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fluffnfold Jan 27th, 2010 08:56 AM

Cairo Marriott Zamalek Questions
For those of you who have stayed at the Cairo Marriott, how did you travel between the Cairo Airport and the hotel?

Currently, I have a package booked there that includes two-way transportation, but I've since found a special rate that would upgrade me from an Executive Room to an Executive Suite for just $30 more per night. The catch is that it's not a package, so it doesn't include transportation. I think it's worth the money to have a two-room suite with separate living room and bedroom rather than a plain room. I had already decided that it would be worth the extra money to stay on the executive level rather than to book a standard room because of the free breakfast, nonalcoholic drinks, light dinner, snacks. (I'm travelling with my spouse, so the extra room would be nice and the executive perks will save us a bit on meals and drinks.)

The hotel offers transportation in a Mercedes car for $70 USD each way, but it also mentions the taxi fare as being $25 USD each way. While I would like the hotel to pick me up, I would also like to save the money. Is it easy to get a taxi at the airport (and conversely, from the hotel to the airport), and will they know where the Marriott is located? (I had several problems with taxis finding my hotels when I traveled in India two years ago, so I'm a little hesitant; admittedly, my Indian hotels were smaller and less well-known than the Marriott.)

Thank you.

fluffnfold Jan 27th, 2010 08:58 AM

Does anyone have an e-mail address/contact at the Marriott so that I can ask about transportation? I don't see anything besides telephone numbers online.

Grcxx3 Jan 27th, 2010 11:48 AM

Does the Marriott transportation service include "meet & assist" - someone to help you get thru passport control and customs - or is it just transportation?

Keep in mind -tranportation in a Mercedes would be MUCH preferable to transportation in a cab!!!!

Casual_Cairo Jan 27th, 2010 01:39 PM

Crcxx3 - you are rignt, but do we have a surprise for you when you come back! The gov't has started to pull the really old cruddy taxis out of service and the owners are giving a loan to buy new cars. The new cars can be pretty nice. The Chinese Sperenza is one of them that they are driving and they are slick! There are Fiats too, but they are all new so they are all still pretty decent. You will love them. They have working meters in them, and are generally clean. Now that they have been on the road awhile some of them are getting a bit dinged up, or "decorated" inside, if you remember what I mean. You have to remember that the ones that were pulled out of service were pulled out of service for a reason, and the drivers are the same drivers that had those cars, but it does seem that many of them have new found pride in their new cars. It's really nice. The new ones are white with a black and white checkered pattern along the side.

Grcxx3 Jan 27th, 2010 01:48 PM

<<They have working meters in them,>>

Meters??? Really????? Well, shoot - that will take all the fun out of bargaining for a price!!!!

sandi Jan 27th, 2010 03:31 PM

New metered taxis! Whoopie! But now they're starting to be decorated on the inside :) Got the picture! And, only a few dings!

- how many days are you spending in Cairo?
- will most of the daytime hours be spent touring?
- how many hours will actually be spent in your room, but for sleeping?
- even package deals include breakfast, unless yours doesn't... duh!
- unless the executive suite has a separate dining room, you'll be eating with everyone else
- light dinner and snacks, are just that when you might want a real sit-down meals at hotel or outside restaurant

Who wouldn't like a Merc for transport, but assuming 3/nts Cairo @ $30/each = $90 + $70 for transport = $160 (and another $70 when homebound). Some might think that could be used elsewhere, like a great papyrus or bling!

Hey, with Debbie's latest news, I'd be adventurous and go with a spanking new taxi. :) The driver will know where the Marriott is located!

That said, if you're set on the executive suite, only you can decide whether the cost for Merc transfers is worth it!

lisa1420 Jan 28th, 2010 02:12 AM

Hi everyone, I agree that the new taxis are nice and clean, and it is nice not to have to haggle with the fare; however it is still nice to have a meet and greet upon arrival as it is nice to have someone facilitate the visa process.

The process is easy enough but after a long flt it is nice to have someone help you out. I would take the mercedes meet and greet upon arrival and then take a plain cab back to the airport.

Check with the Marriott to see if they have someone at the airport to assist you. I know the Fairmont has several employees at all terminals to help out.

Enjoy your time in Cairo, it is truly a wonder!

Percy Jan 28th, 2010 03:35 PM

Well I guess the next time I come to Cairo will be a Mercedes transfer !!

Debbie, Grcxx3 and Scotgirl.....when it is the next drinking get together.

sandi you are more than welcome to join us.

I am before !:)

Grcxx3 Jan 28th, 2010 04:24 PM

<<I am before !:)>>

You are SUCH a generous soul!!!!! You going to pay for the Mercedes too??????? ;)

Percy Jan 28th, 2010 04:49 PM

Why not !!!! Mercedes it is...nothing but the best for you ladies.!

My Mastercard bill is finally paid off, after the drinking spree you ladies went on last year in Cairo..

So I am ready for a repeat performance :)

sandi Jan 29th, 2010 12:16 PM

Thanks for the offer. Will think hard on that :)

joanw Feb 2nd, 2010 08:30 AM

HI, I would think twice about a metered cab, depending on what time of day you are traveling. It took us 1 and 1/2 hours to get from our hotel at the airport to the Marriot at 5 p.m. on a Monday night. We were glad to have a fixed price (75LE),not a meter. For the ride back, the Marriot concierge's price was 185LE. Instead, we got a cab on the street right outside for 85LE. The return trip only took a half hour, BUT the cab ran out of gas!!! He flagged down another cab and negociated the price for us. Adventures in Cairo!! By the way, the Italian restaurant at the Marriot is great.

dtc Feb 3rd, 2010 10:51 AM

The car service at the Marriott has 2 cars - the Mercedes and a smaller car. I don't remember what the smaller car is but it is bigger and much nicer than the taxis and much more reliable. We took the smaller car from the hotel to the airport for the 185LE that joanw quoted. The Mercedes is the $70 fare. I would ask them about the less expense car.

fluffnfold Feb 24th, 2010 11:22 AM

We ended up booking a Lancer car for pick-up and drop-off through the Marriott for a cost of $30 USD each way, charged to our hotel bill.

We stayed in an Executive Suite, which gave us lots of space for our 3-night stay. The Executive Lounge came in handy for breakfast, non-alcoholic beverages, afternoon snacks, light dinner, evening snacks. It was open from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight. Internet access in the lounge is NOT free, but the rates there were better than through the hotel itself (you could pay by the hour and it could be used non-consecutively). The Lounge allowed us to settle our bill 24 hours before our departure, which was convenient because we departed around 5:00 am.

The hotel was busy 24/7, with lots of shops, restaurants, and amenities (three ATM machines, 24-hour bank, bookstores, bakery, souvenir shops).

I found the Marriott e-mail addresses when they send me a virtual concierge message prior to check-in. At that time, I could request a specific newspaper, universal adapter, car service (for a fee), or snacks for my room (for a fee). The addresses are
cairomarriottguestrelations at marriotthotels dot com
mhrs dot caieg dot guest dot relations at marriotthotels dot com

We were happy with the Marriott, overall. It didn't knock our socks off, but I can't list any specific complaints. I think I just prefer a newer, hipper-looking property to an older traditionally-styled hotel.

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