Just came back from Egypt and wanted to share my experience...
Stayed at the Movenpick in El Gouna. Really enjoyed it! The spot is terrific with lots of variety: an inner lagoon, some choppy deep water, and a beautiful outer lagoon (as long as you don't mind riding over corals). You can do an upwinder/downwinder to Mangroovy (half an hour upwind) for some additional variety. The remodeled rooms at the hotel are great and the food and service pretty good as well. The inner lagoon is great for learning as long as the tide is not too low. All-in-all, highly recommend it.
Went to Soma Bay for a day to check it out (an hour by taxi). The main spot there (7BFT) is great. Fairly flat and windy. I found it pretty gusty, though. And you need to take a shuttle from the hotels. Didn't feel as interesting as the Movenpick spot.There is a spot at the Intercontinental which is supposed to have less gusty wind. We went there to check it out but didn't ride. The walk from the rooms to the water is doable but much longer than at the Movenpick. Checked out the rooms at the Inter and didn't like them. MUCH worst than the Movenpick - although the lobby and other common areas of the Inter are very nice. In Soma they ask you not to ride over the corals, which was my favorite thing in El Gouna. But Soma does seem a bit windier than El Gouna.
We rode all 10 days we were there, although on two of the days we only had wind for a couple of hours in the morning.
Anyway, that is the brief version. Happy to answer questions...
PS: this forum, particularly Toby, were super helpful in planning the trip. Thanks!
I liked the rooms at the Moevenpick as well...very nice!
What I don't like at Moevenpick is the gusty launch...this can be pretty dangerous if the wind is stronger...saw some bad situations. Outside the wind is smoother. And unfortunately the channel is too small to jump, since there are always beginners with instructors...
Behind the reef it is deep, but never like it being too far away from shore...although there is a safety boat.
The Movenpick launch is indeed a bit gusty, but it didn't seem too bad to me. Maybe because I often ride at Crissy Field and Maui (both of which have much worst launches). You can also play it safe and walk out a bit before launching...
I didn't ride much in the inner lagoon or channel. For jumping I either went to the deep water past the inner lagoon or all the way to the outer lagoon, which has some awesome coral free playgrounds.
I'm headed to Cairo and then El Gouna this week. Really looking forward to the trip though will only have 3 days on the water at the Movenpick. I'm curious what kind of experience you had flying with gear into Hurghada. I'm debating whether to bring my golf bag with board or just kites and rent a board. What's the situation on sports equipment and airline fees? Are the airlines clued in to 'golf bags'? We're flying Egypt Air and while their website states that golf clubs fly free within the given weight allowance, kites/boards will have an extra fee. Just curious whether the 75 euro for a rental will be cheaper than bringing the board along.
Lugging gear to the hotel in Cairo is another consideration as well.