It’s not often you get a whole hotel to yourself at a bargain rate but, after Egypt’s tourist exodus last January/February, I lived for several days in splendid isolation as the only guest in the New Pola. Two years ago, I stayed for three weeks but this was for 17 nights and I had a couple of days of near-normal service before everybody left.
Judging by the other reviewers, it’s somewhere you either love or hate. Personally, I am with the minority who do neither but happen to like the place. To be clear for those who don’t, it is no way the hotel’s fault that its guests bailed out. In the lead-up to Mubarak’s resignation, many of Luxor’s visitors got nervous, and the holiday companies pulled the plug on the rest sending the tourist trade into meltdown. All the hotels suddenly found themselves empty or virtually empty.
Sooner or later, things will start getting back to normal and, if you are looking for a centrally located budget, hotel, the Pola is a very good choice. It is well cleaned, something even most of its critics acknowledge. (When I was ‘home alone’, they still did my room spotlessly and washed the halls and common areas halls daily.) Unlike some commentators, I may have been lucky but, on both my stays, the bathroom and shower were excellent. The buffet breakfast was somewhere between “not bad” and “pretty good”, a definite improvement on two years ago when “OK I guess” would have been fair comment.
The Pola has had considerable work done since I first stayed and, a few stark hallways aside, looks first class. There are more lifts and new (or at least newer) furniture. The rooms now have small safes, a nice touch but the English instructions need a proper translation. If you want a good view of the Nile (it didn’t cost extra), get a room on the higher floors to avoid the trees across the road. Alternatively, sit by the roof pool where the view is spectacular.
The employees seem to have annoyed a number of reviewers. Yes, one or two can sometimes act as if you are an untapped money pit but most are courteous and helpful. Neither have I ever witnessed anything approaching the dishonesty some suggest. On the contrary, I have always found the staff honest, occasionally to a fault. In any case, waiters, salesmen, cabbies and souvenir sellers that ‘mysteriously’ don’t have any small change when you go to pay and/or energetically hustle tips are par for the course in Luxor. If you dislike over-tipping or being treated like a walking ATM, be sure you have some small change available.
Love it or hate it, the New Pola deserves a try and has to be seriously considered by anybody travelling on a budget. The place is a lot better than its critics suggest and, for what you get, its rates are among the best in Luxor. Moreover, if you shop carefully on the internet, you can often get an even better deal.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.