“Comfort and style go hand in hand at central Cairo's first boutique hotel, quirkily concealed in a downtown apartment block”
Wherever you go in this hotel, warm colours meet you in abundance, and spotless rooms are no exception to that rule: expect reds and yellows, blues and greens, lilacs and pinks. We didn’t see every room, but although all are different, the same theme runs throughout. You get oriental rugs on parquet flooring, padded headboards shaped to mimic minarets, high ceilings, beautiful fabrics, great art, the odd chandelier. Some rooms are smaller than others, but none of those we saw were particularly small, though it is likely that one or two are. Having said as much, even single rooms get a small double bed, so perhaps we’re wrong. Eight rooms have balconies, all are air conditioned. There are two suites, both extremely affordable. They have separate sitting rooms and a bath as well as a shower. Other rooms have showers only, but all come with robes and there are minibars, TVs and safes in wardrobes in every room. You’ll also find several charming sitting areas in the corridors that lead to the rooms, so if you don’t have a suite, it doesn’t mean there isn’t somewhere pretty to sit close by.
A large red and white chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the dining room, while golden art clings to its walls. Breakfast is served leisurely from 7-11am. It’s a continental buffet offering three types of cheese, fruit and yoghurt, cereals and fresh orange juice, toast, croissants and Danish pastries. There’s American coffee and Egyptian tea, too. Although this is a B&B hotel, you are very central, so you won’t have to walk far for a good meal in the evening. Staff will happily recommend local restaurants that are en vogue. Try ever-popular Abou Tarek, a downtown favourite on Sharia Shamplion that serves well-priced Egyptian food; Felfela on Sharia Hoda Shaarawi, a tourist haunt that serves falafel, good salads, grilled chicken; or Le Bistro on the same road, which is extremely popular with Cairenes. You can sip wine amid wood-panelled walls at Café Riche on Sharia Talaat Harb - it’s been a popular haunt with Cairo’s left-leaning artists and intellectuals for a hundred years; expect a mix of French and Egyptian dishes on the menu. A short, inexpensive cab ride will zip you over to the Islamic quarter, where you can try two great restaurants: Al Tejalo Sultan serves very good Indian and Egyptian dishes, while Citadel View has a huge terrace and offers tasty, traditional food that’s popular with tourists.