Breakfast - was a poor affair by Egyptian standards and this is possibly the worst breakfast we have received in all our years of visiting Egypt. This being our 7th visit to Luxor since 1994.
There was a chef cooking fresh eggs outside and not always the same chef. Some of the chefs could cook eggs and others couldn't. Pancakes were those small thick American style and were brought out first thing when the restaurant opened at 05:30 - they were stiff and almost always cold. I've had fresh pancakes cooked to order in a 3 star Luxor hotel before now. The toaster did not work properly at all during our stay with guests having to put slices through between 3 and 4 times. On the last morning, only one side of the bread was toasted after going through twice and finally, the engineers were called in!
The choice was quite good but sadly, the food was out from the very early hours of the morning so bread was quite stale by 08:30 and breakfast was ongoing until 10:00am.
Tea was a thermos flask of hot water and 2 teabags per person. Coffee was also provided in thermos flasks. This isn't what we expected from a hotel of this rating.
We did not eat any other meals inside the hotel as these were very expensive (around LE130 or 18 Euros) for a main course alone. A bottle of local beer (Stella local 63cl) was LE40 and could be bought in the local restaurants for anything between LE14 to LE18. The thought of paying so much when the breakfast was short lived completely put us off trying any meals in the hotel.
We knew of the Old Winter Palace hotel and had visited it a number of years ago but were not familiar with the Pavillion at the rear. The New Winter Palace hotel has been demolished.
Firstly, the Pavillion is not a 5 star hotel. It is situated in the sumptuous grounds of a 5 star hotel but can only be rated 4 star at best. Some refurbishment has already taken place and rooms on the 3rd and 4th floor were still being refurbished during our stay. Not much fun if you wanted to have a cool snooze in the mid afternoon as the workmen opened the patio doors for the noise to extend to the other rooms in the L shaped block.
Refurbishment has been new carpets, new headboard and beds, bathroom fittings have not been replaced and some of the baths have been repainted. The grouting and plastering behind the toilets and sinks need to be looked at and made more pleasing to the eye.
That being said - the hotel is in a fantastic spot immediately across from the Corniche and the River Nile and spitting distance to the Luxor Temple. You could not want for a better spot! The hotel grounds, gardens and swimming pool/s are superb. A sort of half moon shaped shallow pool with walk in steps and swim up bar move on to a deeper length swim style pool so for serious swimmers, this is a godsend.
There were a few issues with power outages during our stay but we were only affected on our very last day. Other members of our party had problems with electrics going on and off in their room from day one. The power went off every evening just before 7pm when the hotel put all the garden lights on!
As always, we found the local staff very pleasant and they will generally go the extra mile to make your stay enjoyable. We did struggle to get 6 beers though on the night of our arrival and waited for over 20 minutes for them to arrive. Our beds were made everyday and turned down in the evening after we had gone out for dinner. A couple of nights we came back to flower petals strewn on the beds with a minty smelling flower stem. Fresh towels were brought to the room in the evening whilst we were out ready for an early start the next morning.
There was no entertainment at the hotel that we saw.
Everywhere is extremely clean, staff are always clenaing, day and night. There are six restaurants in which eat in in the hotel, and we have never suffered from tummy troubles eating in the hotel as the hygiene is excellent. If eating out and about in Luxor this is something to take into account.
Last year we took two of our grandchildren with us and staff in the hotel and people outside made a great fuss of them and this year we were asked many times where they were.
We choose to travel with Kuoni because for a small extra payment you can fly with Egypt Air from Heathrow and have the benefits of a scheduled airline as opposed to a charter airline.
The entertainment is pretty minimal, a trio playing and singing most evenings.
We certainly look forward to our next visit to this hotel.
Travel operator: Kuoni
Winter Palace is actually 3 Hotels, the Old & New Winter Palaces and the Garden Pavilion. Although you can get a Nile View room in the New one, it is the lowest standard of the 3.
There are no Tea facilities in your rooms, but Garden Pavilion gets you a hair-dryer, New doesn't.
You can eat and drink in the OLD Palace, but you need to follow the dress codes!!
I haggled the small kiosk outside on the central reservation down to
Travel operator: Kuoni
The staff are all so helpful and polite and although the surroundings are so grand you are made to feel right at home. The food in both of the restaurants in the Old Wing is wonderful. The only trouble is you need to go on a diet when you get home!!
The palace wing of the hotel is so beautiful. It`s nice just to sit in the grand foyer and take in the atmosphere of the place. There is a lovely lounge where "afternoon tea" is served with a wonderful selction of sandwiches and pasteries, each afternoon. The "Royal Bar" is opposite the Victoria Lounge and you can treat yourself to no end of wonderful drinks, in a lovely setting served by friendly and attentive staff.
The new Garden Pavillion Wing is lovely too. The rooms there are more spacious than the Old wing and have a lovley big balcony. It is located in the fantastic gardens of the hotel and you can use all of the facillities of the Old Palace wing and the New Winter Palace too.
It`s a great base to go visiting the local attractions. Luxor temple is literally next door! I hired a wonderful taxi driver, Hamdi, for the trips we went on, which was not only a lot cheaper than booking the same trips through the tour operator, but you have control on how long you stay in a place, so you don`t get a short stop in a place you want to explore and spend most of the trip at a bazzar, papyrus or perfume shop! Hamdi arranged for a professional guide to accompany us on some of the trips when we requested one, which was wonderful. You have their whole attention so you`re not just one in a massive group.
I`d whole heartedly reccomend anyone goes to stay at this hotel at least once in their life time!
Hope you get chance to go yourselves!
Travel operator: Kuoni
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