We just got back from Egypt, where we had a spectacular stay at the Pavilion Winter Palace hotel in Luxor. Everything was perfect, from the stunning balcony view to the lush gardens and the exquisitely warm pool. Service was impeccable and they made you feel very welcome. Some of the restaurants were closed in the evening (I'm assuming because of low occupancy), so we improvised: we ordered room service and asked that it be delivered to the front terrace. An amused and gracious waiter brought the dinner on trays and we ate on the balcony watching the feluccas sail down the Nile. I completely see how Agatha Christie was inspired to write Death on the Nile in this Victorian gem.
An aside about touring: Luxor is the "hassle capital" of Egypt. You really do need a guide, if only to protect you from the taxi drivers and felucca captains. While in Luxor, we had arranged a private tour with Thomas Cook. Unfortunately, their Cairo office had not communicated with the Luxor office and we were stranded at 7:30 am on the west bank waiting for a guide who did not show up. On the plus side, we contacted Mr. Ahmed Balal of the Petraluxor tour company, who had a fantastic guide (and driver) appear almost immediately and we complete our 2 days of marathon touring of ancient ruins & necropoli (plural necropolis??). The guide Walid (also known by the inappropriate nickname of "foxy") was brilliant and friendly. It is incredible how much Walid knew and his ability to bring so much information into a manageable tour was tremendous. Also, and because we asked, we were also able to engage Walid in several discussions about the current political situation in Egypt and his views on things like the Muslim Brotherhood etc. Totally something we sought out, and it was fascinating for our 17 year-old son.
WHEN we go back (and we will), we will always stay at the Pavilion and always contact Mr. Ahmed for our guide. It is my hope and dream that people will return to Egypt and support their fledgling democracy. The Pavilion can be accessed at http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-1662-pavillon-winter-luxor/index.shtml. Mr. Ahmed can be reached at email@example.com.
- 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