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“Lots of character, great location, helpful staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Windsor Hotel Cairo

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Windsor Hotel Cairo
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   19 Alfi Bey Street, Cairo, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 130 Hotels in Cairo
Cambridge
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Lots of character, great location, helpful staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2010

There's lots of cheap hostels around Cairo where you can find a bed for under $20US. If you want to "splurge" a little, try the "Windsor Hotel."

The hotel is right in downtown Cairo, walking distance from the Egyptian museum and the Talaat Harb shopping district. The Nasser Metro stop is also walking distance (20minutes) and can get you to old Coptic Cairo for 1LEP.

The Windsor is lots of old world charm: think dark wood paneling, cool antique elevator with bowtied bellhops. The lounge bar feels like a cross between jumangi and titanic. Very convenient to have free wifi internet in the lounge, which makes a great respite from the bustle of downtown Cairo.

Samir and the reception staff were all very helpful when we had questions about transportation and our stay in Cairo. Samir even gave us free postcards on checking out.

Cons: the beds are not luxury comfortable, and the pillows were lumpy and hard. The rooms are generally clean, but you should be prepared to compromise on what you expect from a chain hotel. The complementary breakfast is simple (bread, jam, fresh mango juice) but good. If you order extra breakfast, we recommend the regular omelette over the cheese. There are lots of cheap local restaurants to eat in the area, but you might need to speak a little arabic and be brave.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2010

We stayed in this hotel for one night just to catch a flight and paid next to nothing for the room. The room was very small and we weren't impressed by the 'charm' that others speak of. The shower/sink area in the bedroom seemed very dated and dirty and I felt hesitant to take a shower. We got to the hotel very late at night but stopped in and saw the bar which we loved.The breakfast room looked very nice, but we were in too much of a rush to have more than a piece of toast and some juice. The hotel reception also set up a cab to the airport for us which was very helpful. I write to take this review lightly because I've read other reviews about renovations and have seen the pictures that others have posted and our room looked nothing like those. I'm sure that we were given the cheapest room since we paid so little and were there for only a few short hours. If we would have been there longer we probably would have been given something better/asked for a renovated room.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ottawa Ontario
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2010

We spent 2 weeks of a 10 week vacation in Egypt; the Windsor staff where we stayed 4 nights were courteous and most helpful; the Beer Barrel Bar provides a warm respite after touring the many sites of this heavily populated city; history does literally peel off the walls; but all was clean; any requests were met with an eagerness to please.
Samir Fayik; a tour operator and travel agent; who works out of the Windsor; provided us with a customized 10 day trip to southern Egypt; from Cairo by overnight train to Aswan a day trip to Abu Simbel; a 4 day Nile cruise north to Luxor where we stayed for 3 more days; then the overnight train back to Cairo; he provided us with arranged tours; guides; pick ups and transfers; with great attention to detail; Samir took all the work and stress away from us for a price that was good value; he contacted us twice during the trip to make sure all was smooth; We highly recommend to all North American travellers to give the Windsor a stop on your trip and to utilize Samir's service.
Samir also provides half day local ours out of the Windsor; it was because of him that we had one of our best experiences of our whole trip; when at the Pyramids at Giza; he recommended we tour via camels; as two 60 year old overweight travellers we were hesistant; Wow; thanks to Samir we had a panoramic view that will never be forgotten!!!!

Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Bangalore
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2010

The Windsor Hotel is located in the heart of Down Town Cairo and if you are up for some walking-- then you can walk to most places from here-- The Egyptian Museum, Khan el Khalili, the Corniche etc
In December, it was some what pricey-- and the break fast was very unsatisfactory-- just bread, juice, tea/coffee. Most other hotels in Cairo serve up several options if you are paying close to 90USD a night.
The tours and taxi organised by them --- too pricey. So take care of these things yourself.
The Bar has wi-fi and a lovely old world charm-- it's fun spending the evenings here after a long day of walking around Cairo.
Thw Windsor needs to ensure that their showers work well--- often times, you get only hot water and no cold-- which can make showering very difficult.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle, WA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

Stayed 2 nights at Windsor. The outside of the hotel is a little scary. It isn't as clean as other parts of Cairo. It has good proximity. We were able to walk to Cairo Museum and local eateries.

The staff at the hotel is nice. They definitely always try and sell the tours, which we did not purchase. We did arrange for transport through the hotel from the airport to the hotel and someone was waiting at the airport when we arrived. The rooms were quiet (for Cairo) although very worn. The shared bathroom was average. We had a shower in our room, but no toilet, I am glad we at least had a shower instead of having to share the shower. You will want to keep slathering on bug repellent even when you are in the room. I got a monster bite while sleeping from some insect one night and it swelled up terribly.

If you are looking to save money, just have your expectations in line with what you are spending. We ended up staying an additional night in Cairo, but opted for a different hotel.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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UK
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

My husband and I spent two nights at the Windsor, 31st Dec and 1st Jan. We had our two children with us, ages 1 and 9. We found the stay overall pleasant enough, with one or two outstanding features and one or two areas for improvement.

Outstanding/good:
- Hotel-affiliated tour guide Samir Fayek. Samir helped us decide what to do to maximise our two days in Cairo and arranged everything for us, being very clear about costs and giving us good advice about the culture and ways to avoid difficulties. He was engaging and listened carefully to our interests. For anyone not familiar with the city or the language, he was a godsend.
- The hotel itself is a gem, a little time capsule in the heart of the city. The gem could use some polishing in a few areas, detailed below. But the elevator says it all - it is a classic and the hotel keeps it alive at great cost.
- The bar area is beautiful, a great haven for a cold beer or soft drink after a hot, dusty day. I did get a bit annoyed by the staff, who were surly at times (i.e. we asked if they took a credit card before ordering and they said yes, then got annoyed with us when we tried to pay with one!), but other than that it was wonderful.
- The Egyptian specialties from the restaurant were great.
- The front desk and cleaning staff were friendly, helpful and kind, especially with our kids.
- The location was great for quick access to downtown attractions like the Egyptian Museum, just be sure to ask how much a taxi should be in advance (around 15-20 Egyptian Pounds) and take the hotel address with you in Arabic, as taxi drivers don't necessarily know the hotel. There is a fabulous bakery a few blocks up the main street called Tseppas - do NOT miss it if you like baklava.

Room for improvement:
- Arrangements for the baby were not brilliant, as the baby cot we were promised was not available. This meant we each had to share a small bed with a child who was not particularly considerate about not kicking us and stealing the duvet.
- Overall standards of cleanliness were borderline, in that we found hair on our floor and a dirty shower curtain, plus our breakfast juice glasses had lipstick marks on them from previous users!
- Though the hotel took a Visa for payment for the room, charging bar and restaurant tabs to the room during our stay seemed to be discouraged (at least judging from the unhappy looks on the faces of the barmen and waiters!). This practice is generally standard in hotels and ultimately people spend more when they don't have to pay immediately so might be something for management to consider...
- Though the hotel has a "shabby chic" look and great history to play on, that theme did not continue into our bedroom, which had a disinctly 1970s feel. It would be so much nicer to keep it consistent and stick with furniture styles and details from 1900-1940 throughout.

So to summarise, if you are looking for an inexpensive place with lots of character and can compromise on a few things, this is the one! And of course Samir will always look out for you.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Lawton, Oklahoma
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2010

My final Windsor experience ruined it for me. My friend and I left there this morning and had arranged transport to the airport through the front desk. We tipped all who were involved with the arrangement, as we had for every other transaction. The private car that arrived to take us to the airport was ready for the junkyard some years back and could not go over 30-35 km per hour. I can't believe it actually made it to the airport. The fumes were sickening. The inside of the vehicle was shockingly filthy and our luggage was transported on the roof. The door I sat next to would not stay closed and needed to be slammed shut twice on the way to the airport. I could easily have fallen out.

My recommendation would be that the front desk be required to order actual taxis when guests request the airport transport arrangements the hotel advertises. If they are going to make private car arrangements then they need to be provided some basic guidelines regarding safety, vehicle condition and cleanliness. Don't offer the service at all if it is going to be this disgusting and dangerous. I need to note here that the hotel had arranged other transport for us during our vacation that was clean, safe and convenient. Clearly those options exist.

Prior to the taxi ride from hell I probably wouldn't have posted a review. The price is right and the hotel eccentric, interesting and full of history. The bar is atmospheric and the staff in it wonderful. Those pluses made much easier to deal with the many minuses including loud all night street noise and rooms in horrible condition.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Windsor Hotel Cairo

Address: 19 Alfi Bey Street, Cairo, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Best Value Hotel in Cairo
#23 Business Hotel in Cairo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Windsor Hotel Cairo 3*
Number of rooms: 55
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Also Known As:
Cairo Windsor Hotel

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