“Home Sweet Home” – it’s a saying that warms the heart. It’s what comes to mind when thinking of your own home, your parents or grandparents home. It evokes loving thoughts of family, home baked meals and laughter-filled get-togethers. It is also a saying that comes to my mind when thinking of the hotel we recently stayed at in Egypt. It’s no wonder the hotel is called Sweet Home!
Situated along the Red Sea in Seahorse Bay, between Hurghada and El Gouna, I discovered a little piece of paradise that I wish I could really call my home. Hotel Sweet Home truly exceeded all my expectations and I am already planning my next trip back. We visited over July/August which is the hottest time there and a great time for kitesurfing. The temperatures were between 30 – 40 degrees Celsius. The sea temperature was also around 30 degrees, so if that is a little too hot for you then I would suggest going a few months earlier or later. Check out more temperature statistics here.
After being fetched from the airport you will be pleased to discover this beautiful hotel situated right at the water’s edge. Like an oasis in the desert, the stunning hotel and tropical blue water is truly refreshing after your travels. Each room has a sea view which is not surprising since the sea is just a few steps away. The rooms are also equipped with aircon, a TV boasting thousands of channels, a stocked minibar and a large bathroom with plenty of space to hang all your bikinis. The hotel has 11 rooms and are cleaned daily. The rooms are very large and we had more than enough space to store all our clothes and belongings and even our kitesurfing gear.
The hotel also has a large swimming pool, Jacuzzi and WiFi. By the end of your stay, the staff will feel like family members and you will be sad to see them go. Erika and Nazeeh are in charge of the hotel and they will be sure to see to your every need. Long before the end of your stay, you will all be calling each other by your first names and will grow so fondly of each other. For example, Hamada will refill your drink in less than 30 seconds and always has a smile on his face, even on the 40 degree Celsius days and Frans will become like your second dad or brother, always there for you in everything you need.
In terms of food, we went for the full-board option which I would highly recommend! Breakfast is a large buffet which also includes your choice of eggs and pancakes. Be sure to try out their homemade bread! After breakfast you may order what you would like for lunch from the restaurant menu. Though there was a large variety to choose from, Neil and I often ended up ordering the same thing every day! Neil would have a hamburger with an egg and a side of chips and I would have a chicken salad. Their pizzas and pastas are also amazing. All the portions are very big and always come with a side of bread rolls so you will never go hungry. Afternoon tea is served at 4pm where you can enjoy some cake and coffee or tea.
Dinner is the real show-stopper. At this time of the year, dinner (and lunch) is served at the pool area where you can enjoy your 5 course meal with a view of the ocean and the stars, with lights and music to compliment the experience. Dinner is different every night – we enjoyed cuisines from all around the world! It starts off with an appetizer, followed by soup and bread, followed by a salad and then a hearty main course – I told you the portions were big! And then lastly a scrumptious dessert. The staff at Sweet Home are very happy to follow any dietary requirements you may have. Drinks are charged separately but are very reasonably priced. Be sure to try their fresh juices and cocktails! I was also impressed with the quality of their wine (and coming from Cape Town, that means a lot!)
Sweet Home is the perfect place to wind-down and truly relax. Laze around on one the recliners by the pool, the beach or at your private deck. But if you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous, consider going snorkeling! The Red Sea is amazing for snorkeling and diving and I was really impressed with all the fish and beautiful coral that I saw. We also saw dolphins twice during our boat trip and got the opportunity to swim with them. Speak to the hotel about the amazing offer they have on snorkeling trips. The hotel can also arrange for you to go horseriding on the beach early in the morning or at sunset, you can also choose to ride bareback and take your horse swimming. We also enjoyed some quad bike and camel riding, but at this time of the year I found it to be way to hot and suffered from some sunstroke, especially since it’s far out in the desert with no sea breeze. Rather stick as close to the sea as you can during the hotter months.
I would also recommend getting an Uber, Careem (similar to Uber) or GoBus to downtown El Gouna – go during late afternoon/evening when it’s cooler and enjoy some shopping and restaurant hopping. There are also Taxis available, but they are a lot more expensive.
First of all. If you are not a kitesurfer and you usually don’t like the wind, you will learn to love it in Egypt since it cools you down!
For kitesurfers, I can’t recommend this place enough. A part of me also doesn’t want to recommend it because I want it all to myself! I have been kitesurfing all over the world and have stayed at many different types of accommodation but this is the closest I have every stayed to a kitesurfing spot. The convenience of walking out my door and taking just a few steps to launch my kite on the Hotel’s private beach still feels like a dream. In fact, I could not have dreamed up a better location!
If you are traveling alone, some of the staff at the hotel know how to land and launch kites safely – talk about great service! Most kitesurfers flock to the nearby town of El Gouna to kitesurf but over the years it has become far too crowded and it is difficult to find a spot that close to the beach. The consistent wind and shallow waters makes it perfect for all levels. As professionals, we loved how quiet the spot was and how consistently and often the wind blew. Beginners will also love it, with the cross-on wind and shallow water.
We planned our trip around Neil’s birthday – and we are so pleased that we did. Months before the trip, I briefly mentioned that we would be celebrating his birthday during our stay. They must have made a note of it, because the hotel truly went out of their way to celebrate the big day! As if the wishes throughout the day were not great enough, his birthday dinner was really spectacular. Our dinner table was decorated with birthday banners and a beautiful flower arrangement. And after our 5 course meal, the staff came out holding a birthday cake, singing happy birthday and handing Neil a gift! It was such a special moment that I will always remember. It’s not often that you get such family-style hospitality at a hotel.
It just goes to show how much love and attention has and is still going into this little haven on the Red Sea. I can’t wait to go back!
Book your stay at Sweet Home: E-mail Erika Huck – firstname.lastname@example.org