I stayed at the Pension Roma with my 12 year old son for five weeks. We were in double rooms, each with one extra bed and a sink area, and fans. We moved once during our stay. Room number 35 is one of the quietest rooms, but doesn't have a dramatic view, while room number 9 is one of the nicest double rooms and has a balcony which overlooks the main street - fascinating people watching, but noisier.
There are many GREAT things about this hotel and I will be staying here again next year. It is in a great location, within walking distance of anything you want, and the area is so interesting. It also has bags of character. It is a very attractive hotel and the rooms are generally nicely furnished and appointed for a place of this age. As well as all that, it is safe. As you walk in, the kitchen staff greet you, and then the reception staff do the same. When I needed to attend meetings and my son stayed at the hotel, I knew he would be fine, because everyone was looking out for him (they also liked to spoil him). I said he shouldn't leave the hotel, and they made sure he didn't.
You can ask the staff for anything and they will oblige if they can. Ezzat is amazing at translating English directions into Arabic for taxi drivers, and knows where absolutely everything in town is. Mrs Adel has a natural French reserve but is extremely helpful and goes well over the extra mile. She seems to speak lots of languages, too! They are one of the few hotel receptions I would trust to recommend a tour, a hotel in another city or a driver. I was very pleased with the tailor, the laundry man, the local restaurants and the driver they found me. (Just don't give the laundry man your underwire bras)
My advice is to avoid the taxi drivers out the front who will try to take your money as easily as breathing, and instead get Ezzat to line someone up for you.
The worst thing about the Pension Roma is that while it is adequately clean, it is not quite as clean as advertised. However, for the price, it is the cleanest hotel I have ever stayed in, and I have been in super budget hotels in Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia. It is hard to keep clean due to the fact that it is an old hotel and Cairo is a dusty city. The sheets and towels are changed every 2-3 days and the rooms are cleaned daily. The communal showers were very clean, but the toilets should be tended at least twice a day, and they're not. Having said that, if there is a problem, just mention it to reception, and it is rectified immediately.
The other thing thing that bothered me was the policy that people can smoke anywhere in the hotel. This is normal for a Middle Eastern country, but it is unpleasant for non-smokers. Also, it can be difficult to get good wifi - the closer you are to reception the better it is. Getting good wifi is a problem everywhere.
People have complained in other reviews that the beds and pillows are hard. Some are and some aren't - it depends on the room you get. If your pillow or mattress is too hard, you can ask for softer pillows and a softer top mattress. Some rooms also have mosquitoes coming in. If you are getting mozzies, the electric mozzie mats they give you at reception can help, but you need to have them quite close to your bed as you sleep. Make sure the screens on your doors and windows have no holes, and if they do, change rooms. The other way to solve the mozzie problem is to ask the staff to spray your room each evening as you go out for dinner, which they will do.
Food: The breakfast is adequate, and has been described elsewhere, but can get a bit monotonous for long-staying guests. You can order eggs for an extra 5 to 10 pounds, and arabic bread or toast instead. If you want peanut butter or marmite, bring it with you. The lunch and dinner food is underwhelming and generally overpriced, although the hotel dining room is pleasant. You can also bring leftovers back and put them in the fridge, but unfortunately there is no microwave to reheat them...
All in all, an excellent budget option that I would recommend to everyone. It represents very good value for money in a charming place with everything you need. It is perfect for families.
- Also Known As:
- Pension Roma Hotel Cairo
- Pension Roma Cairo