This is Ahmed who did our washing and ironing.
When our team of 5 arrived at the hotel we decided that the laundry service offered at a 5-star hotel was way too expensive ( average price of EGP 67-80) depending on what the item of clothing was.
One of our group found Ahmed via Google and his charge was a flat EGP 15, irrespective of the item. No brainer.
Although he spoke no English, we communicated with smiles, a calculator and the SayHi app.
This was where he operated. Between an outdoor bakery and butchery.
If we took our laundry early enough, we often got it back on the same day. That being said, the longest we had to wait was two days due to a public holiday.
The sign on the left was on the piano when we arrived. I published a Facebook post about the sign commenting that I found the wording unfriendly. If it is here for ‘everyone to enjoy’ then surely it should be accessible to all? As it turned out it is NOT be enjoyed by all as it was locked.
So after my post appeared, the original sign was replaced by the friendlier sign on the right.
And then the pianist arrived. And everyone got to ‘enjoy’ the piano.
This was the keypad of the phone in my hotel room.
Eventually, I did call the ‘Magic Department’ and a very cheerful voice answered. I was to discover that it was an emergency housekeeping number.
The fellow who answered and I shared a laugh before hanging up. Although none of the rest of the team I was with saw this, I am certain that those who do spot it are amused.
This is where I had breakfast every morning for the 42 days that I was at the Hilton Hotel.
For the first few days, the staff would ask for my room number, then as we became friendly, that was dispensed with. They would often shout out 5104 (my room number) when they saw me approach the front desk.
I will miss the chefs and the friendly wait staff and management who made my stay joyful.
Our hotel, The Hilton, was linked to the recently opened (August 2023) Waldorf Astoria.
The epitome of luxury on every level.
When the decor matches the foliage.
Having some time off from work, I treated myself to coffee and cake. At eye-watering prices, for me, mind you. This spread cost R700.00 with the tip. (almost $40)
But this opportunity only came around ONCE.
I asked if I could be taken to their prime accommodation, and they said yes.
It costs $800.00 per person per night, which, at the current ZAR rate will set you back R30000.00 for a couple!
However, there must be guests who will take the opportunity to live in unrequited luxury…even if it is only for a short period.
The bathroom was about the size of my first apartment in Johannesburg.
Every Waldorf Astoria has a signature clock that can be seen from the floor I was on while waiting for the elevator. The Sheraton District, the area where the hotel is, can be seen through the vast wall of glass at the front of the building.
For my last night in Cairo, I did consider staying in one of the standard rooms. But I could not justify the $480.00 which was already discounted from the original opening price of over $600.00
Perhaps, if I am asked to return to Cairo, I could request to have THIS accommodation for the duration of my stay?
Check out the archived and current interviews… click on the image above.
All images are the copyright property of
and may not be used without permission.