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Reviewed 14 May 2012

It's not just the people with no poetry in their soul who hate this hotel. Add to the list those of us who have travelled around the world, high and low, long enough to know when they're staying in a rip-off joint.
i give the Windsor one star for its location, and for the sweet helpfulness of the woman who cleaned our room. As for the slobs who run the front desk, the lazy, smarmy manager who managed to visit between games of tennis, and, worst of all, the barmen in the famous Barrel Bar, who seem to be running a serious scam in there, they don't deserve even that.
I love to feel the hum of a well-run hotel, its a magical thing (no matter how many stars it has got) but the Windsor is so badly run, it's really just an exercise in bad faith.
And as noted, it serves the worst breakfasts in Cairo. Contrary to what some of the reviewers say, Egypt has wonderful food and the right hotel can help let you in on the secret.
Oh, and the rates are an insult.

Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
10  Thank linda s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

I'm currently staying at the Windsor Hotel for three weeks. I wanted to write a review before I left because I've been having such a wonderful time here and was saddened to hear that their reservations have dropped because visitors are afraid of living in Downtown Cairo.

I thought I'd share my experience in case it would help others decide. First, I booked the Windsor after reading tripadvisor reviews. Before coming here, several of my friends at home scared me not to live near Tahrir Sq. but I had committed to the hotel and didn't want to cancel. Well, when I arrived I was relieved to have kept my reservation. The hotel is beautiful; historic architecture, antique furniture, a welcoming staff that creates a family-like atmosphere. I'm a woman traveling alone so I found that the spacious, sunny hall of the Barrel Bar is a great place to read or surf the web, with the sound of classical music and Fairuz tunes in the background.

My room is on the top floor, the bathroom was recently renovated so it has a sparkling bathtub; the AC is a bit noisy but works well, there is decent sunlight in the room, a desk that I much appreciate since I work during the day in the room. There are occasionally a few mosquitoes/bugs - which I'm not shocked by since I've lived in Pakistan and they are a common feature of any home - but whenever I alert the staff, they're quick to spray the room and remove any trespassing insects.

Overall, I've found the atmosphere at the Windsor so welcoming and inviting that I wanted to do all I could to spread the word and invite others. This hotel is not for people who expect 5-star luxury but for people who want a place with a sense of history, with beautiful antique furnishings (like the old piano with candle-holders), and a staff with character who extend family-like hospitality to guests, then the Windsor is the right place for them.

A general note on Cairo: I've been here since May 7th 2012 and am staying through June 2nd. The hotel is very close to the Attaba Metro so its easy and safe to take that even later at night because there are always people at the nearby cafes and shops. Many people had scared me abuot the harassment of solo women travelers in Cairo - I personally haven't had any trouble (but that may be because I'm brown-skinned and am mistaken for a local). The only problem I've had was with overcharging taxi drivers but I've learnt to become careful about only taking taxis that have a meter. I've been to Tahrir Sq. several times and haven't encountered any safety-related problems there or in any other part of Cairo. The city sidewalks are always filled with people and they seem to be too busy living their lives to be deterred by any political instability.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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5  Thank TMK1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

This is the downtown hotel that time forgot, and we loved every minute of our stay here.

We stayed with our 2year old son and the location was perfect for visiting all the sights.
We used the hotel's guide for a day and he was really great, I think he was called Mena.

The staff went out of their way to look after us and even helped to get our money back after getting ripped off by a street vendor!

Fantastic tea coffee shop opposite too.

Would recommend the Windsor to everyone and would definitely go back.

Stayed: January 2012
4  Thank S M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2012

My first visit to the Windsor Hotel was 8 years ago. Back then I paid £7 per room per night for a double room with private bathroom but excluding breakfast. I had a great experience given the rates and was looking forward to staying there again despite the inflated price.

My husband and I paid for a deluxe room. We stayed at room 5 on the 2nd floor. The room was spacious and nicely furnished with a decent bathroom. However the noise coming from the street and within the hotel frequently interrupted our sleep. Our friends, who were staying in a room on the top floor, experienced the same discomfort.

The breakfast now offered by the hotel was poor: stewed tea/coffee, different types of bread, butter and processed cheese, cold hibiscus tea and a piece of fruit. Considering the price charged I expected at least fresh tea! For an extra U$10 you can stay at the Longchamps Hotel in Zamalek and enjoy a true buffet breakfast!

The staff was very friendly and attentive. However one particular member of staff tried very hard to push expensive tours on us, at about EGP100 more than you could get somewhere else.

The Windsor Hotel is still an interesting place to visit but they should really improve the soundproofing and breakfast to match the current rates charged.

Room Tip: Pick a deluxe room on the highest floor possible.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank LucyCarvalho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

For an older couple on a limited budget visiting Egypt for the first time this place was just what we needed as a base. We loved the delightful, authentic, if faded, 1930s atmosphere: spacious rooms with high ceilings, comfortable beds, original polished floors; even the phones and, by the look of it, the air cons were of the period but all were in working order. The beds were clean, the shower worked (after waiting 5 minutes for hot water) and the toilet didn't leak - all common bugbears internationally in cheaper establishments. Yes we used the ancient lift, which is fun, but we also enjoyed racing up the grand, wide stairs. We appreciated the free wifi in the bar. The continental breakfasts were fine. An evening meal was very average but the Windsor doesn't have that alone. No-one should go to Egypt (at least at the budget end) expecting a culinary experience. A food country it isn't.

Most of all we valued three particular aspects of this hotel.

First, the central location downtown amongst the locals going about their daily lives, and the hotel's proximity to the metro and the not-to-be-missed Egyptian museum .

Second, the staff's approachability and service consciouseness were of a high standard.

Third, Mr Samir. the hotel's travel agent, who has been doing this job since 1986. He can organise anything in or out of Cairo. He arranged all our out-of-town trips, including train, boat and bus tickets and accomodation at points between Cairo and Aswan and over to Sinai, all at a reasonable and acceptable price for what we wanted. For a 6 night, 5 day Cairo/Abu Simbel return, including visiting all sites we wanted in between, with all transport,accomodation, breakfasts and some lunches and evening meals included, including guide fees but excluding entry fees to attractions, we paid USD146 for two people per day, which was acceptable. We specified our own package and found Smir and his colleagues in Luxor, Aswan and Sinai to be very service conscious. Everything went without a hitch. Normally we try to arrange everything ourselves but it would have been a lot of hassle.

We would stay at the Windsor and we would use Mr. Samir's services again.

Room Tip: Rooms with balconies are spacious and airy.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank AntalyaAnneandDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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