Thomson Cruises Hotels
Extend your Thomson cruise by adding 7 nights pre or post cruise in one of their great value hotels. All transfers and rep service are included, and stays can feature before or after your cruise. Choose from options in Greece, Palma, Canary Islands, Egypt or even the Caribbean.
Dreams Vacation Resort
Sharm El Sheikh ****
A large All Inclusive hotel, this place offers up activities and entertainment around the clock. The sporty crowd should make a beeline for the basketball or volleyball courts, while those with a competitive edge will love the daytime programme of games and quizzes. In the evenings, meanwhile, cabaret shows are held in the open-air amphitheatre.
Another great thing about this place is the pool scene. Five lagoon-like pools weave their way around the complex, accessorised with tall palms and straw umbrellas. One of them even has its own waterslide.
As for the bedrooms, they’re housed in low-level buildings dotted around the grounds. Inside, they’re spacious and well-dressed. Whitewashed walls are contrasted with a brightly-coloured feature wall, while glass balcony doors let in plenty of light. Each room comes with air-conditioning and a satellite TV, too.
Last but not least, a word on dining. Large buffets come courtesy of the main restaurant, while the à la carte Mexican does a mean line in fajitas and enchiladas. When you really want to splash out though, book a table at the Asia House. With its red pillars, traditional lanterns and soft drapes, its décor is every bit as impressive as its food.
Hilton Sharks Bay Resort
Sharm El Sheikh ****
The Hilton Sharks Bay may come with a four-star tag but you’ll find no airs and graces here. In fact, this whitewashed complex prides itself on its down-to-earth attitude. It’s something that’s obvious from the moment you step into its marble lobby. Friendly and informal, you can’t help feeling right at home.
The laid-back vibe has probably got a lot to do with the setting. Looking out over its private beach, it’s hard to be anything but relaxed here. The sands are dotted with thatched parasols and palm trees. And the jetty stretches out into the blue seas so snorkelling around the coral reef is always on the agenda.
When you want to give the beach scene a miss, there are seven swimming pools in the hotel gardens. The main lagoon pool is the biggest, while another has a waterslide. And all are surrounded by spacious terraces with sunbeds and umbrellas, so you never feel short on room.
To up the ante, there’s a packed activities programme seven days a week - things like water polo, minigolf and tennis. There’s also a fully-equipped gym with aerobics classes. And the Kidz Paradise club makes sure younger guests aren’t left out either.
The Sharks Bay has got just as much going for it inside. On the food front, there’s the casual Mahfouz Restaurant which serves international dishes. Plus there’s the Il Rustico, a modern Mediterranean eatery. Or if it’s just a drink, try Café Cino or the Chill Out Bar. As for the bedrooms, expect a spacious split-level room with a soft neutral décor and extras like on-demand movies and air-conditioning.
Iberotel Palace, Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh is renowned for its all-singing, all-dancing hotels. But this one is cut from a different cloth. Because it’s smaller and cosier both in looks and atmosphere, it sits right at the more intimate end of the Sharm spectrum.
Take the main terrace. With one end opening to the sandy beach, it doesn’t spread its wares far and wide. Instead, it keeps things simple, with two split-level lagoon pools ringed by bougainvillea-draped terraces, sunloungers and parasols.
As for facilities, you’ve got a Roman-style indoor pool, tennis and a nice line in evening entertainment - cue a pub-themed bar that hosts live music most nights. Regular Egyptian folklore shows add spice.
In terms of location, the hotel is a two-minute walk from Old Sharm - and Naama Bay is a short bus or taxi ride away. What’s more, the hotel runs free boats to and from an offshore coral reef when you’re up for some snorkelling.
Like the rest of the interiors, the bedrooms are comfortably done out without being OTT. They’re finished in soft creams with pale-wood furnishings and marble floors. Plus, they all come with balconies or terraces furnished with wicker patio sets.