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Saturday, 7 November 2015

REVIEW: The Grand Hotel, Sharm el Sheikh.

Hey guys! So I'm back from Egypt - wahoo. I've been back for a few days now busy on emails and have finally got some time for my blog. If you follow me on social media you'll know that I magically arrived in Egypt one Saturday evening (literally) and so wanted to share my Egyptian experience with you. Now, I have a series of posts I'm going to do on Egypt from Fashion to reviews etc and first up I'm starting with a flight + hotel review. As you know, I say things how they are and never sugar coat anything so expect this post to be very real. 

Let's first start off by talking about checking in with Monarch Airlines (this is not a sponsored post btw). I've never flown with the airline before, but have to say check-in was very smooth. We made sure we checked in as soon as we got to the airport and were lucky to have 4 seats close to each other. We then went through security and headed for some lunch. Before we knew it, it was time to board our plane again, a very smooth process - thank you Monarch. 

Finally, after 5 or so hours we arrived at Sharm el Sheikh where we were reunited by our luggage and met with our hotel representative. We then boarded our coach and made our way through Sharm to our The Grand Hotel. When we arrived I was like "wow", everything was very grand hence the name and I could tell I was going to have a really good time here.. or was I?  





We entered the hotel and again I just remembered walking in like wow, I mean even the lobby had a water feature and lamps dangling from the ceiling. We left our luggage outside with "security" they seemed more interested in smoking tbh and sat down in the waiting area where we were told we could have some dinner. The food was awful, however, we were grateful that they had prepared a dinner for us despite the late arrival. 

Next one of the hotel staff helped to take our luggage to our rooms... let me just say I completely underestimated the walk from the lobby to our room. I'm not even kidding, with all the steps and distance it easily felt like a 10 minute trek! During our little walk I couldn't help but smile at how beautiful everything was, from the bars to the pools and even the stairs - yup the stairs. So anyway, we finally arrived to our block, then our room and opened the door. We had a lovely little hallway, large bathroom to the right, large bed, flat screen TV etc. Mind you there were 4 of us so that bed ideally was for two people, and so we would have expected two single beds in a sufficient amount of space, well not at this hotel. I couldn't believe my eyes. One of us were told our bed was the sofa and the other with some plank of wood, with a mattress on top and wheels at the back of the 'headboard' - I was fuming. I went to the reception desk the next morning and was told that this is all they provide 'extra guests' - erm no. No one is an 'extra guest' you book a room for four people, you get the size they require... I could go on (floors are never mopped, bed sheets are not changed) but this was this was minor compared to what happened next. Anyway, the rest of the room was fine, we were located on the second floor had a balcony with beautiful views which is an important element for me when I go away.



So anyway, we just dealt with what we were given as we had no plans to spend the majority of our holiday in our room. The next morning we got a real taste of the hotel in daylight, from all the views to food and finally the pools. After breakfast we actually booked an a la carte Thai restaurant and headed straight for the pool area to sunbathe. Later on that day, 32oc and some lack of sleep had got the best of us, so we napped and got ready for dinner later on. It was raining. It was Mother******* raining... my thoughts at the time "I did not come on holiday for it to rain, I need a tan" haha. I thought the rain would have stopped but no it just got worse. So bad that our rooms completely flooded and we had an utter nightmare trying to sort it all out, it wasn't just rain... it was a storm! Our poor room attendant was basically sweeping the water out of our room for it only to come back in. Again, I went to reception explained the problem we were having and was told "It's not just your room that this has happened to, its everyone else's too", which I completely understood so patiently waited for some help. Moving on, we were hungry and went for our Thai, never did I think there'd be a problem there too. We were seated at this beautiful table when I realised drops of water all over the table, I sat down thinking maybe they hadn't cleaned it after the people prior to us when I realised even more water dripping. I was like seriously WTF, the restaurant was pretty full at this point and the guys wouldn't let us sit at the bar. Finally, they pulled up a table and chairs and we were able to eat in peace. In my head I was thinking, how TF is this a 5* hotel when they don't even have the basics covered? Water in rooms and now this? It was Sunday and I was seriously pissed off.

After dinner was over, we went to the lobby to connect to the internet and what not. You've seen how beautiful the lobby is - imagine part of the ceiling coming down, yup that actually happened! Anyway, due to the problems everyone was out of their rooms and my surroundings were very atmospheric even when all the electricity cut off countless amount of  times, yep that happened too. We stayed in the lobby long enough so headed back to our hotel rooms in massive puddles wearing flip flops! Again the room was flooded and at this point I'd truly had enough. I rang up reception and demanded for a room change. The receptionist a very friendly man; "I'm so sorry maam and I understand the frustration but we currently have no rooms of your size available". After some 2 hours arguing over the phone and with other staff, we were moved to a smaller room opposite us that hadn't been hit by the rain - much smaller to the one originally paid for. We were able to spend the night there, I won't go into what happened next as it was just so ridiculous, but we were finally allowed to enjoy our holiday by Tuesday despite arriving on Saturday evening.

Ahh can we go on to the positives now? Apart from dodgy beds, floods and not so helpful hotel staff I have to say the hotel grounds were just so beautiful. 8 swimming pools, countless places to eat from a la carte restaurants to drinks & dessert bars and so much more. We were fortunate enough to be located more near the sea with the most spectacular views. Our mornings usually started at around 8:30 am where we'd get showered and head to the reef to have breakfast, which consisted of a variety of food all prepared fresh daily. I went for a crepe nearly every morning (I'm sick of them now) or eggs on toast with heaps of olives! A typical day just at the hotel would then have us lounging around for the day, having lunch at my favourite seafood restaurant, swimming with the fishes and then going for dinner. After that, we'd watch some seriously bad hotel entertainment then try and find a good spot in the lobby to connect to the wifi haha.







Overall, from Tuesday onwards I made the most of my holiday and was truly grateful to be out of London. Sadly, upon departure news hit that over 200 people had died due to a plane crash from Sharm to Russia. I was really nervous to travel back home and didn't realise that some of the travellers on board weren't actually aware of the disaster. I just thank God that I made it out of the country before all of the havoc had broken out (people not being able to get back home). I pray that all of those stranded are able to get back home safely and that the government get to the bottom of this ASAP!

Make sure you stay tuned to see all the lovely things I got up to whilst I was here in Egypt! 




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