Cairo Hotel Tips by Tijavi
Cairo Hotels: 12,470 reviews and 468 photos
Beyond having what could be the most enviable hotel location in Cairo - right smack beside the Egyptian Museum - the Nile Hilton has nothing else good to show - except old age, fading interiors and lousy service.
Age would have been a manageable factor, after all, hotels, like people, can grow old with grace - and wisdom. But not Nile Hilton - exteriors need a fresh coat of paint (at the very least), furniture is so 70ish (or even 60ish?), and the salesmen at the hotel's souvenir shops think they're still in the Middle Ages in Khan el-Khalili, harassing you to view their merchandise.
Service is as bad. My reservation, booked through the Hilton website, clearly indicated a non-smoking room with large single bed. Oh no, the front desk personnel insisted I would love the room he was going to give me - yeah, it just reeked of cigarette and had twin beds. So I had to request a room change - to a room that would had been hip and funky in the 70s.
Perhaps it's high time for this Cairo institution to retire or undergo a massive facelift.
Unique Qualities: The hotel's redeeming factor is its breakfast buffet, although service is clearly below par (unless you're blond and blue-eyed, so I've observed - no offence to Caucasians).
Address: Tahrir Square, Cairo
Comparison: more expensive than average
Other Contact: Don't bother
Phone: Don't bother
Osiris' smallish but clean room
I discovered Hotel Osiris through Tripadvisor - it was listed as the best hotel among 81 listings for Cairo (across all categories). I'm usually cautious about so-called 'independent' customer reviews, but for this one, I thought I'd give it a try. It's not easy to search for the hotel's website (and I never found it prior to my trip), but luckily, reservations could be made through travellerspoint.
This was probably one of the best decisions I've made for this trip. Not only is the hotel centrally-located (about a 10-minute walk from Midan Tahrir, close to American University in Cairo (AUC)), but the rooms were clean, although a bit smallish (hey, this is a budget accommodation). I got a single room with T&B and paid US$ 25/night, inclusive of standard breakfast of toast, jam, coffee and crepe (the French twist to an otherwise boring breakfast). The best part? I loved their crisp linens, comfortable bed, and yes, pristine towels - comparable to those of the Hiltons and Sheratons.
What's more, the couple (Nabil and his French wife Josiane) who owns and runs the hotel go out of their way to make your stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. They could also arrange transportation service for you if you want to see the sights within and around Cairo - at very reasonable cost. I asked them to arrange a taxi for me to go to Saqqara, Dashur and Giza, and I paid EGP 120 (~USD 21) for the entire day's trip.
Unique Qualities: While a budget hotel, the crisp linens, comfortable bed and pristine towels are 5-star. Level of service is also outstanding. Highly recommended.
Address: 49 Nobar St (Bab el-Louq), Cairo
Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: From Mohamad Mahmoud St (where AUC is located), turn right at Nobar St. The hotel is on the 12th floor of the same building as City Mall (a department store) at the corner of Nobar and Mohamad Mahmoud.
Phone: +202 794 5728
Theme: Bed and Breakfast
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