The Jaz Fanara Resort is a great choice if it comes to snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh. According to marine biologists, the Red Sea is one of the few places where the corals are still in good condition, so if you love the underwater world as much as we do, we highly recommend visiting this stunning destination where you can enjoy not only stunning views, but also rich marine life. Let our honest hotel review and El Fanar snorkel map help planning your next holiday!
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Jaz Fanara Resort and Residence review
The Jaz Fanara Resort and Residence lies in El Fanar, Ras Um El Sid area that offers one of the most beautiful views in Sharm el Sheikh. It was built on the top of high cliffs that surround a shallow, sheltered lagoon. The complex consists of the Jaz Fanara Resort (sea-side buildings) and the Residence section (garden-area rooms).
From the airport, you can get to the hotel in about 20-30 minutes. There are many places of interest within walking distance like the Il Mercato Shopping Plaza or the Old Market where you can buy some souvenirs. It is worth to watch oriental shows at the Alf Leila Wa Leila Show Centre.
Don’t get confused if you find this Sharm el Sheikh hotel under the name of Iberotel Fanara & Residence. The management and name have been changed just recently. The Jaz Fanara Resort and Residence belongs to the Jaz Collection chain now, which guarantees top-level service.
The Fanara Resort is not a huge complex, rather a medium-sized familiar hotel. 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, young and old find entertaining programs during the day. A pool bar and outside snack restaurant are also available.
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
Things to improve
- one of the biggest problems we experienced that tourists stand on corals… Not only in this hotel, generally in Egypt. We think that the hotel staff should take this behavior more strictly, and local authorities should protect the reefs otherwise there won’t be any living coral 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, meaning the boats are constantly 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 arrive, or late in the afternoon when they leave. 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)
Holiday booking tips
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 the 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 thanks to its excellent location and high service level, it enjoys a very good occupancy throughout the year.
We stayed there off-peak season but still, the hotel was nearly full, therefore we recommend booking your holiday well in advance. If you see a good deal for your dates, go for it 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:
- Club El Faraana Reef Resort (budget option, rooms a bit outdated)
- Reef Oasis Beach Resort (nice modern resort)
Find here more recommendations on the best snorkeling hotels in Sharm el Sheikh !
Jaz Fanara Resort All-Inclusive package
Like most hotels in Egypt, the Jaz Fanara is an all-inclusive resort. Enjoy the benefits of this system to disconnect from the everyday life and spend the days enjoying the warm water of the Red Sea and exploring the underwater world, instead of thinking about where to get food. Comparing to other destinations, an All Inclusive Egypt holiday is not a luxury, rather a normal standard here and you don’t need to rob the bank to stay AI. Some hotels didn’t even offer breakfast only or half-board options. Do yourself and your family a favor and stay all-inclusive when in Egypt!
What is included?
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:
- 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 Egypt safety guide to know how to prevent it!
Jaz Fanara Resort snorkeling
Last but not least, talk about snorkeling! As we explained in our Where to snorkel in Egypt tips, thanks to its coastline, almost all hotels in Sharm el Sheikh have a good house reef. But there are some specific areas where the corals are the most pristine due to rich currents and the El Fanar Bay, where the Jaz Fanara Resort locates is one of them!
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 in the bay:
- Ras Um Sid on the left side
- Temple Reef in the middle
- 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!
For beginner snorkelers, we recommend staying in the protected bay area, close to the reef. You find relatively shallow water in the middle and on the right side of the bay with rich marine life. Just float and enjoy observing 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!
Ras Um Sid
The Ras um Sid area is located on the left side at the bay. It is probably one of the most popular diving and snorkeling places in Sharm el Sheikh thanks to the superb underwater life. Expect to see massive coral formations here with various fish species around such as clownfish and big shoals of bannerfish.
The most beautiful part of the reef is directly at the corner, after the wooden pier, where the corals are super lively due to the currents. Here you have a high chance to meet bigger fish like tuna or jewfish. Moreover, if you are really lucky, you may spot manta rays as well! If the visibility is good, you can see big fan corals in the deep.
The Ras um Sid area is recommended for good swimmers. The current at the corner could be really strong. There is a metal stick with a red flag on it which marks the spot where it is recommended to turn back. It is not an obligatory turning point, you can decide according to your water skills to turn back or swim further. We suggest swimming slowly after the pier so you can monitor the currents. If you feel them safe and you can easily swim back into the other direction, continue swimming slowly, but remember that the currents can turn directions and get really strong in seconds! Respect the sea and know your limits!
Tip: read here some tips on how to stay safe when snorkeling!
The Temple is situated in front of the El Faraana Reef Resort, you need to swim circa 300 m towards the open sea to reach the spot. This interesting snorkeling spot consists of two bigger and countless underwater pinnacles that are full of living corals. The top of the biggest tower is not really nice, the corals are damaged due to human impact, but below you will find nice corals, there is even a big fan coral between the two big towers.
You can see here different fish species like lionfish, parrotfish, angelfish, bannerfish, domino fish and napoleon wrasse. Local divers say that a white tip shark sometimes also visits the Temple Reef, but it is very shy and stays in deeper waters.
The Temple is a popular diving spot too and in the afternoons the place could be extremely busy with many ships around! We suggest visiting this spot in the morning hours or late afternoon. Watch out for the boats!
The Ras Kathy is not just one reef, it is a bigger snorkeling area on the right side of the El Fanar bay, over the Faraana Reef Resort’s jetty. This shallow reef features vibrant marine life and there is a possibility to see eagle rays here! Please only come here if you are confident in the water and the sea is calm because the currents can be strong.
After the pier, the coral wall is not really nice and because of the currents, the visibility is often bad. But be patient, the water will get clear as you continue swimming. Around the biggest underwater towers at the Ras Kathy the visibility always good, the water is crystal clear and the corals are in perfect condition! You will find here many rare blue corals and lots of colorful Red Sea fish species!
Since this area has really nice reefs, seascopes and glass-bottom boats are regularly cruising here, and you need to pay attention to them! They often go too close to the reefs to offer the best view to the guest and the currents after the ships can sweep you away. Normally they must honk to warn the snorkelers in the water, but always be cautious with them!
Note: please never step or stand on the corals! The Snorkel Around The World Team promotes responsible snorkeling. We truly believe that you love the ocean as much as we do and respect the marine life. Unfortunately, we often experience unacceptable behavior from tourists in Egypt and all around the world. Some people tend to walk on the reef and do not care if they damage and break the corals. We think that the authorities should be stricter if it comes to snorkeling or diving rules, but we also have to do our best in order the preserve marine life. Stand for the ocean! If you see that snorkelers/divers are harming the corals, educate them on the importance of the reefs and explain how to protect them!
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 questions or concerns, feel free to contact us anytime!