Hotel Sunny Days el Palacio is one of the best options for winter holidays, as there is an enclosed lagoon where you can swim even in windy weather. Since we went on vacation in January, it was this argument that was decisive. Immediately I can say that the hotel deserves its four stars, but you should not expect something supernatural. But first things first.
The first impression on arrival was not the most pleasant. We were forced to leave the suitcase at the entrance and we approached the receptionist. The second disappointment was caused by the fact that we immediately began to demand money for the settlement ahead of time. Although it was clear that there are practically no guests in the hotel. They looked that we had a ticket for 13 days and demanded $ 20. Although we were very tired of the road, but bargained for $ 10 to get into the room and go to bed. They settled us, of course, in a normal room on the second floor overlooking the sea. But the room was on the dark side, where there is practically no sun in winter, and it is far to go to it. In fact, we gave this 10 dollars just for an early settlement. But still the residue remained, because we were met not with vaunted Egyptian hospitality, but with extortion. By the way, there were spouses who immediately gave them $ 20 and two expensive chocolates voluntarily in the hope of a good “luxury”, but they were accommodated in the same dark wing and standard room.
We, like other campers, were given the keys to the rooms and told to come at 10 a.m. for bracelets so that we would not get to breakfast, since breakfast was just before 10, and lunch from 12.30. We were looking for the room on our own, because no one thought to take us there. Of course, we found it, looked at it and decided to walk a little through the territory to assess the prospect of our vacation. Upset by the cold weather, we went to sleep and on the way back we met a man who brought a suitcase to our room. At first he told us about it with a clear hint of a tip, then repeated, and when he realized that nothing would wait for us angry and upset, he expressed his dissatisfaction in Arabic. Honestly, we didn’t care. I think he would only deserve a tip if he took us to the room. And just to bring a suitcase on a cart that weighed 10 kg is his job, with which we ourselves would perfectly cope. All in all, frustrated by the start of the trip, we turned on the air conditioner in heat mode and went to bed.
We had a standard room “1102” with two single beds. We moved them together, but it was still impossible to sleep in a hug. There was enough furniture – a small shoe maker, a coffee table, a dressing table with a mirror, 2 bedside tables, 2 chairs, a wardrobe and furniture on the balcony. Of course, all this can not be called new, but the condition of the furniture is quite normal.
Of the equipment was a safe with a combination lock, a refrigerator with a small freezer, air conditioning, which worked in both heat and cold mode, as well as a flat screen TV. I liked the fact that the room had an electric kettle, two cups, tea, coffee, sugar and dry cream. Interestingly, the cover on the remote control was screwed with small screws, apparently, so that the guests did not steal the batteries. It’s nice when the hotel “trusts” you.
The bathroom had a large mirror, sink, hairdryer, toilet and bathtub, but no cork, so you could only take a shower. Our friends for several days in a row asked the administration to give them a plug for a drain to take a bath, but these requests remained unsatisfied. Another disadvantage was that it is very difficult to regulate the water – it either barely flows or pours a waterfall. We were only able to catch up on the second day.
Basically, the biggest drawback in this room was the lack of a double bed, but you can put up with it. Once during our vacation the air conditioner broke, but the problem was quickly solved. Several times the lights were turned off throughout the hotel, but for a maximum of 5-10 minutes.
There are no complaints about room service. Our cleaner brought 4 bottles of water, tea, coffee, shampoo, shower gel and toilet paper daily. The room was cleaned daily, but we did not need such excessive cleanliness, so in the morning we told him that the room did not need to be cleaned. The janitor on our floor knew English at the level of simple phrases, but it was still nice that he asked every day how we were doing, if anything was needed and wished a good day. He was one of those people we happily tithed.
During our stay at this hotel, we caught one important pattern – the fewer people, the better the food. The first week was quite cool, so there were not many guests in the hotel, but the food was quite normal. Breakfast was always scrambled eggs, pancakes, hot croissants and fresh fruit. It was impossible to eat sausage and hard cheese, but Egyptian cheese like our cheese I liked.
For lunch there was often pasta, rice, potatoes, stewed vegetables, meat and fish. Pasta and rice were the most delicious, but potatoes in Egypt do not know how to cook. As for the fish, it was seasoned with some spices that I did not like. In addition, the fish here is not really cleaned, and even in the cooked fillet often came across scales. In the evening there was always a barbecue – chicken, lamb kebab or beef.
As for vegetables, there were mainly cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage. The salads were tasteless, so we took the vegetables separately. I liked the stewed side dishes of carrots and broccoli, but the stew and sauté of zucchini and eggplant were bitter.
Big minus the hotel on fruit. During the entire period of our rest we saw only melon, guava, pomalo, oranges and tangerines, and peeled and sliced. There were dates several times. The most delicious were oranges and melons. Disappointing is the lack of strawberries, given that January is the season for this berry. In the market we bought strawberries for $ 1 for 1-2 kilograms, and in the hotel it was only in the form of decorations on cakes, and in very small quantities. Of course, I understand that the desire to earn money is involved. After all, on the beach they sold a package of strawberries weighing 300-400 g for $ 2. Naturally, in the dining room free berries will not be served.
I am indifferent to sweets, but here I decided to try everything. As it turned out, most of the beautiful multi-colored cakes had an identical taste and differed only in dyes. But several times on the street exhibited large dishes with oriental sweets – here they were delicious. We also really liked one cook who made pizza and sweet puffs with cottage cheese cream. Unfortunately, this delicious meal was only the first week when the hotel had few guests.
From 12.00 to 17.00 you could have a snack in the pizzeria near the beach, if you did not want to change clothes and go to lunch. Here the menu was standard – french fries, hot doges, burgers, tomatoes and cucumbers. There was also a coffee machine where you could make yourself a cappuccino, latte, espresso or hot chocolate.
We once again made sure that it is better to take food “AI” without alcohol, since the local alcohol is diluted and tasteless. Beer was poured into small plastic cups, and vodka – very dosed. Normal vodka quickly ran out, and then poured anise with a taste of wormwood or rum. Several times we took alcoholic cocktails, but they did not leave pleasant impressions.
- «Palma de Mirette». The second week of our trip pleased with good weather, but at the same time the hotel had a lot more guests. There were queues for scrambled eggs, stopped cooking pizza and sweet puffs, and at the evening barbecue there was, mainly, chicken. So we often went to dinner at the nearby Palma de Mirette restaurant, where guests from Sunny Days can go four times. I can’t say that the food here is very different, but the sweets were much tastier. Also pleased with whole fruits: oranges, bananas and tangerines. We took them freely with us, and no one stopped us at the entrance. In general, we liked the restaurant more in this hotel, because it was somehow more cozy and quieter – without the fuss that reigned in our hotel. Once here at dinner even served crabs, but we, unfortunately, were on a tour this evening.
- «A la Carte». If you stay in the hotel for more than 4 days, then you are entitled to visit 3 restaurants “A la Carte” once: Oriental, Italian and fish. The last thing we wanted to go to the east, but it was he who left the most pleasant impressions. Firstly, there is a very cozy and colorful atmosphere, secondly, good service, and thirdly, delicious dishes. We ordered meat in a pot and barbecue. We were brought huge portions of really delicious meat and a plate of oriental sweets. Therefore, I advise all vacationers to go to an oriental restaurant. At the fish restaurant, we were expecting shrimp or at least crabs to be brought to us, but there were only fried squid and fish. I liked everything to taste, but “rolled out the lip” for more. Least of all I liked in the Italian restaurant, because the pizza was even worse than we baked on the street, and lasagna was impossible to eat at all. Now I regret that they did not order the pasta, perhaps it would have tasted better.
The biggest disappointment we experienced was on the day we got home. Since we had an early flight, we were entitled to a dry ration. And this is exactly the case when the packaging is worth more content. In a beautiful bag with the inscription “Sunny Days el Palacio” there were 2 dry croissants, 1 orange and 2 unleavened buns measuring 5 * 10 cm with a slice of disgusting cheese measuring 1 * 5 cm. Of all this, only an orange turned out to be edible, and everything else had to be thrown away. When we sat at the airport and saw that other people in dry rations had hamburgers, full sandwiches, juice bags, bananas and apples, it was even a shame. The quality of our dry rations clearly showed that they no longer want to see us in this hotel.
Beach & Pools
In good weather, there was no need to be bored on the beach. The animators worked actively and tried to entertain everyone they could. Therefore, every half hour there were some active classes: aerobics, Latin dances, Zumba and yoga. Several times African dancers and acrobats came to amuse us. Many played football, volleyball, ping pong, darts and boccia. By the way, bocce, or as I call it, “the game of French pensioners” I really liked – unusual, interesting and without the risk of injury, as in the case of volleyball.
There were 3 water slides, but since they were included on schedule, there was constantly a rush and queues. Therefore, only children rode on the slides. Also disappointing was that the pool was unheated. But behind the lagoon in the open sea there is a coral beach. It was a pleasure to swim with a mask – beautiful fish, crabs, transparent and heated by corals sea.
Probably the main advantage of the hotel “Sunny Days el Palacio” is the sea. The presence of a closed lagoon with a convenient entrance to the sea still allowed in January to swim, despite the piercing wind. The sea is so clear that even at a depth of five meters the bottom was visible. There is also a coral beach where it was very interesting to snorkel. In general, it is the beautiful sea that is the plus for which it would be possible to return to this hotel.
In the evening I did not have to be bored. At 20.00 the children’s disco began, and at 20.45 – karaoke or some competitions, and at 21.30 – evening performance. Every day there was a new program: oriental dances, shows with cobras, yoga, etc. After that, those who wanted to go to a fashionable disco in one of the nightclubs of Hurghadawere gathered in the lobby. Transfer with animators and entrance cost $ 12. At about 02.30 there was a collection to return to the hotel. In principle, everything is convenient and organized.
In general, the level of service is normal. Someone more friendly, someone less. We were very pleased with the quality of cleaning on our floor and in the rooms. The cooks and waiters also worked quickly and well. I didn’t like the service at the reception. There was also an unpleasant distinction on the basis of nationality, when at the bar you pour beer into a small plastic cup, and a German or An Englishman into a large glass.
Most of all in the hotel were Ukrainians and Belarusians. In second place are the Germans, who were visible from everywhere. There were also Dutch, British, Chinese and even Indians. In the last week of January, a lot of locals arrived. This caused a little discomfort, as many Arabs have very noisy and even nassy children who do not know the word “no”.
There were also local “majors” who constantly come to hotels in search of beautiful “Natasha”. Unfortunately, some of our girls only confirm the stereotype. I was uncomfortable that many Arabs, even from the service, constantly squinted and asked if I had a husband. Anyway, and in Turkey the service is not so intrusive and more isolated.
In general, the impressions of this hotel remained ambiguous. It seems that everything is not bad, but there was no special desire to return here. The last point was put by a dry ration, which showed a complete lack of respect for the guests. I am sure that even in the neighboring hotel “Palma de Mirette”, which is part of the same network, the attitude to guests is better. The only significant plus is the closed lagoon, but even in it it was cool to swim. Therefore, for our next trip, we will still be looking for another hotel.