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“Cockroaches in the Kitchen”
Review of Pension Roma

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Pension Roma
Ranked #3 of 131 Specialty Lodging in Cairo
Reviewed June 30, 2012

I initially was quite taken by this place. The location is excellent in terms of convenience and facilities, albeit somewhat noisy. The decor was charming and my accommodation was okay. Not great, but fine.

However, one day I got a look at the on-site kitchen where the breakfast is prepared. I saw a family of cockroaches happily crawling on the wall right above and close to where the food was being prepared. I am not talking one...I am talking about 8 cockroaches!

Now, I know that most people will say "but this is Cairo, it's hot, it's nature", etc. All true. However, seeing that this is a KITCHEN that is serving breakfast to their guests every day, ALL should be done to keep the problem under control. It was quite obvious that the person in the kitchen did not care all that much, as it was ignored, and they went about their business as if nothing were there. Which tells me that this is a common issue that is tolerated....GROSS!

So, up to the traveller, of course, but if hygiene and the simple 'ick' factor are important to you, I would NOT stay here!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank TanyaM212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 29, 2012

I would rate this as a very top backpacker hotel. Ideal location downtown, very clean, staff very helpful in lining up transportation, 4 blocks to the Egyptian Museum. The included breakfast was a little plain Jane, but the common room was very nice and had a television. They let us check-in early as our room was ready. Very quiet.

Room Tip: I would get the highest possible room just to look out over Cairo.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tomwaring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2012

This pension is situated in an old building with dated facilities - shared bathrooms etc. This is really part of it's charm. Some rooms on the fifth floor do have private bathrooms. Our room (on the upper floor) was very quiet. We heard no noise from the street, or from other guests. And although old, the whole place was very well looked after, and very clean. The staff were charming, and told us when we checked in that if we needed anything or had any questions not to hesitate to ask. We loved the Cairo of yesteryear feel of the place. The location is great, it's an easy walk (about 15 mins.) to the Egyptian museum, and to Islamic Cairo (about 30 mins.) There's also a metro within easy reach. Shops surround the place, although I agree with the reviewer who said there are not many eateries close by. There is a GAD, and several sort of kofta sandwich places behind that - but these are more snack kind of places, and not restaurants as such. As other people have also mentioned the breakfast does let the pension down a little. One other thing to bear in mind for some guests - the pension is situated on the fourth floor of the building. The elevator is great when it's working but it was broken down for three days during our visit.
But I wouldn't hesitate to stay at Roma if I go to Cairo again - it's unique and has so much atmosphere.
Double with bathroom EGP 270 including breakfast.

Room Tip: Ask if you want a quiet room, softer pillows etc. I'm sure the staff will do their best to accom...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank saritrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2012

I stayed at Pension Roma in early April 2012. It is very centrally located and most drivers seem to know where it is. Being in downtown meant a ton of noise but also puts you right in the middle of all things egyptian - shops that stay open late, places to buy food and general ambiance that is Cairo.

My room was just down the hall from reception. It had a balcony overlooking a back alley. I wouldn't recommend paying extra for a balcony unless you are a smoker. Mine wasn't worth it. The balcony also means that more noise will enter your room. That aside the room was clean, the sheets were clean and it was nice just to get away from the madness of Cairo sometimes by chilling out in your room.

I dont subscribe to reviews that cite old world elegance. Old is old. Old and maintained very well is elegance but Egypt is a poor country and you can only spend so much without it affecting your prices. My room had no toliet or shower and I had to use the communal shower. I should have read the description of the room better as I thought it had its own amenities.
Anyhow, the guy at the counter gave great directions to everything I needed and was always friendly. Everything was within easy walking distance including places to get a new SIM, eateries, shopping is just across the road and below the building. The Khan El Khalili markets are about a 10 minute walk down the road.

Having stayed in a number of Middle Eastern countries now my only major gripe about this place was the very poor quality breakfast. How about some fresh made felafel and fresh tomatoes being added to the bread, juice box and piece of cheese? I never saw one egyptian (and I stayed in some very poor places) eat such a bland meal. Felafel is cheap. Dont rely on the meal here to set you up for your day because it wont. If you want to welcome people to Egypt for goodness sake providing them with a quality breakfast is a good way to start!

The question is: would I stay here again? I would but I would ask for the breakfast to be deducted from my accomodation cost and I would go to GAD (egypts version of a fast food chain). I wouldn't bother with the balcony room overlooking the alley.

I dont know if this accomodation arranged trips because when I emailed about it before arriving I never got a satisfactory response so I cant review that aspect of their business.

Last thing - this place is on the 4th floor. Take the elevator up if you carrying baggage.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank cameronadelaide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2012

The hotel is certainly charming, with an old early 20th century-kind of feel (if that means anything), including the old-fashioned but quite functional elevator. It is clean and all the rooms I saw (I stayed in three of them) were quite spacious and comfortable; prices mainly vary with the placement of the room, such as balcony view, and according to en-suite shower/toilet amenities. Breakfast was comforting but also quite minimal (mainly bread, jam, juice and tea/coffee), so if you need to do a lot of walking in hot Cairo you may need to get more sustenance soon after. Wi-fi was also weak in some parts of the hotel (mainly the upper floor above the lobby).

Although not particularly near Tahrir and the Egyptian Museum or Islamic Cairo, it is fairly convenient in the sense that there is a metro station nearby and several banks, and taxis are still cheap for further destinations. The Egyptian Museum is also still walkable in about 15 min, more or less. The only real downside is that despite being in a shopping district, there are not a lot of obvious good places to eat nearby (though my opinion of this is partly affected by the ongoing Ramadan at the time).

All in all, it was a homely place to come back to.

PS: Another potential advantage, for those of you who may worry (I didn't), is that because it is out of the way from Tahrir Square you shouldn't worry about demonstrations; even at the height of protests you might very well never see any on your way to or from the hotel (minus visiting the Egyptian Museum, of course). And there are no important government buildings nearby.

Room Tip: Rooms vary greatly though all of them generally seem quite comfortable. Rooms with balcony views ove...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank BobPraz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

I've stayed in Pension Roma many times and although there are cheaper options just around the corner, I always come back. I just love the old-fashioned style about it and the owners and staff are always extremely welcoming and helpful. They could improve on the breakfast and the wifi on offer, but hey; you can't have it all...

Room Tip: Stay close to reception if you need to access wifi; stay clear of reception if you're a light sl...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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Thank cyclingegypt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2012

we stayed in the Roma for more than one week. we liked the location very much. breakfast was very good, staff very nice. accept the anti-moscito-tabs even though you might be suspicious of chemicals in your air.

the rooms are just great, ceilings >3m high. rather chilly in the winter and generally not too quiet (what do you expect from staying downtown?), shower with rather low water pressure but hot. wi-fi okay. the location is really good and most taxi drivers know the address immediately.

one last hint: cairo is not at all "dangerous", the news might really give you a wrong idea of the situation in the city, so go there!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank janschorsch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pension Roma

Address: 169 Muhammad Farid, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 131 Specialty Lodging in Cairo
Price Range: $40 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 32
Also Known As:
Pension Roma Hotel Cairo
Pension Roma Cairo

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