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“Wonderful Stay!”

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Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Wonderful Stay!”
Reviewed 21 August 2009

When I was looking for a hotel for our honeymoon I saw this and wondered about booking it due to some of the really negative reviews, thankfully I did book it and what a great time we've had.

First thing, I think at least some of the negative reviews are for Sofitel's "Pavillion Winter" since the reviewers say they are getting rooms for $100/70 Euros or similar prices. Looking at their website the "Winter Palace Luxor" rooms start from 133.00 Euros (on the back of the door in our room it says 300 Euros) and the Pavillion Winter from 46.00 Euros, also I think both hotels are basically next door to eachother and share the same garden, both have the same manager and head chef also. Also I read somewher that standards had slip a while ago but better management had recently been introduced that has improved things.

We stayed in the old part of the hotel (entrance up a big flight of curving steps) and all I can say is wow. Met by a very friendly concierge who gave us a complimentary drink on arrival, helped us with our bags, explained a lot about the hotel and then left us to it.

The room was big (at least twice the size of the Marriot we stayed in in Cairo), well furnished and had a huge flat screen plasma TV. Also, since I'm writing this from our room, take it from me the internet works. Staff were all very friendly and courteous at all times.

Now, on the decor, there are a lot of reviews here saying its trading on former glories, carpets are 50 years old, could do with a good clean, yadda, yadda, yadda. If you want a souless, anti-septic, conference room with beds in then go for your life and pop down the road to the Hilton or whatever. If you want a real experience then come here. Room and bathroom were spotless (having said that I can only comment on our room, unlike other reviewers who state that ALL rooms are dirty, have they been in all 92 to check?) and you get two complimentary bottles of water every day. If you want to purchase an extra bottle from the mini-bar then its 10 Egyptian Pounds which for 0.6L is expensive I'll grant you. However its a positive bargain when the Marriot in Cairo wanted 24 Egyptian Pounds for exactly the same bottle of water (Nestle 0.6L, I never knew they did mineral water either) and they only gave you one complimentary bottle of water per day.

So in summary pack you're carvat, smoking jacket, pipe and slippers and come down to the OLD Winter Palace for a real experience. For crying out loud Howard Carter, Winston Churchill, Charles & Di, President Sarkosy, the Blairs (close relatives of the SImpsons I believe) and Agatha Christie can't be all wrong!

If you are still in two minds look at this review http://www.theage.com.au/executive-style/business-travel/indolence-on-the-nile-20090804-e803.html?page=1

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank traveller98576
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bolton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2009

As has been said before, this is a beautiful old building, with a wonderful facade that features two grand staircases located directly on the Nile Corniche, almost immediately south of Luxor Temple; the whole appearance of the hotel has been vastly improved by the demolition of the New Winter Palace - it has been replaced by a grassy open area, featuring date palms & shrubs.

The hotel interior is rich with echos of a bygone age; think high ceilings, chandeliers, "closet" style lifts, polished brass, shuttered windows, oriental carpets & sweeping staircases, which exudes such an air of calm that you begin to relax the minute you walk into the lobby.

All the rooms are individual but feature air-conditioning, newly installed LCD satellite TV, mini-bar, in wardrobe safes French windows, alabaster tiled bathrooms & a balcony with a table & chairs. A small bottle of mineral water & a box of merangues were provided as a welcome gift; with another complimentary, small, bottle of mineral water being provided every evening, when the bed was turned down.

Views are either across the Corniche, to the Nile & West Bank, or over the magnificent; & immaculately maintained, gardens.

There is an excellent pool area; sunbeds, towels & parasols provided for hotel guests - non-residents can sunbathe, but not actually use the pools - whilst there is also a wade up pool bar & separate bar & restaurant/cafe.

Dining facilites include the 1886 & La Corniche restaurants (jacket & tie, reservation only, at most times, in the former), within the hotel, with breakfast being served in the latter. There also Italian & Middle Eastern restarants within the gardens.

Additionally, there is the Victorian Lounge, for afternoon tea & the wonderful Royal Bar (the staff in the latter noticed the fact that I was taking photos of the hotel & arranged with the General Manager to obtain two CDs of pofessional shots, which they presented to me on my last evening - a very thoughtful gesture).

The buffet breakfast was; the only real meal I ate in the hotel & featured fresh fruit & juices, various Egyptian & international hot items, very good, Greek style, yoghourt & bakery goods, plus waiter service tea & coffee & was very good; being constantly topped up.

There is a small selection of shops; fixed price & not too expensive, considering their location, by the entrance to the Pavillion Wing; this entrance is accessed via the hotel gardens, plus travel agency & foreign exchange facilities located under the main entrance staircases (there is also a National Bank of Egypt branch, almost immedately to the south of the main entrance, where you'll get a better rate of exchange). Additionally, there is a small tourist souk (featuring the famous Aboudi's bookshops) just the other side of the former New Winter Palace location, to the north of the hotel.

Staff perform their duties in a refined, yet friendly, manner & help to make one feel like a genuine guest; an example of this would be the fact that, seeing I was a returning visitor, the Guest Relations Manager(ess) personally escorted me to my 1st floor, garden view, room, upon check-in.

The location of the hotel is perfect for walking to Luxor Temple, the Museum, the souk or even southwards to where most of the restaurants are to be found, whilst the terraces that flank the grand entrance provide a perfect venue for watching the Luxor sunsets.

Although the hotel is right up their at the higher end of the 5 star price range for accommodatin in Luxor, you are paying for the histtory, atmosphere & levels of service & it delivers these in buckets.

If you are looking for a modern hotel, wwith all modcons then the Old winter Palace probably won't be to your taste but if, like me, you want to stay somewhere that is elegantly distinctive & ouzes character, then I can heartily recommmend it.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank GParryManchester_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dominican Republic
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2009

One of the few best place to stay in the whole of Egypt. The hotel has a beautiful history behind it. Staying there was similar to staying in a stately home in England. English-like decoration all around the hotel, and the garden is not to be missed. There is a pool and snack bar next to it.
The hotel staff are very particular with the type of people who stay there. We were going in and out of the hotel with long trousers and shorts and t-shirts, and the staff at the entrance actually stopped us; and asked whether we were guests!
The "1886 Restaurant" at the hotel is best; but to dine there, ONLY black ties DJ and evening dresses allowed. No one with scruffy cloting is able to have their dinner there. So we dressed up and had a wonderful time. One of our dish was 'dry' (it was salmon I think) and the head chef came to apologized and took the price off the bill. The hotel staff are very professional and they care. Hotel is in the corniche.
The hotel has a reputation of one of the best (historical) hotel in the world. People like Howard Carter, HRH Prince Charles, Agatha Christie, to name a few, had stayed there.
It is really a cosy and beautiful place to stay in Luxor.
We will be back soon!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BrendaPaish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2009

My partner and I stayed in the new part of the Winter Palace and were delighted when we got to our room on the 8th floor with a "Nile view." Sunsets were breathtaking looking out to the Valley of The Kings with The Nile in the foreground and Luxor Temple to the right. The pool and gardens were great and the food at the various restaurants was lovely. Staff were always very attentive and pleasant. I would definately reccommend a hot air balloon flight over the Valley of The Kings as it was amazing and as we had combined it with a tour of the Valley of The Kings and a sunset cruise on The Nile with a travel operator we got a really, really good price for all.

Remember to haggle on any taxi or carriage rides as they state double the typical fare when you ask how much a ride will be. The market is worth a visit for gifts and momentos but prepare to be "hassled" constantly, but it is all part of the experience and you soon get used to saying "no thank you" or simply ignoring their advances! Would love to go back to Luxor and would definately stay at The Winter Palace.

  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BigJez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2009

It is no wonder that Nicholas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, decided to stay at the Winter Palace - it is a hotel fit for a President. With its majestic central stairwell, its elegant restaurants and beautifully furnished rooms this hotel is comfortable, luxurious and majestic. The service is impeccable, the food is fantastic and the location is idyllic - on the east bank of the Nile and in the perfect position for visiting other sites, such as the Valley of the Kings. This hotel is palatial and legendary; any chance to stay here must not be missed.

  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank mushis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2009

hi i loved the place lovly place lovely people very honest left a tip for the room cleaner never took til i put it in his hand added up laundy bill and told it was less food very nice staff exellent bent over backwards to lift my male companion in to pool and out when he was ready and had a great massage fron sonya i enjoyed tipping these people they deserved it they get very little money and all the the hours they work i would come back jackie and roy thanks

  • Stayed June 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank bettercup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 July 2009

Very nice hotel. The rooms have very high ceilings-great relaxing environment. The staff is very friendly and professional. The only problem we faced was the lack of internet. The hotel sent someone up to fix the connection but it still didn't work.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Teg5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor

Property: Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor
Address: Corniche El Nile St, Luxor, Egypt
Phone Number:
Region: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Luxor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Luxor
#5 Business Hotel in Luxor
#5 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
#10 Family Hotel in Luxor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor 5*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Winter Palace, built in 1886 on the Nile banks in a tropical garden is a magical experience of history luxury that hosted royalties and celebrities throughout the years. Winter Palace offers the mythical atmosphere with the modern decor comfort of a 5 star hotel. It is located in the city center, just minutes from Luxor Temple and the airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor Hotel Luxor
Accor Winter Palace Luxor
Winter Palace Luxor
Sofitel Luxor
Luxor Sofitel
Old Winter Palace Luxor

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