Sofitel Karnak Luxor Hotel

, Luxor, Egypt
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Sofitel Karnak Luxor Hotel

5 star

Rooms: 351

El Zinia Gebly Street - Luxor - Egypt | 20 95 2378020
877 Traveller

Reviews - Sofitel Karnak Luxor Hotel

1/10
miles from nowhere
Submitted by: Heather in 16/01/11
  • Age Group: 5160
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Sun Seeker
I treated myself to this hotel for 2 weeks, it was the worst hotel I have been in in Luxor...oops sorry it is miles out of luxor with nasty stropy taxi drivers out in the road at the front. I have mobility problems & tho I had a ground floor room, the dining room was up a long flight of stairs! there is a ramp but it runs around the outside & you would need muscles of steel to push a wheelchair up there.
The pool was fabulous but there was far too much hassle, both from the terrible hairdresser (she is no good at hair or manicure etc) & the masseur, he is very cute but someting of a pest too, then you have the arogant chap yelling 'aqua gym' every morning, no chance of a peaceful swim with him wround!
The main redeming factor is the wonderful laundry service..well recommended!
The food was boring & only average
The shuttle bus was OK but never seemed to suit my times & as for the shuttle ferry, I loved the trip but because of my dodgy knees I got into big trouble trying to climb the rough steps up to the corniche, this hotel did not live up to the Sofitel standards I have come to expect in Egypt. Not advised for anyone with the slightest of mobility issues of on a budget as the taxis add up to quite alot of money if you go out twice a day.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Sofitel Karnak Luxor Hotel

Lovely riverside retreat

from Nanoniff
My husband and I went for Christmas 2005 and in general I'd say it pretty much lived up to our expectations. Being slightly removed from the constant hassle of Luxor is a positive thing. In any case hotel shuttle buses run on the hour until 7.30pm (there's also a boat service) and even a taxi only costs a few pounds.

The entire lo-rise complex is very sensitively thought out - it never feels like the large hotel is actually is and the gardens are lush with lots of hidden corners, lit with Moorish style lanterns etc. Large hammocks have been strung between some of the palms while the pool is spacious and most importantly in winter - heated! Food from the pool bar was fine for quick lunches - pizzas, burgers etc.

I agree that the rooms are a little small (but very comfy and spotlessly clean,with a well-stocked mini-bar) and the food in general a tad bland but the rest of the place more than makes up for it. Breakfast on the terrace with the sun rising over the Theban mountains is not to be forgotten. Almost all the staff were extremely friendly and helpful - even in the face of some breathtaking Gallic condescension. One particularly nice touch - on Christmas Eve little choccie-stuffed Santa boots were left in our room - very sweet!

Our one bugbear was the entertainment in the evening (as mentioned by someone else). It was too cold to sit at the river terrace bar which just left the interior bar which was dominated every night by seriously naff and deafeningly loud music thanks to the aforementioned Ukrainian 'animators'. We beat a hasty retreat to our duty-free stash and Gulf TV back in the room. Luxor itself is not big on salubrious nightlife or non-hotel restaurants so this aspect of the hotel was really disappointing - we just wanted somewhere quiet to sit and have a few drinks, plan the next day, have a chat with other guests etc., but it wasn't possible without an eardrum exploding. (FYI we are both 30 - so not just being wantonly Meldrew-esque!)

Other things - Jolley's Travel under the Winter Palace is good for trips. Group size is 10 max - although those who know their Egyptology might find the occasionally whimsical explanations and short time at each site a little annoying. If so, hire a taxi and go independently with a good guidebook. (The hotel can arrange a taxi). The tour operator trips they try to flog on the first day are expensive and rubbish.

Winter Palace Hotel - awful! We dressed up on Christmas Day to go for a festive drink in the admittedly lovely, old colonial bar but were thrown out (literally seen to the door) because my husband wasn't wearing a tie. The place was empty - it was really pedantic and quite humiliating.

Go to Luxor temple at night when it's illuminated - very atmospheric and fun.
Medinet Habu temple - beautifully decorated and quite spellbinding - not to be missed - a lot of people skip it but they shouldn't.

Oh, and I really wish certain British tourists wouldn't shame the rest of us by topless sunbathing etc/ flaunting themselves at the staff in an Islamic country. It doesn't assist cultural understanding and only causes problems for the rest of us .

Phew! Overall a great hotel in a lovely location with some of the world's most fascinating historic sights close by - I might go again this year!

The kids enjoyed it and so did we

from luxorfan
We spent last week in Luxor at the Sofitel Karnak. Having made our choice based on the usefull reviews on this website this hotel totally responded to our expectations. Huge, clean and well heated swimmingpool, nice gardens, lots of space and some very nice spots to watch the sun go down on the Nile. Food was nice too. Jacuzzi, sauna, spaceful rooms, well kept, good cocktails and professional staff. And yes, it is true that the animation in the evening is a bit out of touch, no bad word about the enthusiastic efforts delivered by this group of young people from Ukrain (?), but they didn't really get things going, could be the lack of interest of the people choosing to stay at this hotel.
Luxor was great too, thanks to the organising skills of Jane (see other reviews)and the many reviews with tips I found on this website proofed to be very usefull. Booking the well organised hot balloon trip (Sky Cruise - good pilote, safe feeling) by Karnak travel near the Winter Palace , crossing the Nile with captain Omar and his Cataract, renting a bicycle and going by bike to the temple of habsebsuth bypassing the little boys on their donkey, seeing some tombs, thanks to Jane, were busses loaded with tourists haven't yet found their way, having a particular guiding tour in the karnak temple.... It is true that all the security in the streets and at the hotels can make one feel unsafe over there and it's difficult to predict if and where the next attack on tourists will take place, but if this is the reason not to go to Egypt, you can as well avoid places like Rome, London, Madrid and all other turistic highligts. We were there with our two girls (11 and 13) and yes, they got quite a lot of attention, but never a moment felt unsafe or intimidated. So I can only say one thing : if you're hesitating to go to Egypt, don't ! The people over there, working in the hotels do a good job, work well and they will gladly welcome back the tourists that stayed away frightened by recent or less recent events. We let our youngest girl fill in the review from the tour organisor and when asked if she would consider going back to Egypt she filled in : 'most certainly'. Need we say more ? Have a good trip !

I would recomend this hotel

from A TripAdvisor Member
We have come back from a week long holiday in Luxor just before christmas. Stayed at Sofitel Karnark on half-board basis. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone who is planning to make a trip to Luxor. Despite it being few miles away from the Luxor city centre a free shuttle bus and the boat service that runs regularly can be used for commuting. We found the staff were very friendly, rooms were clean and the general facilities were to a good standard. The restaurant served a fairly extensive range of food on buffet style on different themes each day.
The room rates we got were very reasonable but I would disagree with the fact that this was categorised as a five star hotel.
There were few things we were not so pleased about. The AC unit in the room were noisy keeping us awake at night and the rooms we got were relatively smaller.

Excellent - We Loved it!

from AspectNorth
On deciding to visit the Luxor area for a holiday, we read many reviews on hotels in the area and on the whole, the Sofitel Karnak sounded the best choice. We were certainly not disappointed and the hotel exceeded our expectations. The hotel is located a few minutes outside Luxor, which to us was a definite advantage, as it was a bit of an oasis, in its own secure grounds, approached by a long driveway, flanked by lovely gardens. The hotel provided free shuttle bus & boat to take guests into Luxor, which was very useful. One of the biggest features was the rear gardens and pool area, which were lovely, providing a very relaxing place to chill out. The gardens were immaculate, with undulating lawns, sloping down to the nile, with views of the mountains beyond & dotted with palm trees & wooden sun loungers. Even when there were plenty of people out, it didn't feel crowded as the grounds felt so spread out, with plenty of quiet spots to relax. The pool was lovely, with swim up bar & the staff were very friendly & helpul and the rooms nicely appointed, with a Morroccan feel, although maybe not quite five star standard. Our room also had attractive domed ceiling and arched recess with sofa. Whilst the food may not be described as 'gourmet', we enjoyed it and it was of a good standard, with a very varied choice everday. Of a buffet style, there were soups, salads, with various hot meat & fish dishes and extensive deserts, offering enough choice to suit even the fussiest of eaters. Breakfast was impressive too, with wide choice from continental to ommlettes freshly made in front of you. In conclusion, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay & met some lovely people also staying there. We did visit a number of other hotels in the area during our holiday & without doubt, we think this is the best hotel choice. Virtually everyone we spoke to seem to love the hotel, with the exception of one 'winey' couple that probably wouldn't have found any hotel good enough. Sofitel's other hotel, the Old Winter Palace in the centre of Luxor was also lovely in a 'grand colonial' sort of way, but on visiting there for afternoon tea, we found the service & attitude left a great deal to be desired and certainly didn't match up to the experience at the Sofitel Karnak. We would certainly stay at the Sofitel Karnak again & wouldn't hesitate in recommending it!

Decent

from A TripAdvisor Member
Decent hotel, great clean rooms, nice hotel. Bars are generally quiet and not many Brits (not that I was bothered) but the attitude of the French guests was enough to make you angry! Nice swimming pool, food was not very good, room service served soggy chips and pizza, thankfully I'd taken some crisps in my suitcase to get me by. My partner eats anything, and even she couldn't touch the food! This wasn't limited to this hotel though, we spent a week trying to find decent food anywhere. Fortunately, we didn't have upset stomachs but I guess that was because we lived off walkers crisps!!

Overall a great place to stay, quiet, relaxing

A good choice.

from A TripAdvisor Member
A seemingly unbelievable good deal for a last minute booking at Sofitel Karnak with Libra Holidays turned out to be excellent value and exactly what we needed. We were impressed with Libra. Very slick.

We were very pleased we'd chosen the Sofitel (with the help of Tripadvisor reviews). We spoke to people who stayed in central Luxor hotels who hadn't had a decent night's sleep throughout their stay.

As previous reviews have indicated, Sofitel Karnak is far enough away from Luxor to ensure absolute peace and tranquility, yet the complimentary shuttle bus can transport you to Luxor in about 15 minutes or the boat (day time schedule) in half an hour. The taxi service will cost you £3 return if you want to choose your own timescale.

We're told it is the newest hotel in Luxor - opened in 2003. We liked it a lot. It is spacious, very well laid out, attractive well maintained gardens, pleasant comfortable rooms and the pool is wonderful.

Mozzies and other beasties with teeth are kept at bay by regular misting of the grounds. The flies can be a bit of a pest when sunbathing in the gardens overlooking the Nile, but hey, they go with the territory. Overall, a well presented laid back holiday experience and the staff in all areas were unfailingly helpful and pleasant.

The cleanliness of the entire complex and high hygiene standards in the restaurants are impressive. We were on a 'chill out' holiday so did not bother to eat elsewhere and felt entirely confident eating at the Sofitel. The buffet meals in the Opet cater for all tastes and offer a wide variety of acceptable (but not wildly exciting) food. In that environment, high hygiene standards and acceptable food suited us fine. We're not aware of any Sofitel residents being taken ill, although there were some sorry looking specimens on the plane on the way home who were unfortunate enough to stay elsewhere.

We'd seen most of the sites on a Nile cruise earlier in the year, so this trip was more low key. We made a point of visiting the Luxor Museum which we missed last time. Very impressed with the modern layout and beautiful presentation of selected pieces. The complete opposite of the shambolic dusty heap of wonderful treasures that constitutes the Cairo Museum.

Couldn't miss another wander around Karnak Temple on our own to soak up the atmosphere. Amazing.

We also went on the Lotus boat trip to Dendera to see the Temple of Hathor. Glad we did it as the Temple (and the crypt) were worth the effort, but it was a very long day (14 hours - the last four in the dark) and something of an endurance test. With a land based holiday, it was nice to be on the river. We were warned it would be chilly early and late at this time of year and it was most certainly very very chilly.

An absolute must is an early morning Hot Air Balloon trip over the West Bank. We recommend Hod Hod Soliman - a very professional operation with Bristol made and maintained balloons and equipment. No trip to Luxor is complete without floating over the Valley of the Kings and Queens and the various temples. Truly memorable.

Other reviews have pointed out that you can get your tours and trips cheaper by scouting round the tour operators in the town. That's fine if its how you want to spend your time.

These days, we take the view that our time on holiday is too precious to faff around. If we have a tour rep we're comfortable with and who isn't blatantly pushy, we play safe and book that way knowing it costs more, but if they give the service then we're happy to give them their commission and spend our time doing more pleasurable things than dredging for a bargain. Its all down to what the experience is worth to you.

Luxor proved to be an ideal winter short haul break. If we return we'd be quite happy to stay at the Sofitel Karnak again.

out of touch

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the sofitel karnak and 3 nights.

All the rooms are on 1 level, not a hotel to stay for over 2-3 nights. Found it a little remote from the main Luxor.

Rooms were ok, though not a lot of english people there. Mainly french people.

The food was excellent though, plenty of choice, buffet style, and theme nights i.e. mexican, chinese, around the world!

We had a noisy fridge in our room, kept us awake, along with some noisy guests!

Will probably not stay there again.

Absolutely amazing.

from dandeelion
This hotel is absolutely brilliant. Definitely worth spending it in a hotel on the outskirts of Luxor if you're after relaxing. The people are very accommodating, friendly, always willing to help.
The hotel has free shuttle buses/boat running regularly to the town centre. Taxi's are cheap. They will try to charge more as soon as they know your are a westerner, but be firm and negotiate to pay 10 Egyptian pounds from the hotel to Luxor. Let me know if you need any taxi drivers numbers that are guaranteed to do it for this price.
One of the highlights of the hotel is its pool - it's nice and spread out and also heated! and its open all night! As we went in november the sun would set by 5pm, by 6pm you would be swimming in a pool as warm as a jacuzzi under the stars. Bliss!
The rooms do come in different sizes, so if you are not happy with the standard size, do ask to move. They have other rooms with a sofa and more space. All rooms have a fridge and housekeeping try their best to please you. The only thing we had to pick with the hotel was the bath and its poor plumbing. Water takes a long time to go down, and it seems all the other rooms have this problem too. If you are tea/coffee drinkers, note that the rooms do not have tea and coffee making facilities.
With regard to excursions, we went to Jolleys Travel, next to the Old Winter Palace. Very nice people, the owner is called Ahmed and as long as you can haggle he will do you a better deal than the other agents. If you go with your tour operators, be warned you will be paying more than double the price!
Also be wary of the 'hassle free, air conditioned shops who claim they are offering 50% off',you will usually find these places through a guide/taxi driver. Their goods are excellent, however be ready to haggle and start at least half the price they start with. The people that take you to these shops work on commission of between 25-80% depending on the products.
The Sofitel's shops are not expensive like you would normally imagine, but again do haggle. But the prices they offer are similar to those you will find in Luxor.
Make sure you go on the hot air balloon ride, its an amazing experience.
Think thats it for now, feel free to get in touch if you need more information! All the locals we spoke to mentioned the Sofitel is the best hotel in Luxor, and within close enough reach of the town centre. Have a lovely trip..

Excellent - Will Return Soon

from tryme1
We got back from the Sofitel Karnak a few days back and thoroughly enjoyed staying there.

As one of the newest hotels in Luxor, it was spotless, with (as others have said) extremely pleasant grounds and a good sized pool. Staff were very friendly and the whole atmosphere of the place was exactly what we wanted. Relaxed and friendly. Can't be faulted.

It's location - a few minutes drive outside Luxor itself - might not suit everybody and sometimes the service was a little slow, but we felt this was part of the charm and we will return.

One word on the food - the seafood restaurant was top class, the food around the pool was spot on, but the main restaurant was mediocre at best. That was a little disappointing considering the quality of the hotel overall but there's plenty of reasonably good restaurants in Luxor itself, so it's not really a problem.

I noticed that one of the reviews on here felt that the rooms were small. Well, we were on the ground floor and the room was a good size with two twin beds, a desk, a sofa, an outside sitting area, bathroom/shower and plenty of storage space. We were particularly impressed with the room size.

We will be going back to Luxor in a few months and will return to the Sofitel Karnak.

We'd strongly recommend not booking trips via your tour rep. We used Jolleys Travel (just to the right of the Winter Palace if you're facing it) and sorted out trips for just the two of us and an Egyptologist for far less than the tour company was charging.

t fault it!!

from voyagerLeicesterUK
I'm a very fussy traveller, but I couldn't fault this hotel. The rooms were smallish but very clean and the room service was excellent. The gardens and pool were very pretty and well maintained. The gardens go down to the Nile with plenty of quiet places to sit. No mosquitoes to speak of either! The food was EXCELLENT with an amazing choice of deserts! The hotel staff were there to make the holiday one of the best I've had. The highlight for us was the complimentary boat into Luxor. As keen birdwatchers we saw a good variety of birds and the boatman drove as close as he could to the reed beds. We used the laundry too and the prices were cheap, so don't take an overloaded suitcase! The 3 day Nile cruise was very good value All the temples are visited, you just come back on the coach in a 3 hour trip. It was very hot 45+ degrees every day and not much cooler at night so I wouldn't recommend this location for young children at this time of year, but the aircon is very good! I would definitely return to the Sofitel karnak. It was just amazing value. I hope they don't put the prices up!
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Other names for Sofitel Karnak Luxor Hotel

  • sofitel luxor
  • sofitel karnak luxor
  • sofitel karnak
  • luxor sofitel
  • accor karnak luxor
  • Address: El Zinia Gebly Street - Luxor - Egypt
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