Sharm El Sheihk, Egypt (review published 2010)

It’s the annual dilemma that has the potential to put the skids under the most stable of marriages – where to go on holiday.
He wants to immerse himself in history, she wants to immerse herself in a good book while lazing on the beach.
He wants some high-octane thrills to get the adrenalin pumping, she wants a nightclub where the Bacardi & Cokes are freely flowing.
But before warring couples scan the Yellow Pages in search of a good divorce lawyer, they should leaf through Thomson’s Egypt brochure, for a solution lies therein.
Sharm El Sheikh, situated at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, is the year-round destination with something for everyone.
Well, except snow for keen skiers as the average temperatures range from 65F in January to 95F in July.
For her, the holiday resort has an abundance of reasonably-priced quality hotels boasting private sandy beaches with more than enough sun loungers and thatched parasols for everyone.
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Renaissance Golden View 3.jpg

Renaissance Golden View Beach Resort
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When night falls she can join an organised pub crawl in vibrant Naama Bay, where she’ll also find bazaars, street cafes and clubs, including the world-class Pacha.
He, meanwhile, can get his kicks scuba diving in the Red Sea’s underwater paradise or roaring across rippling desert sands on a quad bike.
But the real pulling power of Sharm is that there’s probably not another place on Earth with so many historically important sites within easy reach.
St Catherine’s Monastery, where God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush, and Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments, is only a two-and-a-half hour coach ride away.
It’s possible to fly to Cairo, explore the pyramids and museum, take a trip down the River Nile and still be back at your hotel by bedtime. Or go by coach and stay overnight in the capital.
Day trips are also available to the temples and royal tombs in Luxor, the holy city of Jerusalem in Israel and the rock-cut city of Petra in Jordan.
When my wife and I visited Sharm we stayed at the Renaissance Golden View Beach Resort, part of Thomson’s Platinum Collection of 4-star and 5-star hotels.
All Platinum hotels are rated ”good” or ”excellent” by at least 90% of customers. Other ‘Platinum Privileges’ include extra baggage allowance and a first or second drop from the airport.
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Renaissance Golden View Beach Resort
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After a 30-minute transfer, we passed through the Renaissance’s palatial lobby to the first of the hotel’s four outdoor pools (although only one is heated).
Its 384 rooms, many with sea views, are in low-rise terraces which tumble down to the man-made beach. The gardens are fragrant and lush – a miracle considering the climate.
The Renaissance has four restaurants – Mexican, Italian, international and buffet – and light entertainment is sometimes served up with the meals. …​
There’s tennis, beach volleyball, a diving centre, a sauna and steam room and on-site shop, although we found a cheaper mini-supermarket just outside the gates.
The Renaissance is away from Naama Bay’s hubbub of excitement but a shuttle bus service means the nightlife is only a ten-minute ride away.
For me, the beauty of the hotel was that it had its own coral reef offering up some of the best snorkelling in Sharm.
I wasted no time in buying the laminated Fish Of The Red Sea card from the hotel shop before excitedly skipping across the floating pontoon to the reef.
Like a kid on a school outing to a museum or zoo, I’d place a tick next to any fish on the card that vaguely resembled ones I’d captured on my underwater camera.
‘‘Jayne, Jayne,’’ I’d call to my better half, ‘‘I think I’ve got a puffer fish.’’ And with the patience of a saint she’d look up from her book for the umpteenth time and fain enthusiasm.
Then I’d dive back into the sea and she’d dive back between the covers of her novel and everyone was happy – and that’s the beauty of Sharm El Sheikh.
It’s the perfect his and hers hol.
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Travel file
Thomson flies to Sharm El Sheikh from Birmingham. Seven nights B&B at the Renaissance Golden View Beach Resort starts at £525pp per week (early May). Going all-inclusive with Thomson at other hotels starts from £515pp per week. Click here here to view Thomson’s Egypt offering.
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Excursions from Sharm
  • Dip your toe into scuba diving with an introductory briefing in shallow waters before exploring Sharm’s coral reefs – half day, £49.
  • Grab your snorkelling mask for a Red Sea cruise, the boat dropping anchor at three rainbow-coloured reefs – full day, £39.
  • Want to watch the underwater world but don’t fancy wriggling into a wetsuit? Then a glass-hulled boat trip is for you – half day, £35.
  • Straddle a quad bike and snake your way around golden dunes on a desert safari with lunch in a Bedouin tent – half day, £39.
  • Float in the Dead Sea then follow in the footsteps of Christ in Jerusalem, checking out the Wailing Wall as you go – full day, £145.
  • Visit the 6th century St Catherine’s Monastery, built on the spot where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments – full day, £39.
  • Sail to Jordan to explore jaw-dropping Petra, the ancient city which lay hidden in the rose canyons for 1,000 years – full day, £200.
  • Fly to Luxor (ancient Thebes) and marvel at its temples then cross the Nile and walk through the Valley Of The Kings – full day, £179.
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