10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Wonderful place to stay
"Very pleasant four-day stay. Large room, very helpful staff. A travel agent visits regularly so that guided tour arrangements can be made. The address is 39 Talat Harb Street, but the the hotel entrance is on a shopping alley a short distance from Talat Harb St Street. Our taxi from the airport had a hard time finding it. Another hotel in the building, Hotel Minerva, has a big sign up high on the side of the building on Talat Harb Street, so that sign can be used to locate the hotel. If you use the Cafe Americaine (across the street) to locate the hotel. take care that it is the one on Talat Harb Street, since it is a chain with a another location on a nearby street."
- Travel date: 10th October 2008
"My husband and I stayed at the Talisman Hotel for 4 nights and we absolutely loved it. It is hidden away on a small side street in a building we would never have expected to find such a gem. The rooms were immaculate and beautiful, and the staff was friendly and helpful. After our exhausting days of touring Cairo on foot, we looked forward to going back to our beautiful room and relaxing in our cool comfortable suite. The tour operator, Hamdi El-Shora, who works along-side the Talisman Hotel, organzed a wonderful tour of the Pyramids for us. We were able to customize our tour to include not oly Giza, but also Sakkara and Dahshur. We were both so pleased with our visit to the pyramids and also with our very knowlegable tour guide. We highly recommend both the hotel and Adventures in Egypt tour operators. Aliki & Nikos- Athens, Greece"
- Travel date: 18th September 2008
"We had a wonderful stay at the Talisman. Staff were extremely friendly and the service was great. There was some confusion with my booking through expedia but this was resolved thankfully. I think it was due mainly to disorganisation. Breakfast was simple but sufficient for a day of sightseeing. We decided to book trips through the tour operator alligned with the Talisman. The first day was planned for the Pyramids and I was explicitly told by Hamdi that it would be 30 GBP per person and this included entrance fees. The tour guide was excellent (think she was called Shama??) as was our driver and we thoroughly enjoyed our day. However, when it was time to pay Hamdi insisted that we had to pay for the entrance fees as well. This resulted in our day trip costing just under Â£100 GBP. Very over-priced and we cancelled our booking for the next day. Please be careful when booking trips through this man, from speaking to others there seems to be a different tariff depending on how he feels. We felt very ripped-off but did not allow this to impact on our stay in Cairo."
- Travel date: 16th September 2008
What a gem
"I have just returned from a trip to the middle east and spent the last night at the Talisman in Cairo. What a wonderful place. Although most taxi drivers wont know where it is it is tucked down a small alley in a very convenient part of Cairo, walking distance to the Cairo museum. The staff were very friendly and could not do enough to help, without being intrusive. The front of house staff were extremely knowledgeable and happy to arrrange anything you may require be it tours, taxis or restaurant bookings. The rooms are individually decorated in a Moroccan type theme with incredibly tasteful and quaint furniture and pictures. The saloon and library provide a welcome haven outside of your own room and the dining room where a lovely continental breakfast is served was also clean and beautifully decorated. Overall I would recommend the Talisman to anyone travelling to Cairo. It is a little more expensive than other hotels but you definitely get value for money and a friendly welcome. Thanks for a great stay."
- Travel date: 30th August 2008
Nice hotel, tours even better
"In egypt for business meetings, I took a weekend beforehand to see as much of Cairo as possible. Tripadvisor ratings steered me towards the Talisman hotel, and I was not disappointed with this clean and comfortable hotel in bustling downtown Cairo. Staff were warm, friendly, and helpful, room was nice, large, and clean. I arranged my transfer from the airport through the hotel (highly recommended) and for â¬20 they picked me up at the airport and handled my visa--not a burdensome task to begin with, but nice when you're arriving at 1 a.m. Upon arrival at the hotel I was greeted with a glass of mango juice (see photo), and arranged tours for Saturday and Sunday through Hamdi El Shouri, owner of adventureinegypt.com tours (more in a moment...highly recommended). Caught up with email on free wifi and slept well in comfortable bed. Heavy windows and curtains were even able to block out most of Cairo's ubiquitous car honking. Woke up in the morning for a standard Middle Eastern breakfast (cereal, cheeses, tomatos, cucumber, and toast, yogurt, juice, and Nescafe) and headed out into Cairo with my guide, Shaaima, a very knowledgable and very energetic graduate student. That first day we went to some very interesting sights in Islamic Cairo and Coptic Cairo, and then straight out to the pyramids at Giza, before eating a very nice traditional egyptian meal. Slept well that night for sure! Next day, we cruised through the Egyptian Museum before heading out to the more distant step pyramid. All together, a guide, driver, and airconditioned car ran about â¬90-100 for two days. Fantastic value. Monday morning I had an early flight and arranged transport through the hotel again, which worked well. Altogether, great place!"
- Travel date: 3rd August 2008
Gorgeous, rare hotel for Cairo
"If you're looking for a bit of colonial charm or Middle Eastern exotic in Cairo, stay in the Talisman. Taxi drivers never know where it is so get the directions off the hotel website and note the main streets nearby. The hotel is reminiscent of a Moroccan riad, with beautifully decorated rooms complete with lanterns and wall hangings and carpets and comfortable chairs. It's on the 5th floor of a crumbling old building that must have been lovely in its day. The staff are helpful and friendly and the breakfast was simple but good. Each room is decorated in a different colour with Arabian key-hole shaped bed heads. The hotel is quiet, tasteful and comfortable. I'd recommend it highly for anyone not wanting a faceless 5-star or a basic backpacker. Cairo is a bustling city full of mayhem so you need a calm hotel to escape to."
- Travel date: 17th July 2008
Loved this place, the staff, the location, the travel service
"It's the combination that makes this hotel wonderful: very helpful & knowledgeable staff, great location, charming antique rooms and especially the travel service onsite -- run by Hamdi. He set me up with a driver and tour guide who took me to the pyramids & sphinx, and they were completely trustworthy. I left my bags in the car repeatedly throughout the day, able to tell instantly that the driver Sabri was honest and I let him drive away with everything repeatedly. And he was a safe driver -- no small feat in Cairo where drivers pay no attention to traffic lanes or traffic lights and many don't use their headlights! The tour guide Shaimaa Zidan was incredible: informative, fun and a wealth of information about everything from sites to Islamic culture. I booked a second day with the same pair, who took me to Coptic Cairo and Islamic Cairo -- a wonderful day with no walking in the 100 degree humidity! I wasn't feeling well, so Shaimaa had no problem staying flexible and shifting our day's schedule in a heartbeat. Back to the hotel itself: the staff was ready to check me in during the very wee hours of the morning. They let me keep my bags at the hotel at no charge and a week later, when I was in town for only half a day, they let me keep my bags at their hotel again even though I wasn't paying for a room. They're just great people -- such a relief! One more thing: to get to the hotel is a little tricky and my taxi driver had trouble finding the place, so I'd consider having the hotel email you the directions in arabic and printing them out in advance. Or make sure when you leave the airport that the driver knows the address and you should keep your own eyes out for the Cafe L'Americaine or something like that. Across the street from it, you'll see a little alley and a lit yellow sign that says Hotel Minerva. This is your entrance. Go into the entry way, turn left and take the elevator to the 5th floor. This isn't marked, and it's such a relief to find such a wonderful hotel when the door opens. And do partake of the orange juice in the morning -- it's fresh-squeezed!"
- Travel date: 9th July 2008
"Stayed in Talisman, Cairo January 2008. Boutique hotels are best hotels in the world. What I liked about Talisman is it's quite central location, and "french-arabic style". Is located on Sharia Talaat (think so) st., with lots of cafes, shops, restaurants. Takes about 7 minutes in a taxi to get to the Islamic Cairo, 10 minutes to the Souk-bazaar, and about 10-15 minutes walk to the Museum. The staff of the hotel is very nice, polite and always ready to assist you: whether you need to book a tour or just looking for a nice restauant. Rooms are not big, but very tidy and comfortable. Pillows were not soft enough for me (so i suggest wherever you travel in Egypt bring your own pillow). Rooms design is amazing: red colours with interesting pictures on walls. Also enjoyed continental breakfast and fresh orange juice. Will recommend this hotel to everyone."
- Travel date: 10th May 2008
Nice, individual hotel
"The Talisman is a very good hotel with an individual feel. Rooms were a decent size and well furnished. The staff were friendly and helpful. The hotel is a little hidden away, up a sidestreet but it's worth looking it out. Overall a really nice hotel."
- Travel date: 24th April 2008
A Rare Boutique B&B in Cairo
"We picked this hotel solely on the Lonely Planet "Authors Choice" review and we were not disappointed. Rooms are beautifully decorated in bright Arabian style. The hotel can be a bit difficult to find as there is no sign outside but if you head for the Hotel Minerva then it is in the same building (wonderful old wrought iron lift on left hand side of entrance hall). The front desk (24 hour) people were always friendly and helpful at all times and got us settled in our room pretty quickly. Breakfast is a cold affair. Lovely fresh juice, a croisant or two and some cold cuts. Downtown can be a bit daunting when you first arrive in Cairo as it isn't the "touristy" area. Get used to the curious stares and you'll be fine! All in all, a very satisfactory stay in a beautifully decorated B&B and a more "real" alternative to the big chain hotels."
- Travel date: 3rd April 2008
Talisman Hotel de Charme is also called
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- talisman hotel