Hi Crozzer here, let me tell you all about the Iberotel in Luxor. Stayed here for one week from the 9th to 16th December 2009. The hotel is okay. That just about sums it up…..nothing fancy, no fancy gimmicks, clean, tidy, basic, no frills, simple, no bright lights or Rah Rah Girls just your bog standard hotel. It does exactly what it says on the tin – you arrive, you eat, you sleep, you leave, job done. The common areas are clean and tidy, the garden is well kept and pleasant, the pool is rather good – it’s heated and there are plenty of free towels. The hotel is in a great location right in the middle of Luxor within easy walking distance of all attractions. Now, some points you need to be aware of regarding this hotel. If you want a room with a Nile view it’s extra – 20 Euro per night extra, you makes your choice and pays your money if that’s what you want – tidy ! The bedrooms are okay, nice firm beds and reasonably clean. A little tired and dated around the edges and not perfect by my exacting OCD standards but nothing to complain about either. Small bathrooms with intermittent showers either scolding hot or freezing cold – but you can get by for a week. The bath tubs are tiny and can’t be used for actual bathing unless you are about 5 or 6 years old – I did try rather unsuccessfully (I’m 43). Towels were changed every day and bed linen was clean and seemed to be changed several times during our week. The room has a safe which is free – use it or lose it ! Rather strangely we did have a couple of items go missing……a battery charger and a nice thick pair of socks ! Not quite sure why or how that happened but we were rather unexpectedly walked in on one morning by 2 staff who didn’t knock and proceeded to “stock the mini bar” only to remove it all a few days later. Weird but this is Egypt and there’s not always a rational explanation for things. Just beware. Breakfasts were okay, nothing special but we didn’t starve either – nice yoghurt, breads, jams and pastries – the eggs and hot food were a bit bland and not up to much but we got by. We were on a B&B basis so can’t comment about the evening meals but the hotel does have a further 2 restaurants in the grounds, a nice Chinese and a middling Italian (There was no tomato in my lasagne !) For good Italian go to the Sheraton, La Mammas – had a lovely meal there ! All the hotels in Luxor appear to have jumped on to the rip off bandwagon – bottles of water charged at 12 Egyptian pounds and we priced a Gin and Tonic in the bar at 7.50 Euros – we turned on our heels and left outraged in disgust ! Beers were also 25 Egyptian which is over priced for what it is. Crozzer’s top tip is to go and find the very friendly Esquire Bar (also known as Bar 2000) – turn right out of the hotel and it’s then the first left on the corner on the right hand side – they have a happy hour every day until 7pm where beers are 8 Egyptian and after happy hour they only go up to 13 Egyptian so well worth checking out – the foods ok too, they also show the football if you’re in 22 men kicking round a small leather ball for 90 minutes (Yawn). It’s a bit like the Queen Vic in Albert Square and you expect Peggy Mitchell to appear behind the bar shouting “Get out of my pub”. Also go and find Arkwrights shop…same directions but it’s the second left, where water can be had for 3 Egyptian and they have all those little holiday essentials like chocolate and crisps etc. While we on about rip-offs don’t encourage your tour reps by buying their over priced excursions, we saved over £120 each by using a local tour operator for all of our excursions. Encouraged by other users of Trip Advisor I contacted Hassany Morsi Osman Travel Service (Hassany Moressy) before we left and Hass met us in the hotel and discussed what we wanted to do with us face to face. Hass even took us out to a local coffee shop in the evening to show us Egyptian hospitality and we didn’t have to pay him up front for the trips either. He was a complete star and we enjoyed fabulous trips including the West Bank (Valley of the Kings), Hot Air Balloon, Felucca boat on the Nile, snorkelling trip to the Red Sea at Safaga, and a day cruising the Nile to the temple at Dendera all for 1500 Egyptian (roughly £160) Check out Hassanyandnasser.com (the web prices need updating mind) or contact me for e-mail details. Hass is a true gent and very dedicated to giving good customer service, he kept in touch after each trip to check we were happy and our money went into the pockets of the locals rather than the big travel conglomerates !
Luxor is a very safe city, it is perfectly safe to wander around by yourself just be prepared for the incessant hassle from Kalesh (horse carriages) and taxi drivers and Felucca boat owners and other assorted hawkers and traders and men and boys who all have girlfriends in Manchester or Liverpool (the only cities they know in the UK) and instantly want to be your best friend – however, nice they are (and they are very good at being nice) just bear in mind that they only want one thing (well maybe two things……) your money and your teenage daughters. Fortunately I didn’t have any trouble in that latter department……although you can never quite tell what’s on offer ! Keep your wits about you and be prepared. Interestingly if you venture into the non tourist areas where the locals live and shop (Television Street) all the hassle seems to disappear and they leave you alone and you get to see the real Luxor. Do go and have fun in the Souk and try your hand at bartering, aim to pay about a third of the first price they ask and you won’t go far wrong. If it’s too much just move on to the next shop there are plenty of them ! Bargains can be had if you want leather handbags, linens, and jewellery etc but if you want serious gold only go to the higher class shops – you’ll be able to spot them rather than the tatty end of the market. Now, for those English ladies and gentlemen who might be reading this you must make time to take afternoon tea at the Old Winter Palace Hotel. A lovely experience and very good value at only 150 Egyptian for 2 of you – wear smart long trousers and shirts or a pretty frock to guarantee entry. A lovely imperialist experience of days gone by and rather fabulous grounds in the hotel too. We went twice during our stay, which just about says it all really.
Another top tip is to change your money when you get there rather than before hand the exchange rate is better in Egypt though you will probably end up paying commission, there is a local HSBC just next to the Iberotel and a Cairo bank across the road. Take a jumper and jacket as it gets chilly in the evening and early morning – but by 10.00am it’s warmed up enough to sunbathe in your Speedos and I came back with a lovely pre-Christmas tan !
I could go on, there is so much to do and see in Luxor one week is not long enough – I’ve been to Egypt 8 times and not seen it all ! Highlight of the week was the Hot Air Balloon, great views and a great experience well worth it ! Do let me know if you have any questions. If you respect the environment and live the local culture you’ll receive a warm welcome – go and enjoy ! Cheers Crozz.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.