the hotel is not in the middle of luxor which depending on yout view point is a plus or minus. It didnt fuss me either way as its only about 2 miles (ish) from all the action and the hotel provides a shuttle that will collect/drop u at one or two spots. There is also a shuttle boat from the hotels small dock and this will drop you in the center. The only problem with the boat is that when pull up in luxor you have to get off where you can. This may mean crossing the deck of another boat (which when you see everyone else seems to be the norm) and then walking a plank to the jetty. Theres plenty of people to help you off but i wouldnt recommend it if you have a pushchair or have mobility issues.
The hotel was ok. Everyone has their own little apartment which are grouped in single storey buildings of about 6. I really liked this as you dont feel like sheep stacked in a hotel block. The food was ok but got abit samey after 4 days but then thats all hotels. What we had was ok and i have no complaints. Pool area is really nice. Theres a water play area for kids with slides and tunnels etc. My one issue is that the rooms were very old fashioned and were straight out of 1978. However in their defence building renovations were already underway so this may no longer be a problem.
I really want to mention the C word! Brits seem to have a funny idea of the C word and what it really means. I loved egypt both times we have been and feel i owe it to fellow brits and egyptians to talk about CULTURE! When in egypt the average egyptian will look at you and think: you are white you must therefore be a multi millionaire. You cant blame them, i read once that the average wage is just £400 a year. We took that in spending money! So follow a few simple things and you will be ok.
1. By the pool look after your waiter. We had the same spot and our new mate mustafa(!) was great. I recommend tipping. I doesnt have to loads just let them keep the change and you wont ever have to do more than look at your waiter.
2. Remember nothing is free. I dont mean this to scare people but to just keep them aware. Remember they earn very little so those that dont work in the tourist trade or have a shop do what ever they can. If you get out a taxi and someone comes up and asks to help with your bags they will want a tip, if you are offered a square of cardboard at the valley of kings to fan yourself then expect to pay. This guy is not being kind to you because you look red hot he thinks he is an air con engineer! (he will also have it back after you leave which i found funny. Its more of a rental than a purchase!) Again if you are at a temple etc a random may come to you and point to a carving and say this is horus this is isis this mean etc etc. Is he being friendly. Yes. Does he think hes a tour guide? Yes. Is he a tour guide? No. Will he want to be paid for the indepth knowledge you have just received? YES!!!
So how do you avoid this cultural issue? In england ignoring someone means im rude, im ignorant i have no manners. In egypt ignoring someone means, i can hear you/ive already acknowledged your service or product and im still not interested thankyou. Its simple stay quiet, dont look and walk on.
The horse and cart drivers can be a pest but again they just want your custom. I dont like them. The horses are always very thin and in bad condtion. They sometime make them charge down the street to prove how strong and fast they are. As said they want your custom so they will shout Hello to you while going past. Dont react. They are trying to see where your from. If you keep ignoring them you will eventually get bonjour, gutten tag etc as they work out what you speak. If they or any trader really keeps going and you dont like it just gesture No and say no thanks firmly. Not rudely, just firmly.
3. This is for those who are more emotionally aware. My advice: dont be emotionally aware. Some traders or sales men will use their kids to hook you in. For example a boy of 10 may come to you and ask you to buy his drawing, carving, bracelet etc because he is poor and needs money for the family and school etc. If you like what you see and you actually want it then yes go ahead but try and haggle. 9 times out of 10 his dad, uncle or big brother is 5 steps behind you making sure all is ok so dont fall for the emotional card. (you gotta love em for tryin. You wouldnt get it in m&s!) Again if you dont want it then just say no thanks and move on. Dont stand still. If your not interested keep walking. If you stop to explain why your not interested you will be there another 10 mins.
3. Last of all and my personal favourite, the haggle! The cornich or market is full of wonderfull things. It is also full of tat from china so be selective. Like in the street they can spot a brit from three temples away so have your wits about you. Everyone has the best price/best quality but they think your loaded so bear it in mind. I wanted to treat my wife to a pashmina. I bet there are 10 shops on just one side of the market that sell them and guess what? Everyone has the best price/quality! We made our selection. And i was offered a price. The price worked out to be about £55. Why so high? Well im white and he was using the C word! I did exactly what he expected me to do. I looked as if he had just slapped my mother and walked out. Before i got to the door the price came down to 30. Funny that. I did what he expected me to do. It kept me in the shop it didnt seal the deal. The next thing is unusual but not uncommon. Were offered a chair and some fruit juice so we could discuss our business comfortablly. Cut a long story short i walked out with 3 scarves for £15. They will say things like i cant afford to reduce it anymore. My children need this money. Today business is bad. Anything to stop you haggling. They have been doing this longer than you and wouldnt sell it if it meant a loss.
Haggling is actually fun, i think the respect you more for having a go. Be light hearted, have a laugh with them, have some banter. You may get an even better price if your the first or last sale of the day. Dont except the first or second price. Dont be rude or insulting. Dont think your ripping them of else they wouldnt sell it.
Hope this helps any one that is going to egypt. I thought luxor was an interesting, beautiful and exciting town. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled upon the private "Kings Island" in the Nile that covers 660,000 sqm, the resort truly is an oasis of peace and tranquility. The idyllic, landscaped hotel grounds are expansive and home to the two main buildings, bungalows and three enticing swimming pool areas. The historic sights of Luxor, located only 4 kilometres from the hotel, can be easily reached by complimentary shuttle buses. The island is connected to the mainland only by a bridge and is virtually free of charge. This makes the resort an ideal location for families with children. The resort has been renovated in 2010 and extended by 320 rooms and suites in 10 elegant bungalows, new restaurants, a pool of 2,800 sqm in size and a SPA with fitness centre (from early-sommer 2011). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor Hotel Luxor
- Jolie Ville Luxor
- Movenpick Luxor