Step Back Into History With A Visit To Egypt’s Vintage Hotels
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
There is a whole lot of history packed into these vintage hotels in Egypt. From royal palaces to guest houses built for dignitaries, these hotels boast timeless elegance that transports their guests back in time.
Mena House, Giza
If you are looking for the view of a lifetime, check out Mena House. Many of the rooms have a direct view of the Pyramids of Giza. Opened in 1886, Mena House was originally built as a royal hunting lodge for Khedive Ismail of Egypt. It was later transformed into a hotel by an English couple and named after the founding pharaoh of the First Dynasty (Menes).
Windsor Hotel, Cairo
The Windsor was originally built in 1893 as Turkish baths for Egypt’s royal family. Located in the heart of Old Cairo, the hotel later served as a British Army officers’ club before being converted into a hotel. If images of the hotel look familiar, you may have seen it before in movies and television shows including “Legend of the Lost Tomb”(1997) and “Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin” (1989).
Cairo Palace, Cairo
Although it’s now the Marriott Cairo Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino, many locals fondly refer to this hotel by its old name, the Cairo Palace. Once a real royal palace, this hotel opened in 1869 as a guest house for dignitaries attending the opening of the Suez Canal that year. Designed by German and Austrian architects, the hotel offers an eclectic blend of Moorish arches and French Empire-style furnishings.
Sofitel Winter Palace, Luxor
The Sofitel Winter Palace is a 5-star luxury hotel built in 1886 by British explorers perched on the Nile River amid luxuriant tropical gardens and ancient temples. Archaeologist Howard Carter, the discoverer of King Tut’s tomb, wandered the gardens of this hotel almost a century ago.
Designed and decorated to resemble an early 20th century French or Italian palace, the hotel boasts grand hallways and airy sitting rooms, lush tropical gardens, and restaurants serving gourmet French food.