11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Very average and dated hotel
"We booked for 3 nights, left after 2. October 2007. Ramadan had just finished. We have travelled more than 30 countries and have experienced many hotels. This hotel needs work. It is owned by Egyptians and is not well run these days. Reception are helpful, just, but not prepared to go the extra (inch!) to help. I tried. Positives: Price, well, we live in Egypt so got a standard room for US$145 incl. taxes through our travel agent. It is a 10 minute easy walk to the museum. It has great views from the Nile side upper rooms. Negatives: Dated furniture. Too much in one room making it conjested. Small noisy balcony on Nile side. Small TV with only 2 English stations, CNN & a movie channel. No free water. Bathroom needing upgrade. Blankets not duvets. No hot water first night. Breakfast (at our time 9.00am.) very poorly presented, sloppy service, flies everywhere including the food. NO POOL, NO GARDEN. Really, you can do better in Cairo like the Nile Hilton for similar money."
- Travel date: 16th October 2007
ok but no more
"I stayed at the Shepheard, formerly called the Helnan Shepheard for five nights at the end of February 2007. The location is absolutely ideal and that is the only reason I booked it. At check-in, I asked for a quiet room away from the traffic noise. The room I had was very comfortable if a little dated. I slept well. That I am afraid is the end of the good news. The reception desk staff were unbelievably slow. Just getting one`s room key back was a major achievement so I stopped handing it in. I told them the day before leaving that I would be at the desk just before 5.00am to check out and to be sure to have the bill ready. It was not ready and it took two people conferring with each other 15 minutes to sort it out. The service in the restaurant and coffee shop was equally dreadful.I would sit there calmly being resolutely ignored by the staff. Sometimes I just gave up. The bank was staffed by a man who expressed complete indifference to serving his customers. I was not surprised to learn that this hotel is now owned by the Egyptian Government and not by the Helnan Group. In summary, the location of this hotel is it`s only plus. After that it is downhill all the way."
- Travel date: 25th July 2007
Two Thumbs Up!
"After 3 nights of misery at Maadi Hotel, we transferred over to Hotel Shepheard during our extension stay. The lobby was classy and the room was huge. We had a Nile View room and the view was spectacular. The toilet was spacious and even came with a washing bowl. There were 2 queen beds and a huge dressing corner. Breakfast was a widespread and coffee and tea were served personally to you. We were really happy with it and should we visit Cairo again, we would definitely return to Shepheard!"
- Travel date: 20th June 2007
Enjoyed our short stay
"Our tour group booked into the Shepheard Hotel on May 2 and then again on May 7. Our rooms were more than adequate, actually very good. The food was excellant and the staff were very accommodating. On our May 7th stay we had a celebration dinner to wind down our trip and the kitchen prepared a wonderful layer cake for our Priest's Anniversary . The hotel is a very nice place to stay with lots of charm."
- Travel date: 17th May 2007
Miserable Hotel/Service/Experience - Nice location
"The excitement of our first business trip to Cairo was overshadowed by the horrible experience we had at the Shepheard hotel. The view of the Nile from the hotel was incredible. Unfortunately, that was the only positive aspect of the hotel. Housekeeping would go through the motions of making the beds and possibly replacing the towels, but that was it. Dirt - that they caused from knocking off a floor board and exposing a nail - remained on the floor for days before they vacuumed it. At the end of our stay, the housekeeping staff looked to us to tip them for doing a good job. Though the website mentions a hair dryer in every room - this is an item that has to be requested via housekeeping. We had requested to keep the hair dryer in our room until we checked out. However, after the first day, we returned to find that they had reclaimed the item. When we inquired about it, they said they did not have enough hair dryers for all the guests in the hotel and had to take it back. They were also calling other guests to return the appliances (hair dryers and irons) as they were still using them. The shortage of hair dryers and irons in the hotel was annoying. Logic would dictate they needed more, but that wasn't the case. Like all the hotels in Egypt, the Shepheard had the metal detector for guests to pass through. This was used as decoration only. Visitors and guests were not searched while the detector would beep uncontrollably. More often, security would let the visitors bypass the machine all together. We were able to rest easy knowing this. Eating at any of the restaurants was an experience. For breakfast, the staff was never around to serve coffee or tea to the guests. If they had left the pots at the buffet, it wouldâve been easier and more practical. One would wait a considerable amount of time, even after flagging them down repeatedly. Our second night at the hotel, we went to the restaurant for drinks. We sat at the table for Â½ hour before we could get anyoneâs attention. The restaurant was EMPTY. The 2 juices and 1 tea took over an hour to be delivered to the table. The other guests at the table left without ordering anything due to the miserable service. On another occasions, we returned to the hotel after a long day at work, only to find that they had misplaced my room key. They accused me of keeping the key with me and losing it. They let me into my room with a master key and asked me to search to see if I had accidentally left it in the room. I showed the concierge that my room was void of the misplaced key. He said he would verify with the front desk. After 30 minutes, I called the reception to see if they located the key and they said, Oh yeah, we have it. When I asked if they were planning on calling me to notify me, they kept quiet. When we checked out of the hotel, they only had 1 cashier who was able to complete the transaction. I was notified that another guest had transferred 3 meals from their room to mine without my approval or consent. The hotel wanted me to pay for those charges which I adamantly refused. He accused me of having breakfast in the morning. I told him that breakfast was included in my room rate and if he checked his records, he would find that I only dined there once. After a while, he finally consulted a manager to remove the charges. Despite the beautiful view of the Nile, we will never stay at this hotel again and we strongly suggest nobody does either. This was not a 4 star hotel by any standard. Camping in a tent in the desert is more luxurious than staying at the Shepheard."
- Travel date: 14th March 2007
OK hotel with great breakfast
"We stayed at the Helnan Shepheard for four nights last spring at the end of April in 2006. We stayed there for one night right after we got into Egypt from Canada, but we had an early flight the next morning to Aswan where we caught our Nile cruise. We returned to the Helnan after our cruise for three more nights in Cairo. The Helnan is an ok hotel. The rooms are spacious, beds decent, but the decor is kind of tacky in my opinion. I know that's not really a big deal for some, but for me I do appreciate having a room that is pleasing to the eye as well as comfortable. Then again, it's not like we spent a lot of time hanging out in our hotel room. We were sightseeing the majority of the time. The first night we were there (when we just arrived, prior to our cruise), we got a room with a view of the Nile. It was a little noisy at night; however, it was just so exciting to actually be in Cairo with the Nile right below us that it didn't really bother us. We were also so jetlagged and tired that we slept fine. When we returned to the Helnan we got a room that had partial view of the Nile as well as the hotel right next to us. It was a little quieter, but the view wasn't quite as good The staff were friendly and helpful for the most part. The guy who worked at the currency exchange, on the other hand, was quite rude. Whatever...The location was good. When we had time, when we weren't on our tour, we ventured on our own into the crazy city. We walked into the main part of town and checked out the shops. Pretty good shopping in Cairo, the only stress was trying to cross the busy streets. It seemed that there weren't really any cross walks, and the busier streets have non stop, honking, crazy traffic. They have their own rhythm there for driving and crossing streets and it's nothing like at home. We actually just followed a couple of people when they made the run across. You took a few steps, wait for a car to cross, then you go a little further, wait for another car to cross etc. A little scary for me; however, my husband loved the adventure! One big bonus for the hotel is their breakfast. I don't know what the breakfast is like at other hotels, but at the Helan there was a huge, delicious spread. Lots of choices! Very good! The restaurants in the hotel were okay otherwise. We only ate once at the main one. It was decent, but nothing amazing. There were one or two other restaurants in the hotel, but we didn't try them. Overall, a decent hotel. Comfortable, though a little old and tacky with the decor, but a delicious breakfast. If I went to Egypt again, I'd probably do a little more research and see if there might be something a little better - more to my taste!"
- Travel date: 28th February 2007
Bad experience with poor service during an emergency
"We stayed at the Shepheard for 2 nights which was a big mistake. The main positive point was the location, very convenient and safe. BUT...the service is incredibly poor. We didn't get a non-smoking room even though we requested it in advance (the hotel only has 5 non-smoking rooms). The actual rooms are very old with uncomfortable beds (the springs on the beds were poking through the mattress and gave us backaches). All this would have been ok since we weren't spending much time in the hotel anyways. The worst part of the stay happened on our last day. We realized our passports had been stolen during checkout (3 hrs before our flight was about to leave). We had made the mistake of leaving the passports in our room instead of locking them in the safety deposit box downstairs. In a state of near panic, we had to beg the reception staff to help us. They ignored my pleas for a good five minutes until I raised my voice and started yelling at them that this was an emergency and we needed to find our passports. Finally, one of them called housekeeping to see if the passports had been found (surprise, surprise they hadn't). Luckily our tour driver was around and he told us what to do with the filing a report and calling the US embassy. They didn't even offer to let us use their phones, until our driver yelled at them to be more helpful. Finally, the hotel manager came down after an hour to file the police report with us and kept trying to convince us that our passports had not been stolen at his hotel (even though we hadn't accused him in the first place). Overall, the shepheard would have been a subpar experience had it been uneventful. BUT it was absolutely TERRIBLE given the poor service and unwillingness to help out their clients during an emergency. We checked in that night to a three star hotel which was very accomodating and had excellent customer service compared to the Shepheard."
- Travel date: 26th February 2007
Comfortable with good food and location
"We stayed here for several days in 2 different rooms. As others have mentioned, the rooms were very large and the beds quite comfortable. It would be improved if there were a reading light on both sides of the double beds, but there was just one light on the table between the two beds. Water pressure and temperature were fine. The built-in cabinet and closet were exceptionally large and convenient. The first room we stayed in was close to the hvac and rather noisy, but the second room was quiet. Neither provided a Nile view, and the inner courtyard looked better with the curtain closed. Laundry service was expensive but competent. Porters were there when we didn't need them and not there when we did. The ATM never worked while we were there, and the bank down the hall was usually closed when I wanted to use it. The reception staff were busy, but courteous and efficient. The breakfast buffet was great. I especially enjoyed the halva, baba ganoush, and fresh dates. The coffee/tea service was a bit slow; it would be better to have a large machine with several pots available for you to just go and fill your own cup, rather than waiting for the server to get around to your table. We enjoyed the view of the Cornishe and the Nile. We dined once at the Asia House, which is a lovely Indian restaurant just off the main dining room. It is beautifully tiled, including some tiled murals, and has a peaceful fountain in the center. Fountains can be less than charming if they are too noisy, but this one was quiet and serene. The food was great; we especially loved the soups but it was all good. The service was excellent. A note to those with mobility issues: one must climb several steps to get from the street to the lobby. There is a step from the bedroom into the bathroom. The main restaurant is also a couple of steps above the level of the lobby. We enjoyed the location of this hotel, a couple of short blocks to Tahrir Square with the Egyptian Museum on the far side of the square. It was always easy to find a cab anywhere in this neighborhood."
- Travel date: 21st January 2007
My wife and I had a double room with a r...
"My wife and I had a double room with a reasonable Nile view in the Shepheard at a discounted rate of $US 110 per night (as part of a conference deal) for a week in July 2006. We arrived to check in at around 2 am in the morning, feeling rather tired and flustered after a rather unpleasant taxi-ride from the airport. The lobby was still busy and smoky and we were left waiting for several minutes before the check-in was completed. Service was perfunctory and not especially friendly- and nobody made much effort to welcome us to the Shepheard. So not a great first impression. The room was spacious and clean- but the shower was cold (quickly sorted out the next morning though). The cleaning staff and room service were efficient and friendly (although in typical Carian style they did come and drop rather heavy hints about leaving a tip behind before we left- which had the effect of reducing our generosity). Having several items of clothing which needed very minor creases ironing out, I requested an iron and ironing board, only to be informed that the hotel did not make these available and that I would have to use the (much overpriced) laundry service even for very minor touch-ups. (When will hotels learn that such silly ways of extorting extra money from guests only encourages them not to return?) I was even less impressed when the shirt I had intended to wear for my conference presentation came back with several marks and requiring a full service. The restaurants and bars were ok, but the service was uniquely slow (particularly in the roof-top bar), and the breakfast range, while nice enough, was the same every day. I got the impression from the staff that they do not receive the 10% service charge which is standard in all the restaurants/ bars. Meanwhile, with the exception of the unexpected- and talented-rooftop xylophonist, the homogenous and ubiquitous muzak in the lobby and the restaurants was insipid to the point of being irritating. Something Egyptian would have been more atmospheric. The Hotel taxi service was not cheap, but it was air-conditioned and the drivers were- on the whole-reliable. The Shepheard finally bade us farewell by imposing an additional EP 100 charge for an unexplained phone-call which we had no time to dispute. So overall, it was pleasant enough, but it wasn't especially good value, and certain irritating events really detracted from it being a positive experience. We won't be going there again."
- Travel date: 13th August 2006
An OK week at the Shepheard
"My wife and I had a double room with a reasonable Nile view in the Shepheard at a discounted rate of $US 110 per night (as part of a conference package deal) for a week in July 2006. We arrived to check in at around 2 am in the morning, feeling rather tired and flustered after a rather unpleasant taxi-ride from the airport. The lobby was still busy -and smokey- and we were left waiting for several minutes before the check-in was completed. Service was perfunctory and not especially friendly- and nobody made much effort to welcome us to the Shepheard. So not a great first impression. The room was spacious and clean- but the shower was cold (quickly sorted out the next morning though). The cleaning staff and room service were efficient and friendly (although in typical Caireen style they did come and drop rather heavy hints about leaving a tip behind before we left- which had the effect of reducing our generosity). Having several items of clothing which needed very minor creases ironing out, I requested an iron and ironing board, only to be informed that the hotel did not make these available and that I would have to use the (much overpriced) laundry service even for very minor touch-ups. (When will hotels learn that such silly ways of extorting extra money from guests only encourages them not to return?) I was even less impressed when the shirt I had intended to wear for my conference presentation came back with several marks and requiring a full service. The restaurants and bars were ok, but the service was uniquely slow (particularly in the roof-top bar), and the breakfast range , while nice enough, was the same every day. I got the impression from the staff that they do not receive the 10% service charge which is standard in all the restaurants/ bars. Meanwhile, with the exception of the unexpected- and talented-rooftop xylophonist, the homogenous and ubiquitous muzak in the lobby and the restaurants was insipid to the point of being irritating. Something Egyptian would have been more atmospheric. The Hotel taxi service was not cheap, but it was air-conditioned and the drivers were- on the whole-reliable. The exception was the chap who, on the Caireen pretence of hospitality , took my wife for a meal at his 'father's house'; the house was, of course, a shop, and although the meal was nice enough, my wife was then pressured to buy something; after refusing, and explaining to the shopkeeper that she'd been told he was the taxi driver's father and that this was merely Egyptian hospitality, both she and the Taxi driver were chased out by the furious owner. It's quite a funny tale- except that this should not occur with the Hotel's own taxi service. The Shepheard finally bade us farewell by imposing an adiitional EP 100 charge for an unexplained phone-call which we had no time to dispute. So overall, it was pleasant enough, but it wasn't especially good value, and certain irritating events really detracted from it being a positive experience. We won't be going there again."
- Travel date: 11th August 2006
Not very helpful if something goes wrong
"The staff (porters, cleaners, waiters) are friendly and efficient, but the management is unhelpful to guests if anything goes wrong during their stay in Cairo. A colleague of mine needed their help for - thankfully - a minor matter, but I would shudder to think of their response if it had been a serious situation. He left a digital camera behind in a taxi. This was no fault of the hotel, nor did my colleague hold the hotel in any way responsible. However, for his insurance claim, he needed the hotel to provide a brief letter stating that his camera had been lost in Cairo. Two lines at most. Reception staff said only the duty manager could provide such a letter and for the next six hours staff were untruthful about whereabouts of the duty manager (claiming he wasn't in the hotel, when later we found out he was). The hotel directed my colleague to the Tourist police, who directed him back to the hotel, we sent him back to the Tourist police...etc (...and beware, lower officers in the Tourist Policy may ask for money if you need their help). It was a minor (and for my colleague, frustrating) matter, but please be aware that you shouldn't rely on the management of the Helnan Shepheard for help if you get into any serious difficulties during your stay in Cairo. Also, if you have a room over looking the Nile (and the view is magnificant), buy ear-plugs -- the traffic on the main road below goes 24hrs and will keep you awake all night, even on the higher floors."
- Travel date: 31st July 2006
Shepheard Hotel is also called
- shepheard resort all inclusive
- shepheard hotel cairo
- helnan shepheard