The number one selling point of this hotel - and the reason I chose it - is that it is connected directly to Cairo airport, so no need to negotiate the phalanx of touts to get a taxi or shuttle. It is a little bit of a walk, and not sign-posted very well, but eventually I found it. Upon arriving I could not identify reception, but as with virtually everything else that happens in this hotel - if you stand still for a single moment someone on staff will be on you to direct you to the right location.
I believe this hotel will be a 4 or 5 in a year's time, but at the moment it is still a three in my mind for a variety of reasons, the main one being that there is only one proper restaurant in the hotel that is actually open ( despite three being advertised) and that is EVOO. However, at that restaurant I had one of the worst meals I've ever had in a hotel. For the rest of my stay I was forced to eat all the rest of my meals at the Sports Bar which sort of worked out a whole lot more cheaply for me and I thought the sandwiches were decent. I could see the renovation going on at those other restaurants, but at the moment they are not open. Nor is there anything else within walking distance, unless one wants to backtrack to the airport. I would have dearly liked to eat something else for dinner, but it wasn't meant to be. Breakfast at EVOO was great, however, so I give them that. I probably lost some weight on the trip as I was hungry virtually the entire time with very limited options.
Some of the positives - the pool was absolutely ginormous and well heated. Since the hotel is a virtual ghost town at the moment, I had it all to myself. More positives - the wifi was free and worked probably more than half of the time, which is better than most hotels I stay. Another positive - the staff, including the unbelievably charming women working reception. They are definitely representing the Le Meridien brand well. One more plus - the rooms are very clean and modern, comfortable, and spacious.
Now, some of the glitches - the card readers in the lifts don't work very well, and I had to trudge over to reception to get new cards made. I feel like that is unacceptable, especially when coming from the pool in shorts. Get those things fixed! I also heard others complaining.
There are no information books in the rooms whatsoever. That is usually the first thing I seek out in a room to see what amenities are available at the hotel and surrounding areas. Nada, except for the limited information available on the TV system.
One more thing - one almost needs a doctorate to figure out how to use the combination knobs for the shower massage/bath/rain shower, etc. After puzzling over it for quite some time I found that I liked the rain shower, but it took a while to get that debugged.
So one more bad thing - the rooms are noisy but mainly because all doors slam and the noise comes right into the room. It's a new hotel - why couldn't they design it with slowly closing doors that don't make much noise? Elevator noise is sort of loud also. I also don't think the thermostat gauges in the room are calibrated correctly - I set the temperature pretty consistently wherever I go but at this hotel I had to ramp it up a couple of degrees because it got to be freezing in the room very quickly.
So, I guess that's it. It's a relatively new hotel and they just need to polish the rough spots and they will be in consistent 4 and 5 territory. For now though, they simply aren't there yet.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Your Gateway to Egypt's Discovery. Le Méridien Cairo Airport offers 66 club floor rooms with a dedicated club lounge, 264 deluxe rooms, 9 studio suites, 9 panoramic deluxe suites and 1 presidential suite. All rooms and suites are fully soundproofed, smoke-free, and feature the Le Méridien signature beds. The refined and modern design creates a perfectly relaxed experience. A combination of complimentary WIFI + cable connection coupled with the latest technology makes it easy to conduct business if necessary. ... more less
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