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
- 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