10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"I stayed at this hotel for one night prior to a 10-day tour of Egypt. I chose the hotel based on the location (near the airport as my flight arrived around 12:45am) and because I'm an SPG member. I was also hoping for a more "gradual" introduction into Cairo.
Location: The hotel is on the main road to the airport, about a 10-minute drive. The road itself is quite busy and more like a highway, so it makes the hotel seem somewhat isolated as there isn't much you can walk to. It was an approx. 30 minute drive into Cairo (about an hour to the pyramids in traffic), but only a 5 minute cab ride from the center of Heliopolis. I was hoping to walk to Heliopolis but it was further than I expected.
Airport Pick-up: This was a frustrating aspect of my stay. Despite the Starwood website clearly stating that hotel transfers are included, there is nowhere to enter your flight information at the time of booking. Instead, I tried emailing the hotel through the Starwood website. 5-6 messages were sent and not a single reply was received. I finally called the Starwood customer care line a few days before my trip and they opened an inquiry that supposedly the hotel management was required to respond to. I finally heard back the day before my trip that I would be met at the airport. Overall this left a bad impression before my trip: why were my emails unanswered? Why did I have to call customer care? Why is there no place to enter this information on the website? Do they expect me to make expensive calls to Egypt to arrance? With all that in mind, the shuttle was much appreciated during my late arrival, and the expediting process through customs really was nice (fast and avoided the lines, didn't even see any customs officials).
Check-in: Check-in was friendly and greeted with smiles. Once I got in the hotel everyone was friendly.
The Room: The room was modest in size and the furnishings were somewhat outdated, but were probably par for the course in Egypt. The bathroom was large and well-stocked. Overall the room was pretty good - it was clean and the bed relatively comfortable. I overlooked the pool and there was some highway noise but it wasn't too bad.
Amenities: I didn't use any food service or other amenities given the short duration of my stay. The pool looked nice and I would have liked to enjoy it. Also, there was a bank and several small stores in the lobby.
Check-Out: There was a line of only two people for checkout but it took much longer than it needed to (15 minutes). They definitely move on Egyptian time here! I also asked for directions and the staff didn't seem to knowledgable.
Taxi: I wanted to spend some time seeing Heliopolis before starting my tour so I tried hailing a cab on the street. However, I was "intercepted" by the taxi touts out in front of the hotel and got suckered in. I ended up getting roped into having the driver wait for me, bring me back for my luggage, and then take me to my next hotel near the pyramids. The second we started off for my next hotel the driver started talking about fares, which means he was trying to rip me off. I negotiated down somewhat but still felt quite ripped off by this driver. What made me angry about the whole thing is that the hotel faciliated it and is actively involved in gouging their guests when they need taxis. I was hoping that this hotel would be more professional and be at a higher standard, but you're definitely subject to all of the same "annoyances of Egypt" (such as cab rip-offs) here as you are anywhere else. My advice to anyone would be to walk a good couple blocks down the main road before getting into a cab, and don't let the hotel get you one under any circumstances.
Conclusion: This hotel was alright, but wasn't really worth the pre-arrival and taxi hassles. I stayed at Hotel Longchamps in Zamalek after my tour and it was much better for 1/2 the price. In addition, in the middle of the night there's no traffic so the drive to Longchamps would have been only 15-20 minutes longer (and in a far superior location). I probably wouldn't stay here again unless I strictly wanted to lay by the pool and was on an expense account."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of May 2008
Second Visit to Meridien!
"I have stayed at Le Meridien twice, so that shows that it was a very good and convenient hotel. The main positive point about it is the service, as the staff was very helpful, spoke very good English, and answered all of our queries.
The rooms are very clean, of good standard, maintained really well. We had buffet breakfast which had a good variety, mainly continental, which was appealing.
The location of this hotel is good, close to many important buildings there, therefore safe. The journey to Central Cairo (Nile or museum) avaraged 30minutes, with traffic. It was close to City Star shopping centre, which is a very well known mall there, and has COSTA coffee :)
Finally, I would recommend this hotel, especially for tourists, as it is close to the main sites, only a taxi drive."
- Travel date: Fri 9th of May 2008
"We stayed one night at the Le Meridian on our recent tour of Egypt. The hotel was clean and comfortable. The room was a little small but tidy. Staff was friendly and helpful. The only negative was the street noise,we heard alot of honking and commotion. It might have just been our room location in the hotel. Otherwise it was fine. We would stay here again."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of March 2008
Veyr nice hotel with a few downpoints....
"This hotel, over the course of our stay, turned out to be very worthwhile and we would go there again if we travel to cairo. We arrived late, so we were in a hurry to get to the hotel, there was a shuttle bus service proivded from the hotel, the guy who worked there charged us 20 egyption pounds and told us that this was for the quick drop-off otherwise we would have had to wait 40 minutes. The other down point was the deposit we had to put down, fortunetly I was carrying cash at the time. The final bumer was the reception desk, which seemed so arrgogant. I read some reviews before I left so I cancelled my minibar before I even got to my room, as some people had problems with this when they wanted their deposit back! Apart from that the servce of the hotel was superb, they had many food places, the staff were fantastic and very helpful- apart from reception. The rooms were spacious and clean, the views were good and the local markets-Korba,Roxy sqaure and Hourria shopping mall were 10-15 minutes walk or 5 minutes by taxi. We had to take the taxi because the traffic in the roads was very dangerous. The normal taxis take very little money. We had a vareity of cuisines to choose from in the market areas ( Mcdonalds, KFC, Pizza hut, Mixed grills, shwarams etc). Would love to stay there again. The hotel has a lot of security and people going in were scanned and baggage was checked upon every entry. The day tours were arrnaged by AVIS and here we were ok with the rates bu a bit peeved off with the tactics often used by the drivers. When we wanted to go shopping after some tours the drivers would take us to some shops where they communicated in arabic, we felt we were often being charged too much- accordingly we saw the drivers getting some money from the shop owners once we had purchased goods /service from the shop! After that we just didnt take the drivers to shopping we did eveything ourself and haggled using a calculator!!! This was nothing to do with the hotel though, and we would love to stay there again due to several reasons already mentioned- also because it was 10 minutes from the airport and the traffic is like hell!...."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of March 2008
Dated hotel, unengaged staff, room was old and shower needs to be refreshed
"The hotel needs to be completely refurbished. when you walk into the hotel, the bar, you room, and you feel that you are walking into the 70's. The staff never smiles and you think that your are doing a favor for the staff by staying in the hotel.
In addition to havin little water pressure in the shower, the cold water nozzle was broken and the tub was chipped and cracked. I came to the hotel with one small roll bag and the staff absolutely refused to let me take it up to my room myself.
I wouldn't stay at this hotel again."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of March 2008
A reasonable choice in Heliopolis
"Le Meridian Heliopolis wants to be better than it actually is, but compared to the Baron Heliopolis we stayed at later in our trip, it was paradise. Though the room was somewhat dated, it was reasonably large and fairly comfortable. The bathroom was average and did supply a good loofah. However, the breakfast was very mediocre, especially since we were staying on the club floor and for $44 per day each (a complete rip-off) we were supposedly entitled to breakfast, cold beverages and coffee at any time (in the bar only) and cocktails once each evening. The biggest problem -- which is a problem throughout Egypt is that the room and the common areas reeked of cigarette smoke. Egyptians ignore no smoking signs, and the staff colludes by simply moving the sign when someone lights up! However, the hotel did send someone to meet us at the airport, which was much appreciated and certainly simplified our arrival. This is by no means a 5 star hotel, but it was a reasonable choice in the area. One warning about taxis: if the bellman calls one for you, the price is about double what you would pay by going out to the street and hailing one yourself. However, we are speaking of very small amounts of money: say $3.50 vs. 2.75 or so, and then you don't tip. Also, they will always try to hail a "limousine" for you, which is simply a car that's not a rattletrap and has air-conditioning! Your trip might then cost about $5.00."
- Travel date: Fri 10th of August 2007
not a bad hotel
"stayed @ this hotel mid July for 4 nights. the hotel provides a FREE shuttle from/to the airport which is excellent. someone greeted me @ the airport , got me a visa(which i paid for) and thru customs without any issues only had to wait for my bags.... Shuttle van waiting outside ten min ride to the hotel. don't forget to tip.....oops
However, calling the hotel to confirm the shuttle will pick me up, was a HASSLE! I booked the room directly thru Le Meridien's website requested the pick up and gave the flight details..... I called the hotel to confirm the shuttle will pick me up, this was a mind numbing exercise!called on Friday (my mistake..) told the by receptionist to call back two hours later called back again. told that the person who has access to reservations was not there as its Friday and I would have to call back the next day (was travelling on Sat..). called the hotel 3 times and finally got confirmation someone will pick me up!! PHEW
First night @ the hotel I was on the 6th floor ( join Le Meridien's Star point, members get their own floor..). Room was nice enough, bathroom needed work kinda dirty. then the next two nights we checked back in (was not sure where to stay....& came back for the safer option) with a friend and got a room on the 5th floor which was better than the first night on the 6th. the bathroom was much cleaner etc pool view. Ate in the Thai restuarant in the hotel the first morning its expensive compared to other local places but ok.
The hotel location is very nice not in the middle of Cairo but a 15-20 min cab ride(30 Egyptian pounds MAX). Chilled out area compared to downtown. Don't bother with the cabs from the hotel they rip you off! walk outside and hail one its safe enough. always negotiate a price first! We paid 40 (Egyptian) one way to the pyramids a local would have paid 25... The staff @ the hotel were very friendly. we wanted to eat local Egyptian food so they pointed us the right way. If you can you must visit Abu Shakra (pr Abu Shaahra) MMMMMM:) and or El Shabrawee MUCH cheaper than the first but as good if not better. Both place were nice clean and EXCELLENT FOOD!! A 10 (Egyptian pound) cab ride away. .
I would defo stay @ this hotel again. LOCATION is primo, security is good."
- Travel date: Wed 1st of August 2007
To be avoided
"Stayed for 2 nights in July 2007. Nice looking from outside but nightmare from the inside
1. Dirty Washroom
2. Poor customer service
3. Both inhouse restaurants don't serve late meal. Staff hide themselves behind a dark and drim halls.
4. Quite expensive ($150 USD per night) to pay for a 2 star hotel service
5. Poor breakfast menu, specially the pan cake hard as a rock and the honey wasn't that nice tasting.
Not recommended at all cost."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of July 2007
"they have just destroyed my clothes.. the lousiest laundry ever my pink shirt returned white with black stains... and they offered 55 LE... i.e. 9$ while it costed me 83$ .
They said that this can happen any time and it is an old Tshirt!!!
when i asked for management... the escuses were that the poor employee that made this error cannot pay me the tshirt value.... do we go the meridien or to the employees houses !!!!"
- Travel date: Mon 16th of July 2007
"After booking via Expedia, we tried to book the airport collection direct with the hotel. This was most stressful, as our first contact with the hotel declared we had only one room booked for three people!.
Finally, after a few calls and faxing the booking details we were assured that we had a room for each person.
Unfortunately, we were not allocated the non-smoking rooms we requested. Sadly, the rooms are looking quite tired and need to be updated.
The staff however are very friendly and efficient."
- Travel date: Thu 24th of May 2007