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“Paradise in bedlam”

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Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor
Ranked #6 of 54 Hotels in Luxor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 8, 2009

We had read reports about the building work and did have concerns, although both sides of the hotel did have some work sights, these were out of our sight and hearing range. We could hear a constant hum as we were allocate a room that overlooks a waterplant, a small price to pay as we did have very good view of the nile and if we turned our chairs slightly the Nile all we could see. The tarpaulin in the lobby was removed to show replacement glass which reflected the huge chandelier in the lobby. The Sonesta is beautiful, spacious, clean with polite helpful staff, nothing was any trouble, always at hand for orders or just to place towels on your lounger.
Rooms are comfortable, spacious and very clean, clean towels twice daily if needed and they don't mind you using the mini bar fridge to chill your own drinks.
Location is perfect with a pontoon over the Nile, tranquility inside does not prepare you for the bedlam outside that has been quoted in all reviews, we went prepared for this and so should you. It was very daunting and tiring to begin but you do get used to it. Hassle is worst in daylight hours and almost non existant in the evenings, which is a great time to walk and escape the escalating heat.
The pool area is very clean, swim up bar without seating, shame no decent cocktails.
Main resturant for breakfast is clean and airy with a vast choice to suit all, there can be a wait at the "egg station" for freshly cooked items and you may have to wait for a few mins as you would at home!!!
Bedam with a great decor and piano playing, good menu with plenty of choice, all cooked and well presented.
Jebs pool area, menu ok for lunch we did find this pricey.
Japanese resturant was lovely, we really enjoyed the food,
though at the time was overwhelmed with very loud americans, I'm sure on another evening the abience would have been more graceful.
DRINKS....VERY EXPENSIVE beer £4.50 reasonable wine £24 but both can be purchased halfprice from outside bars and resturants.
Trips We would recommend Mohamed outside the Nile Palace Hotel, good prices, balloon trip is a must, Valley of the Kings with a very good speaking guide she is lovely, Felluca trip to Banana Island....pure bliss and gteat tasting bananas.
We had a fantastic time, meet some great people and will definately return to the Sonesta.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Ali2inwonderland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 6, 2009

Very good location right along the Nile. This is a larger hotel. Has elevators. Beautiful lobby with lots of crystal in the ceiling! Has a large "sitting" area with big comfortable chairs.
The actual room was very spacious and clean. There were 2 twin beds, a table with chairs, a large cabinet with (satellite) TV, and another cabinet to put clothes into.
There was an "in-room" safe which we found useful. Bathroom was huge and clean, with built-in shower in tub. Lots of towels, facecloths, soap, etc. If you needed more all you had to do was ask and within minutes the linen was delivered to the room.
Each floor had it's own cleaning staff and our room was always done up nicely.
There was construction going on when we visited, but the rooms were very quiet and comfortable. We did not hear street noise even though our room faced the road.
Outside of the hotel there were a lot of street vendors trying to sell you everything.
You could catch a calache right across the street to go on a tour around the city, which we found enjoyable. Make sure you agree to a price BEFORE you get in.Little children tend to run alongside wanting to sell you leaves or stones they pick up off the ground. They are VERY PERSISTENT and I felt bad always having to say "no" to them. EVERYBODY wanted "gifts" of money-"BAKSHEESH." Be prepared and be firm.
In the hotel lobby you could book all sorts of excursions including a hot-air balloon ride over the countryside &Valley of the Kings. It's very pricey though.
There are shops inside the hotel and internet access upstairs in their business center. There were shops that sold AUTHENTIC Papyrus art as well as a Jewelery store, a souvenier shop and a place downstairs by one of the restaurants where you can buy batteries, and memory cards for the camera-the cards are EXPENSIVE in Egypt, so try to bring your own from home. I was just glad to be able to get one!
The breakfast buffet was wonderful...just imagine what you want to eat and they had it. Big bowls of freshly made YOGURT,pastries,fruit (Egyptian bananas are to die for-they are small and very sweet, quite different from the bananas which I do not care for, that we get here in Canada),"meat" bacon-not pork, eggs, cheese, cereals, breads,etc.
The buffet is the same each day, but there are a lot of other restaurants around the hotel as well as on the main level in the hotel. There is a small "cafe/eating area" near the main desk just off the lobby that had good food for lunches but somewhat expensive. In the evening you can sit out by the pool along the Nile and have an enjoyable meal.
Wait Staff are very friendly and accommodating.
One thing you should note-once in your room, you need to keep your room key in a slot to keep the lights on! If you leave the room and the key comes out, the lights go off. So- if one of you wants to stay in the room, and another wants to go out, you will need to get a second door key. Learned this one the hard way!

  • Stayed: March 2007
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7  Thank ElleArre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2009

Hi all I celebrated my 40th Birthday ( 22nd Feb ) with some of family staying at the Sonesta for a week. Please find as follows some of my thoughts and advise on how we got on.


ROOMS - We stayed in rooms 435 & 438, both with side views of the Nile & front views of the main street. Both rooms are luxurious, large, well decorated and cleaned twice daily.

SWIMMING POOL – The swimming pool is large, clean and heated. The sun loungers are very comfortable and well spread out. As in other reviews the staff work tirelessly to ensure you are comfortable, providing towels parasols for shade even moving your loungers when required.

FOOD – The breakfast buffet is fantastic, as stated in previous reviews, its truly is one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve ever encountered. Although the pool side snacks and other hotel restaurants are very expensive in comparison to the local restaurants such as Snobs, 7 days for 7 ways and The Jewel of the Nile.


BUILDING WORK – We where there for 1 week ( Feb 18th – 25th ) and during that week we heard little to no noise at all.


Snacks/ Filled Rolls/ Treats

“ARKWRIGHTS” - There is a little supermarket just down the side of the St Josephs hotel. Arkwrights is owned by an English lady called Angie and an Egyptian man called Yasser. They sell English brands foods like crisps, chocolate, biscuits etc. For lunch they make great filled rolls fresh while you wait. These are genuinely lovely people, for my 40th birthday they surprised me with a trip on the Nile in a flukka and even baked me a beautiful cake.

Hamada & Mr Lovely

Just opposite the Hotel you will find the horse carriages parked. Ask for Hamada, carriage number 336, and his horse Mr Lovely. Hamada made our holiday very enjoyable he showed us all the local sights, including taking us to the local villages, markets etc he advised of the best restaurants to eat at Egyptian prices. He was fantastic, it was like having your own personal guide but with Hamada we also struck up a really good friendship. If you choose to go with Hamada, tell him skinny head (that was his nick name for me) said hello.



All in all we had a great time , the hotel ( although expensive for food ) is really lovely , the pool area is fantastic for service, relaxation and fantastic views of sun setting on the Nile and as I’ve mentioned we heard little to no noise from the building work. As other’s have written the street traders and shop keepers can be a nuisance, but a good firm “ no thank you “ and continue to walk usually doe’s the trick.

Best advise I can give you for getting around, seeing other sights that you wont see with “ Tours “ such as the local Egyptian markets and shops and finding the best restaurants at the Egyptian prices is to contact Hamada.


Guy’s the above review is based on our 1 week stay in mid February, if I can help with any other question’s please feel free to email me.

Cheers
Joe

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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7  Thank BallyclareJoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2009

We have just returned (2 Mar 2009) after staying a week at the Sonesta St George following on from a Nile Cruise. The hotel was lovely as was the room, which was on the 1st floor and had a large balcony. There is building work going on on either side (our room faced the Nile) but it certainly did not affect us. The breakfast was varied and plentiful!

The only down side was the price of drinks - a small glass of wine was 48LE (approx £6), but if you eat out in the restaurants, it is a lot cheaper (approx £12ish a bottle). We would recommend The Lantern and also Taste of India. We went to Snobs, which was very nice, but be prepared, they don't sell alcohol!

Arkwrights was really good value, nice sandwiches and the staff were really helpful, telling me which jewellers to go to etc.

There are no problems with sunbeds, the pool guys will always find one for you and then if you are happy with the location, they will reserve them for the rest of your stay.

We would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel, and if we go back to Luxor, we would certainly stay there.

2  Thank MissMoneypennyLancs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2009

The hotel was very nice but there was a few things that let it down. The view/noise from the balcony was not what I was expecting. The noise went on until after 10pm and started as early as 6am, not what you want when you are on holiday! Thought the food was nice but the service poolside was very slow indeed, in fact I had to ask for the bill on 3 occasions and waited for over 30 minutes as the staff were few and far between. As with lots of the reviews as soon as you step out of the hotel you are fair game for the locals, we were really fed up with it and just wanted to go out for a walk but its something you have to expect if you visit.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shauny9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2009

We stayed at this hotel in Febuary, having read some of the other reviews I felt compeled to write a review. There was a little bit of building noise, painting of the outside stairway and dismantelling of the pool next door but to be quite frank this did not detract nor effect our stay here at all. The hotel is very good, very clean and the staff very polite and helpful. Its loction is great and once you have got used to the sales pitches of the caleche drivers and local stall holders you can feel very relaxed about walking out at night in a safe and secure environment. You can even join in with a bit of friendly banter which the locals love. Luxor is a fantastic location to holiday as there is plenty to see and do and the weather is nigh on perfect. I would not hesitate in recommending or re-visting this hotel - and just think, next time it will be even better as the owner clearly wants to improve all the time which is no bad thing!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank SangriaCoDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2009

General
The hotel is as grand as it is rated (5 star), however, the pool is not as big as is illustrated in the photo. Most rooms have a balcony but do not face the river Nile directly, but you do get a side view of the river and the west bank. Rooms are spacious when used as twin bed, a third single bed does somewhat cram the room but not to the point of causing inconvenience. The rooms have plenty of storage capacity and have flat screen TVs with satellite TV (several English channels). The bathroom is spacious. No tea / coffee making facilities in the room. We found the staff to be very friendly, though on the last day the staff were overwhelmingly friendly and breakfast staff who never spoke to us during the course of our stay even made the effort to speak to us...nothing to do with tips...lol!

Location
The location of the hotel is 15 mins walk from the Luxor temple, 20 minutes walk from the main shopping bazaar, and an hours walk from the Karnack temple. Nearby there are several restaurants serving international cuisine, kfc, pizza hut, pharmacy and many touristy shops. The sidewalks are notoriously dangerous and adequate footwear is required as the pavement curbs are very high and the sidewalks are hazardous in the sense that the paving slabs are loose and can cause ankle sprains.

Breakfast / Restaurants
A variety of cuisines served (continental, Japanese, Egyptian). A variety of eggs are made to order (scramble, omelet, fried) with a variety of different meats. Pastry lovers will find themselves spoilt for choice with a variety of cakes, biscuits and pastries served daily. However, the same food is served everyday so there isn’t much of a change, but a variety to choose from.

The hotel has many restaurants but is pricey if you are expecting a cheap break. Expect to pay £10 to £15 minimum for a main course, similar to western restaurants (reasonable though compared to a 3rd world country quite expensive). However, there is a very good restaurant 7 minutes walk from the hotel (turn right out of the hotel and walk for 7 minutes past KFC, walk past the open space and wall and restaurant on a corner). Expect to pay for main course (steak an chips, duck a’la orange) for £5. Staff were very friendly.

Drinks are pricey in the hotel, soft drinks and hot drinks £2, whilst alchol spirits (vodka and whiskey £7 a shot)

Cleanliness
The hotel is very clean and rooms are cleaned everyday. I think each floor is allocated their own cleaner.

Excursions
The hotel does offer excursions through Thomas Cook but I recommend that you use local travel agents to book excursions to save money. Please see my review for Kings of Valley, ballon trip, Cairo and the West bank on this site.

Tip
Be prepared to be hassled like never before! Nothing prepared you for this experience. Don’t be fooled by the motto “hassle free shopping”. People force themselves onto you trying to sell a boat trip (fallukah), west bank trips, horse carriage, taxi, souvenirs etc. It gets to the point of ruining your holiday, trust me, my fellow travelers felt the same way and on the flight back to the UK everyone was sharing his or her experiences…its horrendous and certainly will make you feel like not wanting to visit this country again.

  • Stayed: January 2009
    • Value
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5  Thank The_Scooby_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor

Address: Cornesh El Nile Street, Luxor, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Luxor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Luxor
#5 Luxury Hotel in Luxor
#7 Family Hotel in Luxor
#9 Romantic Hotel in Luxor
Price Range: $48 - $109 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor 5*
Number of rooms: 322
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Five-star grandeur on the banks of the Nile awaits at the Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor. In a city of ancient Pharaonic treasures, this 322-room Luxor, Egypt hotel redefines luxury in a contemporary style. Only minutes from the world-renowned historic sites, the hotel is an ideal setting. After touring, guests relax in the hotel's Key of Life Health Club, dine in one of its restaurants or soak in the pool as they overlook the Nile. Free Wifi in the lobby and the swimming pool . Also a happy hour every evening at Nobles Bar with a 30% discount from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sonesta St George Hotel Luxor
Sonesta Luxor
Sonesta St George Luxor
Luxor Sonesta

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