The Jolie Ville hotel is a perfect place to unwind and relax. It’s set on its own island in the Nile – King’s Island – a ten minute drive from central Luxor. Currently ranked 9th of 63 hotels in Luxor on TripAdvisor.
Sadly right now it’s off limits and unable to welcome holidaymakers drawn by its fabulous botanical-like gardens, vast swimming pools and dreamy view of the Nile. So while the Coronavirus lockdown is in place in so much of the world, those of you who, like me, love to travel in your imagination, might like a little look at where my central character Meredith Pink was staying when she embarked on her adventures in Egypt.
The Jolie Ville hotel really is the most magical place to stay. These photographs bring it all flooding back, and remind me to book to go back just as soon as I possibly can.
Merry is on a “time out” holiday after taking voluntary redundancy from her job when she stays there. She couldn’t have imagined the thrilling escapades she was about to embark upon, unlocking mysteries from ancient Egypt.
Here are links (just click the picture) to the first three books, all based at this wonderful hotel – although Merry’s adventures take her all over Egypt.
I have now completed three novels set in Egypt and am approximately two-thirds of the way through the fourth. My central character, Merry, is a tourist to Egypt and starts her series of madcap adventures in Carter’s Conundrums while staying at the Jolie Ville hotel, which is situated on Kings Island, just outside Luxor. I’ve been lucky enough to stay at the delightful Joilie Ville twice, in 2009 and 2011. The sunsets looking across the Nile are the most spectacular I’ve seen anywhere in the world.
Merry also gets the chance to stay in two of Egypt’s finest old hotels – both world class – both dating from Victorian times. The first is the Mena House, once a Khedive hunting lodge built at Giza, a stone’s throw from the foot of the pyramid plateau. Here’s a snap of me taken in 2008 in the Mena House garden, with the pyramids in the background. It was a hazy day, but you get the general idea of how close they are.
The second of these grand Victorian hostelries is the impressive Winter Palace in Luxor. This is where Lord Carnarvon stayed during the heady days of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by his excavator, Howard Carter. I don’t imagine it’s changed much since then. It makes a wonderful setting for a novel. I’m also setting chunks of my latest novel, Farouk’s Fancies there – to be published this summer. It’s no coincidence that King Farouk, the last sovereign of Egypt – who was deposed in the 1950’s an exiled to Europe – once used The Winter Palace as his home in Luxor.
While Carter’s Conundrums and Tutankhamun’s Triumph are both set at the Jolie Ville hotel, the third book, Hatshepsut’s Hideaway, takes Merry on a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan and back for her latest adventure. I chose as my setting the wonderful steamship SS Misr, which dates from 1918 and was lovingly restored by Jules Verne. SS Misr was also once owned by King Farouk, who hosted lavish parties on board. I took a Nile cruise on the Misr in 2008 -a superb trip.
If you’re travelling to Egypt – and I heartily recommend it despite the political situation – you’re spoilt for choice for wonderful places to stay. My personal favourite has to be The Jolie Ville. How can you beat a hotel that comes complete with its own star attraction – Ramses the camel offering rides to all and sundry? Nothing comes close to the experience of sipping a cocktail while watching the fiery sun slowly slipping beyond the Theban Hills on the West Bank of the Nile. Enjoy!