When A-list sun-seekers are longing for a break they are increasingly turning to the natural beauty and dazzling sunshine of Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh. From Sheiks and royalty to Prime Ministers and Hollywood stars, Sharm El Sheikh’s unspoiled natural beauty has become a celebrity playground. And you can rest assured that in this desert sandbox, you will most certainly find an abundance of 5 star luxury. Located at the very tip of Egypt’s Sinai Penninsula, Sharm El Sheikh averages 27º C even in winter: the perfect destination for those seeking warmer climes. Flanked by red mountains on one side and the crystal clear Red Sea on the other; its natural beauty makes it an ideal getaway.
From the moment you step off the plane you feel as if you have landed in a tropical paradise. Angelina Jolie, Colin Farrell and Sharon Stone have all holidayed here. Tony Blair loved it so much he built a home here and Torchwood star John Barrowman annually flies out to work on his scuba technique.
There is no better destination than the five-star majestic Savoy hotel.The stunning property sits proudly overlooking the beautiful white-sanded White Knight beach. It’s a maze of dazzling white architecture surrounded by green and flowering gardens; full of giant archways and sheer white curtains billowing in the breeze –it oozes old world glamour. England footballer John Terry, John Barrowman and R&B star Craig David were all spotted lying by the pool recently. And it’s not surprising. It’s a deluxe resort and spa experience on one of the most dazzling coastlines in the world.
With a commanding view of the sea, the Savoy is surrounded by lush gardens, at the bottom of which lies the sparking Red Sea. This haven of luxury also has a private beach, just a few yards from an amazing coral reef offering world-class diving and snorkelling. Opt for the Royal Savoy – an exclusive part of the hotel that is ultra-luxurious; our room had a four poster bed from which we could glimpse outside a glass-doored balcony the inviting pool and the deep blue sea. The white pinstriped sheets were made of the finest Egyptian cotton and each day the attentive hotel staff brought in a different treat - one day it was a variety of Egyptian baklava and other day fresh fruit and cookies.
The Savoy’s azure blue tiled spa was heavenly scented. Offering up a range of Middle Eastern pampering treatments including a wonderful Turkish hamman, we opted for a deep tissue ‘Egyptian’ massage, which erased all traces of jet lag and caused us to sleep more deeply than we have in an age.
It’s no secret that Sharm has some of the best diving in the world. Its stunning coral reefs attract scuba fans from across the globe: it’s like going to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef minus the 24-hour flight. The Savoy hotel has their own on site diving reef on the property, so it’s really easy to get going – it’s also only a stone’s throw away from the famous Ras Muhammed underwater coral reefs. For those less brave the snorkelling is tremendous. The brightly coloured coral was only matched in brilliance by the sheer variety and splendour of the fish.
Our favourite outing was a 4 wheeled motorcycle ride across the Sinai desert. With giant Dior sunnies protecting our eyes, and head wrapped in Arab scarves, we flew at high speeds across a sunbaked desert valley. We raced our quad bike at full throttle across bumpy sand dunes, all the while surrounded by huge clouds of coloured dust. We finished our journey by stopping off at a Beduoin camp and sipping black and very sweet hot tea with a local tribe.
And tranquil Sharm is perfectly located for the adventurous. Sun International arranged for us to jet off to bustling Cairo for a look in at the Pyramids (it’s a mere one-hour flight). After traipsing around the ancient wonder, we dined on a luxury dinner cruise on the Nile before heading back to the peace and quiet of Sharm. It was the perfect day trip.
Easyjet flies to Sharm El Sheik regularly and return flights start at £220. Sun International excursions can be booked through the hotel. The Savoy is offering an exclusive rate to HELLO! readers of £140 per night - upgrade to Royal Savoy is extra, but worth it.
Sharm El Sheikh
Savoy Sharm El Sheikh (0020 69 360 2500)