The Winter Palace Hotel is a very grand colonial style hotel fronting the Nile a couple of minutes walk from Luxor Temple and the primary market area in Luxor. However, it is too expensive for us. So, by choosing the Winter Palace Pavillon (original spelling), we got the best of both worlds - a perfect location for Luxor with grand style but at affordable rates.
The Winter Palace Pavillon is a more modern building with very good rooms which is on the grounds of the older Winter Palace Hotel. Guests are fully entitled to use the facilities of the original hotel, including pool, bars, restaurants, library and so on. The management have done an excellent job to instil the same ethics of high-quality service in those who work at the Pavillon, such that we were made to feel entirely welcome as if we were staying at the original colonial hotel itself.
The gardens and pool area act as a beautiful oasis and a perfect tonic/contrast to the arid surroundings. There is a good selection of restaurants to suit a variety of affordability and the selection of cuisines is wide enough to meet most needs, including Egyptian, Indian, Italian, Western, etc.
The location is best in class in Luxor. Other hotels such as the Sheraton, Hilton, etc. are all a longer walk/short taxi ride to the centre of Luxor. Instead it is maximum 5 minutes walk to the market and temple area of Luxor from the Winter Palace complex.
We found Luxor itself to be very safe and everyone was very friendly. We expected to be hassled in the market a lot, but the traders were took 'No thanks" to mean no and in most cases respectfully did not persist. There is a good standard of English-speaking amongst those we encountered - better than expected.
The Luxor and Karnak Temples and Valley of the Kings are not to be missed. We would recommend using a guided tour for the Valley of the Kings part and we found Mr Hassany to be very very good. They can be found just outside the Winter Palace Hotel on the banks of the Nile (turn left if you are exiting the hotel entrance - they're just after the Carlson Wagolit office). We have some recollection of them being called "Abu Simbl" or something also. Our tour guide was called Maria, and had a Masters in Egyptology so she was very knowledgeable and, like everyone else, very friendly.
- 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