|Official local rating||3 star|
|Typical UK rating||2 star|
|TV & mini bar in all rooms|
|Pool on roof|
|2 Restaurants, one on roof|
|Bar and pool bar|
|Phone||(002) (95) 2376666|
|Address||Youssef Hassan St
Good views from the roof, a decent bar and centrally located but otherwise rather drab, noisy and in need of further upgrade.
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View from the Emilio
The Emilio is one of the better known hotels in the centre of Luxor, partly because it is more likely to be offered by package tour companies than the neighbouring Queens Valley hotel or the newer but smaller Susanna, a few hundred yards away.
Like those other two hotels, the Emilio is very convenient to Luxor centre, the market and many restaurants and shops. From the roof and some rooms there are excellent views to Luxor Temple, the avenue of sphinxes and the Nile beyond.
Whilst convenient, this does also make the hotel rather noisy. The road at the front is particularly busy, so the rooms with the best view are also the noisiest. The rooms along the side road have a less appealing outlook and slightly less noise, although the road provides access to the market and is a major route to the railway crossing so is certainly not quiet.
Roof pool with sunbathing platform above
As well as providing a good view, the roof has a pool, of a decent size as roof pools go, plenty of seating, a cafe-style restaurant with good shade, and a bar. Beside and above the pool is another, smaller, sunbathing platform. It is best to make use of the pool towels available from the bar, because some of the loungers are not particularly clean.
The hotel's ground floor has the main restaurant at the front, just behind the reception desk; a bar at the back and a few sitting areas in between. There is no lounge as such.
The main restaurant is functional rather than attractive. Breakfast is the usual combination of Egyptian dishes and a limited range of international choices, including egg and toast, but nothing like the selection you find in better (and more expensive) hotels. It is adequate but will better suit someone who likes a light breakfast and waits for lunch than someone who likes to stoke up first thing.
The bar is quite smart, comfortable, and rarely too busy. Food and drinks throughout the hotel are, however, rather expensive for the class of hotel. The smaller budget hotels rarely have a tremendous menu or excellent food quality, but they are usually quite cheap. At the Emilio the quality is similar to the hotels at the budget end but the prices are closer to those charged at better tourist restaurants. Not a happy combination. As the hotel is so close to the Luxor centre restaurants, we think most people would choose to eat at nearby restaurants, where better food is cheaper.
The hotel was renovated during 2008 and is sometimes referred to as the 'New' Emilio hotel. However, the rooms show little sign of renovation and could really do with some more work. They are on the small side with rather tired furniture and decorations. They have the amenities that have become basics for Luxor hotels, such as a TV, fridge and air conditioning, but none of the extras, such as kettles or hair driers. Overall, like the rest of the hotel, adequate as a base if you are out most of the day, but not pleasant for a prolonged stay.
The room staff are reasonably pleasant but otherwise reception, portering and waiting staff could do with a refresher course at customer care school and better control of the tip-hinting.
The hotel has a reputation is as a low budget convenient base rather than as a hotel to relax in. We think that reputation is deserved. Once there was relatively little local competition in that category, but with the opening of the much better Susanna just a few hundred yards away, the Emilio is likely to lose its place as the obvious choice. We wonder whether the package tour companies will continue to offer the Emilio when there are so many minus points and increasing competition.
It is not realistic to compare the Emilio with most of the four and five star hotels, which are far, far better, because there is a huge price difference. It is, however, realistic to compare it with hotels, mostly two and three star, that are in a similar price bracket. Exactly which hotels you compare with will depend on the deals available at the time and whether you want to be in the centre of town. Although none of the competing hotels is perfect, for the money and on balance, if you can get the the Susanna for the same price or the El Luxor for not much more, you would be happier at either of those. If you don't need to be in town, the Lotus might also be on your comparison list in the price range, again not without fault, especially the food, but much better in most other respects.
Updated April 2010