An Oasis in a hassling city! The owners appreciated feedback and I Let him know in the morning about fixing the paint splattered tiles (ubiquitous in Egypt!), dodgy light, slightly blocked sink and TV not working, little things in the end in an otherwise comfortable, almost luxury, at a very good price Euro30 for three, in big beds,. They opened the new building adjacent in July 2010 and hope to have a bridge between the two buildings to accommodate parties and belly dancing (not my scene but good luck to them). They set to fix the problems that afternoon! We were guided there by a patient taxi driver who we did not trust at first (as usual) but who turned out to be a good man (and not a maniac on the road too!). Breakfast (good continental with 'American Tea' - teabag in cup with hot water - I explained the difference) on the roof overlooking the Nile and camels was a highlight, sunset would have been great too but we missed that (saw it another evening and swarms of birds flying downstream, spectacular!). We ate well in the restaurant, meat was the best we had in Egypt, although my Beef Curry and Bombay Potatoes was a bit like school curry! The owners are hard on their waiters and charged him for the meatballs that never arrived (despite his having written the order down) and the carrot salad never turned up too but we were so full both would have been too much!! We reimbursed the waiter and gave him a tip! They do try hard. Whilst other hotels (in the guides) were fully booked on Xmas Day night (we arrived at 21.15hrs after trying full hotels with a French family of four stuffed in a seven-seater Peugeot - that was the patient taxi driver - Mohammed - +20(0)1243 71132) they had empty rooms as they are not listed. We were MOST grateful that they did not rip us off and the room was the best of all our holiday. They restored our faith in humanity actually! The constant low background hum of the big Nile cruisers should be gone when the docks are moved upstream soon. They also produce a really useful leaflet - in real English - for tourists which we could have done with earlier! The website says it all with pictures. They say wi-fi in every room but we did not get it in 202, but they will soon. From the hotel you can walk into the countryside within a few minutes upstream along the Nile, great place to unwind and watch the bird-life at the backwater. The ferry is 200m away downstream, very convenient for popping over to the busy, noisy, hassle of the main town, although we did not bother as the peace just kept you there in the hotel! I gave them tips on how to get a star rating and they were very amenable to any advice. BTW El Mesala is Obelisk in Arabic. When it gets more popular then it may be more difficult to be accommodated at very short notice at peak times!!
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