Peep Inside at Presidential Pad at Taba Heights Egypt
Visiting hotels is very much part of the job of a travel writer, the ‘show round’ is what it’s called.
You get to glimpse whole range of rooms that a particular hotel has to offer and sometimes you get to stay in some of them. Often too you have a chance to see some of the finest suites that hotels can offer and stays there are more than generally off limits.
However when the chance to stay in a ‘Presidential Suite’ came up during a visit to a hotel in Egypt it was rather hard to say no. On this occasion I had in fact won the stay at the Taba Marriott and I was accommodated in what I expected, one of their regular appointed rooms, which was more than adequate with all facilities of a five star hotel. I was looking forward to the weeks stay after a very intense summer period that included work at the Olympics and Paralympics.
What changed things was a casual conversation with one of the reception staff that indicated that their premier suite was vacant and if I wanted to view it just as a matter of professional interest then I could.
Finding out the daily cost, I did quickly come to the conclusion that as I was on a prize winning trip with few outgoings. This indeed could be an excellent chance to really get an insight into and experience how the ‘other half’ lives.
The financial arrangements completed and partner and myself were swiftly installed for 6 nights into ‘Suite 9000’ …The Presidential Suite!
After what was indeed a more than suitable room, suddenly the space of the suite was like stepping into a tardis like situation! Footballer’s wife stuff this was, as any self-respecting soccer star would I am sure expect and demand nothing less?
Behind large double doors was and an extensive flood lit entrance passage off that there were now two huge bedrooms. Two queen beds in the first one and I suppose what could be described as larger than a ‘King’ size, a ‘Presidential’ size bed to choose from in the second. A lounge the size of a small football pitch, shower large enough to accommodate the whole team!
A sunken bath enough for the ref and 3 assistants too. Walk in wardrobes as large as many rooms in our English fishermen’s cottage. Office work areas and outside terrace spaces on the East and West sides for sunbathing, dining plus an outside Jacuzzi just in case the bath took a while to fill!
The suite certainly gave you different view, not only of the hotel itself but also on what could be called, ‘life in the fast lane’. The upper crust life style peeped at and experienced for a while you could certainly get used to it, but having that amount of space for just two of us did seem a little obscene and not always practical. It was a case of losing each other at times but if you are a country’s leader, a company president or a soccer star then you’re bound to want a few extra people in tow for parties, official style receptions for their guests and clients and hence where all that space comes into its own for an ambassador’s type cocktail party.
From the third floor suite its commanding and un-interrupted views over the oddly called Red Sea, which in reality is a delicious blue colour of the Gulf of Aqaba to the hills of Saudi Arabia. Behind to the Taba Hills made it a perfect place to be based for the rest of the break. Located over the main hotel reception complex it was in a perfect position to provide the best of views over the whole hotel grounds with its lush gardens and hundreds of date palms as of course one would expect from the premier suite in the hotel.
There is no doubt that this destination could be a missed opportunity to a whole range of celebrities as the hotel does draw its guests from multiple European and Arab countries and staying most would go very much unnoticed. No paparazzi here, but a pretty perfect chance to get away from it all and relax in some quiet and friendly style. There is a set of smaller executive suites and they too also command some wonderful views again located on the third floor of the main building.
The hotel itself does make an excellent centre to take in two of the world’s most iconic tourist sites, located as it is in a perfect position between the ancient ruins of The Pyramids and of Red Rose city of Petra in Jordan. Both archeological wonders can be easily visited on two separate day trips from the hotel. Travelling West by land or air to Cairo and by going East by land and sea ferry to through Aqaba and over the Jordanian desert to Petra.
The evenings were a perfect place for dining al fresco on either of the two terraces and were practically de rigueur for the stay. It was not the over-whelming desire to be away from the other guests but a chance to just enjoy the whole ambience of a pretty unique situation that my partner and myself found ourselves in on this occasion. An added bonus in the evenings also provided a perfect chance to take in some stargazing, extinguishing the terrace lights and making use of the sun beds to have a sort of basic roof top observatory. Sailing, diving, golf, canyon bashing on quad bikes if thats too much then the large sweeping and meandering pool is a big draw.
I suppose getting used to this temporary celeb type life style has been an interesting experience, but it will be back to reality of living in a two bedroomed cottage that would comfortably fit into the space of just the lounge.
Another positive side, by the end of the stay I had worked out what each of the 30 electric light switches actually did control!