Al Moudira Hotel

Luxor & The Nile, Egypt Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
A sublime hotel on Luxor’s west bank with colourful architecture, flourishing gardens, stately rooms and an enormous pool
As you stroll around the lush courtyards, knock back your cocktails in the sitting-room bar, soak up the sun on the terrace by the pool or retreat to your splendidly enormous room, do remember that this small empire of beautiful things was completely reclaimed from the desert. Al Moudira is not simply the best hotel in Luxor, it’s one of the best in Egypt; an architectural pleasure dome of vaulted ceilings, Pharaonic murals, wooden latticework and regal arches. It appears to be ancient, but it’s not yet ten years old. Ten years ago, it was nothing but sand.

Wander about and it’s easy to imagine you’re strolling through a small palace. You enter through an interior courtyard, the hub of the hotel. Pillars soar, bougainvillea roams and you can eat here throughout the day, though the domed restaurant is equally serene. As for the 40 rooms - well, the smallest is huge, so take it from there. Expect high domed ceilings (occasionally in your bathroom, too), crisp white linen, beautiful tiles on every floor, warm colours spread across each wall. It is a remarkably peaceful place, too. One not to miss.


  • Everywhere you go, something beautiful passes your eye
  • The big pool - perfect after a hot morning in the Valley of the Kings
  • The food is excellent, the best we ate in Egypt
  • Rooms are enormous and lavishly decorated in Moorish style
  • How often do you get a domed ceiling in a vast bathroom?


  • You’re about 6km south of Luxor, so you’ll need taxis to get into town, or to cross the Nile by ferry boat
  • Like all design hotels it comes with a hefty price tag, but you get a lot for your money
  • If you're judging by international 5* standards, you might find service a little slow
  • You can slip easily on the rugs in the bedrooms, which slide about on the floor tiles

Best time to go

The hotel is open all year, but summer – June through August – can get very hot, with temperatures soaring into the 40s. However, this is also low season, when prices drop temptingly.

You’re better off avoiding Ramadan, when some businesses will close for the whole month. And if you are travelling over holidays – Eid al-Adha, Ras an-Sana - expect the rest of Egypt to be competing for your seat. The dates for these holidays change every year, so check before planning your trip.

Our top tips

Your ticket into Valley of the Kings only lets you see 3 tombs. So if you are only going once (lots of people go twice), read up on the tombs and decide in advance which you want to see (some may not be open the day you visit); or buy 2 tickets.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Luxury Hotel
  • 54
  • Restaurant + bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Steam Room
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Deluxe Room


All of the rooms at Al Moudira are gorgeous. Some are bigger than others, though it’s worth knowing that the smallest are enormous. Having said as much, the décor in the suites is nothing short of jaw-dropping - perhaps Pharaonic murals, vaulted ceilings or a raised platform in the middle of the room where cushions encircle a fountain.

All rooms are accessed from small communal courtyards, which give a sense of privacy. You enter through wooden doors that look ancient. Inside, it’s not merely the size of your room that attracts your attention, but the height of your towering ceiling. You’ll find gorgeous floor tiles, stunning beds, flamboyant arches, shuttered windows, muralled walls, the odd pillar. There’s usually a sitting area in one of the corners (sofa and armchairs), then a large armoire to stash away your worldly goods. Beds are dressed in fine Egyptian linen and usually encased in a mosquito net. Several suites have private terraces. Design influences come from across the world, a mix of Mediterranean colours and Arabic architectural styles, reflecting the tastes of owner Zeina Aboukheir, a photographer and jewellery designer who has lived in Lebanon and Tuscany (among other places).

Finally, bathrooms. It’s no great surprise to discover that these tend to be equally vast, with good showers standing above enormous baths. Quite a few have domed ceilings that are embedded with coloured glass. All come with waffled bathrobes.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


You eat breakfast in the main courtyard. Everything is brought to your table: fabulous pancakes, plates of fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, baskets of home-baked patisseries (croissants, pains au chocolat). There are eggs if you want them, too.

Lunch can be eaten here or down on the pool terrace, a lovely spot to scoff a plate of spaghetti. You can have anything from simple dishes like croque-monsieur or smoked salmon to a 3-course feast, perhaps fresh tomato salads, filet de boeuf, date tart. There are hamburgers, pizzas, bowls of pasta, calamari served with tartare sauce.

Dinner is eaten in the courtyard. You stop for drinks in the sitting-room bar, where a little jazz plays sweetly, then order from an à la carte menu, perhaps onion tart, leg of lamb, crème caramel. Although we'd read reports of mediocre cuisine, our experience was very positive - some of the best food we tasted in Egypt, in fact - so give it a try.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service


You could spend a week in Luxor and not see everything, so do some research, then prioritise according to the time you have. The hotel can arranged guided tours. The highlights are:

  • The Valley of the Kings, 6km north, absolutely unmissable. To avoid large crowds either come early (it opens at 6am and will be teeming with tourists by 8am), or brave the midday heat

  • The valley itself is pretty mind-blowing and it is possible to walk out (though not strictly legal). Head over to the Tomb of Seti I and one of the guardians will offer to lead you out (tip him when he has). It’s an easy climb and at the top you’ll have views of the Nile on one side and the Valley of the Kings on the other

  • Early morning hot-air balloon flights over the west bank are popular. The view of river, mountain, valley and desert is phenomenal. You’ll need to book a day or two in advance

  • Hatshepsut is one of the most beautiful buildings you will see in Luxor, a real priority. The Ramesseum and The Colossi of Memnon are worth visiting for the scale of the stonework, and make a trip to Luxor Temple at night, when it is beautifully floodlit

  • The Temples of Karnak, to the north of the city on the east bank. This is one of the most important sights in Luxor and the largest religious building on the planet. The Great Hypostyle Hall, where 134 vast columns soar implausibly into the sky, is one of the most staggering things you will see in Egypt. Building here started about 3,200 years ago

  • Take a felucca ride on the Nile, especially popular at sunset, and well worth doing if you aren’t otherwise going to be sailing on the eternal river

  • The desert is close: you can ride through it on a camel or a horse. 4WD discovery trips are also available and will take you deeper into it

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets


Children are welcome and all the rooms are big enough to accommodate an extra bed, though family suites are available if you need the space. Young children will need supervision around the swimming pool. Babysitting can be arranged.

Best for:

Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available


Baby-sitting can usually be arranged with enough notice

Kid Friendly:

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