The sun almost always shines on the Somabay peninsula, a welcoming sub-tropical finger bathing in the warmth of the Red Sea. Even in the depths of the cold and dark European winter visitors still pick-up a tan on the shores of the Red Sea.
Hurghada’s modern airport quickly sends visitors on their way on a dual carriageway heading south. Often it is a mere 40-minute transfer to the collection of luxurious hotels dotted along the Somabay coastline.
The Cascades Golf Resort, Spa & Thalasso
Surrounded by emerald green fairways and greens this hotel provides impeccable 5* service. The Moorish architecture of ochre walkways, lit by Arabic lamps, is given a colonial twist by wicker furniture on the verandas.
The star attraction is The Cascades Spa & Thalasso, named after the sea god, which offers a range of water-based treatments. An hour long Aquatonic treatment, with a succession of warm water jets – moving up the body from toes to head – plus floating along lazy rivers – is blissfully relaxing. Also, on offer is an astounding range of indulgent pampering massage treatments in the centre’s 65 treatment rooms.
Sipping a cocktail, look out from the Eagles’ Nest bar, over the fairways leading up to the Clubhouse, as the sunsets. The Cascades Championship Golf Course, designed by Gary Player, is a testing 18-hole links course running along the breezy and beautiful Red Sea coastline.
The Academy with three coaching professionals, the 18-hole course and a Par 3 nine-hole course for honing the short game, provides the perfect base for a golfing holiday.
The Kempinski Hotel Somabay
This is a supremely elegant 5* Hotel, a regal paean to the best of Moorish and Spanish architecture. There’s a palatial grandeur to the decor with two-metre high original oil paintings, of traditional Arabic scenes, gracing the ivy draped walls.
Curving tributaries lead off from the main pool allowing guests to swim around the generously proportioned site, sloping down to an idyllic beach.
As well as a restaurant offering a variety of international buffets and a beachside restaurant for lunch, there is also Bamboo Shoots, an oriental restaurant, and Pergola with an Italian menu.
Guests booking a suite enjoy a tranquil Club Lounge which provides extensive buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cocktails are served at sunset.
The Sheraton Somabay Resort
Two Sphinx-like stone statues guard the entrance to the resort, followed by a lengthy guard of honour of yet more lions. Architecture is based on the style of Luxor and the temples discovered in The Valley of the Kings.
Ideal for families, the welcoming hotel features the Somasplash waterpark. The most daring ride is the Wacky Boomerang for brave adrenaline junkies whilst there is a gentler trip on offer through the Rain Fortress.
Somabay hotels’ dine-around concept, backed by a network of shuttle buses, allows guests to pick and choose from the five hotels’ restaurants. Fans of Egyptian cuisine will be able to find several Egyptian nights, often with music and belly-dancing, to keep them entertained.
The Breakers Surfing and Diving Resort
With a laid-back surfer culture, the 4* hotel under the genial leadership of charismatic Stefan Reichl provides a unique definition of luxury: freedom for guests to do what they want, when they want.
Featuring the Orca Dive Centre, many of the guests head out along the jetty to either dive or snorkel over the coral reef. Boats depart regularly for prime diving and snorkelling sites whilst guests can also try their hand at Deep Sea fishing.
A regular shuttle bus serves the Kite House. Most days, at 4pm, visitors to Somabay can enjoy a free Kite Surfing lesson to see if this is their sport. Though they are unlikely to break Somabay’s speed record of 64 kmph.
Robinson Club Somabay
This hotel with children’s pool, full-board options and inter-connecting rooms is a popular family choice, particularly with German tourists seeking winter sun. For most guests the beach is the focal point with the beach bar at the hub of the action. An esoteric collection of bean bags, hammocks and beach furniture invites guests to kick-back as the DJ plays a chilled set. Borrow a backgammon set from the bar to keep the brain ticking over.
There’s an Ibiza-like club vibe around and an aroma of coconut sun-oil drifting on the warm Red Sea breeze. As the blood orange sun drops down behind the jagged peaks of the Red Sea Mountains, over the DJ’s left shoulder, there is a golden Instagram opportunity.