Cozy, Clean, Nice Egyptian Decor, Friendly Staff
I love this 3-star hotel. It's small but cozy, Clean, with beautiful Egyptian Decor and Friendly Staffs. All rooms with Air-con, minibar and TV with cable channel. There's a shisha bar in the open air backyard, an English style pub and internet stations. The staff were VERY HELPFUL, not only calling taxi for me, but also wrote me directions papers in Arabic language. On the last day, the manager and the bellboy brougbt me to a local shisha cafe around the corner, where no woman (I was the only one) sitting there. That's a really great experience.
Trip Report - Cairo, Aswan, Luxor with Kids
"The Benefits of a Private Guide in Egypt"
We just got back from our wonderful Egypt trip. I think our itinerary was perfect for traveling with kids; just the right mix of relaxation and adventure. Mine are 9,7 and 18 months and they have rated Egypt better than Disneyland! My sister who’s 19 was also with us.
First, I really have to thank our guide, Ahmed Hamed Yousif. He made our trip really special. I corresponded with him for a few weeks before we went, and I was very specific in what I wanted. He organized our trip exactly the way I asked him to; there were no unpleasant surprises. Ahmed arranged our accommodation both in the hotel and on the cruise ship, and all the things you will see below. We had a driver and a private minivan on every trip. I had expected him to arrange different guides in Luxor and Aswan but to our surprise, he accompanied us everywhere, even though he had a days-old first born! No paternity leave for Egyptian tour guides I guess. Ahmed advised us on the tipping (who and how much) but made sure we knew it was only his opinion and that we could give more or less as we wished. He was wonderful with the kids and answered all their questions. He made ancient Egyptian history come alive for them. He has a great sense of humor and by the end of the trip we were fast friends. My eldest son has informed us he wants to be an Egyptologist when he grows up!
If you’re traveling with young children, I really recommend a private tour. We could leave a site any time we wanted according to the kids’ moods. We had Ahmed to ourselves and the kids kept him very busy the whole time! He tailored his explanations to suit them, keeping them simple, yet lively. If the baby started squirming, he’d finish his story in the car. So convenient.
Day 1: We flew EgyptAir which was quite nice. Our plane to Egypt did not have much leg room, but the one on the way back had lots of room and a foot rest. The breakfast wasn’t bad. Ahmed’s friend was waiting for us inside Cairo airport. He took our luggage tickets and had our luggage waiting when we got through immigration! Went straight to the Zayed hotel.We really liked the location of the hotel, there are great restaurants, pharmacies and supermarkets right around the corner. We had lunch at Koshary al Omda…delicious! Huge portions of Kushari for a great price. We also had the grilled chicken, hummus and Um Ali for dessert. YUM! We walked around a bit, bought Antinal at a pharmacy in case of stomach upsets (happy to report no problems – we used bottled water for drinking and brushing and used antibacterial gel when we thought of it – not often!) and stopped at a supermarket for snacks to carry with us. Then on to the Sound and Light show. This show is held outside and I was really impressed with the way they handled the problem of the rain. They rented out warm blankets for us to wrap around ourselves and gave us dry pads to put on the plastic chairs. Despite that, it really was cold. The kids thought the show was cool for the first 15 minutes, but it was hard for them to follow after that. However, the cold and the rain kept all of us, even the baby, under our blankets until the end. I wouldn’t recommend seeing the show in the rain, but it does give a good overview ancient Egyptian history. And seeing the pyramids for the first time at night really takes your breath away.
Day 2: We checked out of the hotel and headed to the Egyptian museum. Ahmed picked out the best parts to show us because we only had a couple of hours. King Tut’s treasures and the mummy room were huge hits with the kids. Don’t miss the mummy room if you have little boys (or even teenagers, my sister claimed to be “grossed out” but read every single word written about the mummies); the extra charge is worth it! The bookshop just outside the museum walls is really nice. The people are so friendly, the prices are fixed and no one pushes you to buy anything. On to Giza to see the pyramids and the sphinx by day. The kids were fascinated, especially with all the background info Ahmed gave them. We went down into the second pyramid, another highlight for the boys. It’s a cramped tunnel, you have to bend right over as you climb down and back up and there isn’t much air, but the kids loved it. We all rode camels and then saw the Sphinx which is amazing up close. To get to it you have to pass through the mummification rooms – more excitement for the kids! Finally we went to a papyrus shop where we learned how papyrus is made, learned to tell the fake from the real and bought beautiful ones to take home. They also make great gifts and the staff will tell you the stories behind each one so you can pick out the right ones for your friends and family
"The Sleeper Train"
We took the sleeper train for Aswan. We LOVED the sleeper train. We had three cabins for the six of us. The seats are huge and after dinner the porter comes and pulls the bunk beds out of the wall. There is a small wash basin in each cabin. The walls and doors could do with a good scrub, but the linens are really clean. We didn’t think our baby could handle the beds so we took the mattress off one of the top beds and put it on the floor. There is just enough room for that. We had read that the food wasn’t great, so we took snacks with us but we tried it and it’s edible if you’re hungry.
The bathrooms are shared by everyone on your coach, so towards the end of the trip it can get a bit disgusting. However, the toilet flush and sink are operated by foot pedals, so if you have to go, you can handle it!
Day 3: Breakfast on the train was okay. Rolls, croissant, butter, cheese and jam with tea or coffee. We sat and ate and watched the countryside and village life along the way. At 11 am, fourteen hours after leaving Cairo we arrived in Aswan to begin our Nile cruise.
"Aswan / The Nile Cruise"
Our ship was the Crown Jewel from Travcotels. 5 star treatment all the way. The staff was amazing; they love kids and spoiled them for the next three days. The food was delicious; lots of variety. My younger son is a very picky eater and even he was going back for seconds and thirds! They serve three meals a day + tea time on the sun deck. Our cabins were very nice. The bathrooms are small but with good fixtures. There was a small fridge in each room and a little sitting area. They didn’t have a cot for the baby, but put a mattress down for her. We checked in and headed for the High Dam and then a felluca ride. The felluca ride was lovely and the weather was perfect for it. Five minutes away from where the ship was docked was a nice park where we let the kids run around for a while.
Day 4: The ship started sailing in the early morning. At around 6, it reached Kom Ombo, but we had already decided to skip that because it was too early for us. At 12, we reached Edfu. We took a horse drawn carriage to and from the temple. We spent the rest of the day lazing on the sun deck watching the banks of the Nile. The kids read, played cards and board games and waved to kids on the shore. This was really the only day the ship actually sailed. We arrived at Luxor that night. We really wanted to do a balloon ride that morning or the next one, but we thought it was too foggy and we knew we’d have lots of early mornings in the coming days.
Day 5: We started the day the Valleys. At Valley of the Kings you can choose three tombs to visit + King Tut’s tomb (his mummy is still there). By now, my boys were addicted to the life and times of King Tut. At Valley of the Queens, Hashepsuts tomb is vast and it’s even more fascinating when you hear the story of her life. We spent the rest of the day and evening relaxing on the sun deck.
Day 6: At breakfast the staff brought my eldest son a birthday cake and sang for him (I had arranged it the night before but it was a surprise to him). Check out at 8 am! This was unexpected but it seems the cruise was fully booked for the ride back to Aswan and they needed everyone off the boat. Ahmed managed to book us a room for the day at the Pyramisa Isis hotel. We saw the Luxor and Karnak temples first. The boys wanted to explore every inch. It was hard to get them out of there, but we were pretty exhausted after a couple of hours. Afterwards we headed to the room Ahmed had booked us for half a day to relax. There was a play area right next to the room, and the kids spent some time there before we headed out to explore the city and do some shopping. The boys bought books on mummies and King Tut (who else). Lunch at McDonalds I’m sorry to say! In the evening we headed to the train station for the sleeper train to Cairo.
"Back to Cairo"
Day 7: We arrived at Cairo at 6 in the morning, stumbled to the Zayed hotel and slept for a couple of hours. Then to Al Azhar and Al Hussein mosques and Khan al Khalili. We spent hours in Khan al Khalili. The bargaining gets a little exhausting after a while. You just want them to give you the final price. I don’t mind paying a little extra, but sometimes it’s obvious you’re being taken for a ride. Still, we had lots of fun, and the kids picked up lots of odds and ends. My advice is to look at a few shops before you start buying. You see something you like and then a few doors down you find the same thing but much better quality. Lunch at Egyptian pancakes. Delicious! At night we went for the dinner cruise. The food wasn’t great but we enjoyed the entertainment. The kids liked the whirling dervishes and the baby clapped and danced in her seat for the whole two and a half hours, only yelling when the belly dancer got too close to her dad!
Day 8: Back to Amman at 7 am. Exhausted because of lots of early mornings, but really pleased and already planning our next trip!
Zayed Hotel in Cairo
Can anyone tell me anything about Zayed Hotel in Cairo. Is it a 2 or 3* hotel and any other information.
Re: Zayed Hotel in Cairo
I have not heard of this hotel,,but where does it say it`s located?
i may give u a feed back about the location.
Re: Re: Zayed Hotel in Cairo
I have checked the net,,ur right,,there are some sites that tells it`s a 3*hotel like this one:
and some other say it`s a 2*hotel like this:
and it`s located at Al Agouza,,and this Dist. has some good and clean areas around it,,while other is not so great.
Re: Re: Zayed Hotel in Cairo
I didn't heard about this hotel as well, but i strongly feel that it's just 2 stars...
but regarding to it's address, it's in very nice area in Cairo, so close from gammet el dewal street "best street in egy."
no more info. sorry :)
Re: Re: Zayed Hotel in Cairo
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the effort. Yeah experience-egypt is the one offering me this hotel...I guess I will cross my fingers and hope it's a good hotel.
coming to cairo in feb
A single Brit guy coming to Cairo for first time. What good 3 star hotels are there in central area as a good base to go to. What about getting round the city, is it possible to hire driver and taxi for the day like other places I have been to? How far r the Pyrmaids from central Cairo. Any locals who wnat to show me around for a couple of days before I go to Sharm.
Re: coming to cairo in feb
Can't recommend a hotel as we stayed in some hotel in Zamelek (New Year 2000 so grabbed any hotel that was reasonably cheap and available). As a result, we made a fairly early start, grabbed a taxi and it took us to Khan el-Khalil and from there we simply walked round the Islamic Quarter for the whole day (part of the joy of Cairo) using Lonely Planet as a guide to where things were.
Arranged a taxi to take us out to Memphis, Saqqara and the Pyramids the day before we went, although many taxis hang outside the hotels for day trips, so could leave it till the day (taxi advisable for Saqqara and Memphis as public transport long winded and eats into the day: better than organised trip as you are your own boss).
Fit in the Museum and walks along the Nile. It'll be a squeeze to see everything in a couple of days but you should eb able to get a flavour of the place.
Re: coming to cairo in feb
There is a lot of downtown hotels but i can recommend a hotel called cosmopolitan hotel located downtown. It is clean and cheap (I will ask for the price). I don't think 2 days are enough to see Cairo. The must see places are the Pyramids, Egyptian museum, you can see Khan elKhalily and Islamic Cairo on the same visit also you should see the citadel and Coptic Cairo. It is easy to hire a taxi for the whole day it shouldn't cost more than 160 L.E. (23$) but you should have your day organized and don’t wait for driver suggestions. If you have any questions don't hesitate to send me an email. If you are in Cairo during the weekend i will be happy to show you around (Friday & Saturday).
Re: coming to cairo in feb
If you are going to Sharm, you may as well go up to Dahab about 85km north. It's cheaper and more lay back. If you're diving, Dahab is definitely cheaper. I've got some photos on my pages, you can have a look.
Re: Re: coming to cairo in feb
Zayed Hotel - a small hotel tucked away in a quiet, clean, back street in Mohandiseen, near to shops, restaurants and bars ( cheap ones and very expensive ones ), and 20 minutes walk max to the Nile.Good atmosphere, simple but clean and comfortable rooms, and good staff.