Bucketlist Travels logo

Bucket list ideas:

7 Best places to stay in Ancient Egypt

  • Egypt

Last updated: 07 July, 2024
  • Luxor, Upper Egypt, Egypt

  • Official star rating:

This large family-oriented resort hotel is spread out over an island in the Nile.

It’s set amid 165 acres of landscaped gardens, filled with birds and shady trees. King’s Island is actually a resting place for thousands of migratory birds on their way to breeding grounds in Africa. Some 280 different species pass through Egypt every spring and autumn.

Removed from the often hectic and noisy centre of Luxor, the bungalow rooms dotting the grounds are wonderfully peaceful.

The property has three large pools, including a Nile-side infinity pool, a choice of restaurants, and friendly, helpful staff. A wonderful breakfast buffet is served on a terrace overlooking the Nile.

It’s away from the monuments, although that’s also a blessing. A regular free shuttle bus and boat run into Luxor centre.

It’s particularly good for families, with connecting rooms and stand-alone villas, and excellent kids facilities.

Average £100

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club

  • Luxor, Upper Egypt, Egypt

  • Official star rating:

Overlooking the Nile and next to Luxor Temple, the Winter Palace is the grande dame of Luxor hotels – and the place where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile.

This colonial-style hotel offers large, high-ceilinged rooms with splendid Nile views, or rooms with balconies overlooking the magnificent fragrant gardens and excellent swimming pool. The gardens are extremely pleasant and filled with bird song.

It’s in prime location convenient for all the major attractions, and a haven right in the centre of town for those interested in history and a good swim afterwards.

Average £180

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club

  • Cairo, Cairo Governate, Egypt

  • Official star rating:

Villa Belle Epoque

Place to Stay

Villa Belle Epoque

Cairo has few boutique hotels and none as well run and luxurious as the Belle Epoque.

In a garden quarter in southern Cairo, the Belle Epoque occupies a 1920s villa that exudes period style and refinement. Developed in 2009 by a family that also operates small luxury boats on the Nile, the Belle Epoque is unique in the city – independent, elegant, luxurious and a far cry from the impersonal large chain hotels.

There’s a lovely outdoor pool overlooked by palms, mango and guava trees. Staff are extremely friendly and attentive, helping to create a relaxed ambience.

It is removed from the main attractions though, and it can take a long time to drive into the city centre (Egyptian Museum and Islamic Cairo, for instance) through Cairo’s traffic-clogged streets. The metro station, however, is five minutes walk; you can be in the centre in 20 minutes.

Average £150

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club

  • Luxor, Upper Egypt, Egypt

  • Official star rating:

This stylish hotel – Luxor’s best – is the perfect, central Luxor base and a rather pleasant place to linger for a few days.

Most rooms and facilities have a superb Nile view, the gorgeous spa is the only serious one in town and the infinity pool looks across the Nile to the Theban hills.

Diwan, the in-house lounge bar set right on the Nile, is a sublime spot. Watch the sunset while sipping mint tea or Arabic coffee, and smoking a shisha with flavoured tobacco.

A car ride away from the city centre, it hosts some of the best restaurants in town. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the Karnak temple complex.

Average £180

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club

  • Aswan, Upper Egypt, Afghanistan

  • Official star rating:

Walk into this legendary grand old dame and you can almost feel the history here.  Agatha Christie is said to have written some of her thrillers here and there is a suite named after her in honour of her stay.

It sits in a prime spot, on a rise above the Nile, overlooking Elephantine Island and the desert beyond. There’s a Nile-side pool, spa and destination restaurant, but the real highlight is the restaurant terraces, idyllic vantage points to watch the sun set over the Nile. Make your way there for afternoon tea or sundowners.

The hotel has its own boat landing, providing easy access to the river. For another real treat, hire a felucca (single-sail boat) and drift around the islands at sunset.

A stay here is the perfect way to end a tour in Egypt or a cruise on the Nile.

Average £280

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club

  • Cairo, Cairo Governate, Egypt

  • Official star rating:

Marriott Mena House

Place to Stay

Marriott Mena House

This former 19th-century hunting lodge turned 5-star Marriot hotel is the ideal staging post for an early visit to the Pyramids before the crowds; it sits right beside the Great Pyramid of Giza. The magical views of the pyramid and desert and unrivalled.

It’s also one of the best-preserved examples in Cairo of the Moorish/Arabesque style of interior design, and has an elegance that makes it stand out. There’s rich history too. A long procession of rulers and dignitaries have stayed here; Churchill and Roosevelt met here to plan the D-Day invasions.

Rooms are fairly uninspired and functional, but some have views of the pyramids. From pyramid-view rooms you can have breakfast on your balcony with the world’s greatest ancient wonder as a backdrop.

There’s good in-house dining and spacious public areas and gardens – a rarity in Cairo.

However, it is located on the city’s western edge, so inconvenient for exploring the city’s other attractions.

Average £620

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club

  • Cairo, Cairo Governate, Egypt

  • Official star rating:

The circular tower block design may be uninspiring, but there are three excellent reasons to stay here.

First, perched on the southern tip of the island in the centre of Cairo, it has fabulous views of the Nile and the city.

Second, it’s well placed for museums and the old city, and close to restaurants and shops, making it the ideal base to explore the city. It is, however, a long drive to the pyramids and souk.

Third, for a well-located, top-end hotel, it’s surprisingly good value.

Inside, rooms are small for this level of hotel, but the design is clean-cut and the décor decent.

The pool is small, but is heated and open after dark, which means you can float in the warm water and stare out over the Nile. The hotel is also home to one of the best Egyptian restaurants in the capital.

A big chain yes, but reliable, convenient and eminently comfortable.

Average £210

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club