One of the things one should do before heading to Cairo is booking in a good hotels. This is a lesson that I had to learn by myself.
On our way back from Alexandria to Cairo and while stucking in the traffic at the entrance of the city, we started looking into the city guide my lebanese friend has with her for a good hostel to stay in the night. We started with budget-cost ones, calling one by one myself didn’t work – all places near the downtown were full. We then tried some mid-range and even 5 stars hotel, all said fully-booked! Finally, I asked my lebanese friend to call herself one of the mid-range hostels, I thought that in an Arabic country, a lebanese female voice may get us better results, don’t you agree? Actually that is exactly what happened! She only called once, and that’s it, we got a 3 rooms in a hostel in the downtown. Whether it was a pure luck from her side or not, we’ll never know.
Anyway, we dragged our bags around 8:00PM at the crowded midtown of Cairo to Carlton Hotel which lies at the top of an old building. It costed us around 20$ per night including breakfast and dinner. The rooms were clean, but a little bit smelly. We didn’t have the dinner but went down for the breakfast.
Here goes the best part about this post.
While sitting there on our breakfast table, the waiter, which is an egyptian old man wearing a tarboosh and doshdasheh, with a very grumpy look on his face, brought us a cup with tea and nescafe bags. He then asked us firmly: Tea or Coffe? We said: Tea. He picked up the nescafe bag and went away!
We, on the other hand, started our research for a 5 stars hotel and ended up paying 220$ for a night at Shepard Hotel at the nile which actually didn’t really have that much better service. The rate didn’t include breakfast, and when we went down to have ours, a female waiter, with full red face (make-up!), approached us. What is your room number? We gave it to her. She checked. In an angry voice she said: Your rate doesn’t include breakfast! “Yes, we know” we told her. “Ok, you’ll pay 210 pounds (around 30$)” She said and left!
and we complain about service in Jordan!