Sharm el Sheik
Planning an extended family holiday is all about finding something for everyone. Initially we were not certain that Egypt was the right option for us but it really was an ideal family holiday that managed to incorporate a little bit of everything.
Where we stayed
Most of the beach resorts in Sharm el Sheik do that so choosing one for us was more on the basis of availability for the large group that we were .Sunrise Arabian Beach Resort is a 5 star resort on Sharks Bay with as the name suggests an Arabian theme .We chose the All Inclusive Grand select package which when compared to similar resorts in other countries was amazing value .All buffet meals, snacks and soda fountain drinks were included in the package .The mini bar which was also included was restocked on the 3rd day of out stay. There was also an option to choose to eat at 4 different themed a la carte restaurants (Greek , French , Thai and Mongolian )
My preferred ones were Greek for the fresh hot flat breads and real potato chips , Thai for the tom yum soup and noodle dishes and Mongolian for the well Mongolian stir-fry .Buffet has different themed nights each night of the week . The Egyptian night was really good to try out some local flavours and each nights “Braais’ were excellent.
The resort itself has enough for the kids and adults, including a private beach , water sports , multiple pools with 2 water slides , tennis courts , spa , gym and so much more .The pool party was a standout for all of us .
Service levels exceeded our expectations . From the minute we entered the resort we had extraordinary service from the general manager arranging our room setups and accommodating our changes and adjustments.
At every meal we were greeted by name and offered assistance so much so that the food and drink manager took our cell no and even after we left for Cairo called us to see if we had reached safely.
Arabian hospitality at its finest!
our other options that also looked good and I would try on future trips are the Rixos Sharm El Sheik or the Steignberger Alcazar
Besides spending time at the resort, we chose to do 2 other off-site activities
Dune buggy safari was fun but a bit sedate . If you an adrenaline junkie it’s not really for you . Its perfect with little kids to get a desert experience but don’t expect it to be anything like dune bashing as they are quite strict about not speeding because of safety .
We booked with the hotel tour desk and it was a good choice .
We were fetched from hotel by a minibus and taken to the start of the safari where we tied on Bedouin style scarves (which are cheaper to buy outside the hotel ) and got into our 4 and 2-seater buggy’s .
We were there during peak summer so it was hotter than any of us would have liked but still enjoyable .
Halfway through the ride we stopped at a Bedouin camp and were offered some complimentary tea and could buy other cold drinks while we relaxed in the tent .The entire ride was about one hour and the entire time we had a videographer and photographer following us . The cd was worth buying especially cos the entire group was our family and it makes for a beautiful memory .
Personally, I would have preferred a faster paced ride but it’s worth doing this tour once .
The second activity we did was a full day boat trip .
The boat was hired for us as a family exclusively and was very new and well kept .The lunch that was included was not really up to standard but the best part was the diving and snorkeling .
We paid extra for diving equipment.
As first time divers it was an experience of a lifetime and definitely something that we would try again .The beauty under the sea was enough to make you catch your breath ie if you didn’t have an oxygen tank attached to you .
A great choice for a relaxing fun family holiday with a bit of adventure thrown in .