Egypt Itinerary Critique

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Mar 4th, 2013, 08:32 AM
  #21
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Thanks Debbie. The Longchamps is like places we typically stay - more local than chain feeling, so that looks great. It's not listed on the Select Egypt website as one of their hotels, but neither was the Steigenberger which she offered to us at no upgrade cost from a 3* in Luxor.

Luxor is when we'll be coming off the camel trek, so some 5* pampering might be in order!

Still waiting to hear back from Select Egypt since we've given then our slightly revised itinerary. I'm sure things will work out.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 11:28 PM
  #22
 
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Casual cairo: Jumping into your thread here--sorry. The mariott looks booked. We are thinking of the fairmont Nile hotel. Looks very nice and has fab reviews--even better than the Mariott which we were also recommended by friends there. Is that neighborhood where the Fairmont is a problem? Is it close enough to the Zamalek area? It looks like it on a map.We will be traveling with kids. Thanks much-
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Mar 11th, 2013, 09:07 AM
  #23
 
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The Fairmont is a lovely hotel, but not nearly as good for walking around the hotel. It is built next to a ghetto area. The hotel is fab though, if you think you'll be happy eating all your meals *at the hotel. The BIG advantage of anything on the island where Zamalek is, is that it is all so safe and walkable with zillions of good restaurants, galleries, bars, cultural centers and some shopping available. The river is between Zamalek and the Fairmont, unfortunately, and it is not an easy walk from the Fairmot over to the good side where the Marriott is.
The other hotels that are in Zamalek, if you need 5 star are the Hilton Residence in Zamalek, and a bit further away (and not as well placed) are the Novotel and the Sofitel. Neither of those would be my first choice for location, but they are both better than the Fairmont location.

* I said that you have to eat all your meals at the hotel - I should clarify that there is a smallish mall attached to the hotel there that surely has some restaurants, coffee shops and maybe even fast food in it that would be available much of the time.

I still think the Marriott is MORE kid friendly than the Fairmont. The Fairmont has little to no outdoor areas for them to run and play. The Marriott has tennis courts, and a garden area. They both have pools. The pool at the Fairmont is on the roof.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 02:20 PM
  #24
 
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If you're looking for more local flavour in your stay I suggest you spend a few hours in Islamic Cairo. You can start by Sultan Hassan Mosque & Ibn Toloun (You can see Cairo Skyline from the Minaret which is kinda cool). You can then take a cab to Azhar, see Al Azhar mosque, Al hussein mosque, Khan Al Khalili ( a local antique market) , Al Moez street (a street full of historic mosques, schools and houses) and maybe have Lunch at a local "feteer" place (It's not Pizza or a pie...but it's somehow related) or have a drink in a local cafe (Ahwa) like El Fishawy.

I think you shouldn't skip the Egyptian museum but you have to check how Tahrir square is going to be like by then due to security issues.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 04:59 AM
  #25
 
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FYI marwamorgan - if you are thinking about the local Egyptian Pizza restaurant on the road into the Khan just off Al Azhar St, it is closed up. Sad but true.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 05:10 AM
  #26
 
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Thanks Casual: our agent still said she thought it was OK, but she has now left us hanging for 5 days while she is out of town--just when i am trying to finalize eveything and pay. We leave in 2 weeks and I am not a happy camper. So I may just book Mariott myself --she originally said they would not do a triple, but the rooms online have 2 doubles and i would guess 2 kids could sleep in one bed! [2 rooms of course.]Anyway, my only issue now is do I try to book the SOnesta cruise on my own? They have promos on their site but I assumed my agent got better deals. Thoughts on the whole cruise thing? Thanks much-
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Mar 13th, 2013, 07:58 AM
  #27
 
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I can't say if your agent is getting a better deal on the cruise than you can get. I like the Sonesta people and their boats were nice when I visited them.
Who knows what your agent will do for you now that you are taking her hotel commission away from her though - she might try to make it up on the cruise alone. I don't know. I think the Marriott would be fine. In a double room there are two large beds, so if the kids are young I would think they would be OK, but probably best to call and find out what they say.
Also curious where and who your agent is that says the Fairmont was "still OK". Curious if she has ever been to Egypt and if she knows where the Fairmont is. To be clear, it is OK, but not nearly as OK as the Marriott.
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Mar 14th, 2013, 05:02 AM
  #28
 
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Hi again: she is with Lady Egypt and lives there. It's the Fairmont Nile City--I think there are other Fairmonts so is this the one you are concerned about? I do see that the Zamalek area is the best to wander around in but it looks like the Mariott is booked mar 30 as it is easter weekend. You can see why I am stressing. I may do the Hilton Zamalek.Do the major hotels do Cairo/Giza tours that aren't super pricey? By the way: The sonesta wants to charge 2800$ for the 4nites for our family of 5. Seems high. Ahhhhh. What do you think? THANKS!!!!!
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Mar 15th, 2013, 06:01 AM
  #29
 
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I would imagine that with the tourism numbers being lower than normal that you should be able to get a good rate with any agent in Egypt. I would second what CC says about the Marriott in Zamalek, real nice hotel, really good service too. but probably pricier than the fairmont which is prob why your agent is steering you towards that as maybe they get a deal with them that they dont get at the marriott??

I know the sonesta boats as have used them before myself and they are really good boats, but again pricey, and prob because of the easter time. They don't seem to bring their rates down on the sonesta cos they are more elite - ish, IMO but this close to arrival you might get a much better deal as they will be trying to fill up their rooms in the hotels and cabins on the boats.

if you are waiting 5 days for your agent to get back to you cos she is out of town then I would check out some others cos they can't be that busy that they can afford to leave you hanging for 5 days! Try the one we use www.egyptqualitytours.com they have always been fast to respond when we've used them and they got us the marriott and the sonesta before and we got good prices off them too.

worth a try, unless you already fixed it out with Lady Egypt?
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Mar 16th, 2013, 05:29 AM
  #30
 
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Thanks much. Still working through the whole thing, believe it or not!! May stay in the Hilton Zamalek now as the Mariott is booked. It is Easter weekend. Ahhhh. Am hoping everything is straightened out by Sunday, inshallah. Will post when I know what'going on, thanks!
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Mar 17th, 2013, 12:17 PM
  #31
 
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Sorry I wasn't around for comment. I was in Istanbul!

Some Comments though -
1 - Yes, did not know you wanted to travel over Easter week. That will cause less availability and higher prices. It's common.
2 - I think the Hilton is a better option than the Fairmont, and yes, I know what Fairmont you are talking about. The only other one in Cairo is in Heliopolis. If you will have time to get out and walk around Zamalek while you are here, stay on the island. If you won't have time to leave your hotel except on tours, then stay at the Fairmont.
3 - What tour are you looking at that you need to be NOT super pricey? If there are 5 of you...contact me for Gosh Sakes. NOW I'll probably be kicked off the board for saying that, but with 5 of you, I'm the best!
4 - scotsgirl - you said "you might get a much better deal as they will be trying to fill up their rooms in the hotels and cabins on the boats"..... I have to say LOL. That is such a western LOGICAL way to think about doing business, and in general has NOTHING to do with the way they do business here. The people making these decisions get nothing more if the rooms sell, and they have been told to sell it at "this" rate, so that is the rate they sell it at. Remember - Egypt = Logic Free Zone....and never more before than now.

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Mar 18th, 2013, 01:25 AM
  #32
 
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Hi again:
Thanks for all your advice and tips. Much appreciated! AFter much thought, I think I will be going forward with LEgypt afterall. I did so much research and planning on my own I could definately do it on our own, however, I am so done with it all --tired of the emails and prices and tour companies all offering a different price, and worried I have too many moving parts and I just want someone else to worry about the details on the ground. I did book our own hotel rooms at the Mariott--got in despite the Easter holidays. Am excited to walk around Zamalek as we will have dinners on our own. LE will cover the Nile cruise and internal flights and Cairo tours. I am hoping all goes well and will post a report when we come back in a few weeks. Thanks again--Shukran!
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