The word hotel in the colloquial Arabic language is "fundoq" which is derived from the verb meaning "to leave wide open" as in to leave the door ajar. This word reflects the high sense of hospitability that Egyptians in particular and Arabs in general have always been famous for showing to guests. Tourists will find the door wide open for them all over Egypt with a large range of hotels offering a variety of services and prices to suit the budget of all types of travelers.
There are many good old colonial hotels in Egypt in addition to many four and five stars modern hotels that are luxurious and offer the finest services and facilities for their guests. On the other hand, the cheaper hotels do not always mean that the guests have to sacrifice enjoying their journeys in Egypt for the sake of their wallets as there are a number of simple and clean hotels located in some fabulous locations all around the country that are a very reasonable price.
Tourism is one the oldest industries in Egypt and you will find hotels just about everywhere near and around all the touristic cities and towns in the country.
In Cairo, for example, the luxurious hotels are clustered in three major locations. Many of the hotels are located in the eastern section of the city near the Cairo International Airport for transit travelers who spend one or two nights in Egypt. Another major area where good hotels in Cairo are situated is downtown overlooking the magical Nile. These are the finest hotels in Egypt and they are located near many of the important touristic attractions like the Egyptian Museum and the Citadel of Saladin. The last place to find good hotels in Cairo is around the Pyramids of Giza which offers their guests magnificent views of the most important monuments in Egypt. However, these hotels are rather far from any other touristic sites. As an alternative, you can find cheaper hotels all around Cairo. Many of them are located downtown and can be the best choice for budget travelers. The charming island and neighborhood of Zamalek also hosts some of the most pleasant hotels of Cairo and is located near the heart of the city.
This same pattern of hotels can be found in almost all the tourist cities in Egypt with the luxurious more expensive hotels located either near the Nile or around important monuments and the cheaper budget hotels and hostels scattered all around the other sections of the city.
In coastal cities like Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada on the Red Sea or Alexandria and Marsa Matruh on the Mediterranean Sea, the best hotels and resorts are located near the seaside while the cheaper ones are usually located far from the sea.
Most of the higher category hotels in Egypt follow the same international procedures of booking as the rest of the world, with some hotels asking the guests to give them their credit card numbers as a confirmation for their reservation. However, if the tourist is visiting Egypt with a good reputable travel agency, the agency almost always will take care of his reservation and all the accommodation issues. Many of the cheaper and budget hotels do not have any booking systems and they just follow a first come first serve basis while other hotels require the guests to pay for one night up front with their booking as a confirmation of their reservation.
The hotels in Egypt are graded by the Egyptian government on a star rating system up to five stars at the top with a few seven stars hotels also newly opened.
The internationally managed chain hotels usually fall within the five and 5-star deluxe stars category while the local less famous hotels would usually rank as two or three-star hotels depending on the types of facilities and services presented by the hotel.
Certainly, not all five stars hotels have the same quality of services and the same facilities. However, in all five stars hotels in Egypt guests will find several restaurants, a bar, a nightclub, a swimming pool, air-conditioned rooms, room service, and many other facilities and services. In four stars hotels in Egypt, there will usually at minimum be a coffee shop, one restaurant, a smaller swimming pool, TV sets, air conditioning, room services, and a number of other facilities.
The typical five-star hotel's amenities include amenities such as 24-hour room service, turn-down service upon request, concierge services, and valet parking. Five-star deluxe hotel amenities include state-of-the-art health clubs, luxurious spas, gourmet restaurants, butler services, and upgraded check-in services. Five-star deluxe hotels also have lobbied with fresh flowers, plush furniture, and original artwork. The staff at five-star hotels go out of their way to personalize guest services, using the guests' names and anticipating each guest's needs, and five-star deluxe do the same, just at an even higher level.
For quite a long time, five-star hotels have been known as the most luxurious ones. Now, several hotels have been awarded deluxe stars. Previous classifications were on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. Now a deluxe-star hotel can be ranked as a more luxurious hotel.
Luxury hotels or five-star hotels are constructed from high-grade materials and have intricate architectural designs. They usually have 24-hour room service, gourmet dining, and a high staff-to-guest ratio. Rooms are huge and decorated with fine furnishings, luxury bath products and toiletries, high-speed Internet access, and DVD players. Most five-star hotels have access to a golf course, spa and wellness center, pool and tennis courts. The most luxurious room in a five-star hotel is the presidential suite.
Internationally famous chain hotels that can be found in Egypt would include Sheraton, Hilton, Sofitel, Marriott, Meridian, Four Seasons, and Grand Hyatt. These hotels offer the best services and facilities in the country and are of equal service to the other hotels of the same chains located all over the world. On the other hand, there is no local or cheap chain of hotels in Egypt. A large number of budget hotels in Egypt are usually family owned and they are managed independently.
Major cities in Egypt like Cairo and Alexandria have started rapidly turning into important business centers and hotels in these cities are transforming and adapting to the needs and requirements of this new market accordingly. New super luxurious five and even seven stars hotels have started opening around Cairo, distinguishing themselves by offering extremely high-class services and facilities for their guests.
Some new hotels in Cairo like the Four Seasons and the Conrad Hotel situated by the Nile offer their guests with the best-trained concierges and 24-hour business services that set them apart from the competition. These hotels offer guests rooms equipped with computers, fax machines, fast internet connections, and voicemail. There are also a number of fine meeting rooms and conference centers for the use of business guests, making the stay highly convenient.
Although many of the hotels, touristic facilities, and some historical sites in Egypt have started upgrading their facilities to suit the needs of disabled travelers, the country is still far from meeting international standards of serving disabled travelers. On the other hand, what Egypt does have in its favor in this regard is that it has the most friendly people to be found anywhere in the world who are always ready to help disabled travelers all over the country assisting them with what they might need.
Egyptians just love children and they consider them a blessing from God. This is why having your children around on your trip to Egypt is quite enjoyable for you and for them as well because they will be treated like kings! Some five stars hotels offer children a daily entertainment program and many hotels and resorts have swimming pools and children's gardens for the kids to enjoy themselves on their journey to Egypt.
Egypt can be a wonderful experience for travelers on low budgets as well, as witnessed by a generation of young backpackers who have visited the country to admire Pharaonic monuments, mingle with Egyptian culture, and enjoy great times at Sinai and the Red Sea. It doesn't matter which city a budget traveler is targeting to visit in Egypt, he or she will easily find a decent place with fairly a low price to stay in almost all destinations around the country.
Most of Egypt's cheaper hotels offer most of the services and facilities that are commonly found in youth hostels all around the world. Camping, on the other hand, can sometimes be problematic in Egypt except for some areas specified by the government for camping around cities like Luxor, Marsa Matruoh, Sharm El Sheikh, and Hurghada. Camping is also allowed in some national protected areas like Ras Mohamed, to the South of Sharm El Sheikh, Wadi El Rayan, near the Fayoum, and some other protected areas around the Sinai Peninsula. The Western Desert of Egypt, especially near the White Desert and the Bahariya Oasis is also certainly a marvelous place to camp and it is highly recommended for tourists to spend a night in the Egyptian desert.