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Sofitel Winter Palace, Luxor 

Corniche el Nile
East Bank
Tel: 20 952 380 422
view web site ›'s insider take:

Opened in 1886, this storied 92-room Victorian hotel overlooks the river on the east bank, within walking distance of Luxor Temple, and has welcomed movie stars, politicians and royalty. It was King Farouk's defacto guest palace (Suite No. 243 preserves his desk and other personal belongings), as well as the place where Howard Carter chose to announce his 1922 discovery of King Tut's tomb. The high-ceilinged rooms with balconies and updated colonial-style furnishings continue to justify Luxor's most expensive prices, as does the central location near the major east bank monuments and the public ferry that takes you across the river. When booking, specify a room in the Old Palace wing because the original Belle Epoque building, with its grand lobby and terraces, shares its huge tropical garden and pool with two less expensive and less than atmospheric modern additions (the Pavilion wing is a good choice for travelers who want to pay a bit less and avoid package-tour hordes). Even if you don't stay here, come for a drink or high tea at the Royal Bar, dressed to the nines of course. The Gaddis and Company Shop, in the Winter Palace Corniche Bazaar, has been open since 1907 and sells prints of the Egyptian founder's black and white photographs.

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