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“Lovely hotel, plenty of sunbeds...terrible Thomson flight”

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Club Magic Life Sharm el Sheikh Imperial
Ranked #19 of 234 Hotels in Sharm El Sheikh
Certificate of Excellence
Cheshire
Level Contributor
73 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel, plenty of sunbeds...terrible Thomson flight”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

Our second time with CML (we stayed in Fuerteventura August 2010). Really like the hotel it has a lot to offer with plenty of activities. We would have liked to see Spin classes (as on the programme of activities in Fuerteventura). A lot of the information is only printed in German so you feel like you are missing out on all the detail.
We enjoyed the a la carte Mediterranean and Thai, however, we didn't try the Egyptian. The system for booking changed whilst we were there last week to 9.00 or 9.30am to make a reservation for the following evening, but I can't exactly remember the time.
The coffee room in the tower is lovely and my son especially like the Sachertorte!
We sunbathed by the pool on our first day which has plenty of parasols and sunbeds but it was a little too busy for us. Great for joining in activities but our son didn't want to so we used the beach for the rest of the holiday.
The beach is fantastic, loads of sunbeds all day, anytime!!! Toilet facilities in wooden huts which are kept immaculate, constantly being checked and cleaned. The security guards make sure that no-one from other hotels try to use the facilities and you can see why as it really looks so much nicer than any of the other hotels. If you wander down one of the jetties and look back at the coastline you'll see what I mean. The gardens are truly beautiful and the garden staff work tirelessly to manicure the fabulous, pretty surroundings. The Assistant Manager is very hands on and you see him wandering around checking and monitoring.CML have got this formula right with great staff with a proactive approach. The reef is stunning with so many beautiful fish.
Now to the flight....Thomson Airways. If you are under 5'3" I think you will be OK but I'm guessing you're probably taller than that - as are most adults. The leg room is torture on a 6 hour flight. No entertainment and only snacks available to buy which consists of a choice of bacon butty, chips or chicken fajata wrap - all extremely overpriced. On the outbound flight I stocked up with botteld water in Boots in the airport once we'd gone through Passport Control and Security(It's £1.60 for 500ml on the flight so it's much cheaper to buy in Boots). Also bought some little salads and chopped fruit from Asda beforehand and took in a lunch box for the outbound flight. Coming home was just awful with no chance of being able to buy anything refeshing, only stodge on the flight.
Years ago a Thomson (Britannia) flight of this length would have consisted of in-flight entertainment with free headsets, complimentary newspapers, hot towels, a hot meal, hot bread rolls and 2 cups of tea or coffee with a Thorntons Diplomat chocolate, a seperate coffee and biscuits service along with the bar and duty free services. What's happened? It now is a shambles, I even asked to buy a Hello magazine which are advertised but none were available on either flight. There's no in-flight entertainment, a cup of tea or coffee costs £2.30, no meals only the overpriced snacks mentioned earlier.
We won't be rebooking to go on this holiday only because the flight is such an endurance test and spoils the holiday. The cabin crew as always are professional and they are having to work with the tools they are given but it's just a big black cloud waiting for you at the beginning and end of a lovely holiday. Oh and a nearly forgot to mention that you need to take planty of layers for the flight if you are sat near a door, as it cost £5 for a blanket! Years ago they too were complimentary but now you have to buy one not borrow one!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank welltravelledfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sheffield
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

Lovely hotel - only stayed 4 days and because weather very windy not able to snorkel as red flags up, Lovely beach with plenty of sunbeds. Beds in short supply by relax pool because all couples seem to want peace and quiet - the pool is numbingly freezing and really needs heating. The activity one is heated apparently.

Check in - Disorganised - queue for reg form, queue to hand in and wait to be escorted to room. But the suite we had booked wasnt ready so sent away for 1 hour to have lunch. Came back - still not ready but because of this they upgraded us to a seaview suite which was enormous and very well kept.

Service - the kitchen, waiters, bar and room staff ( still smiling at he towel crocodile) were very good and we were happy to tip well for their good service. However on day 1 by relax pool, the "lifeguard" grabbed the parasol next to me to give to another couple who had obviously tipped him to set up their space. As I looked increduously at him, he said he would bring another - needless to say he did not. Guest services - rang them because tea/coffee in room not replenished - rather rude, said would said someone then didn't. Later went to reception and they sorted this out while we having dinner.

Food - excellent selection of foods particularly salads and desserts, loads to choose from for main courses, never saw pizza though! BUT Do not make the mistake of going for dinner late when they say the restaurant closes at 9 they mean they PACK AWAY AT 9! thus on the 1st night having eaten a lovely salad, went for main course to find it all being packed away - in a scent reminiscent of Oliver Twist I begged 2 ladles full of stew for us as it was being cleared, and a waiter then brought us an apple but this was not quite the 5* experience we expected, and could have been averted if Thomson had bothered to mention it at the welcome meeting or the staff upon check in (I know others were caught like this and missed their meal completely). Think they need to extend the times anyway as since you need to be in not much after 8pm to enjoy a meal it is very very busy, which could be alleviated by a longer opening time. Also there are a number of steps in the dining service area so you have to be quite careful. Did not bother with a a la cartes, saw the queues - not what you want to spend your time doing if its limited.

Drinks - good range of cocktails, spirits on own ie brandy not good. With a little more attention to service and detail it could be great - go just dont expect 5* service. Entertainment we saw - really good singer in courtyard area, amphitheatre variety show was woeful!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Sprok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

We've just come back from a week at CML, me hubby and two young sons. Here, in no particular order are the things I think it's worth knowing

1. Don't be any taller than 5 foot on the flight because Thomson now cram you in so tightly - all part of their desperate cost cutting no doubt which means you should also make sure you buy an ipad iif you want to watch a movie because despite the flight length (4 hrs 40 going and 5 hrs 40 coming home christ knows why) there is nothing to entertain you other than spending money on crappy snacks. Oh, and here's a tip for Thomson - on a RETURN flight from Egypt, always make sure your cabin crew are able to cope with a simple request for a sick bag without being snotty and unhelpful.

2. The junior suite was ok, if you like dark rooms which need refurbing, That said, we never spend much time in rooms so we didn't care, but if you're expecting deep luxury you will be disappointed. At least it was quiet and cleaned and tidied everyday. Take plenty of toiletries, I always do just in case and was relieved that I had as for some reason we had three shower caps and one tiny bar of soap and that was it. OK if you're a three headed tourist I suppose.

3. The food was fine - we were pleasantly surprised. Plenty of choice, and reasonable table service for drinks etc. Usually we end up going to Naama bay's TGI Fridays ( we did do this as a treat rather than to feed starving kids but please note that the new owner of TGI Fridays in Sharm is a strict muslim and therefore there is no booze available whatsoever. So if you like a beer with your burger, go to the Hard Rock Cafe next door) Some people queued for tables at the a al carte restaurants....we decided life was too short but someone said the food was good.


4. The pools - the relax pool - mainly for those who want to read and have monastic silence all day. We had to brace ourselves to walk with our boisterous boys through the slumbering masses on their reserved sunbeds (yes, sorry but the towels were out at 7am and the hotel does nothing about it despite saying it's forbidden) to our room. If this is your idea of relaxing knock yourself out - but don't speak or make any noise as it seemed to be quite an issue for some guests!

5. The other big big pool was ok - but pretty deep so be careful with kids. There is hardly any shallow area at all. All day long you have to listen to the magic radio station which could have you believing it's 1986, and the bloody jingle is still in my head (not a complaint but if you like peace and quiet get to the other pool - early!)

6. Sunbed reserving is an issue with the bigger pool too - because the fixed sunshades in rows make the front beds a premium. And yes, as I wandered to get a coffee (without towels) one morning at about 7ish the towels were out on the front and I found it quite depressing. This needs sorting out Thomson...

7. Should mention that the kids loved having on tap cheese toasties all day long...and the iced coffee was ok

8. There is a salon and beauty place - it's alright but personally I like to know what someone is about to do to my face and I found it quite stressful to be sitting in silence wondering what was about to happen next. And if you have your eyebrows threaded, bear in mind that if you find it utter agony like I did the young boys who do the treatments are quite forceful in carrying on even if you scream. Which I did.

9. My husband was taken ill at the hotel the day we left - and had to see a doctor at the airport. My sons are both now also ill - I can't work out if it's something they ate at the hotel, or if they swallowed pool/sea water - but this is our 7th trip to Sharm and the first time we've had any illness. But take tummy stuff with you even if you're an experienced Red Sea traveller.

10. All in all it was a nice week - but the hotel isn't 5* - it's a reasonable 4* at best. It lacks the sparkle and high standards of 5* - a trip to Topps tiles might be a good place to start for the pools and the rooms...the staff are very pleasant - and the service ,such as it is for drinks, is fine.

11. There is plenty to do if you like being busy - my sporty lot tried archery, played tennis/football/table tennis/volleyball each day - and the facilities were excellent. There are various kids clubs, don't know if they're any good as we would eat our own legs before ever putting our kids in one but they seemed busy and the screeching and harrassed teenagers running them seemed busy enough - if a little overstretch.

One final tip - go to the very well equipped dive shop and get your snorkel gear and flippers (and suits for kids as they help them float) as it's really cheap.Don't buy the rubbish snorkel sets in the shops there - they are utter trash and they are very expensive. Either take a set with you or hire one.
I wouldn't book CML again - I was expecting a better room and smarter facilities. But it was ok....

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank doodoo999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newton Aycliffe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2012

stayed at CML for a week in mid march, weather was cool at night and some windy days which prevented us from snorkeling as much, once you were sheltered from the wind the temperature was fine. Room was very clean, staff very friendly hotel facilities very good just like all other reviews, food was very good plenty of choice. Would recommend the VIP cruise but don't bother with the market mayhem trip . Overall could not fault the weeks stay and would definitely go back especially to try the rest of the cocktails!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lynnqa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abergavenny
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

going back in august spent christmas and new year there two years on the trot brilliant hotel and staf see you soon for the third time lads keep up the good work,muscles

Room Tip: near relax pool,total chill
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank chrisfury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Magic Life Sharm el Sheikh Imperial

Property: Club Magic Life Sharm el Sheikh Imperial
Address: Nabq Bay, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > South Sinai > Sharm El Sheikh
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#16 Family Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#17 Business Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
#18 Luxury Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh
Price range (per night): $152 - $270
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Magic Life Sharm el Sheikh Imperial 4*
Number of rooms: 521
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Club Magic Life Sharm El Sheikh Imperial Hotel Sharm El Sheikh

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