The Lotus Hotel

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HEPZIBAH
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The Lotus Hotel

Post by HEPZIBAH » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:35 pm

For anyone wanting to stay in a Nile side hotel, but on a reduced budget you may well find the Lotus is for you. I booked this hotel over 6 months ago through Booking.com - with the idea that if prices changed or my situation changed, I could cancel the booking up to 24hrs in advance and not have to pay anything. I have not stayed here before and was pleasantly surprised by it, in as much as that it exceeded my expectations.

My room was on the 5th floor, on the Sonesta facing side. I think this side of the hotel must get a lot more natural daylight than the other, which is much closer to the hotel the other side. The design of the building seems to make the most of each room having some view of the Nile and Theban hills behind. It was ideal for me as I love to get up and count the balloons up whenever I am in Luxor.

Although only about 70 rooms the hotel seemed a lot bigger, and yet didn't lose that personal identification and I felt comfortable there. I had a twin room and although not huge it would have been fine if I had to share it, (unlike some places where I have had a twin room that was barely big enough for a single). It was very clean and had a well laid out bathroom.
The dining room did let it down a little in as much as that it was so cold. However, it was a large space and did not get any real sunshine to warm it up, especially at this time of year, and the outside temperatures were cold over this Christmas period. Breakfast was a simple but adequate buffet - fairly standard for the rating of hotel in Luxor. It offered 5 approx hot dishes (aimed cheifly at those who appreciate a more Egyptian diet), plus omelettes, fresh fruit salad, yogurt, cold meat and cheese platter, assorted bread rolls and sliced bread for toast, and a selection of breakfast pastries. I did have an evening meal here having returned late one night, the food was good but as the only person in this cavernous room I did wish I'd ordered room service, but didn't think of it at the time. Although attentive, the waiters never tried to get over familiar.

During my stay, at the beginning there seemed to only be a few guests but it filled up for Christmas. There seemed to be an eclectic mix of people from different nations, some were regular winter visitors whilst others were just passing through for a night or two and others like myself staying for a week or more. There were single people, young and elderly couples, families, and friends groups - representing many different nationalities.

If I visit Luxor again I will certainly consider staying at The Lotus again.


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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by carrie » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:01 am

Glad you enjoyed your stay Hepzibah, I have friends who have stayed there year after year and all are usually complimentary.
One man I know had a fall there a couple of years ago and had to be taken to hospital where he stayed for over a week. The staff visited him regularly and were very kind.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by Yildez » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:59 am

Yes, I agree. I stayed there for a couple of weeks in 2011 and thought it excellent value for money. Since then, I've had much longer holidays in Luxor staying in an apartment, but I've visited regularly to use the pool - the warmest in town!! And a reasonable price for the day.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by A-Four » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:39 pm

When I gave up my home in Egypt, I certainly did not intend to give up visiting, therefore I needed some where to stay for one month in November and another in mid February, without any of the usual nonsense that came with renting a place in Luxor.

I took the risk of staying at a hotel in Luxor, but which one, I knew most of the big ones and their management. I did not want a discount. I simply wanted a clean healthy place, no creepy staff, good security, and no one allowed to stay unless registered at the hotel. It would help that the pool is heated, reasonable food both day and evening, T.V and fridge in the room, a good bed and if possible a sunny balcony.

The Lotus Hotel, Luxor was a government hotel for senior ciivil servants and military officers, and replaced an earlier such establishment on the Karnack Road. It was opened by President Mubarak, if you look carefully you will notice that a plaque, on the left hand side facing the Nile once commemorated this. I can honestly say, this is not the hotel I stay at, it is and has been my home in Egypt now for a number of years, when I am there, and proud to say so.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by Miss scarlett » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:11 am

Not tried the Lotus yet on our travels, but after these posts, think I should do so. Love swimming, but visiting in the winter months, many of the pools are icy cold. Is this one always heated. (Not in the summer of course!)

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by A-Four » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:47 pm

Miss scarlett wrote:Not tried the Lotus yet on our travels, but after these posts, think I should do so. Love swimming, but visiting in the winter months, many of the pools are icy cold. Is this one always heated. (Not in the summer of course!)
I have only ever noticed the pool to be cold for one day, the problem was fixed the same day, and the whole outside area is thoroughly is cleaned every day. Only once for a three day period did I find that only a cold breakfast buffet was available, but then again, I think only I and five others were staying there then.

One thing I have really learnt about the hotel and restaurant people in Luxor, and that is when times are bad yet you still come to visit, when the good times come, you are remembered and treated that little bit more special.

It is very rare that I recommend any hotel or restaurant, for the simple reason that things can change very quickly, as I am sure you may notice from recent posts on this forum.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by newcastle » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:58 pm

The Lotus was my first experience of Luxor and I was a frequent visitor for several years.

Plus points: central location; forecourt parking; great Nile views (particularly from rooms on North side); reasonably priced; handy for Little Britain restaurants.

Minus points : indifferent food; indifferent staff; rooms in need of refurbishment.

A day by the pool meant long waits for attention from bar staff. Possibly they were too absorbed watching the antics of middle-aged matrons and their gigalo day guests - for which the place had something of a reputation.

I haven't been for some years...after a friend was groped by restaurant staff and management was more concerned that she'd popped down to the restaurant for a coffee after having had a breakfast box earlier!

Good to hear there's been some improvement...but I wouldn't go there again.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by BENNU » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:18 am

newcastle wrote: I haven't been for some years...after a friend was groped by restaurant staff and management was more concerned that she'd popped down to the restaurant for a coffee after having had a breakfast box earlier!

Good to hear there's been some improvement...but I wouldn't go there again.
Yes, it is nice to hear that things have improved.

Some years ago, I stayed there for a couple of weeks between flats. Nice room, great view, but noisy, poor breakfast and the other guests felt that they had to protect me from the staff with their shocking behaviour. A woman came to me and said that she and other women had been sexually offended by a waiter who was obviously very rude to me. I experienced nothing like that myself, only disrespect and gossip about other paying guests. There was nowhere I could relax without feeling intimidated by the staff, not even the room. An agreable waiter recognised me from my East Bank days and took me under his wings; on his days off, I skipped breakfast.

Other staff members apologised that the rudest person was someone's nephew and they knew that he had no respect for any foreigners. They also explained why things were the way they were, one thing they told me was that only the hotel's own cars were let inside the area because they did not want their guests to use outside drivers. Noone was allowed to help me with my heavy luggage, unless I booked a tourist car through the hotel. I had a lot to carry, so I walked twice all the way to the street and waited for my regular taxi driver who could not even stop for a few seconds in front of the gate. I had no other choice than to carry some luggage down the street and leave it there, while I went back for the rest. The reason why they had all this empty parking space in front of the building, they told me, was that the neighboring hotel had bribed them not to spoil their view, and provided an architect for free, someone's brother, who had come up with this solution.

When they learned that I just needed roof over my head until I could move into my new flat, they told me how Lotus was my hotel and that I should tell all my friends on the West Bank to come and stay. I am sorry, I forgot that.

That was nearly seven years ago. Like Newcastle, I am pleased to hear that things have changed.

PS: Last time I went to use the ATM just inside the entrance, I was told that it was for hotel guests only. I used it anyway - the lack of respect was mutual.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by HEPZIBAH » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:05 am

I am sorry to read that other people have had problems at this hotel, albeit somewhat historical ones. Perhaps they should have written about this in Places Not Recommended. (Please excuse me if you have as I have not checked there before writing this post.)
I can honestly state that I did not experience any of the negative things written about by others on my recent stay. Staff were courteous and helpful. My airport transfer drivers dropped me off/met me at the front door and my luggage was handled by the hotel porter. My regular taxi driver did not come on to the hotel car park, but that was by my choice.
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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by Who2 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:01 am

The Lotus used to make their own quite good bread that one could buy in Arkwrights.
Owned by the Army I believe.... 8)
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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by newcastle » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:05 am

HEPZIBAH wrote:I am sorry to read that other people have had problems at this hotel, albeit somewhat historical ones. Perhaps they should have written about this in Places Not Recommended. (Please excuse me if you have as I have not checked there before writing this post.)
My departure from using this hotel predates my membership of this forum....otherwise I might have.

Besides....places change; management/staff change.

I daresay the leaking aircon unit which dripped on, and wrote off, my laptop has been repaired or replaced. ;)

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by BENNU » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:27 pm

newcastle wrote:
HEPZIBAH wrote:I am sorry to read that other people have had problems at this hotel, albeit somewhat historical ones. Perhaps they should have written about this in Places Not Recommended. (Please excuse me if you have as I have not checked there before writing this post.)
My departure from using this hotel predates my membership of this forum....otherwise I might have.
Like I said, I am happy to hear that things have changed. I did write about some episodes with the staff once, I do not remember under which section. It is historic and has been pruned.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by Hafiz » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:54 pm

Posters need to be cautious in criticizing this hotel.

If Army owned it is subject to the general media blackout on all army matters including commercial ones.

In addition, under a recent presidential decree military law and tribunals cover all offences committed in, on, or against public facilities, roads etc. https://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/ar ... acilities/

There is also the criminal offence of ‘spreading false news’ which carries a stiff jail term. Trip Advisor is warned.

Military law applied to a military ‘facility’ (very broadly defined) means summary trial in secret and no rights to legal representation or appeal.

Therefore I suggest we all agree it’s the best hotel in Egypt.

In fact I think the hotel is actually owned by the police which might account for the alleged groping although no-one has reported a virginity test so maybe the police have been less than typically vigilant. I think it used to be called the Police Hotel with a police clientele and has been 're-badged' in the last decade.

I think the actual army Luxor hotel is further north on the Nile . There don’t seem to be any TA groping complaints against it.

For those who would like to stay in one of the many army hotels in Cairo, which sadly don’t get much marketing, consider a booking at this palace in Nasr City. http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/on ... tary-hotel. Unfortunately no alcohol which might limit its interest to tourists. For those wanting to be patriotic this sacrifice would be a small price to pay.

There are also other military hotel options in most Egyptian cities but finding out about them is a bit difficult.

Whether police or army owned, some of the hotel workers are likely to be conscripts and this should provoke sympathy as much as scorn. The police are famed for getting access to the only the worst conscripts which might lead one to prefer army establishments if you want to avoid unwanted intimate inspections.

If army owned the hotel doesn’t pay any taxes, maybe not even import taxes, so even if bookings are low the margins should be patriotically flabby and insolvency almost impossible. Surely good for tourism. Whether the police hotels enjoy this tax benefit I don’t know.

If the Lotus is owned by the police one should bear in mind that the President has publically referred to the Egyptian police service as an out of control ‘million-man mafia’. (I think he may understate their actual staffing levels.) http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/ ... revolution.

For those wanting to make a patriotic financial contribution to the Egyptian police service, the Lotus Hotel is a must.

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Re: The Lotus Hotel

Post by newcastle » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:30 pm

:snig:

And you call me cynical Hafiz!

And yes...the Lotus is wonderful. You're never lonely at the Lotus ;)

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