Cairo is such a vast city with so many things to see and do, sometimes, to get the most out of your visit, you have to stay right in its heart, and a surprisingly cheap and perfectly situated hotel/hostel to do so is Cairo Inn.
A magnanimous mixture of a hostel and a home, Cairo Inn features comfortable rooms, clean and spacious bathrooms and a delicious hearty breakfast delivered to your door.
Whether you are arriving from another city in Egypt or from another country entirely, Cairo Inn will cater for your needs. If you arrive via airport, their friendly staff will arrange for one of their drivers to meet you at the arrivals terminal and drive you to the hotel at no extra cost, the only catch being that you have to stay a minimum of three nights.
We were greeted by a pleasant old Egyptian man who spoke some English and was happy to point out a few of the sights during the twenty minute drive to the hotel and then went on to assist us with our luggage.
Cairo Inn's location is fabulous for sightseers and those who wish to get a humongous whiff of Egyptian culture. Only a few minutes away is the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities; the glorious Nile and many delightful restaurant, bars and cafes. For anything further out of the city centre, Cairo has a mixture of transportation options ranging from the metro system, buses and taxis, and the people at Cairo Inn are glad to help.
The staff at Cairo Inn circulates throughout the week, but we've found them all to be polite, friendly and ready to go that extra mile for the guests. We were a group of four and had booked one single room and one triple which we were escorted to within minutes of our arrival. The price when booked on www.hostelworld.com worked out at 100LE per night for the single room and 150LE per night for the triple room.
Inside the rooms was much nicer than we had anticipated considering the low prices. The rooms are all fully air-conditioned, spacious and decorated a lot like a typical Egyptian home with small bedside lamps, floral bed covers and pictures hanging on the walls. The beds are comfortable and spacious, but the covers and sheets did have an odd musky smell to them. On the plus side, there is a large flat screen television on the wall of each room, with a broad range of channels in both Arabic and English.
Both of the rooms in which we checked into had a bathroom with a shower that never failed to provide hot water; there were also several colourful towels neatly presented plus soap and shampoo in built-in dispensers. It's the overall style of everything inside that makes it different to the regular hotels, like the floral curtains and bedcovers, the bathroom towels which were pink, green and purple with soap to match and also the balconies were equipped with a table and two comfortable chairs which were again in that homey, floral design.
We found this to be a nice touch as we could enjoy our breakfast on the balcony overlooking the busy Talaat Harb Square.
In regards to cleanliness at Cairo Inn, a lovely old lady comes and cleans the rooms every day, and changes the sheets and towels upon request.
Another perk offered by Cairo Inn is the free breakfast every morning which you can have delivered to your door, or if you fancy mixing with other travellers then you can eat out on the balcony in the common room. It is a delicious, healthy breakfast with plenty to keep you going for those sight-seeing adventures around Cairo. One person's meal includes four slices of toast; dairy lee cheese triangles, butter, jam, one yoghurt, a bowl of cornflakes served with a jug of warm milk plus a drink of your choice whether it be coffee, tea or juice.
Finally, it must be noted that Cairo Inn extends its services to beyond its walls as they have a Tours desk where guests can book excursions to see some of Egypt's top sights including a trip to the pyramids costing 200LE. They also have a package tour to Luxor and Aswan which Cairo Inn arranges as a package costing $350; this includes a stay in a hotel, flights and the tour itself.
The biggest downside of Cairo Inn is also its biggest advantage. While being in the heart of Downtown Cairo can be exhilarating, don't underestimate how loud it can get, especially with intense rush hour traffic.