Winter in Egypt is ultimately about getaways to Luxor and Aswan – some of Egypt's most historically-rich destinations – and if you're going to do one you might as well do the other since they're so far from the Cairene capital yet so close to one another. With plenty of historical sites to be experienced in Luxor and a plethora of experiences – historical and otherwise – to be had in Aswan, you'll need a little TLC when you get back to your hotel. If you're going to be spending your days amid Egypt's greatest kings and queens, you might as well treat yourself like royalty while you're at it – you are on vacation, after all. And while we're personally fans of planning our own trips down to the detail, cruising your way down the Nile for a few days while making stops along Upper Egypt's must-sees is not a bad way to pamper the sore eyes and tired soul.
STEIGENBERGER NILE PALACE, LUXOR
A Nile view is a must if you're staying in Egypt – be it the Delta or Cairo or straight down to Luxor and Aswan. The Steigenberger Nile Palace is located just 10 kilometres from Luxor's International Airport and is right on the Nile so much so that it has its own boat dock. And once you're done with your day's rigorous sight-seeing activities, you'll have a fully equipped spa and wellness area waiting for you when you get back.
Location: Khalid Ibn El Waleed, Geziret Awameyah
Contact Number: +2095 2366999
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Average cost/night: The executive suite for two people with a panoramic Nile view ranges from $150-200 (breakfast included), depending on the season.
AL MOUDIRA HOTEL, LUXOR
Al Moudira has the unique selling point of being the only luxury hotel located on the West Bank where most of the sightseeing action is at. Located only 4 kilometres from the Valley of the Kings, Al Moudira dubbed itself as an "oriental dream" with its ochre domes and arabesque decorations – plus it has an eight-hectare garden so that you're not only surrounded by history but also nature.
Location: West Bank
Contact Number: +20 123251307
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Average cost/night: The luxury suite for two people will cost you about $300 (breakfast included), depending on the season.
SOFITEL WINTER PALACE, LUXOR
A 5-star luxury hotel built all the way back in 1886 by British explorers, the clearly opulent Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor "blends colonial designs with the glory of Pharaonic times." Celebrities, dignitaries, royals, and artists have all stayed at this lavish hotel – among them archaeologist Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb.
Location: Nile Corniche, beside Luxor Temple
Contact Number: +2095 2380422
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Average cost/night: A luxury room with Nile view for two people will cost you about $220 (breakfast included), depending on the season.
KATO DOOL NUBIAN HOUSE, ASWANFor a tradition Nubian experience that is vibrant and colourful, Kato Dool is the place to be. Nubians are known to be the most hospitable and kindest of people and that is shown in this boutique hotel through its vibes and also its name. Kato Dool means "the big house." Truly escape and be surrounded by art and the Nile all around you.
Location: Aswan First
Contact Number: +2 0101 956 6116
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Average cost/night: A king room for two with a Nile view will cost you between $150-$200 depending on the season.
SOFITEL LEGEND OLD CATARACT, ASWANFor most people this hotel needs no introduction because it is steeped in history just like the city it is located in. This hotel built in 1899 with views of Elephantine Island, formerly known as Cataract Hotel and now owned by Sofitel has had legends such as Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill and Princess Diana as guests and boasts some truly remarkable views of the Nile in Aswan. If you decide to stay elsewhere a sunset cocktail on the Old Cataract terrace is a must accompanied by the most beautiful views for a sunset drink.
Location: Abtal el Tahrir street.
Contact Number: +2 0102 222 9071 or +2097 239160
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Average cost/night: A suite with a Nile view can cost up to $600 with breakfast, depending on the season.
MÖVENPICK RESORT, ASWANLocated a breezy five minutes from the Aswan railway station and a 20-minute drive from the airport, the Movenpick has sumptuous views of the Nile river so you can not only have your pick of rooms with a full-on balcony overlooking the Nile but you'll also have your own jacuzzi. The hotel also has the delicious Movenpick Panorama Bar and Restaurant with its 360 degree views of the Nile at the highest point in Aswan.
Location: Elephantine Island
Contact Number: 097 2454455
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Average cost/night: A duplex suite with Nile view will cost you around $300, depending on the season.
THE OBEROI LUXURY NILE CRUISESThe Oberoi is as luxurious as it gets when it comes to Nile cruises; some rooms have their own spacious balconies as well as a jacuzzi so you can soak up in the bubbly water as you watch the Nile flow around you. The cruise will take you to all of Upper Egypt's important historic landmarks without you having to plan the details of your entire team; they even have a service to pick you from the Luxor airport and take you to the Aswan airport once the cruise ends.
Contact: +02 065 3440777
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Cost: A double room on an eight-day cruise will cost you $4,110.
NOUR EL NIL DAHABIYA NILE CRUISESFor a more tranquil and exclusive experience, there's nothing like taking a Dahabeya sailboat. These boats are like a trip to the past when elite travellers would explore the Nile Valley on similar vessels. Avoid the crowds and the cookie-cutter entertainment of larger ships and enjoy comfort, privacy, and style on a trip like this. You can pick a trip on board four different vessels, each of them moving from different locations (either Aswan or Esna), and there's even an option to rent out the whole boat for some real privacy if you're traveling in a big group.
Contact: +44 20 3239 0923
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Email Address: Through the website
Cost: The Panoramic suite aboard the Meroe will cost an average of $2,199 for a six-day cruise from Esna.