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Movenpick El-Sokhna Resort: Almost paradise

What makes Ain Sokhna such a great destination for Cairenes is the fact that it stands less than an hour and a half away from the busy capital. All you need is to maneuver away from the crowded streets of Cairo to the open road between Cairo and Sokhna, which welcomes you with minimum speed limitation and maximum advertisement billboards. Among these ads are the ones concerning the new resorts taking over the seashore of Sokkna. Thankfully, I already had my reservation in Mövenpick Resort El Sokhna.
Booking in advance is the first advice you would hear from anyone experienced in Sokhna resorts. They are extremely crowded, especially on the weekends. These resorts are the target of high-class Egyptian families to spend a couple of days on the sea but close enough to the city to ensure an easy trip back home. Some families own a house or a villa there, but some families would prefer the full-service resorts that offer ready-made food and effortless fun for the weekend.
I picked Mövenpick Resort El Sokhna as my rescue plan after a hectic week in Cairo, spending Wednesday and Thursday nights there, I got to pay different rates for the nights. Weekdays are around 850LE a night while weekend nights are up to 1150LE a night. These rates are on half-board basis, which include two open buffets, breakfast and dinner.
What stands out in this resort is the amazing scenery surrounding the place. The hotel’s main building stands in front of mountains that gives the place a surreal atmosphere. Green areas are well-structured and tastefully designed around the hotel and the Red Sea stands still with no waves, like a huge lake rather than a sea. All these elements help create a relaxing atmosphere.
The hotel is outstandingly clean: constant rounds of cleaning take place to make sure that every corner of the hotel is spotless. Even the outdoor area is always clean and shiny, which can be really hard with the number of trees all over the place. Even the spots that tend to be left-off in hotels–like the gym room for example–is clean and well kept.
The facilities in the resort are amazing: The swimming pool is big, sparkly and directly overlooking the sea in a way that would make it hard for you to tell where the sea-line starts and where the pool finishes; the gym room is well-equipped with a couple of cardio machines and different high-quality weight machines; the Gazeera restaurant has a great welcoming atmosphere and a lovely view overlooking the sea.
That does not mean, however, that the hotel is 100-percent perfect–as a matter of fact, it is not. Both the breakfast and the dinner open buffets are mediocre and lack variety. The two buffets tend to include more complicated international dishes that would not satisfy the customer and sometimes taste plain. The grilled meat table at the dinner open buffet was a disaster both times I tried it and contributed to my on-going decision to go vegetarian.
The hotel is built on a huge area that falls between the main Sokhna road and the seashore itself, which can be a positive and a negative at the same time. While this huge area allows you the chance to walk around among the beautiful greenery and enjoy the sweet breeze, it could be considered a long walk between your room and the swimming pool under direct sun, or even a late night misadventure as you are trying to go back to your room after couple of drinks in the Gazeera restaurant.
Finally, the hotel is a family-oriented paradise that suites families and couples rather than groups of friends traveling for the joy of it. If you have no tolerance for kids screaming in the pool, or you thought of traveling to mend a broken heart, this is not the place for you.

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