There are luxury Nile cruises, and then there is the six room Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau. Sashay on board for the ultimate river experience…
Nothing quite conjures up the romantic nostalgia of Egypt more than a Nile cruise.
There are, of course, many ways one can experience the great river - perhaps you could join the crowds of amorous couples on a walk down Cairo’s corniche. Maybe it’s an epileptic colour show with mahraganat music blasting from hi-fi speakers and a Stella beer can in-hand on a felucca. Flee the city and there are countless cruise companies chugging up and down the iconic Luxor-Aswan route each with their own individual charms from affordably cheerful to five star sumptuousness (stay tuned for our whole list coming soon).
And then there is the six room Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau - a mainstay of the international jet-set and celebrity cognoscenti wishing to experience Luxor and Aswan both discreetly and in devastatingly sophisticated style. One does not book a single room aboard the Zein, one books the whole boat.
Voted recently by The Times as one of the 10 best luxury holidays to take in 2021, this achingly beautiful traditional dahabiya turned extraordinarily luxurious escape offers an immersive, bespoke experience that is as memorable in its comforts as it is in its flair.
Each of the two suites and four cabins are individually, and quite boldly, designed to tell a story from Egypt’s history. The walls of the Philae Cabin are adorned with a map of the iconic site in Aswan while the Nubia Cabin almost resembles a cave with Nubian art splashed across its walls. The Baladi Cabin celebrates Egypt's film and music icons, offering a quirky pop art take on everyone from Om Kolthoum to the stars of the Golden Generation of Cinema, while the Lake Nasser Cabin is prim-and-proper, with a simple elegance befitting presidential quarters.
Undoubtedly, though, it’s the two suites that offer peak opulence. The Napoleon Suite is precise and practical, but its stripped-down, French Renaissance-inspired decor brings elegance to the drama of a mural showing the route that Napoleon took to Egypt.
The King Farouk suite, meanwhile, slips almost into hedonism. Aside from featuring its own private dining area and panoramic windows, the suite - by virtue of its royal inspirations - is plush with extravagant furniture, though an original hand-woven rug and a replica of a family letter sent by the King to his mother sit as the centerpieces of the lavish room.
Beyond revelling in your surroundings, a typical morning aboard might start with breakfast with the resident Egyptologist, before setting off for a morning tour of the temples. You might come back and lazily stare into the historic landscape with a drink on the Arabian-themed sundeck, before dressing for dinner in their dazzling dining room, where a gourmet feast will have been prepared to your liking. The world is your oyster, as the itinerary is personalised entirely to your tastes.
To find out more about rates, custom packages and itineraries visit www. sanctuaryretreats.com.