Since my first visit to Cairo 10 years ago, prices have gone down. Today prices are so low, that travellers used to Western hotel prices should stay clear of any hotel in price group 1 (E£10-40 for doubles, 10-30 for singles) and rather pay for a little comfort and style.
Price group 2 reaches up to E£100 for doubles, 70 for singles, and on this level you could expect some comfort and full safety.
Price group 3 up to E£200 for doubles, 150 for singles, and this is where you get high comfort.
Price group 4 goes up to E£400 for doubles and 300 for singles, and now you should touch luxury.
Price group 5 for anything pricier than that, but the standard should also be first class. Friendliness and personal service, however, seems to vanish at this level.
66, Sharia el-Gomhurriya, 02/589 2290. Price group 4. Great charm, many lounges. Rooms are small but comfortable and nice. Breakfast is quite awful.
. Price group 5. Looks almost like a luxury hotel from the lounge, but rooms are a little bit smaller than too small, but bathrooms are fine. Good breakfast. All in all, completely overpriced!
12, 26 July Street, 02/392 2015. Price group 4. OK rooms, not good beds, great bathrooms. Friendly, but not as professional as the price tag would indicate.
Garden City House
26 Sharia Kamal al-Din Salah (next to Hotel Semiramis), 02/354 4969. Price group 2. Nice and friendly budget option. Rooms are slightly shabby, but clean, and if you want contact with other travellers or foreign students in Cairo, this could be the place.
17, 26 July Street, 02/575 7700. Price group 3. Fabulous 1930's hotel, each floor with its own helper boy. All rooms with bathtubs, TVs with only Arabic channels and balconies overlooking Cairo's busiest streets. Breakfast disappointing. All in all, this is the best mid-range hotel in Cairo, better than Cosmopolitan!
1 Midan Tahrir, 02/796 3122. Price group 1/2. Could be great, as many rooms have 8th floor views over the heart of Cairo. Several rooms are dingy, run down and the atmosphere is uneasy. OK if you bring your own linens.
27 Talaat Harb Street, 02/396 1020. Price group 2. On the 5th floor, rooms with 4 metre high ceilings. Safe, clean and friendly. Does pickups on the airport, free if you stay for 4 nights.
14 26 July Street, 02/393 9375. Price group 1. Unfriendly, run down, dirty and unsafe.
32 Talaat Harb Street, 02/575 8173. Price group 1. Friendly but dirty. Be careful with your valuables.
169 Sharia Muhammad Farid, 02/391 1088. Price group 2. Extremely popular, very charming, clean and safe. Beds, however, are terrible, and the breakfast not good.
6 Sharia Salah ed-Din, Zamalek, 02/735 3773. Price group 2. Slightly overpriced, huge but gloomy rooms with shared bathrooms. Breakfast hall is almost picturesque, but the family that runs the place is strange, telling you to not use too much hot water, not slam the doors etc.