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Dry Sharm Dos and Don'ts: Posh Hotels

ISSUE 16 ARCHIVE - DRY SHARM DOS AND DON'TS: POSH HOTELS

Traveller

There was once just a Sheraton. Now Sharm has representatives of every 5 star hotel chain on its divey shores. You are paying over $200 a night – they have to give you that sort of service. Here's how to behave in them:

DO Make “micro-complaints.” They have staff dedicated to your every whim and they love hearing about any problem, no matter how small. If the handle of the mini-bar is a little loose. Call reception. If the kettle is the wrong colour and disturbing the feng shui of the room. Call reception. Perhaps the Tv remote control is dirty. Call reception. The wrong ply toilet paper? You know what to do. You have paid to live like a king for a week. These are your servants.

DO Try to get an upgrade to the Emperor’s Suite. The best way to get this is to act and look like a vIP as you arrive. Wear dark glasses at check-in and refuse to talk to the reception staff. When asked for your passport, mumble incoherently that it’s with your bodyguards outside. Felt-tip pen “Beckham” across your luggage, and Presto! You’re in a better room for free.

DO Keep up the image. When omeletted at breakfast, you are required to stand in a queue at something called “the Egg Station”. Odd, as there are no trains or even any training. Name your ingredients – ham and cheese are easiest – then wait politely as prettier people are omletted before you. But if they believed your vIP status, it’s best to behave differently. Punch a waiter, then collapse weeping on the floor before ringing Jamie Oliver for egg making instructions and doing it yourself. Staff expect this sort of behaviour at these hotels, so you will be applauded afterwards. And upgraded again.

DO Get the hotel to make all downtown restaurant reservations for you. As a 5 star inhabitee, you are expected to be flighty, indecisive and last minute. That’s how you made your money to stay there in the first place. They will book
tables at every fine dining arena
at the same time for you. Then
you can decide as you walk
down the strip where to pop
in to eat. Table ready, Sir and
Madam. Get the hotel to call
all those disappointed later with
the excuse that your botox shots took too long.

DO Make use of all the “business facilities”. No-one else does, unless there’s a human rights convention for UNICEF on the same time you’re there. Ask them to drop the big screen, give you Powerpoint facilities with projector, set up the four-way Skype conference call and have IT standing by. Then bring the kids up and look at your iPhone photos whilst talking to your mates about the football at home. Don’t forget to drink all the free Perrier whilst the children nail the sweets.

DO Use Trip Advisor to slag it all off afterwards. Comments like
“the roaches ate my socks” and a 1 star revue, can not only end up with the sacking of key staff, but even bring down the whole darn chain as well. Want Paris Hilton to end up in penury. Nail the Hilton Dreams with rubbish reviews. [I think she just shares the name not has shares. Ed.] Hotels can comment on your comments, but are frequently too stupid to do this. If you couldn’t even afford to stay there, you can still diss it. Awesome. The power of the Web.

DON’T Believe your taxi driver from the airport when he says your hotel is the only 6, yes six, star hotel in Egypt. The last one was shut in 1500 B.C. by Nefertiti after an asp was found in her shower. Dubai has a couple but that’s 3 inches to the right on your world map. This is bucket tourist land and frankly any more refined an establishment is wasted on you the diver. Who needs gold taps and a helipad when you are tingling in bed after a bend from the Thistlegorm. Not me. Stainless steel and somewhere to park my complimentary golf cart is all I expect from a 5 star.

DON’T Get the hotel limo service. ‘Cos it ain’t a limo. It’s a black Ford Mondeo. It won’t look good rocking up to Pasha in a car that is considered infra-dig by most South London Afghan cabbies. Best you get the regular cab and are dropped a mile short. The money you have saved can be used to get two Sharm locals to carry you the rest of the way to the doors of the club or eaterie. Even the oligarchs in their Sergio Tachini will be impressed.

DON’T Eat from the complimentary fruit basket. The last lot didn’t and that’s why its still there for you. Fruit is rarer than gold in these deserty parts and as such, is recycled from room to room. For fresh examples, simply dial 0 and say they have forgotten your welcome Honeymoon pack. That way you get a pineapple, champagne and bootleg viagra brought immediately.

DON’T Make the safe code too easy. Even 5 stars pay their cleaners less than rats get paid in labs in the UK. The temptation can be too much at times. So forget 1111, and 1234. 1402 is too guessable. Use the same number as you do for the bank ATM. That way, if they crack it, then they will also clear your account as you fly back home. Only the clever cleaners can do that, and they will spend it on education for their kids. Not drugs. That is a good thing. Natural selection, innit.

DON’T Stare at other guests if you think you know them. You probably do and they will think you are a stalker. So, if her out of X-Factor is dining by you, or him from BGT is towelling the loungers poolside with you at 6 am, simply say “love your work”. That’s how celebs acknowledge each other. You never know, they might adore your fat-fryer installation work done for the local chippie. Then it’s high fives all round and back to their suite for hookers and MDMA.

DON’T Ever walk fully dive-kitted to the end of the pontoon on the house reef. This is 5 star don’t forget. Book your dive and kit from them – get it all together and stand there tutting until they find a porter. He may be the guy whizzing up a cocktail at 9 am for the oligarchs, but soon he will hump all your stuff the 500 metres to the drop in. At best carry your own mask. At worst carry that and a snorkel. All other transport of bits needed for a dive should be part of the 5 star service. After exiting the water, leave it all floating in the sea. Mention it to the dive shop as you get your log book stamp and they will be happy to find and get it all back.

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