We all know Moses lead his people through the Red Sea out of Egypt when Pharaoh was chasing them. He was on the move, and he walked from the desert land to face the crystal blue waters with no-where to go. But the waters parted, and it is written, he walked across this great expanse heading upward toward Mount Sinai in the north.
And here we are! Facing the very same expanse of beautiful aqua blue ‘Red Sea’, with the desert and hills behind us.
But we certainly are not running from the enemy, but we have been on the move too. We are here for a time of rest as we are weary after our amazing and full-on Nile Explorer tour with Egypt Uncovered, and time before that in Europe. We are both so tired, and we have taken the bus for over 6 hours (up at 4:30 a.m.) to get here from Cairo.
Zorana from Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna greets (they offer a Greet and Assist Service) us at the bus stop, and has organised transportation for us to the resort. This sweet lady waited an hour in the sun for us – incredible service from the start.
As we drive to the resort, we are in awe of these man-made lagoons, islands, hotels, homes, and resorts all immaculately presented, and most in Nubian style. Reception greet us with a beautiful welcome drink, and I immediately sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programme when they tell me about the benefits of this amazing free service for their guests.
We are driven by golf cart to our suite in the building area of ‘Cluster Nine’, which Explorason is pretty impressed about, and is the next best thing to an amusement ride for him.
Waiting for us upstairs is our residence that will be our home for the next few nights was a beautiful platter of fruits, flowers, and Welcome cards and letters for both of us including the Kids Club.
We have been asked our preference on several matters, and so they have selected the room, beds etc. according to our needs. Knowing we are tired, we are given the relaxation area, and sunbeds with Sheraton towels are laid out for us on our own private balcony. I can see Omar Sharif’s private island home behind us, and before us is the Red Sea!
Now we are excited to see the Sheraton Miramar Resort property, so Zorana walks us around to see and point out all the features of this massive Resort. She explained about how they are an Eco-friendly resort (using Make A Green Choice), and we wonder at the amazing garden filled with exotic drought resistant plants, including the fresh aroma of lemon-scented Eucalyptus from Australia.
I felt a twang of homesickness, as I have a flashback of the Eucalyptus tree in my neighbours yard, Explorason sees the paddle boats and decides we have to exercise and get fit – maybe tomorrow.
All around there is recycling in the shape of the Nubian water clay jars, and a drip watering system for the plants with desalinated water. Being a green thumb, I loved this, and they have plants that were planted to honour their loyal guests.
There is even a Palace Building (darn – it was occupied so we couldn’t take a peek) where royals, the rich and celebrities come to stay.
It is a massive property (and one of the first in El Gouna) so having done the rounds, it was time for an early dinner at La Piscina Italian Restaurant. We met a nice English family here at the next table, and the kids although a little shy start to talk and arrange to meet later in our stay. I enjoyed some local white wine (yes Egypt does have good wine and it is made right in El Gouna and I decide I’d like to visit the winery whilst we are here, so Zorana kindly sets this up for me for tomorrow.
Evening sea breezes are just perfect as we walk back over the many bridges and it seems to be lit up like a fairy tale – it is just stunning!
We have Wi-Fi cards that are available from the hotel, and get great Wi-Fi for both our devices, so I post on Facebook and send a few Tweets to let everyone know where we are, and before I know it I am ready for a good nights sleep.
I wake at 5:30 a.m. just as the sun is about to rise, and grab my towelling robe, slippers and my camera, and head out quietly to the balcony for stunning sunrise photo. Then I pop in and make a coffee and bring it out to the sunbed, and have a nice hour to myself feeling very thankful to God that I am able to share this piece of paradise.
Explorason wakes and we head to the Miramar main restaurant for an alfresco breakfast.
I’ve booked a swimming lesson for Explorason, and a massage for myself for after lunch, so we change and walk to the TGI Diving Centre where we hire a pedal boat. This gave us a great chance to see the property from another angle as we pedalled around.
But before I know it, Explorason had his shirt off and was jumping in. I followed a bit later – I had to have a dip in the Red Sea! Every time I tried to get back on, he pedalled madly away, and I was swimming madly after him. It was quite funny – for him anyway, not so funny for me!
I took Explorason to the Kid’s Cub to complete the Registration and other required forms in advance, so that I could leave him there whilst I went off for my massage. They arranged for Freds Swim Academy to come and collect him, for the first of his private swimming lessons. He can swim, and is what I call “drown-proof”, but his technique is non-existent, and I wanted him to learn some specific strokes. The instructor chose Breaststroke, and we thought this was great considering he would be swimming like a frog, and their mascot was the frog too.
Now it was my turn! With Explorason taken care of, I headed to the Wellness Spa and Gym area (the gym has 24 hour guest access), and first off it was time in the steam room and a relaxation bed, before my massage. Being tired and stressed, we chose the aromatherapy massage in the Jewel Room, and it was incredible. The fragrance of Egyptian Jasmine filled the air, and before I knew it I was asleep. Never in my life have I fallen asleep. I woke to hear myself snoring, and looked up just as the lovely massage lady returned with a glass of chilled hibiscus juice for me. Best massage I have ever had, and if I were staying longer I definitely would select the package they offer on these.
I changed and wandered back in a bit of a daze for Explorason who was enjoying himself in the Kids Club with t-shirt painting, and he’d chosen an Egyptian design of a snake. He did a really great job, and the staff had guided him really well too.
Leaving the t-shirt paint to dry, we took a taxi to the EgyBev Winery where we met the owner Rania, who took us on a tour. It was fascinating as they came here over fourteen years ago and had to learn which grapes and soils worked in Egypt and have now a really successful business with beautiful wines and other products including Arak Kesrouan, Beausoleil, Jardin du Nil, and Shahrazad.
I found it really interesting learning about Sparking Wine / Champagne corks and how they change shape inside the bottle to the mushroom shape, and the process for fermentation too.
We returned to the Sheraton Miramar Resort in time for an early dinner, which suited us perfectly. This time we selected the Buffet dinner, and I confess I think I had three serves, as there were just so many choices!
We sat outside yet again, as the weather really was just so balmy and perfect that evening, and they smoke the area near the gardens to discourage mosquitoes too, so whilst I was chatting over the dinner table with some new friends who had returned seven times, they just loved it here so much.
Explorason was off exploring and taking photographs (his new hobby), and came back wanting a game of snooker / pool.
Feeling ever so relaxed after my massage and wine tasting, it was an early night again for me, and we took a leisurely stroll back through the gardens and past the pool area. It really was just so pretty, so we sat out on the balcony when we returned and enjoyed delicious strawberries as we listened to the gentle lapping of the Red Sea as it washed into the lagoon.
Next morning at breakfast, it was just lovely sitting out and watching the birds in the Ficus tree next to me dart in and out, grabbing tit-bits left by hotel guests.
There was such a wide choice at the breakfast buffet, and Explorason was off having crepes made to order, and I loved their choice of hot foods for breakfast. I think I have more of a savoury tooth, and he a sweet tooth, but he will burn it all off in his swimming lesson next.
He is really excited to have his swimming lesson with Freds Swim Academy again, way more than I even expected. And while he has his hour lesson with Christina, I decided it was ‘Mum time’ and joined in the Aqua Gym in the heated pool. I couldn’t stop laughing as I bobbed up and down with boys, girls, ladies, and even older men and women too. We were a real mix, of many nationalities bobbing up and down and splashing away in the pool.
Explorason joined in for some kid fun as we all took turns balancing on a surfboard while buckets of water were thrown at us. I did pretty well, and lasted for about 4 bucket loads, before I flipped off.
I could feel myself getting sunburnt, and I was surprised how ‘tuckered out’ Explorason was from his hour in the sports and exercise pool area, so we decided to go back and give him a rest in bed and I caught up on some writing and social media. I had so many photos I wanted to load of this beautiful piece of paradise here at the Red Sea.
Next thing we knew, there was a knock on the door. Someone had seen Explorason’s myriad of mosquito bites from our Felucca time on the River Nile last week, and were concerned for him. The maintenance team came in and fitted tow over the bed mosquito nets, and two electric insect repellent units, but the thing is the bites were not even from here. I just was so impressed at this! They really care about every aspect of their guests, and do all they can to make sure it is a perfect stay.
Now it was time to go exploring. Our first stop was the town centre where we met a man weaving a picture rug that was just so exquisite. There were spice stores, supermarkets, restaurants, clothing stores and even an outdoor free evening theatre.
Next was a ‘Tuc-Tuc’ taxi they call a ‘Tucxi’ and we zoomed around town for more of a tour, and then ended up at a stunning marina. It was a millionaire’s playground with boats in the centre, and people under beach umbrellas being delivered food and drinks, or playing in the water while adults shopped in the beautiful boutiques. We loved it here!
Really trying to pack all we could into our stay, we had arranged for cocktails to be served on the bar boat in the little lagoon out the front of the Miramar Bar and Bistro area back at Sheraton Miramar Resort. It was just so beautiful. Words can’t describe how wonderful it was to be here.
I felt so blessed as we walked over to dinner.
This was our last night and we both wanted to stay longer, but it was the Egyptian Easter, and everyone was heading to the Red Sea, so they were full.
We dined and talked as the sun went down and soft lights reflected in the water before us.
If ever you get the chance to visit Egypt, please take time to head to the Red Sea.
I hope one day we get the chance to return again to this incredible piece of Paradise.
We left Sheraton Miramar Resort feeling that we had been touched not only by the sun, but also touched by the warmth of their hospitality.
Accommodation Name: Sheraton Miramar Resort
Location: El Gouna, Red Sea, Hurghada, Egypt
Telephone: 0020 65 3545606 · Fax: 0020 65 3545608
Breakfast: Packages including full or part meals are available
Bar: Yes, several including boat, and beach bars Wi-fi: Yes
Child friendly: Definitely a family friendly resort Date stayed: April, 2015
More useful information (supplied by Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna and accurate at time of publication):
Sheraton Green Choice Program Make A Green Choice (MAGC)
Swimming lessons, water safety and swim line products with
Freds Swim Academy: Info line for tourists: +2 0111 303 1724
FREDS lines for residents living in Egypt: El Gouna: +2 0128 274 1000