Mercure Cairo Le Sphinx
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
As good as expected in Egypt
"Before travelling to Egypt, I contacted the hotel to find out how much I should expect to pay for a taxi from the airport, and the Head Concierge offered to arrange a car for us, which would be slightly more than a cab, but cabs have a habit of trying to rip you off Cairo, so accepted the offer, and ended up using the same driver for all of our transportation while there, costing a grand total of Â£50 sterling for three whole days!! Just use the e mail address on the Sofitel main website and address the e mail to the Head concierge, then ask him if he can arrange for Ahmed to provide your transportation. He has an old Peugeot, but is extremely helpful, reliable, and trustworthy, and more importantly, won't take you anywhere you don't want to go, ie friend's shops etc!!
Anyway, back to the hotel. I have to say that the Sofitel was exactly what I expected from an upper end hotel in Egypt, no better but certainly no worse. It's very clean and tidy, and the only thing I would say is that now all of the rooms have been refurbished, the first of the rooms to be upgraded are now starting to look a bit worn again, but are still more than comfortable, remembering that one is in Africa after all! The buffet restaurant was very good for both breakfast and dinner, although slightly expensive for Egypt in my opinion at Â£14 sterling each for dinner. What I would say is don't expect the waiting staff to be overly proactive, this is normal in all the hotels I have stayed in in various parts of Egypt; apart from a few exceptions, most will need to be alerted to offer you tea or coffee at breakfast, and certainly won't notice if you are missing serviettes or cutlery at your table without alerting them of the fact!! If you can overlook these minor imperfections though your dining experiences within the Sofitel will be above average. Don't bother about pre booking any excursions from the UK when booking the hotel, this can all be arranged through the concierge desk at a very reasonable price, The head concierge will get you a car and driver for the day for around Â£25 sterling!!!! The pool and garden area are very well kept, but as others have mentionned, the traffic noise from over the perimeter wall is appauling!!
I would actually go as far to say that although the Sofitel is a very good hotel and good value for money, Giza as an area is a real dump, and we didn't really feel too comfortable about venturing out on the streets. If you like to explore by foot under your own steam, then I would say that you are just as well booking a hotel in Cairo city centre and you are still only a few miles away from the Pyramids, if this was your main reason for looking at hotels in the Giza area.
Overall verdict: Can't really be faulted for the money, just a shame about the surrounding area!!"
- Travel date: Fri 7th of March 2008
Great location for sightseeing
"We booked two suites for a three night / four day stay in Cairo. Our rooms were superb. Two large double beds in each room with beautiful crisp linen on really comfy beds with lovely pillows. Two sofas, two chairs and a table in the relaxing area of the rooms and a private terrace with patio furniture for sitting outside. The bathrooms were luxurious with towels and toiletries in plentiful supply.
Cairo is most certainly not a place for a relaxing stay and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to do their homework about the place a bit more thoroughly. It is however a most wonderful place for spending a few days doing some spectacular sight seeing from.
The hotel caters for guests staying mainly from 1 - 4 nights which means they deal with a great number of guest on a daily basis. They can arrange practically any extras you want and I found the staff very helpful and very pleasant at all times.
The food in the buffet style restaurant was excellent - much, much better than I was expecting - and it was very good value. We got to know the restaurant manager the first night and he looked after us very well.
One of the main reasons we were looked after so well was because we settled all our food and bar bills in hard cash every night in stead of signing for them. I'm not sure if every penny reached the hotel coffers but our bills were slashed by around 30 - 40% in an effort to encourage us to continue with this payment method !!!!
Tipping in Egypt is a MUST and it's one of those things that you must just get used to. 1LE (10p) to use the toilets and 10LE (Â£1) for minor tips. The better the service the better the tip. Keep a supply of 1LE and 10LE notes handy at all time.
I would certainly have no hesitation in recommending this hotel based on my experience."
- Travel date: Thu 14th of February 2008
Perfect location for the pyramids
"we went to Cairo for as much as a relaxing break as one can experience at the home of one of the world's greatest sights, and our reason for choosing the Sophitel was because it promised pyramid views from the rooms and had all the pool and gym facilities we required.
we arrived at the hotel around 2am and stepped into a beautiful luxurious reception area, very bright, roomy, beautifully decorated and quite friendly night staff (and 24 hour security who were extremely polite). When showed to our room which was a bit of a walk away, we looked out on the balcony and couldn't see a bloody thing. Not the hotel's fault but the sheer amount of smog surrounding Cairo.
The next morning we had another look out on the balcony and were very happy with our view of 2 of the 3 pyramids, but the constant noise of the traffic is something you would need to get used to (they hoot continuously, even throughout the night, although it didn't bother us when we were trying to sleep).
The hotel was really lovely. The staff were very very pleasant and accommodating, the food was good value (choice of 3 restaurants), the pool was big, clean and empty for the most part but the gym was being refurbished and the temporary gym was in a bit of a hut with no aircon and limited machinery.
As we were out for a relaxing holiday, we only ventured out of the hotel on one day, and our chauffeur (booked in the hotel) took us (at my over enthusiastic request) to a back street area where the local perfumerie also did camel and horse rides to the pyramids. We opted for the horses!
we were led by a young lad and accompanied by a young man also on horse (although his horse looked a lot healthier than ours did) and set of for an hours trek up through the desert to the pyramids. At one point we did get a bit nervous when we could see for miles but there was not a single person in sight....however, our guide led us to the pyramids and gave us an excellent informative tour of the area. We didn't go inside the pyramids as the queue was massive and he told us we weren't allowed to take cameras in and it would be awfully claustrophobic. so we were happy with taking photos of the outside, and then he led us to the sphinx and took some photos for us as it was a controlled security area.
That afternoon our chauffeur took us to the Egyptian Musuem which was great and obviously full of amazing history and well worth a visit. He waiting for us so it didn't matter that we were a bit earlier than scheduled to return to the hotel.
In general, I would definitely recommend the Sofitel for the pyramid location, the rooms, the staff and the pool, but just be aware that the traffic is VERY loud and its quite smoggy around that area!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of January 2008
Nice but needs updating!
"This hotel was very Asian in decor - lots of courtyards and definitely Asian in the rooms - but man, oh man, it badly needs updating! The carpet is stained and worn, and the furniture has seen better days. It must have been very impressive 10 years ago, though. Nice bathrooms. You can see the pyramids from the bar/restaurant windowscape, which is nice. There is a definite Jetson vibe emanating from the bar area. If you're homesick, this is a nice place to be. Good breakfast buffet."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of January 2008
Great Hotel in Cairo
"Great hotel - secluded - luxurious marble - great breakfast buffet - nice, wooden, British-themed bar in lobby - beautiful bathrooms - nice amenities - good, clean bedrooms. There's even a movie theatre and casino on property; also, a FABULOUS Italian restaurant themed so you think you're in Siena."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of January 2008
"We stayed at the Sofitel Le Sphinx for 3 nights. The hotel staff were all very friendly and helpful and our room was modern, clean and comfortable. However, on several occasions our room key stopped working which was quite frustrating after a long day sightseeing, especially as reception kept telling us it was working okay when it clearly wasn't!
The hotel itself is dull and lacking in atmosphere. All of the restaurants are centred around the lobby and are so unappealing that we decided to eat out every night. We were also disappointed to find that the rooftop bar/restaurant with views of the Pyramids that is advertised on the Sofitel website was closed. We drank at the pool bar before going out for dinner which was pleasant, although as most of the other reviews state very noisy! This is definitely not a hotel to come to for relaxation and to laze by the pool!
There is a restaurant called 'Felfela' approx 100 metres walk from the hotel which should be avoided at all costs. The food was terrible, the waiters plain rude and the owner touted for business at his perfume shop which after a whole day of touting was 1 step too far! The walk there was also a bit precarious as there is a large roundabout to negotiate. Luckily one of the tourist police saw us struggling and helped us across the road for a small gift!!
One restaurant we would recomend is the Mena House at the Oberoi. It's not the best Indian in the world but the atmosphere is lovely and you can enjoy a pre and post dinner drink in one of the hotel bars which are beautiful.
Overall, would recommend le Sphinx for the rooms but not the amenities."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of January 2008
"Stayed here in June 2006 at the end of a 2 week trip to egypt. Thought the location and views from the bar above the pool were excellent. Would recommend. For a great guide and taxi driver ask for Sharif near the main entrance."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of December 2007
Great place! Value for money
"Stayed for 4 nights. Was the base for the rest of our Egypt tour. Although the reception area is pretty basic and not as posh as a 5 star, the rooms are excellent, even though too dimly lit for my liking. Very contemporary decor, clean and excellent customer service. The restaurant food is also good for breakfast. Only problem was it was difficult to find your way through the corridors, and the internet center was pretty pricey."
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of November 2007
"It is not the best hotel..but it has nice rooms and really confortable beds. The pool view is really nice: The pyramids. It was not nice that when you are beside the pool you feel flys flying arround you...the noise is absolutely disturbing in the pool...all cars horns (biiiiiiiip biiiiiiiip) all the time....but..in your room...everything its really peacefull...Good Bathroom and service."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of November 2007
"The Sofitel Le Sphinx is not the most beautiful hotel, but as mentioned had the best towels and beds on our journey. We spent 1 night after our Safari in Kenya which was in small room downstairs without a view. We did have our laundry done with same day service and a smile. After our Nile cruise we came back and spent 2 more nights. We were in room 3108 which was much improved from our last stay. This room was larger ,had 2 double beds and had a large balcony overlooking the pyramids and a beautiful garden. The lobby staff were great. The breakfast included was the usual buffet of everything you could possibly want...the service great. We walked around and found a great restaurant down the street called Felfela, its a chain, with great falafel. We felt completely safe walking the city. You just have to say no to all the merchants trying to get you in to shop. They get very persistent, sometimes grabbing your arm or putting things in your hands, but they back off and offer you welcome when you stay firm."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of November 2007
Upon arrival, we were given a room, faci...
"Upon arrival, we were given a room, facing the backside of the hotel and construction. There was a terrible smell coming from outside, so we requested a different room and the staff were very co-operative and helpful. The new room overlooked the gardens and childrenâs park which, was much more pleasant. The greenery and flowers are very appealing to see, especially in the middle of Giza. We could also see the pyramids as a backdrop from the outside swimming pool and the area was kept clean, with plenty of fresh towels and loungers. The hotel however is situated in a very busy area and there is traffic 24 hours per day.
The rooms were modern and clean with all the necessities and breakfast could be delivered each morning if requested, or there was a buffet all included. Food was good, nice fresh juices especially. Entertainment wise, there was not too much and it was very quiet in the evenings, but there are many other hotels in the area that offer entertainment and it was very easy to get a taxi to go to one of the clubs on pyramid street. There are also several good and inexpensive restaurants within walking distance. As with all hotels in Cairo, if you need a taxi, do not take it from the hotel as it will be at least double the price. Walk to the nearest main street to find a better deal!
Overall the holiday was very enjoyable and the staff and people very friendly. Recommended."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of June 2004