Located on a hill among the lush gardens of Montazah and overlooking a private bay of the Mediterranean Sea, El Salamlek Palace was built in 1892 as a hunting lodge for the Khedive’s mistress and was later used as a royal resort palace. It is most associated with H. M. King Farouk I, the last monarch of Egypt, who reigned from 1936 until 1952, when he was forced to abdicate, ending a rule that began in 1805 with Mohammad Ali. One cannot be a guest at the Salamlek Palace, now a luxury hotel, without reminders of King Farouk’s outrageous wealth and glamorous royal lifestyle. During his reign, El Salamlek served as a summer office and guesthouse for visiting royal guests.
Today, the welcoming hospitality of its staff and the rich, classical furnishings of its rooms and suites, indeed make one feel like royalty. The sea views from the hotel suites are spectacular and a walk through the lush gardens offers an oasis of tranquility, far from the bustling city center of Alexandria.
King Farouk, who loved to dine in grand style, would, no doubt, approve of his handsome study being converted into the elegant “Al Farouk Restaurant,” where fine French cuisine is served. The lobster bisque, a first course, was the gastronomic highlight of our evening’s meal.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson
El Salamlek Palace Hotel
Montaza Gardens, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt
El Salamlek Palace Hotel ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson