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“Style and Value in the Centre of Luxor” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sofitel Pavillon Winter Luxor

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Sofitel Pavillon Winter Luxor
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Corniche El Nile St, Luxor, Egypt   |  
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Ranked #10 of 57 Hotels in Luxor
Leeds, UK
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Style and Value in the Centre of Luxor”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

The huge benefit of staying in the 'Pavillon' wing of the Winter Palace is that residents have full access to the public rooms, gardens, terraces and other shared facilities of one of the world's grand old hotels for a fraction of the price.

The complex is quite compact, with the Old Winter Palace fronting onto the main Corniche with the Nile beyond. Sweeping, red-carpeted staircases to the first-floor entrance level give access to an ornate main lobby, which is currently the check in point for all residents. There's no queuing at a desk; new arrivals are invited to take a seat amid antique furnishings and to enjoy a glass of karkade whilst a receptionist completes registration formalities on a clipboard.

The rear terrace of the OWP overlooks a spectacular garden which is lovingly tended and which has numerous shady seating areas by fountains or in groves of trees. It's then just a short walk to through the garden to the Pavillon block.

The garden area incorporates an open air bar and shisha corner, both of which were open every night during our stay, but deserted, and a pool side restaurant which was popular for lunches and snacks, but which was not open in the evening. The pool itself wasn't heated during our stay, apparently because of low visitor numbers. As a consequence very few people went for a swim, and the sunken swim-up bar was closed.

The whole pool area is badly in need of some mid-level maintainance to sort out broken paving, dilapidated sunbeds and tatty awnings which were not in keeping with the overall excellent standards which the Winter Palace and its Pavillon generally maintain.

The 5-storey Pavillon block itself is a simple and functional seventies/eighties style design with no real public spaces - not that they're needed with the splendour of the OWP's lounges, bar and restaurants so close at hand. Brown, beige and brass are the predominant themes.

All Pavillon rooms have large balconies (suites have two) and the views from the higher floors are spectacular; our room overlooked the gardens with a side view of the Theban hills, which are illuminated at night. The room itself was spacious, with an enormous bathroom. Decor was simple, the bed spacious and comfortable, the air conditioning quiet and efficient and the lighting attractive.

I would again urge management to keep up standards with running repairs and routine replacements. The drawers in our room were a bit wonky and tended to stick whilst the carpet, although clean, had clearly endured a hard life. The bath had recently been re-sealed with an enthusiastic and liberal application of grout.

Breakfast is the only meal taken separately from OWP guests, being served in a ground floor room of the Pavillon. The selection offered is entirely adequate, if uninspired. Coffee is excellent, eggs are cooked to order any way you want and the staff are attentive; but the selection of hot and cold options never varied over the nine days we were in residence. With only a few residents we were able to choose a terrace table every day, and to relax watching the Hod Hod birds forage for their breakfast; the indoor breakfast room would have been a more gloomy option.

Staff were unfailingly friendly, helpful and courteous.

Our first night being a family birthday we were treated to the 'happy birthday ritual' with a delicious cake (a full-size version of one of the tasty titbits served with the OWP's renowned 'Afternoon Tea') and a posse of singing waiters. We were also presented with fresh flowers and fruit in the room during our stay.

A covered arcade to one side of the OWP allows quick access in and out to the main Corniche and nearby Luxor Temple without going 'up and down' through the main reception area. Another great alternative is to slip out of the staff gate at the back of the complex as a quick escape into 'real Luxor' away from the touts and caleche drivers.

The Winter Palace Pavillon offers all the advantages of a town central location, but with superb gardens and terraces for when the madding crowd gets too much to bear. Highly recommended, especially once the economy picks up and Sofitel catch up on some of the running repairs that may have been neglected over the past few years.

Room Tip: Ask for a garden room on a higher (4th/5th) floor for best views and relative quiet
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Sharing facilites with its big brother, the Winter Palace Hotel, the Winter Pavillion provided me excellent value for money. I must confess that my room rate was a bargain. The prices for the following day were already almost fivefold!

However, the manicured gardens and generous pool are a world of peace and dignity in itself, a relief after seeing the monuments - and not finding anything else to match the excitement in Luxor. Very spacious rooms and sober decor overall make the stay a pampering experience. With the Luxor temple across the street, what more could you ask? Travelling alone, I chose the Winter Palace Royal Bar as dining option, where I tried the best Mezze I remember, atmospheric period architecture and very professional service.

Room Tip: Rooms looking the gardens are rewarding.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

I always stay at The Winter Palace whenever visiting Luxor and always find The Pavillon -room 4004- very pleasant - the location is perfect - the garden is beautiful - the service is excellent
I shall certainly return
Kind regards
Niels Aagaard

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We just returned from a one-week vacation to Luxor. We have not been to Egypt and, for that matter, Luxor before, and - as many others presumably - we were somewhat unsure what to expect and what we will get into. Our skepticism proved completely unfounded: we had an absolutely wonderful stay, which, among other things, is due to the fantastic hotel we stayed at: the pavilion at the Winter Palace. While the pavilion itself is not a 5-star venue (in contrast to the Old Winter Palace - even though we did not see the rooms) - it is a good and perfectly fine 4-star hotel - the setting in combination with the absolutely divine Old Winter Palace (lounge, saloon, just looking at it), the gardens (to die for!), the pool area, and the many nice details made our stay a 5-star and very-good-value-for-money experience. Sure, as others pointed out here, there are details that can be improved - e.g., the pool area may need some updating here and there - but this was more than compensated by the many lovely aspects of the setting and, last but not least, the impeccable service and super friendliness of the staff.

Some things - Sofitel note - could be better though: Wifi maybe for free (at least make sure it works in the lobby - thanks)? We tried both restaurants of the Winter Palace and were not impressed with the cooking (service super though!), in particular the non-oriental ("French") food. The cooking is very old-fashioned and the menu needs to rejuvenated. A modern twist to oriental / fusion cooking combined with a less stuffy setting can't be so difficult, can't it? Prices are somewhat too high, too, given the competition. On a positive note, we also had tea and high tea and tried the bar - all very nice!

All in all, many thanks to the staff for a wonderful stay - we will certainly come back.

Just a note on the hassling issue in Luxor - an issue that concerned us beforehand. We found the hassling much less worse than expected - at least in Luxor itself (not so at the West Bank sites though!). A friendly couple of thank you's and smiles worked for us, and, through being "hassled", we got in touch with a helpful caleche guy, who facilitated a taxi trip to the West Bank and a very nice felluca experience for us - all very good value. We also experienced that life is tough for many in Luxor due to the low tourist numbers - so go now and spent you well-earned Euros or dollars!

Dinner-wise we strongly recommend Salahadeen at Mara's House - see our review.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Once again we have had a wonderful stay at the Pavillon. Being returning guests we were immediately recognised and remembered by Mr Oraby Concierge at the Pavillon, always a most helpful man.

Our rooms were as requested on the fifth floor. We were delighted with an upgrade to a suite with views over garden and pool.and another of the rooms our party occupied having a wonderful views which overlooked, garden, Theban hills and if you leaned out a little, Luxor Temple.

Breakfast was taken on the patio of the restaurant, with Sun warming us first thing in the morning which was wonderful having left England in the Snow. Get up early enough and you will see the Hoopoe birds whilst having breakfast !

When not out on excursions we relaxed around the wonderful gardens of the hotel, the gardeners certainly put in a lot of hard work keeping them pristine.

As to staying here, it is a most delightful hotel and one of the reasons why we keep coming back to Egypt !

Really why would anyone want to stay elsewhere in Luxor !

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
'honorary' Egyptian - Surrey
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Well, I have arrived back to chilly England from yet another perfect stay in my second 'home' and with my second 'family'. From the first moment of entering the Old Winter Palace hotel for my arrival and then walking through the wonderful fragrant gardens to the Pavillon Wing, I am made to feel very, very welcome.

I used to stay at this hotel once a year and now its twice a year - visiting since 2000. I now stay for a month at a time - it does feel like I am 'home' with 'family' - all staff are very attentive and nothing is too much trouble! Little touches like ensuring that I have many, many coat hangers in my wardrobe, before I even have to ask (well I AM staying a month after all!).

I was able to upgrade to a suite in the Pavillon, through being awarded loyalty points with the Le Club Accorhotels scheme. It was a wonderful experience - two rooms, each with a balcony ( I could choose between looking over the swimming pool or the gardens).

The hotel is very central for all the sights on the East Bank, for example Luxor Temple is next door. It does not take long by taxi or caleche to get to Karnak Temple, Luxor Museum and the Mummification Museum. All the staff will ensure every guest has a carefree stay.

I grew very accustomed to sitting in the gardens, reading - this was my quiet 'oasis' in the middle of the hub bub of Luxor.

The only downside was that the swimming pool was not heated (because of the fuel shortage), so sadly it was too cool for me to use.

I am going to highlight the names of many of the staff who have been very helpful and attentive and I will apologise for anyone I have left out - Mahmoud Fathy and Nabil Aly (Front Desk Managers); Mohamed Ali (Duty Manager); Mohamed Oraby and Mohamed Ahmed (Reception at the Pavillon and OWP); Abdul Raheem (Food and Beverage Manager); Yehia Mohamed (Restaurants Manager); Rashidy and Mahmoued (Breakfast Rooms at the Pavillon and the OWP); Hamdy Elian.

Luxor is suffering from the lack of tourists and yes, there is 'hassle', but people are desperate for business and do not mean any harm, Sadly, there are some individuals who can be aggressive, but do not be put off coming to Luxor. Luxor does not experience the troubles that are widely shown in the media, happening in Cairo, Alexandria or Suez.

I WOULD URGE PEOPLE TO COME TO LUXOR AND STAY AT THE PAVILLON OR THE OLD WINTER PALACE - YOU WILL BE MADE VERY WELCOME!

Room Tip: Rooms on the fourth or fifth floor of the Pavillon will afford you wonderful views of the gardens.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
304 helpful votes 304 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

After spending three nights at the Hilton, we came down to earth with a bump on our arrival at the Winter Palace Pavilion! However, having said that, we’ve been staying here for a number of years now and love it here because of the superb gardens and its location in Luxor. If this hotel was upgraded to what the existing plans are, it would probably be the best hotel in Luxor. However, there are no signs of building work taking place and no signs of any upgrading/refurbishment being done at all, which is most noticeable round the pool area. The pool furniture is shoddy with the varnish peeling off, there are broken sunbeds lying around, the parasols that can be wheeled around the pool are filthy, some wooden structures are positively wonky and there are many broken and uneven slabs and tiles and tripping hazards. The pool continually leaked water during our whole stay from some sort of pumping area with no signs of anyone trying to effect a repair. There were new pool towels in use. Fruit kebabs are still handed round those guests using the pool, but these are very much smaller than they were, and there were no ice cold towels on this visit. In my opinion, the pool area cannot now be considered as warranting a five star rating.

As with other Luxor hotels, there has been a problem in obtaining gas supplies, therefore the heated pool wasn’t heated, and at the time that we visited, the water was pretty cold and not too many people were using it. We noticed horrible green algae and pool slime in quite a lot of areas, in particular around the pool bar area where the stone stools are. The water in the pool appeared to be a little cloudy when we first arrived, but cleared considerably during our stay. The pool bar was closed, although the main pool bar/restaurant was open as normal. The Oasis bar in the gardens was still open at night. The pool restaurant which used to double as an eating place at night was no longer open. The breakfast room which also used to double as an Egyptian restaurant at night was still being used for breakfast, but wasn’t open at night.

This takes me nicely to breakfast!! I’m glad to say that it has improved since my last visit!! It’s still not a patch on what the Hilton provides, but it’s better than it was. There is no egg station any more, but eggs can be ordered and brought to your table. The toast machine that has been there for years is still cranking along very slowly!! You still need to rob other tables of crockery and cutlery to get full place settings at your table. I would still say though that the Sofitel need to learn a lot about providing a real good decent breakfast.

The refurbished pavilion rooms are still fine and the linen is clean. There is a mini bar but there’s no problem in taking out the hotel stock and filling it with your own water, soft drinks, etc. Our fridge seemed to work quite well, but the fridge in our friends’ room wasn’t so good. We discovered that kettles, tea and coffee appear to be available for the rooms, but you’d need to ask about this service, which there may be a charge for. Every pavilion room has a large balcony with table and chairs which overlook the gardens. Toiletries and hair dryer are provided. There is a washing line in the bathroom, but it’s so high up that most people won’t be able to reach it. We required a light bulb changed in the room and this was done within 15 minutes of asking. However, when one of the light switches on the wall blew and produced a blue flash, this then remained inoperative for the remainder of our stay despite the fault being reported when it happened.

It was my husband’s birthday during our visit and we had high tea (150LE pp) in the Victoria Lounge of the Old Winter Palace, which was really very nice, and the hotel provided a birthday cake as a surprise. Housekeeping also done some room decorations, which was a nice touch.

In general, the staff were terrific and they welcomed us back with open arms. However, standards do seem to have slipped and we noticed that housekeeping seems to have been cut back in certain areas, e.g. no turn-down service now at night unless specifically asked for, and no change of towels now in the evenings. The laundry service however is still first class.

There is free wi-fi at the pool area and in the public areas of the Old Winter Palace, but if you want wi-fi in your room, this is an extra cost and it’s expensive. There were no computers for the use of guests either in the foyer of the Old Winter Palace or in the small foyer of the Pavilion as there had been in the past.

I realise that this hotel is split in two with the Old Winter Palace being five star and the Pavilion being four star, but with standards slipping from before, and with so much refurbishment work needing done, in particular within the pool area, these will be falling stars even by Egyptian standards!! The gardens are still spectacular however and worthy of a five star rating.

So, Sofitel, you need to get your act together to give this tired old lady a badly needed facelift!!

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor for superb garden views
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Pavillon Winter Luxor

Address: Corniche El Nile St, Luxor, Egypt
Phone Number:
Location: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Luxor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Luxor
#7 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
#9 Family Hotel in Luxor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Pavillon Winter Luxor 5*
Number of rooms: 116
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the banks of the River Nile in the midst of a tropical garden in the city centre, near the luxor Temple and other attractions such as the Karnak Temple, the Luxor museum, the International Convention Centre and the Mummification Museum. The Pavillon Winter Palace features three restaurants, two bars and a swimming pool. 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:
Pavillon Winter Luxor Hotel Luxor
Pavillon Winter Hotel Luxor
Luxor Pavillon Winter Hotel
New Winter Palace Luxor
Luxor Sofitel
Winter Palace Hotel Luxor

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