Guide to Booking Hotels in Egypt : Tips with Tricks.

Things were weird while we were booking hotels in Egypt. Prices were higher, and quality seemed poorer when we read the reviews. The starless hotel rooms in Thailand were better than these 3* ones in Egypt. Trust me, if you decide not t travel to Egypt solely for this reason – You are going to miss an amazing place on the earth.

But not finding decent accommodation is a big concern. Wondering why Egypt hotel standards were so, we decided to switch to BnBs, and many folks suggested it wasn’t a good idea. There were many incidents where hosts cancelled online bookings at the last moment, and hotel rooms charged them more. This was the first-ever time we found booking a hotel room difficult. 

Later, Ms Mona Hamdi from  Your Egypt tours came to our rescue. She wrote: “The hotel star ratings in Egypt are different from those in the US or Canada. For example, a 5-star standard hotel in Egypt would be more like a 4-star hotel in the US or Canada.” To know why booking hotels in Egypt is tricky, you must know a bit of tourism history in the nation.

So here are some tips, tricks and hacks for you to book decent hotels in Egypt!

cover photo for article on Booking hotels in Egypt showing tent camped at white desert


Does Egypt have good tourism?

Yes! Don’t keep a doubt about that. It isn’t a race that has the best history in the world. But I am sure it is the top five contenders. So exotic landscapes to Before Christ history, there is much to experience in Egypt. So Egyptians are used to receiving travellers.

When did tourism in Egypt start?

vacaywork author ashrith sitting on the side wall at old cairo

I am sure there were travellers during 3000 BC during the era of Pharoahs. But let me stick to the AD.

The tourism trade dates back to the 18th century. Then, it was mainly Egyptologists and Treasure hunters (and some looters) who arrived in Egypt. After the 2011 revolution, democratic Egypt saw tourism potential for commoners beyond researchers. So Egypt may be richest in its heritage, but tourism is taking baby steps – But the baby is making progress exponentially.

How does Egypt treat tourists?

indian tourists sitting on the floor having meals with egyptians

Egyptians welcome tourists warm-heartedly. They are proud of their heritage and want the world to know about it. So tourism is booming in this developing country.

Once we began to travel around Egypt, it didn’t take long to realise why travellers were confused about booking a hotel in this amazing country. Accommodation in Egypt with Hygiene, safety and views at a lower price is something you have to hunt for. Though we were reluctant to book even those 3* hotels, we did so. We are glad that we didn’t settle for anything less. The stay would have been terrible otherwise in the game of saving money.

Why choosing accommodation a big deal in Egypt?

Most cities in Egypt are not pedestrian-friendly. A random evening stroll at the end of your day or roaming around the alleys in search of a good cafe is not easy in Egypt (Except in Old Cairo). The streets are dingy, not so clean and unsafe late in the evenings. We did not find side-walk cafes where you can laze around for hours together like Santorini, Istanbul, Bruges or Isfahan. So at the end of the day, you will only have to spend your time in the room after you finish visiting the places.

Mannequins on a balcony of a cafe in Old Cairo's old building

The only pedestrian-friendly street we found was beautifully ancient Old Cairo

When we went in the winter, the afternoons were warmer. Evenings used to be 8C & nights were as cold as 3C to 5C in Giza. Even if you don’t mind walking in the dingy streets of Giza, the cold may kill you. In summer temperature will be as high as 35C. Spending an afternoon under the pricking heat will drain your energy. You will be waiting to crash in your AC room at the end of your day.

photo for article on Booking hotels in Egypt showing an egyptian old man smoking hookah and a youngster smoking cigarette in old cairo

With all this, a decent room in a good location and the best views at a lower price may seem like a task. But trust me, It matters more than you think. The standard of Egyptian hotels is not comparable to similar ones in other Western countries. For example, three* hotel in India is better than Egypt’s four-star hotels. The hostel might be a good option to save money, but I doubt their hygiene.

Cemnted plastered unfinished building with NUbian vault at NUbian village photo for article on Booking hotels in Egypt

The Nubian village is still making its way into tourism

Tourism is one of the main of income in Egypt. But safety and hygiene maintenance aren’t on the nation’s priority list. We have never researched where to stay as much as we did for Egypt.

Things to keep in mind While Choosing Hotels in Egypt.

vacaywork author sahana wearing a long skirt with white top at new goruna village in Luxor

Look for areas with stunning views to enjoy later-evenings or hot noons from your room.

Don’t compare the the budget of your Egypt Accommodation to other places. For a decent room, you will spend more than you would do in Turkey for a similar room.

Public transportation is slim in Egypt yet. So keep that in mind while choosing the neighbourhoods.

You really don’t have to book only global chain hotels. With a bit of looking out, you can get a decent room in a locality described above for about 85 USD/night/couple during the off-season.

Don’t go for random booking portals. There are stories where tourists realised they were the victims of fake bookings only after reaching their hotels in Egypt. I always use and recommend

Can unmarried couples stay at Hotels in Egypt?


It is illegal for Egyptian unmarried couples to stay together in a hotel room in Egypt. This is the case in many other Arab countries. But foreigners, they may bend the rules. So there is no definitive answer, as each hotel has its own policies. However, it is better to check with the hotel in advance to see if they allow unmarried couples to stay in the same room.

The hotel has to register all guests with the local police in Egypt. If you are Egyptian and there is no marriage certificate, you will get a visit from the police. If ‘foreign’, then that’s another matter.

Best hotels in Egypt.

After a lot of research and several discussions, we mastered the tricks on booking hotels in Egypt. So we have made a list of good hotels to stay in different cities we visited.

1. Accommodations in Cairo

Colossal statue of a pharoah with glass cladded ritz carlton hotel at Cairo in egypt

Most tourists get confused if they should stay in Cairo or Giza. Let me clear the air.

Cairo is on the east bank, and Giza is on the west bank of the river Nile. The Mummy museum was in Cairo (shifted to Giza in 2021), while the Pyramids are in Giza.

Cairo being the country’s capital is a cosmopolitan city. So it has many restaurants, cafes, malls, Belly dance clubs, and casinos with a happening nightlife.

Compared to Cairo, Giza is a smaller town with limited restaurant options. In Giza, you have neither fancy cruise dinners nor a nightlife vibe. But it is where the mighty Pyramids stand.

So do you want to stay comfortably in the cosmopolitan city of Cairo overlooking the river or in the small town of Giza overlooking the breathtaking Pyramids?

Is it better to stay in Cairo or Giza?

clear view of giza pyramid with sphinx  compared with blurred view of the same after sandstorm

Pyramids before and after the Sandstorm on the same day

For us, the only thing that mattered was “The Pyramids.” You can stay in a lovely city in any part of the world. Having a view of the ancient Pyramids, every minute possible matters most. Hence we chose Giza. We ate, slept, walked and talked with the Pyramids right in front of us. We witnessed a bad sandstorm hiding the pyramids and revealing them slowly as if someone had slid the curtain aside magically.

Where to stay in Giza

Indian traveller standing in Giza's hotel looking at the pyramids in Egypt

Egypt Pyramid inn hotel. ( Not a star hotel- Approx 48 USD/night/couple). It had the view we longed for; the rent was cheap, the breakfast was good, and the staff were friendly.

Heads up: This Ground + 4-floor building is not handicap friendly as it did not have a lift back then. The hotel is not appealing from the outside, but I highly recommend it!

Other options you can consider are

Where to stay in Cairo?

If we had to stay in Cairo, I would have opted for  Tahrir Plaza Suites – Museum View. – Again, a budget-friendly hotel we saw near the Museum overlooking the river Nile.

We were surprised to see The Nile Ritz Carlton almost attached to the compound wall of the old Museum. This is the best option if you want a luxurious stay overlooking the Nile within walking distance of the Museum.

2. Accommodations near White Desert Egypt

hoto of single tent surrounded by magical white desert-booking hotels in Egypt.

Sahana & Mamdouh waiting for fire in the morning – This is the best accommodation in Egypt.

Camping next to an enigmatic white lime formation on brown sand is a gripping experience. The night barbecue, traditional folk songs by your driver and guide ( who were more like our friends), and morning sunset that turns the white lime formations into soft honey is an experience everyone must-have.

White lime formation on brown sand in Egypt

This was the most thrilling part of our Egypt trip. Unless you can’t poop outdoors and are not ready to sleep in a tent, go camping in the white desert through this organization. Trust me; you won’t regret it.

If you aren’t ready for this and need a more sophisticated stay near the white desert, your only choice is Bawiti village.

Half built white brick building at Bawiti village of Egypt

With villagers on donkey carts, white brick houses, and date trees peeping out of the roofs – Bawiti is charming, less touched by tourism & underdeveloped in terms of basic facilities. Most tourists camp in the desert overnight like we did. If you want to return to the village to stay, you have limited options. Some options you can consider are:

3. Accommodations in Luxor

Bell shaped Egyptian columns with clerestory stone lattice at Luxor

Luxor spreads on the East and west bank of the Nile. Most important archaeological sites like the valley of kings with Tut’sTut’s Mummy + Seti’s tomb are on the west bank. That is where the hot air balloon ride starts too. But due to its Archeological significance, any building establishment is regulated on the west bank. So you have to stay on the East Bank or choose out of limited options at the edge of the west bank of Luxor.

How to find good accommodations in Luxor?

Don’t consider the” view of Nile” as a criterion to choose the hotel in Luxor – because most hotels get the. Keep the proximity and location in mind. Remember that Luxor is a small town and works very differenct from cosmopolitan city of Cairo.

View of nile from Luxor's hotel balcony
NOT SO IMPRESSIVE VIEW from our hotel at Luxor

We stayed at Lotus Luxor hotel (3*) and had an unpleasant stay. Neither the views nor the room comfort were worth our money

Recommended Accommodations in Luxor are

4. Accommodations in Aswan

View of Nile from Aswan dam

Aswan is a city where you can make many days trips like the Nubian village, Abu Simbel, Edfu+Kom Ombo, and Philae. 

The main criteria for choosing the hotel are the locality. If you want to be away from the city, choose Nubian Village.

a woman Indian traveller sitting on a bench below below Colourcul arches making nubian vault

The perks of staying in a Nubian village are that the rooms here are cheaper than Aswan’s. You get to stay in the colourful African Arabic village on the bank of the Nile. The disadvantage of staying in a Nubian village is that you are too far from town. You either have to take 10 min boat ride every time you want to go somewhere or take a long route of 30min car journey to the town.

If you are on a tight schedule in Aswan, choose hotels on the Corniche. 

Recommend Accommodations in Aswan are

Bad view of Aswan city from hotel balcony in Egypt

We stayed at Bama Aswan and we had a comfortable stay. Don’t forget to ask for room with river view. Otherwise you will have to see the “Not-so” imoressive skyline of Aswan town.

Other options are :

If your budget allows you, go for Sofitel Legend Old Cataract. This is one of the oldest * expensive hotels in Aswan. Built by British in the 1900s. Winston Churchill, Princess Diana and many other famous personalities stayed there. Agatha Christie wrote a portion of” Death on the Nile” while she stayed at this hotel!

cover photo for article on Booking hotels in Egypt showing a luxury hotel by the river Nile side and a yacht moving

So do you also feel Booking hotels in Egypt is tricky? Let us know in the comment section below.

Heads up – we are very honest and keep it no secret.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy or book something with our links, we’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Think of it as a way of saying thanks for helping you plan better! Don’t fear – We only recommend something if we use it for ourselves.

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