Hotels in Luxor - choosing
Reputedly the best hotel is the opulent Winter Palace. This is where
film stars and presidents stay. It is good for a special night but not many
tourists could afford to spend a whole holiday there.
Challenging for the number one spot is the refurbished Hilton. The Spa rooms are the most expensive and facilities are unmatched. The standard rooms are generally lower cost than the Winter Palace.
Of these two challengers for the top spot, if you want tradition, character, town centre location, top views and excellent gardens, go for the Winter Palace. If you want to be out of town and in a modern-looking hotel with facilities to match, then the Hilton better fits the bill.
The next best
The Sonesta St George, Nile Palace and Maritim Jolie Ville (previously the Mövenpick) are usually reckoned to be the best of the
rest. Visiting dignitaries who don't make the (Old) Winter Palace usually
stay at the Sonesta. The Sonesta is a traditional modern hotel under one
roof with all the usual facilities, chandeliers and plenty of shiny marble.
The Nile Palace is bigger with more amenities, less glitzy but at least as smart. They are both on the main road, surrounded by restaurants and tourist shops,
so there is a certain amount of bustle as soon as you step outside. The
Jolie Ville is further out, much quieter, but made up from individual bungalows
in extensive grounds - only the reception, bank, main restaurant and shopping
are in a central building.
We think the Pavilion Winter and Sheraton are next best. The Sheraton is in a quieter part of the tourist hotel and restaurant enclave on the southern edge of town. The Pavillon Winter is in the centre of town and shares the grounds of the (Old) Winter Palace.
The Sofitel Karnak was once regarded
as on a par with these, but more recently it has slipped
to be grouped with the bulk of 4 and 5 star hotels.
It is a relatively new out-of-town hotel and we will have to see where its
The Eatabe (formerly the El Luxor and before that the Mercure Hotel), Lotus, Isis, Iberotel and Morris
all have their fans and their detractors but it is hard objectively to
rank them. All except the Lotus have reasonably good restaurants. All except the Morris have decent outside areas. They all have good and less favourable points which reviews
on this site and others try to identify. Of this group the Iberotel is the most likely to be used by package companies.
The Lotus is not the best by any means, let down by its food, but usually much lower cost than the others and wins on value. If you want better food, more facilities or to be nearer the centre of town, then the Eatabe is good value, but is undergoing refurbishment so there is some inconvenience and you may get one of the old rooms.
More basic hotels include the rather old and outdated but friendly St Joseph, the newer and cheaper New Pola, the
very basic Gaddis, Tutotel, Emilio, Susanna, Queens Valley and Philippe. These hotels are typically a stack
of rooms with a reception and restaurant underneath and a patio, usually
with pool, on top. These hotels will suit those who don't want galleries,
lounge areas, restaurant variety etc but just somewhere safe and inexpensive
These all have downsides, but we think the least worst are the New Pola and St Joseph in the southern cluster, and the Susanna in town.
There are plenty of backpacker hotels and hostels, mostly around the railway station and in the built-up area of town either side of Television Street. Here you can get a night's accommodation for a very few pounds.
Updated October 2014
If money is absolutely no object, you will be spoilt in the (Old) Winter
Palace. If you can spend nearly as much and want something more modern, or a bit out of town, you will probably choose the Hilton.
If you want a quality hotel, close to restaurants and shops and reasonably close
to the town, we would choose the Nile Palace or the quieter Sheraton. Others would add the Sonesta to that shortlist although some say that recent management changes have taken the edge off standards here.
For a quiet life with access to
town, but where you can also stay away from the hustle and enjoy in spacious grounds go for the Maritim Jolie Ville. The Hilton comes into this 'quieter location' category but is much more expensive. The Karnak Sofitel has many of the same qualities but is not generally regarded as quite up to the standard of the Maritim and the grounds are certainly not as good - although it does have a courtesy boat.
Your choice from the rest of 4 and 5 star hotels will depend on whether you
want to be in town or amongst the tourist restaurants in the south.
On balance the Pavillon Winter is probably the
best bet in town, because of its central location, extensive grounds and facilities shared with the Winter Palace. Other contenders are the Iberotel, which lacks character and the Eatabe, which has been good value but is undergoing refurbishment and its new local management is untested.
From the economy group, St Joseph is usually favoured because of it's friendly
management and excellent evening restaurant, but the New Pola
is much more up-to-date, is usually cheaper and has the best views
from the roof pool area. The Lotus is usually around the same price and is the only one of the budget hotels to be on a bank of the Nile (the others are across the road). On balance, the Lotus takes our vote (but see the minus points in the review, including the food). Of the other two, unless you have children (see the review), we prefer the New Pola as long
as you don't want to eat in the hotel much - it is let
down by its restaurant. If you don't like the ifs and buts of the New Pola and Lotus, the St Joseph is a friendly low cost hotel with decent food but is rather outdated.