I have never stayed in a hostel before, so it was quite a culture shock for me when I first visited this place.
First off, the Meramees Hostel is situated on the 5th floor of a decrepit old building that seems like it was abandoned years ago. As I arrived around 10pm at the foot of the building and not knowing how to use the antique lift, the place gives me the creep. Nevertheless, I climbed the stairs to the 5th floor and sure enough, the Meramees Hostel signboard greeted me, to my relief.
After this initial culture shock, it helps that the staff was warm and friendly and allow me to adjust to Cairo's way of life. Apparently the comments and feedbacks about this hotel is indeed authentic after all. I got a small room, but that is probably due to my budget. The aircon was good and wifi was extremely fast. Being a hostel, they do not do your room. So the room remains just as it were when you left. We have a shared bathroom. There are 2 bathrooms, one big and one small. Both are open in the morning while only the smaller one was open at night.
There is a lounge room where guests can interact or watch TV, play games, read, surf the internet or eat. There are guitars and books. Again, I had to remind myself that this is a hostel and its environment is probably quite different from a hotel. Here, they have mostly young backpackers. I happen to meet a Japanese youth, a Chinese youth and a middle-aged British lady. They all travel alone, just like me.
I notice that the staffs like to view YouTube videos throughout my 2 nights' stay, but they will entertain your every questions and assist you to make delivery orders even at midnight. They even do your laundry at very cheap rates. They also arrange for my tours, at my request, as well as arrange for a taxi to the airport.
I was told that maybe apart from the 5-star hotels, you can expect most budget accommodation to be something like this in Cairo. What set this hostel apart is probably they are friendly and helpful. The British lady, for instance, is a regular in this hostel. She told me that she came here to escape the winter season back home and she has stayed in Meramees Hostel on at least five occasions.
So if you are looking for a cheap stay in Cairo and do not mind the little inconveniences like a little dusty and dirty (like the rest of Cairo), or no room service, then this place is recommended. However if cleanliness is a big issue for you, do yourself a favor and check-in at a 5-star establishment instead.
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- Also Known As:
- Meramees Hotel Cairo