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“One of the nicest places we've ever stayed”

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Le Riad Hotel de charme
Ranked #45 of 137 Hotels in Cairo
London, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“One of the nicest places we've ever stayed”
Reviewed 22 May 2011

Quite the experience at Le Riad in Cairo. Unfortunately, we only stayed there one night but what a beautiful place to stay. The location is wonderful; we enjoyed the morning sun on the rooftop while enjoying breakfast and then experiencing the markets in the evenings during a night time stroll. The rooms (yes multiple) were spacious complete with a seating area, 'office', bathroom and bedroom. Highly, highly recommended.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DMastron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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68 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2011

This boutique hotel is like an oasis in the midst of a city suffused with heavy traffic, heat and dust; and true to its name, it is very charming with carefully designed interiors straight out of a glossy magazine. It has in fact been featured in at least one glossy travel mag placed on each room’s coffee table!
Located in the heart of “Islamic Cairo” quite a long taxi ride from the downtown area, this hotel is probably only suitable for those wanting to immerse themselves in an intense Cairo experience over a few days rather than those just on a short stop over for business or to see the pyramids. That said, a 3-4 day stay in this location is probably enough; we spent our remaining 3 days in Cairo enjoying the various 5 star comforts at the Sofitel Cairo El Gizirah, which we can also recommend!
Taxi drivers often didn’t know how to find this hotel (we were driven all over Cairo by the airport taxi on day 1 much to the driver’s growing frustration), so it’s worth downloading travel directions before arrival. Better still to also have these written in Arabic by the ever-helpful hotel staff so that you can make your way back when you venture out of the walled enclave. Although becoming lost in the nearby narrow lanes of Khan Al Khalili can be fun in the daytime when it is a colourful buzzing bazaar.
Also noteworthy about being in this area is that there is not an alcoholic drink to be had in this hotel or in any of the restaurants elsewhere. So if this matters, bring in your own duty free alcohol to pop in the hotel room’s fridge. Otherwise local brand beer and wine can be bought in ‘Drinkies’ outlets located in the downtown and Zamalek areas of Cairo.
The need to cover-up to avoid unwanted attention, especially for women, is probably also greater in this more traditional Islamic area than elsewhere. So best to pack light trousers or long skirts etc also taking into account the heat, as these are hard to buy locally.
As well as being incredibly stylish, the hotel’s suites are very big, although their layout isn’t very efficient. We’d booked a ‘superior’ executive suite but found that despite it having a very large comfortable bedroom, the TV was in an adjacent sitting room. Preferring to watch TV from bed when on holidays we downgraded to a ‘standard’ suite, to then find it only had reception for Al Jazera channel! This also had multiple rooms, but at the expense of the bedroom size. No balcony, but figure you wouldn't probably sit on this much anyway. The rooms all have huge bathrooms, air-con and laptops with free wifi connection, which was very convenient.
Rooms on the upper levels are also probably best to avoid street noise and being woken at 4am by the calls to prayer from the mosque right next door, and the 50 or so others in the near vicinity! However all rooms have double glazed windows, which were effective in minimising outside noise. This has the added advantage of being near the very pleasant roof-top garden where we chose to have breakfast each morning. Although Nespresso coffee costed extra (5 USD each!), the inclusive fresh orange juice, cheese, pastries, eggs, yoghurt and fruit made for a great start to the day.
While another reviewer questioned this hotel’s value for money at 240 Euros/night, we only paid $210/night for the superior executive room, and in retrospect only needed a standard room priced at just $170 through booking.com, which certainly constitutes good value for what was a unique hotel experience in a very unique part of Cairo.

Room Tip: Upper level, south eastern aspect, standard suite
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sydneygal007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
58 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2010

The upside: Le Riad is absolutely stunning. BTW, it is owned by the same folks who own the Talisman, where I stayed at the beginning of my Egyptian adventure. Le Riad has outdone themselves in their decor. My room (#7) was HUGE; it started with a sitting room with large flat screen TV, an office with small balcony walkout, including laptop computer. Separate bedroom, with king sized bed and gorgeous linens, plus another sitting area. Fantastic bathroom with the best towels I had on my trip, and great accessories. Utterly stunning rooftop garden, and a gorgeous "tea room" off the dining area. Under normal circumstances, it could be considered a 4-5 star hotel. Except for one massive problem: its location.

Here’s the downside: Its placement at the edge of the Khan el Khalili market means that to get there, any driver has to deal with the maze of streets in that area. None of them want to do that. The hotel claimed it could provide drivers to its guests, except that when I asked for one, they could not back up their offer. They did, however, track down a cab for me; it took three of them to negotiate the cab fare to Zamelek. The cabbie on the way back refused to drive me in, and dropped me at the other edge of the Khan el-Khalili market; it took me about 45 minutes to walk back from where he dropped me. The cops who helped me couldn’t believe the cabbie had done that!

The location is also at issue for the time of the week I stayed there; a Wednesday and a Thursday evening. Thursday nights in Cairo are the equivalent of Friday nights in North America; the start of the weekend. The noise from the street “party” was so loud that my 32-decibel rated earplugs could not keep it out, nor the thumping music beat in my room. It was unreal; like being in the front row of a rock concert. On other nights you are subject to the market noise, but more on par with a Times Square kind of constant sound, not the insanity of that weekend all-nighter.

I had no hot water for the first 12 hours or so until we finally discovered that the heater for my room was not on. The promised laptop in the office area could not keep its internet connection. The technician who was up in my room told me this happens a lot.

Breakfast was beautiful. Dinner was not. For dinner, they offer a choice of three different meals for dinner, that have to be booked in advance: Indian, Egyptian, Moroccan. Might as well pass on it. They ordered in from a nearby restaurant, it arrived lukewarm, and I got someone else’s order LOL. The staff argued with me that I had, in fact, ordered it, however, upon investigation with the restaurant, they realized I was not lying. They were smart enough to remove the charge from my bill.

This was an old warehouse that was converted in a "gentrification" attempt. The rooms are up on half levels; there is a small set of about 6-8 stairs to access each level. Apparently, the elevator works only half the time. So: if you have any mobility issues, this is NOT the place, no matter what day of the week.

So here's my ultimate impression: when an Egyptian-style hotel (as opposed to the western chain hotels) charges me 240 EUROS per night, I expect much better than that (their sister hotel, the Talisman, was about 125 Euros a night). Essentially, what I paid for was the interior decorating. If I had to choose between this place and their other hotel, the Talisman that I initially stayed in, I would actually choose the Talisman! Or, for those dollars, I would, indeed, choose a western hotel, such as the Marriott (which was gorgeous, BTW).

While the hotel was gorgeous, the noise and the hotel's inability to provide a level of service that lives up to the visuals and the pricing left me disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank flyinmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rockstar1975
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2010

le riad, hotel de charme, delights! as a lover of boutique style hotels, i have stayed in countless around the world and le riad is one of my favorites. the decor and ambiance is tasteful, authentic, unique, elegant (but not stuffy)... imagine staying at a diplomat's private residence. the rooftop garden is an oasis amid the exciting muiz li din allah street (steps from the big market). cleanliness is bar none. and the personal touch is evident from the details to the attention paid to guests to the little treats waiting in your room each afternoon. as a single female traveler (who does not speak egyptian) i felt safe, comfortable and very well taken care of and would have loved to be there with someone special. you cannot ask for more!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rockstar1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2010

Very charming hotel in the center of Cairo in the "Islamic" part.
Rooms are stylish, elegant, clean, and spacious.
Staff is very nice and sweet.
We even got en little welcome/ Xmas present with my husband.
The library on the top of the hotel on the roof gives a great view on the surroundings.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank asnpko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geneva
Level Contributor
56 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2009

Located in the heart of old down town of Cairo, where you are neighboring the bazar of Khan El Khalili and the most beautiful mosques and monuments from the Islamic period, the hotel is astonishingly quiet. Don't miss a walk in the night to enjoy the lighting up monuments !
We were impressed by attention to the details in the hotel, huge showers in marble and a personnal computer in each room, with a wireless internet.
As we learned from the receptionnist, the hotel was designed by cultured people. You even can notice a french touch ! Our suite was perfect, elegant, confortable and clean.
Each suite has beautiful fabrics on the furnitures and a different theme, even " Cinema ".
The staff is proff, multilanguage with good and smiling service.
We truly enjoyed our stay and were amazing from the place. We will return soon.
Definitely worth the trip !

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angeltwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Riad Hotel de charme

Property: Le Riad Hotel de charme
Address: 114 Muiz Li Din Allah Street, Old Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 137 Hotels in Cairo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Riad Hotel de charme 5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique and exclusive charming hotel in the heart of Islamic Cairo. 30 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes walking distance from the souks of Khan el Khalili. Only 17 suites inspirated by the cultural heritage of Egypt and decorated with different styles and colors. Le Riad with its comfortable lounge and amazing roof garden provides you all the luxury of a five stars hotel and all the privacy of a second home. ... more   less 
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