A relaxing stay by the Nile at the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa

Luxor is often described as an open-air museum due to its abundant ancient Egyptian ruins, but much of its popularity lies in its proximity to the Valley of the Kings.

With the majority of tourists visiting the city for the temples and pharaonic tombs, including that of Tutankhamun, the area offers a mix of accommodation for weary explorers. Hilton offers something different, with a property that occupies a more secluded position just outside of the main town. The National pay a visit.

Home

After an inevitable but brief fare negotiation with a taxi driver outside Luxor airport, we cross the town of New Karnak in 20 minutes. At the end of a tree-lined driveway, the hotel staff unloads our bags.

Unlike Cairo’s constant chorus of car horns, there’s an immediate sense of calm about this place, starting with a pleasant and airy lobby. Welcome drinks appear as we complete a hassle-free evening check-in and are followed by our luggage to the room a few minutes later.

The neighborhood

In front of the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa is New Karnak and the main road leading to the prominent ruins of Karnak Temple, which hosts nightly sound and light shows.

The main geographic selling point is the mighty Nile, however, and the hotel maximizes its stunning location overlooking the green, mountainous West Bank. The main pool, the spa’s infinity pool, the Oasis pool bar, the Sunset bar and terrace, the open-air Olives restaurant and the Diwan shisha cafe all offer fabulous views.

To get even closer to the water, the Hilton offers private sailing excursions on a traditional falucca, with four dining options (from $45 per person) and a star-studded Egyptian-themed Nile dinner ( $30 each) with a clay pot buffet and live dining. entertainment.

Security measures

The hotel’s Covid-19 measures are evident; staff wear face masks and screens protect reception and concierge desks, though many guests seemed ambivalent about mask rules during our stay.

Restaurant tables are well spaced for social distancing and cutlery placed in acetate wraps in the all-day dining Rosetta Restaurant. The hotel can assist with arranging off-site PCR testing, for a fee, if needed.

Bedroom

A king bedroom with a view of the Nile.  Photo: Hilton Luxor

The hotel has 236 “colonial style” rooms, including standard and deluxe options and suites, with views of the river or the landscaped garden.

Overlooking the ancient main pool from a triangular balcony, our cozy Nile View King Room combines traditional wooden furnishings with modern flourishes. A coffee table with armchairs and a desk area flanked by a flat screen TV face a sumptuous bed.

The compact bathroom has a walk-in shower, perfect for a morning sightseeing tour. Generous storage space includes a safe and ironing board.

The service

Lots of smiles are provided by staff in all sections of the hotel, with questions about the area answered with enthusiasm. The waiters at Silk Road and the waiters and chefs at Rosetta’s breakfast service stand out for their attentiveness.

The scene

While some might use Hilton’s Luxor retreat purely as a launch pad for exploring the Valley of the Kings about an hour away, it would be wrong not to dedicate a significant amount of leisure time to the property.

Plenty of lounge chairs surround the main pool, while a smaller upper pool faces the Oasis Bar below, and the spa’s infinity pool appears to plunge straight into the Nile. The gym below features machines facing the waterway, while floor-to-ceiling windows in some of the 12 treatment rooms frame the river and landscape beyond. Facilities include an outdoor spa garden, massages ranging from hot stone and pregnancy treatments to traditional Balinese therapies, and the beauty menu offers facials, waxing, and nail treatments. A peaceful marble and wood spa courtyard houses a café serving refreshments.

The food

The Hilton Luxor has eight restaurants and bars, offering enough variety for the most ardent appetites.

Among them, Rosetta for an international buffet and breakfast until 11am. Along with deli meats, cereals, fruits, and hot entrees, the live cooking station takes care of eggs and omelettes. The chefs provide a nice touch, visiting the tables each morning with homemade treats.

Upstairs, the Sunset Lounge and Terrace are directly connected to Silk Road, an Asian bistro offering everything from Indian curries to Malaysian soups. The Thai green curry ($17) is flavorful and light on the coconut milk, with a good balance of chicken and vegetables. The tender Japanese-style teriyaki pepper beef ($16) also excels.

The Oasis pool bar is ideal for watching slow-moving sunsets reflected by the river with a happy hour refreshment, while the Diwan majlis-style shisha cafe serves Arabic-style teas and Turkish coffees.

Passionate about local cuisine, we sampled Olives’ varied menu—which includes pizza, Mediterranean, Oriental, and Egyptian dishes—enjoying hearty koshari favorites ($9) and baked fish singari ($10).

The spa’s Jannah Tea Bar serves herbal teas and smoothies, as well as light lunches and organic snacks. Remember that menu prices are subject to 26% taxes and service charges.

Highs and lows

The hotel offers river trips in traditional feluccas.  Photo: Hilton Luxor

The food, ambience and location at Olives has an extremely authentic feel, from the daily Egyptian dishes to that stunning view, provided you choose a table at the edge of the restaurant.

It’s hard to find a low point other than the potential environmental impact of those plastic cutlery sleeves at Rosetta’s breakfast service. With the easing of the pandemic, we hope that this temporary measure will end soon.

The insider tip

Watching a sunset over the Nile is an experience that will stay with you. So, reach the pool early enough to grab lounge chairs or seats at one of the outdoor F&B outlets with your camera or phone fully charged.

The verdict

While most people land in Luxor for historic sites, there’s no reason you can’t stay in style and comfort. The Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa boasts a peaceful and beautiful setting on the Nile for a great value room rate considering the location and quality of the resort.

The bottom line

Room prices at the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa start from $100 including breakfast but excluding taxes. Check-in is from 2:00 p.m.; departure at noon.

Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa, New Karnak; https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/luxhitw-hilton-luxor-resort-and-spa

This review was conducted at the hotel’s invitation during the global coronavirus pandemic. It reflects the hotel standards of the time; services may change in the future

Updated: June 24, 2022, 6:02 p.m.

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Richard F. Gandhi