The Old Winter Palace is a beautiful period hotel in the centre of Luxor right on the Corniche facing the Nile. The gardens are spectacular and it is walking distance to everything. We stayed at this hotel the night pior to commencing our Nile cruise. We selected this hotel over other alternatives and despite mixed reviews on tripadvisor because it was our 20th wedding anniversary and we thought it would be an experience to remember. Well it certainly was an experience but not a positive one!
If you love old hotels you will like this hotel, it is lovely! However, the service and the food are well below the standard you expect from a Sofitel and in particular a hotel of this category and cost. On arrival we were given a room upgrade which was appreciated. We were shown our room then tipped the bell captain and arranged for our bags to be transferred to our room as we were going to the Valley of the Kings for an afternoon tour. On our return, we went to the Nile Terrace for high tea and to enjoy the sunset which was lovely. I would suggest skipping the high tea and ordering a drink instead. The high tea consisted of a tiered stand of dry tea cake and pretoasted cold sandwiches which were sitting out on the floor at the bar awaiting service in the heat of the day. Fortunately, no stomach problems resulted but a much better standard and improved food handling could be achieved. When we returned to our room, our luggage was in the hallway outside our room where it had been sitting all afternoon unattended. We raised our concerns with the Manager regarding the lack of insurance cover should our luggage have been stolen only to be assured that Luxor was a safe place. In all our years of travel this was a first and unacceptable.
An anniversary cake was sent to our room which was very nice (perhaps a way of making amends for the luggage debacle). We ate dinner out by the pool at the Italian restaurant but waited at the entrance for an eternity to get a table (no queue just a general lack of interest by the staff), then had to grab someones attention to order. Food was ok. Breakfast was a lack lustre fare of tinned fruits, luke warm food and artificial juices. Service was almost non existent. Check out was slow and lacking in any pleasantries. There are a lot of staff at this hotel who appear to have been around as long as the hotel. Staff service needs significant improvement before we would recommend the hotel to anyone. We did not use the pool but felt the water and it was not heated even though it was winter. Our local guides suggested the Steigenberger, Sonesta St George and the new Hilton were better options and that the Winter Palace was nice to visit. Such a shame when the building and gardens are so nice. On the positive side, they did have free internet in the lobby which was not freely available at other hotels we stayed at in Egypt. If you want to stay in a beautiful old palace with no service you will like this hotel!
- 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