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“Unrealised potential”

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Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 February 2010

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!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jenny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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802 - 808 of 1,232 reviews

Reviewed 21 February 2010

Spent a night here before starting a Nile Cruise. Very beautiful hotel. Spacious rooms, lovely pool area, fantastic communal spaces. The staff in the dining room were all very courteous and the food was OK - although my pain au chocolat at breakfast did taste slightly dry and stale. The rooms in places were a little shabby around the edges but not to such an extent that it mattered. The gardens are peaceful and lovely.
The only down point of the stay was on checking out - queued at the reception desk for ten minutes trying to get staff to make eye contact with me so I could check out. They seemed to be busy tapping away on their computers so I waited patiently for them to look up and acknowledge me. I was just totally ignored. Eventually two other guests came up and were served immediately ahead of me. I was fuming and the staff were totally oblivious. Was not impressed but too polite to make a fuss. I think the hotel need to invest in some customer relations training for their reception staff. Shame because everyone else there was great.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank acerbic-twit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2010

The public areas and gardens of this classic property have always been worth a walkthrough but the recent renovations of the rooms makes it all but perfect for an overnight stay. Staff cannot be friendlier or do enough to please.

The only disappointment continues to be the food, which is usually underwhelming and overpriced. And the strict coat and tie policy at the hotel's nicer restaurant is just silly given that the overwhelming majority of the guests are foreign tourists who aren't travelling with same.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Travel Richly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2010

My wife and I stayed here for three nights in January. There are two hotels on the ground, there is the Old Winter Palace and the Winter Pavillion. We stayed in the Old Winter Palace. The hotel is excellent but very pricey. While the hotel is very old, it is well maintained and the rooms are modern. The grounds and the swimming pool are amazing and you can spend hours on your balcony over looking the nile.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TorontoSPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2010

The Hotel location is convenient as it is just 5mn walk to Luxor Temple and close to Karnak as well, close to the Museum.
Rooms with the view on the Kings/Queens valley is nice but noisy.
The overall hotel is nice (garden, swimming pool), the breakfast is plentiful but forget about the rest.
Staff is not at the level of what you are expecting from a Sofitel.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank asnpko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2010

Three of us decided to splash out on one grand meal and if you want old world charm this is the place to go! The building and surroundings are supurb.
They do insist on gentlemen wearing a jacket and tie, I didn't have a tie and was lent one for the meal.
My mother-in-law, who is 92, was brought up when such things were "de rigeur", had no complaint about that. But she was shocked to see two ladies with shoulders exposed. Something never done at dinner in her day. She thought that if the rule for gentlemen is enforced it should be for the ladies as well.
The food was wonderful, fine dining at its best.
The service was not so hot.
They have a new square plate dinner service. Pity the dinnerplate covers have not been updated as well, they're still round .
Service is not quite "silver service" the staff have heard of it but have not been correctly trained.
The sommelier had to be asked to open the red wine, to let it breath before the meal. When he did serve it, with the bottle, in a cradle, on its side to prevent any sediment being disturbed, he promptly buggered it by standing the bottle upright in his hand when he moved behind us. Good thing it wasn't a really expensive wine. Not the point really, if he does it with one, he's bound to do it with another.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Stewarth99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2010

The Winter Palace in Luxor is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. The staff treated me with such warmth and hospitality. The interior is truly fit for a king and the garden outside is beautiful and is maticulously maintained. The hotel is located right beside the Nile and the Luxor Temple which makes it a perfect for tourists. I had the time of my life!

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2  Thank rahanni777
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

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
#9 Family Hotel in Luxor
Price Range: £59 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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