Enclosed by the clear, cold deep blue waters of Egypt’s Red Sea lays Soma Bay, a scenic peninsula that has been dubbed “Egypt’s best kept secret” by local insiders. Soma Bay is situated south of the Sinai Peninsula, about a 45-minute drive from the much busier city of Hurghada.
Luxury hoteliers have also taken notice of its coastal splendor. Along this self-contained resort paradise, five exclusive hotel brands have set up properties: Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay; The Cascades Golf Resort, Spa & Thalasso; Robinson Club Soma Bay; Sheraton Soma Bay; and, The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge.
Though the desert landscape around Soma Bay dominates, there are plenty of other scenic views from Soma Bay hotel rooms, including the ancient Red Sea Mountains. The main draw might be the area’s weather: little-to-no humidity and continuous sunshine and warmth. Expect lows of 69 degrees in the winter and lows of 87 degrees in the summer.
“The Red Sea is the only place in the world where you have constant conditions year-round,” says one hotel rep. “When you come in the winter, you can dive, enjoy sun and kite surf. And in the summer, you can do the same,” says Mohammed, a staffer at The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge.
The other big draw: a stunning coral reef that plunges further into a Jacques Cousteau paradise of marine life. Some of the most beautiful underwater environments in the world like the cluster of coral dubbed, the Seven Towers give divers ample dive opportunities off an uninhabited sandy islet dubbed Tobia Island.
Here are five hotel stays for a luxury vacation in Soma Bay.
Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay
The luxury brand’s first foray into Egypt, Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay is a favorite with the romantic crowd. There are 325 rooms available, including 34 suites, with the possibilities of lagoon views or sea views. Wellness activities at the Moorish-style hotel include use of a private beach, six pools, four tennis courts, a squash court, an entertainment room with table games and an expansive spa.
The Cascades Golf Resort, Spa & Thalasso
A suitable playground for those who seek the best, The Cascades Golf Resort, Spa & Thalasso has only the finest amenities and attractions, including 210 rooms and 39 suites. Located at the highest point of the peninsula, all rooms either have direct views of the sea or the two on-site golf courses designed by renowned golf champion Gary Player.
The resort is also home to The Cascades Spa & Thalasso, with 65 treatment rooms and the goal of mineral-rich thalassotherapy, based on the curing aspects of seawater and seaweed. There’s also a Thalasso-Tonic Pool, an Aquagym and lap pool, an exercise pool, a sauna room and a fitness gym.
Robinson Club Soma Bay
Big on Arabesque architecture, Robinson Club Soma Bay is known for its casual atmosphere and a wealth of excursions and activities that could keep guests busy if they so wished. There are 304 rooms and 44 suites available at this family favorite. Find plentiful daily programs for all ages, including a kids’ club with a “kids disco” and teens’ club with events such as water polo and creative workshops. Guests can even take a camel ride by the beach.
Sheraton Soma Bay
A nod to Ancient Egypt, the architecture of the 326-room Sheraton Soma Bay is inspired by the Karnak temple in Luxor, Egypt. Dining options include three restaurants, two snack bars and four refreshment bars. Nightly entertainment takes place at the Stars Studio Bar & Disco.
The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge
An affordable lifestyle resort with a club vibe, The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge’s clients are typically outdoorsy types who love diving, sailing and kite surfing. The laid-back casual atmosphere welcomes a dress code of flip flops and T-shirts, even at the on-site restaurants. Enjoy a beach bar, a heated freshwater pool, a roof garden with a panoramic sauna and an open-air cinema during your stay in one of the resort’s 173 rooms.
You can make your reservations directly with the listed hotels at Soma Bay. Average seasonal rates will vary at these properties for a standard room, double occupancy. For instance, at the wind surfers’ haven, The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge, expect to pay from $68; while an overnight stay for two at the ritzier Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay could cost as low as $137.
Photography by Stephen Smith/mycompasstv