I've had the opportunity to stay in 2 sofitel 5* hotels over the last two weeks, 3 nights here in Cairo and 1 night in Wroclaw in Poland. So I can compare. In general, I think Sofitel somewhat over-estimate their definition of luxury.... Compared to the Moscow Hilton and the Belgrade Hyatt (the previous 2 5* hotels I have stayed in this year), neither the Cairo Sofitel nor the Wroclaw come very close.
In short: Plusses
- excellent location, right on the Nile (although as the previous reviewer points out, the river party boats are pretty noisy and sound insulation not perfect). It looks like all the rooms have a balcony which is nice and I can imagine this is nice in the spring and autumn when it is light for longer in the evenings.
- the outdoor, heated infinity pool, definitely this is a touch of luxury, paticularly on a chilly November night (cca 13degrees Celsius), with the steam gently floating off the surface, and the azure swimming-pool water appears to be running directly into the black Nile.
- service: no problems on this part, everybody courteous and didn't hassle too much for tips. A few staff members standing around aimlessly didn't understand English, much to my surprise.
- as should be standard at a 5* hotel, slippers and a dressing-gown were provided, nothing makes me feel more at home in a hotel than this
- had a snack in the Window on the Nile restaurant/bar and was satisfied with my mini-burgers and beer, I even got a free amuse bouche to start off with, and at a reasonable price when you consider the location and surroundings
- the lobby is quite grand I suppose and it's nice to have live music there in the evening too
- two complementary bottles of water in the room were a god-send and is always a nice touch, and they were replenished each day too
- the party boats as mentioned above
- the breakfast, I expected better, although considering the location I guess it wasn't too bad. Apparently there is a French pastry chef/baker. The baguettes and rolls were very crispy and nice, the croissant and pain au chocolat were pretty horrible though. A good selection of diet and local ingredients available at the buffet, the hot buffet underwhelmed, obviously no pork sausages or bacon, but what can you do. NIce to be able to sit out on the terrace.
- the tv remote control and tv: the tv gave fairly poor picture quality and the remote didn't work properly, perhaps needed new batteries. I wasn't able to access the menu to set up a wake up alarm on the tv so I had to book one at reception mentioning that the remote control probably needed new batteries at is wasn't working properly. Got the wake up call, but nobody did anything with the tv. Changing channels was a battle too, involving holding down the appropriate button and waving the remote around trying to get the right vibes... a small inconvenience, but not one you expect at a luxury hotel
- no tea or coffee-making facilities in the room
- the bathroom and shower had seen better days, the soap holder was hanging off one screw on the wall, although there was a rain shower head which was nice.
- the jaccuzi wasn't in the price of the room! Thought this was a bit cheap...
To sum up, I expect more from a hotel that bills itself as a Luxury hotel, although the location is very nice. It was my first trip to Cairo so can't compare with other hotels there, but I can compare it to the Sofitel Wroclaw and Cairo comes out on top for sure. Still, I'm only giving it average.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fully refurbished in 2007, the contemporary interior design combines exquisite style and elegant refinement with the convenience of several restaurants, bars, spa, casino, 850m2 of conference/meeting facilities and all the latest amenities - the unique French flair and personalized service add a special touch of luxury. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah Hotel Cairo
- Cairo Sofitel