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TUI Egypt – Coral Sea Holiday Resort Review

Holiday Overview

As it was getting cold here in the UK and our recent holidays were action packed, we thought what better way to catch a bit of November sunshine and relax than a resort holiday. We picked to go with TUI to the all inclusive resort Coral Sea in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The package included everything – flights, transfers, food, drinks, WiFI, entertainment, anything else expected with a resort holiday.


One massive benefit and safety net when booking through TUI is that they have their own fleet of aircrafts. Therefore a majority of those on the flight are heading on holiday as well and you won’t be at the mercy of a partner airline cancelling and leaving you stranded. TUI will take a priority is making sure you get to your resort on time and if not find an appropriate arrangement.

We flew out of Gatwick London directly into Sharm El Sheikh early in the morning. Therefore we had to be out the door 5:30am to get to the airport with enough time. We are sticklers for ensuring that we always arrive to an international flight 2-hours early (never missed a flight as a result). When we arrived to the airport we were able to get our tickets and drop our bags off easily. It was an automated system so we simply used a kiosk and dropped our bags within 10minutes. Gatwick airport at the time (maybe still!) was struggling and therefore security took at least 45mins to get through. But we had the time and happily got through with plenty time to spare.

The flight time is 5hours 30mins so make sure to bring some form of entertainment on the plane with you. We were provided with bottle water and a bag of crisps halfway through the flight. Nothing particularly interesting about the plane (Boeing 737) but more than comfortable enough. We arrived on time around 5:30pm local time with the destination being 2hours ahead of the UK.

Arriving in during sundown.

VISA/Airport Arrival

Ok, listen up. I might be able to save you some money here. For most people you will require a VISA in your passport. You can do this 2 ways, either do an application online through the Government website and pay the $25 USD . Alternatively you can pay for a VISA on arrival, the way we did it. It’s worth nothing, that they don’t check anything. You literally hand money over and they give you a sticker to put in your passport. We had done this before and knew the price was $25USD so got money out before we arrived as we were unsure whether an ATM would be available at the airport arrival hall (we once got trapped in Vietnam airport needing a VISA where cash was required but there was no ATM – story for another article). As we departed the plane and arrived into the terminal hall, an assistant pointed to a TUI table for VISAs. We thought “Great!, this is safe and easy”. The TUI clerk then asked for ~$30USD, but we only had prepared $25USD each so he pointed us to an ATM about 50meters down the hall. We were annoyed at this as it was meant to be $25USD but as we were walking to the ATM there was an office in the corner with a big ‘VISA’ sign. We approached the desk and the price for a visa was $25USD which we paid and were handed a VISA sticker each. Majority of people as expected went to that TUI desk and paid more money than was necessary. The VISA literally says $25 on it!. This in our opinion is shady behavior by TUI and must be remedied. Do not start a holiday using what i would consider as a SCAM!

After getting the VISA, we headed through Passport Control. The process in Egypt is a little more complex that most places. The Officer will ask a few questions (eg: purpose of visit) and requires you to have your photo taken and finger prints scanned. As this happens to every person it did take around 30minutes to get through this stage. After this you will head to baggage claim, collect your bags and depart the airport after one more scan of your bags. There’s no rush though as you will have to wait for everyone to get through and out the airport being leaving.

As you exit into the arrivals hall, there will be a lot of people screaming at you to jump in their cabs, but all you have to do is look for the TUI sign. They will point you the carpark and tell you which bus you will need to get on (there’s a lot of buses going to different resorts). They will also give you bag tags to attach to your luggage. This was honestly very painless and well managed.

Resort Check-in

During November the sunsets early at around 4:50pm each day so when we arrived around 6:30pm (flight landed 4:30) it was dark and we were ready to get to our rooms and freshen up after a big day of travel.

As we got off the bus staff members were collecting the bags. We were then instructed to line up where we were then given resort wristbands (once on, they don’t come off for the rest of the stay). We then enter the reception area where we are presented with a welcome juice in a champagne flute and a form that we need to fill out prior to approaching the check-in desk. A lot of people did this in the queue which was the better way as not to lose your spot. Once completed, we were given our room keys and told to go back to where the bus dropped us off and where our bags were for the staff to show us our room.

At this point, it became a bit of a disaster. There was not enough staff and probably around 60 people waiting. They had maybe 4 golf buggies that could take 3people at a time. After staff members figured out that this was a lost cause they grouped people by their room numbers and got us to walk to our rooms. This processes was pretty hilarious because we easily could have found our own rooms ourselves and it was maybe a 2minute walk from where we were standing with our bags for minutes. This process seemed all very odd considering its not a new resort and they must have gone through this all before. Anyways, we treat every travel day as a write off so just had to laugh. We got into our room at the end! . We were then able to go to the Buffet to eat dinner.


We booked very last minute so there weren’t too many options but we ended up with the “Room with Balcony or Terrace”. Overall we were pretty pleased with the room. It was spacious, clean, good amenities. Your standard hotel room. Our room was on the 3rd floor and had a nice view of the quiet adult only pool.

The bed was very large, it was on the harder side but pretty standard for this part of the word. Each room had it’s own air conditioning that worked just fine. The television was a pretty old LCD with only a few English news channels, however it was HDMI compatible so we could plug in our laptop and watch Netflix/Sport (bring your own HDMI cord).


Food! the one thing you’re going to be very interested in. There was a main buffet and then they had a number of special cuisine restaurants. How it works is that for the special restaurants you get to go once during your stay for free. These included the following:

  • Bamboo Asian restaurant – Chinese food.
  • Mediterraneo restaurant – Italian influences.
  • Village Diner – American food
  • Sari Restaurant – Indian food

They have set time for lunch and dinners. But if you’re starving between these times they do have smaller buffet areas to get snacks.

Honestly, if you’re an adventurous eater you will be used to different cuisines from around the world and have a level of expectation of authenticity. The food is Ok here but nothing special, but it’s enjoyable enough as long as your expectations are not too high. What you will enjoy from these restaurants is the ability to get away from a Buffet environment and enjoy sit down service and a restaurant ambiance. The Indian restaurant was the best out of all that we tried.

They also have the Stone Grill restaurant. This is a paid experience not part of the inclusive package. We did not go here so cannot comment.

Buffet is where you will most likely be eating during lunch and the occasional night. It’s pretty massive and has a lot of different options including deserts. Each night they will have a special area depending on the country they focus on. Eg: British Night or Egyptian Night. The Egyptian food you could get throughout the stay was by far the best quality and tasting of any food on offer. This obviously makes sense as the chefs are Egyptian and the food is local. Whereas if you’re trying to get British food, it won’t taste like what you’re expecting. Not bad… just not good. For lunch you have the buffets and also one sit down service restaurant on the beach that serves North and South american food.

Overall, the food was a bit disappointing in taste but there was enough options to keep it interesting and we certainly never went hungry. I hope this resort in the future features a traditional Egyptian cuisine restaurant. Seems strange not to.


All inclusive means all inclusive and that includes drinks. You will have an option of pretty much anything you want, beer, cocktails, hard liquor, wine, soda etc. You can pay additional if you’re interested in a foreign spirts but we really had no issue with the drinks available. They were delicious and there was no limit to how much you could enjoy. We primarily stuck to Beer when at the beach and pool and during the evenings had a few cocktails/mixers. They have bars at each pool/beach/restaurants in addition to the sports bar and evening bars. What we particularly enjoyed was sitting on the beach chairs and having drink orders taken and delivered to us.

Example cocktails – ignore price as it’s free.


There are two pools and one comes complete with a swimup bar. The pool we preferred was the quiet pool that was located outside of our room. It was relaxing, adults only, so we could comfortably listen to our headphones and read our books. We had no issue with getting a spot at any time of the day, there was enough spots even with some people reserving their loungers first thing in the morning. The second pool (main pool) was very large. Music was pumping and a kids section connected. Aqua Aerobics is performed once a day which we did not take part of but did enjoy watching others get into it.

Quiet pool

There’s also a separate aqua park with slides, chutes and a lazy river across the road at the sister resort. We spent one afternoon here and did every slide and lazy river. They also had a surf machine which looked like a lot of fun (we regret not doing this!). They have snacks available here but Alcohol is not served.

Activities and Entertainment

Once the sun’s set, pull up a chair to watch a show or work your way around the five bars. The Terrace Bar has an al fresco area that looks out over the sea.The sports bar plays host to big screen TVs for watching the latest football games, as well as billiards tables and dart boards.

  • Evening entertainment programme (singing/dancing)
  • Kids’ club
  • Live music
  • Live sport screenings
  • Volleyball/Basketball
  • Aqua Park
  • Shisa Tent – extra cost
  • Sauna/Spa – extra cost
  • Hairdressers – extra cost
  • Photography shoot – extra cost


The beach is a sandy beach with umbrellas and loungers. The water is very shallow and goes on for a long time, so don’t expect to be able to cool off and have a swim. However, they have a massive jetty that goes out far enough to an area that allows you to swim under the supervision of a lifeguard. Every evening we would walk along the Jetty and spot different types of fish (watch out for the Lionfish though!!!) . We spent most of our days on the beach looking at the water and having a few drinks. It would seem most people however prefer the pool areas (hey! more room for us).


This was a critical concern for us. UFC 281 and the Rugby between NZ v England was playing when we were there. So having a strong WiFi connection was key. We had previously seen others complain in reviews that they were made to pay for WiFi. This was not the case for us. It was completely free and better yet the speed was more than good enough. It pulled in 20mb/s even through a VPN.


Because all you do is pretty much eat and drink ungodly amounts of Alcohol on trips like these, we like to start our day at the Gym. Fortunately, not many others share the same idea as us and therefore it was pretty rare we had to share the gym with other guests. The Gym had everything that a basic gym would require, including various weight machines, dumbbells (up to 15kg), bikes, treadmills, yoga mats. There was cold water available and towels.


Checkout was easy. Our flight was scheduled for 5:30pm so we had to be ready at the bus outside the resort entrance at around 3:30pm. A worker took our bags from us at our room and took it to the bus ahead of checkout time which was useful. Checkout was as simple as handing over the keycard.

The airport itself is not a fun experience (in our opinion anyways) but it’s not confusing. You will be body scanned, bags scanned, and patted down as soon as you enter. You will then go to checkin desk (took maybe 40mins). Once bags dropped, you will go through passport control and have your finger prints taken. Then you go through security (patted down again). As we left security and started heading to the shopping area we were both randomly selected for another bag check and drug swab on our bags. We bought some Burger King in preparation for the flight home, and before arriving at our gate we were “randomly” patted down and bags searched again. So overall 4 times we were patted down and bags checked (rather overboard). Anyways, we were put on the shuttle and driven out to the flight. Oh, then someone died on our flight. I’m not even kidding….


TUI has fantastically priced packages. This is why we have done quite a few now. When you add in the fact that once you pay up front there’s nothing additional making it a really fantastic deal. We purchased this package 3weeks prior to going and you really cannot complain.

This is the amount for the two of us:


Overall we enjoyed the trip. Our main objective was to sit in the sun and relax after a stressful year of work. This was accomplished. Once you’re at the resort, there’s nothing to worry about and it’s truly a relaxing experience.

We have done a similar package with Tui a few years prior and went to Hurghada at the Mamlouk Palace resort in February . We personally would pick Mamlouk over Coral Sea due to the food being superior and themed restaurant ambiance. However, the Aqua park at Coral Sea was pretty cool, especially if you have children.

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