Cataract Pyramids Resort
15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Not a bad resort - apart from the infestation of mozzies!
"This hotel is pretty nice. It's huge with lovely grounds. I got the feeling though that the grounds are maintained more so than the rooms (in particular the bathrooms). Service wasn't fantastic; it took staff an extraordinarily long time to do most things. We requested a double room, and were put up in a twin share room. It took a lot of effort to have this changed, and when you're tired this isn't good.
The worst thing about the hotel was the mozzies! They were terrible! My boyfriend was almost eaten alive, so make sure you bring your mozzie spray!! The staff spray what seriously looks like a gurney gun full of 'insect repellent' around the grounds - problem is that it gets all over everything, it smells and it doesn't do anything!
Food at breakfast was fantastic; a huge range. The buffet dinner was also very good with a large range of options, but pricey at 80 Egyptian pound (although this only equates to 8 GBP, it's pricey compared to what you can get elsewhere in Cairo)."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of May 2007
Was better than I expected
"Good points: A quiet location with rural views and when it wasn't too smoggy a view of the pyramids from the roof - inspiring! Also here was a good vantage point to watch a strange assortment of passing traffic!
The hotel was not very busy when my husband and I spent 4 nights there from May 6th 2007. We ate two buffet style meals in the main restaurant which were quite good. We enjoyed our excursions arranged through the hotel and our driver, Alaa Wahib, was very pleasant and helpful. By UK standards we thought the cost of trips was very reasonable. The gardens and pool were kept in an immaculate condition and looked very attractive. The staff seemed genuinely friendly and there was minimal hassling for tips (outside the hotel was another matter and it was difficult to keep a good supply of low denomination notes).
Bad points: Why hasn't anyone mentioned that breakfast time was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "Birds"? Birds were gaining access through the windows at the base of the dome which covered the galleried breakfast room over the entrance foyer. There was too much uncovered food. As a bird and feather phobic I was horrified but no one else seemed concerned that they were sharing food with creatures that had probably been drinking water from the nearby canal which was a repository for all kinds of rubbish including an assortment of deceased equines - gross!! Mozzies were quite annoying and we didn't appreciate being woken at 4am by the fumigating machine. The bathroom was shabby and a bit grubby but nothing too horrid and the water was only occasionally brown. Some days the towels looked grey. The air con was noisy.
We wouldn't recommend that anyone should eat at a restaurant overlooking the Sound and Light Show as an alternative to actually seeing just the show - you cannot see or hear it properly due to street lighting, street noise and noisy diners.
Overall we enjoyed the stay but would try somewhere else if we were to make a return visit to the area just for the sake of having a change."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of May 2007
A resort for mosquitoes
"5 star? Not likely. Reset your expectations to 3 star and you may enjoy it more (maybe, see mosquito comments at the end) . I traveled with my young daughter so this review will be more of a family perspective. The resort has a children's play area that I didn't let my daughter near as it hasn't been maintained since it was first built - at least 5 years ago. Lots of broken equipment. The pool was expansive and seemed fairly well maintained although I did note that there was a fair amount of material at the bottom of the pool. To be fair it could have been windy the night before as I did notice people cleaning it every day. The food was very average. We ate the breakfast buffet, at poolside, and the dinner buffet. I would highly recommend staying away from the dinner buffet - definitely the worst. The poolside meal was acceptable and the breakfast buffet was fairly large but not that great. They didn't vary the menu from day to day. An example of the quality - the "orange juice" was Tang. The hotel service itself was nothing exceptional and I would say on the low side of average. Bug alert: By the end of our stay I was joking that any new guests that we saw arriving were not defined as guests but entrees. I understand that we are close to the Nile and the mosquitoes would be bad - but inside our room? We literally ran in and out of our room, didn't leave windows or balcony doors open and we still got eaten ALIVE. I guess there were lots of areas for them to get in and out of our room because we (and my daughter particularly) were COVERED in bug bites. The hotel did provide spray for our room but that was more for show than effectiveness. If you do stay at this hotel bring a mosquito net to sleep under."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of May 2007
Not a place to spend holidays
"We visited Cairo for Easter holidays and spent 3 nights at the Cataract Pyramid Resorts . Its not a 5* property and rooms are pretty ordinary. The room was stinking and smelled of dust (thick layer of dust on all the furnitures). The bathroom was really bad and all the bath fittings have got corroded. The biggest problem we faced was about mosquitoes. As the sun sets, these mosquitoes attack with vengance. There was a bug spray kept in the room, but it was of no use. Only one thing good about this resort is the swimming pool.
Commuting to the City center from this resrot is a problem, if u dont have proper transportation."
- Travel date: Tue 10th of April 2007
Paradise on the inside, a nightmare outside
"The resort is excellent. The hotel staff is polite and the service is great. However, once you go outside the resort (sight seeing), beware of the people who'll try to hustle you for your money...i.e. overharge on hotel cab as well as outside cabs, unsolicited offers for YOU to take THEIR picture with their animals, then they'll insist YOU pay THEM,.....also guide you into their store to get you to buy something. Animals are treated cruel and worked beyond their capabilities. deborah villafane new york"
- Travel date: Sun 18th of February 2007
I like egyptians TURKEY
"Cataract hotel is very beautiful. My wife and son stayed here 4 nights the previous summer.I loved the cataract hotel. Really pool is great,room service and dinners excellent. Everybodys THANK YOU"
- Travel date: Sat 27th of January 2007
"I went with my 13 year old son over Christmas. As other reviews have stated, it isn't a european 5 star but it was great. Yes the water comes out brown when you first run the tap, but I didn't intend to drink it in the first place. The rooms were a little worse for wear but clean and comfortable.
I didn't get any hassle from the bellboys.
The staff speak more English than I speak Arabic, so that was OK.
I was given an excellent driver from the hotels taxi service called Mohamed Refaie. He made our holiday and looked after us, making us feel completely safe.
We ate in the hotel restaurant serving local food,called La Pergola (or something like that) and the food was brilliant. It was very popular with the locals and had a great atmosphere. The staff there were great.
The reception staff were a bit miserable but that was their problem. Breakfast was a bit stange but we had freshly cooked omlettes which were great.
No problems with mosquitos, but it was winter.
The only thing I would say is that there are no tea making facilities so take a travel kettle and some tea bags.
Note: They have loud local music in the early evening at the restaurant. Only 2 english channel on the TV.
Overall we had a very good stay.
Have a look at my travel tips for Egypt web site. It's all the stuff I learnt whilst there
- Travel date: Mon 8th of January 2007
This is not a 5 star hotel!!
"I stayed here for 5 days over Christmas and was seriously disappointed. I travelled by myself and It was booked through a travel agent, who described this as a luxurious and relaxing 5 star hotel. It was not the case.
The rooms are clean, if a little shabby, but the bathrooms however are in serious need of upgrading. The water from the taps comes out brown, there is rust and limescale and cracks all over the taps, sink and bath.
The staff are not particularly helpful, when i tried to book a tour to see the pyramids, i was directed to a driver who dropped me off at his friends house and then charged me for a horse to see go upto the pyramids (which we accesses through a gap in the fence- not the main entrance!) and were not able to get up close to the Sphinx as it was not an official tour. When i tried to speak to the reception about other tours, they would only direct me again to this driver.
All the bell boys seem to be on the take and want to 'sort you out' with cheap alcohol and things. My cleaner would not leave me alone and would continually knock on my door even though i had a do not disturb sign hanging on the door knob.
The 'spa' facilities are a joke and they try and charge you for absolutely everything in the resort, so beware. I would not recommend that you stay here. I think this is a 2 or at a push a 3 star hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of December 2006
Not a five star
"This hotel is definitely not an America "5" star rated hotel. The resort was booked by the travel agency we went with, and I recommended that they look for something else for future tours. The lobby and common areas are nice, clean and the staff are friendly. However, the rooms are in need of upgrades. The bathroom fixtures were corroded, the enamel on the tub was pitted and worn, there was mold around all areas in the bathroom, panels were loose in the ceiling and the deadbolt was useless since the wood was completely missing from the frame. We had to have them clean the floors after I walked from the bed to the bathroom and my feet were "black". The water is not drinkable in the resort, it is actually brown when it comes out of the faucets.
The mesquitos were not bad in the rooms (they provided bug spray in each room) but they were bad by the pool as soon as the sun went down.
You must also know that there is NOTHING around the resort...the neighborhood is a very depressed area, as is most of Cairo, so you are stuck using the pool or shopping in the meager shops they have on the property.
If you have a choice in locations to stay in Egypt or a mode of transportation, I would not recommend you stay at this resort."
- Travel date: Sun 15th of October 2006
"The thing that you have to remember about this resort is that it is a 5* hotel in Africa. The five star rooms in Africa do not match up to the five star rooms in Europe but this is still one of the best hotels you can stay in, in Cairo.
The rooms are basic, with a bed, a simple bathroom, balcony, desk, TV, chest of draws and mini-fridge (which didn't actually work in our room!). At first I thought that the basic layout of the room would be a problem. However, after being in Egypt for one day, I realised that in such a beautiful country, I wouldn't be spending much time in my room anyway. It proved a perfect base which we ended up using only as a place to sleep and get changed! The fact that our mini-fridge didn't work wasn't a problem. The 24-hour room service is fast, friendly and delivered ice cold drinks to our room any time of the day or night.
There was some confusion when ordering food and drinks around the hotel as the staff's knowledge of English is minimal. However, the staff do understand all of the key words (such as beer and sandwich) and are always apologetic and polite when they do not understand your request first time.
The pool at the hotel is stunning. Going in March meant that each day there were only ever about ten people around the pool, which meant that you could relax completely. The pool is attended to by two or three people at any one time. They will also put out towels on sunbeds for you, so thee's no need to get the ones from your room dirty or wet. (And the towels that they provide are very clean!) The pool itself is always kept clean as well, far more than any pool I have ever been in before in any country.
We made the decision not to book excursions and to go and see the sights on our own using local taxis. This is NOT for the faint hearted. The roads are chaos and for the most part they tend to keep excursion buses off the 'locals' roads. However, if you choose to take a taxi, you will be caught up in the hustle and bustle of the 'locals' roads. Although it is somewhat of a white-knuckle experience, the drivers are very skilled (they have to be) and there is a distinct lack of accidents, so we were told by several locals.
If you do decide not to take excursions, make sure that you agree a price with the driver at the start of the day. You can usually get a taxi for the whole day, to take you anywhere for around 15-20 Egyptian pounds. If you do take taxis, make sure that you stipulate that you want to go to the TOURIST entrance of every attraction. Taxi drivers will take you to their brothers or cousins, who will then get you into the pyramids on horse or camel-back for ten times the price you would pay at the tourist entrance. Make sure you tell the driver that ou only want to go in with the tourist and if they do try and talk you into a camel ride or another tourist trap, tell them NO, in no uncertain terms.
Around the pyramids, there are lots of poor local men trying to sell their goods to generous tourists. Make sure you tell all of these men NO! Once one man sees you buyig something, they will all swarm you trying to sell you cheap trinkets. Women (especially, like me, those of the blonde variety) be prepared for men to try and buy you several times over. There are also men who will make rude comments at you, try and touch you and take photographs of you. Again, tell all of these men NO and walk away. There are lots of antiquities police on horseback around the pyramids area and they always come and assisst if they see you are being harrassed. The best thing to do, is ignore the men and stick to the area where there are the most tourists.
Despite its slightly stressful edge, the pyramids and sphinx is simply a breath taking experience. The pyramids are much larger than you can imagine them to be from any book, and strangely enough, the sphinx is much smaller! They are both amazing, once in a lifetime experiences, and well worth the stress of men trying to exchange you for camels!!
The Cairo museum is another must-see place. The small grounds are dotted with large statues from many years ago and are well maintained. Inside the museum, it is absolutely packed to the rafters with ancient monuments, artifacts, tombs, boats, jewellery... A definite MUST MUST MUST-see (more so than Tutankhamun's room) is the mummies room on the first floor of the museum. Inside the darkened, temperature controlled vault are the mummified bodies of nine Egyptian pharoes. I can't put into words the atmosphere inside the room. Coming into contact with ancient men of such wealth and power who comanded such an incredible empire is simply mind-blowing. This room is definatly worth the extra few pounds to go inside!
Thank you for taking the time to read my review... I hope you have found it of use and I hope you enjoy your time in Egypt!"
- Travel date: Thu 10th of August 2006
Worst Hotel I have ever seen
"This hotel was the worst hotel i have ever seen. The whole hotel, espially the room was dirty, terrible customer service, there was never anyone to deal with any of your concerns. They didn't allow me and my husband to be in the same room, becuase we had two different passports. The hotel may say 5 stars, but whoever rated it must have been blind, deaf and with a mental disorder. "
- Travel date: Sat 8th of November 2008
The behaviour of the personnel at the re...
"The behaviour of the personnel at the reception towards its costumers is outrageous, Irresponsible and lacks professional training. I would say they have a laid-back attitude and are incapable of confronting a serious problem I was facing. After pre-booking and having paid at a discounted price with a well-established legal agent officer, I was fully refused without any mature negotiations between us. I was eventually forced to repay a considerable amount for 3 nights, bed & breakfast which as a total amount is a lot higher than 2 nights I spend, bed and breakfast, in a 4-stars hotel in Los Angeles. Furthermore, unclean, unhygienic conditions and broken bathroom lights in the room. In simple words, to describe the room,âstinkyâ and âskunkyâ with the full meaning of these two words. As for the breakfast menu, they were serving it for the second time, especially perishable food like canned mini-sausages (ironically to hide the fact that they were presented at the table for the second time, they would add cooked vegetables in the sausages. Very unprofessional and disgusting) and bread for the second and third time. It also seemed that they didnât have a head chief in the kitchen because there were many young people of the personnel wondering around with poor English knowledge, if any at all. The general mood of the hotel is not agreeable and every time I would be the one who would greet the staff of the hotel. The only privileged part this hotel has itâs the architecture which again considering other hotels in Cairo I stayed, it is outdated. It is built in an unpolluted area but if you get out of the hotel, itâs like a secluded world, a dessert. There is no way you can walk by your feet to reach the giza/Sakkara pyramids or even a mini-market because it is separated by a high way with dangerous impatient drivers."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of March 2008