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“A place to sleep - Good value, quiet and central”

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Talisman Hotel de Charme
Ranked #56 of 138 Hotels in Cairo
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A place to sleep - Good value, quiet and central”
Reviewed 3 May 2009

I spent 4 nights at the Talisman Hotel during the Easter weekend in 2009. The hotel is in Downtown Cairo, which is a very specific neighbourhood of this huge city, developed around 1900 following the European (Parisian) model. The European influence (and associated prestige) has apparently declined drastically in the last 50 years, but the buildings are still there and it is still where a lot of people go shopping; it is really busy in the evenings which I enjoyed. The hotel itself occupies the 5th floor of one of those European style buildings just off the main shopping street, Talaat Harb, and was tricky to find: there a sign outside the building but it is small and burried among many others. It is not well known locally whereas everyone knows the Marriott, Hilton, etc. It is within easy walking distance of the Egyptian Museum (if you don't mind crossing a huge boulevard by foot) and a 10 -minute taxi ride of Khan El-Khalili, the famous market (alternatively, one can walk to the market in around 35 minutes, but there a few big roads to cross on the way; it allows you to see the Western part of the market, which not many tourists see). Despite the very busy neighbourhhod, none of the city noise (not even the prayer calls) reached my room, which was 'court side' rather than street side. The hotel decor, which is mostly achieved by paint, has a slightly exotic and dramatic Mediterranean feel designed to appeal to Western tourists (at least in my mind). I had a single room, which had a small bed, desk and relatively large bathroom and air conditioning, which I only had to use one evening but was quite noisy. There was also a bit of electrical noise coming from the courtyard. The furniture is of good standard but it's definitely not 5* level. The breakfast is a european-style buffet, which was ok (and surprisingly quiet!). There was one free-access PC with internet in the hotel's 'library'. There are no other services: it's basically a place to sleep, a base from which to explore the city centre. Payment is in Euro currency only (no cards, etc): Egyptian pounds are definitely accepted and others too possibly, but everything is calculated in Euros. I paid in Egyptian pounds, at a rate that I think favoured the hotel, so I paid two currency exchange fees: from GBP to Egyptian pound when I took money out of my UK bank account and the hotel's Egyptian pound to Euro fee. So if you do not come from the Euro zone, my advice is to get enough Euros at the best rate you can before leaving your own country and give it to the hotel!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank UKLouLou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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193 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 (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2009

We stayed at the Talisman for 3 nights in April 2009. This hotel is a hidden gem, it is in the middle of downtown Cairo in a fantastic location. Close to restaurants, shops,transport and 10 min walk to the Egyptian museum. The hotel itself is very quiet, clean and the staff are very helpful with directions for attractions and restaurant recommendations. Would definately stay here again

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Duck2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 March 2009

We just came back to Japan today.
We spent two days in Cairo and stayed two nights in Talisman.
All the staff were very kind and helpful.
The Location was in the centre of town. So it is easy to go sightseeing.
What I really like in Talisman is that the rooms used a traditional Egyptian decore.
The breakfast wasn' t good though. Very basic for the room price.

We really thought we had a good choice!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SaoriA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 March 2009

Absolutely loved this hotel! The star rating is way too low and doesn't fit this hotel at all. Gorgeous decor, excellent service and very polite and friendly staff. Mostly French speaking, the staff made us feel more than welcome. Not the easiest place to find but the location is great if you really want to get a feel for downtown Cairo. Our room had 2 balconies with double doors so no noise problems. We stayed 4 nights and loved every minute of it. Free internet access, great breakfasts, amazing decor!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MaryanneNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, PA
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2009

This is an Arabian nights type of place. If you really want to experience Cairo in a lovely downtown "home-like" place, and not in the isolated sterility of a metal and glass tower, you must give this a try. First, the location. The Talisman is not easy to find. It is located off the busy Talaat Harb shopping street, in a short pedestrian only shopping alley. You walk up the busy alley and turn through an old entrance arch. Walking down the short corridor, facing a Singer sewing machine store, you turn to your left and are facing an antique, open-shaft wooden elevator (with manual double doors) that is installed in the open stairwell of this old french influenced apartment building. Taking the elevator, you exit on the fifth floor to a lovely, welcoming, elegantly decorated small hotel. Decorative rugs, paintings, tapestries and furniture are throughout the many public sitting rooms, library (with free PC & internet access), and in the room we stayed in, and the other rooms we peeked into. Our room (#7), was large, clean, nicely decorated, and quiet (save for the prayer times throughout the day) The staff was VERY courteous and helpful. The continental breakfast included cereals, yogurts, danish and croissant, toast and fruit. Hamdi El-Shora (with Adventures in Egypt) was at the front desk to arrange any number of things (for us, dinner reservations and advice), to more extensive tours (we did not use him for any tours as we had just come off a 10 day tour) My wife Cathy and I stayed here four nights on our own at the end of our exceptional 10 day tour of the country with Go Ahead Vacations and Atef Hassan. We wanted to be downtown, within walking distance of major sites (an easy 15 minute walk to the Egyptian Museum), and we wanted to really experience the vitality of Cairo. If you love cities, do not mind crowds on the street, and want to feel immersed in another culture, this place is for you.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank K&CYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Talisman for 3 nights while in Cairo and absolutely loved it. It is a lovely, small hotel with lots of charm and good service. Everyone was extremely nice and we felt it was a great bargain for the price. It's in a great location to get anywhere in the city. We even had a balcony on our room that overlooked the street. We would recommend this to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank TravelMonkey814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2009

We recently visited Egypt to celebrate my 40th birthday. Having been there before I wanted to explore some of the western deserts, mountains of Sainai and of course Cairo.

All together we stayed at the Talisman for three nights over the course of our two week trip. The rooms are exceptionally comfortable, tastefully decorated and very clean. The showers are awesome and above all the breakfast was wonderful and nothing like I have experienced elsewhere in Egypt. With it's exciting location I can't recommend this hotel enough.

We organised the rest of our trip with Hamdi el Shora of "Adventure in Egypt" who is based at the Talisman. I have organised trips with Hamdi before and he helped my wife and I plan a bespoke trip to Alexandria, Siwa, Baharia and a western desert safari. We had an amazing trip through the deserts and the whole thing felt like a real adventure. Hamdi's team are reliable and well organised and the hotels we stayed at were good, considering where we were. The desert drive from Siwa to Baharia was incredible and our Bedouin guide was really great.

We returned to the Talisman for one night to celebrate my birthday and Hamdi even gave me a huge birthday cake !

Something we also did with Adventure in Egypt, which my wife particularly liked was have a female shopping guide for the day. This was great fun and more like a local friend rather than a guide and she basically took us to wherever we wanted to go and was very friendly and knowledgeable.

All in all a great place to stay and organise your trip from with no hastle or pressure.

  • Liked — It was clean, reliable and great breakfast
  • Disliked — Nothing really
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank MartinHP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Talisman Hotel de Charme

Property: Talisman Hotel de Charme
Address: 39 Talat Harb Street, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 138 Hotels in Cairo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Talisman Hotel de Charme 3*
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Talisman Hotel Cairo

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