We stayed in this hostel for three nights while we were in Cairo. We arrived late at night and had some difficulty finding the hostel. When we finally found it and walked into the building's lobby, we thought we had the wrong place. The hotel is on the fourth and fifth floors of the building, and the lower floors of the building seem to be largely disused with a broken lift, lots of rubbish lying around, random people from the street hanging around smoking, and some stray cats.
Luckily we made it to the reception desk and the night manager confirmed that he had received our booking (we had pre-booked through hostelworld) and got someone to show us to our room. Our room was down one flight of stairs and when we reached it we realised that we had been given a twin room with a shared bathroom, rather than a double room with an ensuite, even though we had booked and paid a deposit for a double room with an ensuite on hostelworld. When we went upstairs to tell the manager he was quite unapologetic. He basically said that all the rooms with ensuites had been taken and then shrugged his shoulders and said 'why do you need an ensuite, you have three bathrooms you can use.' This wasn't really the point but it was too late at night to find another hostel so we decided to stay (I suspect that they knew this would be the case and that influenced their decision to give the ensuite room to someone else). Because they had messed up our booking, the manager offered us a 'special discount rate' on the room with the shared bathroom. However, he refused to take the deposit we had paid on hostelworld off the cost the room as 'that money goes to hostelworld not the hotel'. This meant that he was actually charging us more than we would have paid if we had booked the room through hostelworld. We we raised this with him he basically suggested that we should not care about the $6 price difference as that would barely buy a cup of coffee in our country. It was a very frustrating attitude. He eventually agreed to deduct our deposit from the cost of the room but it took a long time to get him to agree to do this.
The other issue with this hostel is security. As I mentioned above, the lobby of the building is really dodgy, it opens straight onto the street so anyone can come in. We were on the fourth floor of the building, one floor below reception. There was a locked door between the hostel rooms and the publicly accessible hallway of the building and there was a sign on this door stating that the door was to be kept shut and locked at all times 'for our own security'. This was all very well except other people staying in the hostel constantly left the door open. I felt quite uncomfortable just going to the bathroom at night (I had to leave the room to go to the bathroom as we didn't have an ensuite) as I felt that anyone could have come in off the street and be standing between the room and the bathroom. The other issue with the arrangement was that we weren't given a key to unlock the door to the rooms on the floor, so we had to ask at reception if we wanted to be let into our room. This sometimes involved a five to ten minute wait for the staff to get off the phone. We also had a balcony to our room and the door to this balcony did not lock at all. This was a concern as a brave and capable climber could potentially have climbed up onto our balcony from the street.
Overall, I would say that this is the pretty much the worst hostel I stayed in in three months of travelling in South East Asia and the Middle East. I found it really exhausting and upsetting arguing with the night manager in order to try to get a fair outcome for ourselves. It is possible that I would have had a much more positive experience here if we hadn't had troubles with our room booking, but security would still have been an issue.
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