The Oriental Rivoli is without doubt one of the classiest hotels in Sharm el Sheikh. Its sumptuous decoration must be the finest in the resort and all of its services exude quality, from its staff to its food. Best suited for couples or groups of friends, due to its lack of animation or a kids club, it is the perfect place for relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. Recommended whole-heartedly by Easyvoyage!
The hotel is situated along the main road through Naama Bay, close to several other properties. It is several minutes' drive from the tourist centre of the area and just 15 minutes from the airport, with neighbouring Hadaba and Shark's Bay even closer.
The Oriental Rivoli is taking quality to a new level in Sharm. All of its furniture is handmade especially for the hotel and it has had crockery custom made too. They refuse to work on an all inclusive basis, claiming, quite rightly, that this lowers standards. They have managed to attract international brands onto the premises (McDonalds, Starbucks, Claire's Accessories, Body Shop and the soon to be open branch of the Taj Mahal restaurant chain) to compensate for their (modest) distance from the tourist centre of Naama Bay. There is a real sense that they want to be totally different from their competitors and you have to say that it exactly what they are achieving.
The 140 rooms are divided into three categories; comforts, superiors and suites (of which there are only four). Comfort rooms are painted in a warm orange colour with matching curtains and cushions posed on the Moroccan bench in the window alcove. All the rest of the furniture in the room matches this bench, made from dark wooden with beautiful stonework embedded into the doors and facades. The room boasts a modern minibar, flatscreen television and safe. The bathroom features a black marble sink unit, hairdryer and a glass-doored shower cubicle. There are no toiletries in the bathrooms. The superiors are simply outfitted with a desk, cushioned bench against the wall, butler and small coffee table and armchair. The bedding is of a higher quality with a beautiful red and mustard throw and embroidered cushion. The bathroom is much the same as the comfort's, just featuring a larger, marble shower. The big advantage of the superior room is that it has a balcony looking onto the swimming pool. The suites (which each have their own colour scheme) have a separate living area and their decoration is very much in the royal tradition. The bed linen is in tulle and has a delicate flower motif as do the matching pillow cases. The head board is in the Chesterfield style and has a gold frame and finds itself against a stone wall of a mix of colours. With walls painted pink, floral decoration on the white wardrobes and net curtains concealing the salon, it is true to say that the décor may not be to everyone's taste. The salon has a mock antique couch, coffee table and drawers on which is the suite's only television. The bathroom has both a tub and shower unit, a large sink unit and hairdryer. All four of the suites have balconies.
Due to its being flanked by a series of world renowned brands, the hotel looks as though it is part of a strip mall. Luckily though the oversize sign leaves you in no doubt as to where the entrance is. A warm welcome is guaranteed from the staff at the reception desk to your left as you enter to find a high ceilinged lobby with a Noah's Ark mural to the right and a world map above the reception. Mock antique furniture is distributed around the edges of the hall with a lone tall vase in the centre and a chandelier hanging with red crystal drops right above it. The hotel has three swimming pools all of which are impeccably maintained and tranquil. The main pool has a kids area beside it while the Cascade pool, the first to be solar-heated, has a jacuzzi. The third pool, the Oriental, also has a kids pool. Finding a spot to lie in the sun is never a problem, although due to the proximity of the buildings around them, the sun does disappear fairly early on. The Oriental Spa is one of the nicer ones in Sharm with a fantastic stained glass window in the hammam and an excellent, original steam room. A gorgeous smell is diffused throughout the centre where there is of course a sauna as well as three massage rooms and a relaxation area with leopard skin loungers. There is unfortunately no gym, but there is a beauty salon. On the other side of the swimming pool to the reception is another lobby featuring sumptuous Moroccan furniture, paintings of different periods on the wall and Murano glass pieces in a cabinet. Wifi can be accessed free of charge here. The entire a complex is kept in faultless condition and is run by ebullient staff. Yes, there is the beach, the shops and excursions to do, but it also a real pleasure just to spend some time within the hotel itself.
The hotel's main restaurant is the El Sultan and serves breakfast and dinner only. The interior of the restaurant, which is modestly appointed, hosts the breakfast buffet and the cold buffet in the evenings, with hot food being served outside on the terrace. The choice is wide and the quality well above the average Sharm buffet. The other of the hotel's restaurants, Plaza, is only open on special events. The interior features stone work which is the result of a Korean-Egyptian project. There are two bars in the hotel. The Sinbad bar, which is found off the second lobby, is fairly small and not as attractive as its neighbour so we advise that you take your drink and head next door. The other bar, Dry Martini, is just next to the main lobby and is American-themed with Marilyn Monroe looking down on the clients. Just above the main restaurant you'll find the outdoor lounge which has a shisha corner, a pool table and its own bar. It's a great spot for after dinner drinks with panoramic views of Sharm.
Guests at the Rivoli have access to two beaches. One of these is a private sand affair and is more for relaxing than for pursuing acitvities. There is a shuttle bus leaving from the hotel to transfer guests to it and once on site you can lounge about in peace and quiet without the noise of water sports to disturb you. A snack bar serves beverages and simple foods. The other beach, also a sandy one, is the place to go for water sports with both a diving and water sports centre. It is well shaded, flat and has clear waters. You'll also find a snack bar here serving drinks and fast food.
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