A fanciful stay at a 5-star hotel can be quite convenient, but in Luxor and Aswan, where villages and street corners brim with hospitality and joie de vivre, full on immersion into these cities’ heritage and culture is the very definition of adventure.
Most of us live hectic lives, complaining endlessly - and for good reason, but sometimes, we fail to stop and appreciate that our country has some beautiful places to see and that some are only a train ride away. Although people tend to associate vacation with spending ridiculous amounts of money, some places in Egypt don’t require us to be millionaires to see them.
Tourists who visit Egypt will always want to make a stop in Luxor and Aswan, and who could blame them? Both places are gorgeous and true cornerstones of Egypt’s cultural heritage. Now, even if we were to make the time to go up there for a relaxing holiday, since both cities are such touristic hot spots, accommodation costs can be quite steep and we’re not made of money. But you’ll be pleased to know that there are several alternative places to stay in Luxor and Aswan, and though they may not be hotels where people are serving you round the clock, you can still experience the magic and come back to your life debt-free.
In the Nubian dialect, Ekadolli means 'I love you.” The guest house is located opposite Aswan, on the west bank of the Nile, in the village of Gharb Sohail. The area is much less crowded and congested with tourists than the city of Aswan itself and only 20 minutes by ferry or taxi to all the sites one would dream of visiting, Ekadolli offers its guests beautiful rooms that are very clean and affordable. With a beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking the Nile, Ekadolli has a very homey feel, they aim to give guests the communal feeling associated with Nubian culture. Meals are home-cooked and delicious and the spacious setting is decorated in the Nubian style.
Single Ensuite room: 20$
Double Ensuite room: 35$
Family size of 3 Double Ensuite room: 38$
Family size of 4 Double Ensuite room: 45$
Reservations can be made by calling (+20)01111416243
Also located on the West bank of the Nile, in the village of Gharb Soheil, but further into it than Ekadolli, Anakato looks like a bag of skittles exploded onto its premises. The village of Gharb Soheil is inhabited by Nubians who are more than happy to introduce visitors to their rich culture, with the hotel organising camel rides and safaris to show the city's captivating heritage. There are 3 colourful guest houses on premises; Wer, Owy, and Toski, which mean one, two, and three in Nubian. Anakato prides itself on being a good place for a honeymoon because of the palpable romance in the air. Aswan is around half an hour away by ferry or taxi and the hotel will arrange all the rides for you.
Single Rooms: Summer Rates: $77/Winter Rates: $110 for foreigners and EGP 390 for Egyptians
Double Rooms: Summer Rates: $96/Winter Rates: $140 for foreigners and EGP 490 for Egyptians
Triple Rooms: Summer Rates: $118/Winter Rates: $174 for foreigners and EGP 600 for Egyptians
Call +20973451745 or +201000818833 for reservations
A popular haunt among Egyptologists, artists, and academics, the Marsam Hotel is the oldest lodging in Luxor. Located on the west bank, opposite the city of Luxor, the hotel is 15 minutes away by ferry or taxi and offers some truly picturesque scenery. With a beautiful garden area, the Marsam has become a cultural hub. So if you’re going to Luxor and want to have interesting conversations with strangers, the Marsam is where you should go. It is located near the lesser popular Theben West necropolis ruins that are popular among Egyptologists, making it the perfect place to start seeing the sites and avoiding the congestion of places like Karnak.
Their rates are fixed at around $25 for single rooms and $35 for double rooms
The manifestation of a Cairene art student’s graduation project, Ashry Narty is a cultural centre and hotel, also located in Gharb Soheil in Nubia. Opened earlier this year by Fine Arts student Mai Badr, who presented a blueprint for Ashry Narty for her graduation project. The premises is painted in bright colours and a great deal of art decorates it, from an origami wall to Nubian patterns adorning its white walls. Ashry Narty too is on the west bank and overlooks several islands in the Nile’s shallowest parts, so they look like rapids and it’s quite a spectacular.
Their rates vary year round so calling ahead would be the best idea. Reservations can be made by calling 0101 664 4528 or through their Facebook page.
Located on the West Bank of Luxor, it is an eco-friendly hotel featuring an outdoor swimming pool, barbecuing facilities and a concierge. Guests rent villas that come with very spacious rooms, a full operational kitchen (don’t worry there is a restaurant in the hotel as well), and a balcony with a garden view. Available are a variety of activities such as horse back-riding, hiking, and cycling activities. The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is a 5-minute drive away and the Luxor Museum is 25 minutes by car. The west bank in general is highly recommended by Egyptologists, so if you’re into Anciet Egyptian history, that’s where you should head. The sky is quite beautiful at night in Luxor and Aswan and, unlike Cairo, you can see the stars. Eco-Village has a large roof area where you can sit, read a book, daydream, or eat a meal.
Their rates vary and you can make reservations through their website.