Accommodations

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TRAVEL TIPS

Accommodations

The Egyptian government awards star ratings to all hotels, with five stars being the highest rating. The star rating of a hotel or cruise ship also dictates the price range the management can charge. However, Egyptian star ratings don't quite equate to international standards. You may notice a difference in service and standards of fixtures and fitting when compared to an equivalent hotel at home.

Egypt has a huge range of choice in the five-star and one- or two-star categories, but relatively little choice in the middle range. Under three stars, properties are basic but usually clean. Most will have a small basic en-suite shower-only bathroom.

Five-star hotels have a wide range of facilities. Those in Cairo also cater to business clients, so they tend to have smaller pools and fewer or no sports facilities, whereas hotels on the Red Sea Coast and in the Sinai have large pools and more expansive leisure facilities. More expensive hotels generally have Web sites that allow you to book online, but large tour operators often book huge blocks of rooms far in advance, so don't be surprised if you don't initially find a vacancy even in the off-season. It's sometimes easier to book upscale hotels through travel agents and tour operators for this reason.

Smaller and more inexpensive hotels don't always accept credit cards. Enquire before you book. It's not uncommon for cheaper properties to require an electronic wire transfer for payment, which they will usually ask for in advance.

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