This is a great hotel if you're looking to explore and experience Islamic/Medieval Cairo.
It's worth noting what to expect, however: if you have no experience with this part of town or with similar cities, keep in mind that the neighbourhood can be very dirty and messy. While the hotel itself is on a little street without much car traffic (though there are still plenty of people around even at night), the busier streets are choatic (though safe).
Similarly, the hotel is quite clean but still a bit shabby in places; paint might be peeling here and there, there might be an occasional stain on the walls, and the drain for the bathroom shower might be inconvenient. I did see some cockroaches unfortunately, but this is likely a consequence of the dirty neighbourhood surroundings, as the hotel itself is constantly cleaned by the staff. (Note: remember to leave your key at reception in the morning if you want your room cleaned or serviced.)
I am not sounding any alarms, however; if you're already familiar with this type of scene, then there's not much to worry about. If you're not, then just keep in mind this is a budget hotel in an old and dirty part of town, but one that is safe and quite clean inside.
What really makes this hotel stand out are two things:
1) The incredibly friendly staff. Most speak good English, and the managers are particularly friendly and easy to talk to. They really offer an unrivalled warm welcome.
2) A location that is extremely convenient for Islamic Cairo, about 5-10 minutes' walk from Al-Azhar, Bab al-Futuh, or the northern City of the Dead. This saves you from having to take a taxi or a very long walk from downtown (where most other budget hotels are).
The rooms are quiet and comfortable (with the occasional exception of noisy guests in the hallway), and are equipped with air conditioning units which are a relief on hot days. Breakfast was also good: a fried egg and rolls of bread with jams and/or butter, and good tea (or coffee), which is good enough to start a long day of walking.
Make sure to look for some of the great deals usually on offer, including the free pick-up from the airport with a certain number of nights. Definitely take them up on that if you can.
A minor downside is that the hotel isn't near any metro line, but taxis are very cheap in Cairo anyways. It's also near the Salah Salem highway, which means places like the Citadel (for example) are very quick and easy to get to by taxi.
In conclusion: if you're looking for a cheap and friendly place to stay in Islamic Cairo, this is it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are proud to have won the TripAdvisor 2012 Award of Excellence. Come let our friendly, energetic staff help you discover the true charm of Cairo. Enjoy our clean, comfortable rooms, free breakfast, free wifi and complimentary hot drinks anytime on our gorgeous rooftop. We have thirty air-con rooms available with private bath and satellite TV. We also offer shared facilities. Members of our highly trained staff are fluent in both English and French. They are ready to facilitate your every need. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Arabian Nights Hotel Cairo