Alpha Rooms

Alpha Rooms

Alpha Rooms is an excellent company in my opinion.  I have personally used them many times for business trip and holidays. If you look for Alpha Rooms Reviews online you will find only a rare few complaints  and that brings me to a rant on the subject of refunds, especially with the COVID situation.

The owner of a small guest house wrote this and she has my sympathy.

“In the current climate of free cancellations on so many sites, people tend to forget that if there isn’t a free cancellation option then your need to take travel insurance or you take a chance.  You have no right to blame someone else and have a paddy because you can’t shame them into a refund.  I get quite angry when people don’t see that to refund everyone out of the kindness of the heart destroys a business, but those that care only for themselves don’t see how unfair it is to extort a refund because you scream and shout while others more deserving go without.”

To most it’s just a holiday, something you pay for after all the bills etc, but to small businesses it is HOW they pay the bills.

Cottages with Hot Tubs

Hot Tub Cottages

Those of us that live in the UK know full well what our weather can be like – and I lived there for more than 60 years so trust me, I know!  We avoid 9 months of the year for UK holidays because we just can’t rely on it and even when we think we can we often find it lets us down, especially with cold, wet or windy evenings.  Holiday abroad were good value for money taking that into account but that was pre 2020.  Now we have to worry about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and staying home for the holidays seem a safer bet.

Hot tubs have always been an added luxury but now it’s almost a necessity as more and more people want to stay in the UK for cottage holidays.  Having a heated hot tub not only means you aren’t affected so much by seasonal changes and makes for a great from the warmest summer through to the cold winter.

Make sure you check your rental terms though.  Having an efficiently heated hot tub is important.  Older model hot tubs may take a long time to heat up and may not be cost effective if you have to pay the electricity.  Even if it’s included, you seriously don’t want to wait 8 hours for your hot tub to be usable.  An inefficient or uncovered hot tub can easily take twice the time to heat and poor insulation will cool it quickly especially in winter.  So bottom line – ask about your hot tub!

Luxury Hot Tub Cottages
Luxury Hot Tub Holiday

Things to Do on Holiday

Suggestions from our visitors from around the world, fun things to on holiday ot at the beach.

Fun things to do on Holiday
  • Investigate what’s living in the tide pools.
  • Bring some board games (chess, backgammon, snakes and ladders) and spend some fun time challenging your friends.
  • Build a sand boat to sit in
  • Play with seaweed. Sweep the sand with it, shape it into something or just run it through your fingers.
  • Bury a friend’s body in the sand and start making funny shapes, like a mermaid, and take funny pictures of them!
  • Grab a fistful of really, really wet sand and build a drip castle.
  • Use that swing on the beach you haven’t used in years. Remember? It was the best feeling ever.
  • If you’re with your friends, then have a Limbo dance competition! You’ll just need some music and lots of your moves!
  • Collect seashells.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Instead of walking your dog, why not enjoy a game of Frisbee with each other? Just make sure the beach you’re heading to allows pets!
  • Go Hiking
  • Go Window Shopping at the Little Seaside Shops
  • Try digging to China!
  • Make a friend into a sand mermaid by covering their legs with a sand tail.
  • a picnic.
  • Take advantage of the good weather and start squatting, lunging and working-out. Believe me, it will be your best workout during the summertime.
  • Start a treasure hunt, hide things in the sand everywhere around you, write hints on cards and make your friends start looking.
  • Track animal footprints in the sand. Who do they belong to? Where do they lead?
  • Catch Up on Phone Calls
  • Make a time capsule. Write a memory from the day, or take something you like and put in a box, then bury it somewhere safe, so you can come back next year and find it.
  • Lie down and make sand angels.
  • Bring your yoga mat to the beach, your music, and start practicing yoga on the beach. End it with a nice long meditation time.
  • Since you’re at the beach, then the ultimate fun activity that you can do is to swim in the sea!
  • Start water gun fights, and take it to the next level. Invite everyone in and add a twist with a water balloon fight!
  • Walk along a jetty.
  • Find a few pebbles and see who can throw a rock the farthest out into the water or create the biggest splash.
  • Go Surfing
  • Climb up and slide down sand dunes.
  • Build a Sandcastle
  • How about playing an XO game on the sand? This would be a totally fun activity to do at the beach.
  • Play Frisbee
  • You can have a barbecue party and enjoy the atmosphere, from the music to the food, the view and of course the good company.
  • Open a nice cold can of soda with a lot of ice and fight the hot weather!
  • Lay back, put on some sun-block, tanning oil and take nap in the sun.
  • Are you going to the beach with a large group of friends? Then why not play “Truth or Dare”?
  • Watch the sun set.
  • Go Fishing
  • If you have kids, get a mini inflatable pool, fill it with sea water and let enjoy their time right next to you!
  • Bury your feet (or more) in the sand.
  • Bring your favorite book to the beach, lay back, relax, take a cold drink and start reading.
  • If you’re heading to the beach with kids, get some cake molds, and play sand bakery! Decorate your imaginary cakes with seashells.
  • Celebrate a Holiday or Special Occasion
  • Another fun activity to do at the beach, is to start building a sandcastle.
  • Draw a hopscotch grid with a stick in the sand and play hopscotch.
  • Fill a bucket with water. Then empty it. Add sand if you like. Repeat as desired.
  • Fly a kite! This could be a fun activity to do at the beach if you have kids with you.
  • Body surf the waves.
  • Look for Seashells
  • Write words in the sand with a stick.
  • Lie back on your towel and look for shapes in the clouds.
  • Kick, jump, stomp and splash in the water.
  • Do some bird watching. Look up, out along the waves and right along the water’s edge.
  • Enjoy a big scoop of your favorite flavor of ice-cream.
  • Look for Dolphins
  • Search for Historic Sites
  • Make footprints in the sand.
  • Have a Picnic
  • Climb the bay watch tower and enjoy the open sea view from up above.
  • Take Photographs
  • Start a race and make sure to end it by splashing into the water.
  • When the water recedes from the shore, chase it. Then turn around and run back when the waves return.
  • Write Poetry
  • Use a stick, finger or shovel to carve out rivers in the sand. Then fill them with water. Where will the water flow? What happens if you put something in the river?
  • Dig a hole in the sand and fill it up with water. Or get inside!
  • Relax
  • Fill a bucket with water and sand at the shore, then see what ocean treasures you’ve uncovered. Be sure to return all living creatures to the water when you’re done.
  • Bring a big floater and lay on it for a tan inside the water, but make sure the floater is attached to something near to the shore so you don’t drift away.
  • Have a bucket filling race – using a small cup or bottle to fill each bucket.
  • Read Magazines
  • Pack a long rope, divide your friends into two groups and start pulling from each side, just like the old days.
  • Play on the Boardwalk
  • Another fun activity to do at the beach, is to play beach volleyball. It doesn’t have to be professional, you can easily play with a beach ball.
  • Make a warm-weather version of a snowman: a sandman!
  • You can start learning new sports like surfing, kite surfing, sail surfing, boarding and hover boarding and spend endless time of fun
  • Play “Pass the Water.” You’ll just need disposable cups. Fill one cup with sea water, stand in a line each holding an empty cup, and then start passing the water from one cup to the other without spilling the water.

Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography Tutorials

“This section is devoted to sharing the best photo tutorials, techniques and tips for all types of underwater photography. We cover wide-angle, macro, supermacro, behavior, composition, different shooting conditions, shooting with specific gear and much more. We cover macro, wide-angle, dive destinations, gear reviews, tutorials and techniques, post-processing, marine life, photo essays, dive adventures, dive travel tips and other useful info for underwater photography.”

Excellent site for underwater photography tutorials

  • Red Sea FishRed Sea Fish
    The Red Sea is a geologically young sea, but also an area with the oldest record of human sea food exploitation. Examining the fisheries of the Red Sea has become extremely important to understand the ecosystem and the direct human impact of fishing on Red Sea ecosystems. This volume gives extensive data on different fisheries sectors identified and described for each country bordering the Red Sea. Furthermore, its catch and specific composition is also described over 60 year period,  combined with the ecosystem model this useful information can uniquely help managing fisheries and ecosystems of the Red Sea. Hotel Map Sharm Red Sea Fish Underwater Photography Click to enlarge.  This is just a small sample. “I would recommend this guide to anyone who ...
  • Underwater Photographer Ian ElwoodUnderwater Photographer Ian Elwood
    The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course is a Level One and Level Two introduction to digital underwater photography. It is centered around contemporary point-and-shoot digital cameras. Hotel Map Sharm Red Sea Fish Underwater Photography Click to enlarge.  This is just a small sample.  Please visit Ian’s website for more underwater photography.
  • Underwater Photographer  Alasdair LucasUnderwater Photographer  Alasdair Lucas
    You surface and people ask: “what did you see under water? Was it amazing?”. Here’s your chancee to show your friends your own captured images! Hotel Map Sharm Red Sea Fish Underwater Photography Click to enlarge.  This is just a small sample.  Please visit Alasdair’s website for more underwater photography.
  • Underwater Photographer  Karen CurtisUnderwater Photographer  Karen Curtis
      During two scuba dives you will experience how to choose the right underwater camera system for you. We follow the PADI SEA (Shoot, Examine, Adjust) system for accurate composition and capturing great images. Have fun whether with a simple point-and-shoot camera or a highly advanced dSLR that is popular with professionals. We can not know who made the first dive into an ocean millions of years ago, but we know that the need, the hunger and the love to explore the underwater world has never stopped, starting with that first plunge.   Hotel Map Sharm Red Sea Fish Underwater Photography About Karen Website:    Spirita  Holiday Travel For all your holiday, accommodation and travel needs Click to enlarge.  This is just a small sample.  Please ...

Karen Curtis
Alasdair Lucas
Ian C Elwood

Museums of the World

Museums of the World

  • Cairo Museum EgyptCairo Museum Egypt
    The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is one of the most fantastic museums worldwide. It is a large building where they display the treasures of ancient Egyptian history, giving us the wonderful evidence of mental ability and artistic skill of the ancient Egyptian Man. In fact, before the arrival of the French campaign, led by the famous general Napoleon Bonaparte to Egypt in 1798, the ancient history of Egypt for centuries was almost unknown and full of a lot of confusion and ambiguity. The French expedition brought more than 165 scholars and scientists in all specialties to study all aspects of Egyptian life, geography, zoology, geology, history, religion, traditions, laws etc. Those scientists showed great desire and enthusiasm to study the ...
  • Cairo Museum in EgyptCairo Museum in Egypt
    A must-see in Cairo  “Egypt”, is undoubtedly the Egyptian Museum, is required at least one day to see the entire collection of objects of the Pharaonic era, it houses the largest collection of objects Pharaonic times. The museum is located north of Midan Tahrir in Tahrir Square, once you arrive at the entrance to force you to leave cameras and phones, it is forbidden to take pictures inside. The museum is impressively large and part of the entrance is a sitting area so you can spend some time sitting in the sun and also shops to buy souvenirs, books, coins .. At the entrance of the museum you find a lot of guides that you can hire for 30 €, eye many ...
  • Centre Georges Pompidou in ParisCentre Georges Pompidou in Paris
    The world famous French Zinedine Zidane headbutt Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the final of the football World Campenato of 2019 held in Germany has inspired a giant sculpture of the artist Adel Abdessemed, temporarily located in front of the Paris Museum of Modern Art Centre George Pompidou.  In the last minutes of the 2019 World Cup final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin (Germany), Zidane gave a powerful header into the chest of Italian Materazzi , who had just verbally provoke a series of tricks. The Frenchman was sent off for this, on the day that he was retiring from football. Above, world champion Italy was to win in the shootout. The title of the sculpture is “Heading” (2012). This is a bronze ...
  • Glass MuseumsGlass Museums
    The History of the Chandelier Meaning ‘candle holder’, the word chandelier originates from the French word ‘chandelle’ (a fixture attached to the ceiling).  The Chandelier is the most stylish and beautiful form of lighting in the world, making a statement in any room. The earliest chandelier dates back to over 1000 years ago, to medieval times. Then, chandeliers were generally made of wood, with candles placed on spikes set around them – a far cry from the stunning glass and crystal creations we know and love today.  Wooden lighting fixtures and exposed flames would send the health and safety conscious of us completely mad! Gradually, rich Europeans re-designed the chandelier and by the early 1900’s crystal chandeliers with candles were all the rage. ...
  • Guggenheim Museum New yorkGuggenheim Museum New york
    The Guggenheim Museum is located between Fifth Avenue and 89th Street, east of Central Park, and is best known in the “Big Apple” as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The driver of the Guggenheim Museum Solomon R. was Guggenheim, which names the museum, who was a Swiss-born Jewish billionaire who, after meeting in 1927 to Baroness Hilla Rebay von Ehrenwiesen, was completely infected by his passion for abstract art. This led him to gradually acquire works throughout the world, to be the largest collection in the United States, which they called Non-Objective. To promote his collection created the Foundation Solomon R. Guggenheim and the Museum of Non-Objective Painting on Calle 54. But this place was not big enough, so in 1943 he ...
  • Louvre Museum in ParisLouvre Museum in Paris
    Opened in the late eighteenth century, the Louvre Museum is the largest museum in France and the most visited in the world . Currently receives over eight million visitors each year. Formed from the collections of the French monarchy and the plundering carried out during the Napoleonic Empire, the Louvre Museum opened in 1793 showing a new model of museum, which passed from the hands of the ruling classes to the enjoyment of the general public .  Building architecture The Louvre Museum is housed in the Louvre Palace , a XII century fortress was enlarged and renovated several times. Before it became a museum, some monarchs Charles V and Philip II used the palace as a royal residence in which accumulated their art ...
  • Luxor Museum EgyptLuxor Museum Egypt
    The Luxor Museum, located near the Nile River, in the city centre of Luxor (Egypt) account for a few weeks with a new coffin of great historical interest. This piece was discovered two years ago by members of Djehuty Project, involving different experts from the University of Seville and other researchers from all over Spain. The casket is a singular piece Iqer the time to which is attached, the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, a hectic time in the history of Egypt, with the country emerging from one of the deepest crises in its history. His style is also very unique: a band of decoration presents a rustic features hieroglyphic text, which we might describe as “naive”. The coloring is otherwise ...
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art New YorkMetropolitan Museum of Art New York
    (Metropolitan Museum of Art, or just Met) is the second most visited museum in the world behind the Louvre Museum in Paris . The museum was opened in February 1872 when Robert Lee Jenkins donated his private collection. Since then he has been increasing his collection to the over two million objects . The most important objects are the Metropolitan Museum treasures of classical culture and the paintings of artists such as Monet, Cezanne or Rembrandt . Among the more unusual exhibits is the Egyptian area, which is exposed beautifully reconstructed Temple of Dendur . This temple was a gift from Egypt for help in saving Abu Simbel . Although the Metropolitan Museum is our favorite art museum in New York, sometimes do not ...
  • Museo del Prado in MadridMuseo del Prado in Madrid
    The Museo del Prado is not only an essential references of Spanish culture is nurtured and excellent representation of human artistic production. The Centro Virtual Cervantes comes from this section, funds that houses the gallery Madrid, through various thematic selections of his painting. Information about the Prado Located in the city center of Madrid, the Prado Museum in itself, since 1819, the core of a broad artistic scope, covering the works of masters from around the world. The museum is divided into two sites very close to each other: the Villanueva Building (the most representative), located in the Paseo del Prado, and the Cason del Buen Retiro. In October 2019 we opened an extension of the museum that features the cloister of ...
  • Museum of Modern Art in New YorkMuseum of Modern Art in New York
    Opened in 1929, MoMA, Museum of Modern Art in New York, has become its own right in the museum of modern art in the world . Some of the most important works on display at the Moma are: Starry Night by Van Gogh, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso, The Persistence of Memory by Dali and Miro Dutch Interior . MOMA is a museum big enough and, if you cross it entirely, it will take at least two hours to visit quickly . If you have little time and do not be passionate about modern art, the plants that are worthwhile are the fourth and fifth , where some of the most famous paintings in history. Advance tickets To visit the museum without queuing, the ...
  • National Museum of the US ArmyNational Museum of the US Army
    Long Time Waiting, But the National Museum Of The United States Army Is Almost Here The United States if full of museums and memorials for those who have served in the Armed Forces. From the Vietnam Memorial to the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, you can find just about anything which memorializes specific conflicts or time periods of U.S. history. Until now, there has not been anything that completely memorializes the entire history of specific branch of government. Scheduled to open in 2015, the National Museum of the United States Army is set to change that. “I have been to monument dedications throughout the United States, but this is one that I believe I have looked forward to the most, “ said ...
  • Orsay Museum in ParisOrsay Museum in Paris
    Paris Orsay Museum formerly train station and luxury hotel, the Orsay Museum is today one of the most visited museums in France. Almost opposite the Louvre Museum , across the Seine, a large structure of 188 meters long by 75 meters wide and 32 meters high is imposed by the dock: The Orsay Museum . One of the museums ‘new’ in France and yet it is the third most visited, with over 2.5 million visitors per year. A special feature is that it was housed in the former railway station of the city. Back in 1600, the area was a large garden belonging to Queen Margaret of Valois , wife of Henry IV divorced. When she died, the space was sold ...
  • The Art Institute of ChicagoThe Art Institute of Chicago
    The Art Institute of Chicago is hands down sure to be a highlight of the trip for any person to the bustling city of blues and thick pizza. The Art Institute of Chicago has a reputation as one of the destinations in the United States premiere of art, a reputation with travelers that art enthusiasts simply must agree. The famous museum is full of art from 5,000 years ago. Besides finery inside, the building exhibits a distinctive touch of Chicago by the elegance and architectural beauty, becoming a work of art in itself. Although it began as a combination of school-museum, currently the 1893 building is only as a place to display beautiful pieces, attractive and great art. The Art Institute ...
  • The British MuseumThe British Museum
    Introduction The British Museum is a must for anyone visiting the city and has a minimal concern for history, archeology and art. Best antique objects are exposed is this great museum. Description In stylish Russell Street , is one of the most famous museums in the world, thanks to its impressive collection of archaeological fruit of long domination and expansion of the British Empire and plundering in five continents .In any case, this looting has served us to see at a single point and a free countless historical treasures. The museum was founded in 1753 thanks to the collection of Sir Hans Sloane . The most famous objects are the Rosetta Stone , sculptures from the Parthenon , the English medieval remains found at Sutton Hoo ...
  • The Getty Center in MalibuThe Getty Center in Malibu
    The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive the Avenue (Getty Center) of the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California (USA). The Getty Center is located in Los Angeles (USA), is a kind of campus meets the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Foundation, Research Institute, Conservation Institute and the Getty Trust. The Getty Center is a private foundation dedicated to the arts and humanities. It has an important collection of European and American art. Develop a large number of exhibitions, cultural and educational activities around their pieces. The origin of the institution dates back to 1953 when J. Paul Getty set Malibu home of a small museum of Greek and Roman antiquities, French furniture s. XVIII and European painting. The ...
  • The Kunsthistorisches Museum ViennaThe Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
    Every visitor of Vienna that has a little curious and attracted to know a little town, definitely will go to one of the many art museums that the capital of Austria has to offer. The Art Museum of Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum or clearly leading the way, in line with the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Uffizi in Florence, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the Louvre in Paris and the Pinakothek in Munich . This great museum of Vienna is among the best art museums in Europe . The KHM (Kunsthistorisches Museum abbreviation), contains what used to be the result of many generations obsession with art Habsburg. The Habsburgs collected artworks like crazy and spread that passion among high-ranking nobles of his ...
  • The National Gallery in LondonThe National Gallery in London
    The National Gallery explores the mystery of the face in the painting throughout history. LONDON . – The mystery of the faces and how it was captured by artists throughout history is the subject of an exhibition that opens this Thursday the National Gallery, with paintings by masters such as Goya, Rembrandt, and Hogarth . ‘Making Faces’ is the third exhibition in a series of four devoted to specific aspects of painting, such as light and the idea of ​​paradise (‘ Light ‘and’ Paradise ‘, inaugurated in 2003) and still life (‘ The Stuff of Life ‘), to be presented next year. The exposure of faces, which contains 27 works from the National Gallery’s own museums and the English cities of Bristol and ...
  • The Tate Modern in LondonThe Tate Modern in London
    A new exhibition at the Tate Modern in London explores the relationship of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch in film and photography, which reveals an unknown facet of the artist as a lover of new technologies. Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye , organized in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Munch Museum in Oslo, breaks the image of Munch as an artist rooted in the nineteenth century and places it squarely in the twentieth, in full modernity. Thus, the sample, which includes sixty paintings and fifty photographs taken by the artist, as well as some films, focuses on his work, on the last century, when he experimented with new ways of capturing the image. “The techniques of cinema and photography ...
  • The Vatican MuseumsThe Vatican Museums
    The origins of these museums can be traced back to 1503 , the year that the newly appointed Pope Julius II donated his private collection. Since then both individuals and other families have been growing potatoes museum collection to make it one of the largest in the world . Currently the Vatican Museums are more than 4 million visitors a year , but certainly one of the reasons for this is that they are the gateway to the Sistine Chapel . What’s inside museums? Museo Pio – Clementino : Created by Popes Clement XIV and Pius VI, the museum brings together the most important Greek works of the Vatican. Apartment Pius V : Work of Pope Pius V, Flemish tapestries meets the fifteenth and ...

News:  Archaeological municipal museums publish their brochures in Braille


The Archaeological Park-Natural La Campa Torres, Roman Baths Campo Valdés and the Roman Villa of Veranes already have their brochures in Braille.

Gijón archaeological museums have published brochures in Braille museum-Natural Archaeological Park of La Campa Torres, Roman Baths and the Campo Valdés Veranes Roman Villa. This action is part of a line of actions that are to be carried out in collaboration with the Provincial Delegation of ONCE in Asturias, in order to improve accessibility for people with low vision and blind.

The brochures have been transcribed by the department ONCE documentary adaptation in collaboration with the library Manuel Fernandez Miranda de Gijón Archaeological Museum.

Braille is a script coded in relief of the Latin alphabet, is divided into two rows of dots. Different combinations of these two rows represent each alphabet character.

Museums Coming Soon:

Egyptian Museum in Cairo
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Natural History Museum of Vienna
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
The National Gallery in Washington
Glass Museums
Luxor Museum Egypt
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
National Museum of the US Army
The Art Institute of Chicago

Sandos Timeshare

Fancy free lobster dinners? ….  or maybe massages?  See Free Gifts

Following on from our article Cheap Inclusive Holidays we had intended to interview the management and staff at the Sandos Playacar Resort hoping this would give us an insight into the holiday market from the other side of the fence.

We are often quick to complain when things aren’t up to our expectations but at the same time we look for rock bottom prices.  Just how hard is it for hoteliers to meet our expectations in the current economic climate?

Well, like most best laid plans we had a change of heart.  One of the subjects on everyone’s lips here at Sandos Playacar resort, and indeed on the net, is the Sandos timeshare club.  It seems to have gathered quite a bit of bad press so we thought we would investigate.

Sandos Timeshare Scam?

Is it or isn’t it?

So you’ve heard people talking about ‘the Sandos Timeshare Scam’ or read about it on Trip Advisor – perhaps now is the time to set the record straight.

  • Yes it’s true they did have a few teething problems with response to phone calls for bookings etc. but it was early days at that time and as far as I can judge the Sandos management team are very quick to respond to potential problems or complaints.
  • Yes, we were pounced on as soon as we walked through the door after a long trip and I sincerely hope this is something they will put a stop to when they realise it is one of the things that makes people talk about ‘timeshare scams’.
  • Is it scam?  No I don’t think so.  Timeshare works for many people and if the people you buy from are reputable, I see no reason to call it a scam.  Yes of course they want you to buy and will do their best to get you to buy it on the day, any salesman of any product will so why should that surprise you. I have no reason to suppose that any of what I heard from Sandos timeshare staff was anything other than the truth.
  • Do they keep you hours wasting your precious holiday time?  No absolutely not unless you are stupid enough to be frightened of saying no.  If the product is not for you then say so.  Don’t be afraid of saying you don’t really want to discuss it further.   Of course, do them the courtesy of listening to what they have to offer but if you feign interest you don’t really have then it’s bound to take longer.
  • Why do they want your credit card?  Well this should come as no surprise.  They hope you will fall in love with what they are offering and buy into it.   To do that, you need your card.  It NEVER leaves your person – they simply ask you to flash the logo so they know you have a card on you.
  • Do they pressure you?  No – again absolutely not.  Yes of course if you say you can’t afford it they will find a way to show you how, if you say it’s too expensive they will show why it isn’t and so on, but at the end of the day, if it’s not for you they will thank you for your time, give you your free gifts and allow you to leave with a smile.

Here’s what happened when I decided to investigate Sandos Timeshare.

Sandos Timeshare & Free Gifts

We were first approached by Patty when we booked in.  I was so annoyed when she wrote out a slip ‘in case we changed our minds’ that I tore it straight up and put it in the bin.  Later we had cause to talk to Erik in the middle lobby who had a much more ‘low-key’ approach.

Erik is a genuinely helpful person.  Yes it’s true that part of his job is to enrol people for the presentation but he never pretended otherwise and never pressured us other than to say ‘come see me if you decide to do it and I’ll sort you out some free massages or free lobster dinners’.

Until I decided to write this article, I had no intention of going.  Over the week Eric took my shoes to the cobbler when I broke my heel, found my bag when I lost it and a number of other small services.

Now the more cynical amongst you will be wondering about his motives and once more I’ll say we would be naive if we thought he wasn’t there to get us to ‘take the tour’ but NEVER was there any pressure or even talk about it.  Just a couple of times he mentioned ‘if you ever want to do it, come to me’.

So week 2 of our holiday I decided to go see what Sandos Timeshare was all about.  Here’s how it went:

8.15am Met by the hostess, filled out some basic info. and briefly showed my ID and credit card.  I was not asked for any financial information or about anything I would consider remotely personal.

8.30 Introduced to Anan, my sexy Italian guide for the tour.  We had a relaxed breakfast and chatted about something and nothing but naturally including my holiday habits.

9am Tour round the resort and beach plus the superb one and 2 bedroom apartments overlooking one of the best beaches I have ever seen.  If I were to buy into anything then this would be the place for me.  I love this Mexican resort and will definitely be coming back to Sandos although not through timeshare.

9.45am Sat in the bar with a drink to talk about costs and other info.  I was pleasantly surprised that everything was open and above board, no hidden agenda, no heavy sales push and no animosity when I said it wasn’t for me.

Timeshare Scam?
Sandos Timeshare

So why wasn’t it for me?  Well I travel several times a year, mainly last minute with some incredible deals and airline discounts.  It didn’t make economic sense for me.  Ok so you’re all probably wondering what happens next?

10am Anan brought in his manager who checked over what we’d discussed.  She agreed that it didn’t suit my holiday lifestyle and very graciously thanked me for my time and organised our lobsters dinners.

Total time 1hr 45minutes including breakfast

Our conclusion on Sandos Timeshare?

Go get your free massages or lobster dinners.  Go with an open mind and no worries about being pressured.  If it’s not for you then you won’t get hassled.  If you decide you like it, and trust me once you see those rooms with that ocean view you may well change your mind, then just make sure you cover all the bases before you sign on the dotted line.

Diving Holidays

Places to Dive

  • Diving in TenerifeDiving in Tenerife
    Scuba diving is not just a fun way to stay fit, but it provides the sights and experiences that are simply unique. Perhaps the widespread availability of equipment and certified instructors in Tenerife induce more people to explore.  Scuba diving is not only a popular activity worldwide, but an experience that will be etched in your heart forever. Diving in Tenerife is fun, and we all like to see turtles, sharks, coral, fish, invertebrates, crabs, molluscs, shellfish, eels, sting rays, manta rays, and shrimp. It’s easy to take video and pictures of the reefs, reef, fish, fish, invest, invertebrates, lobsters, octopus, octopuses, octopi, and coral. Diving Services Tenerife is highly recommended.  Tenerife Diving is often from Los Cristianos so one party can ...
  • Diving in the Dominican RepublicDiving in the Dominican Republic
    Diving Holidays at the 5*Iberostar Costa Dorada Dominican Republic The resort includes a CDC PADI Gold Palm Resort Dive Center which offers various diving courses from beginner to instructor levels. There are also nitrox courses local dives and night dives for those who are certified. Equipment rental snorkel tours and courses are also available. For more information please contact LET’S DIVE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Tropical islands boasting lagoons that are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving are the focal point of our Dominican Republic day trips, and our water sports centers will let you explore the sea that brought Columbus to the Dominican Republic. Dressel Divers is your travel gateway to all major snorkeling and diving reefs along the Northern, ...
  • Diving in the Red SeaDiving in the Red Sea
    Red Sea Diving Holiday Review Sharm El Sheikh Egypt October 2019 Let me say up front that if you have found this page by searching for diving holidays in the Red Sea look no further.  We had the most fantastic holiday with Aquarius Red Sea Diving Club.  See the underwater photography Experienced divers might want to skip the next bit and go straight to Cheap Diving Holidays Because of health issues I was very wary of taking a course on holiday.  I’d come close a few times but the idea of 6 or 8 people all being trained at once plus a potential language barrier really bothered me.  What would happen if the instructor was dealing with some-one else in difficulty when I had ...
  • Diving in the UKDiving in the UK
    UK Diving Clubs Featured Diving Club – Ashby Castle Sub Aqua Club A membership of about 20 people enjoy continued safe diver training as well as numerous diving expeditions and the social events. Several of Ashby Castle Sub Aqua Club members on 2018 Red Sea Trip. Visit their Diving Gallery for more pictures. If you don’t have basic skills you might like to consider a residential swimming course in the UK first. One of the things that worried me most was the tendency of most holiday dive centres to tout for business with a 5 minute swim in the resort pool and follow up bookings with VERY short pool sessions and then straight into the sea.  WOW – if that isn’t enough to frighten of ...
  • Holiday Review – Coral Sea Resort Sharm Diving PhotosHoliday Review - Coral Sea Resort Sharm Diving Photos
    Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort in Sharm El Sheikh boasts it’s own on site dive centre, Aquarius Diving, and offers hotel rooms with a fitness centre, a garden and a terrace. This property is situated a short distance from attractions such as International Congress Center – Jolie Ville Hotels and The Heavenly Cathedral. Guests can have a drink at the bar. The rooms in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Coral Sea Aqua Club Resort provides some rooms with pool views, and each room is fitted with a kettle and they  offers a buffet or halal breakfast. There is an in-house restaurant, which serves a variety of International dishes. ...
  • Red Sea FishRed Sea Fish
    The Red Sea is a geologically young sea, but also an area with the oldest record of human sea food exploitation. Examining the fisheries of the Red Sea has become extremely important to understand the ecosystem and the direct human impact of fishing on Red Sea ecosystems. This volume gives extensive data on different fisheries sectors identified and described for each country bordering the Red Sea. Furthermore, its catch and specific composition is also described over 60 year period,  combined with the ecosystem model this useful information can uniquely help managing fisheries and ecosystems of the Red Sea. Hotel Map Sharm Red Sea Fish Underwater Photography Click to enlarge.  This is just a small sample. “I would recommend this guide to anyone who ...
  • Underwater PhotographyUnderwater Photography
    Underwater Photography Tutorials “This section is devoted to sharing the best photo tutorials, techniques and tips for all types of underwater photography. We cover wide-angle, macro, supermacro, behavior, composition, different shooting conditions, shooting with specific gear and much more. We cover macro, wide-angle, dive destinations, gear reviews, tutorials and techniques, post-processing, marine life, photo essays, dive adventures, dive travel tips and other useful info for underwater photography.” Excellent site for underwater photography tutorials

As soon as you hear the word “diving” you think of all sorts of different diving activities.  Diving as we mean it here in the phrase Diving Holidays simply means swimming time underwater. There are quite a few types of diving holiday. The most common forms of diving are snorkelling (also called free diving) and SCUBA diving.

SCUBA short  for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus is a system first developed by Jacques Cousteau in which high-pressure air is stored in tanks and reduced to a breathable pressure.

Since then the diving world has moved on and holidays specifically for diving or holidays in which diving plays a small or large part can now be found all over the world.

Here you will find my diving reviews of various holidays as I learn to dive and then enjoy my new diving skills on holidays all over the world. Starting with Diving in the Red Sea along with my husband we hope to dive next in Goa see Diving in Goa and with a bit of luck early next year we should have a page on Diving in the Dominican Republic.

Diving Holiday Resources

Gran Canaria Diving Holidays  Aquanauts Dive Centre

Scuba Diving in Gran Canaria

CC Puerto Base Local 5 35130 Puerto Rico Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Spain

Telephone – 0034 928 560 655 Mobile – 0034 662 351 562


Red Sea Diving Holidays  AQUARIUS Diving Club

Red Sea Diving in Sharm El Sheikh  Coral Sea Resort

Tel:+20 10 1686223

Diving Holidays at the 5*Iberostar Costa Dorada Dominican Republic

The resort includes a CDC PADI Gold Palm Resort Dive Center which offers various diving courses from beginner to instructor levels. There are also nitrox courses local dives and night dives for those who are certified. Equipment rental snorkel tours and courses are also available.

Holiday Water Sports  Diving Hand Signals  PADI Open Water Certification

Informative Scuba diving and Scuba information site and lots of diving stuff at this great scuba diving resource site.

Luxor Travel Tips
Holiday Travel Tips for Luxor

Looking back on my first Egypt visit 18 years ago I was excited, delighted and shocked all at the same time. The wonders of Egypt, over 5000 years of continuous history, the grandeur of the Pyramids of Giza, the world-famous Valley of the Kings and exquisite temples such as Abu Simbel and the fabulous memories of sailing down the Nile watching the sunset. Never before have I experienced such a feeling on holiday.

However, the first few days will take a little getting used to, the minute you step outside your hotel you’ll face a barrage of calesh drivers, taxi drivers and shopkeepers all be touting for your trade. It can be very distressing at first but as long as you know how to deal with it, it all becomes part and parcel of the adventures of Egypt and I can assure you by the end of the first week you’ll be laughing and chatting with everyone. I have to say the first time it happened to me I just wanted to run back inside to the safe haven of our hotel, but now after many return trips to Egypt talking with the locals and taking little gifts for the children is one of my favourite parts of the holiday.

Luxor Travel Tips Sightseeing

Do remember this is a very poor country and they are just trying to earn a living so please be patient, polite and treat them with respect. It helps to have a sense of humour! It helps to be prepared so I have gathered information which may help the ‘first time’ Egypt tourist. Egypt facts, Egypt tips, call it what you like but do take a few minutes before your holiday to read what I hope will help generally assist you in enjoying what will be a holiday of a lifetime. Firstly, if you have a British Passport getting an Egyptian visa is quick and easy, you simply complete a short form on arrival at Luxor airport and pay the fee of approximately £10. Wait until you get to Egypt to exchange your money, on average each time I’ve visited the favourable rates in Egypt have increased my spending money by nearly 10%.

If you need the odd tip before you change your money the English pound is gratefully accepted. I’m sure you’ll be tempted to bring some medication with you just in case you get an upset tummy. However, from past experience I can advise the best thing you can take for an Egyptian tummy bug is Antinal. You can get it from one of the many pharmacies around Luxor without prescription (for about 10LE, just over £1). The remedies you bring from home are not suitable for killing off the Egyptian bugs. Two Antinal will usually clear the problem within a couple of hours. However, if you have any doubts contact your hotel reception they will be used to dealing with this type of problem and they will normally assist and/or call a doctor if required.

As previously mentioned you will get a lot of hassle from the taxi and calech drivers, if you want to walk just give a firm but polite no thank you and walk on. The most common trick they have (which I fell for the first time) is to tell you that ‘the market is on today, it’s only on 1 day a week’. The market is on every day so don’t be fooled, go when it suits you. If you do take a ride in a taxi or one of the caleches always agree on a fixed price before you get in and differentiate whether they asking for English or Egyptian pounds (it can make quite a difference) and you don’t want to spoil your holiday by feeling you’ve been duped.

Don’t be rushed into booking you trips with your holiday rep. You may feel after your first brush with the hassle on the streets that it’s the best option but take a day or two to get used to your surroundings, you may then feel confident enough to book with the tour operators where you could save up to 50% on the cost. Do look up the reviews for the local Luxor restaurants, it can be fairly expensive to eat in the hotels, and there are some splendid restaurants in Luxor central. It is personal choice, of course, but having returned from my latest trip only last week I can thoroughly recommend Jewel of the Nile, 7 Days 7 Ways, Maxim’s, Jems, Oasis, Tutti Fruiti Tearooms, Snobs and the Taste of India if you fancy a delicious curry. These restaurants all have excellent food and service with extremely reasonable prices. A meal for two with drinks on average between a very modest £10-£15. Lighter meals and snacks available from £2-£3.

Bartering – Never pay the first price asked, you can usually get things for a quarter of the original amount requested. However, please remember the shopkeepers have to make a living so don’t be too greedy. One thing that worried me and my two girls, when visiting Luxor for the first time, as soon as you walk into a shop they quickly shut the door behind you. Don’t worry you’re not going to be kidnapped it’s just that the air conditioning doesn’t work effectively with the door open. Shopkeepers are very friendly, some will ask you to sit down and have a drink with them before looking round the shop. You won’t be charged and you are not obligated to purchase anything.

Well these are my Egypt tips, I hope you’ll find them useful and you will all thoroughly enjoy your holidays in Luxor. Please feel free to contact me for any information about Egypt, if I don’t know the answer I’ll try and find out for you. One last thing, we paid £100 for two weeks internet connection at our hotel but many of the bars and cafes have free internet connection, so save your money. I’ll try and get a list together of the places with free internet connection as soon as I have time.

Happy holidays!

Luxor Restaurants Reviews

Our recommendation:  The Jewel of the Nile

More Luxor Restaurants

See the latest reviews for Luxor Restaurants

As regular visitors to Egypt we bring you the latest reviews on the Luxor restaurants. During our most recent visit, returning only a couple of days ago, we sampled the delights of many excellent restaurants (and one or two not so good but I will come to those later). The standard and service of one, however, stood out way above the rest, Jewel of the Nile.  In our opinion the creme de la creme of Luxor restaurants.

Jewel of the Nile - Luxor Restaurant

Jewel of the Nile is owned and managed by Laura and her Egyptian husband Mahmoud.  Mahmoud and Alla are responsible for the excellent food they serve up whilst Laura does an exceptional job looking after the customers front of house.
Jewel Of The Nile Luxor 

Jewel of the Nile is rated number one of the Luxor restaurant. Jewel of the Nile is situated in the quieter part of town where you can relax and enjoy a pleasant evening away from the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist areas.  I say pleasant evening rather than a pleasant meal because the friendly welcome and excellent company of the staff will leave you wanting to linger after your meal is finished.  Although the restaurant is not particularly large you never feel rushed (as we were in some of the other restaurants).  Although we didn’t book our table I note from other reviews Jewel of the Nile is ranked number one of the Luxor restaurants  so you may want to book in advance to be sure of a table.  Telephone number listed below.Laura - Owner of the Jewel of the Nile Restaurant

Not only do Laura and Mahmoud serve up delicious fresh locally produced food at astoundingly reasonable prices (full menu and prices to follow, you have the added bonus of Laura’s extensive knowledge from living in Luxor to assist customers.  Don’t let Laura’s cheery youthful appearance fool you she has over 20 years experience in the restaurant business together with a wealth of information on Egypt which is only too happy to share, if asked, not only advising on the cheaper options to the overpriced trips offered by some of the tour operators but actually helping to make the arrangements.  In fact while we were there she even helped a gentlemen by arranging flights to Cairo on the internet.

Laura’s passion for helping not only extends to customers but also the animals of Luxor.  As well as holding quiz nights to raise money for a local animal hospital there is a discrete leaflet, almost hidden amongst the salt and pepper pots on each table, providing information on the excellent work being done to improve the care of animals in Egypt.  This passion to help is not forced on you or even discussed unless a customer shows and interest, and even then you feel no obligation.  Whilst I realise this has nothing to do with the food I feel I had to mention this to give you an idea of the lovely welcome you experience when dining at the Jewel of the Nile.  Good food alone doesn’t always mean an enjoyable evening.

Staff at the famous Luxor Restaurant - The Jewel of the NileAnyway back to the restaurant itself, as I mentioned the restaurant itself is in the quieter part of town, so unless you know about it in advance you may not find it so I have added directions for you at the bottom of the page.  Most of the restaurants in Luxor rely on passing trade a luxury that this restaurant doesn’t have, so I find it quite amazing that this restaurant has gained number one status merely on recommendations.  Congratulations Jewel in the Nile, I was about to wish you continued good luck but you don’t need it your restaurant speaks for itself, so all I’ll say is a heartfelt thank you for the best two evenings we had in Luxor.

I’ve been rambling on about evenings but I should just mention that Jewel in the Nile is open from 10.00 in the morning until midnight every day, not just the evenings.

Jewel Of The Nile Luxor – Jewel of the Nile is rated number one of the Luxor restaurants.

Luxor Restaurants