Let me set the scene, we’d just arrived in Morocco last May, we’d eaten and were sitting in the bar when my phone chirped at me, it was twitter telling me I’d won free

flights with Monarch for two people to Hurghada in Egypt from BHX. OMG I was shocked.

Ian’s initial reaction was “Couldn’t you have won them to somewhere we’ve not been to before?” My reaction is not printable!!! Lol

Ok so we’ve been to Egypt before but that was 11 years ago (our honeymoon) and it was to Sharm El Sheikh so this was in fact somewhere we’d not been before, if only by default!!!!

A friend’s initial reply to my tweet/FB status was “It’s a shitehole” oh great that gives Ian something else to moan about. So I asked where we should look at and he said El Gouna. He said it was dearer but there were less Russians there because of the price. We encountered them in Sharm so we knew what he meant.
So internet searches here we come.
There’s always 1 main search site we start with and that’s Trivago. They really do seem to find you the best deals. If you’ve not heard of them, in short they are a 1 stop shop for finding the best deals around. You don’t book through them, they just tell you who has the best deal on that day. It’s up to you go then check out the finer details. Yes the prices can change, sometimes daily so you have to keep checking, tomorrow it could’ve gone up, or even down, its the risk you take, like with anything.
We found a few hotels initially, some with BIGGER price tags than others, a few we didn’t like the price of, after all it’s only a holiday and were not actually trying to buy the hotel! We spotted one, an adults only hotel, bliss no kids, don’t get me wrong, we’ve done our share of family holidays and now it’s just us why not? So we kept our eyes on The Three Corners Ocean View it was a great price. Oh and plus the company who were doing it the cheapest (Hotels4U.com) were also offering an additional saving with a Trivago discount.
Three Corners have 2 other hotels in the area which are child friendly, but seeing as we didn’t need to think of kids the idea of an adult only hotel was the perfect option.

We didn’t book immediately we did a bit more research, Trip Advisor was a must and most of the reviews seemed positive, there obviously were some negative comments but you’ll always get some total monsters! 

Here follows a little tip for you.
Go to the the moaners profile and check out their other reviews, is this just a 1 off moan or do they constantly post had reviews? Can everywhere really be that bad, or are they paying for 2* but expecting 6* wherever they go? You can spot the habitual moaners.
I expect a certain standard when a hotel has a star rating, but sorry a lot of these countries are still classed as third world countries and you can’t expect them to be to UK standard, blimey you can find 4* dives and 2* virtual palaces.
Ok back to it, Ian happened to mention to a chap at work that we were looking at El Gouna and he said he’d been about 8 years before, it turned out he stayed at the same hotel we’d shortlisted as a big yes, so Ian pumped him for details, they really liked it and were even thinking of going back again, what better recommendation is that for you? So that seemed settled, The Three Corners Ocean View Hotel, Abu Tig Marina, El Gouna it was.

Now to sort the flights out.
We hung fire on booking as we were waiting for the summer schedule to be released to check the flight times. The winter schedule times were just about ideal, but we thought we’d wait, and wait and wait, sadly the flights seemed to be delayed coming out, in May I was told they’d be out in June, in June I was told they didn’t think it would be till July, the hotel was getting booked so we decided to bite the bullet and book for the last 2 weeks in March.
As I was a prize winner I had to book over the phone directly with Monarch, rather than on the internet that we would usually do and it was really easy. We did pay extra for the “Essentials Pack” which gave us a choice of regular seats, extra luggage and online check in. We also paid for a meal on our return journey. The only thing I needed to do was choose our seats once the booking had been confirmed. So even though I won free flights with Monarch, it still cost us for the extras, so not entirely free, but a nice discount on the original price.
I checked the planes seating plan via seatguru and plumped for row 9 seats A and C, yes Ian likes a window seat and I like an aisle seat for the outward journey (check out my next post for problems with these seats!) and we upgraded and paid extra for extra legroom seats for the return journey, row 6 A and C.
So that was it, flights booked, hotel booked, roll on March.

What else did we need to do? Oh airport transfers and insurance. No problem.
That’s the beauty of the internet, everything is there at the touch of a button. I priced checked a few transfer taxi prices and found one that was reasonable. Booked.
Insurance was a little more complicated, some companies class Egypt IN Europe others don’t, it’s very confusing to say the least. Finally I sorted it out and the company I used does class it as Europe, but as long as we’re covered who am I to complain right?

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