Published: July 13th 2012July 13th 2012
Old Winter Palace Hotel
Right in front of the Nile. My room is the second window up on the right hand side before the photo cuts off. I'm right next to the Royal Suite, with the big patio in front.
Another almost too easy day of travel. Left on a short flight South to Luxor (around 1 hour) from Cairo at around noon, and then at Luxor, a driver was waiting, and drove me the 15 minutes or so to the hotel, the Old Winter Palace. I'm still shocked by this hotel, mainly because I wasn't expecting the sheer opulence of the place.
This is an old Victorian gem of a hotel right along the Nile, and has housed every single royal dignitary that has ever travelled to Luxor. It was actually built to attract European aristocracy to the area. It feels like being in the Brown Palace in Denver, but honestly even more so. What's even cooler is that Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter both stayed just down the hall from my room. They were the two archeologists who discovered King Tut's tomb in 1922, right across the river in the Valley of the Kings. This hotel absolutely oozes with history.
The deal I got on this place is actually almost insulting - to the hotel, not to me. I honestly feel like I should be paying more. But this is the benefit of the world media that
has put the fear of God into most tourists who would normally be here in Egypt right now. The country and the people are desperately suffering because of the largely false impression that the country is not safe for travellers. Tourism is very, very important to Egypt's economy. So, it's bad for the country, but good for the few travellers who are here. The deals, which are already so good because of the very weak Egyptian pound, are now almost too good to be true. Which leaves me with the disturbing thought: Do most people actually believe everything the news reports? Egypt is safe. It's okay to come back.
Tomorrow I stay in town, which is very small compared to Cairo (thank God), and go to the famous Karnak Temple. Looking forward to it - but Luxor is also one of the hottest places in the world. Temple in the morning, air conditioned museum in the afternoon.
There are more photos below