We arrived in Alexandria via Nouzha airport. It was a 20 minute ride in a taxi to the hotel at 2:00 a.m. Upon check-in, their credit card machine was not connecting and they implied that it was our fault. The printout from the machine did not say "declined," it said "connection error" but they still seemed to think it was our fault. Not a welcoming way to begin our stay.
We had reserved a room on the Club floor, but we were given a room on the floor below as "no Club floor rooms are available." No adjustment was made in our rate as we still had access to the Club lounge (which was a cafeteria style room with some sodas and juices, bags of chips and occasional deep-fried, luke warm offerings on a steam table). We had an extremely small room (there was not even enough space for the room service cart). The room itself was clean, but the bathtub had a serious mold problem. We had a balcony with a partial sea view. I felt like we had been "had" from the get-go.
The breakfast buffet was very average and the offerings the exact same each day. At least they were serving the buffet during Ramadan. I recommend trying the tasty Egyptian breakfast dish called "Foul" which are large beans doctored up with cumin, crushed red pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. We also ordered breakfast from room service one morning. We ordered fresh orange juice and received OJ from concentrate. I ordered salmon hash benedict with hollandaise and my companion ordered steak and eggs with hollandaise. I was really puzzled by the fact that his hollandaise was the real stuff, but I was given a side of what tasted like caesar salad dressing for mine. I called and asked for "real hollandaise" explaining the situation. About five minutes later I received what looked like hollandaise sauce, but was actually raw egg frothed up a bit. It was cold and runny and tasted nothing like hollandaise.
The Italian restaurant was quite good, and the risotto and seafood dishes outstanding. However, they were out of Italian wine so we had a beaujolais with our meal. The first order of risotto was supposed to have shrimp and scallops, but it arrived with shrimp and mussels. I am allergic to mussels, so we had to ask for that to be corrected. The calamari appetizer was served cold.
We hung out in the Library Lounge a couple of nights. It was cozy and comfortable, but don't expect anything fancy to come from behind the bar.
The beach was a bonus. A shuttle bus was readily available to take us across the busy six lane street to the beach. The water temperature was still very swimmable for mid-October and it was very clean. Security guards keep locals out of the private beach area, and it is always interesting to see Muslim women swimming fully clothed. It was a bit surreal to be floating in the waves next to six lanes of honking cars and listening to the call to prayer booming from several speakers around the city.
Alexandria is an extremely impoverished city. It is full of high rises, but they are very dilapidated. Traffic is nuts and the incessant honking can wear on one's nerves. At night, a 5 kilometer taxi ride down the corniche can take one hour. In an area near the hotel, I had an Egyptian teenager yell some extremely lewd and vulgar "invitation" to me even though I was modestly dressed. It was very uncomfortable. Generally the people are friendly and love Americans. If I went back, I would choose a different hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Alexandria
- Alexandria Renaissance
- Maritim Jolie Ville Alexandria