Winter sun in Sharm

We were fortunate enough to spend an unforgettable Christmas holiday at the Sheraton Hotel, Resort and Spa in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The Resort sits on an envious coral reef edged peninsula surrounded by lush landscaped gardens on a staggering 20 acre site. It boasts a 1km sandy beachfront with plenty of space to relax on sun loungers and then cool off by walking into the Red Sea- a comfortable 24° C (in December!). Alternatively, for a truly immersive experience you can hire equipment and go diving off the pier to explore the brightly coloured corals or simply snorkel amongst the many wondrous tropical fish!

The 5 star Sheraton Sharm is made up of three sections: a Hotel (all of the three hundred rooms have a sea view with private balcony), a Resort made up of groups of bungalows and villas, and for the more discerning, private detached villas with up to 5 bedrooms. You can stroll around the Resort or if you prefer take the ‘taftaf’ a blue and yellow bus which makes getting around extremely convenient.

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We chose to stay in the main hotel building, because everything is within easy reach; this especially suits families with younger children. Our room was large, bright and airy, accommodating a large double bed and two singles. The mattresses were comfortable with crisp Egyptian cotton sheets and soft plush pillows that sent the children snoozing off in no time! The bathroom was well stocked with plenty of toiletries, complimentary dressing gowns and slippers. Each morning we were greeted with a stunning sun rise that could be view from our balcony.

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Punctuating the day are the hearty breakfasts, healthy lunches and delicious dinners conjured up by Head Chef Ashraf Mahmoud with his three senior chefs and their team of seventy junior chefs. Chef Mahmoud, whom I had the pleasure of meeting is also a TV celebratory chef judge, which isn’t surprising as he is both charming and modest, he works tirelessly in his kitchen to create the varied cuisine that we have enjoyed during our stay.

We ate daily at the White Cruiser buffet restaurant which serves mouth watering salads including: caviar eggs, sushi, Italian antipasti with aubergines and vegetables, oriental salads such as tabbouleh, hummus and baba ganoush. The meat station serves grilled food including beef, chicken and succulent sea bass. Dessert includes several French pastries such as profiteroles, éclairs, tartlets, as well as jellies, swiss roll, fruit. In addition we tried some oriental pastries such as the creamy cheese centred and crispy outer Kunafeh and the semolina based Basbousa, both delights were sweet and sticky and definitely to my liking.

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One evening we tried the A la carte menu, we chose a seafood salad starter which came beautifully presented with calamari, shrimps, mussels, smoked salmon and caviar. The soup was a delicate light consume of mussel and crab. The main course was Scottish salmon served with pumpkin mousse and potatoes with mustard sauce. The dessert was a flamboyant creation of layered chocolate cake with handmade swirls of milk and white chocolate pieces.

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You can burn off the calories through the many activities in Resort. Apart from the long clean beach, there are 18 swimming pools (most with lifeguards), 7 restaurants, 8 bars, a kids club, an onsite dive club, a gym, tennis courts and a firm favourite with the grown ups -the health & beauty Golden Spa Treatment Centre. For the more energetic, the hotel’s cheerful animation team are keen to keep you entertained through a varied and active programme including beach Zumba classes, yoga, volley ball and more. For children, there’s the kids club plus daytime and evening entertainers to keep them singing, dancing and laughing till bedtime.

The on-site Golden Spa Centre offers guests a free ten minute taster session of Thai or Egyptian neck, back, or body massage in their marquee on the beach. If you succumb to the temptation as we did, then you can book a session for a relaxing a full body massage priced at at £30 (click here to read Spa Treatment for Daddy).

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The Sheraton Hotel shuttle bus runs excursions out of resort to the popular Naama Bay where we tried our hand at parasailing, the children felt safe going up together in the twin harnessed parasails, this exhilarating experience costs £10 per person. We also tried the tamer, banana boat ride and requested the speedboat to take it slow (cost £6 each). From the old market we took the submarine and saw the rich diversity of the underwater world whilst keeping dry for once! I’d especially recommend the Seascope Submarinefor those with young children as they’re guaranteed to get excited yet remain quite safe watching fish from behind the reinforced glass windows. This cost £60 for a family of four after some haggling!

The hotel shuttle bus will also take guests to Soho Sqaure with its restaurants, designer shops, and bijoux jewellers -ideal for those that like to bag a bargain. The main attraction is the ‘dancing’ fountain which starts up on the hour and the water jets dance to the rhythm of the music with changing coloured light effects. There’s even a snow machine which delights the younger ones who dart around trying to catch snowflakes. And if you fancy really cooling off, there’s even an ice rink suitable for families.

Santa arrives in style by speedboat on Christmas day to awaiting children on the pier!­­
Santa arrives in style by speedboat on Christmas day to awaiting children on the pier!­­

It was a relaxing family holiday, dictated only by our own choice of pace and the energy levels of our children. For more information about the five star Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort and Spa or to book visit www.sheraton.com/sharm

Left to right: Lina, Walid and Saieed
Left to right: Lina, Walid and Saieed

A special thanks to the Front of House team who looked after us so well (Lina, Walid and Saieed) . We can’t wait to go back to the Sheraton Sharm again soon!

I have snorkel and mask sets to give away to 2 lucky readers. For your chance to win a set, just leave a comment on this blog post or like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or retweet the competition. Good luck! Winners will be announced on 28th February.

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Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/snorkelling-sets-x2#sthash.zIEW7AsS.dpuf

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