- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
This is a review of both the Sofitel Old Winter Palace and it's modern wing, the Pavillon, which share the same site and facilities.
My friend and I have just returned from yet another fabulous week in Luxor. We had booked the Pavillon, the modern wing of the Winter Palace. Sadly, due to lack of business, the Pavillon was closed so we were transferred to the Old Winter Palace. What a treat!! The room itself was beautifully furnished in traditional style befitting a palace, but the best part was the Nile view balcony. From here we saw the hot air balloons rise over the West Bank at dawn every day and every evening we watched the sunset with feluccas sailing by.The rest of the Old Winter Palace is very grand, with imposing lobby, sweeping staircase and elegant dining rooms, all furnished in colonial style. A talented pianist plays nightly in the Royal Bar, adding to the atmosphere.
Although I didn't stay there this time I also recommend the newer Pavillon wing, where I have stayed on six previous occasions. The rooms are spotless, spacious and have recently been tastefully refurbished in a more contemporary style. All rooms have large balconies overlooking the splendid pool area or the gardens.
These outside areas, which are used by both Palace and Pavillon guests really are the hotel's trump card and are quite unique in Luxor. The football pitch sized grounds are superb, with lush lawns, specimen trees, flowers everywhere and a wonderful fragrance filling the air after dark. The pool area is splendid with two linked pools, comfortable, well-spaced beds, plenty of umbrellas and such friendly and helpful staff.
There are five restaurants: Egyptian, Italian, buffet with various themes, and two more formal restaurants in the Winter Palace which welcome Pavillon guests. Food quality and service in all is excellent and prices are comparable with UK.
Of course the location is amazing - being right on the Corniche (Nile promenade), five minutes walk from Luxor Temple, the souk and the ferry across to the West Bank. The awe-inspiring Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings, Queens, Nobles, Tombs of the Workers and the little visited gem of Medinet Habu are 30 minutes by taxi. A little further away North are Dendara (60 mins) and Abydos (2 hours) both fabulous and well worth the effort. South are Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan for the gorgeous Philae Temple and awesome Abu Simbel.
Don't be put off by the talk of hassle in the town. Most people are just trying to make a living, which is harder than ever now with fewer tourists around. If you're not interested in what they are offering, just smile, say firmly 'No shukran' and keep walking. They will soon get tired and look for another potential customer.
We feel very privileged to have stayed at the Old Winter Palace, especially in our wonderful room but the Pavillon offers more affordable luxury. Whichever you stay at, you will be assured of a warm welcome and excellent service from the managers and staff. If you are interested in Egyptian culture and history there is so much to see and learn and the hotels are a sanctuary to return to after the excitement and bustle of Luxor.
Our stay in Luxor coincided with the civil unrest in Egypt. Even though there were tanks and soldiers on the streets, the Pavillon was an oasis of calm. Beautiful room and gorgeous gardens, shared with the Winter Palace, with a pool heated to a constant 27 degrees. We had booked half board. Breakfast was excellent and dinner satisfactory, if not outstanding. We would definitely recommend the hotel.
best rooms in Luxor now, same style as expensive Hilton KArnak but much bigger and a very big balcony. Very modern furniture. Just newly installed rooms. Very quiet and beautiful garden shared with the old Winterpalace colonial hotel. In April there was only one room occupied, I do not understand, as this is Hilton Quality in a very central location at very cheap rates, compared to the very basic and simple El Luxor hotel.
We stayed at the hotel from 16th to 23rd March and were upgraded to a beautiful room in the Winter Palace as the lack of guests means that the Pavillion is still closed. We have stayed here on two previous occasions and it remains a wonderful place to be, we were very lucky with the weather and it hit 34 degress at the weekend. As ever everything is immaculate, the service can't be faulted and we spent our days lounging around the fantastic pool when not taking trips out.
The most important thing I can tell you is that there are none of the problems affecting much of the Middle East in Luxor. The people are very friendly and desperate to attract the tourists back. Times are very hard for them at the moment but they still have a smile for everyone and know they will have a better future. You need have no worries about visiting and you will be even more welcome than usual.
We have stayed here 4 times and it never fails to satisfy. It was very quiet the week we went as the troubles had only just ended. We stayed b&b and went out to local restaurants every evening but breakfast was excellent and lunches at the pool were also good. Attentive staff, nothing too much trouble. Fantastic gardens and old collonial style hotel. We normally stay in the pavillion wing but they weren't using that week. The new wing being built next door never disturbed us at all.
We used Bakry Hassany for our kalesh 147 each evening, he was excellent and we used the same driver for all our trips out, we paid £25 english for trips out in the morning to Dendera etc and stayed by the pool in the afternoons. Driver contact saber_gomaik@yahoo 0106758238 (not sure of the codes etc but do use him he's friendly and although they need to earn be fair and they will treat you like kings and guard you from every other bit of hassle. We will be bakc next year. Can't wait