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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Longchamps Cairo
The most charming hotel
I stayed at the Longchamps hotel for 4 days in December, 2005 and I was thoroughly pleased with it. While I was there I was thinking how I could adaquately describe the Longchamps. The best word is charming. I have to say it is the most charming hotel I've ever stayed in. The earlier derogatory reviews are so far removed from my experience at the hotel that I wonder if we were staying in the same place! I agree entirely with Jim Dunn's rating and comments below in "Egypt's only bed and breakfast". For mine, there is no other hotel in Cairo.
I travel in Egypt for work so I am familiar with a range of hotels in the city and stayed here a while ago--2001--so take it for what it's worth. This hotel is OK in a pinch. Nothing special really if you want something cheap in the area. It's been a long time, but I remember distinctly that we (a friend in a different room) had shower problems. Not that this is unusual in Cairo....but still. The teeny-tiny shower was barely big enough for my 5'3" 130 lb. frame. The curtain did not keep water in and so my entire bathroom flooded...all this with NO hot water, which I consider an absolute MUST if you pay anything over $20 for a room anywhere. Basic necessity, really. I was told to run the shower for a while. After 20 minutes (can you imagine wasting that much water?!) it was still not hot. My room also had some weird "transom" windows along the top of the wall facing the hallway. That means that at all times I was able to hear people coming and going and there was no way to close off the light coming from there. I like a dark room to sleep in, esp. during transit which is usually what I am doing when in Cairo. I did not find the staff especially friendly, just OK. That said, most Egyptians are wonderfully firnedly.
My recommendation? Stay upstairs at the HORUS HOTEL which is always clean, usually quiet, helpful, and always has hot water in a sizeable clean bathroom.
I don't pay for the hotels when I travel so I can assure you my opinion has no motive. I'd just like to help any fellow traveller in Egypt because I know just how bad a bad hotel experience can be! Your time is valuable...why waste it?!
An Oasis in the sky!
We arrived at the Longchamps at 3am, slightly apprehensive, as the entrance is not too appealing. However, after negotiating to two quaint old lifts, we arrived at the fifth floor, to what we term our " Oasis in the sky".
The staff are excellent, the rooms are immaculate, the breakfast quite acceptable.
The location in Zamalek is perfect for city or Pyramid visits. To stay at the pyramids and negotiate the traffic each time you would want to visit the city would be an ordeal. (However, you can use the Metro from Giza to Midan Tahrir!). Walking in Zamalek is perfect, as you are under the canopy of the established tree cover.
After touring the Medi coast, we returned to the Longchamps for our final night, -- to our Oasis!
Hotel Longchamps is not 5 star
I booked this hotel based on the reviews and the website. When we arrived about 1:30 am in the morning we went to the hotel. We were shocked when we went in. A long dark climb up a dingy hallway to the desk.
There was another couple from Germany who also had been misled by their fantastic website- they left for another hotel- we did not because it was late and we were too to tired.
The room was not airconditioned really poorly lit very very dumpy.
I would not reccomend this hotel. It is not that I haven't traveled and experienced all kinds of hotels believe me I have. I have got to say this was the worst- It reminded of something out of Dickens and Les Miserable.
Egypt's Only Bread and Breakfast
So what exactly do the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo, the Conrad Cairo Hotel, the Grand Hyatt Cairo and the Hotel Longchamps have in common, besides all being located in Cairo? Answer: They are all solidly rated 5, the highest rating, by users on tripadvisor.com and they represent a very select few in Egypt with such a rating. However, perhaps a more important question is, how are they different? Well, the first three hotels have average room rates of between $133 and $240 per night, while the last one, the Hotel Longchamps, has an average room rate of about $40. It is the only hotel in this price range in Egypt that is so highly rated by its guests.
In fact, the Hotel Longchamps, amidst all the grand hotels in Cairo, and there are many grand hotels in Cairo, has a popularity index on tripadvisor.com of 6, actually better than the Grand Hyatt, for example.
None of this is all that surprising to us. For a number of years now, we have considered the Hotel Longchamps to be the official hotel of the Tour Egypt staff. It is where we hang our hats in Cairo and the place we call home, but that's not exclusive to us. I can remember about a year ago when Stephen Harvey, a good friend of ours and the lead Egyptologists of the Ahmose Pyramid project, expressed a similar feeling. I can even remember feeling a tad jealous. But after all, Stephen and I also share this feeling with other Egyptologists and more than a few embassy personnel, businessmen and knowledgeable tourists who also call the Longchamps home.
Why is this? I could probably sum it up by saying that it is a very comfortable place, with modern and bright accommodations and a friendly staff at an affordable price, but that is really only the part of the story. One is made to feel at home here, but that doesn't explain why, for some reason unknown even to me, that I can feel more relaxed sitting on the Longchamp's summer terrace than I do in my own living room in Texas. Nor can it explain the feeling of homesickness I get when I've been away too long.
Perhaps its all the good old memories, and the expectation of new ones. Over the years, there have been so many nice evening spent on the terraces of the Longchamps meeting with friends and making new ones. I do love to meet the well know European artists who frequent the hotel, and kicking back with the staff of the German or Swiss embassy on a warm summer night over drinks and snacks. It is here that I met Towheed Ramy, the father of Egyptian multimedia and the inventor of the Sound and Light shows, and it is here that I have met more then a few of the Egyptologists I know. I've enjoyed discussions with world renowned journalists on these terraces, and I must admit that I miss the company of the owner's father, who died a short time ago. When the big wigs of Egyptian tourism came to call on him, they too called him father, because he was considered somewhat of a founder of modern Egyptian Tourism. I must also admit that I thoroughly enjoy meeting up with the Tour Egypt readers who frequent the hotel. Its just always a grand time for me. Obviously I can no longer write a completely objective review of this hotel, but thankfully, my views are shared by many others.
Of course, the Hotel Longchamps is a rather small hotel, to small in fact to attract the attention of the large tour companies. There simply is not enough space to put up a large tour group. Therefore, it caters to, and is dependent upon, independent travelers. At the same time, the hotel is very well suited for foreign travelers. The staff is fluent in English and a few other languages, and Hebba, the owner, switches effortlessly between English, German, French, Italian and Arabic.
A few years ago, we all thought of the Hotel Longchamps as a very good budget hotel, but constant updates, renovations and improvements have really turned the hotel into something else. In Europe, it would be considered a Boutique Hotel, while Americans might think of it more as a fine Bread and Breakfast. The pricing is still good, not all that different then when I first stayed here, but every time I go back, the facilities are better than before.
Few, if any hotels in the same price range as the Hotel Longchamps in Egypt offer the modern amenities to be found here. Each of the rooms have modern televisions with cable, modern direct dial telephones, and most unusual for even many of the most expensive hotels, wireless internet. Rooms also have mini-friges, some have desks and the bathrooms are all well appointed with modern fixtures and full amenities. At the same time, all of the rooms are somewhat different, as they should be in a be for a Boutique Hotel. Most are very spacious, and some have their own reasonably sized terraces. The hotel has a very nice restaurant which also serves food on the terraces, and a well equipped bar.
Admittedly, it is also located in the heart of my favorite district in Cairo, Zamalek. Zamalek is a very upscale area of Cairo where most of the embassies are located, along with fashionable shops and a number of fine restaurants. Zamalek is know as a garden island and it is here that one finds the famous Cairo Tower, the Cairo Opera House, the Gezira Club (one of Egypt's oldest and most fashionable country clubs) and various well known Art Galleries. Zamalek is also centrally located in Cairo, very near many of the cities most famous tourist attractions.
Now it is true that this old Texan is, just now, a little homesick for the Longchamps, but that will soon be remedied. I'll be heading back there late in August (2005) for about three weeks, and I would love nothing better than to see more of our readers while I am there. Join me there, and on a warm moonlit night overlooking the gardens of Zamalek, we'll talk about my favorite subject, Egypt.
Totaly bad experience, a total rip off
This is my 4th trip to cairo within the last fourth years, I decided this time based on reviews and on the hotel web site to stay in long champs, the moment I got their I was chocked, the hotel "if it can be called that way" resides at the top floor of a very dirty and old building, the elevator to the hotel are so old and dirty and even dangerous every time I shifted my weight in it, it did hit the side walls " nothing like the pictures on their web site, I was very worried that I choosed the wrong hotel, when I got to the floor of the hotel where other reguler residents apartments saparate its both sides I was a little bit relieved since the decoration of the hotel are designed with good taste, so I hoped that the service might be that good to a degree that will compansate for the filthy place where the hotel resides, but after I checked in the room I found out I was wrong, the window of the room did over see sewer pipes, and the satalite TV they talked about in their web site did have only a couple of german channels, I talked to them about that they said that nothing they can do about it, the service was very poor too, for example I asked for ice one night since the refrigirator in the room was broke off course I recieved nothing, they seem to have shortage of staff only one staff cooks and servses there simple breakfast for example, After three misrable days of staying I decided that I wil not take it no more I looked for another hotel and decided to leave, so the long champs hotel manegement forced me to pay 108$ for a couple of nights cancelation fee, that I payed and checked out of this bad place, about cost I found out that this place is very expensive for the services they supply , since I moved to a real 4 star hotel just 200 meteres of Long champs with excelent service for only 2 extra dollers, and when they heard my story with long champs, and that I will be staying for 2 weeks with them they gave me a junior sweet for the same price which was a discounted price to strat up with, and man talk about the difference in service between the two hotels no comparison.
So I summerize this by saying that long Champs pension is a total rip off, and if you are into advanture and would like to try it beware since if you find out that you picked the wrng hotel and try to leave before the booked time they will force you to pay for a couple of extra nights for cancelation.
The Real Cairo
I recently had the opportunity to travel around Egypt for a month, and was to begin my journey in Cairo. After doing a good deal of research I decided to contact the Hotel Longchamps to see if there was availability. Unfortunately, they had had no availability the night I was due to arrive, but the owner, Hebba Bakri, offered to procure me a hotel at the same price for that night. They also have a pick up service at the airport, and since my flight arrived at 2 a.m., that was especially appreciated. She responded promptly to all my e-mail enquires and answered all my concerns, and I wound up staying there for five nights.
I like to travel modestly, and stay neither at the lowest or highest end places. I find a good, reasonably priced three star hotel is a way to get all the amenities one needs while not cutting oneself off from the culture you are visiting nor blowing all of one's budget. The Lonchamps is located in a wonderfully vibrant neighborhood, Zamalek, that is within a short cab ride or a long walk of Central Cairo. And it is very close to the Marriot, which is a nice place to go for amenities such as a great bakery and several nice restaurants and pubs. Plus for a charge you can use the Marriot pool. Any American will feel very cmfortable with the level of service and cleanliness at the Longchamps, and I cannot recommend it enthusiastically enough. I travelled for a month around Egypt and this was my favorite place and allowed a great base from which to explore Cairo.
Good value, nice balcony, good location
I stayed at the Longchamps for 3 nights. I would recommend it. Although it is not flash, it is very clean and tidy, is in a great location, has lovely balconies, good food and is good value. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised with how good this place was for the room rate we paid (US$56 per night including breakfast). Like most of the places we stayed in Egypt, although we requested a double bed, we were given two single beds pushed together, but not a major issue.
A hotel of character & characters welcomes all
The hotel Longchamps is a hotel set on the upper floors of a 1940s apartment block in leafy Zamalek. It is a beautifully appointed three-star hotel
Very well run by the proprietress, Hebba Bakri: She knows exactly how to run a hotel efficiently and is nearly always on hand to help or to make suggestions: she always tells you "as it is" and doesn't allow you to be hoodwinked by any of the scams. She wants you to enjoy your stay and understands that a satisfied guest is one that returns and recommends. Her hotel is a characterful place with European momentos and Egyptian artifacts scattered all over this delightful hotel ~ books in all languages vintage objet d'arte, etc.
The staff are just as helpful and most have been with the Longchamps for years (now that says something). All European languages are catered for and there are two delightful terraces to enjoy as well as a bar and restaurant.
The hotel is unashamedly three-star and so ideal for budget-conscious travellers, but the welcome and the friendliness puts the five-star corporate hotels to shame - returning to the hotel after an absence of nearly a year, I was recognised by name by nearly all the staff, even down to the way I drank my coffee.
The Longchamps is THE hotel in Cairo, and caters for many types of travellers: when I was there they had a great mix of Europeans all mixing well on the lovely bar terrace ~ independent travellers, historians, diplomats as well as all the delightfully unusual characters that are attracted by the Longchamps charm and friendliness
As Anglo-German I found this hotel wonderfully cosmopolitan and a real statement as to what hotels can be besides an accommodation provider' the Longchamps is also a meeting place of people from all different walks of life. The Longchamps is for me a "home from home."
One last note: travellers to Cairo with any sense should book the airport pick-up via the Longchamps - it's a reasonable price and the driver Magdi is an absolute treasure.
Superb value, An excellent Hotel
I stayed in the Longchamps Hotel late last year after being recommended it by a friend. having never been in Egypt before i was somewhat wary, but this hotel was absolutely wonderful.
They arranged a car to pick me up at the airport, and even though my flight was delayed the driver waited and took me off to the Longchamps.
The room I got was newly decorated with a bathroom that sparkled with white tiles and marble. The bedroom was comfortable and clean: housekeeping is obviously high on the managements agenda.
The food was lovely and reasonably priced and the staff were all efficient and friendly.
The next morning i met the owner Mrs Bakri, who introduced herself and wanted to know that everything was alright and that I was comfortable. She could not have been more caring and helpful. She certainly made me, a single woman, feel safe, cared for and looked after.
I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. A big thank you to Mrs Bakri and all her staff ~ you helped make my trip memorable and I recommend you to all travellers wishing to stay in a friendly, clean and wonderful hotel
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Longchamps Cairo
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