We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An adequate budget hotel, but which needs improvements” 3 of 5 stars
Review of El Tonsy Hotel

Save Saved
You added El Tonsy Hotel to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
El Tonsy Hotel
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   143 El Tahrir street, Dokki, Cairo 12311, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 46 Cairo B&B and Inns
Chambery, France
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“An adequate budget hotel, but which needs improvements”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

El Tonsy (which means “The Tunisian” in Arabic) is a small hotel, set in an unusual way: all the rooms are on the 16th floor (the lower floors are apartments and offices unrelated to the hotel) and the restaurant is on the 18th floor; an elevator serves only the first, 16th and 18th floors.

I happened to stay two times at this hotel during the same trip to Egypt, separated by a three night cruise on the Nile from Aswan to Luxor. On my first stay, I had asked for an early check-in (which was granted), because I was coming from a month long stay in Thailand, and my plane from Bangkok was landing at 5:40. I was quite welcomed then, and temporarily given a three-single-bed room because my room was not ready. Eventually, I kept that room for my two nights, overlooking the city roofs, nicely equipped with a small refrigerator, air conditioning, a bathroom with a bathtub and shower, and breakfast included. The next day, the man at the reception was most helpful too, and tried very hard to get me a bank where I could get Egyptian pounds out of my Canadian credit card, using my passport as an identifier because my card had no pin (therefore no ATM was suitable). After my second night, he also helped me find a taxi to get me to the airport and negotiated the fare for me. I could also leave there my big suitcase, unneeded for the Nile cruise, in the baggage storage.

My second stay, one night long, was quite different. I checked in at 22:40, later than expected because of a 80 minute flight delay from Luxor. The same nice guy was at the reception, and greeted me with a cup of mint tea that was meant for his colleague. The room charge was 30 USD, but the hotel would not accept credit cards. He said he would send the bellman to deliver my big suitcase into my room. That room turned out to be quite different from the one I had known before (it is true that I had been accidentally “upgraded”): very small (unsuitable for two persons even if there were two single beds), no closet or even a coat hanger to hang my jacket (I used the second bed as a repository for my belongings), refrigerator out of order, and I had to wait until 1:30 to get my suitcase after three reminders. On the next morning, I wanted to pay for my room half in Egyptian pounds (I wanted to get rid of the ones I had because I was to leave the country) and half in USD, i.e. 15 USD. I had only $20 and $50 bills, so I expected to receive a $5 bill back. But... the receptionist had no US dollars: he could take a $20 bill and give me the change in Egyptian pounds!

As a conclusion, as my title indicates, at El Tonsy you can find the better or the worse. The improvements needed, which I reported to the nice receptionist (not concerned by my complains), are:
- if the hotel prices its rooms in USD, it should accept credit cards and have change in USD;
- verify that all equipment is in working condition before renting a room;
- verify the room suitability for the number of persons advertised.
I might return there if I am to return to Cairo, but I will then make sure that all these expectations are met, or that I can deal with their absence.

Room Tip: Verify that all equipment is in working condition before renting a room
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

29 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    8
    7
    8
    3
    3
See reviews for
4
9
6
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

The hotel itself is a budget hotel and good as a base to explore Cairo. The rooms were actually much nicer than I thought they would be. our room had massive windows with a lovely view of the city! There is a cafe/bar roofrop area which was quite nice with a view of the Nile. The breakfast was quite nice, there was juice, tea/coffee, cake/croissants and some type of falafel/chickpea fritters.
The hotel lobby was an ansolute mess. I'm not sure if it's always like that or if there was renovation work going on! Theres also loads of stairs before you can even use a lift to go up to your room! Thank god the workers helped us carry our luggage up because we could not have done it ourselves! The lift was also broken for two of the days that we were there so we had to use another lift that took us down to the apartments next door.
All the workers were lovely though and were very helpful.
If you want to book any trips/ excursions, then go across the road to a shop just around the corner from the money exchange shop. The shop is actually a perfume shop but if you ask they will sort out trips at a much cheaper price! We booked the Nile Cruise and a trip to the Giza pyramids for 7 of us for for a much better price than the hotel!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

One of hotels that operate just few top floors. This is not a problem in case elevators work OK.
I must say I was lucky.
The rooms are quite nice, clean, bathroom as well. But the reception is ugly. In case you have a visitor and ask him to wait for you in a reception till you bring something from your room, he must think that you live in a poor hostel. It is a pitty as the rooms are really good.
The breakfast was poor, tables were dusty. I was there in December 2012 just for a short business trip, there were clashes because of the new Egyptian constitution. It means not a good time for turists. But in fact some clashes were just in certain places but the city generally was quiet and safe. And I must say it was a good time for turists (who didn't follow the news or warnings of friends, etc...) additionaly the weather was excellent.
I can compare this hotel with another one : President Hotel in Zamalek (I was there in February). The rooms are similar, good and clean, the loation is probably better in El Tonsy but the reception, lobby and breakfast are much better at President Hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

The hotel operates off the 16th and 17th floor in a high rise in Cairo, typical to Cairo the building is run down and in desperate need of a refresh. At one stage the very rickety elevator broke, so we were forced to use the adjacent building's elevator and back corridors ot get to our room.

That said, the rooms were lovely, very clean, hot water in the showers, cable television and most importantly AIR CON! Fantastic views of the city and the nile which is stunning at night. There's a great roof top restaurant (beer is quite expensive), serving ok food - the main pull factor here is the view which on a good day includes the Pyramids of Giza. The hotel is in a great location, close to the nile and the Cairo Museum.

Our tour company "Expat Explore" operates out of this hotel, so minus the lift problems - this is a great budget option in downtown Cairo.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view to the nile (alternatively you'd be facing a blank wall)
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leiden, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Not sure how people can be voting this so high, this really is one of the worst hotels I've ever been in. I'm only giving it a two because the rooms are actually ok. Clean and quite nice for the price you pay....

However the breakfast was really the worst I've ever seen...disgusting and there was food and cigarette buts all over the tables from the previous night.

The lift is breaking down continually, as the hotel is on the 16th floor, it's a real pain.

There are much better places to stay in Cairo.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Giza, Egypt
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

The enthusiasm of the people there to serve you and make you having a pleasant stay is so great , rooms are quite new , the view from the roof top is amazing plus something else , the location of the hotel is so close to everything , in walking distance from the museum , metro station , tahrir square and it is surrounded by local shops and restaurant
loved my stay there so much

Room Tip: if you say you are coming according to an advice of someone else that pay you extra attention ;)
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

On entering reception they are clearly going through an upgrade of the hotel which looks like something from a horror film, walls painted blood red, however no progress was made in the two weeks we used this as a base, the foyer was also filthy dirty. There was also a two flights of stairs to reach the lift.

The rooms were very hit and miss, some had fridges that worked, some didn't, some rooms you couldn't even put a suitcase on the floor.Missing shower curtains made showering difficult.

The breakfast was appalling, it was like it had been made the night before and left out. Wet croissants, hot cheese, dry cake and dried out cucumber.
The evening meals were adequate although despite being told everything was available on the menu this was not the case.

The biggest and largest worry is the lift system, we got stuck in the lift 3 times and with the alarm bell not working it was a very scary experience. Once we got stuck mid floors with a minute gap in which one of the children eventually had to wiggle through to go and get help. No one could hear us shouting and a gap so you could see right to the bottom of the lift. We were not the only ones who had this experience making it a major fire hazard.
The lift got stuck mid floors the morning we were due to fly back and we ended up walking down 16 flights of stairs with luggage.

We didn't choose this hotel it was part of Expat holiday package and had we known what it was like would not have chosen this hotel for love nor money.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to El Tonsy Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about El Tonsy Hotel

Address: 143 El Tahrir street, Dokki, Cairo 12311, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 46 B&Bs / Inns in Cairo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — El Tonsy Hotel 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
EL Tonsy Hotel is newly renovated. The hotel is located right in the center of Cairo 10 minutes walk to the Egyptian museum, 2 minutes to the River Nile, 15 minutes drive to the Giza Pyramids, 10 minutes drive to Khan El Khalili Market. The hotel has 25 rooms with A/C, Bathroom, Satellite TV, telephone, and some of which overlook the river Nile. Food is freshly prepared by or chefs. Relax in the bar or on the roof terrace with stunning views of the city and the river Nile. Free airport pick up. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, Priceline, HostelBookers, Expedia, Tingo, BookingOdigeoWL, HostelWorld and Venere so you can book your El Tonsy Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage El Tonsy Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.