First thing first. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS for Cairo hotels. A Cairo 5-star hotel is more akin to a US 4-star or even 3.5-star. There is nothing you can do about it, but don’t let that keep you from visiting this intoxicatingly exotic place. If you do that, I think – like myself – you will be pleasantly surprised with the Semiramis. I did a great amount of research on Cairo hotels both on Trip Advisor and using other web resources. It was clear to me that if location mattered, the top two choices were the Semiramis or the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. I booked an Executive Nile-view Suite with Club Lounge access, for about $150USD less per night than what the Nile Plaza would have cost for their regular/normal non-suite room with NO guaranteed view and NO amenities such as breakfast or Club Lounge access. The Suite was essentially two rooms with the connecting door permanently open. One side was the bedroom with bathroom; the other a living room with a second bathroom. Also two balconies with a direct full on view of the Nile River. Really nice day and night. Very convenient having 2 baths as well, even with just two guests in the room. The entire hotel has a mid-1980’s feel to it (it opened in 1987 I believe). Not much has been done to the structure or physical plant of the place, so expect many of the soft and hard furnishings throughout to be of that era. Bedding was newer, however, and was very comfortable with nice linens and the heaviest Egyptian cotton towels I think I have ever seen in a hotel. The room was serviced only once per day (no evening turn down), but having lowered my expectations a little, I was more than satisfied with overall cleanliness and housekeeping services. Good selection of L’Occitane toiletries in the suite; regular rooms had Elemis products. Pool and spa areas were nice enough, but again reminiscent of the mid-1980’s and not luxurious by today’s US or Asian 5-star standards. Food in the Italian restaurant was excellent, but did not eat at the other outlets because… the Club Lounge food and service was that good! Again, not expecting all that much, I was impressed with the array of breakfast options (hot menu items to order or hot & cold buffet) and most notably the evening happy hour food choices that easily satisfied our stomachs after each day of sightseeing. There were at least 15 cold and 3 or 4 hot food items every evening from 6-8pm, and some of the choices changed each night. There are free soft drinks and coffee from 6:30am until 11pm, and from 6-8pm each evening a selection of free spirits, wine, and beer. Service was great, albeit it doesn’t hurt to give the guys a small tip each day for better service the next. All in all, an outstanding Club Lounge experience (with 1987 furnishings!) with great staff and well worth the daily upcharge if you plan to be in the hotel to avail yourself of their offerings. Location of the hotel is outstanding as other reviewers have noted, within a 10 minute walk of the Cairo Museum. Concierge services were excellent. Prompt meet and greet at the airport worked perfectly as did the car service on the return to the airport. Daily private tours with excellent guides arranged at a reasonable cost ($150 USD per 6-8 hour day for 2 people with private guide and driver). I was disappointed to learn that the guide actually gets only $20-25 USD of that, with the rest going into the coffers of the hotel. As for other hotels I was considering, I did visit the Grand Hyatt (empty of any atmosphere and rather depressing – ugh!), the Sofitel (bad location and also rather quiet and boring), and the Four Seasons Nile Plaza (nice but rather generic feeling). The Semiramis was always bustling with lots of locals and tourists alike, restaurants were busy, and the whole place just oozed – in a good way - with the chaos that I expected to encounter in Cairo. I am convinced I made the right choice and would return again.
- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis Hotel
- Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis Hotel Cairo
- Intercontinental Cairo
- Semiramis Hotel Cairo
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HISTORIC LEGENDS ON THE BANKS OF THE NILE Standing on the site of the historic Semiramis Hotel, Semiramis InterContinental Cairo is a symbol of modern style. Located in the heart of the city centre, facing the River Nile, the hotel is close to the Egyptian Museum, the Cairo Opera House and the Cairo Tower. The Citadel, Old Cairo, downtown shops and commercial centre are nearby. The Giza Pyramids and Cairo International Airport are just 25 km (16 miles) away. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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