The room itself was not particularly noteworthy, but it was clean. The bed was comfortable and I had a nice view of the city from my balcony. I also had plenty of room to spread out and arrange my many purchases.
The hotel is very large and has every possible amenity and service you need. I used the business center extensively to check email and keep in touch with people back home. Fortunately, the computer time was charged in Egyptian currency, which made it pretty cheap.
I also used the fitness center quite a bit. There were several bikes, treadmills and exercise machines. For a hotel, it was a pretty nice facility and it was open 24 hours a day. I used the treadmills at 2:30am a couple nights when I couldn't sleep. The pool was fantastic (beautiful and very large).
A few other notable features of the hotel included the many shops, four restaurants, and an exceptional concierge. I got many excellent recommendations. Just as importantly, they arranged for an superb guide that showed me around Cairo a couple of different days (for about $75 a day).
I also enjoyed the casino attached to the hotel. It was small, but classy. You couldn't just walk in with shorts or shabby clothes. Everyone was very polite and the dealers were friendly. It didn't hurt that I won a few hundred dollars.
The hotel did go beyond my expectations a couple of times. I was at the hotel on my birthday and they made sure I got my birthday package from back home before the day ended. A couple of days later, the hotel stored my bags for a couple of days while I went to Luxor. Finally, the hotel sent several postcards on my behalf after I left. I was running late for the airport and I just handed unstamped postcards to the concierge. He handled the postage and mailed the postcards for me.
All said, I thought this was a very nice hotel, particularly for the price. It was called a five-star hotel and I would agree with that assessment for everything but the room (which was fine but nothing special). But given the quality of service, I give it my unqualified recommendation.
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February 28, 2010
Charlotte, North Carolina
March 28, 2004
From journal A Hectic Week in Cairo