One of the classier acts in Sharm, the Sonesta Beach has to be one of the best all round hotels in the area. Right through the hotel, from the rooms to the cuisine, from the animation to the pools, it is incredibly difficult to find fault with anything here. Whether you are a family looking to make the most of your summer holiday or a couple wanting some peace and quiet and a romantic setting, you'll find all you need and more at this wonderful hotel right next to the sea.
The Sonesta Beach is situated in the Naama Bay zone of Sharm el Sheikh, between Hadaba and Shark's Bay. The airport is about a 10-15 minute drive away, as are the tourist zones either side of Naama Bay. There is no problem getting to the beach as the hotel backs onto its own private one.
The Sonesta Beach is part of a large chain of properties with not only hotels in Egypt but also in South America and the States. Since its opening in 1994, it has been renovated and added to several times to make it the product that it is today. Its sister hotel, Sonesta Club, which is just across the road, has a gym and wellness centre free of use for the Beach's guests.
The two canons flanking the entrance tell of the grandeur that lies the other side of the arch. Once inside, you'll be faced with a string of boutiques (souvenirs, jewellery, beauty salon and even a tailor!) amongst which is the door leading to the reception area. Here, the first thing you'll encounter is the quite wonderful solid marble Moroccan style reception desk, complete with carved arches and intricate mosaic work. To the right is a series of cosy seating areas featuring low lying oriental seating arranged around marble-topped tables. Rugs, plants and faint music give the area a homely feel. In terms of swimming pools you are spoilt for choice, with no less than six turquoise wonders (of which three are heated) waiting for you to splash right in. The pick is probably the Oasis Pool, with its attractive tiling all the way round, jacuzzi and fantastic bar which enters into the water allowing you to sip on a cocktail without even having to inconvenience yourself with getting out the pool. Another pool, the zigzagged shaped Blue Wave, next to which is the stage for the evening's animation show, has volleyball and water polo facilities as well as table tennis and a massage tent at its edge. All pools are fully equipped with plenty of space for everyone and each has an area for children. The animation team is very large and includes six English-speaking members who look after the young ones at the Colombino kids club every day of the week (each day a different theme). There is of course a mini disco in the early evening followed by a show later on (which sometimes also takes place in one of the restaurant terraces). The hotel has small wellness centre with massage and body scrub facilities, a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, however for the gym and a more comprehensive range of treatments, you'll have to cross the road to the Sonesta Club. Wifi (which should by now cover the whole property) and internet access via the hotel's PCs is available and costs 70EGP per hour, while for all financial affairs you'll find a bank and cash machines for your convenience. There is also a clinic on site. Wherever you set foot around the Sonesta Beach, all will be in order? The accommodation buildings are kept to a very high standard as are the immaculate gardens which provide a pleasant backdrop to lazy days by the pool or a relaxed lunch out on the terrace.
The 520 rooms at the Sonesta Beach are divided into three separate categories; standard, family and executive. The two former are decorated in a similar way with matching bed skirt, plaid and curtains all in a lively Egyptian cloth. The headboards and dressers, as well as the seating area furniture in the family rooms, are of a beautiful dark, chunky wood which gives the room warmth, just like the soft lighting. All the doorways, window frames and alcoves feature those elegant Moroccan arches, some of which are incorporated seating; a cosy place to snuggle up and read a book. The family room has a small room with the kids with a bunk bed. The bathrooms are clean affairs, some of which (those in the newer Blue Wave and Cactus areas) have bathtubs, others showers, and boast personalised toiletries and hairdryer. The executive rooms, whose beds are even bigger than the enormous ones in the standard and family rooms, are decorated differently, but no less sharply, with a range of furniture in lighter wood (both colour and weight) and the bathrooms feature wonderful corner bathtubs. All rooms of course have a terrace or balcony (some with a small garden), safe box and air conditioning. Extra beds are available on request.
One thing the Sonesta is not short of is places to eat, with a restaurant and bar list as long as your arm! The hotel has two main restaurants, Citadel and Le Dôme, which serve the same menu running on a two week cycle. Both rooms feature wonderful marble interiors and masterfully finished stonework upon the walls, as well as comfortable seating and plenty of covers. The food itself is among the best we tasted in Sharm and the choice is such that you couldn't possibly have a go at every dish. For those on all inclusive, the Casablanca à la carte restaurant (salad and dessert is from a buffet) serves light Mediterranean cuisine without extra charge while La Gondola is the hotel's Italian à la carte option for dinner. Le Café is yet another outlet serving light lunches and dinner, however if you don't want to move away from the pool, both the Oasis and Blue Wave pools serve light snacks at their respective bars. In terms of bars, you have the cosy lobby bar which is just next to the seating areas as well as the Blue Hole bar (next to the swimming pool of the same name) and the Ali Baba Oriental Café where you can smoke a shisha while watching the sun go down. If you fancy getting on the dance floor, then head over to the Sonesta Club where Le Dunes night club serves both drinks and light snacks late into the night.
As you would expect from a hotel of the stature of Sonesta Beach, guests have access to a private beach at the back of the property. Along the path leading to it are a range of small shops selling souvenirs, beach gear and art work and this is also where you will find the dive centre. It has to be said that although the beach is fairly deep, it is especially narrow. That said, the sun beds are of a good quality and the attractive straw parasols provide ample shade. The sandy beach descends slowly into the clear water while the jetty allows access for those wanting to snorkel. Every type of water sport you could wish for is provided on site and at the back of the beach is the Sea Breeze bar and restaurant serving light lunches and refreshments throughout the day. For those not too worried about having direct access to the water, there are two upper levels to the beach where you can also sunbathe.
Hotel reviews based on comfort, location and price ratings of its categories
Hotel reviews based on its services and facilities.
Mark out of 10 for geographical location
flights June : average price