12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A good, individualistic option
"Ours was a 3 night stay in March 07, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. In a big, bustling city like Cairo, where there are a lot of big Western cahin hotels to chose from, I am really glad we chose to stay at the Longchamps - a friendly, well-run, comfortable, individually-decorated hotel in a nice, quiet location.
It's kind of weird that the hotel is on the 5th and 6th floors of a residential block, but once you step inside that's easily forgotten. We paid just over LE353 (about 65USD) a night for the exec double, with a terrace (worth paying the extra for that). The room was a good size, but although we booked a double we ended up with a twin - but we didn't ask for a move, it was easy enough to shift the beds together! The bed was comfy enough, the bathroom was fine and clean, but would be in need of a lick of paint sooner rather than later.
The terrace at the back of the hotel was a really nice place to recover from the sightseeing with a couple of beers before dinner.
The staff at the hotel were really friendly and very helpful, particularly the guys on the front desk. Breakfast was a good range of bread, cakes, pastries, cold meats, yoghurt, fruit, eggs and pancakes - a good way to fuel up for a hard day of sightseeing.
Zamalek is a nice place - embassy district, so quite upmarket, quiet, and with tree lined streets. A couple of good restaurants nearby - Abu el Sid for traditional Egyptian food (note, it is in a building just back from the main road, and doesn't have a big sign, so took a bit of finding - look out for the doorman stood outside!) where we paid LE250 for 2 people, 2 courses, a G&T, 2 beers and a bottle of water. Also L'Aubergine nearby for more international food was very nice too. Here we paid about LE180 for a shared starters, 2 mains, 3 beers, water and coffee.
We didn't find any problems with taxi drivers locating the hotel, although did have trouble explaining to one where we wanted to go (Egyptian Museum!). Fare to Egyptian Museum was LE10, and back from Sound and Light was LE35.
In summary, a good hotel, good value, in a good location!! Would recommend!"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of March 2007
A nice hotel
"We stayed in the Hotel Lonchamps from February 9th to the 15th. We stayed in a double executive room even though we had booked just a standard double room. The room was tastefully furnished and had a balcony. There was a TV with 2 English channels with one of them being CNN World. The rest is mainly German as that is were most of the guests seem to be from. The breakfast was a hearty buffet with fruits, cold slices, cheeses, eggs, pastries and yogurt. Only problem I had with the buffet was that they only had mango yogurt the six days I was there. You can trust the advice of Hebba Bakri as she will tell you the prices that the locals pay for taxis and other things. All the staff are very helpful and any questions or concerns we had were dealt with quickly. The hotel is hard to find as only 2-3 taxis drivers knew exactly where it was while everyone else asked for directions when we got to Zamalek. The 2 elevators are small but fine. There is also a security guard downstairs and in the lobby but I'm sure this is a requirement for all hotels. The hotel is in the embassy area of Cairo so there is a lot of guards around and is across from a couple of schools. There is a supermarket which is 5-10 minute walk from the hotel. You also have many eating options. A Hardees, McDonalds, Pizza Hut are all nearby for those who are a little less adventurous. Overall I would heartily recommend this hotel to anyone."
- Travel date: Wed 28th of February 2007
A Perfect Place for Us
"After reading every review on Cairo hotels I could find, I picked the Hotel Longchamps for our 5 day stay, and was very glad I did. This 3 star hotel met every expectation we had and more. One thing we really appreciated was that it was away from the worst of the constant honking of cars and the exhaust fumes (which are considerable). This hotel takes up two floors in a building (another hotel occupies a couple other floors). It can be easy to miss, so make sure you have the complete address. The front entrance is small. You take a tiny elevator up to your floor.
The room (not large) was equiped with everything we needed except for a hair dryer (I always bring my own anyways) and an alarm clock (you can get wake up calls from the front desk). Since cleanliness is a top priority, the room and bathroom were immaculate along with the rest of the hotel. We were very pleased. Hebba (the charming owner) has tastefully decorated the sitting areas with fresh flowers, and comfortable seating. There are a couple of long balconies to sit outside, which were great. Housekeeping was also top notch. Hebba was also easy to communicate with while booking the room directly - nice personal touch.
Food: I have an allergy to sunflower oil which most of Egypt cooks with. The restaurant chef at the hotel bent over backwards to accomodate me to create delicious meals. Needless to say, I really appreciated this!
The hotel staff were always friendly and wonderful - answered the many questions we had, and gave really good advice. The Hotel Longchamps was a very safe haven for us, being so far from home. We would not hesitate to stay there again. This hotel definately gives you your money's worth. It goes beyond 3 star hotels in other countries. We have travelled a bit and know the difference. Hopefully in another year or two, we will be back and will stay at the Longchamps."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of February 2007
An Okay Hotel
"I stayed at the Longchamps Hotel in October 2006 for three days, directly from the hotel. This hotel is located in northern Zamalek in Cairo, taxi drivers I have found often have trouble finding it so I recommend you bring a web map.
Also, there's no clear sign on the front of the building, so you can go by it and not notice it. The frontage of the building is not too appealing, nor the lobby as you view it from the street. The hotel is on the 5th Floor only, (I forget 4th or 5th), after going thru this lobby you take a small, self operating elevator, operates like a freight elevator, very small. At times you'll have to wait, so when I wasn't carrying someting I took the stairs. Once you get to the floor of the hotel, the furnishings are nice and clean and neat, with flowers, polished shiny wood, and pictures. To your right is the reception about 60ft down this hall. The staff are very nice and helpful, someone will show you to your room. The room, which is clean, has a frig,a/c,bath&shower(spotless),small tv,2 channels in English. I was there the first night and moved to a bit smaller and inferior room, not given a reason, but the price remained the same, however it was still adequate. The room is hard to describe, the furnishings were dark polished wood, shiny, in some sense elegant, but somehow overall lacked distictiveness, as other items were quite mundane like striped bedspreads, or uninspired wall coverings that seemed slightly incongrous.
The room I had been moved to had a clothes cabinet, it looked nice, but had a large hole bashed in at the top, about the size of a basketball. I wouldn't have noticed it except I'm over 6ft tall, the rest of the room was quite good and spotlessly clean. Breakfast, was included with the price, I paid about $30 US per day, the breakfast was laid out buffet style in a pleasant dining area. Everything was of a good quality, emphasizing breads. There were eggs(small omlette squares),cold cut slices,cheeses,yogurt,some fruits, small cereal selection. No orange juice, but orange or a red punch type drinks,and hot drinks. Their buffet is unattended, if an item runs out you have to wait for someone to refill it, or go look for someone, but I noticed they do come out and check it. They don't have flapjacks, sausages,or bacon, hashbrowns, or grits.
Other Services: I had asked about touring the pyramids, Mrs.Hebba, the owner, recommended a taxi for the whole day, and quoted a price. I should have gone with her recommendation, as I went with an offer I has in the airport from a "Cairo Airport shuttle bus" co., which I think tried to do something shady; during their tour of the pyramids, they try and coerce you to buy other services, like camel rides to the pyramids, or at the pyramids, or overexpensive lunch, and falsely stated they were part of the government, implying they were official, which later I found out was not true. You can trust her advise. It is easy to get a taxi from in front of the hotel, stand and wave. Many taxi drivers speak a little English, so bringing something written in arabic or a map is helpful, you pay them when you exit, what you thinks its worth, not before. Obviously, an argument could ensue. The area around the hotel is not what Americans or Europeans would call upscale(at lease I wouldn't), i.e. manacured lawns, neatly trimmed landscaped spotless streets,impressive homes; no, thats not it, thats not Cairo. But its not run down. For a third world country its fine. I liked the area after a while, and it became home. As you exit the hotel to the left, a half block you'll find a photoshop to save your camera storage disks to cd,buy film,etc, also a pharmacy, & other stores. When night comes you do hear some street noise, and other noises sometimes, I heard hammering , which was disturbing. Other than that this hotel offers good value for the money, and there are good people working there. The hotel was in many ways okay, but I would try a new hotel to get a different Egyptian experience next time."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of February 2007
A home away from home
"We stayed at the Hotel Longchamps twice during our recent trip to Egypt â once for two nights at the beginning of our trip and again for another two nights as we were getting ready to return home.
The hotel itself is beautifully and tastefully presented and the staff are friendly and helpful at all times. Our flight arrived in Cairo early in the morning and we were able to leave our bags at the front desk while we walked into Downtown â about half an hourâs walk.
While the hotel is not in the busy Downtown area we enjoyed the peace that Zamalek had to offer â a welcome respite from the intensity of Downtown.
On the first nights we had pre-booked a deluxe room (has a balcony and a separate bathroom with a bath) and this was delightful â clean, bright and airy.
Breakfast each day was a buffet with copious amounts of breads, cake, cereals, juices, fruit and 3 hot dishes â the best breakfast of all hotels we stayed in at this price range.
As we left on our journey we were so impressed with the hotel that we tried to book in for our return leg only to be informed that all rooms were booked on those dates (this did not surprise us given how great the hotel was).
We later emailed Longchampsâ exuberant manager, Madame Hebba, asking her to book us in should any cancellations arise. Luckily enough we were able to stay again at the hotel though this time we needed to change rooms for our second night to a standard room. This was less spacious than the deluxe and had no bath but still was clean and pleasant.
We really enjoyed our time at Hotel Longchamps and recommend it to anyone looking for a reasonably priced, quiet, friendly and slightly luxurious hotel. Another wonderful touch at the hotel was free high speed internet access on a shared computer in the lounge. This enabled us to easily email family and friends and organise our banking without having to worry about getting to an internet cafÃ©.
Hotel Longchampsâ motto is âa home away from home, so far from homeâ. It is all this and more.
- Travel date: Fri 16th of February 2007
Okay, but not worth the price
"I recently stayed at this hotel in a double executive.
It was okay, but definitely not worth the $66/night we paid for it.
For that money you can stay in a lot better hotels in Cairo, like the resort hotels (Oasis, Intercontinental and more )close to the Pyramides
The room was freezing and we paid extra to get a suite, but the suite was like a regular room. They also overcharged us with $7.
However, the staff was very nice and it was very clean."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of February 2007
Very comfortable mid-range hotel
"We stayed in an Executive Double room which was very large and comfortable and with a pleasant sitting area. The room was impeccably clean and well serviced during our stay.
Hebba Bakri and her lady assistant, who worked during the daytime, were very efficient, pleasant and helpful - e.g. giving us good strategies for taking taxis. The male evening staff were less communicative.
The hotel has 24 hour free internet - which is a great service.
Some postings have mentioned that the location could be a problem, but we had no problems. We always got a taxi quickly in the street outside. Taxis coming back found differing ways of negotiating Zamalek's one-way streets, but they always got us there in the end - even if they had to stop and ask locals where the hotel was.
The area is much more pleasant than most of Cairo and it has a number of food shops and restaurants. It is better to eat out of the hotel as the only evening meal we ate there was not good, and over-priced. The breakfast buffet, howver, is good.
In summary, this is a great hotel which we recommend highly."
- Travel date: Wed 31st of January 2007
Hotel Longchamps ~ An Oasis in Cairo
"Our experience at the Hotel Longchamps was truly a warm and wonderful experience. After spending two weeks touring Egypt where most of our accommodations were rated '3 Star', my experience was that there seems to be a huge void between the very pricey hotels (which don't always get the 'rave reviews' either) and mid-class hotels in Egypt which were generally so-so/fair. We wanted to end on a high note after our rigorous tour and decided to try the Hotel Longchamps after doing research online through Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet.
Ms. Bakri and the staff were wonderful to us. We booked the Executive Double Room and found our room/bathroom spacious and clean. The furniture was very nice and appealing in our room and the rooms throughout the hotel. The hotel has a very relaxing quality to it. There is a small library which has nice new computer with internet for guests to use.
In the evening, candles are lit and great care is taken to ensure that the hotel is clean, comfortable and quiet. While some people may have been put off by the entrance to the building which admittedly doesn't make the best first impression, we found the area with surrounding embassies very peaceful. I would agree that the elevator was a bit cramped and could good use a good cleaning but this elevator is used by all the tenants of the building and not under the sole control of Hotel Longchamps. Cairo (and Egypt in general) is different and more chaotic than most other placed I've traveled (perhaps with the exception of Bangkok). We simply chose the stairs to get some exercise. The complimentary breakfast was wonderful with a great variety including wonderful fresh baked bread and croissants, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals and eggs.
We found that the Hotel Longchamps was the best quality accommodation we experienced in Cairo and an outstanding value at $68/night US including breakfast. I would not hesitate to recommend the Hotel Longchamps, particularly the Executive Double accommodations. I can't imagine giving this place less than excellent or above average rating. I think that the few people that wrote uncomplimentary reviews should should consider sticking to the usual, predictable, homogenous experience that the expensive chains offer rather than trying something new, different , unique and wonderful such as the Hotel Longchamps which is a gem. Did I say that I loved it???!!! : )"
- Travel date: Mon 15th of January 2007
Loved the Longchamps
"My daughters and I absolutely loved the Longchamps! We enjoyed two weeks of warm friendship, generous attention, and genuine caring from Mrs. Bakri and her staff. The accommodations are very comfortable and attractive, the little touches such as the lighting of candles in the hallways in the evening add to the ambience. Free access to the internet is more than a pleasant surprise. And I cannot think of a more relaxing place in Cairo than the large balcony overlooking the neighborhood. Even as we left for excursions from our hotel, upon our return we were received as though we were the only ones there. I know that the Longchamps rates #2 in Tripadvisor among 82 hotels in Cairo. My daughters and I want to rate the Longchamps #1. We give the Longchamps, our home away from home, the highest accolades! Robert Badra, Rachal and Danielle"
- Travel date: Tue 9th of January 2007
We love the Longchamps
"The Longchamps, Cairo, Egypt.
My wife and I are teaching in Alexandria at an international school. We travel to Cairo frequently and have stayed at The Longchamps on several occasions. Every visit has been a treat! The owner, Hebba, is meticulous in keeping the hotel clean, and attends to the needs of guests. The staff is efficient and always courteous. The breakfast is excellent. And - we love the free internet service the hotel provides.
The hotel is located in a quiet area of Zamalek, which has a great variety of interesting shops, although they may be hard to find in the maze of streets. This is where Hebba is wonderful in assisting travelers as they try to find their way around Cairo. The Longchamps may not have all the extras of larger hotels, but the price and personal attention make this a special place to stay in Cairo.
Sandy M, Alexandria, Egypt"
- Travel date: Sun 7th of January 2007
"I was picking my German friend up from the hotel and she was very rude to me and actually yelled at me on the phone, when I tried calling later to get an apology, I was yelled at again, and I was hung up on, I still can't believe someone in the business of making people happy would be so rude to someone."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of May 2015
very bad customer service
"I had booked the Longchamps for my journey to Cairo in November 2011. We had booked 2 rooms. All had gone well and I had also requested them to arrange for hotel pickup and help in acquiring train tickets for my trip to Aswan. The booking was confirmed by Hebba who on the outset was a fantastic person to deal with.
Yesterday I emailed them regarding a single letter or email to confirm the booking so that I can present the same to the Egyptian embassy here in India for my visa as part of their requirements. However Hebba denied the same, which was fine by me, but she actually went across and cancelled our booking.
I was shocked at this and tried to communicate to them both on email and on phone trying to understand where the problem is. Hebba was extremely rude and point blank told me that she had sold my rooms to somebody else.
On further inquiring as to why this was done, she said that I had not shared with her the security code for my CC, which by the way I had shared along with all other details of my credit card.
After this i got a email from Hebba saying that they are not allowed to help foreign nationals acquire travel visa because of the political condition that is why she cancelled the same. Which again i don't understand? Asking for a confirmation of our booking cannot be related to helping us acquire a travel visa and thus cancelling our booking. This is so unacceptable.
This is absolutely horrible customer service. The hotel might be nice for many people however we had a bad experience before we entered the hotel with the reservation being cancelled only because we asked for a letter/email to get our visas.
BTW all other hotels (in Aswan, Luxor and Hurgada) sent us the booking confirmation via email for visa and did not create any issues. Moreover none of them asked for CC details at the time of booking only a conformation call from our end 24 hours before check in.
I don't understand that why was this done. Was it because I had requested a letter/email confirming the booking? I find it hard to believe, because other hotels sent me the same. There reason of not providing CC details is also not correct because I did that. What I feel is that they got a higher price on their rooms and these were just excuses to cancel the booking and sell it again on higher price. Which if being the case is very unprofessional and unjustified.
I would advice people who booking the hotel to please not argue with Hebba or ask for any help, because if you do so, they will cancel your booking without any reason."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of September 2011