Winter In Soma Bay
Winter In Soma Bay – Escape your winter blues with some super sun at Egypt’s Soma Bay. The resort is a collection of upmarket hotels and private villas complete with marina, championship golf course and a huge spa centre
We wanted guaranteed good weather but without a long-haul flight. The answer? A week on Egypt’s stunning Red Sea coast.
Thomas Cook has just started direct flights to Hurghada from Glasgow which lets you escape the cold and be in the sun in just over five hours and spend your winter in Soma Bay
And their Priority Package is the perfect way to get your trip off to a relaxing start by skipping queues at check-in and security.
It also means your suitcases are first on the luggage belt when you arrive.
Hurghada has long been a favourite with British tourists thanks to its great location and perfect weather. But, for a more luxurious break, we headed along the coast to the beautiful Soma Bay for winter in Soma Bay
The resort is a collection of upmarket hotels and private villas complete with marina, championship golf course and a huge spa centre.
Our home was the elegant Kempinski Hotel, inspired by a Moorish palace and the most luxurious of Soma Bay’s five hotels.
The design makes it feel more like your own private village with rooms and suites spread out through beautifully laid-out gardens.
Our room was stunning with sea views to die for. Winter in Soma Bay is much more than just a beach break”
There are so many different swimming pools to choose from — including a shaded and enclosed one for the children — so it never feels crowded.
And in front of the hotel, the spotless beach is lined with pairs of private sunbeds with their own parasols and windbreaks.
It would be easy to spend the whole week relaxing at the hotel. But Soma Bay is much more than just a beach break.
The sea breeze means it’s a magnet for kitesurfers who flock to the Breakers Hotel’s laidback 7Bft Kite House to hit the waves.
Beginners can try a free introduction to the sport on the shore where you’re taken through the basics of controlling the kite.
It’s a great way to sample the sport and although we weren’t quite ready to grab a board and hit the waves ourselves, watching the experienced surfers skim over the sea was a fantastic sight.
The breezy conditions also mean Soma Bay is also ideal for windsurfing and sailing.
But if you prefer a slightly less energetic boat trip, the sunset cruise from the Robinson Club Hotel is an absolute must-do.
We set sail from Soma Bay’s marina to watch the sun sink behind the Egyptian mountains and then the full moon light up the waves.
And the views are even better during the day.
The Red Sea boasts one of the most incredible underwater environments in the world — and a glass-bottomed boat is great for seeing colourful coral reefs teeming with life.
It’s easy to understand why winter in Soma Bay attracts so many scuba divers and snorkellers.
So we headed to the Orca Dive Club to get kitted out in masks and flippers for a closer look.
Even if you’d rather stay on the dry side of the waves, the jetty leading out to Soma Bay’s snorkelling site stretches out 350m through countless shades of sparkling blue water and was one of our favourite spots to watch the sunset.
Floating in the waves above the delicate coral reefs felt like being in an episode of Blue Planet. But it’s not just the sea that winter in Soma Bay has to offer.
The resort’s Westin Hotel is surrounded by a championship golf course, standing out like a lush green oasis in the desert.
Soma Bay’s position on its own peninsula means it’s surrounded by the sea and the Westin’s position gives an incredible view of the turquoise water all around.
As golf novices, we had our first lesson with the course’s very patient pro.
With so many activities on offer at Soma Bay we loved the taster sessions as an introduction to what’s available.
We might not have given Rory McIlroy anything to worry about, but we had great fun at the driving range.
Go: Soma Bay, Egypt
GETTING THERE: Thomas Cook Airlines flies to Hurghada from Glasgow from £175.99pp.
See thomascookairlines.com or call 0844 412 5970.
There are Economy Plus packages, where you can save up to 30 per cent on booking extras and essentials separately and enjoy a range of services on board.
STAYING THERE: Prices at the Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay from £110 for a double room per night B&B .
Beside the Westin is the huge Cascades spa centre. With 65 treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms and a thalasso-tonic seawater pool, you could easily spend a week unwinding here.
We tried an underwater therapy using jets of water while I had the amazing Soma Bay Massage, probably the most relaxing treatment I’ve ever had.
Getting around the resort is simple thanks to the free shuttle bus. The hotels all work together to let guests try other restaurants and facilities while still charging it back to their own room.
What costs what?
Thomas Cook Priority Package: From £10
DO grab a beanbag on the beach to watch the spectacular sunset.
DON’T avoid trying something new. Soma Bay has taster sessions.
We dined at the Sheraton one night and enjoyed delicious seafood followed by an indulgent dessert buffet.
Each hotel has its own distinct look and the Sheraton is packed with ancient Egyptian influences, from sphinxes and a pyramid by the pool to towering columns in the lobby.
Dining at the Kempinski was also a highlight, with glasses of pink fizz at breakfast and three restaurants to choose from at dinner. The View offers a huge buffet, with chefs cooking steak and fish exactly as you like it.
During the day lunch is available at the Al Mar eatery or there’s a beach bar with service at your sunbed.
Every evening the staff set up another bar by the shore with beanbags on the sand where you can watch sunset while sipping a cocktail.
The service is as perfect as the food so it’s tough to leave.
Safety fears have put some tourists off Egypt but everywhere we went we were reassured by extra security features, from bag scanners at hotel entrances to stricter airport checks.
And there’s no doubt winter in Soma Bay is so amazing it deserves to be on everyone’s holiday wishlist.