12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Very Disappointed :-(
The Santana Cairo. The Santana is located in what would have been a nice and peaceful street had there been no building construction across the road. The construction wouldnât have mattered if it was done during the day, but at times they were still doing it when we went to bed at 9 oâclock sometimes even later.
Upon arriving at the Santana our first impression was it looks a little run down but it is descent. On our first night we were escorted to our room by a hotel employee. As we entered the room smelt a little musty and was hot so we put the A/C on. After putting the A/C on we tried to adjust it and were unable as the adjusting knobs had been removed. The A/C was set for fan only and was unable to adjust it to cool. We contacted reception and told them about the A/C and they advised us that they would send someone up to fix it. After having to wait two hours I then took out my own utility pliers and adjusted it myself. No one ever showed up to fix it. The A/C was very noise, not only ours but the room next to us had their A/C on and it was very loud.
The last room we stayed in 308, the TV was missing the remote control.
Our tour guide requested wake up calls for the entire group. In the first room we only got one wake up call instead of two. In the second room we stayed in we were unable to hear the phone ring as the ringer volume was very soft and could not be adjusted to be any louder. In the third room we didnât receive any wake up calls and the phone worked perfectly.
Although the room could accommodate four people there were only ever two towels and two glasses, every time house keeping made the room they only ever left two towels and two glasses. So we had to ring reception everyday and ask for more towels and glasses which usually took at least 30 minutes to come. Although the hotel knew that we were arriving the fridge was never on for our arrival.
After having just travelled 18 hours we just wanted to have a shower and sleep. The shower had very little water pressure making it difficult to shower. There were two elevators in the hotel; both were hazards as they were unreliable because the kept breaking down .We could hear the repairman hammering late on one night. I did not feel safe enough to use them.
The carpet was disgusting. I had a shower and walked out onto the carpet and within a matter of minutes my feet were black from the carpet. It looked like it hadnât been clean for quite a while and was torn around the edges.
We were booked in to rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors; we never got to stay in one of the remodelled rooms on the 4th and 5th floors, although we did see the one my daughter and her husband stayed in.
On our last breakfast at the Santana my wife asked for an omelette when she walked in... 25 minutes later when we had to leave we still had no received the omelette as the chef kept disappearing to answer his mobile. My wife got up and said something in a furry and one of the waiters said they would make it now and bring it down to her in reception. We ended up getting the omelette 40 minutes after initially asking.
In the last room that we stayed in room 308 we were unable to get in on first arriving as the key would not turn in the lock. We went down to reception and they sent someone up to try and open the door. The hotel employee hit then kicked the door before opening it. We had no trouble opening the lock for the rest of our stay (4 nights) until our last night it happened again. My daughter who was staying in another room rang reception and notified them of what had happened they said they would send someone up in 3 minutes. 10 minutes later we were still waiting, so our tour guide rang reception and they told him they would be up immediately. Another 10 minutes later no one so our tour guide went down to reception and said âLook my people are standing outside there door trying to get in. You havenât sent anybody up yet.â Reception said that they hadnât heard about the situation yet. Reception then picked up the phone and ordered for someone to go to room 308 to fix the door. Our guide then asked how reception knew it was room 308 if they had not yet heard of the situation the hotel staffs came up and tried opening it but were unable so they sent for repairman. The repairman didnât have the right equipment to open the lock the first time so he had to go and get more tools. 45 minutes later he was still trying to open the door. So we decided to go and get some pizza. As we were leaving he opened the door and said he would change the lock but never did.
The overall stay at the Santana hotel was below average. Only good thing about it was the beds were comfy, the location was good (close to shops and takeaway) and the downstairs restaurant had great food although a little pricey.
- Travel date: Sun 9th of November 2008
Would not stay here again even if it was free
"I stayed here for a total of 3 nights in 2 different rooms as part of a package tour. All of the fabric items (chairs, curtains, bedspread) were tattered and very dirty. Fortunately the sheets and towels seemed clean enough. The bathroom layout was downright hazardous. The faucet and shower are arranged so that it's very easy to slip and fall out of the tub. Most annoyingly, the room smelled like smoke. The "view" outside our window was an old, dirty, empty swimming pool. The hair dryer and tv didn't work in one of the rooms.
By the second night at the hotel, some of the people on my tour checked out and found a different hotel, they were so disgusted. I put up with it for two more nights, but regretted it later because I ended up with a bad cough that was likely related to the cigarette smoke that poured into the room through a light fixture. (If you have to stay here, I recommend bringing duct tape and a scarf/face mask.)
On the plus side, there is a little convenience store immediately to the right of the hotel as you walk out the front door. They offer bottled water for about 1/3 of the hotel's price. There also is a larger grocery store, internet (the hotel's internet and wireless never worked while we were there), and pharmacy within walking distance. The restaurant staff were friendly, but the front desk acted as if they were being bothered by the guests.
I found out later that one couple on the tour ended up with a nice room with a balcony, so there may be a chance to get a better room if you do have to stay in this place."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of February 2008
"We stayed at this hotel as part of a tour pkg.
Two and a half nights prior to the start and two nights between our Egypt and Jordan pkgs.
We were worried after reading the negative reviews before our departure (there were only three) but the hotel wasn't bad.
The hotel is old (everything is old in Cairo!) but clean and safe (we arrived at 2 in the morning and felt no misgivings), and everything (tv, lights, bathroom) worked. It's not fancy - very basic. The location was good. Quiet street but a few blocks one way led you to restaurants, a market, sweet shop, and a juice bar. Walk few blocks the other way and you arrive at the Nile.
Front desk staff was a bit aloof - took some work to get their attention but the wait staff, chambermaids/lads and the gift shop operators were very friendly and helpful.
We wouldn't stay here again because we'd like to check out other accommodations but we would recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of February 2008
not for fat americans!!!
"our trip started here.
The location is good.
There is plenty of food options.
The room we stayed in was huge, the beds great.
TV and shower crap.
The rooms are just old.
Stay at the back away from the noisy front.
Best thing to take away on trips is Ear Plugs.
If you're wanting to relax in 5* , pay for it.!!
Go somewhere else.
Remember this ain't the USA!!"
- Travel date: Sat 12th of January 2008
"O.K. I was Fooled by my travel agent so I Booked at this less then 1 star hotel and had The worst experience ever. My stay was for 3 nights, and by miracle I survived the first night. Here is what u get:
1. The hotel is so dirty, The bathroom is horrible there was mud in the tub and there are no towels, and also toilet do not flush or work at all...so u can imagine.
2. The pillows were yellow, old curtains, old bedsheets, and the Air conditioner did not work.
3. I wake up at 3 a.m from the noise next door to find a cockroach was
taking a walk on my face.
Just Stay Away ..."
- Travel date: Thu 10th of January 2008
Not so bad
"After reading all the reviews I was worried, but Santana was not as bad as I thought it would be. It is a very average hotel good for a one night or two nights stay (which is what I did). The room size is fine, TV was working fine, breakfast was repetitive. Bathroom had different sizes (I stayed at Santana twice at different times). Also the bathroom could be better, for example the hair dryer did not work and the shower curtain was not the cleanest. .
The hotel boasts international calling, but I could not call USA. The internet was also not working. The location is little strange - its inside an alley, not hard to find, but not so easily accessble by road. The nearest metro station (Dokki) was about 1 km away.
- Travel date: Thu 10th of January 2008
..not as bad
"Myself and the family stayed at the hotel twice, in 2005 and went back in 2007 and we enjoyed our stay, the staff are very friendly and helpful but you need to have money change always to hand specially the Resturant staff. We have a bit of problem but once we involved the hotel manager it was resolved and compensated for. It is in very convenient location and I would recommend it. Ask for the delux room , they are 5* standard. I am not sure if previous comments are true, could be a one off experience. Possibly because I speak the language which might helped but a little bit of English would be enough. Many thanks to the Hotel staff, specially Mr Adel and the resturant manager and hope to see them again next year. Regards Dr Faris and family."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of January 2008
I liked it!
"Our arranged tour started with one night's accom here but after reading the reviews, we stayed somewhere else and arrived ready for morning departure. We were around an hour early so we were shown to the room still booked for us and invited to enjoy the included breakfast (we didn't) - the room was great! The porter was SO enthusiastic he made us laugh; but the lovely thing was we were laughing with him not at him. We liked the soft beds but they might be too soft for some. The room was a good size and seemed clean enough to me. The bathroom was large with generously supplied toiletries - only down side was the shower in the tub with a plastic curtain but the curtain didn't cling to us so that made it bearable. We were genuinely sorry we hadn't stayed here (we'd stayed instead at the 3rd highest rated Hotel Longchamps at twice the price). At the end of our Tour, we'd booked into The Marriott before flying out but having briefly seen the rooms at the beginning, we changed the booking to here. Spending a full day and sleeping there did nothing to lessen our initial positive impressions. Our stay was still slightly less than 24hrs so Staff managed to get our Laundry returned to us extra quickly. Location is good - although there did appear to be free internet in the Lobby we couldn't make it work and were more than happy to go for a little walk anyway, finding 2 internet cafes very nearby, a surprisingly large supermarket and KFC staffed by deaf people - it works!"
- Travel date: Wed 19th of December 2007
This is good budget hotel. It has no fri...
"This is good budget hotel. It has no frills good for budget travellers (i.e. backpackers...)
The staff were polite, but not exactly helpful. They are helpful when you want taxis or directions for somewhere. But their own hotel was different matter.
The room is large, so is the bathroom, but my goodness, it needs urgent decoration. The beds are ok and the TV says it has satellite channels. NO it only has 7 Arabic channels.
Pillowgate. Our beds had no pillow cases and we asked reception 3 times and then we still didn't have them. We had to track down house keeping ourselves. Then the next day after the room was cleaned, they took the pillow cases again!
The toilet flush broke while we were there, and again we asked for this to be fixed. And again it wasn't.
The breakfast is ok.
The location is great. It is set back away from the hustle and bustle of Cairo and is lovely and quiet. f you fancy a drink, then head over to the Sheraton which is only 5 mins walk away. If you miss a takeaway, the KFC is 5 mins walk away, which is staffed by the deaf. Great people!
Stay here if you are on a whistle stop trip to Cairo and you are looking for a Budget hotel.
I would rate it a 2 star personally.
- Travel date: Sat 4th of August 2007
The Santana staff were excellent and the...
"The Santana staff were excellent and the level of service was above my expectations. I was staying at the Santana as it was a budget hotel in Cairo and it was really worth it, excellent value for money.
It has a Cafe area that serves breakfasts hot and cold and a swimming pool (although it was out of order when I was there!) The staff were helpful with getting me out and about and getting taxis for me to the airport on departure and for my days out venturing into Cairo! Everyone was very helpful.
The Santana hotel is located only 5 mins walk from the 5 star Sheraton Hotel where you can change money currencies. I used the Santana for a base in Cairo as I was traveling around Egypt and it was very worth it all round!"
- Travel date: Wed 9th of August 2006
I Hate Santana Hotel
"First I thank you for your wonderful work, and your great web page. Second, Since I travel a lot because of my work duties I use your site from time to time to get some info about hotels. Anyway, I stayed In Santana Hotel In Egypt and I was very disappointed from the hotel , and here are the reasons:
1- You mentioned that Santana Hotel is a 3 Star Hotel, but only by accident I discovered that the Hotel is Actually graded as a 2 Star hotel by the Egyptian Hotel Association in their Annual Guide.( I Saw the latest edition for 2005-2006 it is the 26th edition.)
2- Santana Hotel do not own a swimming pool it is owned by another hotel (Indiana) which is next to Santana Hotel, and when you want to go this Swimming Pool you must go First To Indiana Hotel and Pay for Entrance!
Santana in my opinion is only a 1 Star Hotel, I Hate the Staff thier, noisy hotel, I just Hate this hotel.
I just thought to inform you about this, so that future users of your site do not Fall in that Trap!"
- Travel date: Tue 21st of March 2006
Not 3 star quality
"We just got back from a two week trip to Egypt where one week we stayed at the Santana Hotel. The location is good, right across the river in the El Dokki area but one of the few good things about it.
The hotel is very smokey and is not well maintained. The staff are not very helpful nor are they accomodating to non arabic spreaking guests. They do speak english, but when they do its more like a bother to them.
The rooms leave a lot to be desired. The only good thing about the rooms are the reliable water pressure and hot water, and good toliets.
Some people might think that this hotel is decent for a 3 star but the other hotel we stayed in that was also a 3 star was much more accomodating and had their service was ten times better than at the Santana.
We disliked the Santana so much we asked our tour operator to reconsider their relationship with the hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 31st of January 2006