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“I would never stay here again”

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The Australian Hostel
Ranked #3 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence
Canberra, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“I would never stay here again”
Reviewed July 22, 2011

We stayed in this hostel for three nights while we were in Cairo. We arrived late at night and had some difficulty finding the hostel. When we finally found it and walked into the building's lobby, we thought we had the wrong place. The hotel is on the fourth and fifth floors of the building, and the lower floors of the building seem to be largely disused with a broken lift, lots of rubbish lying around, random people from the street hanging around smoking, and some stray cats.

Luckily we made it to the reception desk and the night manager confirmed that he had received our booking (we had pre-booked through hostelworld) and got someone to show us to our room. Our room was down one flight of stairs and when we reached it we realised that we had been given a twin room with a shared bathroom, rather than a double room with an ensuite, even though we had booked and paid a deposit for a double room with an ensuite on hostelworld. When we went upstairs to tell the manager he was quite unapologetic. He basically said that all the rooms with ensuites had been taken and then shrugged his shoulders and said 'why do you need an ensuite, you have three bathrooms you can use.' This wasn't really the point but it was too late at night to find another hostel so we decided to stay (I suspect that they knew this would be the case and that influenced their decision to give the ensuite room to someone else). Because they had messed up our booking, the manager offered us a 'special discount rate' on the room with the shared bathroom. However, he refused to take the deposit we had paid on hostelworld off the cost the room as 'that money goes to hostelworld not the hotel'. This meant that he was actually charging us more than we would have paid if we had booked the room through hostelworld. We we raised this with him he basically suggested that we should not care about the $6 price difference as that would barely buy a cup of coffee in our country. It was a very frustrating attitude. He eventually agreed to deduct our deposit from the cost of the room but it took a long time to get him to agree to do this.

The other issue with this hostel is security. As I mentioned above, the lobby of the building is really dodgy, it opens straight onto the street so anyone can come in. We were on the fourth floor of the building, one floor below reception. There was a locked door between the hostel rooms and the publicly accessible hallway of the building and there was a sign on this door stating that the door was to be kept shut and locked at all times 'for our own security'. This was all very well except other people staying in the hostel constantly left the door open. I felt quite uncomfortable just going to the bathroom at night (I had to leave the room to go to the bathroom as we didn't have an ensuite) as I felt that anyone could have come in off the street and be standing between the room and the bathroom. The other issue with the arrangement was that we weren't given a key to unlock the door to the rooms on the floor, so we had to ask at reception if we wanted to be let into our room. This sometimes involved a five to ten minute wait for the staff to get off the phone. We also had a balcony to our room and the door to this balcony did not lock at all. This was a concern as a brave and capable climber could potentially have climbed up onto our balcony from the street.

Overall, I would say that this is the pretty much the worst hostel I stayed in in three months of travelling in South East Asia and the Middle East. I found it really exhausting and upsetting arguing with the night manager in order to try to get a fair outcome for ourselves. It is possible that I would have had a much more positive experience here if we hadn't had troubles with our room booking, but security would still have been an issue.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank FlashpackerACT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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English first
Salzburg, Austria
Level 6 Contributor
54 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2011

My fiance and I spent 5 nights at the Australian Hostel in January 2011. For such a long stay you get a free airport pick up and a free tour to Giza (read: free transport there and back)
Both worked out fine, a driver was waiting for us outside the airport (we didn't know at first, but for security reasons only official reps are allowed into the airport). For the Giza tour we got a car with a driver to take us there, however, he was only willing to wait for 2 hours. We found that wasn't long enough and negotiated 3 hours, which we found was long enough.

The hostel is very centrally located, 10mins walk from the Egyptian museum, and there's a tiny dairy-like shop right across the street. McD is round the corner, and KFC is 5 doors down the street.

The building is downright disgusting. There was bloodstains in the hallway, and the elevator shaft is being used as a toilet and rubbish dump. The Australian Hostel is located on the 3rd floor (there's an elevator, but it doesn't have any doors, so you might wana be careful or just take the stairs)

We booked a double with shared bathroom for EGP50 per person per night, and got a triple. The room was spacious and the beds comfortable for hostel standard. There's only 2 bathrooms and they both have a shower and a toilet in there, so you might have to wait a bit to go to the loo if people are showering.

I found the staff helpful when you asked them for travel tips and things to see, but most of the time they were sitting at the computer playing video games or watching TV all night long. It's quite a noisy hostel at night, 3 nights we got up between 2am and 4am to either turn the TV off because no one was watching but it was blaring, or, when the staff was watching, ask them to turn it down. The walls are thin and you could hear every line from the movie.

The breakfast is nothing special. A hard boiled egg, 3 stale breadrolls, jam, and soft cheese, tea or coffee. There's computers plus free wifi, but it was broken on 2 days. However, they did fix it once someone told them about it being broken.

The thing that annoyed us most is that people - especially the staff - smoke 24 hours a day everywhere in the hostel. We haven't travelled to Egypt, this stay in cairo was only a stopover on the way somewhere else, so this might be typical for Egypt, I don't know. But as a non smoker I found staying there disgusting.

Also, there's (as everywhere in the city) heaps of stray cats around. They linger around reception and lounge. Not very hygienic, cause that's where you eat.

All in all, it's an alright place for people on a seriously tight budget but we probably wouldn't come back.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kornspitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2011

My husband and I arrived late at night to the international airport, and our free pickup was there as planned. Unfortunately that night they had overbooked (apparently quite common), and we were given the option of sharing a room with another couple, or we could have it to ourselves. We happily shared (imagining that it could have been us that didn't get a room late at night!), and we were given the room for half price for that night.

The staff were very friendly and gave great information about local eateries (very good one with cheap local food, and you dont get ripped off - just turn right outside the door, first right, and only a few shops up!). They were very apologetic about the overbooking as well.

We returned for one night when we came back to Cairo before flying out, and again the room was clean, decent sizes, and not too noisy (which is very good for Cairo!). The beds were comfy and clean but the pillows were very hard! Clean shared showers, and a decent breakfast in the morning.

I agree with the previous comments that the 'guest kitchen' wouldn't be usable, but food is so cheap here that we didn't bother (despite being on a very tight budget).

There is free wifi too.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank straykate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casino, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 21, 2010

I stayed at the Australian Hostel for 3 nights & thought it was great value for money. The room was clean, the service was great & I would definitely stay there again. I met alot of other travellers of all age groups & nationalities in the common room & have stayed in touch with most of them. The Hostel is situated in a very good area & I would recommend it to anyone who would like a decent budget stay.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank miffed_33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2010

I stayed this hostel on my first and last day in Egypt.

Booked by internet would be cheaper than walking in. I stayed private room with common bathroom. The room was spacious with lovely balcony overlook the downtown of cairo. Bathroom was reasonably clean and I did not find any issues. Could get hot shower.

Simple breakfast was included, and free wifi, even they have 2 desktop computers for guests. Hostel staff was very helpful and funny. When I stayed, there were lots of interesting travelers and meeting them at common room was really fun.

There was subway about 10 mins walking distance, tons of shops and restaurants near by, the location was perfect.

Overall, I satisfied this hotel and will go back to them if I will go to Cairo as budget traveller.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jtrippin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Myself and four friends stayed at the Australian hostel for four nights during our trip to Cairo in September. On first impressions, the hostel was dirty with stray cats and blood stained stairs. My friends had a room with a private bathroom that they found good value for money however the rest of us shared a triple with shared facilities which were dirty and unhygenic. The staff, although accommodating, we later found out were overcharging for local tours by around 200 pounds (AUS$40) on average. We also booked as we are Australian however the hostel wasn't at all Australia-esque and we were overall very disappointed with the cleanliness and sleep quality - hard beds and pillows. We recommend this hostel to those on a budget for an overnight stay if nothing else is available.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Livingthelife86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2010

Airport pickup was fine, staff was nice enough but the hostel was filthy (and I am used to staying in budget hostels). On our way up the stairs there were several cockroaches. The room itself was very big but undeniably dirty. The sheets had hair and dirt - thankfully we had sleep sheets. There was literally urine on the toilet seat (this was a private ensuite so I consider this unacceptable). Location was good if you want to experience "real Cairo", and it was surprisingly quiet at night, but for the price I'm sure other hostels in the area would be better value.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank glowingheart77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Australian Hostel

Property: The Australian Hostel
Address: 23 Abd El Khalek Tharwat St, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Cairo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — The Australian Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Cairo city centre, this budget hostel is a 10-minute walk from the Egyptian Museum. It has a 24-hour front desk, communal room and free Wi-Fi. Rooms at The Australian Hostel have air conditioning, a tea/coffee maker and a private or shared bathroom. Some rooms have a balcony. Guests can enjoy an Egyptian or continental breakfast in the mornings. The Australian's communal kitchen allows guests to cook their own meals. The oriental-style communal room equipped with comfortable couches and a coffee table is a nice place to meet other travelers. The Australian Hostel's staff can help arrange tours of Cairo city centre, local museums and the Pyramids. They also provide maps and sightseeing brochures. The Australian is a 15-minute walk from the Railway Station. ... more   less 
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