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“Tea Leaves !”
Review of Hotel Longchamps

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Hotel Longchamps
Ranked #21 of 137 Hotels in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Tea Leaves !”
Reviewed January 13, 2010

We chose Hotel Longchamps based on it's high rating on Tripadvisor. We found this rating to be highly inflated to say the least but this may be a reflection on the general overall quality of Cairo hotels (i.e. poor).

I've put a great deal of thought into how write an objective review of our experience without sounding bitter and twisted. I've decided to just state the truth.

We organised an airport transfer - this was a no-show. The one airport in the world that I didn't want to deal with the local hacks (taxis) was Cairo. We managed to find an honest taxi driver and found the hotel (after some searching) - the hotel is on the upper floors of a dilapidated building - think ghetto crack house. The lift predates colour television and did not fill me with confidence.

Not a good start 'Hotel Longchamps'.

When I queried the whereabouts of the alleged transfer - the perspiring receptionist gave me some shifty answer (whilst avoiding eye contact) about the driver being involved in an accident - highly dubious and no apology either.

There was to be no electricity the next morning. Brilliant.

Things couldn't get any worse….. or could they ??

The next night….We robbed from our room !!!

I have stayed in hundreds of hotels around the world - this is the first time this has ever happened to me.

Hotel Longchamps has an unusual custom in that you are required to hand your room key to reception when leaving the hotel. 'Strange' I thought but participated as security seemed to high (full time security guard at the door and metal detectors).
When we returned to our room after getting a sandwich for the lovely café downstairs we discovered that the light had been turned on, we instantly noticed this as we had a discussion earlier about whether to turn it off or not as we were only going to be a short while. On closer inspection we found our bags had been disturbed and cash stolen from my partner's purse. (I took my wallet and my partner only left her's as we were only going for a sandwich - silly mistake I know).

I immediately confronted the prime suspect and requested some answers but they answered by denying the theft and ever being in our room - but not actually helping. After five minutes of this nonsense - (If I was innocent and in their shoes I would have done everything in my power to assist and thus clear my name.) I said I'll call the tourist Police and they reluctantly put me on to the manager - Hebba.

To her credit, Hebba was thoroughly professional about the matter and suggested that the Police might cause more problems than solutions for us both and said she would handle things first thing in the morning. This was done to my satisfaction with the stolen cash being refunded and an assurance given that the two (suspected) parties (receptionist and security guard) involved would be released from her employment. Whether this was done or not is her problem - staff stealing from guests is a cancer to any hotel and word will quickly spread.

Other than the case of the light-fingered staff, missing electricity and the non-existent airport transfer - I found the hotel extremely mediocre. Dark (even with electricity), tired and worn.
The location is OK, breakfast was very good and the non-felons on the staff are very friendly but if you are used to decent standard hotels - I would suggest to try one of the large chains.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Robocopms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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English first
Darmstadt
1 review
Reviewed January 10, 2010

I know others who are more expensive but offer less. Nice rooms, very good and individual service, very rich and tasty breakfast, free internet, all what you need to feel at home.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank walker1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2010

We only had booked two nights in Longchamps before continuing from Cairo to Aswan and wished we could have stayed longer. The hotel is in an excellent location, with ATMs, shops, restaurants etc. nearby. We even walked to downtown Cairo from there! It was a pleasant evening stroll along the river. We took a taxi back though!
First impression of our room was mixed. We'd booked an executive room, but when we entered the room, wondered "what is executive about this"? It was small, with twin beds (would have loved a double bed!) and a desk, and a tv. But It was clean and the bathroom was very good. Once we discovered our own little balcony, with two soft armchairs and a table, we were sold! That made up for the room's small size.
Breakfast was good, better than in many other places in Cairo, and in a very pleasant environment.
Best about the Longchamps, however, for us was Gabby! We arrived without our luggage, due to the infamous snow storms of Christmas 2009, which messed up all of Europe's flights. And we left without our luggage. Gabby took it as her task to look for our bags and kept in contact with the airline. We were in Aswan when we heard from her that our luggage had been located! She had them collected to Longchamps, which in my view went beyond her duty, but which was a very friendly gesture to two desperate tourists. (The bags were further sent to us to Luxor by train, with the help of a friend there, but that's another story!)
Gabby, we thank you with all our heart!!!! To us, you were the soul of Longchamps! Ok, we didn't meet the legendary Mrs Hebba Bakri, but Gabby was our saving grace!
When back in Cairo one day, we'll definitely want to stay in the Hotel Longchamps again!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mea1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2010

Most of the reviews were spot on. The rooms are good size and clean and the hotel interior is clean albeit a bit used looking in the common areas. And, thank goodness everyone was so candid about the lifts and the look of the exterior of the building! Even knowing that, I was still a bit afraid until we got up to the 5th floor! Hard to believe that this is one of the nicer areas of Cairo…and yet...

The breakfast was nice and the service was very good (they have really great coffee!). The front desk is hit or miss. Gabby (?) is great but some of the night crew could use a little update on helpfulness. Also, the free wi-fi and the house computer were nice to have available!

My 2 critiques are as follows: 1) The car service they offer (offered-perhaps they have changed based on the issues while we were there) should not be relied upon. You would do best to negotiate to have a cab take you from the airport (75 Egyptian Pounds or no more that $18-20 USD). They ended up having to call a cab for us to get a ride back to the airport-car did not show up again- and, thankfully, the night guard who paid the driver for us told us not to pay him anything else that it was all taken care of….low and behold when we arrive at the airport he tried to get 10 Pounds for entering the airport grounds (yes, I realize it's only $2USD but it was the principle)…we told him no, got out and said goodbye to Cairo! And 2) if for some reason you have a breakfast box made because you are leaving insanely early in the morning….double check the temperature of the yogurt. Ours was left out all night w/o refrigeration and we got a quizzical look when we gave it back after questioning why it had not been refrigerated overnight. And (a personal preference here I realize) the fruit had not been washed-still had stickers on...small but important in my book.

All-in-all, it was a good stay. We got good restaurant recommendations, overall, the staff was helpful, the rooms were clean and comfortable and, for Cairo, it is a nice independent hotel. If we were ever to go back to the city, we would consider staying here again.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mum4k9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level Contributor
35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2010

Good hotel that lives up to many of the good reviews. Maybe we went with very high expectations and was instantly put off by the exterior of the apartment building and the cranky lifts. Other than that the hotel rooms are spacious and clean and the plus point is getting free internet access and a fairly good breakfast. It is a nice budget hotel but like one of the earlier reviewers, I would probably pay a bit more to get into a proper hotel. Also, some of the drivers bringing us there had problems trying to locate the place and we had to circle round several times before arriving. But I must say the staff are helpful and overall its a pleasant stay.

Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank travelfan_fromAsia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
351 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2010

This hotel was clean and quiet in the evening. There was some construction going on in other floors so during the day there was a lot of pounding. The staff was very helpful. Breakfast was okay. Nothing to brag about. It's enough to get you going. The shower had lots of hot water in the evenings. The mornings only had warm water. The bathroom towels are pretty hard. Felt like I was drying myself with scouring pads. The location is okay. You do feel safe due to the embassies all around. Plenty of taxis on this street. I would recommend this place due to the cleaniness and easy access to taxis. There is a HSBC bank 3 blocks from the hotel. If you turn left and head to the main road then turn left again you will run into the bank. Best place for exchanging money and they are open Sun-Thurs 8-5.
Now about the city:
The city is so dirty and smoggy. I thought China was bad but this place beats China. There was so much dirt and smog everywhere that my eye swelled up from allergies and this has never happened. There are very few places that appear clean. Other than that the rest of the city is pretty filthy.
The People:
Most people speak english. I dont expect everyone in the world to speak english but its nice when we can communicate without a lot of hand gestures, pointing or guesses. The most unfortunately thing about this place is that everyone (men) is a salesmen and they expect to get paid as a salesman would. These people have no shame in begging for a tip (baksheesh) from all the foreigners. Just for pointing something out to you that you can obviously see on your own they expect a tip. Or if they helped you in putting your luggage in the taxi they expect a tip. And they will stand there and extend their hand until you put something in it. It is so annoying.
Airport: When you arrive at the airport you will most likely fly into the old part of the airport. Again, another dirty filthy place. There are several places where you can exchange money and get a visa at the same time before you go into the passport area. Upon leaving the airport there is not a taxi stand area. So all these people approach you and ask you if you need a taxi. If you did not arrange a car to pick you up then you have no choice but to take one of their cars. They are not taxis but high priced cars waiting to rip people off. It's best to have a car waiting for you so that you are sure you wont get pestered or ripped off by anyone.
Taxis:
It's best to take the white taxis when going places as they have meters and its the cheapest. All other taxis do not have meters and will try to charge you whatever they feel like.
The Pyramids:
Went there early in the morning by taxi. Right before arriving our taxi let a salesmen in the taxi to sell us a camel ride. It took 10 minutes of straight NO-No-No's from us to get this person to leave. Once you go into the pyramid area there a dozens of guys selling horse and camel rides and the place stinks like poop. You cannot enjoy the sites due to all the pestering from these people. Even the guards pester you. They ask very politely if you want them to take a picture of you. And you when let them they extend their hand for that tip (baksheesh) after they give you the camera back. If you want to go inside the pyramids you need to buy the extra ticket at the gate. The large pyramid costs an extra LE $100 and only a certain amount of people are allowed in per day.
Overall: I would never go back to Cairo again. I disliked how everyone acts and begs for money. Leaves you with a bad impression about this whole place. Good luck if you go.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank m2347m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, BE
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2010

Buzzing downtown this area is not. What it has is walking distance to the Nile River, across the street from an arts college, and lovely tree lined streets. This is the more calm part of Cairo. Downside is potentially taking a taxi to the bazaar takes approx 30 minutes, but the good news is that its dirt cheap (25 ep). Don't let that keep you away, but if you're after the buzz of downtown, I recommend the Talisman hotel instead. What we did was book a few nights at Talisman to be downtown, and then Longchamps for the serenity. Longchamps rooms are very clean - the cleanest I've experienced in Egypt. With free internet and breakfast as well as serene location, it offers excellent value for money. Staff was helpful, although sometimes level of English led to some minor confusion. Overall, if you can get a reservation here, do so. I would be happy to return again.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NewbieTubes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Longchamps

Property: Hotel Longchamps
Address: 21 Ismail Muhammad | Zamalek, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Phone Number:
Location: Egypt > Cairo Governorate > Cairo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cairo
#8 Best Value Hotel in Cairo
#11 Business Hotel in Cairo
#17 Family Hotel in Cairo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Longchamps 3.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dear Guests , You have the choice of three category of rooms : Standard Superior Executive . Free Nestle Mineral Water is available in alone standing dispencers in both lobbies. Please note hot Water might take some time to reach your rooms, as I have three Solar System Pannels on my Roof top. I hope to meet up with your expectations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Longchamps Hotel Cairo

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