This is without doubt a fantastic hotel. …everything including the rooms, food, service and facilities is first class.
We stayed here for two nights during a whistle-stop tour of Egypt and couldn’t have been more pleased. Admittedly, we paid extra for a Nile view room but I’m sure that all of the rooms are equally well appointed. Unusually for us, we ate in the hotel, and although it’s not cheap, the quality of the food and service was way beyond our expectations.
Our room had a bedroom, sitting area, two TV’s, sofa, desk and chairs, really big bath / shower room and loads of cupboard space. A view over the Nile topped it off nicely.
Although we had a fantastic stay and did the usual tourist sightseeing (highly recommend the pyramids, obviously), we found Cairo a little daunting. This is the only place in the world that we’ve been to that we didn’t feel comfortable walking out and doing our own thing – not that it feels unsafe, it’s just so vague. Maps are wrong or non-existent, there doesn’t appear to be a city centre, and everything is just so congested, hot and frantic that we ended up hiring a guide and a car (very cheap – probably the best way to get around). We were told that Cairo has 27 million people (excluding the unregistered): I can’t verify this but it’s an enormously populated city crammed into a reasonably small space.
One thing that got me about Egypt in general is that unless there’s money involved, nobody wants to know. This is probably a bit contentious but from what I could see of all the historical sites in Cairo and Luxor, they’re only maintained because they generate cash. Everyone holds out their hands for tips – even in places where a service charge is included. People demand money for using the toilet (just don’t pay unless it’s an official pay on entry facility), and they’re mostly just scammers watching for tourists….just say no. I was even asked for money by one of the tourist police at the pyramids for taking a picture – so just imagine how much help they’d be if you found yourself at odds with a trader! Noting is priced and having to negotiate every single thing gets a bit tiring as you know you’ve probably been done over….
Don’t let it put you off though – it’s a great place to visit, just be aware that you will get hassled and be prepared to ignore it. Funny thing is, if they didn't hassle people so much they'd probably sell more but I guess they don't understand other Country's culture too well. The other thing is the so called “Egyptian time”….complete rubbish. It’s not a quaint cultural thing at all, it’s just bad service. This hotel can deliver good service, so I don’t see why other places can’t as well. Do what you’d do anywhere else and walk – the service soon gets better.
As others have said, alcohol in the hotel is expensive, but it is everywhere. I don’t think the ratio between the hotel and the shops is that far away from that in the UK, but wine seems to be a novelty here. It's worth noting that none of the staff in the hotel asked for tips, or even hung around expectantly. In my book, these are the people that you DO tip!
We’d definitely go back to this hotel again if we were in Egypt.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Contemporary in design and ambiance, situated near the Nile; set among the Belle Epoque and Art Deco facades of Garden City. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Hotel Cairo At Nile Plaza
- Four Seasons Cairo
- Cairo Four Seasons