10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"This is the best value we have had so far. When we stayed our triple was only 47 USD. In our room we had a fridge, 3 comfortable beds, a balcony, cable TV, and a dresser. The bathroom we had was not the nicest but we always had hot water. Rooms are cleaned every day and breakfast (bread and jam) is included. Mayfair is in a great location right by the main street on Zamalek with restraunts nearby and downtown is with in walking distance. Overall this was a great place for great value."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of December 2008
Good for Students/ Laidback travelers
"I had a great experience staying at the Mayfair. I was there while on a study abroad trip with a group of about 30 other students. We lived in the hotel for over a month. The staff was great. I felt completely safe the entire time. I saw that other reviewers complained about the young men in the lobby area- we actually got to know all of them and they are very nice and friendly. They work at the hotel and few mentioned that they are trying to earn money for school.
The rooms weren't luxurious, but they had everything we needed, including a TV and mini fridge. The rooms were cleaned daily and were very comfortable. The bathrooms, however, were not the most convenient. The shower was cramped and had a moldy curtain and you have to squeegee the floors, but it wasn't really a big issue. They did install nice towel racks while we were there.
At the beginning of the trip, the air conditioner broke in my room, but it was repaired and we were given a tray of sodas and water bottles in apology. Also, our room had 2 large balconies, which were very useful because we had to hand wash our clothes. (There are nearby laundry services, but it's easier and cheaper to do it yourself. And the hotel had a big drying rack that they let us use.) The hotel also has free wireless internet.
The balcony is a great place to relax. Breakfast is served out there every morning and while I was there it consisted of 3 mini loaves of bread with butter, jam, and cheese, a hard-boiled egg, tea, and Tang. I never really understood why they served Tang, but it was good. While sitting out there, we had the chance to meet other guests, which was a nice opportunity.
Also, the location is great. Zamalek is a very safe area with lots of shops and restaurants. The hotel is right of 26th July Street which has everything you need (banks, phones, pharmacies, a little grocery store, internet cafes, and tons of other useful places are just a few minutes walk away.) Cabs are easy to find and it's pretty cheap to go anywhere in the city.
The hotel manager was really helpful. I can't count the number of times he had to step in and place food delivery orders over the phone for us when our communication skills failed. And at the end of our trip the staff threw us a great party with tons of food and a fantastic cake. I really enjoyed my stay at the Mayfair and would definitely go back."
- Travel date: Wed 1st of October 2008
"My wife and I stayed ay Hotel Mayfair Cairo for only few hours but enought time to be shoked with the very dirty room.The bathroom is a joke.
Ok that is a cheap hotel and we needed to stay there only few hours and, thanks god, we didn't need to sleep there.
I don't recommend this hotel for anyone.Please, Egypt is a very cheap country and itÂ´s possible to stay in a better place."
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of August 2008
Good for the money
"My husband and I stayed here with our one-year-old daughter, and for the most part, we enjoyed our experience. Our room was a private triple. Yes, the bathroom is small and noisy, but ours was cleaned daily. We lived there for 2 months (!) and the staff were all very gracious, friendly, and helpful. Our daughter was quite the celebrity there and loved the attention of all the staff. We were actually in our room (our daughter and I) a great deal , but it was large enough for our daughter to play freely.
We did bring our own pack-n-play for our daughter to sleep in, as they do not have child beds. The room was very basic with three single beds, a small bathroom, a wardrobe, an a/c, and a balcony. Oh, and we enjoyed the egg, bread, cheese, and tea breakfast every day! I'd say for the money (It was cheap!) it's a great deal."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of August 2008
"So--we had a triple room, that wasn't a problem. We had arrived late at night at the Cairo international and they had a driver pick us up. No problems there.
The staff was actually helpful, but the problem was with the actual room. IT was literally, in my opinion, a step up from a nice hostel.
Our bathroom, everything in it, leaked. Our toilet made loud noises at all hours of the day, the shower was disgusting. Not only did it overflow, but it was very small. Even if I had wanted to pull the dirty shower curtain around myself...I didn't. there was no room at all. So the bathroom floor got more wet. Our sink leaked every time we turned it on, we put our wastebasket underneath and it filled up!
When we told them about it, they didn't really do anything.
Our room was actually clean, so that was good. It was not a room that was ment to be stayed in a lot, which was good because we didn't.
I didn't mind the breakfast, it was very european with two bread loafs, butter and jam, tea and coffee. the second morning we ate out for breakfast.
Our stay at the Mayfair was cut short, my grandma and dad couldn't take it and they wanted somehting more comfortable, so we moved to the President (not new President) hotel, which is also on the island. They had excellent survice, and it was a great improvement.
So I would reccomend going there if your willing to pay a little more."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of May 2008
Smashed mosquitoes all over walls
"My fiance and I are not picky about luxury - all we look for is safe & clean. The Mayfair is arguably in a decent location, but it is NOT clean. Clean seekers beware! We looked at two rooms, both of which had walls literally covered in smashed mosquitoes. The bathroom toilet in the room we chose leaked flushed toilet water onto the floor, and the showers are so small that you cannot shower without your bare skin touching the shower curtain the whole time. This hotel is in dire need of a good cleaning. I would also echo sentiments of the other reviewers that the sheets were not convincingly clean, and the bedspread looked like it had never been washed. Nobody services your room, so we had to buy our own toilet paper. We paid $37 dollars per night, which was too much for this ho(s)tel."
- Travel date: Wed 21st of May 2008
Last resort - keep on walking
"After booking a triple room here online we ended up being only two of us and so were given the triple for the double rate. The room had a balcony overlooking the street, which was fairly quiet. The room itself was quite dingy with bedspreads that appeared as though they hadn't ever been washed and sheets that still had other people's smell on them. The shower curtain was moldy and mildewy and it was hard to stand in the tiny shower without touching it or flooding the bathroom. Worst part were the red ants all over the room. When we complained, we were given a bottle of Raid. Clearly this is more common place than not. Also a word about the 'Canadian' ownership. The man who runs the place lived in Montreal for a few years but hardly conversed in English with us and did not even say hi or make attempts at pleasantry. The only thing Canadian about place is this flag is the large flag draped in the lobby. Ditto on the many young men hanging around the lobby - it was sometimes uncomfortable coming back at night to a room full of young men. It was unclear if they were friends of the people who worked there or just hanging out. Would not stay here again. Would not recommend it either.
CAUTION: We asked about buying overnight train tickets and were set upon by 'Mr. Mohamed' Shaker - the tour manager - who is as greasy as they come. We signed up for a tour, paid cash up front and felt ripped off ever since. He will try to sell you sand in the desert if you are not careful and the tour we got was given by 'tour' guides who seemed like you were imposing on their day and spit out a pre-rehearsed script and drove you around to 'factories' which were stores with overpriced crap. The only plus was air-con. cars. DO NOT BOOK TRIPS WITH THIS MAN. Bad expereince over all."
- Travel date: Tue 15th of April 2008
"I stayed in many budget hotels in Cairo before, but I prefer the Mayfair, first of all because of the excellent location. Zamalek is a quiet place and has trees in the streets and many good bars and restaurants. The breakfast in the Mayfair was OK, but most mornings I just got a sandwich from Maison Thomas or Mezzaluna, the Italian restaurant located beside the hotel (difficult to find).
Another asset is the reception staff. They are very clever, polite and correct and believe me, this is hard to find in Egypt. In the other hotels I always had hassle, or untrustworthy, impolite or stupid staff.
The rooms have been newly refurbished, but it is best to see and compare some rooms first. Some have balconies and some don't have any windows at all. If you take a shared bathroom the rooms are very simple (no airconditioning or TV). The ones with private bathrooms are very nice, but can use some decoration. You can even put the airconditioing as heating, which is useful in winter.
This is a good hotel for people who travel on a budget and are not too fussy."
- Travel date: Fri 15th of February 2008
Clean, Good Value in nice district
"I used this hotel a number of times during my stay in Cairo. It's quite basic, but the rooms I used all had private bathrooms and some had lovely balconies. It made a refreshing change from the uptightness of some of the five star hotels, but is still a short walk from the marriott if you need some luxury. It was also a good retreat from the busy street life and hassles outisde.
The breakfast isn't spectacular but you can afford to eat elsewhere given the prices of the lodging, and the building is a lovely art deco building.
My boyfriend was impressed with the boiled egg breakfast and thinks it is a good basic hotel as it provides all the facilities you would need as a budget traveller.
I would defnitely stay here again because I enjoyed the more sedate pace in Zamalek as compared to downtown and the hotel was clean and safe, and leaves plenty of money to explore Egypt with!"
- Travel date: Sat 9th of February 2008
Some good, some bad
"I stayed at the Mayfair for a few nights in May. The current ed (8th) of the Lonely Planet describes it as a dump, but it has had a big makeover since then. I looked at a few rooms, then came back a week later.
I thought I'd be getting one of the palatial private rooms I'd seen--but because I was traveling alone, I got wedged in this little single room with only one tiny window waaaay up high. Additionally, it was right behind reception, so I heard about every word they had to say up there, often quite late at night.
Coming from the Garden City House, I couldn't help but think I'd gotten the short end of the stick. Even though the Mayfair is now nicely painted and retiled, and there's TV and a/c and a really lovely terrace out front, the actual room amenities paled compared with GC House--I had a closet-size shower, not a tub, and my bed was as saggy as all get out. It also had scratchy, sweat-inducing poly-blend sheets.
I really think the larger rooms are significantly nicer--some of them have balconies--so don't write the place off entirely. The prices are reasonable if you're sharing with someone. Also, the shared-bath rooms on the opposite side of the hotel are clean too, and cheaper. I just wound up with the real bad-deal room.
On the plus side, it's relatively quiet in Zamalek--really one of the only reasons to stay here if you're just a regular tourist--and the block the hotel is on is a very nice one. Simonds is nearby, so you can get an old-school cafe au lait and croissant in the morning. (Breakfast at the hotel is pretty standard--egg, roll, jam, tea, none very well executed. Ho hum.)
My one bigger beef with this place, which really only matters if you're a woman traveling alone, is that the young guys who run the place are maybe more friendly than you feel like dealing with at the end of the day. Don't get me wrong--they are perfectly sweet and not at all threatening, and will leave you alone if you say you're not interested in having a soda on the terrace, but sometimes it's a little much to put up with. And certainly, some women will appreciate the friendliness (I know one who did), and the chance to chat with some Egyptian guys without things getting too high pressure.
Also, they seem to have some annoying drunk friends who like to visit--one night I was awakened by some truly horrific singing out on the front terrace. And the only reason I moved to Zamalek was for the quiet! I did go out and yell at them all, and they seemed pretty sheepish, so, hey, maybe it'll never happen again?"
- Travel date: Thu 12th of July 2007