Anyone backpacking around Egypt's Nile Valley during the 60s more than likely stayed at the Nefertiti. It was the first budget hotel in town and one that pre-dates the up market, up scale Winter Palace. But returning visitors will soon notice a change to their favourite rest stop's decor, although thankfully not its understated demeanour.
Owner Aladin Al-Sahaby told me of his plans to bring a fresh lick of boutique-style paint to his well-loved, but increasingly weary, four storey establishment. Working alongside a Dr. of Fine Arts, Aladin plans to siphon the energy and colour of Luxor into all of the hotel's public spaces, including the street restaurant and rooftop terrace. Aladin's enthusiasm for the project stems from a personal passion for interior decoration and an aversion to the staid surroundings found in chain style hotels the world over.
'Visitors come to Luxor in search of culture. The refurbished Nefertiti will provide an authentic experience that begins in your own hotel room.'
On the subject of investment, Aladin admits that this project is motivated by adding to the hotel's rich heritage, rather than making huge profits. The Nefertiti will remain a cheap sleep because Aladin enjoys the personalities of his backpacker residents. He just wants to make it stand out from a growing crowd of budget options.
New balcony's, stone flooring and a glass fence around the rooftop terrace - to maximise the hotel's views of Luxor Temple - were mentioned. Renovation work should begin next month, a floor at a time. Work could be completed by the end of summer 2009. Double rooms are planned to cost 100-120 EGP per night (currently 80/90)