Victorian splendor on the banks of the Nile
In 1922. the guests at the Old Winter Palace, if they took notice of a short post on a bulletin board, would have been among the first in the world to learn of the great discovery by archeologist Howard Carter. When first peering into the boy King Tut’s tomb for the first time in two thousand years, he was asked what did he see. “Things, wonderful things…” he replied. Carter was a regular visitor to the hotel and continued to stay there during his subsequent archeological excavations. He could often be seen strolling in the garden.
The Old Winter Palace, founded in 1886, is still a magnificent colonial Victorian edifice with high-ceilinged elegance, spacious guest rooms and many more pleasures than available to Howard Carter in 1922.
The hotel is situated in a lush tropical garden with a large pool as the centerpiece. Each guest room is different, with high ceilings, luxury amenities and comforts. Fascinating artifacts from the history of the hotel and its guests are on display along the wide, huge corridors.
Also of note is the formal French cuisine at the “1886”, on of Egypt’s best known restaurants, a tribute to an era when to dress for dinner was a social nicety that one ignored at one’s own peril. And formal dress is still required today for the candlelit dinner, an exquisite experience. There are two other fine restaurants including a beautiful terrace restaurant on the Nile side of the hotel.
Sofitel Winter Palace
Location: Cornish el Nil, Luxor, Egypt; 20 minutes from the airport.
Luxury style: Modern adventurers will appreciate the service and comfort of the Old Winter Palace after a hard day visiting the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens or the Temple of Luxor which is right next door. Visiting the monuments in Egypt is a life experience not to be missed.
What we’ve heard: Be sure to never confuse the “New Winter Palace” with the Winter Palace itself. The New Winter Palace, on the other side of the garden and also managed by Sofitel, is a fine hotel, but does have the beautiful historic significance of the Old Winter Palace.