11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Gave my 6 month old food poisoning then held us hostage!
"The Grand Hyatt is archaic pre-historic establishments thatâs sat on its laurels too long and this led, to my 6 month old baby getting food poisoning and us being held captive!
1) Generic low quality toiletries supplied whose shampoo gave me red eye for most of the day!
2) Toilet seat dirty.
3) Childrens pool non-accesible with pram - 30 steps to lug it up!
4) Undercooked eggs at Florentine Restaurant gave my baby food poisoning.
5) Hotell stopped our taxi leaving (with baby crying for food) until we were forced to sign a disclaimer (husband used false signature) stating the food poisoning was not caused by them!
6) Hotel then tried to charge us both for an extra nights (enforced) stay due to food poisoning!
- Travel date: Mon 8th of November 2010
"Ok agree with the previous posts on front office staff- I had to help 50 guys from my group check in!! when usually the hotel does the rooming list. But i found out that u can check in from the 30th floor (much faster)!!
Once you stay here- try to get a higher floor even though there are no balconies but the view is out of this world. Oh once you stay here you will feel on top of cairo. Rooms are not so big but luxurious nevertheless with great amenities and new furniture. Staff in the hotel are generally helpful and the breakfast is exquisite.
One of my best experiences in cairo- will come back for sure."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of July 2007
"The hotel offered excellent views of the Nile; clean well equipped rooms with great beds with big down comforters; nice bar and plenty of choices for eating. I suggest you go to the 'tent' next door (right on the Nile) still part of Hyatt and is a traditional Egyptian meal at decent prices for a 5* hotel. The breakfast buffet was incredible! Centrally located and the pool is fantastic. The new gym - fitness area is a MUST - really top notch for anyone's standards and the massages are great and very reasonably priced!"
- Travel date: Mon 11th of June 2007
"We spent a total of 4 nights at this beautiful hotel, and I cannot say enough about the outstanding service they provide. The rooms were very nice, and the view of the Nile outstanding. One quirky little thing in Egypt, they use no top sheet, only fresh duvet covered comforters, so we were either too hot or too cold, but that's just a minor thing. The restaurants are very good as well, with 5 stars going to the buffet breakfast, but what stands out is the service -- unobtrusive, but constantly there. The security is quite stringent, but I believe that must be the norm. We went to the lobby cafe every day for refreshments and enjoyed watching the comings and goings in all forms of middle eastern dress. This rambles and I apologize, but wanted to get my thoughts down while they are fresh."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of June 2007
"We staying in the Grand Hyatt from the 8th to 13th April 2007. We had a club suite on the 31st floor with lovely views of the River Nile. The suite was superb with two bathrooms and a lovely lounge. The room came with access to the club lounge which served breakfast and evening drinks and snacks. The service at this hotel is outstanding with evening turndown service and buckets of ice.
The gym is world class and is the best in Cairo. Excellent food with Japanese, Indian. seafood and Italian on offer.
Really enjoyed our stay and would highly recommend."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of April 2007
A mixed bag!
"I have stayed at this hotel twice - once in 2005 with my daughter and just recently with my partner. This first time was an excellent experience; the second was unfortunately fraught with too many problems for it to be so enjoyable.
Firstly, if a pool experience is important for you, then the Hyatt is an obvious option - it's large, attractive, enjoys a breeze off the Nile and sun all day. The food served here, however, is not inspiring and the service problematical this year as their kitchens were not open? We enjoyed a superb poolside lunch at Four Seasons across the road - although a little expensive and the sun disappeared behind the building around 1pm. The water in the pool at Four Seasons was warmer.
As it was our second visit, I decided to upgrade to a Club Room which turned out to be a mistake for us. The cost difference on the hotel website is about $50 per night (I discovered later) but the difference on the website I booked with was $100 because they obviously just had access to a cheaper standard package. However, as we were paying $100 more per night than we would have if booking stardard, we expected a significant upgrade.....
The Club Room entitles you to a free meet and greet service at the airport (which is very worthwhile as they purchase your visas for you and collect your bags), access to a private lounge on the 30th floor where they serve complimentary breakfast, soft drinks and snacks plus, between 6.30 and 8.00pm, free alcoholic drinks and buffet. There is also free internet access.
What we were not happy with was:
a) The meet and greet is not included if you book through an agent (not mentioned anywhere on either website and despite paying the same amount!)
b) The room is no better than standard in either size or furnishings
c) You have to check in on the 30th floor which you can't access until issued with a room card - this involves getting a member of staff to insert a card into the lift.
d) The lounge was closed when we arrived and there were no toilet facilities other than back down in the lobby! My partner was sent down without a card and had to go through the whole performance of finding a member of staff to get back up!
e) We were not shown to our room which involved going back to the lobby and getting in another lift.
f) We were not informed that the mineral water in the minibar was complimentary for Club
g) Breakfast was a disaster - complete lack of service, little choice and several people smoking. (We had breakfast in the Lobby thereafter which was first class - still included in rate.)
h) The lounge was more like an Egyptian smoking room and not all the computers functioned properly - you had to guess which one to use!
i) There were never enough staff on duty at the Club desk which meant a lengthy wait - my parnter had to interrupt a heated exchange on the last morning after waiting 15 minutes to check out as we had a car booked to the airport.
The dinner cruise with belly dancing was worthwhile (although when I complained that my black coffee was too weak [it was positively watery], they brought me nescafe sachets!)
The Revolving Restaurant is an experience for the views but perhaps not such brilliant food to warrant the expense.
Beware stepping into a limo to go anywhere from the hotel - it's very expensive. We decided an evening trip to the bazaar was a short enough trip for us to afford the comfort - however, we ended up at Giza where the driver tried to persuade us to view a papyrus museum and where he was surprised that the 'bazaars there' were shut (even tho' he had previously told us he lived in Giza!) Getting back to the middle of Cairo to the old bazaar (which was all very open) took an hour due to traffic and after he had insisted that he wait for our return, charged us 350 Egytian Pounds for our less than satisfactory experience. (The old 'Bazar' is only 10-15 minutes ride from the hotel.)
The room service this time was very hit and miss. When they did it, it was first class but they missed one whole day even tho' we were out the majority of the time and we only had turn down service on one night out of five (we did turn down the offer on one occasion).
Because I complained, the manager gave us a free trip back to the airport - it was interesting to note, however, that this car's rear windows would not function and the central arm rest was covered in packing tape........ A fitting end to our stay!"
- Travel date: Sun 8th of April 2007
Great hotel; loved Cairo
"We stayed at the Grand Hyatt for three nights as part of our 12-day long trip to Egypt. The hotel was very good and met all our expectations. If possible, I would suggest getting the bed and breakfast package. Their breakfast spread is excellent and that's a great way to ensure that you eat a hearty meal before starting out on what are usually long sightseeing days. We spent most of our days out and about though, so I'll use the rest of this review for tips on Cairo.
Sightseeing in Cairo:
The sights in Cairo were quite a treat! We had a private car/driver and guide for two days of sightseeing and then spent the third day exploring the city on our own. I would suggest a guide for all the main sights -- the pyramids and sphinx, the museum, the mosques and churches. That way, you ensure that you get to the right place, park where you are supposed to and see everything that is open to be seen without having to worry about the touts who hang around everywhere. On that note, you will come across people, inlcuding police officers, who will appear to be very friendly and offer to show you a great photo spot for example, with the expectation of 'baksheesh' in return. Some times it will absolutely be worth it but often it just ends up being a pain to keep saying 'no, thank you' and quite a nag. Regardless, make sure you keep lots of small change with you.
Try to get to the outdoor sights early in the morning (we left our hotel at 8am). That way, you won't be stuck in traffic, which can be aweful, and won't have to battle the big tour groups for a photo op in front of a pyramid.
At the museum, make sure to pay the extra LE100 for entry into the mummy room -- the displays there, of mummified human, animals and food, are incredible and a must-see.
Shopping in Cairo:
My most important take-away is the following -- do NOT buy anything from a store when your guide takes you there. The way the system is set up, the store must pay the guide 35-40% commission on any purchase you make. So, even if you go to the same store without a guide, right away they will offer to take off the commission amount for you. This happened to use multiple times, especially at the stores around the museum. Also, it goes without saying that you should expect to negotiate to get a good deal. Often we bought things for less than 50% of the original price that was quoted. Also, people will try all kinds of tricks to get you into their shop and guilt you into buying something. The one to look out for is when they walk with you and make small conversation and then ask you to come 'sign their guestbook'. Believe me when I say that the best thing to do is to smile, say "no, thanks", and keep walking until you see something that catches your eye. Finally, even though we looked, we didn't really find any government or 'set price' stores (I hate to bargain, even though my husband is pretty good at it and doesn't mind it). With that in mind, the best place to shop for souveniers, etc is the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. You can take a taxi to and from the bazaar (LE15-20 after negotiating from the Hyatt). Also, for stuff that is some times better quality, try the shops outside the museum or in the shopping arcade at the hotel right next to the museum (one of the Hiltons I think).
Dining in Cairo:
To be adventurous, we tried not to eat at the hotel, excecpt for breakfast, but found that it is not easy finding good restaurants in Cairo. I am sure they exist, but the only one we found was Fel Fela (also in the Lonely Planet). Other than that, we went on a dinner cruise on hte Nile for two hours one night -- their food was pretty good too. We went on one of the Oberoi boats but there are quite a few others to choose from. Also, we didn't have any problems with getting sick from food the entire time we were in Egypt. However, Cairo (and most of the rest of Egypt) is very dusty so that can some times be a problem."
- Travel date: Sat 31st of March 2007
The right choice!
"During our Egypt holiday we stayed at Grand Hyatt Cairo Hotel for 3 nights and were very happy choosen this hotel. Rooms are very good 5*-Business-Standard: OK but nothing special. We enjoed the new Gym and Wellness Area which is great and also the newly renowated big pool area - perfect for a city hotel! The hotel is located directly at the nile and to have a cocktail at this terrace is an enjoyment! We found that Grand Hyatt is the best hotel for that price and it was a perfect choice for us!"
- Travel date: Tue 20th of February 2007
Grand Hyatt was a grand place to stay
"The Grand Hyatt is a convenient base with great facilities in downtown Cairo. After a significant flight delay that caused us to arrive at the hotel at 4:45am, the staff did not miss a beat in helping with luggage and checking us in. We had a politely refuse a room tour as we wanted to crawl into bed.
The hotel has two levels of security. First, vehicles have to pass through a security gate. Secondly, at the Grand Hyatt entrance, all bags (large and small) are scanned. There is also a metal detector, but that didnât seem to be used and we were waived through despite âbeeping.â
Note that this complex has both a Hyatt and Grand Hyatt next to each other. We did not see a bag scanner at the Hyatt entrance next door.
Our room (#1045) had a beautiful Nile River view. There is a small balcony from which you can watch the river traffic go by â wonderful! The bed was a bit soft, but very comfortable with a big duvet cover and four pillows. For a fee, we were able to connect to the internet via a high speed cable connection (no wireless). The bathroom has a toilet, bidet, shower/tub combo with a glass partition, and a sink. Toiletries are provided â no brand names though, just plastic bottles labeled âshampoo,â etc. There is an in room safe below the TV next to the mini bar.
We ate dinner twice in the restaurant row downstairs. Choices are ample â Indian, Middle Eastern, Italian, seafood, and even an English Pub. The hotel also has its own dinner cruise boat on the Nile River. The Hyatt next door also has a Hard Rock CafÃ©. We tried both the Indian and Middle Eastern (called âOrientalâ in Egypt) and were pleased with both. The latter was filled with locals enjoying dinner or dessert and smoking hubbly-bubblies.
Our room rate did not include the breakfast buffet, but we passed by to check out the offering. It seemed to be one of the best that weâve seen on our two week trip in Egypt and Jordan. Fruit was fresh and with lots of variety. There was a pancake and omelet station. Service seemed to be good, with many staff circling with coffee and tea pots in hand.
Our only complaint is that the hotel was very busy, so securing a taxi out front was difficult at times. We had to compete for the notice of several doormen, all of whom were busy assisting 10 or so local people, and we were definitely at the bottom end of their priority list. After waiting a while, we walked out to the street to catch a taxi, and found one immediately. The concierge told us that a hotel taxi to the Citadel would be ~25 pounds. The taxi on the street was 10 pounds + a small tip, albeit the driver did not speak English and we had to ask the person exiting the taxi for help in translating our destination and the fare.
We enjoyed our stay here, and would recommend it to both business and leisure travelers."
- Travel date: Sat 17th of February 2007
A Good Hotel (but, perhaps, not the best one in Cairo)
"We've stayed in the Grand Hyatt Cairo for 4 nights (Jan. 28th - Feb.1, 2007).
Before travelling to Egypt, we've made an extensive research on 5* hotels in Cairo (took us more than 2 days to read the reviews, see the pictures, and then finally make a decision).
Out of more than 20 hotels in central Cairo, which caught our attention, only 2 stood out - Four Seasons at Nile Plaza (as the name suggests, situated near the river Nile), and Grand Hyatt (also right on the river Nile).
We would have been inclined to stay at Four Seasons; however, compared to Grand Hyatt it charged 45% more, thus we decided to stay at Grand Hyatt.
There were three of us staying in the same room, and when booking through Expedia, we've requested a room on one of the higher floors, overlooking the river Nile. Breakfast was not included in the rate.
When we arrived at the hotel at midnight (takes about 35 mins. to get there from the airport when there is no traffic), we were nicely greeted and welcomed to the hotel. The receptionist allocated us a room on the 24th floor overlooking the river as per our request when the booking was originally made on Expedia.
He's warned us that breakfast is not included in the rate, but we can have one for $20 USD (equivalent to about 120 Egyptian pounds) between 6-11 am in the lobby.
Since there were 3 of us staying in the same room, we thought we'll get a spacious room; however, we were severely disappointed when we opened the door and realised that it's just a standard room with one extra "bed". Another thing which I've noticed straight away is the shabbiness of the 2 armchairs (it was not torn, but it was definitely worn out - and the dark green colour of the material made it look even uglier) which stood in a stark contrast to the other furniture in the room.
The bathroom was nice, and the view from the balcony was just amazing.
Even though Grand Hyatt is a five star hotel, we were unpleasantly surprised to learn that they charge you for using the minibar (which was stocked with mineral water, beer and soft drinks), as well as they charge you for the snacks in the room (chocolate bars, crackers etc).
The prices for the drinks in the minibar were evidently exorbitant. Whereas a big bottle (1.5 litres) of still mineral water in a Cairo supermarket costs only 1 Egyptian pound (Aquafina), the hotel charges 11 Egyptian pounds for a small (half a litre bottle) of a local mineral water, and....25 Egyptian pounds (!!!) for an imported mineral water (Evian). The next day we went to a supermarket and bought 4 big bottles of Aquafina (produced by Pepsi company) which (unlike the "Evian" bottle in our minibar at the hotel) has even had seals on it.
The hotel also charges you for the internet (there is no Wi-Fi in the hotel). There is a socket next to the table in your room with a cord, which says "High-Speed Internet. They say they charge you 150 Egyptian pounds (which is around $26 USD) for one day's usage of the Internet (no matter how many times you use your laptop), but in reality we got charged 165 Egyptian pounds for every day (because they explained that 150 Eg.pounds was excluding tax). Even though you pay $28 USD for the Internet, the speed is not that fast and the connection is not stable (i.e. sometimes you lose the connection and have to wait to regain connection).
The rooms are cleaned and towels are changed twice a day, so we had no complaints about the service. The breakfast is lavish and absolutely fantastic and is definitely worth the $20. There is an area next to the lobby, where the breakfast is served every morning. If you find a table next to the window, you can - through the huge window glasses - admire the views of the Nile. You don't have to order anything (except for the fried eggs and omelette) - you simply go around the tables in the centre of the dining area and pick up whatever you need as many times as you wish (fresh juices, hot sausages and meats, cakes, fruits, cereals, vegetables etc). Tea and coffee is served to your table.
Since it was the end of January, we couldn't enjoy the swimming pool, which is not particularly clean (although it's heated, it's simply too cold to swim outside). The gym, sauna, and steam rooms are good (my mate has forgotten his goggles in the lockers' area when he was changing after the swimming pool, but when we came the next day to ask if anything has been found, the receptionist in the Health Centre said that no lost items have been handed over to them).
The Business Centre is well equipped and in case you don't want to use the internet in your room, you can do that in the BC. It costs 25 Egyptian pounds for every 15 mins. to use the internet on their PCs, and it costs 8 Eg. pounds to print a page.
As with all the 5* star hotels in Egypt, the entrance to the hotel is patrolled by taxis who want to rip off the unsuspecting guests from the West. Once you exit the hotel and want to go somewhere, the doorman will ask if you want to use of one of their limos (a limo by Egyptian standards, but certainly not by ours), which is unreasonably expensive, or one of the local taxis. If you want a taxi, he will whistle to someone, and the taxi will come in no time. Before boarding the taxi, always agree on a fare. When we wanted to go from Grand Hyatt to Heliopolis area, the taxi driver quoted 50 Egyptian pounds (when just yesterday we've paid only 10 Egyptian pounds to get from Heliopolis to the hotel) which made us laugh. In general, it is a very bad idea to get a taxi from the front door of the hotel, because you'd be quoted a fare which is sometimes 500% more than what you'd pay had you flagged down a taxi in the street.
It takes only one minute to reach the main street once you exit the hotel, and you'll find hundreds of taxis stopping for you. If you expect to take a ride which is 5 mins. long, tell the taxi driver that you'll give him 5 pounds. If he's not happy, tell him that there are millions of taxis in Cairo, and say goodbye (obviously, if you start with 5 pounds and insist on your fare - which is fair - the taxi driver will eventually realise that you are not one of those foreigners who can be fooled so easily, and will take you for 5 - 8 pounds). If the ride is going to take about 15 - 20 mins., then initially offer 15 Egyptian pounds, but do not agree to pay more than 20 pounds (which is a lot of money in Egypt). If the ride is going to take 20 - 40 mins., offer between 20 - 25 Egyptian pounds, which is more than enough by Egyptian standards. Of course, have a small change ready, because sometimes if you agree on a 15 Eg. pounds fare, and you give a 20-pound-bill to the driver at the end of your journey, he'll simply pocket those 20 and will tell you that he has no change.
The Grand Hyatt has a few ATM machines, and when we needed to exchange some British pounds into the Egyptian money, we were quite reluctant to use the Money Exchange at the lobby (open 24 hrs a day, with apparently 10 min. breaks every hour or so). Amazingly, the Money Exchange does not rip you off! Since we had 80 pounds sterling, before descending downstairs, we've checked the latest exchange rate on Xe website. It said that Â£80 equals 888 Egyptian pounds, and when we came downstairs, the bank clerk said we'll get 878 pounds for the eighty British pounds (which is really fair, considering the 10 Egyptian pounds that we lose).
All in all, we had a pleasant stay in the Grand Hyatt hotel in Cairo. Next time, I'd choose another 5* centrally located hotel over Grand Hyatt only if I find one which has refurbished rooms with modern furniture, does not charge its guests for the items consumed from the minibar, and does not charge for the internet connection in the room. Apart from that, I have no other complaints."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of February 2007
Five star must be a bazar price 3 star maybe
"How this ever got quoted as 5 star is another wonder more amazing than the piramids, bad service, bad food, rooms in desperate need of renovation, it took me three days to get a sofa changed in my suite as it had clapsed, every one was just to lazy, the chair for the desk was broken and in the end I had change myself the laundary was late even though we paid 50% extra for same day service. And know one will give you access to the manager I am a diamond member with Hyatt, and could not even get acess to him or his assitant the best I could get was assitant front office manager? And then just a feeble will be better next time? I have had enough, the Four seasons Nile plaza or the four seasons first residence are two stars better at least I fear that when the Park Hyatt opens this will be a poor 3 star hotel"
- Travel date: Sun 21st of January 2007