Sofitel Karnak hotel entrance
|Official local rating||5 star|
|Typical UK rating||5 star|
|TV & fridge in all rooms|
|Splash pool and children's club|
|3 restaurants and a cafe|
|6 kms from Luxor centre|
|Phone||0020 95 2378020|
|Address||El Zinia Gebly Street
The most remote of Luxor's hotels: good for children and those wanting to be away from the bustle of town. Smarter and more modern that the Jolie Ville but has yet to establish a comparable reputation
To book this hotel
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The Sofitel is an out-of-town hotel, where guests are away from most of the bustle but close enough to reach town when they want to. The Sofitel is further out of town than the Jolie Ville, but on the other side of Luxor (the north). Some reviews describe the Sofitel as the nearest hotel to Karnak temple. In fact Karnak temple is about half-way between the Sofitel and the Town centre, so the Sofitel is just as far away from Karnak temple as town centre hotels, but on the other side.
Like the other main tourist out-of-town hotel, the Jolie Ville, the grounds are spacious and there are excellent facilities for children, including a splash pool, indoor play area and children's club for 6 - 12 year olds. Also in common with the Jolie Ville there is a free minibus service to town, but again the transport is infrequent, there is a big gap in the middle of the day and it finishes too early in the evening to cater for people wanting to go to town for an evening meal. Taxis are plentiful and can be called by reception to the front door. A ride to town should cost you LE20.
The hotel has a central core with reception area, shop, bar and the main restaurant, the Opet, on the first floor. This restaurant is open unusually early at 5.30. It serves an international self-service breakfast and evening meals that follow a different national theme each day. On the floor below is the Carter Bar, where a duo provide entertainment in the evenings. The other two restaurants are in separate buildings in the grounds. La Palmarie is only open for about 5 hours from noon. It is beside the pool and serves barbeque meals, pastas and similar lunch time snacks. The other restaurant is the O Nile, which has indoor and outdoor seating beside the Nile and offers international à la carte lunch and evening dinners.
There is less formal eating at the Moorish cafe from 9am until 11pm and at the Nile-side Sun Downer from 3pm until 11pm, where there is Shisha as well as food and drinks. You can also get drinks at the Pool bar from 9am until 5pm.
The guest rooms are in two-storey moorish style buildings with balconies or terraces. The Moorish styling extends to tiled floors, fabrics and furnishings. The rooms are well equipped with a safety deposit box, minibar, hairdryer and bath tubs as well as the TV. Only 32 of the 351 rooms are set aside as non-smoking rooms. 21 of the rooms are suites. Many of the rooms have rather bland outlooks onto lawns with no real view and they are quite scattered around the grounds.
Food and drink prices are quite high by Luxor standards but not the highest. To give you an idea, in the cafes you can get a lamb tajine for LE30 and a pasta meal for around LE40 but desserts, other than ice cream, are over LE23. Hot drinks are around LE12, soft drinks LE11 and mineral water LE7. The food quality is fine but not special. We found the service rather abrupt.
The hotel has an ATM machine as well as a banking desk and the usual tour agency. There is also a small shop selling newspapers as well as tourist things and a hairdresser. For the energetic there is a limited fitness centre and a clay tennis court. For the rest of us there are massage, sauna and a jacuzzi.
Sofitel from the Nile
Like most of the Nile-side hotels, you can get felucca and motorboat rides direct from the grounds.
Overall, a good option for children and for visitors wanting to be away from the bustle, and hassle, of the town centre, which is hard to avoid when you stay at the town centre hotels. It is newer and decoratively smarter than the other out-of-town hotel, the Jolie Ville, but we don't think the food is as good, there is no infinity pool and the journey to town is that much further and more difficult. If you want an out-of-town hotel and you get a good price, we think you will be happy here. If the price is the same, we would go for the Jolie Ville.