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“A historical hotel with lashings of character”

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Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 14, 2011

Having originally been booked into the Pavillion wing of this hotel as part of a tour,my friends and I were upgraded to the old building on our arrival.A dream come true for me-this has always been on my "wished to do but unlikely due to cost" list!
It,s true that compared to the newer hotels,an old building such as this has it,s faults,but we had no complaints whatsoever-lovely large rooms with a bathroom you could hold a party in!The grounds are superb,the food good and the service well up to standard.We had no complaints.
Considering its history,this hotel was,for us,a magical place to stay-you could really imagine Howard Carter lounging in the lobby trying to sell his paintings when he hit hard times.This is a hotel linked to a bygone age-perhaps it could do with some tweaking here and there but by and large it is a very classy place,as reflected in the usual price.I feel very fortunate that due to current circumstances of a dearth of visitors,we were able to indulge ourselves in luxury usually out of our reach.
Our only gripe was the price of the bottled water-50 Egyptian Pounds for a large bottle!Daylight robbery-when you can get the same in the Souk for 3!Be warned!

Room Tip: A Nile view room,of course,is the ultimate-but you really have to pay for it!We had gardenview rooms...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Alison S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelWinterPalace, General Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2011

Dear guest, thank you very much for your kind review. We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. The large bottle of local water is sold by the pool restaurant for 18 EGP(about 2,4 Euro). Only Evian, Perrier and San Pellegrino are sold at a higher price as these are imported. We try to offer a good balance between product quality, variety and price. By importing some requested products, we increase the choice for our guests. Thank you again for your kind feedback and we are looking forward to welcome you back to the Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor. Kind regards, Christian Ruge

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Reviewed October 11, 2011

We were unexpectedly upgraded from the Pavilion into the Palace due to low visitor numbers in July. It was always my dream to stay in the Palace but I was surprised by the "lovely" room we were allocated.
Pavilion rooms are large, airy and have a large balcony looking over the gardens. The Palace room was dingy, an odd shape and had no balcony, in fact the window did not open so we could not enjoy the 'side' Nile view easily. The only bonus was the better quality L'Occitane toiletries. The towels were thin, the bed cover was elderly and the sheets were bobbly - certainly not the pure cotton I was expecting!
Other guests who had arrived on the same flight, also upgraded from the Pavilion, were raving about their 'sumptuous' rooms. After three nights we gritted our teeth and asked if we could move into the Pavilion, so that we could enjoy a bit more space & some fresh air. Instead, the receptionist offered us a different room - apparently we should have complained straight away... Anyway, we were given a bigger room with a choice of Nile views - one from the balcony, one from the bathroom! The bedlinen & towels remained scratchy and shabby however and the plumbing was very hit and miss - it was hard to get hot water!
During our stay the Corniche restaurant was closed & breakfast was served in the corridor, to be eaten in the 1886. The breakfast menu was also altered, in fact it resembled a cocktail party rather than the first meal of the day. It was unusual to see backgammon boards being used to hold glasses of room-temperature yoghurt!
It has taken a while to sort out my thoughts about this part of the holiday, I had imagined the Palace to be luxurious and better than the Pavilion - unfortunately it was not.

Room Tip: The best rooms cost the most under normal circumstances. The cheapest Palace rooms are not as good a...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Divadarling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelWinterPalace, General Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2011

Dear guests, thank you very much for your feedback. We apologize, that the room design did not match with your expectation. Please rest assured, that we will control the bed cover as we usually have a very good feedback about or Sofitel MyBed concept. The breakfast buffet was placed for a few days in front of the Restaurant 1886 as we have installed a new buffet cooling system in the restaurant El Corniche and the redesigned buffet will certainly satisfy all breakfast lover needs. Please be so kind to inform me before your next arrival to the Pavillon Winter Hotel as I would love to show you the changes we have made over the summer time. Kind regards and thank you again for your feedback. Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor

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Reviewed September 21, 2011

I visited the Winter Palace as part of a group and had a very mixed experience with this hotel. The hotel itself is fascinating, oozing with atmosphere and more than a century of history, but why does everything has to be a problem? The food we got served at this hotel was miles below the normal standard of five stars hotel, doesn't the hotel have any chefs with significant experience who can help making this hotel into what the interior and surroundings and, not least, the price of the rooms demands of it? The breakfast buffet is different offering a lot more for the sweet tooth than you see in other hotels, unfortunately none of us have a sweet tooth but were more interested in a good, solid breakfast having to deal with the hot weather all day, but even the brown bread was not really brown but more like flavoured white bread. Some of the ready cooked food was quite apalling and when we had dinner one evening one of my friends described his meal as horrendous, surely it can be done better in a hotel of this reputation? Also we had a problem with the staff not understanding English though not having the same problem in other hotels in Egypt.
You don't really get what you pay for at the Winter palace, the standard is in serious need of help, I suggest that if you want luxury at a luxury price you go to an Oberoi or Fours Seasons hotel where they have excellent chefs and only employ staff who are able to communicate if not perfect then at a minimum level with the guests and where you feel you are getting, almost, as much as you are paying for. As it is now you are paying luxury prices but getting so much less at the Winter Palace.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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5  Thank VickyCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelWinterPalace, General Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2011

Dear guests, thank you very much for your feedback. The bread which is produced in the hotel will soon be complemented by the finesh bread selection from Bridor, made in France. In regards to the food offerings, we just compleated the new menu for the restaurant 1886 and will soon start with the implementation. I was surprised to hear about you difficulties to communicate in english as plenty of our colleagues are speaking this foreign language really well. We will do our best to fine-tune the understanding. Thank you again for your feedback and we are looking forward to welcome you back to Luxor. Kind regards, Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor.

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Reviewed September 18, 2011

I must admit I can't relate much to the reviews below because they are all splendid. One of the reasons could be that a bad review posted recently about this hotel has been removed, we certainly can't find it again and don't know how many other bad reviews get removed on tripadvisor in general so beware that you don't get the wrong impression of this hotel or any other hotel. The Winter Palace is nice with big rooms (though my boyfriend and I unfortunately had one of the small ones with a chair that should have been thrown away a long time ago) but the bed was okay. Even though the staff is nice they are maybe the most unprofessional staff we have experienced in a hotel even for Egypt. The evening head waiter of the restaurant which serves breakfast in the morning hardly understands any English, if you ask the pool waiters to do your food in a certain way they will serve it in a completely different way, the housekeeping staff don't understand any english at all either however nice they are and most of your time in this hotel will be spend on explaining things and being frustrated and wasting time. if you ask the receptionists to quote a fair price of a taxi to somewhere they quote you a price which is double of what it's supposed to be, at least two of the receptionists are misplaced because they think they are more than the guests. Right outside the hotel the caleche drivers will never leave you alone and the shop assistants on the hotels area are exactly the same. Also the breakfast is not that impressive with only 4 different kinds of cereals and no toast machine, you will have to order toast and some of the guests think toast is not available most of them coming from England. Having stayed at both the Nile palace and the Winter palace I will probably not choose any of these again, but go for one of the other five stars in Luxor hoping they will be real five stars. The only really good thing about the Winter palace is the swimmingpool but then all hotels have swimmingpools.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank AddyD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelWinterPalace, General Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2011

Dear guest, thank you for your feedback. As per the tripadvisor regulations that you can review on the homepage, it is not possible for a hotel to "delete" any comments. We are glad about any type of objective comments as we are constantly trying to improve our service. In our breakfast room, we are serving several items individually prepared for each customer. This includes various coffee & tea specialities, fresh toast and 6 different types of eggs preparation. All those items are listed in the menu that is placed on each breakfast table. This helps to guarantee that we meet your needs from the first moment in the morning. Thank you again for your feedback and kind regards, Sofitel Winter Palace

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Reviewed September 18, 2011

The title of this review could also have been "even worse behaviour at the Winter Palace" as a friend of mine recently wrote a review of the Winter Palace on Tripadvisor with the title "bad behaviour at the Winter Palace" but this was deleted no doubt on request from the manager of the hotel who only likes answering and dealing with good reviews. My friend wrote under a pseudonym which she changes every year like so many other people on Tripadvisor, I was the one travelling with her to Luxor, I never thought I would write a review on Tripadvisor, I ususally only read them but it is important to let people know that bad reviews about the Winter palace get censored causing people to get the wrong impression of the hotel. My friend's review was a respond to another review on Tripadvisor accusing the management of bad leadership and of having a lack of respect of the female guests, this review was deleted and so was my friend's.
You can conclude what you like about the management of the Winter Palace after reading the above and decide whether you want to support a hotel which uses methods like this, i.e. however brilliant reviews it gets because people are just thrilled they get a free upgrade to the palace instead of staying at the cheap Pavillion hotel on the same area of the Winter Palace which they originally booked. The Winter Palace itself doesn't really have good business as it is too expensive compared to what you get. But brilliant way to get good and easy reviews, especially if all the bad reviews are being deleted at the same time.
Here is my own opinion about the Winter palace, I share much of the same view as illustrated in the two reviews which were deleted on demand of the general manager of the Winter Palace.
The Winter Palace is in many ways an impressive place with wide corridors and mostly big rooms with classic style furniture though the furniture have definitely seen better days 10-20 years ago. Most of the staff at the WP are lovely, but there are problems with certain members of it, we had a young waiter flirting non-stop with us every morning at breakfast much to our dismay, and when it comes to the breakfast itself it consists of 30 different kinds of cakes and pastries and 4 different kinds of bread but who eats cake for breakfast? Maybe if there's not much bread to choose from? They are catering for people from cultures which are obsessed with a healthy lifestyle. Some of the food was old an dry, we only ate the cheese once and the waffles they make are tasteless, use some of the vanilla or sugar from the cakes now that you promote an unhealthy lifestyle?
When it comes to the boy in general most of the guests are from North Europe and we don't like being flirted with at breakfast with a boy who could be our own son. Why do the staff think they can get away with this?
Swimmingpool area: The waiters are evidently very good friends and forget to serve the guests, should the hotel find new staff that would feel less at home? Much of the restaurant staff inside the hotel doesn't understand simple orders when it comes to food.
One of the waiters chats up female visitors and a regular guest who was there told us he was known for doing this. He chatted up a girl lying next to us, he was completely pestering her, she left the area early. Is this a sign of proper training and respect for the female visitors at the Winter Palace? But with a general manager who gets bad reviews deleted? Don't deal with the problems, pretend they are not there?
I think this is serious and if the management of the hotel tries to get this review deleted I urge Tripadvisor to contact me on my email address which surely they must be able to see in my profile stating their reason for doing so. As it is there would definitely be a public interest in the fact that the Winter Palace in Luxor accepts only good reviews and can get bad reviews deleted when there are so many other much worse reviews on tripadvisor using a much worse language than the ones the Winter Palace gets.
May this hotel benefit from a more responsible management in the future. By that time I will come back, not before, i will not put my money into a hotel which does not respect bad reviews and which does not respect women whether being from my culture or their own.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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9  Thank Sis55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelWinterPalace, General Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2011

Dear writer, at tripadvisor.com, you will find detailed informations about the current regulations. We are glad to receive objective feedback. False accusations are from our point of view inadequate. Kind regards, Sofitel Winter Palace

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Reviewed September 17, 2011

The hotel retains, in the original building, the high ceilings and spaciousness typical of the late 19th/early 20th centuries and is set in very attractive gardens with a good sized, if shallow, swimming pool. No children were seen in the hotel or grounds during the stay.

The Winter Palace is well situated on the Corniche adjacent to the Luxor Temple with Karnak and the Museum within walking distance although a taxi would be advisable in any other than the coolest months. The ferry terminal for the West Bank is just .over the Corniche.The Nile view is spectacular; Hatshepsut's Temple is visible and the sunsets memorable.

Breakfast was an adequate buffet but while we were there all other meals were a la carte; there is a dress code (jacket and tie) in the 1886 restaurant where the choice was limited and expensive although well presented - dining there was an 'experience'. Other main meal venues were limited (possibly due to low occupancy) and the only other main meal taken was dinner by the pool side, faut de mieux, where only a rather unsatisfactory 'chef's special' was offered eaten in light so limited that it was barely possible to identify the food.

I liked the hotel and would use it again. I would recommend booking 'bed and breakfast' and plan on taking all other meals away from the hotel at some of the many reasonably priced restaurants in the area.

Room Tip: Specify Nile view in the Old Winter Palace, preferably on the third floor.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank hasseb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelWinterPalace, Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2011

Dear guest, thank you very much for your feedback. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. In addition to the two dining options L'Oasis and the fine dining 1886, we will reopen the restaurant El Corniche on September 20th after the summer break. Thank you for your suggestion to increase the lightning at the restaurant L'Oasis. Kind regards, Sofitel Winter Palace

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Reviewed September 9, 2011

Beautiful, wonderful hotel, great service and within walking distance of the market. We absolutely loved it!!! We were 3 women traveling to Egypt on our own, during Ramadan, but we found only kindness, and mostly no problems. Would go again easily, especially to this hotel.

In market, it is important to stand to what you want, and not let yourself be intimidated by the sellers! They are really aggressive, but once you realize that if you say NO, it is OK. You have the upper hand.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Michmex13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelWinterPalace, Manager at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, responded to this reviewResponded September 15, 2011

Dear guests, thank you for your stay with us and your feedback. We are glad that you enjoyed your travel to Luxor and we are looking forward to welcome you back to the Sofitel Winter Palace. Best regards, Sofitel Winter Palace luxor.

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Additional Information about Sofitel Winter Palace 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Luxor
#5 Business Hotel in Luxor
#5 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
#10 Family Hotel in Luxor
Price Range: $122 - $237 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor 5*
Number of rooms: 92
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. ... 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

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