Talisman Hotel de Charme

, Cairo, Egypt
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Talisman Hotel de Charme

, Cairo

Rooms: 25

39 Talat Harb Street - Cairo - Egypt Hotel Website | | 202 239 39 431
168 Traveller

Reviews - Talisman Hotel de Charme

Historical Traveller Reviews of Talisman Hotel de Charme

A Brilliant Place!

from EAB0616
I just returned from several weeks of touring in Egypt. The three nights I spent at Talisman were among the highlights of my trip. Talisman is a real find in Cairo. It's very hard to find very clean, attractive places to stay that are also affordable and reflective of local culture. Talisman hits the spot - flawlessly.

To begin with, it's in a great location. A short walk (ten minutes) to the Egyptian Museum, close to Islamic Cairo (about a twenty minute walk), three blocks from the most famous bakery in the city (El -Abd), and down a narrow street that makes it feel pleasantly anonymous in a place where standing out is not always a good thing - it's just awesome.

The management is very friendly and welcoming. Room rates are not cheap, BUT are not too expensive either - and they are worth every single cent. The hotel itself is situated on an entire floor of a very traditional building. Arched doorways, traditional art and tapestries, beautiful handmade wooden furniture, beautiful kilims (woven carpets), and so on make up the decor. The bathrooms are marble, spacious, and spotless. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are very, very beautiful with the same art and furniture found throughout the hotel. There's TV, AC, a hairdryer, a mini fridge, good curtains so that you can sleep without disturbance from the bright sunlight early in the morning. On top of all that, there's free internet in a stunning lounge-like room, and a fabulous breakfast that includes great pastries, yogurt, coffee, homemade juice, toast, cheese and fruit.
I loved every minute of staying there.

Great Style - Poor Value

from keepmovingon
Stayed at the Talisman for a few nights as we happened upon it by accident while hotel browsing in downtown cairo. Fell in love with the Arabesque decor and general style of the place. Loved the library and communal shared spaces, which facilitate both relaxation and informal business meetings . The rooms were comfortable clean and stylish. The suites look great. The staff do a great job of being helpfull without overhelping just to get tips. It is a well located retreat form the busstle and hassle of downtown Cairo.The enviroment and style is great for an arabesque boutique hotel lover.
The hotel however fails to deliver on service and fair value.
Breakfast a consistand complaint and is of a poor standard for this price range. The wifi internet is a slow 256Kb link which is OK for email checking but not if you share Photos etc. Any additional Tea's Coffees, water etc are cahrged at rates 5 to 10 times what a trip down the lift will provide. To find this hotel would challenge most people.
Tactfully put suggestions on improvments are met defensivley which indicates unlikely to change in the short term.

If I were the manager and wished to make this hotel more successful and profitable I would do one of two things.
1) Reduce room rates, Half additional item rates.
2) Maintain room rates, offer 24 hour comlimentary teas\coffees, and at least filter coffee on tap, revamp the breakfast experience, improve signage and employ a doorman to reduce location confusion.

I enjoyed our short stay but would not stay again for some time despite visisting Cairo regularly.

A boutique oasis in the heart of Cairo

from jasher
When my sister and I booked the Talisman for our trip to Egypt, I have to admit that I had my doubts -- I'm normally a Four Seasons traveller! But the owner, Veronique, was very helpful and responsive to our questions on email, and when I finally arrived I was charmed. The Talisman is located in the upper floors of a building in the centre of Cairo, with an old-fashioned elevator (where you have to slide the door shut) to take you upstairs. It's a small, charming hotel with a calm ambiance and an elegant modern take on traditional Egyptian decor (think mashrabiyya panels and intense colours). The rooms are a good size and have all the home comforts you could want, with fluffy duvets and powerful air conditioning, and the compact but well-designed bathroom harboured a powerful shower which was very welcome after a long flight. I was a bit concerned about noise in the centre of Cairo as I'm a light sleeper, but the double-glazing works wonders. The breakfast was continental and quite good, with a nice selection of cereal and museli with yogurt. There's also free internet access in the little library (a bit on the slow side, but not bad for Egypt). The staff were very warm and friendly, and were happy to keep our luggage for us on the day we checked out (we had an evening train to Luxor and didn't want to lug it around the city). It's easiest to pay in Euros or dollars if you can, though -- they struggled a bit determining the exchange rate for my sterling.

One of the best things about the Talisman is the location -- you really are right in the heart of the city. We were close to everything and really enjoyed being able to find local shops and street markets a short walk away, rather than being isolated in one of the big hotels. But when the chaos got to be a bit much (as it does in Cairo), the Talisman always offered an oasis of calm.

I'd definitely recommend the Talisman for anyone who would like to truly experience Cairo while staying in a comfortable, welcoming, peaceful place in the middle of the city.

Too expensive! Everyone demand better prices !

from incajkt
Talisman is too dark, has small rooms, is old and has a miserly breakfast for 100 dollars a night. C'mon, only cold croissants, NESCAFE (!!!) and toast? I expect lovely poached eggs, spinach and tomatoes with crusty bread. Or Egyptian breakfast as an alternative. There were no free bottles of water. Even if you can get one for 1.75 Egyptian pounds outside .. this is inexcusable. Plus side, it is centrally located, the bed linens were lovely, the bathroom spotless. The free internet and wireless is fab. Some of the decorations is nice but 95pct of the paintings were tacky. Anyone who says 100 USD is not too much has GOT to be joking. I have stayed in many, many hotels and this is worth less than 50 USD. Stand up for your rights, consumers and travellers! Pension Roma is much better.

A real gem of a hotel

from pugsleythedog
My friend and I loved this boutique hotel, which is beautifully and tastefully decorated in North African style. It is on the 5th floor and is small, with no bar or restaurant, but it is a perfect oasis of peace, tranquility and authenticity in the middle of downtown Cairo. We found the hotel staff exceedingly helpful and friendly and the continental breakfast perfectly adequate. In Downtown, you really are in the heart of the city, the Egyptian Museum is just a 10 minute walk away. The Talisman is very tucked away, and if you give your taxi driver just the address, he may have difficulty finding it. So for more precise directions it is in an alleyway called Mamar El Central between Talaat Harb St and Sharif St at the top (26th July St) end. The 'A l'américaine' coffee house is just opposite the alleyway entrance on the other side of Talaat Harb.

Amazing hotel in a wonderful city

from ligaea
I stayed here with my family for my wedding in Cairo in December. We have travelled extensively and this was one of our favorite hotels of all our trips. We felt completely at home. The hotel is beautifully appointed, the staff are friendly, multi-lingual and extremely gracious. We had family and friends stopping all the time and they were able to wait in one of the hotels gorgeous lounges. We had friends at a number of other hotels and this was by far the favorite! The Talisman was far superior to our honeymoon hotel, the Mena House! We highly recommend this hotel!!!

Worth $100 a night for respite after a long day

from minno20
I read the hotel reviews from Tripadvisor before selecting this hotel. My husband and I did not know what to expect when we got to Cairo.

One, we paid too much for a cab when we left the terminal. You should pay LE 50 to 55 plus 15 to 20 for tip. You need to negotiate the price, as they will quote you 70 to start or 70 per person. It is your prerogative to take this price down to what you would normally expect to pay. Egyptians live for tips "bacsheesh", and I am not exaggerating.

Many drivers I found did not read Arabic, but if you tell them it's Sharia Talaat Harb, they won't have a difficulty finding the street. It is very difficult to find the hotel, but it's across from the Americaine Coffee Shop (McDonald's is three doors down), at the corner of Sharia Talaat Harb and July 26th Street. The cab needs to parks the car on the right side to drop you off by this coffee shop, you will see an alley way on the left and on the right side, next to the men's clothing store, you will see a tiny sign for the hotel. Get in and make a left turn and there will be a lift to the 5th Fl, where the hotel is located.

At first, we were totally scared as the building entrance leaves a lot to be desired. However, as many reviewers have noted, once you get to the 5th Floor, it's a different story altogether.

The rooms are pristine, sheets are very clean, and towels are fluffy. There is a safe deposit box in your room. Now, we in the US takes this one item for granted, but we traveled to both Aswan and Luxor, and many hotels did not have a safe deposit box at all, let alone in the room.

The hotel is exquisitely decorated, and you want to take every piece of furniture home, because the hotel is so well put together. The bathroom is clean, dining area is clean, and there is an Internet room. You can use the Internet for free. When we were in Aswan, at the Basman Hotel, they charged 1 LE per minute for using the Internet, and this hotel charged far more than Talisman.

Breakfast is continental, some crosisants and coffee, but what else do you really need? They do give you freshly squeezed OJ.

The hotel is centrally located. We just about walked everywhere, i.e. Egyptian Museum, Bazar. The only place that we took a cab to was to the Citadel. You can also take the subway to the Coptic Museum. No transfers involved. The hotel manager will tell you how.

The people at the hotel at first seem indifferent, but when you speak with them once or twice, they are very informative and nice. You may want to brush upon a few French sentences. That went a long way when I spoke my very limited French to the three ladies that manage the front desk.

There is also a candy store where I got my 1.5 litre of water each day for LE 1.75. The people who run this shop (there are two candy stores next to each other. Go into the one which has a refrigerator) are very honest, and they will give you the Egyptian price for your purchases.

Down the alley street, there is a sausage and liver sandwich shop. If you want to try some Egyptian fast food, go here for a sandwich. They here will give you an Egyptian price. I think I paid less than LE 2 for two sandwiches.

There is also a beer shop across from the Americaine Coffee Shop, so you can pick up some beer. Note, they do not sell beer in most of the places.

I found this hotel to be really charming and a very pleasant place to come back to after walking and taking in the sights each day.

I don't understand why some reviewers did not feel that this was worth $100 a night. Sure, you can find something cheaper in Cairo, but I found that this place to be worth the money and then some.

Unique and charming if you want impersonal accommodation go to the Meridien

from BerkshireBabe
Just back from this hotel having escaped Christmas in the UK. Anyone with half a brain cell should carry out their own research before making any kind of reservation e.g. I had read the comments on this site and arranged to be collected at the airport on arrival so unless you know a local, that's my advice to you. The interior decor is simply stunning, I had booked a single room but there were two of everything in the bathroom, the bed was supremely comfortable and there was always gallons of hot water (even at 5am when I got up to get my return flight). Yes, the outside can be a bit daunting but as I think someone has previously said, when you go up 5 floors, it's another world. For the degree of comfort I don't think 60 euros a night for b&b is excessive although if you paid more than that then it could be. Breakfast is adequate, coffee and a croissant does me and the fresh oj is yummy. Yes, there are swankier hotels in Cairo but trust me, there is no better place to be on Christmas Day than in the heart of Downtown. It's a comfortable stroll to the city museum - I was lucky it was a quiet day and I had King Tut all to myself for a good 10 minutes - awesome. I would go back to this hotel in an instant and if anyone from the hotel is reading this, I am sorry but I accidentally packed the laundry bag which was the same colour as a t-shirt. I'll bring it back with me on the next visit - inshallah (query spelling)

Hugely OVERPRICED - do not book

from maxpad
Please do not make a mistake of booking this hotel at its current prices. The hotel itself is truly a 2-star and under no circumstances is it worth $100/night.

Overview: This hotel was created from a number of appartments on the top floor in one of the Cairo's old buildings downtown. Since the rest of the building is still comprised of people's appartments, the entrance is kind of dirty, the elevator is small and there is no lobby. The hotel is very hard to find and the rooms are clearly old and worn down, although nicely decrated.

Pros:
- very firendly english and french speaking staff that can help you book a trip or solve any other problems
- 1 computer with internet free to use
- nice wall decorations
- good resting space in 2 living rooms with a decent library where you can find travel books as well as Egyptian art and history books in English and French.

Cons:
- Even though location of the building is central, finding it is extremely difficult. The building is a typicall old Cairo one with no clearly visible signs suggesting that there's a hotel inside. Well, there is actually a sign but it's too small (1'x3') and placed off the street. No taxi driver will kow this hotel, guaranteed.
- There is no lobby on the main floor and the entrance is dirty. The elevator is very small and old. You won't take any pleasure entering this hotel.
- The rooms are parts of old appartments and look (and smell) as such. Furniture is old, tv is not working properly. Plus the rooms are really tiny.
- Since the hotel is just off the 2 very busy streets (Tallat Harb and 26 of July) you will hear the crazy noises of Cairo even with you balcony closed.
- Included breakfast is a joke - a yogurt and tea/coffee is all you will get.

To sum up, it would be a decent budget hotel if t were priced <$50. Do yourself a favour by adding an extra 50 bucks to this hotel's rates and get a decent 5* place in Cairo, Giza or Heliopolis. Don't worry about living outside downtown as taxis are cheap and Cairo is not a walker friendly city.
If you're on a tight budget you will be 100 times better off by staying in Hotel Dechampes in Zamalek.

Average time at the Talisman

from EttaP
This was a beautiful hotel and was a treat to stay somewhere so thoughtfully decorated. The staff however weren't overly helpful or friendly and this dampened our experience. In addition, the breakfast was not substantial in light of the nightly rate. This was not value for money and received better service/helpings from hotels of cheaper rate in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt.
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Other names for Talisman Hotel de Charme

  • talisman hotel cairo
  • talisman hotel
  • Address: 39 Talat Harb Street - Cairo - Egypt
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