We booked our 7 day break (B&B) through Airtours, just after the hotel changed ownership from Le Meridien to The Nile Palace. Any concerns we had that the transfer may affect standards were unfounded. The hotel was superb – an oasis of calm in the chaos of Luxor. Staff were always attentive, polite and friendly. Standards of cleanliness were very high.
We had a room looking over the central courtyard, and whilst we were tempted to upgrade to a Nile View room, we decided to stay put, and were more than happy with our decision. The entertainment ran from approx 18:30 to 22:30, consisting of dancing and a whirling dervish. The entertainment was the same every night, but it did at least provide some atmosphere, whilst either sitting on your balcony, or having dinner.
We ate mostly at the Italian restaurant – Casa Di Napoli. The waiters were always attentive, without getting in the way. Food was excellent, and even the Egyptian wine (Obelisk) was not that bad. Prices were very reasonable (£3 main course). We never tried the Lebanese restaurant, just never appealed to us. We ate at the buffet (Nubia) 1 night, and it was fine, lots of choice – great desserts. The poolside restaurant (Tropicana) was good, and again the staff were very accommodating, letting us sit anywhere we wanted to get the sun. After dinner we generally relaxed in the Nile bar area, where we could chat, read and relax with a coffee/tea(90p). At first the lack of tea/coffee making facilities in the room was annoying, however, it was very pleasant (and cheap) to spend the late evening using the hotels facilities. There was also the Arabesque, which was the open air tent serving Egyptian food barbequed which we wish we had tried. Finally, there was the Café Des Delicies, in the main courtyard, for a quick snack, or treat (chocolate ice cream was wonderful). Breakfast was more than adequate. One tip – there is a chef who makes your choice of eggs/pancakes etc… for you. He does get grumpy if you go up 3 times though!
We were recommended to try the Italian at the Sonesta St George next door, but were unimpressed, by both the restaurant and hotel. We nearly booked the Sonesta to stay, and I am glad we never. The prices were higher, the food looked good, but was bland (hard for Italian). I even had the wrong main course delivered to me. The hotel seemed too pompous, and I never felt relaxed whilst there. Also, a lot of the rooms just faced the side of our hotel, whilst all the Nile Palace rooms faced something, either full Nile view, side Nile view or the courtyard.
We were package holiday novices, and were left unimpressed with Airtours. Lack of organisation at the airport on collection and in general about what to expect. Which brings me onto “baksheesh” – tipping. The major issue we had throughout the holiday was the constant hassle. I should say that this was all outwith the hotel. We booked an organised trip to the West Bank through Airtours, collected at 06:45, back by 16:30. The sights were magnificent, Valley of the Kings, Queens, Workers, Madinat Habu, but the constant hassle was exasperating. Even within the tombs, a so called “guard” would invariably try various tricks to get you to tip him, as he had done you an (unwelcomed) favour. I wised up and kept my hands in my pockets, so nothing could be forced into my hand. Refuse all offers like taking a photo of you with your camera. Even at the airport, the checkin was run by airport officials and there was a man, not officially dressed, putting your bags on the scales to weigh. The 3 elderly ladies in front of us ignored his request for a tip, and got charged £42 for their luggage being 7Kgs over. I gave him 1 Egyptian Pound (10p), our bags were overweight, but this was waved off due to the tip. We were gobsmacked. Do not let the touts put you off, but you always have to keep your wits about you, and keep small change with you.
If you have the chance, do try riding a camel followed by a sunset boat trip on a “felucca” down the Nile – memorable. The early morning hot air balloon trips looked wonderful, but neither of us are keen on heights, so passed. Visits to Karnak Temple, both during the day and for the Sound & Light show at night would be recommended, as would be a trip to Luxor museum – small but interesting.
Overall, very impressed by the hotel. The sights were wonderful, and the weather tremendous. It will be hard to go somewhere else in the future when we next look for some winter sun.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Our Steigenberger Nile Palace Luxor Hotel, It is a 5 stars hotel has a unique location amidst relics of a 7000-years-old civilization, in the heart of Luxor, only 1.5 Km. From the temple of Luxor and 10 Km. From Luxor Airport. Guests can enjoy a marvelous view of the mighty Nile in addition to the cliffs of the Theban Mountains on the western bank where the valley of kings and Queens lie. The hotel offers a variety of service and facilities, 11 conferences and break out rooms that can host up to 2000 participants, among other things. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Steigenberger Nile Palace Luxor Hotel Luxor
- Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel Luxor
- Nile Palace Luxor
- Luxor Steigenberger Nile Palace
- Le Meridien Luxor
- Nile Palace Hotel Luxor