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Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor
Review, photos and history of the Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor resort
Article added on June 6, 2012
  
Situated on Kings Island outside of Luxor in Upper Egypt, the Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor is a relaxing resort located on a place formerly known as Crocodile Island. The crocodiles have left the island a very long time ago, although the hotel had kept one in its pet zoo for a few years. It was not really a pet, as one of the flamingo's had to learn the hard way. In November 2010, gamekeepers of the Department of Environment picked up the crocodile and released it on the other side of the Aswan High Dam. The 550 km long and 35 km wide Lake Nasser remains largely a nature reserve.

An island resort full of bungalows

The Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island was built in 1983 as a Mövenpick; Mövenpick ice cream is still available. After 25 years as a Mövenpick, it changed management and is now run by the German Maritim brand. In fact, it is run by the Swiss General Manager Urs Umbricht, with the exception of a PR lady from the Netherlands, the only foreigner among a staff of 580 employees who take care of a maximum of 647 rooms.

The rooms are divided into 21 original and 10 new bungalows from 2010. I clearly preferred a Superior Deluxe Room (3707) with Nile view and a bathtub instead of a simple shower in a new bungalow, but many long-time return visitors remain faithful to the original, smaller bungalows. 30% of the rooms have a bathtub, 70% just a shower. All rooms have terraces with chairs and/or deckchairs in front of their entrance. The smallest rooms are the Comfort Rooms with 24m2. My Superior Deluxe Room with 53m2 gave me more air to breath as well as a large, flat screen Samsung TV. If you just go to your room to sleep, you may care less about the room size. All bungalows offer an internet connection.

If your finances allow it, go for one of the 10 Executive Suites with 106 m2 and separate shower and bathtub or go for one of the 3 Royal Suites with 150 to 186 m2 in a more extravagant design. I also had a look at one of the three impressive Royal Villas which can currently be rented: the owner originally built them for himself and his children. He was too close to Mubarak and therefore forced into exile. The 420 m2 villas are great, with bathrooms large enough for a party. If you have deep pockets, go for it!

Situated on an island, the resort is secure. It is well suited for families with children. Many bungalow rooms feature connecting doors. Two doctors are on the island too, taking care of hotel guests 24/7. Several restaurants and bars cater to the hungry and thirsty tourists. I normally went for one of the 12 different buffets offered in the main restaurant, which is also used for breakfast.

The Flora and Fauna of Kings Island

As for the Jolie Ville in Luxor, if offers a large variety of birds and plants to admire. The hotel / resort offers binoculars and telescopes to birdwatchers. The hotel even offers a 38-page brochure in English, French and German about the flora and fauna on Kings Island.

Situated on the overlapping edges of the Mediterranean, Western Asia and Africa, Egypt offers a large variety of plants and animals. The antique Gods, immortalized in the Egyptian temples and artworks, testify to that fact.

As for the Jolie Ville gardens, they boast acacias, rubber trees, Aleppo and Australian pines, jacarandas, frangipani, eucalyptus, palms, hibiscus and over 100 other plants. In the hotel's vegetable garden, you can find bananas, dates, olives, pomegranates, broccoli and many more common and exotic fruits and vegetables, which end up in the hotel kitchens and bars.

Some 280 species of birds migrate though Egypt or spend the winter here every year. in addition, there are some 150 local breeding birds. As for the birds of Kings Island, some 38 bird species can be admired in the resort, including wagtails, bulbuls, kestrels, crested larks, warblers, hoopoes and Nile Valley sunbirds. Birds along the Nile river include pied kingfishers, moorhens, coots, ducks, gray herons and more. Sometimes migrating through the area are flamingos, cranes, pelicans, storks, black kites, stone curlews, swallows, martins and other birds.

The Jolie Ville also features a pet zoo with donkeys, turtles, pelicans, a camel, a horse, donkeys and more. Funny Swiss friends of General Manager Urs Umbricht bought him two buffalos at the Luxor cattle market. Mister Umbricht baptized them Campari (male buffalo) and Soda (female buffalo)!

70 gardeners take care of the fauna. You can have your own tree with your name planted. Currently, the Jolie Ville is thinking about bringing back a sacred Ibis to the resort; the Ibis was revered as Toth, the God of Wisdom. Sadly. they are currently only found in the south of Africa.

In short, if you are a nature lover, the Jolie Ville Luxor resort is the right hotel for you. With its 660,000 m2, the island offers enough space for both animals and tourists.



Sports and other activities at the Jolie Ville Luxor resort

People who do not just want to relax in one of the three large pool areas of the Jolie Ville hotel can work out in the brand new gym, built at the end of 2011, with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment. Most European hotels would be proud to have such a gym. I went there every day for a week.

The beauty salon, which opened at the same time, offers a hairdresser. In April 2012, I paid some 75 Egyptian Pounds, less than 10 Euros, for my haircut. Massages, aromatherapy, shiatsu, Hamam, steam bath, sauna and other treatments are available.

Tennis courts, table tennis areas, camel riding, land chess and of course the three swimming pools with Nile view complement the sporting facilities available at the Jolie Ville.

In addition, walking around the historic historic sights, the nearby Valley of Kings and Queens as well as the temples of Hatshepsut, Luxor and Karnak, to mention just a few, are physical outdoor activities that offer quite some exercise too.

Archaeological sites to explore in the Luxor area

The Luxor area with its population of roughly 500,000 people is full of archaeological sites to explore. Several times a day, the hotel offers courtesy shuttles to downtown Luxor and back, with one stop in front of the Winter Palace. Cheap taxes are available too. In April 2012, a taxi downtown cost 20 Egyptian Pounds, roughly 2.50 Euro. A taxi to far away Aswan, almost a four hour drive, cost not more than 300 Egyptian Pounds. In short, to take a taxi to one of the historic sites in the Luxor area won't bankrupt you.

The things to see in the Luxor area are the envy of the entire world. Six great temples as well as the Valleys of Kings and Queens.

The Karnak Temple Complex boasts temples and more ranging from the reign of Pharaoh Sesostris I in the Middle Kingdom to the Ptolemaic period. At Luxor Temple, you can not only admire the large sandstone temple, but also chapels built by Tuthmosis III. The Romans left their marks on the site too.

In ancient times, the area known as Thebes was particularly famous for the kings and queens of the 18th Dynasty during the New Kingdom. On the other side of the Nile shore, you can find for instance find the temples of Hatshepsut, Deir-el-Bari and Medinet Habu.

On November 4, 1922 in the close by Valley of Kings, a certain Howard Carter discovered the sealed entrance to the tomb of Tutankhamen. He immediately cabled his mentor, Lord Carnarvon, to come back from England. By Christmas of 1922, the city of Luxor was full of curious journalists and tourists who eagerly awaited the great moment, which only came on February 17, 1923 with the opening of the tomb, which revealed treasures unseen before. It took Howard Carter until 1932 to bring all objects from Luxor to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where they remain on display until today.

I had the chance of a short conversation with Dr. Sanaa. She is the General Director of Luxor Museum, one of my favorite museums in the world. It only hosts one out of six Chariots of Tutankhamen and a few other smaller items of the world's most famous  archaeological discovery. The important treasures are all in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, Luxor Museum holds a greywacke, standing statue of Tuthmosis III (the 18th Dynasty). It was found in 1904 in the Karnak Temple Cachette and considered one of the finest statues in the world. Equally impressive are several statues of Horemheb, who also reigned during the 18th Dynasty. Last but not least let's mention several heads of the 18th dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten, artworks you will never forget again.



More and less famous guests at the Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor

Although not an ultimate luxury resort, the Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor has seen its fare share of celebrities. During her stay in October 2006, the Queen of Norway enjoyed breakfast in a pavilion on the Nile shore, which was subsequently named after her.

Three villas by the owner now in exile are part of the resort. All come with a private swimming pool. Currently, one villa can be rented. In February 2011, Silvio Berlusconi and Hosni Mubarak were supposed to come to the villa as guests of the owner. That was when the revolution broke out. They never cancelled their trip...

The Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor resort is so relaxing that I decided to spend a week there. I may become one of the over 5000 yearly return visitors myself. The record was established in early 2012 by a Swiss couple who had stayed at the Maritim Jolie Ville Luxor 100 times! General Manager Urs Umbricht offered them a complimentary three week holiday. Even the Governor of Upper Egypt, an Egyptian TV station and newspaper journalists came to the hotel in their honor and to cover the story. Happy customers have always been the best PR!

General Manager Urs Umbricht is doing an excellent, even heroic job, keeping all his 580 employees on the payroll despite plummeting visitor numbers for Luxor. He managed to increase his resort's share in an overall declining tourist market. Upper Egypt, both Luxor and Aswan, suffer from a sharp decline in visitor numbers; down some 60 % from April 2011 to April 2012 for no valid reason. Dear tourists, both Luxor and Aswan are safe! According to the month, some 25% to 40% of guests at the Jolie Ville Luxor resort are return visitors.

Books about Luxor & Egypt from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukAmazon.deAmazon.fr.


View of a Fellah tent where performances take place during the high season. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


West Bank view from the Jolie Ville resort, as from my room 3707. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


The Temple of Hatshepsut. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


Partial view of the Jolie Ville resort. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor. Books about Luxor & Egypt from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukAmazon.deAmazon.fr.


Sunset at the Infinity Pool, with ships on the Nile. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


View from the Horizon Pool towards the Nile. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


Executive Suite living room. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


Executive Suite bedroom. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.
Books about Luxor & Egypt from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukAmazon.deAmazon.fr.


Royal Suite Living Room. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


Superior Deluxe Room as mine. My room, 3707, has an even larger bedroom because the bathroom is situated differently. In my opinion the best deal in the hotel. In addition, 3707 has a perfect Nile view. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


Partial view of the state-of-the-art gym with Technogym machines. It is better than most gyms I know from Europe. As an extra, you get the Nile view. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


Felucca Sailing is available for a modest fee directly from the hotel pier. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


In addition to tennis courts, three large pools, a state-of-the-art gym and table tennis facilities, Jolie Ville offers a land chess for people who prefer to work with their mind. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


View of the Sacred Lake, a part of the Temple of Amun, in the Karnak Temple Complexe. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.


Luxor Temple. Photos © Maritim Jolie Ville, Kings Island Luxor.

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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.