Whenever I would visit Egypt in the summer, our family would pack our bags and drive for hours from Cairo to Ain El-Sokhna. The destination was a resort called Stella di Mare, which translates to Star of the Sea. Sometimes people will just refer to it as Stella.
A common stereotype is that African and Middle Eastern countries are poor and can’t afford to maintain luxurious hotels. That’s not always true. Stella di Mare is a chain of five-star resorts only located in the Middle East. It is affordable and offers great wifi access, plus a ton of reviews affording the resort a score between eight and 10.. It is owned by the Scandinavian Tourism Development and Investment Company and run by the REMCO group. Stella di Mare resorts have operated since the beginning of the 21st century.
In addition to the Ain El-Sokhna location, there’s another resort in Sharm el-Sheikh. The United Arab Emirates opened its first Stella di Mare resort, Stella di Marie Dubai Marina Hotel, a few years ago.
Hotels vary from all Stella di Mare resorts. The Stella in Sharm El-Sheikh has only one hotel called the Stella di Mare Beach Hotel and Spa. The Ain El-Sokhna resort has three different hotels, each with a unique personality and structure depending on your interests.
Note: in this article, I’ll also include the rates per night for two people in one room (as an example) according to Expedia, so you can see the prices for yourself. All prices are in USD and websites may list cheaper deals. I’ll also include each hotel’s ratings from Tripadvisor (spoiler alert: they do not disappoint)!
The Big three
The first one is called Stella di Mare Grand Hotel. This hotel is the most popular among the three, and also the largest. There are various activities both inside and out. Not only are there plenty of pools, but they also offer gaming centers and lounges inside, with frequent entertainment shows. The main lobby is also a main attraction.
Rate (deluxe double room, resort view): $199 a night with tax
Rating: 4.5 stars
Next, we have the Stella di Mare Sea Club Hotel. There are a lot of activities including a whole water park on this property. This is the place for you if you’re interested in sea clubs and beach-like activities (although all hotels are close to the beach), like riding banana boats. The restaurants inside also serve fresh seafood right to your table. The decor is all sea-themed.
Rate (standard garden view): $174 a night with tax
Rating: 4.5 stars
Finally, there is the Stella di Mare Golf Hotel. The name is self-explanatory because there is a golf course at this hotel with a full 18-hole course. This hotel has the best view in my opinion. On the ground floor, there’s a large buffet with plenty of different cuisines to explore. You can also play ping pong right outside on the patio, but beware because there is a pool a few feet away. I remember once when I was playing ping pong, the ball bounced into the pool several times.
Rate (standard room, garden view): $190 a night with tax
Rating: 4.5 stars
Now I must note: I’ve never actually stayed in one of these hotels; I can just speak from my experience in each of them. So where did our family stay? Well, that brings me to the next point…
beach homes in stella
In addition to these three massive hotels, there are also beach houses that take up plenty of blocks. You could rent them or buy them. If you do buy the house, you could stay in Stella full-time, but no one ever has. In the case of our family, my mom and uncle bought the house together so our families could all stay there together during vacation. For every couple of houses, there will be a community pool.
If you choose to rent a beach house in Stella, it’s slightly more expensive than booking a hotel room ($299 a night on Booking.com). It’s still worth it if you want a whole place for yourself. – you still get the pretty pastel facade with the house exterior.
Our beach house in Stella is a pretty pastel pink color. There’s an arch at the entrance decorated with vines and flowers. There’s a porch, and when you walk in, you have the basic utilities of a kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Going up, there are two levels of bedrooms, plus another bathroom. Even though the floors were made of tiles, they’re nostalgic – don’t forget the luscious backyard with grass, too.
Stella di mare is a whole new world
Stella is like a mini city within itself. There are not only stores for beach items and clothes, there are other facilities such as grocery stores and even pharmacies located there. That way, if you need something, Stella is bound to have it.
Stella sits right on the Red Sea. It takes less than five minutes to get there by car from our summer home. Pro tip: the sand is hot, so keep your sandals on or run fast to the shore! When you immerse yourself in the Red Sea, it’s comforting and warm almost immediately. The Mediterranean Sea is a bit too chilly (at least for me) to swim in for a long time. On the other hand, I could easily be swimming in the Red Sea for hours.
The last time I went to Stella was in 2018, so a bunch of things could have changed there. I went to Egypt recently, but because my uncle and his family weren’t there, it didn’t feel right to go to Stella di Mare without them.
Tons of people want to visit Egypt. They want to go to Cairo and see the Nile, to Giza to see the pyramids, or down south to Luxor to see the Valley of the Kings. If you want to go to Egypt but want to do something fun that is unheard of, I highly recommend staying at Stella di Mare.
To learn more about this heaven on earth, you can visit the resort’s official website here.