I Became Guest of the Day at This Hotel Simply Because I Drove a Car

ell, I never thought I would see the day where I became guest of the day at this hotel simply because I drove a car — or at any hotel, for that matter — but that is exactly what happened to me recently.

When I arrived at the Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort — located in 6th of October City approximately ten miles away from the famed Pyramids of Giza and the legendary Great Sphinx of Egypt — I was seated at a small desk in the spacious lobby where the agent behind it during the process of checking in for my stay automatically assumed that I used some form of public or privately chauffeured transportation from Cairo International Airport.

“I drove,” I replied. “In fact, I want to ensure that I parked the rental car in the right place.”

He stopped what he was doing. “You have a car?” he asked in a tone of disbelief accompanied by a look of astonishment on his face. “You drove in?!?”

“I did — and believe me, it was not easy.”

Was that ever an understatement.

Other employees of the hotel either overheard the conversation as they passed by; or the agent called their attention. Suddenly, I was amidst several employees of the hotel, incredulously repeating the question “He drove here?“ or “You actually drove here from the airport?!?”

I kept repeating my response in the affirmative — and without incident, I added.

“The general manager would like to meet with you. Could you please wait a moment?”

“Um…okay…?”

After that treacherous drive on Ring Road from the airport, all I wanted to do at that moment was get to my room and relax. Unfortunately, little did I know that I was still a long way from any form of relaxation, as I would wind up trapped in the toilet of my room once I arrived there.

Several minutes later, the general manager of the hotel property approached me with his hand extended for me to shake it with my hand, warmly greeting me to the hotel property — a very nice touch, I must say. He assured me that he had plenty of important connections and knew many influential people in Egypt personally; so if I had any questions or need anything at all that I should ask him at any time, which was quite assuring. He handed me his business card.

When he eventually asked about my itinerary and found out that I intended to visit the pyramids the next day, he wanted to arrange transportation for me.

“Oh, that is okay. No need to do that, but thank you. I rented a car.”

Bewilderment swept across his face. If I did not know any better, I could have sworn I was secretly on some reality television show with the reaction I repeatedly received from everyone who found out that I drove at least 42 miles in Cairo from the airport to the hotel. Look, I thought to myself. While it was quite difficult, I drove a car. Millions of people around the world do it every day. Really — what is the big deal?

“You made it from the airport safely?!?” he asked in amazement.

“Yes,” I replied.

“You should be driver of the day,” he said. “No, wait — you should be guest of the day. Yes! That’s what we’ll do. You are now our Guest of the Day!”

I thought he was joking — but the next thing I knew, a camera was pointed at me. Photographs were taken — one of which was eventually hung on a tree…

…and that is how I became Guest of the Day at a hotel simply because I drove a car. I still do not believe it.

I intend to give a trip report of my stay at the Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort in a future article with plenty of photographs; and although I paid a cash rate which I procured during this flash sale back in March of 2015, this property was absolutely a steal as a Category 1 for which you could have redeemed a minimum of only 5,000 Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points to stay for the night.

Unfortunately, this hotel is one of 33 properties which is increasing by one category — meaning that effective as of Wednesday, October 14, 2015, the redemption cost will double to a minimum of 10,000 Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points to stay for the night.

If you could redeem your points to stay for the night at this hotel property prior to October 14, I highly recommend you do so.

I will hint to you that not only was I treated extremely well at this resort property — the general manager is one of the best with whom I have dealt at a hotel property — but I was also upgraded to a spacious suite…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

12 thoughts on “I Became Guest of the Day at This Hotel Simply Because I Drove a Car”

  1. SP says:

    Your story reminds me of a joke.

    Missionary went swimming in the river near the village he was helping out in.
    After he got out of the water, many native came up to him, wanting to touch him/shake his hand. Bewildered, he asked why the sudden interest.
    Chief replied. “You have magic skin. If any of us swam in the river, crocodiles would eat us.”

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for the laugh, SP!

  2. alexander says:

    LOL! That’s hilarious. I’ll be in Egypt in November but I’m staying at the Le Meridien. Gotta requalify for platinum.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      …and I hope you qualify easily, alexander.

      Enjoy your trip to Egypt, as it is a country which has a lot to offer.

      Just please don’t drive while you are there…

  3. Danny says:

    The reason why the manager was amazed is because it is not safe there. I travelled there 2 months ago and I saw road accidents everywhere. Be careful and stay safe.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I saw one accident on Ring Road south of Cairo as I was entering the highway which still has me scratching my head, Danny

      …a car wound up on top of a concrete wall which was standing alone on the side of Ring Road in the gore between the on-ramp and the highway itself; and it was not attached to anything. The wall had to have been approximately six feet tall; but narrower than the car. There were already crews on the scene to assist.

      I still have no idea how it got there; but it was definitely involved in an accident as evidenced by its exterior. If I was not driving, I would have taken a photograph of it.

      I left Egypt back in June, which means we missed each other by a month or two.

      Regardless, I am proud to say that the car I rented — which already looked worse than a used car when I first picked it up at the airport — did not even receive an additional scratch during the rental period. Either I am truly a skilled driver — or I am extremely lucky. It does not matter — the end result is all that matters.

      I always appreciate when someone wishes me safe travels. Please do the same as well, Danny — and thank you.

  4. Melinda says:

    What a funny story! It must have felt bizarre to stand there as they took your picture. I bet they still have that photo somewhere and look at it occasionally, thinking in wonderment, “he drove a car!”

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That had me laughing, Melinda. Thank you.

      For the record, that was the first of many hotels at which I stayed while I was in Egypt; and even though I was never again appointed as Guest of the Day, I did receive similar reactions from members of the staff at those other properties.

      In fact — if you have not done so already — please read the following article where I experienced arguably the best service I have received from a hotel, which was the Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa…

      http://thegate.boardingarea.com/arguably-the-best-service-i-ever-received-from-a-hotel/

      …and that story is related to driving in Egypt as well.

      I have more stories — such as when I experienced a flat tire leaving the Hilton Ramses in Cairo on my way to the airport to catch a flight to Bahrain and then on to Abu Dhabi. That will be detailed in a future article…

  5. Welltravbrit says:

    Having spent a lot of time in Cairo traffic I have to say I’m amazed you got the car back without a scratch and I’m not surprised they were shocked to meet a tourist who drove, good for you! We’ve driven in lots of places, Morocco, Jordan, Thailand, Zimbabwe etc and I’m not a nervous person but I’d skip navigating the chaos in Cairo, not to mention the police checkpoints. Luckily you were right off the ring road but as you say lots of people drive everyday in Cairo and when we were there a friend picked us up and drove right across town. My mother used to drive in Alexandria, but only until she had a collision with a bus! Incidentally what was the cost of renting a car?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The total cost was $344.53 for eleven days, Welltravbrit, including all taxes and fees…

      …and I drove within and outside of Cairo as well as driven on Ring Road.

      I intend to post photographs of the car I rented; as well as other escapades within Egypt in addition to the ones I already posted.

  6. Love to Fly says:

    Dude, it’s no joke. I am amazed as that general Manager of the hotel… I live in Dubai for four years and one of my main clients was in Cairo – at one point I spent the better part of 6 months there. I am shocked, absolutely shocked, that you not only had the guts (or is it insanity?) to do that but that you managed to survive and be in one piece.

    I’ve lived and driven in many places in the world… I just saw your trip report to Oman, and I’ve driven to Nizwa as well, and you know this, but I doubt many of your readers do – there is no comparison between those two places! Driving in Oman is like driving in the US. Driving in Cairo… I can’t even begin to describe.

    One of my friends who is a world traveller told me a story of how he rented a car at Cairo airport, and he took the car out to the first roundabout outside the airport, got into a nasty accident which wrecked the front of the car. The other car which was involved was unscathed so he took off, and friend just brought the car back to the airport in shame, 10 minutes after he had driven it away.

    I am really amazed that you drive a car in Cairo. Wow. Just wow.

    Love to Fly

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I suppose it was insanity, Love to Fly.

      After having driven a car in 20 or so countries — greater than half of them on the opposite side of the road to which I am used to driving — I did not even give a second thought about renting a car in Cairo…

      …and by the time I realized what I had done, I was already behind the wheel of the car and was just a little too late to back out; so I made the most and best of the experience.

      It was not easy by any means; but I am thankful that nothing bad happened in relation to the car.

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