Soma Bay, Egypt

Soma Bay, Egypt

Soma Bay, Egypt

First published in Holidays Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Fashion & Beauty Writer

Guaranteed sunshine, clear blue seas and luxury hotels, it’s the stuff dreams are made of, but it’s also a pretty good description of Egypt’s Soma Bay resort.

The exclusive resort, located about 30 miles south of Hurghada, boasts some of the most beautiful sandy beaches of the Red Sea and is a true paradise for water enthusiasts.

Whether it’s the energetic sport of kite surfing or diving amongst the colourful coral, this peaceful destination oozes luxury.

The resort is also home to a Championship golf course designed by South African star Gary Player. Despite looking somewhat out of place in the middle of the desert, the green’s panoramic views of the mountains and constant blue skies are sure to provide you with a game to remember – that’s if you can handle playing in such heat.

Soma Bay is now home to five hotels all situated just minutes apart offering guests the opportunity to make the most of each by using the free short shuttle between hotels.

On my recent visit to the resort I stayed at the La Residence des Cascades and the Kempinkski.

Both luxurious in their own way, La Residence des Cascades is a magnificent golf resort and home to the awardwinning thalasso spa centre and Kempinkski, the newest of the two, enjoys a wonderful beach-front location.

La Résidence des Cascades sits in the centre of the golf course and is positioned on the highest point of the peninsula of Soma Bay enjoying panoramic views from all sides, and the best vantage point is from the hotel’s aptly named bar the Eagle’s nest. Located on the top floor of the hotel this English-style bar is the ideal place to relax with a drink whilst watching the sunset and maybe even spot a Sea Eagle that can often be seen on the east coast of Soma Bay.

The hotel has 210 spacious guest rooms plus 39 luxurious suites, all with views of the sea and the Cascades Championship Golf Course.

But aside from the golf, the hotel’s other main attraction is the spa and thalasso centre. The waters around Soma Bay have been renowned for their richness and natural healing power, making this the ideal base for effective thalasso-therapy.

The centre is easily accessible for all guests and as well as the extensive list of treatments available, it also includes an aquatonic pool.

The Kempinski, however is a much grander hotel, designed as a moorish fortress with oriental accents, this luxury hotel features an impressive system of pools, waterfalls and lagoons and it doesn’t stop there, its beach-front location means you also have direct access to the beautiful waters of the Red Sea.

The lagoon runs around the pool area and is the perfect place to unwind, just grab a ring, lay back and float the day away.

Fine dining is also a key feature of the hotel, with three restaurants all offering guests something a little different. The View restaurant which overlooks the resort serves both buffet breakfast and dinner, while the Al Mar restaurant serves a poolside al la carte menu every lunchtime, the third restaurant Bamboo Shoots is Asian inspired featuring food from Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The most unique dining experience available however, is dinner in the sea.

Yes, you read that right. A private table is set up in the shallow shores of the sea and you can enjoy a customised menu with your feet paddling in the sea and the sun setting, this experience is a must for anyone staying at the hotel, especially if you are celebrating a special occasion.

Soma Bay is rapidly growing and plans for a further two hotels are in full swing.

This year has also seen the opening of several shops around the marina.

Although there is plenty for children to enjoy, from my experience, I would say the resort is best tailored for either couples looking for a relaxing break or water enthusiasts hoping to make the most of the exceptional facilities on offer.

With the resort situated on nearly a mile of reef, the sea is key to many guests. The dive centre based at The Breakers Diving and Surfing Lodge, allows guests to hire equipment to explore the seas, whether it’s setting off on their own at the end of the jetty for a spot of snorkelling or taking part in one of the many organised snorkelling or diving boat trips.

The trips leave from the marina and take you out to particular reef beauty spots, where you can explore the wonderful coral reefs and experience the amazing colours that lie beneath.

If you’re looking for something a little more energetic kite surfing is the sport to try. The natural inlet of the bay and the high winds make it a great place for all abilities to take to the water.

With a flight time from the UK of less than five hours, year-round sunshine and a range of activities to enjoy, Soma Bay is the ideal holiday location at any time of the year.

Factfile

• Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay – September Receive 25 per cent off room rates.

ITC Classics (01244 355 527; itcclassics.co.uk) is offering prices from £940 per person based on two adults sharing a garden view room for seven nights, including daily breakfast, return flights with easyJet from London Gatwick and private transfers.

Saving up to £230 per person Valid for travel completed by September 30, 2011.

• Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay – October ITC Classics (01244 355 527; itcclassics.co.uk) is offering prices from £1,269 per person based on two adults sharing a garden view room for seven nights, including daily breakfast, return flights with easyJet from London Gatwick and private transfers. Based on an October departure date.

• Nightly rates at Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay start from €200 (£175*) per room B&B.

• La Residence Des Cascades – September Sovereign Luxury Travel (0844 415 1936; sovereign.com) is offering seven nights from £699 per person on a B&B basis. Price includes flights from London Gatwick and transfers. Saving up to £127 per couple.

• La Residence Des Cascades – October Sovereign Luxury Travel (0844 415 1936; sovereign.com) is offering seven nights from £895 per person on a B&B basis. Price includes flights from London Gatwick and transfers.

n Nightly rates at La Residence Des Cascades start from €100 (£87*) per room B&B.

* Prices subject to change depending on exchange rate.

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