The Ultimate Luxury Egypt Travel Guide: Hotel Edition

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The Ultimate Luxury Egypt Travel Guide: Hotel Edition

Egypt is a land steeped in history, mythology, and mystery. From the magnificent Pyramids of Giza to the stunning Nile River, this ancient civilization has captured the imaginations of people around the world for centuries. For those seeking to explore this fascinating land in style, luxury travel in Egypt is the perfect way to experience all its wonders.

I think we can all agree that we were uniformly fascinated by Egypt as kids, but eventually everyone else moved on whereas I did not. For years in adolescence I was weirdly committed to becoming an Egyptologist and frequently borrowed library books on the topic (a past-life thing maybe? I’m not joking). I gave up the dream after (mistakenly!) assuming I would need to be permanently separated from my family in another country and spend my days underground in tombs. So I did the natural thing and went into Finance instead. But childhood Emily finally lived out her dream recently and went on the most incredible, most luxurious trip to Egypt that she never could have fathomed when she was very little and learning about King Tut and watching The Mummy on repeat (as I’m sure we all were). 

I want to help share some guidance on how to plan your own luxury Egypt trip. Based on my own experience, I’m sharing my version of the ultimate luxury Egypt travel guide, including the best hotels, the most interesting things to do, what to wear and what to keep in mind as you hopefully plan your own journey to this fascinating and culturally-rich country! 

The Best Luxury Hotels in Egypt

Marriott Mena House, Cairo

Our very first stop was the incredible Marriott Mena House overlooking the Pyramids (!!) in Giza. I knew from the beginning that this was the top place I needed to stay on our luxury Egypt adventure. When you come all this way to see the Pyramids (and everything else of course!), you don’t want to be stuck in a hotel elsewhere in Cairo. The traffic is pretty rough and the Pyramids Complex is very crowded during visiting hours.

To have the ideal luxury experience, book your stay at the Marriott Mena House. The property is beautiful, the restaurants are great, and the staff are SO helpful. We took a red-eye from Dulles to Cairo and pulled up to the hotel at 5am. Knowing we were 10 hours early, we weren’t too optimistic about getting into a room before our first tour (we really hit the ground running). However, the attendant checking us in didn’t miss a beat and not only found an available room we could immediately access, but upgraded us to a Full Pyramids View free of charge.

Obviously book the Full Pyramids View room if it’s available when you’re planning your trip! We got VERY lucky with the last-minute upgrade and this is not normal! The rooms were all sold out even when we booked months in advance, and I had resigned myself to a room without a view. Being upgraded to a more luxurious hotel room without even asking is one example of why we love Marriott so much! There were huge weddings taking place both nights of our stay, and it was definitely loud, but we didn’t mind. If you’re sensitive to noise, however, you might want to ask about any large events at the hotel so that they can coordinate a room that’s most comfortable for you. For me, the noise was a no-brainer trade-off for the incredible up-close views of the Pyramids. It was also fun to kind of spy on the weddings from our balcony and made us reminisce about our own wedding! Ah, to be young again.

If you’re like us and find yourself without the option to book the best rooms in the hotel, rest assured you can still see the Pyramids from all over the hotel! Breakfast? Overlooking the Pyramids. Debating whether to crash a wedding overlooking the Pyramids? (we didn’t – we are neither brave nor rude). But heading back from dinner without crashing a wedding? Overlooking the Pyramids.

After a few nights in Cairo, it was off to Luxor to kick off our Nile Cruise! 

Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa, Luxor

We only spent one night here before our cruise began, but we would have loved to have more time! Luxor is beautiful and very different from Cairo, and this hotel is situated right on the river. We ate delicious paella on the water, had drinks and watched the sunset from the pool. Staff were extremely helpful and friendly, it was an easy trip to/from the airport, and the next morning we were off on our cruise! We opted for a 4-night, 5-day Luxury Nile Cruise on the Sonesta St. George, which took us from Luxor to Aswan. 

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract, Aswan

In Aswan this hotel is everything! When it comes to luxury Egypt travel, this is a non-negotiable stay. Sitting right on the edge of the Nile and overlooking Elephantine Island, this was famously the hotel Agatha Christie stayed in while writing Death on the Nile. They were sold out when we tried to book many months in advance (story of my life) so the backup plan was to have sunset drinks at the Terrace Bar overlooking the Nile. If you find yourself in such a predicament and can’t stay overnight at the hotel, at least visit the Terrace Bar for the sunset views!

Getting lucky once again, I had a feeling (a spidey sense? a ping? a vibe?) that I should check the site again two months later, and sure enough ONE room was available in the entire hotel and I booked it, cancelling our other reservation at a different hotel. I didn’t even pay attention to the type of room at the time but when we arrived we learned I had booked the “Palace Cataract Suite” with a King bed, Nile view and “sitting area” … and for whatever reason, we ended up in a room that was MUCH bigger than what’s shown on the booking site, with an insanely large private terrace overlooking the river. If you look at the photos of the Winston Churchill Suite, our terrace was more like that, spanning the whole length of the – again – MASSIVE suite we were in. It was pricey but if you’re planning a luxury Egypt vacation, it’s worth it. One of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in, and not to be dramatic but probably one of the best nights of my life. I can’t wait to return one day! For what it’s worth, Alex and I both felt like we could live happily in Aswan and wish we had had more time to explore! But alas, we needed to move on to our next stop on the itinerary: a week in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Four Seasons Resort, Sharm El-Sheikh

The Four Seasons Resort in Sharm El-Sheikh lives up to the brand’s reputation, making it one of the most high-end destinations for any luxury Egypt travel itinerary. We booked the Deluxe Sea View Room and it was perfect for our needs! Very spacious, and obviously beautiful views overlooking one of the pools and the beach and Red Sea beyond. This was our first “extended” stay at a Four Seasons property and it did not disappoint!

I was planning to do absolutely nothing but lay on the beach for the entire week, but Alex is a big Activities Guy and within two hours of arrival, he had already signed us up for a multi-day scuba diving certification course. So we spent the bulk of the week learning how to breathe underwater and while I have zero regrets about that, we didn’t see much else at the resort or in the South Sinai area! There were a wide variety of dining options though and we thoroughly enjoyed every single meal. Our room was great, service was fantastic, and we will definitely return one day. Our scuba certification experience was also EXCELLENT and if you find yourself there and decide to go diving, ask for Lotfy as your guide! He was so kind and patient in teaching Alex and I everything we needed to know to dive safely and have fun. It’s also one of the top dive spots in the world, so if you’re in the area, you won’t want to miss it! If the rest of the amenities and activities were anything like our scuba experience, then I think anyone would be more than satisfied with their time at this luxury resort. At the end of our beach week, it was back to the city of Cairo before heading home.

St. Regis, Cairo

We stayed at the St. Regis Cairo for the final night of our trip, which was also my birthday! We got in pretty late at night and were wiped out, but once we actually arrived and were greeted in the lobby, we perked back up! The staff were so kind and accommodating, and brought us refreshments while handling all the check-in details. We had a beautiful city view room, and after dropping our bags we went straight to dinner in the rooftop Italian restaurant, La Zisa, for birthday pizza overlooking the Nile and the city lights. The food was delicious and because it was so late, we were one of the only occupied tables and it felt very intimate.

The following morning, we just looked out over the city (with binoculars, lol) from our room and talked about our favorite parts of the trip before it was time to check out. We had a red-eye that night so we were able to spend the whole day in the hotel while they kept our bags at the front desk. We briefly went to the outdoor pool but unfortunately the pollution in the city made it harder to breathe, which is obviously not the hotel’s fault or anything in their control. So we moved to the BEAUTIFUL indoor pool instead, which is tiled floor-to-ceiling with these iridescent rainbow tiles that I just loved. We floated honestly for hours – I think partly from exhaustion and partly just not wanting the trip to end. We got cleaned up and hung out in the St. Regis Bar & Water Garden area before dinner at Tianma. Just as we were getting the check, we got lucky and were able to participate in the champagne sabering – a St. Regis tradition! It brought us back to the last time we’d been a part of one, on our honeymoon 7 years prior, so that was a nice little throwback and perfect timing. After that, it was off to the airport to return to America! Our luxury Egypt trip was a total success, with the best hotels throughout our stay.

 

Honorable Mention: Le Méridien, Cairo Airport

While this hotel wasn’t peak luxury it was very nice and met our needs when we did stay for one night before flying to Sharm El-Sheikh. We noticed that we happened to share a similar itinerary to another American couple that staff had mistaken us for (not many Americans!) at the Old Cataract in Aswan before taking the same flight back to Cairo and then to the Le Méridien. We were alone in the elevator with them and jokingly asked if they were also going to Sharm El-Sheikh in the morning, as we seemed to have identical travel plans. They were kind of weird and rude to us in the elevator and it’s safe to say they were not continuing on, and that was that. But I also don’t love talking to strangers in elevators, so fair enough. However, when we went to check in, this couple was so disgustingly rude to the staff, loudly making a scene and embarrassing themselves, and it made me want to throw up.

I wanted to call out, however, that the staff handled these goblins with professionalism and never skipped a beat. Not to mention, on our return from Sharm El-Sheikh our car transfer was completely messed up (our fault), and even though we weren’t staying at the hotel that night, we were desperate and asked if they could help us book a new car to a different hotel, and they went out of their way to take care of us. I was just really impressed and I would definitely recommend the hotel as a very nice, clean and comfortable place to stay when you have tight airport connections, and if anyone who works there ever happens to read this, you have a very impressed American couple that is still grateful for all the help!

Put a Luxury Egypt Tour on your Bucket List

When it’s time to build out your very own luxury Egypt travel itinerary, make these hotels a part of your plan! Even if time is limited and you can only pop in for a meal or a drink along the way, these luxury Egypt hotels all stand out for their attentive service and high-end experience. I know we can’t wait to revisit all of these luxury Egypt hotels in the future, and hope you’ll have great experiences of your own!

Photo of Emily Shutt wearing red scarf

Emily is a mindset coach and writer specializing in the habits of Millennial and Gen Z high achievers in the areas of money, relationships, lifestyle and travel.

She holds the PCC designation with the International Coach Federation and has been featured in multiple media outlets.

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