesta Beach Resort, Taba Heights
Located on a beautiful beach in a tranquil setting, the Sonesta Beach Resort in Taba Heights is north of Nuweiba, at the top of the Sinai peninsula. This is a spectacular 5-star facility, offering such amenities and services as on-site restaurants, bars, evening entertainment, large freshwater swimming pools, a health club, a gymnasium, and sportsmore
Brilliant! - Steve and Mandy Whitmarsh. Date of travel: Oct 2007
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After reading the reviews about the Sonesta Beach Hotel I was a bit worried about going but I needn't have worried. We have just come back and had an amazing experience there. We are a family of 5 (kids 15, 13, and 11) and can't wait to book and go back. The hotel and rooms are very clean. The staff are amazing and can't do enough for you. The food is not bad but to be honest everyone we spoke to who had gone to other hotels and parts of Egypt said it was the same as they had experienced elsewhere. There is a lot of choice, lots of chicken and beef, salads etc. My husband is a vegetarian and he did struggle a little bit but there was always soup. My kids thought the food was great. Lots of choice of puddings. I ate fresh fruit salad most days and that was lovely. Breakfast was great. Had a chef that would cook you any egg dish you wanted (fried eggs etc). The pool was lovely. Animation team great. Lots of things going on throughout the day such as water polo, volleyball, water exercise, football on the beach. The kids just loved the three young men that arranged it all. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Entertainment every night. When you get there your rep will try and sell you every trip going saying that it's safer to book it all through them. This is rubbish. They just want the commission. We booked all our trips through the young men that sit at tables around the lobby who were very friendly and saved us lots of money. We were advised not to use the padi diving school that is situated at the hotel and to use a 5* one they would take you to. Again it was a lot more money. My husband used the one on site and it was fantastic. If you want to go quad biking make sure you go for 2 hours and not 1 as you don't have enough time. This was brilliant and my boys had a fantastic time. The piano bar is a lovely place to have a drink in the evening and you can use your all inclusive package in there. We'll definitely be back.
An honest review - Schoracod. Date of travel: Jun 2007
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Weíve just returned from Taba, Egyptís newest resort. We stayed at the self-proclaimed, 5 star Sonesta Beach Resort, booked through Thomson Holidays. Most of the reviews I read prior to my vacation stated clean rooms, over attentive and extremely friendly staff, fantastic weather, fantastic origami towel creations, and spectacular poolside views of the mountain scape. I totally agree with all of these points! Weíd mentioned on booking that this was our honeymoon (donít get me wrong, I wasnít looking for freebies, they just asked me the reason for our trip) and on arrival an unexpected gift of a plate of fruit was presented in our room. Two bruised apples and a few apricots covered in Clingfilm - how nice! On arrival, youíll be given a tag to wear on your wrist at all times, this not only shows that youíre full board but also indicates to the staff the ability of each tourist to communicate; pink is full English speaking, light blue is some English and dark blue is none. I have no problems with this system but I do think that the staff should also wear the light blue and dark blue tags, especially on the front desk. It was very frustrating that any simple request resulted in misunderstanding, most exchanges had to be repeated to at least 2 additional members of staff before a manager was called out to be just as confused. The beach is approximately 200 metres long and has plenty of sun beds and parasols, however, high season you will definitely have to play the ďreserve the bed with the towel gameĒ. The texture and colour of the sand isnít in the same quality as say the idyllic soft golden sands of the Bahamas or the Maldives but to make this a point of complaint would be silly. This beach area is sandwiched between what looks like the local fly tipping areas. So as long as you keep your head pointing north towards the sea, youíll be all right. Both these dumping areas have rudimentary huge unfinished concrete eye saw structures on them. You won't have to worry about the noise of heavy equipment completing these neighbouring resorts because like approximately 200 other Taba construction sites dotted along the coast, they have been abandoned for many years and left to spoil the scenery. The snorkelling at the beach is okay, I concur with other reviewers that there are adequate amounts of small fish to see, however, my stay at the Hilton Sharks Bay in Sharm El Sheik, the previous year was stunning in comparison. The waters there were calmer due to the amount of coral and the size and colours of the fish were out of this world so I was a little disappointed. Because of the low cost for staying at this resort and the bemusing 5 star rating, approximately 60% of the guests were the tattoo and tracksuit brigade, the average restaurant attire was football shorts and t-shirt (they would be topless if they could). The entertainment round the pool seemed to cater for this crowd. If you donít like the Butlins type entertainment and dislike cheesy loud music then I suggest the beach or the quieter pool at the front of the resort. If you do decide to spend the days down at the beach to relax, then you may get frustrated with the sporadic interruptions of staff trying to sell you things such as; excursions, massages, henna tattoo, pool activities, diving, etc. And if youíre not being sold to then you may encounter the mischievous pool boys who like to wake you up and get your attention especially if you are female. The location of the resort as with all of the resorts in Taba is fantastic if you are planning to visit Jordan or other areas of Egypt. The excursions were mostly what I had expected. On arrival, foolishly, I booked all my trips through Thompson. They get you as soon as you arrive, with a casual, friendly, smiling sales pitch. You will be able to book any of these trips through the hotel, saving you a lot of money and providing you exactly the same trip. Or you can book them online before you go and save even more money going directly to the companies that do the actual trips and cut the pointless middleman (Thomson) out. The quad bikes were great fun although I do think that Thomsons must have a special licence for creativity regarding the info on some of their excursions. Donít look forward too much to the authentic Bedouin drinks and snacks during the quad biking; some tea and at the most 3 wagon wheel size, very thin, very hard, plain pita bread, thatís it. Lucky I wasnít hungry or that my taste buds needed any stimulation! The Red Sea Cruise was also a great trip with good hosts and good food with freshly made warm pita bread (you will find pita bread and fresh bread almost everywhere except at Sonesta Beach resort) and I truly recommend this trip. Petra was fantastic and if you wish to see what an authentic 4/5 star hotel is like, included was lunch at the Movenpick. The Movenpick will serve fantastic, authentic Egyptian cuisine, exactly what you are probably expecting throughout your entire stay. But I advise you not to eat there, this will only highlight the rubbish that they serve up at The Sonesta Beach Resort. And finally the worst part of our holiday, the food! We paid the all-inclusive package, this included the local beer, wine, soft drinks and local spirits. There were no cocktails available and ice cream was limited to a choice of two flavours, no ice lollies either (at other resorts these are on offer). You were given one bottle of water when you arrived and had to keep filling it up from one of the three water dispensers on site (one of which was always at room temperature). The spirits are pretty foul, medicinal and chemical tasting as well as the local wines tasting of vinegar, beer, Stella (not Artois) was probably the safest option, itís a lager and not bad and in case you just want to slurp on one of their many juices, youíll only be disappointed that they are really only the equivalent to our squash. The inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner was of a really poor quality. Under cooked omelettes, tasteless salads, gristly chicken, over cooked tough dry meats, at least we think it was meat, what kind though we couldnít tell you, soggy vegetables, yuck! My wife is a vegetarian and ate a diet of chips, stale bread roles and rice for the entire stay. After the second day we decided to try out one of the three a la carte restaurants, which you have to pay for. The Scalini, Italian, was ok, but donít try the pizza as the dough is sweet and undercooked. Next we tried the fish restaurant, Blue Fish, we couldnít eat our starters or our main course, under cooked fish that smelt like it had been caught months ago, and gritty soup. I was ill for 3 days of the trip with the worst stomach Iíve ever experienced in my life. As a result I had to cancel a diving trip Iíd booked through the Thompson rep. I was told by the rep that I wouldnít get any of my £60 back because I cancelled on the day (they didnít take into consideration that I had already handed them over £700 for excursions and also the total amount that I paid them for my holiday). The only way I would get refunded was if I saw the local doctor and got him to give me a doctors note, the doctor by the way charges £30-£40 for call out charge plus the price of medication on top!! I was extremely upset with Thompson and wanted to cancel all the trips as I was unsure whether I would be able to go on any of them being ill and didnít want to lose all my money. I was told that if I cancelled all the trips I would only receive some of the money back. If you are going to book any trips through your rep, make sure you get to see a copy of the cancellation terms and conditions before hand, as this was only produced to us once we cancelled. I would definitely recommend Taba to anyone as it has the most amazing views, but would avoid this particular resort. Many guests that we came in contact with said that they had had very bad stomach problems that they thought was due to the poor standard of food. I must add, that the menís toilets absolutely stank all the time. If you are going to stay in Taba, make sure you stay in Taba Heights as there is a supermarket, chemist and lots of different restaurants to choose from. I would also recommend you stay with a well known chain such as The Marriott or The Radisson, as we heard some good reviews from people that were staying there. Good luck!
First Choice is really our LAST choice!! - Karin & Marcus Raath. Date of travel: Jan 2006
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We went to Taba, Sonesta Beach Resort, in Egypt. We travelled with First Choice holidays and after this holiday, First Choice is really our LAST choice!! The hotel was described as 5 star and that all-inclusive included diving, massage, table tennis, tennis, etc. Nothing was included and all was very expensive! (Alot of the equipment was broken) We even had to pay for a game of pool or tennis. The beach was not a real beach (created with river sand), there was very loud annoying music playing the WHOLE time. We were first placed in a room next to the kitchen and staff rooms and were only moved after we complained about not being able to close an eye because of the noise (24/7!!). I got sick from the food, I was very sick for 2 days and could not even get rehidrate or medicine from anyone at the hotel (5star!!!!!) or anyone from First Choice!! The resort were advertised as warm throughout the year (25-30 degrees celsius), it was 8 degrees celsius for our whole holiday (and that was a normal temperature for January). The coffee was the worst I have ever tasted. There was no ATM at the hotel (again, it was advertised that there was an ATM at the hotel!!). We nearly got kidnapped on our way to the ATM (in the next TOWN). When we mentioned to the First Choice lady that it was advertised all-inclusive (including diving etc.) she just said, sorry they made a printing mistake on their brochures and on the internet!! No compensation or appology what so ever from their side! First Choice organised a trip to Jordan, everyone was in the foyer from 6am, First Choice did not even bother to tell the people that the trip was cancelled due to security reasons. People were waiting in the foyer till after 8!! It was a 5 hour flight from the UK, (out of the 22 airlines I've travelled on, First Choice is BY FAR the worst!!) We were not even offered WATER to drink, fortunately we had some cash on us to buy water with!! The diving was really amazing, apart from the fact that the water was freezing and filled with lion fish. There was one in about every square meter. Apparently if you get stung by one of these, you have about 30 minutes to live unless you get the antidote, which the 5 star hotel does not even have. Closest antidote is in Israel, more than 30 mins drive!! We went to Israel on our own expense, what an amazing 3 days we had there!!! We stayed in the Ostrian Hospice, what an amazing hotel! I think it was a 3 star, but far better than the 5 star in Egypt!! Tour Operator: First Choice
 
Hotels in Taba Heights User Rating
5-Star Hotels
Sonesta Beach Resort | * * * * * |
Radisson SAS Hotel | * * * * * |
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