Mercure Luxor Karnak
38 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Well worth it
"Great hotel - friendly no hassle staff. Air conditioning is magic to combat the lovely heat.
Lovely pools (2 for kids one for big kids), great gardens to relax on sunbeds on the banks of the Nile. There is also a nice breeze coming off the Nile and you can always pop into the pool to cool off as well. No mossies as the grounds are sprayed each night. The hammock is probably the most chilled location to while away the day deciding what your next cocktail will be.
Try the Sundowner bar for lunch, great food with reasonable prices.
Goto the Valley of the Kings and a day-trip to Cario for Â£125 is great value.
Jollies Travel Agent next to the Winter Palace (a free mini-bus ride away in Luxor) does great value but the prices can be matched by your agents if you haggle. Our Discovery Egypt rep (Emad) was great for advice and tips.
Great value for couples and those with kids."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of July 2006
"WOW what can i say, this place was fantastic!!
My partner and i have just returned from a weeks holiday at the sofitel karnak and i can't praise it enough.
From the moment we arrived at the hotel the service was excellent.
The Egyptian people who work in the hotel can not do enough for you, they go out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable from bringing you cold drinks as you first arrive at the hotel, taking your suitcases to your room for you, cleaning your beds and towels EVERY day, bringing you a little chocolate in a box EVERY day and always greeting you with a happy and helpfull smile as you walk past.
The food was different every night with a different theme most nights,Italian, Mexican, Egyptian and so on.
I would recomend this hotel to almost everyone that is looking for a relaxing stay,although there is also many things for you to do, trips to go on and sites to see if you wish!
Do not be put off by the surrounding of the hotel as it is in what they class as their countryside!
I could go on for ever about this place as it was definitely the nicest most exciting holiday i have ever been on.
If you are someone like myself who is fascinated about the ancient Egyptian culture, the trips that your tour operatator will offer are highly recommended (especially Cairo).
My partner and myself will deffinitly return to this hotel in the future."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of July 2006
"Myself and my partner stayed at the Sofitel Karnak hotel,Luxorin June this yearand I cannot praise the hotel enough, all the staff were fantastic,could not do enough for you, the food overall was of a high standard. the room we had was excellent, and was cleaned every day and fresh towels provided. Unfortunately,we could only get away for the one week....not enough!!! We were both really sad to leave,would have no hesitaition in recommending this hotel,and will br booking up again for next year. Would rcommend a visit to valley of queens, also Temples of Darnak, Luxor and Habu, not forgetting Luxor museum. We crammed in as much as possible in one week, but would recommend stay of at least two, as there is so much to see and do!"
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of July 2006
Fab Fab Fab!
"My partner and I stayed at the Sofitel Karnak for one week in June. When we arrived in Luxor I was unsure of that to expect from Egypt but on arriving at the hotel I fell in love! The hotel was gorgeous- the room was lovely and clean with maid service every day, the restaurant was overlooking the Nile, the pool area was spacious with a pool bar in the middle with lots of activties (Pool, table tennis, gym, massage , sauna etc) you could make your days as lively or as relaxing as you like. The gardens were to die for with lovely views of the Nile. We found the reception and all the hotel staff to be very helpful! The only point I would make is there could be more selection food wise. There are lovely restaurants along the Nile (in the town centre) and they are so cheap its better to eat out every night in my opinion. There is a air conditioned bus that runs from the hotel into town every half hour which is great but I will warn you the Egyptian people are very persistent.
We booked all our trips through Jollies (next to the winter palace) which I highly recommend. All the trips are the same as you would get with your tour operator (air conditioned bus, lunch etc) and its much cheaper. For example we paid Â£120.00 for the trip to Cairo (Pyramids, Cairo Museum and the Sphinx) the same trip was Â£200.00 with the rep.
There are loads of things to do in Luxor, however it is quiet in the night and the hotel entertainment is very entertaining but not upto the standards of more commercialised
I thoroughly enjoyed my week there and was sad to come home! I would highly recommend the experience of Luxor and I would highly recommend the hotel!"
- Travel date: Sun 18th of June 2006
jewel in the nile
"we stayed for a week and loved every minute of our stay there.
The Staff are very friendly and helpful, the food was excellent a good range of choice, the hotel is very clean and the pool and restaurant area are lovely. the hotel provides free shuttle bus and free boat into luxor. we will definetly return to this hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of May 2006
"I absolutely love this hotel. The food was very good (and very affordable). The staff was very friendly. The pool is great. A good place to relax. If you are going to this part of Egypt this hotel is a safe bet."
- Travel date: Fri 26th of May 2006
Pick here if you are travelling to Luxor
"As a meeting planner I visit many 5 star hotels and usually tend not to holiday at hotels at all; however my husband and I fancied a cheap, hot trip away and booked the Sofitel Karnak as a last minute holiday.
I read the reviews and took on board the fact that many people seemed to think it was more a three star than a five star hotel; however they are wrong. As far as services and facilities go this hotel is excellent. It doesnt have the plushness that many people would associate with a 5 star venue; however for the price you pay I dont really think you can fault it.
The bedrooms are simple, not plush, but acceptable if you are really heading to Egypt to enjoy the sights and the sun (if youre going to sit in your room all day you should pick elsewhere). A little in need of TLC but not horrendous by any means.
Our bathroom was small and again in need of updating, but it was clean which is all we needed.
The pools, sports facilities and in particular the gardens are wonderful and if you are just heading to chill out and sunbathe this is the perfect choice - no other hotel in central Luxor offers the same space. There are plenty of sun beds, both around the pool or across the gardens if you want somewhere quieter. We had beds in the garden by the Nile each day and it was wonderful to look out at the view. Yes, the pylons do spoil the sunset somewhat, as the sun goes down right by them, but there are pylons all along the Nile by Luxor so youre not going to get away from them.
Food at the Sofitel is not great (and the wine worse) - but we didnt go there expecting haut cuisine. The dining room is reminiscent of a school dining hall when it is full and for this reason we preferred to eat on the terrace each day. We ate in town a couple of nights but didnt really find it to be much better (although it is significantly cheaper GBP4-6 for the two of us to eat and drink). I think the only great food can be found at the Movenpick's French restaurant if you can afford it or at the Winter Palace if you can be bothered to take a jacket and tie with you to Egypt...
All in all, I think that the Sofitel is ideal for a sightseeing and/or sunbathing trip and is ideal if you have kids with you (safe, fun environment with loads of space for them to run wild).
My top tip: TIP! Dont be tight, you can tip the waiters without is costing you much at all and I promise you will get favourable service - we had a table on the terrace for breakfast and dinner whenever we wanted it and prompt, polite service (and hot coffee too) just by tipping the same waiter a few Egyptian pounds each evening.
I am a picky person and if I am honest I was slightly disappointed on arrival when I realised the bathroom was not great (Im a bath fan and the baths are not that inviting, although the showers are super powerful) and the bedrooms were quite dark; however after a day of being there I realised it was just what we wanted - and ideal base for trips to the tombs and sun worship!
- Travel date: Mon 24th of April 2006
poor service,repetative food
"My wife and I along with our 8 year old boy stayed here at the beginning of april.We choose the hotel after reading other reveiws.The hotel itself is loverly,nice rooms and extensive gardens and 3 swimming pools,One big one and two kids pools,one with a slide.
What let this hotel down was the staff,there was probably two good waiters in the whole hotel.
The dining room looks quite dramatic but the food is repeated day after day,there is no provision for kids food or for adults who don,t like spicey food.
We were on half board so lunch wasn't included,after putting up with the shambolic service at the pool side resurant,very limited menu,we discovered it was quicker and cheaper to get a taxi down town for lunch.
I recommend el kababeys opposite the winter palace,it's run by a scottish couple so they can understand what you order.Taxi fare plus lunch and two drinks each was cheaper than lunch and one drink at the hotel.
Entertainment is non exsistant at the hotel which makes it peaceful in the evenings.
I feel the main problem with the hotel is that you sign for everything and pay at the end of your stay.
This means that you don't carry money around the hotel so the staff don't rush to help you which they would if they were getting tips.
Don't book any trips with the reps,catch the courtsey bus to the winter palace and go to jolly's next door,ahmed the owner is very helpful and you'll save about 40% on rep prices.
Overall a nice hotel but could be very good with a little effot."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of April 2006
Clean, Friendly and best hotel in Luxor
"We have just returned from 1 week in the Sofitel Karnak. Cannot fault the location, which is just outside of Luxor and away from the noise. It's not too far to make it remote with taxis and water taxis constantly available and its only 7-10 minutes from the centre. The staff, in particular the waiters, were very friendly and made my children (aged 5 and 8) feel very welcome. There are not many facilities but it has a great swimming pool. In fact, having seen the other pools in the luxor hotels, this was amongst the best there and the children had two pools to choose from. Childrens club is basic and wouldnt keep an active child occupied for too long.
The hotel was very clean and the gardens are very well maintained. With the hotel only being built in 2003, nothing is old fashioned. The rooms were basic but with a nice balcony and window and most important, they were cool without the need for air conditioning. For those with children, you can get rooms with adjoining doors upon request. English speaking channels were present on the TV along with Cartoon Network for the children.
Food was available from two main restaurants in evening and quite varied with each night having a different theme. If you really couldnt find something you liked, then the chef would knock something up for especially (as he did for one of my children one night).
I wouldnt hesitate to come back to this hotel again and whilst you couldnt call it a 4/5 star UK hotel (mainly due to limited facilities), when you compare it to the others in Luxor, it certainly is one of the best."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of April 2006
"id say this was the best holiday ive ever been on. the staff were always there to help. the food was brilliant.
Ahmed the chef couldnt do enough to please you.the hotel is in a delightful location woth wonderful views. even though it is in the middle of nowhere you dont get all the noise from the town."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of March 2006
watch out for pharohs revenge!!
"just returned from a weeks cruise on the nile on ms magic 1, followed by a week in the sofitel karnak luxor. well where do i start used cosmos travel agents very helpful but is that not normal when they are taking your hard earned money,arrived in gatwick to find i was being charged Â£72 for cases being too heavy yet the day before we flew from inverness to gatwick with same luggage allowance my husband asked the lady checking us in when were the scales last calobraited all she did was switch them on and off anyway we didn"t argue and just paid it stressful enough travelling without arguing over that.boarded monarch plane to find seats very very cramped especially when eating or drinking,arrived in eygpt at night which was an experience in its self had to que for visas dont que go to little glass cubicle on left and pay in dollars we had read forums telling us to do that and only cost $10 instead of Â£15 then we qued for an hour through customs then we got our luggage,went to find our cosmos rep michelle a lovely english girl and very helpful .it was an experience going to the toilet in the airport i thought the little lady in the toilets was winding me up trying to hand me toilet paper and wanting money!! i soon realised why when i used the toilet "no toilet paper"i hasen to add i had tissues in my hand bag and when leaving toilet there she was hand out looking for her tip again.on leaving airport there was nothing but dirty men looking in windows and as you went outside they make a bee line for you trying to grab your luggage off you,dont be scared to be firm and say NO! they only do that to get money just put cases in back of bus yourselves.once settled on the bus we met our guide for the week eygptologist moses from cairo who had very good english and banter.we arrived at our boat 15 mins later what a lovely surprise that was ms magic 1 it lovely we had rm 311 on 3rd floor middle of boat expected it to be noisy and smell of deisel fumes never heard engines yet or smelt fumes as i had read on previous forums so dont be put off by what u read.then we set sail down the nile i kept having to pinch myself couldnt believe it and the fun started.we had 6 excursions out of 7days some early risers the fellucca was beautiful so was valley of the kings.entertainment on magic was fantastic something on every night,rooms were clean towels changed x2 daily waiters good and we did have some laughs,never once did we not have access to sun beds like we experienced on royal carribean previous holidays all in all a magical wonderful week we were quite sad leaving the boat after our week was up however our 2nd week was just pure relaxation and even better as we were away with another couple(brother and sister in law)the sofitel karnak was set in beautiful grounds very peaceful pool was lovely as well food was okay definately not a 5 ***** as advertised maybe 3*** we did take the free shuttle boat once and felt it took far too long( we were all falling asleep)into luxor and a taxi another day that was also an experience it was an old peugot 30 years old approx how it still went we"ll never know.luxor it"s self was filthy men shouting and following u everywhere but as i said before be firm with them and they soon take the hint!it"s about then the thursday into our second week that i started to feel un well nausea and followed by tummy cramps and severe diarrhoea that was just the start i have never experienced any thing like it in my life i did take plenty immodium with us but it didnt even touch the surface ifound a chemist and the rep had told us just to mention medicine for tummy the two ladies didnt have a clue what i was on about next thing there was about 5 different pkts of tablets on counter and i had to read what they were for eventually,my husband picked up a pkt and we bought them surprisingly the didnt work .i was getting really worried as i was going up to 10 times a day and the day i was going home my husband walked to a chemist and bought more medicine called antinal spoke to rep and he told us name of them so dont beleive every thing u read it didht work for me so u can imagine the fear of travelling home i had the worst plane journey in my life i even had to change seats on the plane to be close to the toilet i would rather have gone through child birth!!i did read forums warning tourists of the pharohs revenge and out of our party i was the one paranoid of germs hand washing and never done using cleansing hand gels ,it lasted nearly three weeks and you will be glad to know all better now but although i had a great holiday it will be a long time before i go to eygpt again so be warned especially if u have young children its hard enough coping with your self never mind anybody else.
- Travel date: Sun 5th of December 2010
Avoid bgooking with Longwood Holidays at all cost
"Booked a family room for 4 and ended up being squashed in a 2 bed room with one extra bed made up in a window seat. Had to pay an upgrade and Longwood refused to re-imburse dispite having double-checked twice before booking and leaving home we would get a proper family room . Longwood staff were useless, promising to make contact for 3 days and nopt doing so. Their local Egyption reps conned us on excursions making us pay for a child of 5 which we later found were free. They said the ablloomn excursion had no child age limits and then when we turned up it did so they told us to lie about our youngests age!
On the plus side the hotel has pleasant grounds with good mature trees and plenty of garden space. But even our exec suite was not 5 star. There was no view; other than of other front doors. The hotel managers was very unhelpful when I had the room difficulties. telling me they were full when they were clearly not."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of April 2010