Recently I was asked by a friend in Second Life if I knew of any good holiday resorts in-world, a question that had me thinking; while over the last few years there seems of have been a upsurge of vacation-style destination venues in SL, I’ve rarely covered them in this blog (partly, I’ll admit, because of unfortunate experiences in a couple) However, the question came on top of me also learning about a relatively new such destination in world, and it prompted me to hop over and take a look.
The destination in question is Badu- Egypt – Aswan City, a place which offers a mix of public spaces and more private opportunities for vacationing and touring, with a mix of activities that can be enjoyed by visitors as well as by guests availing themselves of the vacation opportunity.
Operated as (at the time of writing) the latest destination presented by AshaRhia Resident as a part of her Asha Destinations SL Travel Agency, Badu – Egypt is currently set to be open for at least 2 weeks (starting on March 25th), with a potential for this to be extended to up to four weeks, depending upon its popularity. Like Aswan, it mixes two faces of Egypt, ancient and modern, into a single location, offering visitors the chance to learn about some of the history of Ancient Egypt whilst also being pampered.
The two halves of the region are divided by height., with the ancient Egyptian elements occupying the land just above sea level, and the luxury amenities of the hotel sitting on a plateau above them, a layout that keeps them nicely separated while maintaining their relationship via the interconnecting steps leading from one to the other.
The ancient Egyptian elements of the region are located on its east side, and laid out in a north-south orientation. To reach them from the landing point follow the path around the base of the cliffs and pass the steps rising to the hotel area. They are dominated by the bulk of a vast temple, that sits with a chariot racing arena as a buffer between it and the rest of the setting, whilst containing what is very much a modern museum. Here, visitors can find images and information cards on multiple aspects of life and society in ancient Egypt, encompassing the lives of Pharaohs down to those of humble farmers, and incorporating elements such as clothing, jewellery, wigs, etc., with the temple itself offering a huge sense of space, wall frescoes, and a nod to the importance of water to the Egyptian civilisation.
South of this and the chariot arena, is a more desert-like landscape that offers a feel of the great pyramids of Giza coupled with the ancient ruins of somewhere like Thebe. Together with the more pristine building to the north, these serve to give visitors a good sense of Egypt’s long history through the ages without being tied to a singular period.
The upper area of the region presents a luxury resort complex, split between public and private areas, with the former taking up the central part of the resort and comprising with a front desk, swimming pools, the treatment spa, etc., all of which can be enjoyed by the casual visitor. The seven private suites border this to either side, all clearly delineated from the public areas by their frontage while offering a luxury stay for guests.
The larger of the suite designs present lower floor lounge areas with adjoining kitchen and dining areas, an upper TV lounge area, private terraces (one with a hot tub), and a separate sleeping wing with lower floor grand bedroom with dressing room and bathroom, and an upper level with two further bedrooms and shared bathroom. The smaller units, located around the front desk and the hotel’s bar, offer single-floor accommodation with a more open plan approach to living, dining and kitchen, with a separate bedroom and bathroom, and each has a single terrace with hot tub, they also share a communal poolside lounge.
Guest / visitor activities take various forms, including Afrobeat dance classes, a quest, chariot racing, pottery classes and basket weaving classes (all role-play) – non-guests can participate in these for a fee of L$500, with details of times, etc., available at the front desk. Spa treatments and fine dining (both again role-play) are also available, with prices available to non-guests at the front desk. In addition, guests and visitor can join a guided tour of the Abu Simbel Temple Museum.
Badu- Egypt – Aswan City is a setting that has been brought together with a great deal of care and thought for visitors within to experience the fullness of travel to a destination within Second Life. The region is well laid-out, clearly signed, and there is a lot on offer. Fees, as noted, can be found at the hotel’s front desk, and vacations can be booked through the associated website, via the bookings page.
Given all this is available within the region, it can take its toll on the viewer; therefore those on low-to-mid-range systems should (as I’m prone to note in these situations) be prepared to make some adjustments to their system if they encounter problems. However, this should not put anyone off taking a trip to the region and seeing it for themselves!
- Badu- Egypt – Aswan City (Origins 1, rated Moderate)