10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
excellent and beautiful, colonial glam!
"pension roma was a great choice - the pictures above don't show it's beauty - it's placed in a beautiful colonial style building in the heart of downtown cairo, and is full of taste and elegance. yes - it's a bit dusty and the the beds not the most comfortable, but it has so much more character than any other "regular" hotel... and it's so cheap (17$ a night!)... breakfast is small but for a tiny sum can be upgraded. the staff is super nice and english speaking. as israelis in egypt we were a little concerned - but were treated wonderfully!!! warm recommendations!"
- Travel date: Thu 21st of February 2008
"Pension Roma was an excellent choice and made my trip to Cairo.
A friend and I arrived without having confirmed our bookings wich had been made a month in advance, but our information and names were still jotted down and we were immediately accomodated.
Cairo was extremely hot and the pension does not have any airconditioning but the fresh showers and fans were good enough to get us comfortably through the night.
Our first day there we faced a slight flooding problem in our shower. Four spanish girls with long hair had been staying in the room and their hair clotted the plumbing. This was very kindly solved on the spot by transferring us to another, even more beautiful room.
The bathroom and bedrooms were clean and the service was really excellent. Very friendly and helpful staff.
The pension has a charm that I would instantly return to if I ever visit Cairo again. Its location in Wasat el Balad (Down Town) is convenient and the large high ceiling rooms are beautifully decorated. Best of all, is the antique elevator ride. Always a thrill.
I definitely recommend it, even to people with a higher budget as the experience was unforgettable and my trip wouldn't have been the same without Pension Roma."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of August 2007
One of Cairo's best budget operations
"I can honestly say Pension Roma is one of the best because I really visited all the other cheapies (for my job). There are a few other similarly clean, organized, friendly places in Cairo, but none of them have the elegance that Roma does.
It's more of a "grown up" kind of budget place--don't go here if you're expecting to flop around in a common room and swap tales with other travelers. The people who stay here--mostly Europeans--are older, and many are return visitors. I can see why--I wound up staying close to two weeks.
The place looks like it hasn't changed in 40 years--and that's a good thing. The owner of the place (an older French-Egyptian woman) is meticulous--everything is spotless, and the furniture is in good shape. She's even gone so far as to sew little cozies to cover the gas tanks attached to the hot water heaters, so they don't look unsightly. All of the staff I met spoke good English and were very friendly.
I certainly didn't encounter any of the problems with rates that an earlier reviewer did. Everything was toted up in front of me, and itemized.
As for the breakfasts--welcome to budget Cairo. Roma's is pretty standard. The current Lonely Planet book complains about the "stingy breakfasts"--but that just means you don't get a hardboiled egg (though you can ask for one if you like). I'd rather get well-prepared tea, an actually fluffy roll, and tastier jam than have an egg every morning.
Some people won't ever like this place because it doesn't have a/c (don't worry--the ceilings are high, and there are fans), and because it has only shared toilets. (Some rooms have showers inside, but none have private toilets.) Some people might think the beds are hard--I thought they were akin to a good-quality futon, and liked them. In the budget range, your choice is this or some really saggy, bouncy messes, so just decide what you prefer. Some people will also write the place off because it doesn't have Internet access, and you can't book online.
This is all a bit silly--you're missing out on a great travel experience. Pension Roma feels like a little slice of what Downtown Cairo used to be--a glamorous, cosmopolitan city. Staying here was one of the treats of my trip."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of July 2007
Pension Roma - A Place of Choice
"Pension Roma is unique among Cairoâs numerous small hotels, hostels, and pensions. For travelers the world over, it is the place of choice when in Cairo because of the Romaâs Old World charm and the graciousness of the staff. I am one of those travelers. I first stayed there years ago when I was a back-packer on my way to the Sudan. Now, working as a consultant, I still choose the Roma over the upscale hotels that firms are willing to put me up in.
The past couple years, the Roma has renovated all its rooms, adding private showers to some. The kitchen serves up very good meals on request. The sitting room is a large, comfortable place to visit with friends, old and new. The Roma is always clean and tidy. It sits in an area of Cairo famous for its Belle Epoche architecture, and is near a wide range of local eateries, markets, tea shops, banking facilities, etc. The best asset of the Roma, however, is its staff. No hassles or hustles. I have never found them to be anything but warm, friendly, and helpful. Do yourself a favorâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦"
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of July 2007
"Very cosy, safe, central, old furniture like in Arabic movie! Solid visitors. Bathroom outside the room, but very clean."
- Travel date: Thu 16th of November 2006
Safe, clean, reliable, and relatively cheap
"My partner and I picked Pension Roma per reviews in Lonely Planet and its Thorn Tree forums -- we were looking for a very basic, cheap, clean, safe place to stay, and we got it. We booked ahead, and ended up with a huge room with three single beds and a sink. This is a clean, tightly-run hotel that books out quickly. As a woman, I felt safe at this pension. The prioprietor of Pension Roma can offer you tips on what to see outside of whatever guidebook you are using, and make arrangements you might need for such. The other guests are Egyptians and budget travelers, all friendly. And the elevator works! As another reviewer said, you share a bathroom, and the hot water does go quickly. The only thing I didn't like about it was the breakfast -- just bread and coffee."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of August 2006
It's a hostel - you get what you pay for
"After running away from the hostel our university (UCLA/University of CA EAP program) arranged for us upon our 3am arrival in Cairo, we opened up the Lonely Planet and got 2 rooms at the comparatively lovely Pension Roma.
The elevators are a bit dark and forboding as is the journey thru the corridor to reach the hostel. The rooms are worn but reasonably clean as are the shared facilities. The floors in our 4 bed room were hard wood and we did not have A/C. Although oppressivly hot in the daytime, at night we left our balcon open and the fan on and one could sleep comfortably.
We were a group of 7 using the same bathroom, so I can tell you that 3 people will pretty much knock out the hot water - at least per bathroom. The staff were nice enough to let us use another bathroom not designated for our room.
THe inclusive breakfast is interesting to sa the least. The "lemonade" is but cloudy water with the slightest essence of lemon - stick with the tea. Also served every morning are some dinner rolls which got progressivl harder served with a strange spreadable white cheese and fig jam - which is actuall quite good!"
- Travel date: Mon 13th of February 2006
a real gem
"when i 1st arrived i thought it was averge for cairo and even maybe a bit overpriced but then i realised they have reliable hot water, a working lift, the rooms are cleaned daily and they give you toilet paper!! all these raise it far above average for cairo.. book ahead!!"
- Travel date: Thu 9th of February 2006
"From december 2005 1st to december 4th, at 78 EGP (11-12 euros) per night including a soviet breakfast, don't look any further. We had a room one floor above the reception and it was not as tidyly kept as it is on the reception floor. This place breaths a 1950' atmosphere. Bed is hard, bathroom is ok and toilets are shared. Electric mosquito killer is even provided as well as one roll of toilet paper per stay offered upon arrival, that is chic. The reception is helpfull and smily 24/7. AND HERE, YOU WON'T HEAR THE TERRIBLE CAIRO TRAFFIC. Call to reserve, as it looks always full. The location is so central, forget the breakfast and go out get something sexier, as everything is within walking distance, even drunken. A good choice for budget looking for no frills, yet charming, place to stay."
- Travel date: Mon 12th of December 2005
"We stayed at the Pension Roma in Febuary of 2004. The room was large - w/ a double bed and a couple wicker chairs. Down the hallway were two private toliets and a bathroom w/ a shower and tub. Though clean, they were a bit old w/ a ratty bath mat. There was a nice common room with a TV. They served us rolls and tea/coffee for breakfast. Like a lot of food in Egypt - certainly nothing very tasty.
The owner spoke good English and was very helpful and friendly. We kept extending our stay and he didn't mind. This was the perfect place for get to know and fall in love w/ Cairo. It wasn't luxerious, but clean, friendly and cheap. If we ever go back, we will certainly stay here again."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of March 2005