When I travel I like to experience the local culture and customs and really try to catch a glimpse of the daily life. How can you do this in a fantasy land where everyone is there to tend to your every whim, serve you food prepared for foreigner’s and create a safe haven very unlike the world outside? Working as a rep it used to frustrate me that many guests generally don’t care or know very little about where they are visiting and are quite happy to spend two weeks living in this purpose built bubble .They will often go back year after year to the same hotel and willingly repeat the same experience. Why when there is so many other places to explore?
So it may suprise you to know that I have just returned from my second ever all inclusive holiday. I travelled alone to Sharm el Sheik to meet friends that had already spend two weeks in the same hotel and also catch up with old friends who now live the area. I needed to get away from the harsh Scottish winter and as always, I was craving sun!
I was quickly thrown into this holiday bubble, guided through the airport, my visa was sorted in seconds and before I knew it I was outside hugging my friend and on route to my home for the next two weeks. On arrival at the hotel I was greeted by my friend who is also on holiday in reception. I am handed a glass of wine from a waiter before I have even checked in and my bags are whisked off to my room while I catch up with friends and enjoy my wine.
My friends had alread become like family with most of the hotel staff so within a few days I was really settled in and our biggest decisions were between the pool and the hotel beach by day then whether to spend our nights in one of the various bars of the hotel or making the most of the hotel bus to see what else Sharm had to offer. I was fed and watered (way too much food), my bed was made daily, my pjs were folded and yet I often needed a nap before dinner, go figure?
Near the end of my stay the most shocking thing happened…I started to understand why you would choose to travel all inclusive and more terrifyingly why you may come again, and again!
I can’t stress enough how much I believe it’s vital to do some research prior to travel and also how important it is to explore the life outside of the hotel but I do now understand how comforting it that the chef knew how I liked my eggs for breakfast, to have your red wine served before you even sit down for dinner or that someone will notice if you are not around for a day and actually be concerned for your safety. This hotel in particular also offers perks to its repeat guests which increase the more stays you have, these include free internet, room upgrades and discounts on excursions.
I barely travel back to the same destination (Santorini, Tunisia and Crete so far, two of which were for work) never mind the same hotel but I would not rule out coming back here again just to be able to slip into the comfort of knowing the staff, where all the facilities are and to start to enjoy your holiday much quicker without the initial settling in period.
I have no plans to give up on my adventures at all but sometimes you just need to get away and relax without worrying about the unknown……just please remember to step outside too!!