The Winter Palace. Sofitel Luxor. Hercule Poirot. Death on the Nile.

Luxor Luxury? The Winter Palace.

The Winter Palace on the corniche takes you back 100 years in time where Britannia still ruled the waves and red-haired, pale-skinned with beige shorts and funny hats roamed around in Egypt and many parts of the world.

The Winter Palace is a historic hotel located in the city of Luxor, Egypt. The hotel was built in 1886 during the reign of Khedive Tawfiq and was originally called the "New Karnak Hotel." It was later renamed the "Winter Palace Hotel" in honor of the royal palace in Cairo where the Egyptian monarchs used to spend their winter months.

The British were now able to control the Suez Canal and with it the vitally important sea routes to British India and the colonies in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Since the Napoleonic adventures of the First French Republic, Egypt was the key to world domination and became a major player - and pledge - on the international political arena. With the interest of the world powers, the interest of the well-educated elite in Ancient Egypt also increased and all of a sudden, pale faces in tropic suits and noble ladies with large sun hats and fans invaded the mysterious ruins to the astonishment of the native Arab population.

And of course, all the distinguished guests needed an accomodation befitting their distinguished status. The Winter Palace thus opened on Jannuary 19th, 1907 with a picnic in the Valley of the Kings followed by a dinner in the hotel. A hotel legend was born. There are many luxury hotels in the world, but the Winter Palace belongs to only a few dozen of them with a grand tradition where actual history was made.

You may also know the hotel if you are fond of Agatha Christie. She wrote the famous adventure of Hercule Poirot "Death on the Nile" while staying at the hotel, but it was also used as filming location for Agatha Christie's Poirot with David Suchet in the leading role.

The hotel was designed by the French architect Leon F. M. Monestier and was built in a style that blended traditional Egyptian and European architectural elements. The hotel has played host to numerous famous guests over the years, including Winston Churchill, Howard Carter, and Princess Diana.

The hotel is located on the east bank of the Nile River, overlooking the Temple of Luxor and the Avenue of the Sphinxes. The hotel features lush gardens, a large swimming pool, and a number of elegant restaurants and bars. The rooms and suites are decorated in a style that combines modern amenities with traditional Egyptian touches, such as handcrafted furniture, rich textiles, and intricate tilework.

The hotel has been designated as a national monument by the Egyptian government, and it remains one of the most iconic and prestigious hotels in Egypt. In addition to its luxurious accommodations, the hotel also offers a range of cultural activities, such as traditional Egyptian music and dance performances, cooking classes, and guided tours of the nearby ancient temples and tombs.

Today, the hotel belongs to the French Sofitel group, but indeed, when you enter the Winter Palace, you immediately feel like being transported back in time to Anglo-Egyptian colonial rule. Officially, Egypt was still part of the declining Ottoman Empire, but the Egyptian rulers, the Khedives of Cairo teamed up with the British, eradicating the influence of the Ottoman Sultan residing in Constantinople.




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If you don't want to stay at the Winter Palace, you definitively should got there for an afternoon tea or dinner. The prices might be higher than in other places in Luxor, but still affordable and the thrill of dining like Lord Carnarvon or standing in the Lobby where Howard Carter told the world about his discoveries in the Valley of the Kings, you really must go there.