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“My experience in my last trip” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of InterContinental Cairo Semiramis

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InterContinental Cairo Semiramis
Ranked #11 of 139 Hotels in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence
Amman, Jordan
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“My experience in my last trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2012

We had a lovely experience in our last visit ,it is memorable events , we enjoyed the friendship atmosphere and warmness of the staff ,their respond to our requests and the way they
serve us were remarkable, we would like to express our deep appreciation and thanks to the propriety clubs personnal.
All of them were up to our expectations, Miss Nasmeah Atef proved to be excellent envoy to the hotel , her warm reception and dedication are remarkable.
Miss Mary from room service was of so much help.
Thank you all
Dr. Abdullah El Khatib and Dr. Jihad Nabulsi

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Abdullah E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICSemiramisStaff, Operations Manager at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear Dr. El Khatib and Dr. Nabulsi,

Thank you very much for your review of your stay at the Semriamis InterContinental during November. It is a pleasure reading about your stay expereince and how did you both feel about it. Thank you again for mentioning Nesmah and Mary; I will sure pass the message to them and their managers .

My name is Sherif Abourida, Operations Manager, sherif.abourida@ihg.com and I wish to have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future.

I remain,

Sherif
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,338 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (293)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
52 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2012

Arrived to the hotel with construction in the entry. Car traffic resulted and I waited 10 minutes to move 25 feet. Got out of the car and walked to the front door.
Waited at the front desk, as there was no organization to “first arrival/first served” rule. People just walking and pushing in front of you to see one of the 3 desk clerks, trainee or supervisor. Waited 27 minutes to make it to the desk.
The trainee, Karim, a nice, young fellow attempted to check me in. A nice welcome and smile sure does go a long way. They need to hire more like him. As I watch the other desk clerks and concierge, I wonder why they are not happy in these jobs? The unemployment rate in Cairo is at an all-time high.
During check-in, I requested change for 100 LE so I could pay tips (baksheesh). No change and I was instructed to go to the bank. It’s Thursday, 2pm (a regular business day). Why would this hotel not have change at the front desk?
At 2:15pm, there are no rooms available. They asked me to sit in the lobby café and wait. Instead, I walked to the bank, took a number and waited 10 minutes for a teller. Got the change I needed (although at this point, I wonder if I’ll need it. I’m not paying tips for this experience).
Went back to the lobby café and waited. No waiters came to my table and I’m now waiting 11 minutes. I had to get up and make hand gestures to the wait staff to get service.
The hotel is old, smoky, and very brown. While sitting in the lobby, I see at least 10 people smoking so the place not only smells bad, but the air is dense. The lobby is open, and has some interesting late 70’s/early 80’s architecture. The front desk, directly in front of me, is too small for this property, and very dark. The lighting here is terrible. Smokers in the elevator, just got off and blew smoke into the foyer. I wonder if I have to take that elevator to my room.
The room key is just delivered, 1 hour and 3 minutes since my arrival to the front desk. Room number is 1204. Really, I am not impressed by this check-in experience.
Coffee and water are now delivered 7 minutes from order to delivery. Not terrible. The glass however is not clean and I’ll be drinking directly from the bottle. The coffee is very good and delivered with milk and sugar as requested. A cigar smoker has just sat next to me. I cannot escape the odor.
Not impressed thus far.
The room is nice. Great view. Comfortable bed. Flat panel tv. Nice bathroom. Mini bar isn’t well-stocked. Ice is available only through room service. The carpet however is in terrible need of a steam cleaning or replacement. The bathroom is nice and clean. The next morning, I watched housekeeping clean the coffee cup and glasses in the room. They did not replace them with freshly washed cups and glasses. They wipe them with a towel. No water. No detergent. Just a wipe. I wonder how many others used that glass before me. Disgusting.
Had room service and the food was good and it was delivered within 30 minutes. The hotel is not full, so I think I got lucky. Food is good, and room service employees are very nice. Wael especially knows how to greet you in the morning. Nice guy.
When I checked the pre-authorization credit card slip, I noted the front desk authorized for a lot more than my room and tax and some for incidentals. So I called and questioned them. They showed my room rate at 205 per night. I told them I signed the document at check in stating 185 per night. They did not believe me until I took my reservation confirmation downstairs and showed them. Apologies for the room rate..but honestly…why would a room rate in the computer suddenly and unexpectedly change? Can you imagine how angry I would have been if I completed speed-checkout and then found an extra 60-120 dollars on my credit card bill at the end of the month?
Walked around the hotel looking for a quick bite, but Tahrir Square had protests, so I had dinner at the Night & Day restaurant. It was expensive considering the food was not all that great. I do like to eat well and don’t mind paying for a good meal, but this was ridiculous. Paid 360LE for a not-great meal. Restaurant had only 1 other table (8 guests).
Went to the pool. It was closed, but I walked the terrace. Just as I was walking back into the building, ice water landed on my head…having been thrown off a balcony. The kids who threw it were trying to land it in the pool, but still. This was absolutely unacceptable. I called their instant service number. No apologies, no offer to clean my clothes in hotel laundry. Just a “we’ll check on this.”
Gym is well-equipped. Sauna and steam, plunge pool are all nice. Steam room could use a cleaning though. It smelled and there was mold in the grout.
On Day 2 of my stay, protesters threw Molotov cocktails at a police truck, right in front of the hotel. The policemen inside were drug out of the truck and beaten. The truck was set ablaze. Hotel employees helped put out the fire from the roof of the 4th floor. I watched it all unfold from my balcony. Terrible. I called the front desk and asked if the hotel was secure…if the front doors had been locked. They said ‘no’, as if my questions were ridiculous. Really? They want protesting Cairene youths coming into the hotel? The Shepherd Hotel across the street closed their front door and pulled a large metal door down, preventing access to their lobby.
On the final check out day, I requested to extend the trip by 1 day, and was told that the room rate would increase by $90.00 US Dollars that night. Instead, I got online and booked a $125 a night room at the Marriott across the river. I even spoke to the front desk supervisor, who could not keep the room rate at $185 for the extra night. I guess with the protests around the hotel and the lack of tourism, the Intercontinental Semiramis continues to stay at or near capacity, unlike any other hotel in Cairo. (sarcasm). At check out, the front desk clerk knew I wasn’t very happy and asked to leave my number so someone could follow up. Yeah…just what I need is a call from a hotel manager asking me to try this hotel again. I think these problems are unnecessary and easy to fix. They shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Overall, I give this place a 4 of 10. I don’t like to worry if I’m going to get ripped off due to inaccurate accounting practices at the front desk. I don’t like drinking from dirty dishes. I don’t like walking on gross floors. I really don’t like smoke-filled spaces that sadly, you cannot escape. I don’t like worrying about security in a hotel during a riot. And I don’t like asking for an extended rate, when it’s not that inexpensive in the first place. There are better hotels in downtown Cairo. Try the Fairmont, Kempinski or Marriott instead.

Room Tip: Nile view rooms are more expensive, but worth the price if you do not wish to watch rioting proteste...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PatrickErvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICSemiramisStaff, Operations Manager at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear PatrikErvin,

I would like to thank you for your review of your stay at our hotel and for giving me the opportunity, earlier, to know your comments before posting. I was not available at that time, but Mohamed Serag, Assistant Front Office Manager did let me know of all your concerns mentioned during his telephone call to you.

I believe that guest comment is a useful tool to improve and recover any shortfalls along the way, and I do appreciate your extensive comments communicated either verbally or on tripadvisor. I wish to take the chance and highlight the following:
Hotel location and safety: The Semiramis InterContinental is situated Down Town, overlooking the Nile, within a stone’s throw of Tahrir Square and accessible to Cairo’s most well-known features and settings; Egyptian Museum, Cairo Tower, Opera Hall, foreign embassies, restaurants, etc… and I want to assure you that we are taking the maximum security measures based on physical, technology, people and procedures. More and above, the Semiramis InterContinental has gone through many security checks and accordingly has been approved to host many prestigious events and conferences such as recently the Turkish Egyptian businessmen association meeting attended by Turkish PM H.E Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Service and staff: I would like to thank you for your feedback on Karim from Reception, and Wael from Room Service. I will sure pass your message to them, whereas I do apologize for not being able to meet your expectations on some other areas. I would like to emphasize that what you experienced did not reflect the IHG service standards that we adhere to while guests are served.

Construction work around the hotel: The hotel is indeed 25 years old and is going through beautification. In 8/2007, the lobby was completely renovated by Tony Chi and the lighting has been set differently for the morning, noon, evening, sunset, and until the wee hours as to maintain the nostalgic ambiance. The design was intentionally meant to reflect the mysteriousness of Egypt. Nowadays, the hotel is working on renewing the hotel surroundings to create a great sense of arrival.

Dear PatrikErvin, I apologize, again, for not being able to live up to your expectations and I reassure you that what you encountered did not represent our true values with which the hotel team is keen to serve all our guests with. I am looking forward to welcome you again where no effort will be spared to provide you with a memorable experience.

I remain,

Sherif Abourida
Operations Manager
sherif.abourida@ihg.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mumbai india
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012

I visited with my family to cairo, from 12 November to 17 November 2012. Upon arrival at the hotel, a dog always sniffed the car for security .the front desk was miserable, smoke filled reception, the receptionist was not polite at all and was very slow. We had arrived after a long flight from India , we were told to wait for one hour to get our rooms, after the long wait we were not given interconnecting rooms, we had booked 4 superior Nile view double rooms. First the receptionist offered me rooms - 2 rooms on one floor and 2 rooms on another floor. Inspite of doing the booking one month in advance. Eventually after a lot of pleading we got rooms on the same floor but, we got only 3 double rooms and one single room, imagine!
The shower area in the bathroom was very narrow. Rooms were not upto the intercontinental level. The only saving grace was the breakfast , which was excellent. No one in the housekeeping department understands English.rooms were clean . Tahrir square was behind the hotel, walking distance,but cairo is not a place where one can walk around.too much traffic. Weather was very nice of cairo, pyramids are are a real wonder. Hotel mena oberoi is much better.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank siraj_chowdhry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICSemiramisStaff, Operations Manager at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear siraj_chowdhry,

Thank you for posting your review of your November familial trip. I do value your comments and kind words concerning the breakfast buffet and airport service, meanwhile I would really apprecaite sending your bookings confirmation numbers to stand on the facts of the check in/ rooms allocation concerns in order to reply. Also, I would like to highlight that the hotel is adhering to and applying the InterContinental standards in service and prodcut, so I would appreciate pointing out where the rooms were not up to standards to redeem.

With regard to the language barrier you mentioned, I assure you that housekeeping staff members know and understant the English language as well as hotel terminology, where the hotel provides intensive language courses to all staff members on regular basis to be able to anticipte and meet guest needs who do not speak Arabic, however I am sorry that we were not able to meet your expectations due to a misunderstanted and ineffectiveness of one member of housekeeping staff.

Thank you again for your comments and I am looking forward to welcoming you and your family members to the hotel in the near future.

I remain,

Sherif Abourida
Operations Manager
sherif.abourida@ihg.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012

Semiramis is located in the heart of Tahrir Square where protests often happen. Because of this, security is very tight. Aside from the bomb sniffing dogs, bags must scanned by the xray before they are brought inside. We arranged an airport pickup service with the hotel and this is well worth the price. Cairo Airport is like a flea market and it is difficult to get your own transportation. The hotel's staff that met us at the airport made it easier. The driver was also accommodating and speaks good English. We arrived at the hotel at about 2PM and it took us approximately 45 minutes to check in. The reception is undermanned and processing was very slow. After checkin,we ate at one of the restaurants with instructions to the reception to bring our bags directly to the hotel room. After eating, we proceeded to our room and found out that the bags are not yet there. I have to make a follow up before they brought it up.

The lobby is a little too dark for me. Perhaps it would be better if the lights were brighter. The dim look makes the hotel gloomy. I have no issue with the smoke because I'm a smoker. But I understand the complaint of non-smokers because you can light up anywhere in the hotel, except inside the elevator.

The room is a little disappointing. The bed seems old and you can see from the side that it is already uneven probably due to its usage. The shower area and bathtub is painfully small, making it difficult to use it. The room I got did not even have a flat screen TV.

The breakfast is excellent. This is the saving grace of the hotel. Abundant choices which allows you to try a different combination every day (I ate there for 4 days).

The first thing I do when I check in a hotel is look for a convenience store nearby to buy drinks and finger foods since these tend to be more expensive at the hotel. There is one near Semiramis. Upon exit from the lobby, turn left and follow the street. First corner you will see a small supermarket that offers drinks and snacks.

Aside from the hotel restaurants, there are no nearby restaurants that one can choose from. The restaurants are at the other side of the Nile and it seems that the other bank is more suitable for tourists. The museum is nearby but you have to cross a busy street to get there.

Personally, I might look for another hotel if ever I will go back to Cairo.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ultron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICSemiramisStaff, Operations Manager at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear Ultron,

Thank you for the post; your feedback is really much appreicated. I do apologize for not being on a par with your expectations concernign certain areas mentioned in your review. I would ask you to send your confirmation number to investigate your concerns with regard to TV type and bed condition.

As for lobby lighting system, it is intentionally meant to reflect the mysteriousness of Egypt, whereas lighting has been set differently for the morning, noon, evening, sunset, and until the wee hours as to maintain the nostalgic ambiance. Regarding smoking policy, the hotel adheres to country's laws and reagulations in this respect.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon as well as welcoming you back where all effort will be exerted to enjoy the InterContinental expereince in Cairo.

I remain,

Sherif Abourida,

Operations Manager
sherif.abourida@ihg.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taba, Egypt
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012

Stayed at the Semiramis from the 19th - 21st of November. Great to come back to Cairo and to the Semiramis. Darine and Serag at Check in took real good care of us and upgrading us to Nile View. Hotel is still amazing. Bird Cage is my favorite restaurant in Cairo. Gym great (Sauna could be hotter). Overall a great stay in the middle of Cairo. Some demonstrations going on during our stay on Mohamed Mahmoud street but we felt very safe in the hotel.

Will definitely come back.

Room Tip: Bird Cage is the best Thai Restaurant in Cairo. Upgrade to Nile view it is amazing day and night.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Elias K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012

We weren't sure what to expect from our first time in Egypt, and in Cairo, but with the madness on the streets, this Hotel provides a beautiful escape from it all.

The room was spacious, and neat and tidy. The breakfast was superb, and the setting and location of the Hotel right on the Nile was fantastic.

The concierge gave us excellent advice every day, and we feel like because of their service we really got the most out of our stay. Everyone right down to the cleaning staff always had a smile on their face and were always ready to greet you.

With a relaxing pool area away from the hustle and bustle, a range of excellent dining options, and a relaxing terrace bar, we could choose to nestle ourselves into the Hotel, or to venture out into the city as much or as little as we liked.

I would highly recommend this Hotel for an extremely comfortable stay in what can potentially be a very uncomfortable city.

The only thing we weren't prepared for, was every time we entered the Hotel in a taxi, the boot was opened and searched, sniffer dogs sniffed the cars for bombs, and our bags were searched every time we entered the Hotel. It's obviously a good thing to have tight security during this time for Egypt, but it's just something you should expect if you book a trip to Cairo (in fact, I'd be a little worried if a Hotel DIDN'T have security like this!)

Room Tip: Every room is a win with this place. If you're on the city side, you get the morning sun, and a...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank daveonfilm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICSemiramisStaff, Operations Manager at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
Dear daveonfilm,

Thank you very much (Shokran Gazeelan) for your review of your November stay at our hotel. I was happy reading that you and your friends were able to enjoy and relax and that we succeeded in maintain those feelings all over your stay.

I will sure pass your kind words to our Concierge, Housekeeping, Food and Beverage, Security and Swimming pool teams.

My name is Sherif Abourida, Operations Manager, sherif.abourida@ihg.com and I am looking forward to welcoming you and your friends again in the near future.

I remain,

Sherif
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012

The stay at this Hotel was exellent. The staff was very friendly and very attentive to my needs. The accomodation was first class and even when out the door was chaotic, the quiteness of the room was exellent and very well received.
Walking in the surounding area or away from the Hotel was somewhat unerving but upon ariving to hotel, the security staff was awesome.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Skyrunner64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marc L, Operations Manager at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Dear Skyrunner64,

Thank you very much for your review of your stay at the Semirmamis InterContinental Hotel. Your comments on our product and service are very much appreciated and valued. I am glad that we succeeded in maintaining your feeling of security inside the hotel despite the troubled moments Down Town during October.

My name is Sheirf Abou Rida, Operations Manager, sherif.abourida@ihg.com and I am looking forward for the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future were no effort will be spared to make your coming stay a successful one.

I remain,

Sherif
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Cairo Semiramis

Property: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis
Address: Corniche El Nil | PO Box 60, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Phone Number:
Location: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Cairo
#7 Romantic Hotel in Cairo
#7 Casino Hotel in Cairo
#11 Luxury Hotel in Cairo
#13 Business Hotel in Cairo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Cairo Semiramis 5*
Number of rooms: 726
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HISTORIC LEGENDS ON THE BANKS OF THE NILE Standing on the site of the historic Semiramis Hotel, the Semiramis InterContinental is situated in the heart of Cairo, a few minutes' walk from the city's commercial centre, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and the Cairo Opera House. The Citadel and Old Cairo are nearby. The pleasures on Zamalek Island are in full view across the Nile. The Giza Pyramids and Cairo International Airport are only 25 km (16 miles) away. Free WIFI and 12 dining options, 11 meeting and conference rooms make the hotel a favourite culinary and event destination. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis Hotel Cairo
Semiramis Hotel Cairo

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