Pavillon Winter Luxor
21 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Back in the U.S.S.R
"Staying in the New Winter Palace was to me very much a time warp to Moscow in the 1980's.
I booked a Standard Garden Room through Expedia and was given a Garden Room on one of the allegedly refurbished floors (Floor 6-8). There are four price categories in teh NEw Winter Palace, from high floor Nile view (around 98 EURO rack rate) to low floor Garden view (around 70 EURO).
The room was a good size, with a decent size balcony, but had a few cosmetic touch-ups rather than refurbishment. The carpet was stained, the furniture at least 20 years old, soft furnishings were of cheap synthetic fabric and already stained. The television set was old and decrepit. There was no minibar, only a lockable mouldy fridge. I wonder what the unfurbished rooms would look like!
Beds had saggy mattresses and were uncomfortable. I woke up after my first night with a backache.
The bathroom was tired-looking and not entirely clean, with scum around the taps, and the shower was not very powerful.
The room had very few amenities: towels were threadbare and not entirely clean. There was no tea tray, no bath robes or slippers.
Security was poor. There was no in-room safe(despite the official Sofitel website saying so), safe-deposit boxes could be rented free of charge in reception, but were so tiny that only wallets would fit in it. I had to lug my expensive camera around with me all the time. The door lock was not locking properly, with the dead lock broken/disabled and the only additional safety feature a flimsy locking chain.
COMMUNAL FACILITIES and CATERING
Communal areas (except the pool area) were in a sad state, really worn and not looked after. I got stuck in the lift once. Again, reception area was uninviting and the breakfast restaurant that bit smudged and shabby.
The only good thing about the hotel was the shared facilities with the Old Winter Palace, but prepare to pay through the nose for the privilege. The pool area and gardens are lovely, hard to find sunbeds in the afternoon, but that would be because many holidaymakers would hog their sunbeds all day by draping towels and assorted crap over them and only using them for a couple of hours. A paddling pool and a swimming pool were kept immaculately.
The Victorian Lounge and the Royal Bar are somewhat stiff but definitely athmospheric, what really annoyed me was that I was presented with a bill after just one drink, like I was going to abscond without paying. Also, the serving of bar nuts was a very selective procedure.
There is little enthusiasm from some staff for the guests, the whole operation seems to be somewhat slack and phlegmatic. When asked specifically, most staff turned out to be very helpful, but there is little in the way of a service attitude, which probably could have been improved by generous tipping, but I believe in tipping in response to good service not the other way around.
Breakfast was okay - some imported cheese and cold meats, pretty disgusting cooked breakfasts, juices made from powder, and a cooking station for eggs that was seldom manned. The local breakfast consisting of beans, falafel and several salads and dips was quite nice.
Despite all this, I did enjoy my stay at the New Winter Palace. This is because first of all, I was paying low, low rates, was never in my room (there is too much to do in town), the aircon was working and I could sleep once housekeeping had put a wooden board under my mattress to make it less saggy.
However, Sofitel should be deeply ashamed to sell this place as five-star luxury (official rating) or keep it in its run-down state. It is none of the local staff's fault that the place is a bit of a dump, the management should really think about gutting the place and refurbishing just about everything. I would have been extremely pissed off had I booked this hotel for a romantic break to enjoy special athmosphere - its okay as a crash pad but anyone looking for style and that special place should stay away. By no means pay the rack rate, that is far over priced - I'd say if you can get it for a third of the rack rate that'd be just appropriate, otherwise look elsewhere."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of June 2007
Awesome Place, Relaxing In The Sun
"Booked a couple of weeks before, so got a good deal online, looked at the reviews here before booking. Stayed B&B in the Pavillion part of the hotel, room was large & air conditioning worked well (thankfully it was controllable so could turn it down & warm the place up to about 24C.. it was a chilly 15C when we arrived & 40C outside). The room was very clean, the beds were comfortable & the bathroom was excellent. Lovely balcony overlooking the awesome gardens. Forget ironing, the laundry service is really good & really cheap.
The pool is a good size, with changing rooms & a restaurant. Excellent for laying in the sun, playing chess & drinking tea.
Breakfast was, well, large & many courses, so no need to eat lunch. Evening meals were OK, but expensive compared to outside the hotel (still a lot cheaper than UK though).
Turn left outside the hotel, ignore the taxi & calesh drivers, & Luxor Temple is ahead of you, turn left just before Luxor Temple & follow the road round.. a few doors past McDonalds & you'll find a great place to eat, overlooking Luxor Temple from one of the balconies.
I was pushing a wheelchair, so, hassle was at a minimum, just keep pushing & the locals spring out of the way at the last second.. miraculous people & still friendly.
The tour rep said to offer half what is asked in shops.. forget it, offer about half what you think something is worth. So, big bottle of mineral water, offer 1LE, you'll get it for 1.5 or 2LE (13-18 uk pennies).
Forget the sightseeing trips the tour reps sell, go outside to Hani Bazar (right outside the hotel, by the road) & ask Mahmood to book a decent air-conditioned taxi for far less (e.g.Dendera, Â£18 return, in comfort, watching the misery of people in the minibuses in the convoy who are paying more).
A day across at Valley Of The Kings, 100LE for the taxi (same as above), and 100LE for a guide. I also got a local worker to help with the wheelchair around the tombs, made his week with 20LE.
Anyway, great holiday, Â£204 each, B&B 2 weeks."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of June 2007
"I stayed in this hotel as part of a 2 centre holiday. I thought it was great. It had real character and charm. The pool area is nice as are the gardens. I had a pipe in the gardens in the evenings and many trips out on to the Nile. It was a really enjoyable stay"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of May 2007
"Well what can I say, this hotel is great, from previous reviews we expected rock hard pillows, so that was the first thing we checked and we were delighted to find this was not the case, nice and soft...
We stayed in the Pavallion wing to the front, we had lovely views of the gardens of the hotel and to the side being at the end of the block, we could actually see the NILE and the VALLEY OF THE KINGS, from our balcony, it was awesome.
We were bed and breakfast, the food at breakfast was intense, what ever you felt like eating it was there, you start getting used to the 4 course breakfasts, the food is just lovely. Eating out the rest of the time, the food was so cheap, close to the hotel is a restaurent directly opposite the front of the hotel, down the stairs of the banks of the Nile, if you head right out of the hotel there is a McDonalds, Pizza places, Ali Babas which is upstairs and overlooks Luxor temple. If you head left and feel like a walk or a horse drawn taxi - barter the price no more than 5 egyptian (not even 50p) there are plenty of restaurents, chinese, pizza hut, KFC, english food places. Its about 15-20mins walk from hotel though, you go past it on the trip to the Valley of the Kings.
One thing to be prepared for is the hassle, they get at you constantly, being two young females, we got a lot of hassle, but we was safe, the kids are the scary once... what you've got to remember is that they are very poor, its safe as they just want your money, if anything happens to a tourist they will get a bad name for themselves and lose all the tourists, so it is safe. When on a horse drawn taxi DO NOT let them take you to a Egyptian market of Bazar which is only open one day a week, its actually just a relative of the taxi driver who wants you to buy in their shop, its a scary experience if as I said its just two young females....
There is lots too do here and plenty of time to do it, especially when you have to be up at 5:30am to go on any trips.
Entertainment in the hotel is great, they have this young women singing with a guy on a piano, check out her hair do, its changes everynight, and she likes wearing red......... Its really chilled out and relaxing, guys there is a free pool table there in reception too..
This hotel is especially grand on walking in the WOW factor hits you, its centrally located close to food and attractions, dont miss the mumification museam (on the Nile side) - walk there opposite Luxor Temple, its just not to be missed, mummification of a crocodile, it is just so cool.
Other places of interest is the Luxor Museam (- good get a taxi there), Luxor temple, Mummification museam, Valley of the kings and the queens (get a guide, its well worth it, you get to see the mummification of a featus in the valley of the queens its ace), hot air balloon (is so relaxing), travelling to the attractions you can see how people really live - no roofs, and take time strolling down the Nile taking in the views of Egypt. Its one unforgetable place.
The hotel is so centrally located that everything can be enjoyed from here, I highly reccomend this place to you......"
- Travel date: Sun 29th of April 2007
Great Place to Stay in Luxor
"We stayed here for 3 nights during our tour with Imaginative Traveller and would recommend it to anyone wanting somewhere central to stay in Luxor. The rooms were very clean and the reception rooms of the hotel very luxurious. Breakfast was really good, with loads of choice. We even had Easter eggs! The pool is really lovely, although it can be difficult to get a sun bed if you arrive late in the day. The food in the hotel is pricey, so probably best to eat out, and definitely buy your water etc outside the hotel. The Luxor Temple is virtually next door to the hotel, so you can visit here on your own, and Karnak is a horse and carriage ride away. The 'must visit' place is the Valley of the Kings."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of April 2007
all good, excellent stay!
"02 april stayed a week here in main new wing 6th floor overlooking the fab gardens. rooms haved been refreshed on the 5th-8th floors of main wing and are fine and bright, very clean, and absolutely brill for the cheap rates you can get on the net, plus you share the pool and grounds and ambience of the lovely old winter palace. what more can you want?
was offered free upgrade to pavillion or old hotel for last 3 nts but i was happy where i was!
breakfast buffet was very good and you wont go hungry. the dinner buffet i tried once was not brill but i was tired and lazy so i should have know better to not have chosen this.
the 1886 dining was lovely and super to dress up for the night however food was average for my choices but i saw better food coming out to other diners. will def eat there again but i know what not to order!
the pool and grounds are an oasis of calm and all the staff excellent, helpful and mostly v friendly.
they did not expect tips all the time but if you did you were treated like a special guest.
the winter palace really is the only place to stay in luxor, shop around for great rates, choose a high floor, dont expect 5 star brand new boutique hotel and just chill out.
yes it is dated and slightly corny and old fashioned but its lovely,
for the price....brilliant
as for luxor, well, its hot, dusty, abit dirty, magical, mysterious, has the sights, sounds, and smells of africa and the arabic east, sexy (goodness!) and is amazing to get out and meet the people, yes you are approached all the time but its fun and the poor devils are trying to make a living...
this is egypt not majorca!
its great, cant wait to go back soon."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of April 2007
Brilliant hotel cannot fault it.
"My husband and I stayed at the New WInter Palace for 7 days in March 07.
We booked our holiday through Thompsons Holidays who only use the Pavilion Wing for there guests, this wing was built 10 years ago all the bedrooms face the beautiful gardens, bedrooms were spotless and large, bed turned down every evening and sprinkled with flower petals.Very large bathroom again spotless.
Beautiful Swimming pool with wooden sunbeds, thick mattresses and pillows, pool attendant provides towels for the sunbeds. All the Staff speak good English cannot do enough for you.
Breakfast very good plenty of it. We ate in the Old Winter Palace a few times in the Corniche Restaurant very nice not expensive. Also the Coffee shop which does lovely meals and snacks. Did trips to Valley of Kings, Karnak temple etc. Thompson Prices very expensive you can get same trips from Jolies travel agent outside Winter Palace for half the price. We went on a hot air balloon ride with Sindbad agents who are situated in the hotel again cheaper than thompsons.
Will definately comeback again to this hotel.
We were told to wash our hands every time we handled the money which we did, drink bottled water and you will be fine."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of March 2007
The Pavillion is lovely!
"I took my daughter to Luxor for a week, because my hubby was working there, and having been there before myself some years ago, I thought she would enjoy it. Luxor is a fantasically interesting place.
Hubby had been staying in the New Winter Palace, but when we arrived, they gave us connecting rooms in the Pavillion, which is absolutely lovely. The rooms were quite big, and very clean and the bathrooms were very good. Each room had a big balcony overlooking the Winter Palace's beautiful gardens - really delightful :)
I thought the breakfasts were very good, and enjoyed sitting on the terrace each morning being entertained by cheeky little birds trying to steal the bread :) We had dinner twice at the Winter Palace, and it was ok, but not great. But you can get good pasta at the pool bar for lunch, supplied with all the parmesan you can eat :)
I found all the staff very friendly and the reception pleasant and helpful.
The Winter Palace is beautiful, and part of Luxor's history. The gardens are a peaceful haven after being out and about around Luxor, which can be pretty tiring. If you haven't been before, you might be a little worn out by the amount of people who will approach you on the street, wanting your business. Learning how to say "No, thank you" in Arabic is very useful ;)
Karnak and the Valley of the Kings are, of course, a must when visiting Luxor, but also I would recommend the Luxor museum, which is small, but fascinating. The Valley of the Artisans is excellent too, but the trip we took this time didn't go to the Valley of the Queens, which I had previously visited and found very interesting. One of the best things we did, though, was go horse-riding on the West Bank. If you take a boat across the Nile, there are stables and they are very reasonable. The West bank is gorgeous, and it's amazing to be so close to the bussle of Luxor, and yet suddenly feel so far away from it all :)
Watching the sun go down from the terrace bar at the front of the Winter Palace is a real treat - I'm so glad we stayed there, but I do recommend you try to get a room in the Pavillion rather than the new block - it's much nicer."
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of March 2007
pity about the rooms
"on arrival we were placed in a room over looking the nile at the front of the hotel, the floor was dirty the doors didn't close, the tv didn't turn off and the bathroom was filthy, so i went straight back down stairs from the 5th floor (however the views were amazing) and spoke to the manager and our party was moved immediately to a pavillion room at the back of the hotel, the view was of the gardens(which were spectacular and very well kept) and close to the pool (which was huge and very welcoming) the rooms were fantastic sooooo much better. The hotel itself was clean and the restuarants were nice, however i feel it lives more of the grandure of it's sister hotel the old winter palace. and there are definately better hotels in Luxor (the sonesta st george and Le Meridian (now nile palace) which i am staying at this year. but both do not have the same views or the ideal location (luxor temple next door and Mc Donalds just up the road). however beautiful city and wonderful country"
- Travel date: Tue 13th of March 2007
Loved the Pavilion at New Winter Palace
"Lucky enough to stay at Pavilion end, rooms great  Staff were brilliant. Food not expensive and reasonable quality. Typical buffet breakfast, but they had proper tea-bags!! Glad we took travel kettle for room. Rooms were spotless, towels changed throughout day. Husband a bit spooked by beds being turned down and flowers arranged in romantic shapes on pillows! The gardens are spectacular, and so well kept, it was like a haven coming in from very noisy Corniche! At evening it was magical with the lovely lights. Saw some weird and wonderful birds, something like a woodpecker. Pools were fantastic, no need for own towels, they supply lush beige ones. Walked through Old Winter Palace,a bit too formal for us, but worth a look. Rumours around that they are knocking NWP down, but they would be mad to do that! Fantastic position for accessing everything in Luxor. Entertainment in evenings quite unusual with cabaret singer. Only problem for me was the smoking, but everywhere is the same, so I will have to grin and bear it!"
- Travel date: Sun 11th of March 2007
16th Visit coming up.
"In September/October of every year we stay in the Garden Pavilion of the Winter Palace Hotel. There are a number of us who come back every year at this time, and we call ourselves "The Returners Club".
For value for money, you cannot beat the Winter Palace. All the staff are so attentive, and with a swimming pool "to kill for", you are guaranteed a relaxing time.
Each year when we return, we are treated more like long lost friends than guests, and this does make for a wonderful holiday.When we land at Luxor Airport and leave the plane, it feels as though we are "coming home".
I appreciate that you cannot please all the people all of the time, but the attention you get at this hotel, does come pretty close. "
- Travel date: Mon 9th of August 2010
We stayed four nights in the New Winter...
"We stayed four nights in the New Winter Palace Hotel our room on the 8th floor had a balcony and great views over the gardens and pool area.
Although the New Winter Palace Hotel was fine we spent most of our time in the Old section of the hotel, Its all one anyway. Sitting on the sun terrace sipping a drink and watching the sun set must be one of the best places in Luxor.
The hotels gardens and pool area are excellent, the bars and restaurants are all fine and offer plenty of choice, If you want top quality and service go to the old section.
One word of warning, We never went far away from the hotel because the street traders are just a pest and you cannot get rid of them. To be honest you dont really need to leave the hotel but a walk around Luxor would have been nice.
As part of aour holiday we had three days in Cairo and the street traders in Cairo are nowhere near as bad as in Luxor."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of March 2008