Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Winter Palace, Sofitel. Luxor

We spent 4 days in Luxor in January. Peter had spent the weekend there at a conference and I decided to join him for the weekend. We last visited Luxor in 2008 and as you'd expect not a lot has changed other than the alarming decline in the economy after the revolution in 2010.

We visited the temples and the Valley of the Kings as we'd done previously. On this trip our hotel was central to the main part of the city so we explored a bit further on foot, rather than whizzing past places in a taxi.

Struggling to find anywhere that served a decent cup of coffee we decided to visit the Winter Palace to try our luck there. We will definitely be staying their on our next trip, it was splendid. I think the reason we hadn't looked at this hotel is because it's not on the Nile and a Nile view is something to behold when you look across in the early mornings and see the balloon flights and can sit on the banks in the evening enjoying a drink watching the sunset.

The Winter Palace was built in 1886 and now owned by Sofitel part of the Accor group. It is where Howard Carter stood on the steps to announce the find of Tutankhamen's Tomb to the world.

Since then many other famous celebrities and heads of states have visited, including Agatha Christie who wrote 'Death on the Nile' while she was a guest there in 1937. But sadly the hotel from the front does not hold the appeal of luxury travel as it would've done in it's glory days.

The red carpet was out, but has seen better days and the paint was flaking on the outside of the building. The reception hall hadn't been modernised and that was lovely to see how it would've been back in the day.

However all the flaws were forgiven the second we stepped out onto the terrace. The gardens were spectacular and it took me a while to see the additional accommodation buildings, with balconies and an amazing outdoor pool and restaurant area.

View from the terrace

Looking back

New accommodation and pool, viewed from the restaurant.
The garden was full of trees, cacti and succulents.

Living in Dubai, I miss seeing trees everywhere, although there are palm trees and native trees in the UAE, they are not as tall and as spectacular as the trees here in Luxor.

The tress and plants were labelled to help with identification, which country they were brought in from and the date they were planted.

The gardens were empty and we sat in blissful silence drinking our coffee, which was OK and then enjoyed a stroll around the gardens, in addition to the trees there was a small aviary and lenity of places one could sit and just in quiet for a while.


  1. I love meandering old buildings like this. I love to try and imagine in all it's glory during the bygone days. What a shame Accor haven't spruced it up with a fresh coat of paint, which is possibly all needs as modernising it would destroy its charm.

    1. Inside was wonderful a mixture of new and old, but the outside really did need a coat of paint and a tidy up

  2. How wonderful, I've always wanted to stay there. Visited years ago, but I would love to go back and stay. Faded grandeur is rather wonderful, although the way Egypt is being treated at the moment and the tourist fears are not helping the country at all. Love your tree pics.

    1. it is sad how much the lack of tourism has affected the economy

  3. Wow! What a difference when you walk through the doors. Those gardens are wonderful. I visited Egypt when I was a teen and would love to return. I try not to let revolutions and terrorism put me off but with kids it's not just me to think about. One day I'll return! Thanks for sharing this with #MondayEscapes

    1. It was perfectly safe over there, my husband travels there with work, so we wouldn't go if his company banned travel there