If you are in the process of learning the Arabic language and wish to travel to Egypt to gain experience of its culture, its people and everyday life then a visit to Luxor is a must! Luxor is steeped in ancient history and has been described as a huge open air museum.
One of the attractions of the Winter Palace Hotel is its rather unusual gift shop that was set up by a Mr Gaddis in 1902. He hung a sign up in the shop that says ‘You are requested to feel at home here. The staff will serve you cheerfully but it is strictly forbidden to importune you to buy’
The shop originally offered photo developing for guests along with trinkets, books, historical gifts and traveling items. Although the sign is a little amusing, it does actually say a lot about the hotel and its spirit. The staff are extremely charming and all guests are requested to explore the hotel grounds and empty rooms of over one hundred years old.
The Winter Palace was built back in 1886 and looks across the Nile at the Valley of the Kings and the Theban necropolis. The hotel is also very close to Luxor’s famous temple. The French company Sofitel manage the hotel with a delightful infusion of Egyptian hospitality, heritage and French savoir faire resulting in a charming place to stay.
The Winter Palace is a magical travel experience in itself, with the bellboys in their colorful embroidered jackets and red fezzes, the stunning grand staircase that takes your breath away, and an interior that takes you back to the 19th century. The concierge staff are friendly yet sincere, and the ambiance is full of refinement.
Many famous guests and Royalty have stayed in the Winter Palace such as Agatha Christie, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and King Farouk used the hotel as his residence when visiting Luxor. On the steps of this hotel Patron Lord Carnarvon along with Howard Crater officially announced the findings of the tomb of King Tutankhamun
Recently the hotel underwent a refurbishment project which will soon be completed. The hotel offers 92 rooms and seven suites that are all very generous in size in comparison to others in Egypt. Many have grand windows with lovely views of the hotel’s tropical gardens which are are vast and full of exotic plants and flowers.