Beautiful location but an updated bathroom would elevate this hotel to 5star luxury. Arrived at the hotel and we were welcomed with a local refreshment (karkadeh) and cold towels while we registered. Welcome amenities say a lot to me - they say the hotel cares about your arrival.Our room in the main building was a stately decorated haven of opulence with tremendously high 12 foot ceilings, antique etchings of local scenes, local handicrafts and a dramatic unpapallelled view of the nile from a balcony set with enormous wicker arm chairs. The view was incredible from the sunrise display of hot air balloons to the sunset array of boat traffic on the Nile. A tray of complimentary fresh fruit and chocolates was an unexpected in room treat. The luxurious marble bathroom although dated was spotless but could stand an update to bring it from circa 1970 to the 21st century. The bath had a white fabric shower curtain, a vanity mirror had missing shelves (the pegs to support the glass shelves were left)and the windows and doors did not close.Bath amenities were abundant but the robes and towels could have been more plush and the cotton towels were limited. Service at the hotel was always efficient and cordial. The staff were always smiling and very eager to please guests. The food was ok . Breakfast buffet offered a decent selection .Cooked to order eggs and grilled tomatoes were good. The fresh baked pastry was excellent - flaky croissants, raisin danish and pain au chocolat were very good. Maybe the pastry chef can take over the kitchen? Dinner at La Corniche served a meal that was ok. The fish tagen lacked any local flavour and although the fish was definitely very fresh and moist,given the abundance of local spices it was somewhat disappointing. The poolside lunch menu offered classic international dishes which are well prepared and satisfying. Club sandwiches or mini burgers with fries and Tuna and caesar salads were generous portions. One evening we toasted the sunset from our balcony with local wine and a tray of desserts. It was heaven. On another evening after dinner we went to the bar for a drink. The luxurious, traditional bar with plush seating, dark red walls hung with classic western style oil paintings is the place for a cocktail. While I perused the drinks menu, the waiter was quick to comment that the bartender would make anything I would like but when I asked about a cosmopolitan with vodka the waiter returned saying that the bartender didn't know how to make it. Eventually we decided on a custom cocktail make with a local specialty beverage of red hibiscus flower (karkadeh). The waiter was so gracious and accommodating that we returned for several evenings after dinner to relax and enjoy a late night beverage.
The hotel grounds are a beautiful oasis of meandering gardens with lots of places to sit and relax after a day of visiting sites. The other hotels in town can't compare on many levels and despite the antique bathrooms the Winter Palace is definitely the place to stay in Luxor.
Good hotel that needs an update to make it great!
- 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. We apologize for any inconvenience that may occur due to the construction work taking place nearby the hotel as of June 14 th 2008 for a period of 6 months. ... 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