Sofitel Karnak Luxor
El Zinia Gebly Street, Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
A Haven of peace on the Banks of the Nile
On arrival the security is excellent including a guarded entrance gate & even member of the tourist police on duty. The lobby reception area is cool & inviting with the Moorish Cafe & Carters bar. The reception staff are friendly & helpful they got us checked in quickly. Our room was 1200 with a huge king size bed with Egyptian cotton sheets the rooms also had a large wardrobe and draws & safe. The bathroom had bath shower sink & hair dryer. It also had a sitting room with fridge, Lcd tv with 35 channels including German ,french Arabic & 5 or 6 English speaking channels including cnn news & 3 movie channels playing many recent & older movies . The air con was also fully working & at no extra charge. Breakfast was held in the amazing Opet Restaurant name after the ancient Opet festival the room Had replica pillars with reliefs & a replica funeral barge complete with mummy in the centre of the buffet area. Breakfast was varied & delicious particulary the cooked to order omelettes we had most mornings. There are cereals, Fruit & fresh salads & various cheeses to be had with sausages beans roast potatoes & other hot buffet foods. The only thing missing was bacon but as is a Muslim country fully understandable that it is not served . Overall we had a lovely stay & recommend to others. The staff including Mr Gamal Hassan ( the hotel gm) Ahmed ( reception manager) were all helpful freindly & made us feel welcome.
Unique Quality: The pool area is lovely & the surrounding gardens are full of wildlife including birds & lizards. The hoopoe birds have little legs & long beaks see photo below. The bees are huge & brightly coloured. The pool is cool & inviting although warm. There is an activities desk were you can get a ticket to go to Luxor either by Bus twice a day or our preferred trip down the Nile by boat. Along the way you see Kingfishers, Ibis ,Herons, Cows & donkeys as well as banana trees that are always in season & sugar cane. The trip takes in views to the valley of the kings, karnak temple & Luxor Temple. The thing that makes this hotel so nice is that although it isnt as luxurious as say the Hilton it is Arabic & set on just 2 floors. The grounds, The staff & of course the sunset views in the evening from the Sundowner bar are spectacular. The hotel is just so peaceful & even the cleaners wowed us with towel sculptures every day. Mr Hassan has a lovely hotel & is a break from an average holiday in Europe. We also met some lovely people who regaled us of their trips to Aswan ,Abu Simbel & Cairo all of which we will visit next time. The Hotel is outside luxor about a 15 min taxi ride, so is also quioet except for the Imams call to prayer which is actually very atmospheric & quite beautiful at sunrise but didnt really disturb us as we expected it too.
Directions: Off the beaten track 15-20 mins outside Luxor Overlooking the Nile & Valley of Kings west bank mountains.
'La Shukran'. I repeated it over and over again as the traders crowded in on us. They were draping silk scarves over my wife and they were getting too close to her. It means No thank you in Arabic. No thank you I do not want a ride in your horse and cart/felucca or taxi. 'La Shukran' to your alabaster vases, your basalt sphinx, your carved wooden head of Tutankhamen. Once walking blindly away from the market at the exit from the valley of the Tombs. I walked straight past both of the Crocodile brothers, almost shouting 'La Shukran' at them. They both laughed at the fact that they were the very people I was looking for.
Our first introduction to the hassle that is a feature of tourist visits to Luxor came the very first time we stepped out of our hotel, the Sofitel Karnak. Tarek Crocodile offered us taxi rides to wherever we wanted to go and told us what a good honest man he was. We went into the little supermarket next door and the owner, Mohammed, told us Tarek was 'a maniac' and did not have a good taxi. However the absurd prices in his supermarket meant we ended up going everywhere with Tarek or his brothers for the fortnight. The first place he took us was an ordinary Egyptian supermarket where we were not asked to pay £5 for a packet of crisps- it was more like 15p.
The Egyptians have begun to realise that the frequent hassle that tourists experience in small towns like Luxor is spoiling the image of their tourist trade, so they have introduced the Tourist police, specifically to help tourists and make them feel less intimidated. Twice on our holiday we met members of the Tourist police and both times they attempted to extort money from us. It's not really working is it?
Official excursions are hassle free and you have your own guide but they are also ridiculously expensive. The Egyptians seemed to be out of touch when it came to pricing things or just stupidly greedy. A fairly ordinary bottle of wine in the hotel cost £20. If we can buy wine shipped here from Chile for less than £4, why is the wine they make in their own country so expensive? In our second week we entered the month of Ramadan and the wine shops outside of the hotels were all forced to close.
English tourists that have been to the country before have left their marks. The most asked question is 'Where are you from?' The answer 'England' often receives the reply from the Egyptians 'AsdaPrice' or 'Lovely Jubbly'. As one small boy in the pool said on our last day, 'Why do they all say that? No one in England says that any more.'
The Sofitel Karnak is supposedly a five star establishment. In actual fact it is more like a two or a three star hotel. Our room had a radio that last worked when Tony Blackburn did the breakfast show; a bath that leaked through an enormous crack; and when we arrived, it took us half an hour to even find the room. Entertainment in the hotel was a rather bored belly dancer on Wednesday nights in an amphitheatre that was ridiculously underused. Channel 1 on the TV in our room was a series of pictures of the hotel which listed all kinds of services, about half of which were not provided and those that did cost extra. The music on the channel was a series of unbelievably cheesy romantic songs from the 1980s. The hotel provides a free shuttle boat into the town which allows you to see the town from the Nile. Naked children swim up to the boat from the shore to beg.
In the 1970's a frequently purchased present to help kids learn about history was the Jackdaw. A Jackdaw was an A4 sized folder containing fact sheets, photos and facsimile documents about some event or other. The most popular Jackdaw in 1972 was Tutankhamen's tomb. It was compiled by Magnus Magnusson, the world's most famous Icelander and later compère of 'Mastermind'. The reason for its' popularity was the visit of the Tutankhamen treasures from Cairo to the British Museum, which 8 million people visited. I cannot imagine any child today wanting a Jackdaw for their birthday like I did in 1972.
The visit to the Valley of the Kings really was impressive and made up for me missing the exhibition in 1972. Tutankhamen's mummified remains and sarcophagus are still there. A small, leathery, wizened boy lies under a blanket with dark wrinkled fingers and toes. This, plus the temple at Karnak and the treasures at the Luxor museum made the whole trip worthwhile. Luxor itself feels like a huge open air museum that reveals a civilisation that lasted far longer then ours has or will in the future.
If you go to Egypt then you have to expect to lose at least one day of your holiday in the company of your friend, Mr Toilet. They do have excellent pharmacies out there though. Watching other tourists coping with the conditions can be great fun. A couple arrived on our second day from Manchester that were determined to party. They spent the day ordering Pina Coladas and the night drinking 'a bottle of voddy' on the banks of the Nile. We did not see them for two days after that until we saw them still looking a strange shade of green and telling their friends that the meat at the hotel was bad.
In the evenings we ate the hotel buffet in the Optec bar. It was always accompanied by one of the stars of our stay, Ahmed Taha, the sous Chef at the hotel. He would seek people out, play jokes on them, tell them how nice they looked and just be an absolute pleasure to be with. He provided a pretty faceless hotel with a human face, and one that was always smiling.
Towards the end of our stay it became clear that the hotel had become the cheapest item on Teletext and the new arrivals who had come for a week's Bed and Breakfast had little idea why Luxor should be their holiday destination other than the price. One young girl, laying in the 42 degree heat was offered all the various services available at the hotel's beauty salon. Her request, 'Have you got a sunbed' was met with a dazed look of misunderstanding and incredulity.
As we lay in the sun and watched the Nile float past us, our cleaner toiled daily in the rooms. The cleaners here work their way towards a tip by creating all manner of shapes out of the towels and sheets for you to discover when you return to the room. We had hearts and flowers, a sphinx and even on the last day, a crocodile. It was somehow a fitting tribute to Tarek and his brothers; like all those Egyptians whose friendliness and sense of fun had made it such a good holiday destination.
It's so good to know that I have so many brothers in Luxor, and it's sad that I will never go back.
Directions: North of the Town
sofitel karnak luxor
My daughter and I stayed at the sofitel karnak, back in sept 08, and we can honestly say it was a lovely hotel, with very clean rooms.what u see when you book is what you get!.
the grounds, gardens etc.. are very well maintened and the resturants are good too, the main buffet resturant caters for everyonrs taste!.The staff are very helpful too and cant do enough for you and there not pushing like some are in other hotels in luxor.
My only problem would be that its quite away from luxor town and u need the hotel bus!, or a taxi, but if you like it quite and away from the hussle and noise you would very much like this hotel.
we will defiantly go back to this hotel.
Unique Quality: swimming pool is fantastic really really big, and views of the nile are breath taking.
I travel a lot and stay in many hotels around the world mainly the far east so Luxor is close to home being only 5 hours flight and ideal for a short holiday.
The hotel is a little unusual as you first approach it by taxi from the airport, one tip is forget the transfer bus as its only 10 mins by taxi and costs less than E£20.
The hotel complex is low level being either ground floor of first floor accomodation. The rooms are bright and clean, well laid out and overall quite good. Reception area smart and clean with a feeling of quality. Resturant is excellent with food that can only be described as high quality and varied albeit self service. Staff are excellent and evening entertainment limited but enjoyable and relaxing. Situated 4klm outside Luxor city its quiet and ideal after a day sightseeing, but at night sit in one of the rooftop bars and lookout over the nile and in the distance can be seen the lights from the valley of the kings as the warm (hot) wind blows across the nile.
Overall I would rate it Perfect, I loved it.
Unique Quality: Location
In fact everything was excellent in every respect
Mediocre hotel in a horrible city
This hotel is a mix of very good and very bad. The location of the hotel was mixed as well. the hotel is out in the middle of nowhere, which is good because the town of Luxor is a horrible place to walk around and to be. To get to the hotel is about a 15 minute drive from the town of Luxor and about 20 mintues from the airport partially on a dirt road in the middle of an agricultural area. Now this may not sound to good, but the town of Luxor is even worse! The streets and sidewalks are dirty and in horrible condition. Everyone is either trying to sell you something or just plain take your money (with or without you consent). Not a very relaxing environment. So, the hotel is a bit of a sanctuary from that living he**! Even though the town of Luxor is horrible the sights are definitely worth seeing.
The hotel is quiet (except for the call to prayers 5 times a day from the local Mosque), with very comfortable, but in need of updating rooms. The service though was lacking in our wing. The bathroom was barely cleaned, usually they did not replace our towels, and they never replaced the dirty glasses. In fact, our friend in the next room asked one of the service people for clean glasses and they came into the room and pointed to the dirty ones and said there they are and left. Also, we had a used ice bucket in our room for 3 days. On the other hand, friends of ours in another wing of the hotel had great service and even had their towels made into cobras or swans everyday.
The breakfast buffet was mediocre at best. The scrambled eggs for example were drowning in their half-cooked selves, very unappetizing. And, because we had booked around new years we had to pay and have dinner at the same buffet for three of our five nights. It too was mediocre and I think everyone got sick there to some extent, a few of our group very much so. The restaurants in town were not better. They are typical tourist places where they know you are not coming back again and serve the lowest of lows at a premium.
Unique Quality: The pool area and gardens are beautiful. By far the most outstanding feature of the hotel.
The hotel does provide a free shuttle from the hotel every hour into Luxor stopping at Karnak Temple and a few other key stops and does a return trip as well. However, it has limited seating and if you miss it you have to wait an hour for the next one or take a taxi. Note: you should not pay more than 20 Egyptian pounds ($3.50) to get from the town of luxor to the hotel for the whole cab, not per person, remember to negotiate
Directions: A 15 minute cab ride from the center of Luxor and 20 minutes from the airport. In the middle of fields on the banks of the Nile.
Not what I expected
What a disappointment. I would definitley not recommend this as a five star hotel - more llike a 2.5 to 3 star at best. When my husband and I checked in (at about 6pm) , we were given a twin room - not a double room like we booked. There was no electricity in our room due to a flown fuse or something. They did sort this out after about 40 minutes. It was now quite dark and we are looking forward to a shower and dinner. The bathroom was dusty and dirty - looked like it had not been cleaned in ages. Thank goodness we only spent one night here. Requests that we made to change to another room were denied and when we asked to speak to the manager on duty we were brushed off.
Far from the madding crowd...
I have just returned from 14 nights at the Sofitel Karnak... chosen specifically as a result of the excellent reviews it received on this site.
I have to admit though that I found it slightly disappointing - I have stayed at several hotels in Luxor and Sharm el Sheikh over the last few years and hand on heart I wouldnt rate the Sofitel as a 5 star by any stretch of the imagination. It would say that at a push I would rate it 4 stars but it was more like a good 3 star place.
The hotel itself is on the far outskirts of Luxor, reached by a track that doubled as a building site whilst I was there. The hotel provide a boat into Luxor three times a day and a mini bus service 9 times a day. If you want to go to Luxor outside these times a taxi costs 15 LE.
The rooms are nicely furnished, albeit small, and have a TV and mini bar. Room and Laundry service are available.
The hotel has an excellent Kids club called the Baboo Club and this is the best part of the hotel service. If you have children then this is definitely a good choice for you. The club runs 9.30 to 12.15 and then 14.00 to 15.00. They do lots of interesting things like take the children on boat trips across the Nile, fishing on the Nile, Treasure hunts etc. On an evening there is a Childrens disco for 20 minutes at 21.00.
The worst thing about this hotel was the service. Every morning when I got down to breakfast there wasnt a cleared table to be found... just the remains of everyone elses breakfast... and this was at 7 or 7.30 am. I had to search out clean cups, cutlery etc myself and then struggled to catch the attention of staff to get coffee. Not what I expect of a supposed 5 star hotel.
The grounds are very spacious with plenty of sun loungers but again the service is poor. Therer were always the remains of yesterdays drinks lying around... water bottles on the grass and empty glasses. No one seemed to clear up before the next day began.
Small quibbles but I found it really annoying and spoiled what could have been a good hotel.
Unique Quality: Spacious Pool area and grounds
Directions: Outskirts of Luxor
Best hotel in Luxor
We stayed at the Sofitel Karnak from 01 – 15 June this year and each day we congratulated ourselves for making such a good choice.
The hotel gardens are really lovely and extremely well looked after – it really is a picture at every turn.
The main pool with swim-up bar is excellent, there are plenty of comfortable sun beds with mattresses and parasols. During the morning and again in the afternoon there is water aerobics and water polo. At the towel station it is possible to borrow or hire a multitude of games or sports equipment – there is also a book exchange library. A little further away on the lawns going down towards the Nile there are more sun beds, from these you have a great view over the Nile towards the West Bank and the Valley of the Kings et al. Close by there is a further children’s pool with small waterside and magic mushroom water fountain.
Directly above the Õ Nile restaurant is the Sundowners Bar – this is open from about 4pm until midnight serving drinks and shisha pipes – this as the name suggests is a great place early evening to watch the sun set with a drink or two. Do be aware though that due to its close proximity to the Nile there are a few mosquitoes around. That said the hotel does a really good job of keeping them under control – they have plenty of electric fluorescent flying insect traps around and each evening they mist around the grounds and during the day and wash down all hard surfaces (walkways) with mosquito repellent. Don’t be put off by the thought of hordes of mosquitoes they are well behaved, or dead.
Finally, do I recommend Luxor – yes, and I will be going back, but only to the Sofitel Karnak. To be honest it was the only hotel we have been to where I would have been quite happy to stay for the entire 2 weeks without stepping foot outside. It was only as we were getting to the end of the first week that we realised we really ought to make the effort to see some of the sights.
Unique Quality: Drinks etc – the bedroom minibar is very reasonably priced with drinks being the same as you would pay at one of the bars. Inside the main hotel building the main bar is Carter’s Bar – this is where the main evening entertainment is held and in actual fact isn’t too bad – experienced far worse in Cypriot hotels. They do try to vary it a bit with either a duo or group of four providing both Arabic and European music and songs. This is interspersed throughout the week with Karaoke evenings or Limbo dancing or Casino nights – the animation team do very well and provide just the right level of enthusiasm for their audience. There is also the Moorish café situated off the lobby which serves all types of drinks from mid-morning until late into the evening. Prices for drinks are I think good for Egypt and this class of hotel – certainly cheaper than at home. A 500ml bottle of Stella was E£18 and Sakhara was E£20. Alcoholic cocktails were all priced at E£35 and from comments I heard seemed to be good and have a fair quantity of alcohol in them. Diet Cola, Sprite and similar were I think, E£9 each for a 330ml can. The exchange rate whilst we were there was E£10.66 to £1 sterling.
Likewise if you wanted to eat during the day – meals could be ordered from the Palmerie Bar (pool bar) these were very good value – for example pizza with salad and French fries was approx E£34 and an enormous beefburger with salad and French fries was E£32.00. The menu was quite extensive ranging the sandwiches to steak and chicken fillets – none of it too expensive.
Transport into and out of Luxor is a commendable 11 times per day ranging from approx 0700 in the morning through to the last minibus back from Luxor around 1830 in the evening.
PS - I checked out all the other main hotels, Old & New Winter Palaces, Sheraton, Hilton (dump), Sonesta St George, Le Meridien & Movenpick - the Sofitel Karnak is definitely the best - don' believe me? - then pay a visit whilst you are there and you won't make the same mistake twice.
BEAUTIFUL HOTEL, GORGEOUS GARDENS, FRIENDLY STAFF
We spent two weeks at the Sofitel in Karnak. and it was first class all the way. the food (buffet style) was good with plenty of variation, always something to suit the many different nationalities. The staff were very helpfull the rooms were always clean and tidy, plenty of space in the gardens for sunbathing and the pool was cleaned every morning, The childrens pool was set to one side were they could splash around to there hearts content while there was plenty of loungers for we older folk to soak up the sun. Two boats were provided to take you to Luxor (free of charge) and would bring you back, there is no better way to arrive at your hotel after a days sight seeing than down the Nile by boat. We give the Sofitel 10 out of 10 in all catagories. Most highly recommended.
John + Dot
Unique Quality: Great gardens, stunning views, excellent pool, Hillarious caberet, comfortable rooms and very friendly staff, especially the two boys who took us to Luxor in the boats. The photograph was taken from our balcony
Directions: On the banks of the Nile Karnak
More about Sofitel Karnak Luxor
Hotel locate to ashore river Nile. For me this was nice to be near real Egypt nature,countryside and the hear sound of donkeys, cockc and dogs.
Just walk out from Hotels gate and you are midle of countryside.
ps. The most cheapest water bottles are out of gate located local shop. Pool is warmed, views to river Nile. Italian food theme with dinners was good.
HOTEL OK, NOT THE BEST NO ATMOSPHERE NO CHARACTER
WE STAYED AT THE SOFITEL KARNAK LAST NOVEMBER.
THE HOTEL ITSELF WAS NOT TOO BAD, THOUGH IT HAD NO CHARACTER OF ITS OWN.
clean, complex on one level. ok for a couple of nights not for a week.
Also the hotel was quite a way from the heart of luxor, it was on the outskirts so you could not walk into the town, quite remote.
THE FOOD THOUGH WAS EXCELLENT, BUFFET STYLE AND A GREAT VAREITY PROVIDING A DIFFERENT ONE EVERY NIGHT, ONE NIGHT MEXICAN, CHINESE ETC.
Our room was basic and the fridge kept keeping us awake coming on and off!
Not a lot to do in the hotel, only the pool and a couple of shops in the hotel.
would not stop there again.
Sofitel Luxor Hotel of Egypt
Nile shore with Hotel Sofitel Luxor
Clab Sandwich of Sofitel Hotel Luxor
Baby needs, Sofitel Karnak, Weather
we will be travelling to Luxor in April with our then nearly 11 months old daughter. Firstly I would like to find out if it is possible to buy baby food and nappies in Luxor or if we are better off taking everything ourselves? Please help! Then I would like to know if anyone can tell me what the hotel Sofitel Karnak is like and what we'll have to expect from the weather in April?
Many many thanks.
RE: RE: Baby needs, Sofitel Karnak, Weather
Luxor is a small city that you can drive around in little time. Sofitel is a fine place to be in especially that it is close to one of the best historical sites in the world (Al Karnak). It is on the nile as well which is very inspiring with the warm breeze at sun set.
Cheers and best of luck.
RE: RE: Baby needs, Sofitel Karnak, Weather
Many thanks for your replies. That helps a little. I am sure we will enjoy it and have a fantastic time. I can't wait.
RE: Baby needs, Sofitel Karnak, Weather
hi we are in sofitel karnak in april 17th 1 week are you there then
RE: Baby needs, Sofitel Karnak, Weather
Click on the link below to see my report and photographs - do not choose any other hotel. Have a great holiday.
RE: Baby needs, Sofitel Karnak, Weather
Sorry - missed the link off my last message - please click below - if that doesn't work copy and paste.
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Sofitel Karnak Luxor
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Sofitel Luxor
- Luxor Sofitel
- Accor Karnak Luxor
- Sofitel Karnak Luxor Hotel Luxor
Address: El Zinia Gebly Street, Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt