Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review of Dahab Hostel in Cairo, Egypt

Named after the hippie style beach resort in Sinai, Dahab Hostel is one of Cairo's budget travel meccas.  Situated on the 7th floor and the roof of one of downtown Cairo's large buildings, Dahab hostel provides a budget friendly option for those who want to stay somewhere unique.


Dahab Hostel's location in central Cairo is one of its strengths.  It is close to the shopping area of Cairo as well as a short taxi ride away from Khan al-Khallili (a ride should cost around 10 EGP one way).  There are plenty of restaurants nearby, many of which are inexpensive.  For example, there is the fast food chain GAD a few blocks away (however, this option is more expensive than the small hole-in-the-wall local food options that exist two blocks to the west).  One excellent option for food is the Koshery restaurant known as Abou Tarek.  This restaurant is only a few blocks away from the hostel and should only take about five minutes to reach.

There are buses to Giza and other points of interest nearby at the Tahrir Square bus station.  The Egyptian museum is only a couple of blocks away as well.  A taxi to the Ramses train station to Alexandria and Aswan/Luxor and other points of interest should cost 4-8 EGP.

The Rooms

The rooms themselves are not on par with, say, the Coeur d'Alene resort or Burj al Arab in Dubai, but that does not mean that you should overlook the Dahab.  Dahab's rooms are old, but charming in their own way. You are, after all, in a city that is quite old, and one has to expect that the city's budget accommodations are going to show age.  With that being said, rooms do vary in quality and size.  We first stayed in room 10, which was a corner room with a view and good airflow.  This room had a small table and fan.  Later we rechecked in and stayed in room 3, which was much smaller without a view and far worse air flow.  Both of these rooms were the same price, so it is best if you ask which rooms are available and see if you can view them first.  Even the smaller room, however, is worth the price of 65 EGP a night.

The cheaper rooms share bathroom and shower facilities, and we found these to be in good shape and cleaned often.  There are a few bathrooms, and since there were few people staying at the hostel during our stay, there was no waiting to use showers.

The rooftop deck area is one of Dahab's selling points.  Since the hostel is on the 7th floor, there are some incredible city views from up top.  There are a few tables, benches, and chairs around for outside sitting, and a decent amount of shade to escape the hot Cairo sun.  Oh, and there were cats.  Lots of cats.  One disappointment, however, was that the rooftop area was somewhat littered in areas and parts were not kept up.  Hopefully this will change in the future.


I would stay at the Dahab hostel again.  It is a great option that tends to get good reviews on various websites.  It's location and old world charm make it easily worth the price.  

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