Jaz Fanara Resort and Residence review – Sharm el Sheikh Egypt

The Jaz Fanara Resort is a great choice if it comes to a snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh.  According to marine biologists, the Egypt is one of the few places where corals are still in a fairly good condition, so if you love the underwater world as much as we do, we highly recommend you to visit this stunning destination. Read about our personal hotel experience and let our photos do the talking how magical the Red Sea is!

Jaz Fanara Resort and Residence review

The Jaz Fanara Resort and Residence is a pretty 4-star hotel in El Fanar, Ras Um El Sid area that offers one of the most beautiful view in Sharm el Sheikh. It was built on the top of high cliffs that surround a shallow, sheltered lagoon. A truly magical place to enjoy the awesome view above and under the sea too! It is just a 20 minutes’ drive from the airport. You find many places of interest in walking distance. Visit the Il Mercato Shopping Plaza or the Old Market to buy some souvenirs. It is orth to watch oriental shows at the Alf Leila Wa Leila Show Centre.

Don’t get confused if you would find this Sharm el Sheikh hotel under the name of Iberotel Fanara & Residence. The management and name just changed recently. The Jaz Fanara Resort and Residence belongs to the Jaz Collection chain now that guarantees top-level service. The Fanara Resort is not a huge complex, rather a medium-sized familiar hotel that can be enjoyed by young and old. You can choose Saver or Superior rooms (sea-view option available) but there are Family Suites too. The big, well-kept garden is a great place to relax. Around the main pool where you find entertaining programs during the day. A pool bar and outside snack restaurant are also available.

Jaz Fanara Residence Beach

Tip: since the hotel locates on the top of the cliffs, it takes time and effort to get down to the beach. There are stairs and a normal walking way, which is not too steep but can be problematic for elderly people. Ask assistance from the hotel staff if you have difficulties getting down or up!

Things we liked in the Jaz Fanara Resort

  • it is a “Green Hotel”, they have reusable plastic glasses and paper cups (although still use plastic straws)
  • polite staff, good entertainment and activities
  • good location, pharmacy, shops within walking distance
  • well-kept buildings and garden, most of the rooms are already refurbished
  • clean restaurants, good food, fast service
  • free Wi-Fi in the lobby area. Although it is slow when the hotel is busy, so we bought a pre-paid SIM in the nearby Vodafone Shop

Jaz Fanara Resort - Sharm el Sheikh

Things to improve

  • one of the biggest problem we experienced that tourists stand on corals… Not only in this hotel, generally in Egypt. Hotel staff should take this behavior more strictly, and local authorities should protect the reefs otherwise there won’t be anything in the sea in a few years
  • the bay sometimes becomes overcrowded: the coral reefs here are one of the best snorkeling places in Sharm el Sheikh, boats always bringing divers and snorkel groups. You can easily find yourself surrounded by 50-60 people. To avoid this, go snorkeling in the morning before the boats leave the marina, or late in the afternoon when they finished their tours. If you are in the water in the busiest periods, pay extra attention to boats and people around you for your own safety
  • tiles around the pool (and generally in the hotel) are not non-slip and the staff washed them always late morning when people were already around: it was dangerous to walk on them…
  • some rooms are facing a busy road, noisy at night (especially 1201-1233)

Egypt holiday booking tip

It is always an exciting game to hunt for Egypt Last Minute trips to get low prices on good hotels, especially if you are flexible with time and location, we use to do this too! But if you have a specific hotel where you want to stay at,we don’t recommend leaving it for the last seconds. The Jaz Fanara Resort is a smaller hotel and has a very good occupancy throughout the year, so if you see a good deal on your dates, go for it! We stayed there off-peak season but still the hotel was nearly full. Summer and school-holiday packages always book in advance! For the best deals, consider planning a  winter holiday in Egypt which is one of the best places close to Europe to escape to cold!
If you like the location but would like to check other accommodation options close-by, there are 2 other hotels with access to the same bay and snorkel spots:

  • Faraana Reef Resort
  • Reef Oasis Beach Resort


Read more snorkeling hotel Sharm el Sheikh recommendations!

Egypt All Inclusive holidays

An all-inclusive Egypt snorkeling holiday is the perfect excuse to disconnect from their everyday life and spend the days with enjoying the warm water of the Red Sea and exploring the underwater world. Compare to other destinations, All Inclusive Egypt holidays are not a luxury, rather normal standard here and you don’t need to rob the bank to stay All Inclusive. Some hotels didn’t even offer breakfast only or half-board options. Why would you worry about food and drinks if you can get everything included at affordable prices? Do yourself and your family a favor and stay all-inclusive when in Egypt!

Egypt - All Inclusive

What is included in the Jaz Fanara Resort All Inclusive package?

Forget about your diet! There won’t be a single moment when you will hungry or thirsty! Jaz Fanara Resort All Inclusive package offers you food and drink all day:

  • Breakfast
  • Late breakfast (just in case you slept over 🙂 )
  • Buffet lunch
  • Snacks next to Pool Bar (pizza, hamburger, fries, salads…)
  • Buffet dinner in the main restaurant or optionally in La Gazelle Restaurant (reservation needed)
  • Juices, coffee, soft drinks, water, local spirits and cocktails (the main bar in the lobby is open 24/7)

Tip: Have you ever heard about the Egyptian tummy bug? Don’t let your Egypt holiday be ruined by an unexpected sickness,  read our traveling to Egypt safety guide to know how to prevent it!

Jaz Fanara Resort snorkeling

Last but not least, talk about snorkeling! As we mentioned in our Where to snorkel in Egypt tips, thanks to its coastline, almost all hotels is Sharm el Sheikh have a good house reef. But there are some specific areas where the corals are most pristine due to rich currents. We were really excited to return and snorkel in Ras Um El Sid, since we have already visited this bay a few years ago. We looked our old Sharm el Sheikh snorkeling photos over prior our trip in order to identify the changes on the reef. Unfortunately, the reef was damaged in front of the hotels at that time too, and it only became worst thanks to the big number of visitors in the bay, particularly to some irresponsible one. Luckily, if you leave the shallow water the reef is still as beautiful as we remembered! Massive coral formation featuring uncountable different hard and soft corals, playful fish entertain snorkelers and divers.

Jaz Fanara Resort Beach

Where to snorkel in the El Fanar Bay?

You are free to snorkel whenever you want in front of the hotels. The only thing you need to do to enter the water and return to shore in front of your hotel, otherwise the lifeguards or security will warn you. The reef stretches alongside the whole bay, but there are 3 specific points where the corals are the most beautiful:

  1. Ras Um Sid diving and snorkeling spot on the left side
  2. Temple Reef in the middle
  3. Ras Kathy on the right side

Have a look at our Jaz Fanara Resort snorkeling map to see which areas are the safest to snorkel, and where to swim if you are a really good swimmer!

Jaz Fanara Resort - Snorkeling map

For beginner snorkelers, we recommend staying close to the reef. You find relatively shallow water in the middle and on the right side of the bay with rich marine life.  You can observe different tropical fish species, like Parrotfish, Rainbow Wrasse, Banner- and Butterflyfish as well as colorful coral formations.

Learn from our marine biology post why are parrotfish important on coral reefs!

Butterflyfish - Red Sea

Advanced snorkelers can explore the Ras Um El Sid reef around the wooden jetty, and visit the underwater pinnacles of the Temple Reef (watch out for boats, best to swim there early morning or late afternoon). Here you have a good chance to spot Napoleon Wrasse as well as the usual Red Sea fish species.

Ras um Sid - Sharm el Sheikh Snorkeling

Real professionals that are 100% confident in the water can swim beyond the wooden jetty at Ras Um Sid, but always check the current since it can be strong here. On the right side of the bay, over the Faraana Reef Resort’s jetty you find the Ras Kathy area. This shallow reef features vibrant marine life and the possibility to see eagle rays! Currents and boat traffic might be strong on this side. Please only come here if you are confident in the water and the sea is calm.

Sharm El Sheikh Snorkeling

Important notice: please never step or stand on the corals! The Snorkel Around The World Team promotes responsible snorkeling. We truly believe if you visit places we recommend you will show respect towards marine life. Unfortunately, we experienced unacceptable behavior from some tourists. Some people were walking on the reef without caring that these are living animals. We think, the hotel staff and authorities should be stricter if it comes to snorkeling or diving rules. But we ask you too to stand for the corals by educating others how to protect the reefs!

We hope you enjoyed our Jaz Fanara Resort review and you will find our Sharm el Sheikh snorkeling tips useful when planning your Egypt holidays. If you would have any question or comment, feel free to contact us anytime!

Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!

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