Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Marvelous Marriott, Ill be back!
"We stayed at the Cairo Marriott twice in 2004 and again in August 2006. The original building was once a palace for the French Empress Eugenie. The hotel now consists of the original palace, that houses the lobby area, shops, bank, and restaurants like Omars Cafe where the delicious buffet breakfast is served. The two residential towers called Zamalek & Gezira are located one at each end of the original building. In my opinion, the main drawcard for the Marriott is the gardens. There are over six acres of fantastic lush and manicured gardens, which are a peaceful oasis amid the chaos of Cairo. Security is good and the Hotel is only accessible through the main entrance, making the grounds very private. The area around the hotel is known as Zamalek, a nice area to wander around in and home to quite a few good restaurants and shops.
On our first visit, the rooms were clean and comfortable but the decor was dated and in much need of a revamp. In August 2006 when we returned, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the Hotel was undergoing renovations. This visit we decided to opt for a garden view room, not in either of the towers but in a separate building opposite the main building. The rooms here were roughly the same size as the tower rooms but had recently been refurbished. The bed was the most comfortable bed I slept on in the entire three weeks in Egypt! The pillows and doona were made of down and the mattress had a down pillowtop, wow I'm a bad sleeper but three nights on this mattress was superb. Try to get a room on the first floor, so that you can take advantage of the large balcony. The garden path runs alongside the building and the ground floor balconies are not separated by a bannister, so not that private. The only down side to the Garden View Rooms is that the "Egyptian Nights" restaurant is nearby and the entertainment goes into the early hours. It didn't seem to bother us though, must have been those comfy beds!
There are a number of great restaurants in the Hotel we tried - JW's Steakhouse (delicious but not cheap), Roy's Country Kitchen (All American Buffet - affordable). The Bakery is a cheap alternative place to eat, fresh baguettes, pastries and great coffee! Our favorite eating place is the Garden Promenade Cafe, an outdoor cafe set in the beautiful gardens, cane furniture, sun umbrellas, it feels very colonial. It is a peaceful oasis to drink a "stella"in the evening, they have generous tasty snacks at reasonable prices and cold beer (a change from the lukewarm stuff usually on offer).
I can vouch for the Hotel jewellery store just inside the main entrance and to your right, my sister ordered a gold cartouche in 2004 and it was inscribed with her name overnight. The prices were comparable to the one I had made in a jewellery shop in Aswan, I had them valued in Australia, the valuation was much more than we paid.
We found the staff to be extremely helpful and they can give you a good indication of taxi prices to various tourist sites. Most of the taxi rides we took from the Hotel we paid between 10LE and 20LE, you can get the taxi right outside the Hotel (they will hail it for you, from the Hotel taxis allowed into the grounds). If you want to go outside the Hotel to get a taxi, they are a little cheaper ( but shabbier ), you can haggle with the price and we used them a few times. Only problem with this is that they want to take you to see "alabaster/perfume/papyrus" shops :) they get commision on anything you buy, just say you are not interested (be firm) and agree on price before accepting the cab.
I will definitely be coming back, I love this Hotel."
- Travel date: Thu 23rd of November 2006
Wow! Great Experience!
"We just returned from a stay at this hotel. I have to say it really exceeded my expectations. I had read other reviews before booking so I had an open mind. I think the reason we had such a great stay is that we insisted on a renovated room in the Zamalek tower. My advice is to request a "superior renovated tower room". Our room was on the 19th floor with a great view of the Nile. The bed was extremely comfy and the bathroom very spacious and clean.
The staff was gracious and helpful, wearing buttons that said, "Yes is the answer, what is the question?" We ordered room service breakfast every morning since our guide came early and we were very happy with the prices and the food. And the room service came exactly when promised.
The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and the hotel itself, (a palace from the late 1800's built to impress Empress Eugenie at the opening of the Suez Canal) is styled in a combination of Moorish/French inspiration.
We had dinner in the hotel each evening, the best being on the garden promenade outside. Also, we had fun at Egyptian Nights, the nightclub (also outside) ordering mint tea and smoking sheesa (apple flavored tobacco) in the water pipes.
Overall, our experience was great! We found the Egyptian people charming and gracious and of course the pyramids and antiquities breathtaking."
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of November 2006
Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic what can I say......
"Firstly let me say I was a bit nervous when booking this holiday through LASTMINUTE.COM as some reviews can be a little daunting. However we booked this and were very very happy with the outcome.
On arrival to the hotel a day late as our flight was cancelled were were greeted with a very warm welcome we were not harrassed by anybody to carry our bags. (this could be as we had a driver Mohammed from the airport, he was our tour guide for the duration of our stay).
We asked for a Nile view and were given a room on the 19th floor in the new building which was a fantastic room and great view. Our first night there we ate at Egyptian nights which was excellent in service and food. We did the usual tours pyramids by camel which has to be taken on camel as you dont get all caught up with other tourist and our guide was very accomodating. The camels did behave themselves.
We decided to eat out one night (came off the yellow brick road) be careful as we had horrific stomachs the next day especially my husband. Again though we didnt get any harrassment from people and if you do just say no and the they do leave you alone.
We ate at JW Steakhouse which was amazing food and service all in all the food at this place is amazing a little pricey but hey you are on holiday so go on and enjoy.
We did have breakfast in the room which was lovely but wish we would have gone to Omar for breakfast as we were told it was fantastic.
The rooms were in excellent condition and they were cleaned every day nothing was a hassle at this hotel. We even got invited to the hotel by the hotel management which also was fantastic.
We are going to go back there next year with our children to let them experience what we did and to let them see how lucky they are.
Five star accomodation and a five star holiday."
- Travel date: Tue 31st of October 2006
Great Marriott Cairo & Omar Khayyam Casino
"Marriott Cairo & Omar Khayyam Casino
Total Stay 3days and 4 nights
Dates: Sept.28th-Oct 2nd
Upon arrival at the airport my girlfriend and I were greeted by an airport relations guide who referred us to a tour guide in the airport who was pressuring us to take his tour and his taxi to our Hotel the Marriott. We felt like they were really trying to over charge us for the taxi and the tour. We decided not to do the tour and check prices once we got to the Hotel. This was a good idea. We found out that the most you should pay for a taxi to the Marriot is 70 Egyptian pounds.
When we arrived to the hotel we were very impressed. We booked our room on lastminute.com we were supposed to stay in the older part of the hotel. We talked to the Hotel guest relations desk and told them we wanted to stay in the newly refurbished part of the hotel. We read on Trip advisor that the other side of the hotel was not as nice. The refurbished part was great I would suggest if you can to stay in the Zamalek Tower. This is where we stayed. Check out the pictures for the room. All the people in the hotel were very nice and attentive. Anything we needed was pretty much taken care of. The bed was so soft and comfortable my girlfriend and I had a great night sleep.
We wanted a tour guide so we got in contact with the very famous tour guide Emadhadeda. It is best that you contact him directly through trip advisior or email him using the name ---------.
Tour Guide: Emad A. El Gawad aka Emadhadeda
Promptly in the afternoon our tour guide was waiting for us in the Lobby ready to go on the tour. Actually we were a little late meeting up with him but he kindly waited. We got a call from the hotel to see if we still wanted the tour and we hurried down to meet with the tour guide. Our tour Guide spoke very good English and was very knowledgeable about all Egyptian history and facts. Again I would recommend him to all of my friends His name is Emadhadeda. Emad spoke several different languages and was very patient with us and gave us a great tour. We saw the Pyramids of Giza and Sakkara, Egyptian Museum, A place where they make the essence of perfumes and colognes, a place where they hand make carpets, Papyrus art, and any other place we wanted to go Emad was more than willing to take us there. Emad stayed with us the whole day from 11:30 to about 4:30 and we paid him $50. Yess Emad takes American dollars! Emad was great at wheeling and dealing with the people and got us a lot of great deals on the carpets and papyrus art that we bought. Remember when in Egypt everything that you pay for is normally negotiable. I believe if you check emadhadeda
on trip advisor you will be able to see a lot of great reviews about him. If you can not find him then maybe you can look him up when you get to Cairo. (Pictures included)
On our final day we decided to go to the Mall and take a cruise on the Nile. We were told by one of the Taxi drivers that all the Malls were the same but this was wrong. We were taken to the Ramsey Hilton Mall and this mall to us was horrible. We were very upset and not very happy about being at this mall. The mall just seemed dead and very old. We heard about the City Stars Mall and we decided to take a Black and White taxi to this Mall. This Taxi driver was very nice and even waited for us the hour or so that we were in the mall to take us back to our hotel. While driving to the City Stars Mall we found that the pollution was horrible and we both had head aches by the time we got to the Mall. This in traffic from the Ramsey Hilton Mall took us about 45 minutes. The City Stars Mall was great it had a lot of the American amenities that I was used to. (I.e. restaurants and shops) We offered the taxi driver to take us back to the airport the next morning and he did was prompt, on time, and very helpful.
(I have included pictures of this mall as well.)
Dinner Cruise: Nile Maxim
The cruise was nice the food was good and we had a great time. The entertainment was some belly dancer and we really enjoyed the whole thing.
Overall I think we had a great time and would definitely advise if youâre going to Egypt to stay at the Hotel Marriott and get our Tour Guide Emad! Good luck and have a safe trip I hope this review helps you on your vacations."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of October 2006
Not the best, Not the worst though
"My partner and I stayed here as part of an Insight tour of Egypt in early September for 3 nights total at the start and end of our tour.
There are some great things about this hotel but they are really let down by the condition of the rooms... Apparently they are being done up but none of the ones any of our group stayed in had been. The bathrooms are probably the worst thing, tiles cracked and mouldy, toilet yellow with age, funny smell. The carpets are old and need replacing and the walls cracked in many places. I don't know the going rate for a room here as we were on a tour, but I assume you would feel overcharged at Marriott prices.
The good things about this hotel are the breakfast is AMAZING - so much variety you'll never get sick of it. There is a bakery which sells really cheap and yummy rolls and sandwiches and cakes for when you don't feel like sitting in a restaurant. The casino is good fun for a gamble. The security is tight so no danger of strangers coming in. But probably the best thing in this country where you can't drink the tap water, is that there is a doctor who lives at the hotel. A lady on our tour fell ill and within minutes he had come to the room, given her a needle for her diarrhoea, and prescription medication for the following week. Don't be like her and drink the tap water - she was so tight with her money that she would buy a bottle of water, drink half, then fill it up with tap water thinking that wouldn't be so bad. Then she complained that it was the Marriotts fault she was sick from the ice in her drink... DONT DRINK THE TAP WATER!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 19th of October 2006
Must Read Before You Make Reservation
"I stayed at this hotel from Sep. 13 to 23. I was grieviously shocked and infuriated when I saw the room. The room was filthy, shabby, moldy and smelly plus a droning fan.
1. Curtain was awefully dirty; 2. Washing basin has 2 big cracks. 3. Ceiling in the bathroom was cracked. 4. Carpet has many stains 5. Wall paper was peeling off. 6. Very old toilet, the plastic lid has turned yellow. 7. 2 old black buttoms of no use; 8. Black stains around switches. 9. Old-fashioned chair with dirty arm rests ...
Without the Marriott Emblem on the stationery, I would think I was staying at a 20-buck motel in a blue-collar town. My God, is this a 5-star hotel?
If the old facilities were still understandable, the late-night concert (till 1am) in the garden was inexcusable. The drumming and singing just drove you crazy.
As to the clerks, most of them were stiff-faced. You have to be patient because they would just walk away without looking at you.
I have stayed at many upscale hotels and this is definitely the worst of the worst. Marriott is such a renowned name, which means 5-star properties and 5-star service. But this hotel is a JOKE. Ironically, the general manager of the hotel wrote in his welcome letter "please experience a new dimension of luxury with unique and distinctive hospitality." Spare me!
Other minors include I was locked in one of their old lifts, which appeared to take a 3-min break at its discretion; I called the front desks, which was supposed to "At Your Service" all the time, several times to no avail; my door didn't open and had to mobilize the housekeeping department, the room service department and finally the security department, etc.
To be fair, I did find some people working at the restaurant very pleasant and considerate. I also appreciate the help extended by the night manager, Mr. Habi Nabil. They alleviated my feelings a lot. Thank you. But overall, this stay was a great dissappointment to me and the only annoyance I had during my whole trip.
If you are attracted by the low price and the Marriott name, it's fine to book here. After all, you have a clean bed, a place to wash and a TV. BUT don't pin any hope on finding the 5-star quality you would associate with the Marriott name."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of October 2006
"This has to be the best deal for a 5-star hotel ever! This is a grand hotel that goes beyond what you would expect from a 5-star hotel! Parts of the palace from which this hotel was built add to the glamour and gradieurness, which will no doubt keep you coming back for more. The hotel has enough stores to make a little town; everything from banks to hairdressers to bakeries to restaraunts to nightclubs and bars. I didn't get a chance to visit the casino though. The buffet breakfast is to die for! The outdoors Egyptian Nights restaurant is a must visit with the friendliest waiters and constant supply of sheesha. To me, there is no other hotel in Cairo."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of September 2006
Very nice hotel
"Stayed here for three nights. This is a big, busy hotel but it runs pretty well. Reception was often very busy, so leave plenty of time to check out and don't be impatient - remember you are in Egypt! Sadly we didn't get one of the newly redecorated rooms, but by next year they should all be re-done. Our room was a bit scruffy but very clean and the staff were charming and helpful.
The courtyard garden was delightful and the pool was clean as were all the public areas.
The food is pretty average and the toiletries were a bit sparse but all the important elements were in place for a pleasant stay."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of September 2006
No where else..
"This is the best casino! A fairytale! I was so happy with the pool, food and price per night's stay. This is a luxury stay that I want to recommend to anyone planning a trip to Egypt. People always say they want to be close to the pyramids, but at Giza the neighborhood is pretty bad. Trust me, you don't want to be that close. A cab will get you there in 20 minutes. The hotel is situated along the Nile, where you can dinner/party on a cruise boat for very little. The famous museum is of walking distance and very safe to get around. You feel like a king here, and you will miss it."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of September 2006
The worst 5 star hotel experience
"Given the Mariott brand name we had a basic expection of standard. Not only were they were not met, this was possibly the worst hotel experience for an avid traveller like me. We had reservations for a double bed room. We were shown into a twin bed room, with cigarette stubs in the ashtray, a dirty toilet with a commode which had not been recently used with remnants left in it. Upon complaining to the reception we were told we were being checked into an executive floor. In the new room, the carpets were worn, the bathrooms were old, the room was smaller than any 5star I've ever stayed at. I dont know what the other rooms look like if this was the executive. While checking out they had misplaced our forms, so they kept us waiting for 30 minutes, with the taxi waited to take us to the airport. When we complained the rather irritated manager asked us to get out. We asked for a complaint form which they said was not available.
We've never met such discourteous staff or such a shabby hotel.
The only good point was the excellent buffet breakfast.
Its a beautiful hotel from the outside, but whats contained inside will go a long way to ruin the Marriott brand."
- Travel date: Mon 21st of August 2006