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“Just Like the Old Days”

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Windsor Hotel Cairo
Ranked #24 of 144 Hotels in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 January 2010

Staying at the Windsor on Alfi Bey Street in Cairo's colonial downtown, it's easy to imagine the 1952 Egyptian Revolution never took place. British accents ring out in the clubby Barrel Bar as aged gents in old school ties peruse newspapers on reading sticks.

Everything here is as it was before the Windsor's famous sister hotel, Shepheard's, was burned to the ground just across the street. This is not hyperbole. The manned elevator, the telephones, the switchboard, the furniture, even the shower fixtures...all original, for better or worse. This is not a refurbished place, redesigned and updated to appear colonial, this is the real deal, so if you want mod cons and luxury look elsewhere.

The neighborhood also retains a similar faded colonial glory. It's only a short walk down Alfi Bey ( be sure to stop at the historic Alfie Bey Grill) to Talat Harb, the great theatre and shopping street of pre-revolution Cairo, which is still lined with art deco cinemas, hotels, and apartment houses, in varying states of decay.

We stopped at the Windsor twice during a two-month stay in Egypt and were treated like family both times. All of the staff have worked at the Windsor for a very long time. Sabah and Imam, two sisters who serve in the restaurant and bar, are a particular delight, brightening every breakfast with their big smiles. After hours, Wagdy, an expert barman of the old school mixes his drinks with a touch of class. There are few places in Cairo I'd rather be than at his bar with a cold libation in hand.

If you are new to Cairo, look for Samir Fayek at the desk and he will tell you how to get where you want to go in the cheapest, most efficient manner. Many people you meet in Egypt will try to sell you overpriced tours or drivers when you don't really need them. Samir is not like this. When we told him we wanted to spend a day in Mar Girgis (Coptic Cairo), he told us where to hop on the subway and where to hop off, just across the street from the Hanging Church. He will not try to mislead you into purchasing transportation you do not need, which is a very refreshing concept for Egyptian hotels.

But if you would like him arrange something, he is top-notch. Samir made our first visit to the Giza plateau something we will never forget. Please do not get your first glimpse of the pyramids after climbing out of a packed tourist bus and standing on line for tickets only to be molested at every turn by hawkers inside. Ask Samir to set you up with a couple camels. You will leave from the Giza stables and approach the pyramids and sphinx slowly, across the desert. Thanks, Samir, for making our visit to Giza so wonderful.

Stay at the Windsor, you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: December 2009
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1  Thank Maynard_G_Crabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 December 2009

Dark parquet floors, French doors, polstered sofas and deep armchairs - the Barrel Bar welcomes and intrigues. It offers free internet connection, Egyptian wine and cuisine, a British colonial ambiance, while posting a Boston College pennant on the wall.....

The rooms, at least the ones I have stayed in - ALL with a small wooden porch facing the street cafe are pleasant and clean . So are the beds and the towels . True it can be noisy, if you choose to sleep with the doors open - as I did. And the ancient bathrooms can use a shape up, but for the price the hotel location and the services are wonderful.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank MISUBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2009

We stayed here for 3 days and we had a great time. The hotel was clean, the staff was very friendly, and the location was very central (only 15 min walk to the Egyptian museum). Whenever we needed anything, from keeping our luggage at the hotel, to restaurant recommendations, to what we should be paying for things, the staff was ready to assist us. In particular, Samir Fayek was extremely helpful. He gave us great recommendations when we went to Alexandria and was very helpful whenever we needed anything.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank dudeman127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2009

We just got back from three days in Cairo and it was amazing. The Windsor Hotel is a charming, older hotel set in an authentic Egyptian neighborhood away from all the tourist traps around the Nile. You can literally walk around for hours eating at the Egyptian restaurants and smoking hookah without seeing a single Westerner. Our Tour Guide while we were there was Samir Fayek and I would highly recommend him. As college students, he understood that we had a tight budget but Samir still showed us everything we wanted to seeing in Egypt. We saw a mosque in the Dead City, rode camels around the Pyramids at Giza, went through the Egyptian History Museum and much more. Overall great stay!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Travler51051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2009

This hotel is amazing. It's ancient, yet still caters to the modern traveler.
Unlike other hotels that are situated on the edges of town, this one puts you right in the heart of it all.
The staff is very friendly, great service.

We hired a tour guide for our trip named Samir Fayek. He put together an absolutely fantastic trip and made sure we were happy at every moment. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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Thank fluffothesheep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2009

This was my first time of staying at the Windsor Hotel after using a number of hotels in Cairo and I won't be going any where else. To me this is what a hotel should be about. Friendly, effecient service, helpful staff and a bar with great atmosphere. Is it as clean a stuffy five star hotel; of course not. Stay in the Marriot etc if you want a spotless room in a hotel with the atmosphere of a morgue. If you really want to experience Egyptian hospitality, go to an Egyptian run hotel. Mr Phillipe provides an excellent driver service, should this be required. My drive was also extremely polite and so patient when meetings dragged on. Enjoy the Hotel, enjoy the bar, then step outside and enjoy Cairo

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled on business
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Thank Markonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2009

Walking into the hotel I felt as if I was walking into a 1920's movie set! I was greeted by a friendly receptionist and was shown a couple of rooms in my price range and one above it. I ended up choosing the one above my range room # 513 because it had a tub and tile on the floor. I had lunch in the beautiful bar most days or a Turkish coffee in the evenings. It was a definite getaway from the hustle of the city. It is centrally located in Downtown Cairo. Four blocks from the Aqaba metro stop. There are no TV's in the room and though I was on the top floor you can still hear the street sound below. Breakfast is continental if you want an omelet it's about 20 pounds. You can not bring outside guests into your room and their is a rotary phone in your room with an antique telephone switch board @ reception. Don't book tours @ the hotel. It is overpriced and it's not really a tour, it's a driver who will take you to places, a tour guide will cost extra. This place is not for those looking for a cookie-cutter place, each room is different so when you go please ask to see the rooms before you choose. This hotel has character!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled solo
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Thank NorCalYo415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Windsor Hotel Cairo

Address: 19 Alfi Bey Street, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Cairo
#14 Romantic Hotel in Cairo
#18 Business Hotel in Cairo
Price Range: £24 - £41 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Windsor Hotel Cairo 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cairo Windsor Hotel

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