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Hotel Marmara Sabena Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

We like the Marmara Sabena a lot! It is everything a hotel in Sharm el Sheikh should be, but often isn't. It's clean, stylish and relaxing. What more could you want?! The facilities are of a high quality, the food is good and the staff efficient and friendly. There really is little to bemoan in this hotel which is more for couples and friends than for families, simply due to the lack of animation, although of course children are most welcome. We have no qualms about recommending heartily the Marmara Sabena.

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    Location 10.0 /10

    The hotel is situated on Al Fanara Street in the Hadaba region of Sharm el Sheik, also known as Ras Um Sid. Naama Bay, the neighbouring zone is 6 miles away and the airport is fourteen miles from the hotel. The two beaches serving the Marmara Sabena, Fanar and El Khima, are just minutes away in the free shuttle bus.

    Accommodation 7.95 /10

    The exterior is dominated by the beautiful Moroccan archway through which one passes to enter the lobby. At night, the lights glaring through the windows and which bring with them the warm colours from the interior, make the hotel a pleasure to regard. The lobby is a refreshingly open space, with a gleaming marble floor and pillars supporting the second floor gallery above. There are small seating areas in the main hall, comprising wonderful, low Moroccan seating with an intricate flower motif which encircle equally low tables, under all of which are gorgeous rugs. Decorating the walls are some the paintings and wall coverings mentioned above. But the star of the show is quite possibly the swooping chandelier hanging from the very top of the two storey building and reaching to just under the level of the second floor gallery, with its two rings of bulbs. To the right of the entrance is the reception desk and opposite, separated by an arched wall, is a seating area with similar furnishings, where one can relax in front of the television or sip a coffee. Throughout the hotel you will find more examples of Moroccan furniture and decorative objects, as well as some fabulous lamps, which give the place a homely feel despite its relative vastness. All three of the swimming pools are kept beautifully and the sturdy sun beds are plentiful. The brilliant white surrounding buildings, the palm trees and other plants and the young, fun ambiance make the pools a great place to be and to spend time soaking up the sun. Talking of the buildings housing the accommodation, these thirteen clusters seem to be whiter than any others we saw in Sharm and feature on the ground floor tall Moroccan-style arches and on the first floor pretty wooden shades over the balconies. The smart little wellness centre has no gym, but has a jacuzzi decorated with flowers at each corner, one room for both sauna and steam, two beds for body scrubs, one single massage room and a double one. The hotel has a couple of shops, one selling jewellery and the other t-shirts and other accessories. There are two internet corners in the main building. The grounds of the hotel are beautifully attended to and to have a room with a view onto the gardens rather than the pool is probably preferable.

    Overview 8.20 /10

    Of the 135 rooms, all but 15 are standard, the rest being suites or family rooms. They are very warm in colour featuring chunky, modern oriental furniture (dresser, baggage stand, armchair, coffee table) with various carved motifs. The bathrooms are in a decent condition and some have recently been retiled. They have large shower cubicles and include toiletries, as well as a hairdryer. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, fridge, safe box, balcony or terrace and have either pool or garden view. The larger rooms have extra bathrooms and some boast a kitchenette.

    Food and drink 7.95 /10

    The main restaurant is a pleasant setting in which to enjoy the relatively good quality food served at the Marmara Sabena. The room is light and airy, although unfortunately the view from the window is of the building site opposite. The cuisine is an international buffet whose presentation is excellent and the choice is comprehensive (bigger selection at dinner than at lunch). Another option is the Cinzano à la carte restaurant which serves up authentic Egyptian/Oriental cuisine in yet another comfortable setting. The Aurora café serves light meals including salads, sandwiches, pizzas and pasta, while in the Al Diwan café you can smoke shisha while sipping a drink. The lounge bar behind the lobby serves late at night while a disco takes place just in front of it and the Babaloo pub is another option for a drink, with its terrace (which unfortunately looks onto the building site opposite.

    Beach 8.45 /10

    Guests can choose between two beaches. The first, Fanar, which is shared with guests from seven other hotels, is around 100 yards in length meaning that sun beds are quite tightly packed. You have to walk down a rather grim looking path and then quite a few steps to get on to the sand. The beach itself is flat, allows direct access to the clear water and is one of the best sites for diving in Sharm el Sheikh. There are a few shoddy cabins at the back of the beach selling simple beach equipment and snacks and above the beach on a raised area you can enjoy archery and pétanque. Back up on ground level people party the night away with a view over the sea. The second beach, El Khima, is one of the best in Sharm simple because it is private and only allows guests from three hotels to use its facilities. It is situated within a bay; so while there is no view out to sea, there is no strong current either. The facilities are well maintained and the staff very professional and friendly. Here you have a lot more space to yourself than at most beaches and a whole range of water sports and excursions are offered. There is a boat bar and Italian restaurant on the premises as well as a Bedouin tent and shows are also performed on a regular basis. If you fell like having a massage then this option is also open to you.

    To know

    The owner of the hotel is a very keen art enthusiast and so you will find some rather modern looking paintings (which actually date back some decades) as well as some hideously expensive wall hangings around the hotel. You will also notice some black and white photography upon the walls; some of these show the rank and file of an Egyptian military school from the late 1920s. Much of the other décor in the hotel comes from Morocco.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      water skiing, paddle boats, water-polo

    • Safe

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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