Luxor is also the gateway to the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens on the west bank of the Nile containing the tombs of ancient Egyptian royalty and elite in an effort to hide them away from the tomb raiders and secure their treasures for use in the afterlife, as well as the Temple of Queen Hepshepsut, maligned by her son-in-law in an effort to wipe her memory from history.
We spent two nights here at the Sonesta St. George Hotel, another five-star beauty that reflects its ancient royal heritage with 328 guestrooms and suites offering city or Nile views, one of which sits atop the highest point in the city offering panoramic views. There’s also the Royal Club, a hotel within a hotel offering 118 rooms and suites that are the epitome of luxury and which include butler service and a private lounge.
The interior is highlighted by marble and granite offset by luxurious woodworks. The marble baths in the luxury rooms and suites are a study in comfort and technology with intelligent toilets from Japan that have a control panel that only a rocket scientist or a 12-year-old geek could master in a reasonable amount of time. The shower, too, is an electronic marvel with your everyday shower head, rain shower, multi-jets at different levels, a steam and sauna option and once again, more buttons and controls that makes you think this thing could take you to “…where no man has gone before.” There’s also the Key of Life Club, Luxor’s first class spa and fitness center with sauna, steam bath and jacuzzi and a full menu of massages and facials.
The hotel also offers cruises to Aswan aboard the Sonesta St. George ship, one of the most luxurious vessels on the Nile. Here, too, the wood baths feature a spa unit with steam bath, sauna, water massage and jacuzzi. It also has an oversized pool, as well as a fitness room and spa and wellness center.
At the hotel itself, you can book a breakfast or luncheon cruise on a classic fallucca. The hotel also has six onsite restaurants featuring everything from buffet selections to Italian, Japanese and Egyptian fare. It’s truly a top-end property offering everything for the most exclusive traveler.
tour options Uber-luxe tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has quite a few Egypt offerings, including the new 11-day Egypt: A Moment in History, starting at $1,725 pp dbl, which the company says was created so clients can, “experience Egypt at this unique moment in history at an exceptional value.”
With the same high standard of service but fewer inclusions than a standard A&K journey, Egypt: A Moment in History includes all the iconic sites of Egypt: the Pyramids and Great Sphinx, the temples along the Nile, the Egyptian Museum and Cairo, as well as four nights aboard A&K’s Sun Boat IV. Departure dates are available through October 2012. Additionally, check out select departures of A&K’s small-group escorted Egypt journeys, which are now up to 50 percent off published fares.
IsramWorld, too, has its share of luxury offerings, including a 12-day Beyond the Pyramids itinerary that’s limited to 14 passengers and includes a 3-night Nile cruise aboard the Sonesta St. George, visiting Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu and Luxor. There’s also a full-day tour to Denderah and Abydos, an escorted air tour to Abu Simbel, as well as a visit to the Nubian Museum and Nubian Village. The tour is escorted by an IsramWorld Egyptologist/guide. Prices start at $3,520. A plus when booking with IsramWorld is that the tour operator has its own office and team in Cairo.
If your clients have ever had the urge to experience one of the most classic and adventurous vacations that features a one-of-a-kind cultural and historical experience, now is the time for them to visit Egypt with no crowds, high value and the best pricing you’ll ever see.