Esquire Ultimate Weekends #2: Water Sports In The Red Sea

Why Egypt’s Soma Bay resort should be at the top of your travel list

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For a weekend getaway that doesn’t involve the Costa Del Sol, Egypt’s growing Red Sea resort is the perfect choice.

A 40-minute desert drive from Hurghada airport, the five luxury Soma Bay hotels mark the first ventures into the what’s certain to be the biggest holiday destination around in five years time.

Get in early now and enjoy the resort before anyone else with our two-day guide.

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Day One

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A buffet breakfast at The Breakers (the first watersport-lifestyle hotel in Egypt) is an essential start to a day of relaxed snorkeling. The Orca Diving and Surf Lodge next door to the restaurant will fit you out for nautical exploration, then it’s down to the hotel’s 420m jetty – think crystal blue water and Finding Nemo-esque coral reefs – where you have the chance to snorkel or scuba dive among fish big and small.

The reef ends with the jetty and slopes dramatically downwards, meaning there’s a shallow snorkeling area if its your first time, and a deeper pool if you want to get among the divers and the slightly bigger fish (although don’t expect to see any sharks, they normally stay further out). Don’t worry if you don’t have your PADI license – The Breakers offers a full course in their hotel pool.

After lunch on the Breakers Roof Bar (complete with bean bags and projection screen for nighttime screenings of Whiplash), catch the hotel bus five minutes down the road to La Residence des Cascades, Soma Bay’s golf resort that boasts a Golf Travelife Award for environmental protection as well as housing The Cascades Spa. As well as any treatment you can imagine, the big draw here is the Thalasso spa – a large, sea water jaccuzi that massages each part of your body from feet to head over the course of an hour.

Dinner should be enjoyed at the Kempinski – the bay’s large five star hotel featuring a range of pools and lagoons. Guests are able to choose between the new French-Italian La Pergola and the Bamboo Shoot pan-Asian restaurant. The sushi at Bamboo Shoot is a must, as is the deep-fried ice cream.

A 10 dive package is priced at £150. The PADI Open Water course is £250. Five 18 hole games of golf is priced at £265.


Day Two

The second day of your trip should be dedicated to the 7BFT Kite House resort, a short bus trip from The Breakers hotel. Here you’ll find perfect conditions for kite surfing with flat water and constant winds sweeping off the horse-shoe mini bay in the shadow of the Red Sea mountains.

Don’t worry if your last experience with any sort of kite was wrapping one around a tree in the local park – The Kite House caters for pros and beginners alike and is able to provide all the equipment needed. You may also be lucky enough to witness one of a number of special events held at the resort, which recently included the Miss Germany 2015 camp and the African Kite Race Championships.

Lunch should be enjoyed at the Kite House before an afternoon session back out on the water for some paddle boarding. Then, head over to the Sheraton, Soma Bay’s five star hotel inspired by Luxor’s historic Karnak Temple (which you’ll recognise from Tomb Raider 4). L’Abydos Brasserie and Copper Crescent Grill make the perfect meals to help you recover from a day in the water, while the view out of the bay will be what you fantasize about when you're back at your desk come Monday.

Flights from London Gatwick to Hurghada start from as little as £92 per person, easyjet.com. A three night half-board stay at The Breakers Diving & Surf Lodge is available from £440 per person. Call 020 3384 0023, email info@holiday-designers.com or see holiday-designers.com and somabay.com for more details

 

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