The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh
by Daniel Lanier
The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh is quite new Only on Hurghadas hotel scene about two years, it is not too early to say that within this short time it has become Hurghadas most exclusive place. I visited the hotel 18 months ago, after I had heard many impressive statements about its architecture and its interior decoration. Since I am cursed with a sometimes gnawing aversion of hotels which look expensive, but not unique, which look big, but not great, I hesitated at first, but then asked for a little tour, to see it with my own eyes. I wasn't disappointed; the statements were correct. During my second, more recent visit, much too my surprise I found it to be even more impressive. While I did not spend a night there one and a half year ago, this I time I could not resist to try the new Oberoi for some few days.
It is not always easy to discover the differences between luxurious five-star hotels and their four-star counterparts. Four-star hotels often have equally luxuriously furbished rooms in a nice building, exclusively located, with excellent service and also that kind of hospitality for which some people are ready to pay a little more in five-star hotels, just to be on the safe side. Many times it is worthwhile to be charged for one more star, other times it is just wasted money. Here, in the noble Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh Hotel, your five-star money is definitely not wasted. On the 20 km long way from Hurghadas city center to the hotel, we passed by dozens of hotels, every third one a kitschy, bombastic tourism castle with a reckless, gross and shrill mix of styles. The Oberoi is the last hotel at the very southern end of Hurghada, located on a sloping hillside, which at the same time, is the whole areas highest point. And the Oberoi is different. It consists of a large elegant central building in the shape of a palace, and each of the 104 suites resemble a small palace, too its like living in a fairytale from A Thousand And One Nights.
This time, the landscape was much greener than when I saw the hotel the first time, but even some sandy dunes and undulating desert areas still exist between all these small and large palaces, as if a horsemen of an ancient Bedouin tribe could suddenly appear in the desert. The architecture is of a kind which is usually rewarded with design prizes, and indeed it has received international design recognition. Where ever we were strolling through the hotel, we met distinguished Arabic-Islamic architecture solutions very intelligent, very restraining, with a great sense for the surprising detail, enriched with fine original contemporary art, sculpture as well as paintings and graphics, created by Egyptian artists.
The Individual Suites There are only suites, no ordinary rooms, and already the lowest suite category doesnt leave the guest with any desires unfulfilled. We opted for this lowest level, a Deluxe Suite, 96 square meters with fine furniture, elegant furnishing ideas and high-quality fabrics all of these things with that kind of seducing understatement, which does not want to overwhelm you. It is just
noble in the most perfect sense and nothing else. We had two rooms, separated by pillars, with a nice living room furniture ensemble, a royal-size bed, mini-bar, two TV sets receiving international satellite channels and a DVD player (a large selection of movie and music discs are available at the reception). Cupboards, tables and all fabrics in the suite are completely or partially designed in the Arabic style of the region. The walk-in wardrobe more than adequate in size, and the large marble bathrooms tub is sunken into the ground and of natural stone. One wall of the bathroom, directly behind the glassy shower cabin and the bathtub, is completely of glass and opens the view to a very small garden. Sitting in the bathtub or showering yourself, you always see the flowers outside and the blue sky, which I found to be unbelievably relaxing.
One might even open the shower cabins door for a very unique showering outside experience. Dont worry, everything is surrounded by a high wall including a blind. No one is able to watch you in the bathroom. To every Deluxe Suite belongs a spacious private courtyard, surrounded by a wall and some greenery and with garden furniture. The other categories of suites, the Grand Suite and the Royal Suite, measure 150 square meters and 250 square meters and feature its own private swimming pool as well as a romantic private terrace, in case of the Royal Suite extended by a marvelous little dining pavilion. Needless to say, all Grand Suites and Royal Suites and most of the Deluxe suites offer panoramic sea view. The restaurants, a library, reception hall and spa center, all located in the main palace, satisfy equally highest design expectations, and so it does not surprise that the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh we was allowed to become a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World a recommendation which was granted to only a very few hotels in North Africa
Left: The Library; Right: the Main Restaurant Service and hospitality have certainly influenced this decision. We were talking too much during the breakfast and our coffee got cold. No problem, a waiter took the pot quietly and unasked and returned with fresh and hot coffee. We were relaxing at the sandy, 850 meters long beach and longed for something cold and fresh. No problem, the hotelss hospitality jinn sent us a waiter, which suddenly passed by and brought us some delicious melon pieces, free of charge. We stayed at our suite and wanted to have some tea, without bothering the room service.
No problem, the mini-bar is equipped with an electric teapot and some bags of tea and coffee, also free of charge. Every morning when we returned to the suite after having breakfast at the dining halls terrace, we found little bowls with fragrant blossoms swimming in water, one of the features which makes you celebrating your day, every day. At the end of a nice evening we sat in our private courtyard by night, listening to the sound of a disco or bar, which traveled up our hillside from one of those kitschy beach resorts far far away. And we were really happy to be here and not there. Hotel Facilities
- 6 Royal Suites
- 12 Grand Suites
- 86 Deluxe Suites
- Air-conditioning in all rooms
- Hairdryer in all bathrooms
- Complimentary daily newspaper
- Complimentary fruits, flowers and blossoms arrangement daily
- 24-hour in-suite dining
- Laundry and dry-cleaning service
- In-room safe
- International direct telephone
- Computer data point
- Several restaurants and dining Rooms
- Pergola Bar
- Bar and Lounge with Live Music
- Beach Bar
- Exclusive meeting facilities for up to 60 persons, with advanced equipment
- Swimming Pool (heated during winter time)
- Diving Center, PADI qualified
- Health Spa
- Steam Sauna
- Souvenir and Gift Boutique
- Money Exchange
- Safari, Excursions and Trip Booking
- Children Activity Club, supervised and equipped, for example with DVD-player and Play Station
- Limousine and Car Rental
- Lighted Tennis court
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Last Updated: April 27th, 2011