Picking a hotel in Egypt (or even just deciding to go there!) is not the easiest thing in the world. It’s hard to balance safety, location, and level of luxury. In 2017 and likely continuing in 2018, Egypt has been hit by a devalued currency and lack of tourists – which means you can easily upgrade to a nicer hotel for less than you’d expect!
Here are some great hotel options for various places in Egypt – in Sharm el Sheikh, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.
In Cairo, you’ll basically want to do two things: go to the Pyramids and go to the Egyptian Museum. I’d highly recommend staying by the Egyptian Museum (though it is cheaper to be by the Pyramids). If you’re coming from or going to Luxor or Aswan, the Egyptian Museum is in a better proximity to the airport and train station.
This hotel is situated right on the Nile, and is walking distance to the Egyptian Museum. It’s a reasonably-priced option (I generally see rooms well under $100USD/night, generally in the $70-$80 range). I would say that crossing the street between this hotel and the Egyptian Museum will not be for the faint of heart. It’s an incredibly busy area with traffic everywhere! If you can spring for the extra money, I’d stay at:
It’s a Ritz-Carlton Hotel. And it sits right around $200US/night. That’s practically unheard of anywhere else in the world. It’s right next door to the Egyptian Museum, and you don’t have to cross any crazy streets to get to the Museum. It’s also right on the Nile, and the grounds are well-landscaped!
If you want to be really close to the Pyramids, this is the choice! It also hovers right around $100US/night. It used to be an Oberoi Hotel, but was sold and has lost some of its former glory. For Cairo, it’s still a good option. It’s an easy walk to the main gate entrance at the Pyramids, and there aren’t quite as big of hordes of hawkers on the walk between the hotel and the entrance gate (but you will still be hassled!). One reason not to stay near the Pyramids is that because it’s such a touristy area, as soon as you leave the hotel, you will be hassled.
Sharm El Sheikh Hotels
Sharm el Sheikh is an awesome resort town – it’s definitely a much looser atmosphere than the rest of Egypt. You’ll still see a lot of burq-kinis at the pools, but bikinis are fine too! The name of the game is the all-inclusive resort. They’re quite like Cancun in terms of giant resorts right on the water, with both beaches and pools. One thing to note – generally, the drinks in Egypt are not as generously or conveniently poured as in Mexico. The Red Sea is amazing, and many hotels include snorkels or other non-motorized water activities.
This is an all-inclusive Hilton generally under $75/night. Hard to beat. The resort is huge and has two parts – one closer to the Red Sea and the other farther. It’s worth getting a Red Sea view room! Sharks Bay is pretty centrally located – it’s close to the airport, and it’s close to SOHO square for shopping and eating (if you’re tired of resort food!).
This is known as one of the nicest and best all-inclusives in all of Sharm el Sheikh. It’s north of the main part of Sharm – it’s in Nabq. Nabq is one of the three main areas of Sharm (Sharks Bay, Naama Bay, and Nabq are the three). It’s a bit farther from the airport and generally a bit pricier. It tends to be around $200 – $250/night, but again, it’s known as one of the nicest!
This is not an all-inclusive, but it is a Four Seasons hotel at about $250/night. That includes breakfast, so the other two meals are on your own. But it’s a Four Seasons. For $250/night. Worth the splurge.
I highly recommend taking a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan or the reverse. It’s best, easiest way to see a ton of great ancient sites. But chances are good you’ll want an extra night in Luxor or Aswan before and/or after your cruise. And if your cruise doesn’t offer it – make sure not to miss the sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings! (It’s only $100!)
If you’re in Luxor related to a Nile Cruise, you’ll want a place that’s near both the train station and the docks (to note, nothing is close to the airport). The Sofitel Winter Palace is centrally located near the temple of Luxor, but it’ll be a taxi ride to Karnak temple. It runs right around $100/night.
Again, Luxor and Aswan tend to be a bit of a package deal on a Nile Cruise, so your desire for before/after excursions will determine how much time to spend there. I feel like Aswan is the better choice if you’re only going to extend in one city. Aswan has more attractions that aren’t included in the typical Nile Cruise – specifically, it’s a good jumping off point for heading to Abu Simbel.
The Movenpick is incredibly close to where the cruise ships dock, but know that it’s on an island across the Nile. The hotel runs a ferry (free) across the water, so it’s not a big problem. But keep that in mind for planning timings. Keep an eye on prices – it’s frequently around $160/night, but you can find deals (I went during low season and got a King Room with a Nile View for about $45/night). The grounds are expansive and great to walk around, and the pools are excellent as well. Because of the island location, it’s got a strong resort feel. It’s definitely removed from the hustle and bustle! I found this hotel to be incredibly clean and accommodating (I checked in about 9 hours early!). Really one of my favorite hotels – they even sent up a fruit and dessert platter as a courtesy.
This is a hotel with history! It’s a gorgeous property, and the grounds are immaculate. Among the notable people who have stayed here was Agatha Christie, who wrote Death on the Nile from the terrace. You can have an excellent high tea on the terrace overlooking the water with all the boats skipping back and forth. (Whether or not you choose to stay at the hotel, the high tea is highly recommended. You can make reservations even if you’re not a resort guest. I walked in and was seated without a reservation – but it was low season.) This tends to be one of the priciest hotels in all of Egypt – but even then, you’re typically looking at starting rates around $220/night.
It’s a great time to go to Egypt – with so few tourists and the currency, the country is a great deal. And they need the revenue. I was surprised by how many people offered me a heartfelt thanks for coming to visit.
If you’re thinking about safety, you can also read my thoughts on traveling alone as a blonde female in Egypt.
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