Oct. 16, 2007 – The President Hotel

Cairo Travel Blog

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I’m laying in my bed, exhausted from my twenty-two hour journey. I was really looking forward to a nice hotel room – and with a name like The President Hotel and a modest recommendation from my Google hotel search, I thought I was in good hands. When I pulled up in front of the architecturally beautiful hotel that looked like it was built in the 1930’s – an old European building with a Middle Eastern flair – I got excited, since I was going to stay here for two nights before moving to the Cosmopolitan, which Hameed had recommended for the rest of my stay.

As I walked through the doors, I was met with a warm smile and friendly greeting from the doorman. Wonderful. Hameed hadn’t shown, but I had made it safely from the airport to a decent looking hotel with friendly, helpful people. The bellboy took me to a fabulous old European-style elevator with two wooden doors, and pressed the button for the second floor.

But as soon as he opened the elevator doors, the charming atmosphere of the lobby abruptly faded. The bellboy led me down a grimy hallway to room 207, and when he opened the door to what would be my home for the next two days, I almost gasped. It was utterly disgusting! Dirty walls, and I mean DIRTY – they probably hadn’t been painted in twenty years. The air reeked of toxic cleaning fluids and bug spray and was musty – perhaps from the big old brown chair, or maybe the faded bedspreads or the heavy drapes loaded with dust. The toilet leaked and never stopping making noises all night long. The towels were old, stained, and looked more like rags. Oh well, I thought, I can deal with it, since it’s only for two nights. It’ll be a good humbling experience. ;0

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photo by: vulindlela