My 65 year old dad and I (24 years old) decided to go to Cairo on a very last minute compulsion to travel to Egypt, a dream of my dad's for 65 years. We were very happy that Hotel Osiris had room for us only three days before our arrival and was able to arrange for us to be picked up at the airport for $15. We decided to stay in this hotel because it came so highly recommended in Lonely Planet and as a compromise between a top-end hotel, which my dad wanted, and a budget hotel, which is what I'm accustomed to when I travel and usually enjoy. As it turned out, both of us were largely pleased because it provided the services and comfort (except for the water issue... see below) of a nice boutique hotel and the friendliness of a good hostel.
Like a previous poster mentioned, there was a water problem at Hotel Osiris and we arrived the day before the water was shut off. While this did not significantly disrupt our travel (they provided water for flushing toilets and taking sponge baths), it made our stay somewhat less comfortable. Also, we were scheduled to stay here for three nights at the beginning of our trip and an additional night at the end of our trip. We ended up canceling our later stay because we really wanted a place to shower before our return home. If we had known that we could have taken a shower at another hotel while at Hotel Osiris, we would have likely returned.
Now on to the good things.
Breakfast was served every morning with or without water. It was a simple continental breakfast, though the addition of the crepe made it a little more special. Of all the hotels I stayed in in Egypt, Hotel Osiris served the best breakfast.
The location was pretty good. The immediate neighborhood was pretty bare, but it's a five minute walk to the action. This can not be said enough - Cairo is very safe, especially this area, and we always felt safe. You're a five minute walk from the main square in Cairo and the American University. Lot's of good eating options from here, especially Koshari Abu Tahrir and Taboula.
The rooms were comfortable and I actually thought that some of the beds were more comfortable than my own bed. On top of that our room was clean. My one complaint was that there could have been more windows in our room, though I realize that the hotel has very little ability to control that.
The hotel also arranged for our great tour of the three main pyramid sites of Saqqara, Dahshur, and Giza. Don't get me wrong, Giza was great, but I was impressed by Dahshur. I didn't know that Dahshur existed before coming to Egypt, but I am so glad that we were taken here. It's a little bit out of the way, but make sure you go to Dahshur, even if you go with another group. Our guide, Heny was a true professional and was very open to talking about many aspects of Egyptian history and had some insight into what it was like living in Egypt today. I would recommend that everybody use this tour, even if it was a little expensive (about 850 LE for the two of us). Really, you're going to pay a lot for these sights anyway, so you're only paying about 150 LE extra per person ($25) for the guide.
One of the owners was able to secure overnight train tickets to Luxor for us too for barely any additional cost. We paid an extra $20 total to arrange our tickets through the hotel. On a side note, if anyone is questioning taking the train to Luxor, I highly recommend the overnight train. My dad and I are light sleepers but we slept great on the train.
On top of all of this the owners were very friendly. One afternoon after our pyramids tour and before our train to Luxor, my dad and I were too tired to walk around Cairo or do much else, so we sat in the lobby and had a long conversation with one of the owners. She was lovely to talk to and had some great things to say about her travels.
My dad and I ended up staying in a "boutique" hotel on our final night in Cairo. While it was nice and in a slightly better location, it was twice as expensive as Hotel Osiris, and didn't provide all the amenities that Hotel Osiris offered. I had a brief conversation with another guest at the hotel who said her guide for the pyramids, arranged by the hotel, spent two hours taking guests shopping when they explicitly said they didn't want to and completely missed out on Dahshur.
Overall, despite the water problems, I enjoyed Hotel Osiris. When I return to Cairo I will definitely stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Osiris was recently built with a unique oriental inspired style, giving this place a special charm and cosy atmosphere, making you feel at home. Clean, quiet rooms, comfortable beds, air conditioning, internet cafe. Outstanding Top Roof terrace with a panoramic view of Cairo and delicious homemade Egyptian food. Managed by Josiane & Nabil, French & Egyptian, English speakers - the Hotel is strategically located in the heart of down town Cairo, by the metro & Egyptian Museum. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Osiris Hotel Cairo