Thursday May 30th, 2024
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Luxor’s Magnificent Al Moudira is Now a Relais & Châteaux Property

Nestled in 20 acres of secret garden on the West Bank of the Nile this once-hidden gem may now become the talk of the town.

Scene Traveller

Luxor’s Magnificent Al Moudira is Now a Relais & Châteaux Property

Nestled whimsically on the West Bank of the Nile, the magical Al Moudira Hotel has long been one of Egypt’s best kept secrets. Well, if you count being frequented by the likes of Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, and Christian Louboutin, a secret.

Ever since serenely sashaying onto the scene in 2002, its owner and maker Zeina Aboukheir - a Lebanese photographer, jewelry designer and self-described “citizen of the world” - has kept it quietly coddled far from the claws of commercialism. If you knew, you knew.

“I don’t make any publicity, people come through word of mouth,” explained Aboukheir soon after launching. “My main goal is actually to create something like home; to let the traveller feel at home.”

54 suites, grouped around a series of courtyards and intricate fountains, are each individually designed, with furnishings and accessories painstakingly curated over the years by Aboukheir. Architecturally the hotel feels like a kind of understated Arabian fairytale fever dream. At once rustic and ravishing, a sketched imagining of an exotic life in Luxor born of a time that never quite existed. Once upon a time in a far far away land there was Al Moudira Hotel.

And then last November the news was announced on the hospitality industry wires that iconic luxury hospitality group Relais & Châteaux would be welcoming 10 new hotels into its portfolio including its first in Egypt - Al Moudira. On Thursday, the group posted the official announcement on their social media channels dubbing the hotel “a gateway to ancient wonders.”

For those of us who’ve known and loved the hotel, the news may come with that tinge of sadness reserved for when special secret things are discovered by the corporate world. Like when that underground band you thought only you knew about suddenly has a number one hit.

Yet perhaps we ought to be grateful that if the reigns had to be handed over, it’s to a group whose very ethos is about the nurturing of quiet luxury in glorious places. Will it be exactly same as before? Likely not. But sometimes it’s only right to share.

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