Mena House or Ramses Hilton advice ...

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Oct 25th, 2003, 04:04 PM
  #1
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Mena House or Ramses Hilton advice ...

I have the choice of staying at the Mena House for 6 nites or splitting it 3 nites at Mena House and 3 nites at the Ramses Hilton.

This is our first trip to Egypt. We obviously will be seeing the Pyramids and staying at the Mena House will afford much time to gaze at them even when we are not visiting them.

But we'd also like to see Cairo itself. Just wondering if it would be good to split up our stay.

Is there a metro stop near the Mena House? What is the best way to get from the Mena House to the city if we decide to stay solely at the Mena House?

Appreciate your comments.

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Oct 26th, 2003, 04:09 AM
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sandi
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Are you going independently? Guess you are if you can split your hotels. First the Mena House is much nicer and different than a "Hilton" - A Hilton is still a Hilton, and the Hilton is right in the midst of crowds of people a very busy corner. Just crossing the street is an experience - to do it successfully, just grab hold of some Egyptians gallabeya (robe) and follow! It's sounds "very intimate", but the only way, since no one follows traffic lights, they just go when they wish.

We stayed at the Sheraton El Gezeriah (sp) on our return to Cairo - located on an island in middle of the Nile - quiet and very nice with restaurants along the Nile - great views up and down the Nile and both Cairo and Giza. We had no trouble taking a taxi to the Bazaar and getting a taxi to return to the hotel.

I'm assuming you will have a guide for your tours to the Pyramids, Giza, Memphis, Saqqara, etc. - which I pressume is at the beginning of the trip? and the last 3-nts without a guide? If so, you can always arrange a car and guide for your last 3-days, it's not expensive and let them navigate the streets and crowds for you.

Not sure where the metro stops are, but we felt better on foot or by taxi.
 
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Oct 26th, 2003, 08:39 AM
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Sandi --

Thx for the info. We're actually going with a tour. They say that we can stay all 6 nites at Mena House or split them 3 and 3 with the Ramses Hilton.

Still not sure what might be best. I would prefere the Mena House but my wife seems to want to split it up. I do want to see the city but would prefer going to the city and returning to the Mena House if this is doable.

Any other advice is appreciated. Thx agan.

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Oct 26th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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sandi
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I would stay at the Mena House the entire time. It's a beautiful hotel with low buildings and a lovely gardened property. The pool overlooks the Pyramids. While the Hilton is a hi-rise building and "is a Hilton"

Getting from the Mena in Giza is only a short ride across a bridge over the Nile. While traffic is Cairo is a horror, it really doesn't take that long to get from Giza to Cairo - 15 minutes maybe; a little more if lots of traffic. But even if you're on the Cairo side it can take that long or more to get anywhere.

I repeat, you can arrange for a driver/guide to take you into Cairo, to the Bazaar, any sights not included on your tour, or a day out to Fayoum oasis.

You might want to access the following site:

www.casualcairotours.com

run by an American woman living in Cairo who can arrange whatever you want and she might have other ideas for you.

That's just my opinion.
 
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Oct 26th, 2003, 03:48 PM
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Sandi, is that web site the same as:

http://www.casualcairodetours.pyramids.net ?

I couldn't find the site you had mentioned and found this site through a search engine.

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Oct 27th, 2003, 03:42 AM
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sandi
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Hanuman -

You got it right - I must have pulled off only part of the site address - sorry. Sometimes the head or fingers are working faster than what the eyes are focusing on - apparently I didn't "copy it" into my post.

Most of the services provided are for Cairo only, but I'm sure if one asks about other things to do/see, she can accommodate or recommend.
 
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Oct 27th, 2003, 04:20 AM
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Tough call - agree with Sandi that Mena House is nicer place to stay - some reviewers have commented negatively on its age and lack of high tech amenities, but we loved it. One of our rooms had a balconey with view of pyramids. Lots of wood paneling, beautiful gardens and landscaping. Very tranquil escape from the sounds and smells of Cairo itself. Food was good. It was our first stop in Egypt and it really made us feel like we were in Egypt.

However, it is a trek to Cairo - 15 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic, which is always horrific. There seemed to be a bus stop at the hotel, but I am not sure I would want to ride a very crowded unair-conditioned bus in Cairo. An interesting thing we noticed about Cairo traffic is that lines painted on the road, traffic lights and traffic signs seem to be merely for decorative purposes, as everyone ignores them.

Our last 2 nights in Egypt we spent at some very new high rise hotel right in Cairo - so unmemorable that I forget if it was a Sheraton, Hilton, etc. Rooms were large, immaculate, and could have been in any city in the world. However, upside was that we could walk around Cairo (taking our life in our hands crossing streets), look out window at 3 AM and see that the city was as alive then as at 3 PM. So I might have a weak vote for splitting the visit between 2 hotels, but a good argument could be made either way.
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Oct 27th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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sandi
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Gail -

>>An interesting thing we noticed about Cairo traffic is that lines painted on the road, traffic lights and traffic signs seem to be merely for decorative purposes, as everyone ignores them<<

Real belly laughs with the above comment. So true - a painted line indicating two lanes, yet there were four lanes of cars - amazing. And yes, you do take your life in your hands crossing the street. Traffic lights mean nothing, regardless the number of traffic monitors directing and attempting to stop cars at the red!
 
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Oct 28th, 2003, 02:24 AM
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Thx again for your feedback. Not sure what we'll do at this point. We still have time to decide. No matter which way we go, I know it's going to be awesome and that's what counts.

Glad you're out there as I know I'll have more Q's down the road!
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