One of the hippest hotels we have visited in Sharm el Sheikh, the Bay View is definitely one for the under 30s or those young at heart. The emphasis here is on good times and partying so if you're coming away for a quiet time, you'd probably do best to look elsewhere. The hotel's infrastructure is modest, although this is of little importance to those who come to see a good time and also to those who stay to make use of one of the best diving centres in Sharm.
The Bay View is to be found at the southern end of Naama Bay, minutes' walk from the tourist centre's main thoroughfare. The airport is just a 15 minute ride away as in the neighbouring zone of Hadaba, with Shark's Bay even closer. The hotel's two beaches are each just a short stroll away.
The hotel is particularly popular with British and Russian guests looking to let themselves go and have a good time. Most of the activities organised by the hotel target the 18-30 crowd and so involve drinking and are often quite noisy. If you have young children or you are not the party type then perhaps the Bay View is not for you.
The hotel's 90 rooms are distributed over three floors, each one having a different colour scheme (red, yellow or turquoise). All the rooms are decorated and appointed in a similar way, with just the colour, size and a few details changing each time. Standard rooms (which can be single, double or triple) are generous in size and are simply furnished with a dresser and bedside table. The attractive lamps, the bed throw, the rug and the curtains all run along the same colour theme and the jaunty angle at which the bed sheets are prepared give the room a touch of originality so lacking in the rest of Sharm. The bathrooms are basic with no toiletries and just a small shower cubical to one corner (although some do have a larger stone shower). Superior rooms are larger and have a walk-in closet and a table and chairs with a hairdryer in the bathroom. Each room has a different retro telephone from the 1970s however none have terraces or balconies.
Access to the hotel is via the main street of Naama Bay and then down along King Abdullah Street just past a couple of other hotels. There is a large area in front of the hotel with seating and a fountain as well as the hotel's only shop selling snacks, beach supplies and souvenirs. The low-ceilinged lobby pays tribute to North African craftsmanship with a mix of styles of furniture, lamps, wall hangings and objets d'art. It is a cosy, homely space with the reception on the right as you walk in and the bar directly across from the entrance. Safe boxes are available at the reception (none in the rooms) and there are a couple of PCs in one corner for surfing the net (25EGP for 30 mins, although wifi is free of charge). If you fancy getting stuck into a book then just help yourself from the range of titles just next to the computers. The hotel has just one swimming pool which is surrounded on all four sides meaning the sun disappears prematurely each day. There aren't too many loungers around the pool (largely because most people are on the beach or diving) but they do have a few wonderful cabanas allowing you to drift off to sleep in the warm weather (and to the chill out music diffused at a reasonable level) without fear of getting burnt. If you wake up feeling all stiff then just a few feet away is a massage table to loosen you all up. Both a kids pool and a diving pool are situated just close to the main pool. The hotel has neither a wellness/fitness centre, but it does organise activities for guests every day except Sunday which take place at different venues around the hotel or Naama Bay and could be karaoke, a disco, salsa or bar crawls-it all depends on the group of guests. A cash machine is available to guests and, if need be, a clinic too, shared with a neighbouring hotel. The property is not huge by any means and feels a lot more personable than most others. The public spaces are pleasant and clean and there's a positive feeling all round.
The one and only restaurant of the hotel is open for breakfast and dinner only and serves both an international buffet on a two-week cycle and an à la carte menu on an all inclusive basis. At lunchtime meals can be taken at the bar and restaurant of the Viva beach or Wind beach. Given the hotel's clientele, you won't be surprised to hear that there is twice the number of bars as there are restaurants! The lobby has a bar in one of its corners and the pool is also served by a bar which serves snack items as well. The English pub on the first floor of the hotel is open from 3pm to 2am and there were plans when we visited to have installed a pool table, Play station and Wii. But perhaps the best place to relax with a drink in hand is the ultra cool Sutra rooftop bar which is open from 7pm to 2am and which has a magnificent panoramic view of Sharm el Sheikh. It boasts long seating booths with cushions and fantastically original wicker armchairs with circular designs and matching tables. It is the perfect setting to listen to some chill out music over the professional sound system, looking out over the sea, all while smoking a shisha pipe.
The Bay View gives its guests the choice of two beaches, one next to the other. Viva beach, which has its own restaurant and bar serving both a seafood and an Italian menu in an agreeable al fresco setting, offers a wide range of water sports and diving courses, as does its neighbour, Wind beach. This latter, which also has its own restaurant and trendy bar, is quite tightly packed with loungers. Being next to one another, they share the same good quality sand, great diving opportunities and view of the bay.
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location
flights June : average price