Home to the most incredible Islamic and Pharaonic sights in Egypt, Cairo is a breathtaking city for romantics, architecture buffs, historians and pleasure-seekers alike. From the silent power of the pyramids to the crowded bazaars and bars, there’s something for every taste, every budget and every interest. This can also be said of the city’s hotels – from small boutique residences to luxury giants – you’ll find a suitable spot for any occasion. Read on to discover some of the best places to stay in Cairo.
Situated in Giza, half an hour’s drive southwest of central Cairo, Marriot’s Mena House offers luxury accommodation at the foot of the Great Pyramids. Rooms and suites feature dark hardwood floors, rich fabrics, marble bathrooms and balconies. Most rooms have pyramid views – those that don’t overlook the romantic gardens or the pool area. Four international eateries and one specialising in Indian cuisine provide plenty of choice. The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx are within a 20-minute walk.
Occupying an unmissable cylindrical building on the southern tip of Gezira island, Sofitel’s five-star El Gezirah Hotel offers balconies with Nile views in all of its 433 rooms and suites. Blending contemporary interpretations of both French and Oriental design, these range in size from Superior Doubles to the Opera Suite. Onsite restaurant La Palmeraie is known as one of the best places in Cairo for Moroccan food and entertains with live music and belly dancing. Catch a show at the Cairo Opera House or admire the 187m (614ft) Cairo Tower, both of which are a 15-minute walk away.
Villa Belle Epoque is a tranquil boutique in Maadi, one of Cairo’s trendiest suburbs. Housed in an elegant 1920s mansion, its 33 rooms and suites – with their velvet-upholstered armchairs, heavy antique furniture and hardwood floors – instantly take you back a century. The hotel has two pools and two restaurants, the latter of which are also popular eating spots for Maadi residents. The neighbourhood’s central nerve is Road 9 (an eight-minute walk from reception), where you can shop for souvenirs, smoke shisha or feast on everything from American-style waffles to Chinese crispy duck.
The ultimate luxury base from which to explore central Cairo, Kempinski’s Nile Hotel offers rooms and suites on the banks on Africa’s longest river, all of which have their own private balconies. When not surveying the Nile or the city from your palatial accommodations (sizes range from doubles to the ninth-floor Presidential Suite), you’re perfectly appointed to soak up the chaos and elegance of Downtown Cairo, and to see why the city was called the “Paris of the East” in the late 1800s. Eat Italian at the Blue, Turkish at Osmanly, and drink cocktails at the Jazz Bar.
If you’re looking for a holiday paradise, The Nile Ritz Karlton Hotel is a perfect option for you. Located in the heart of Cairo, between Nile River and Tahrir Square, this upscale hotel is the definition of sophisticated elegance and luxury. Praised by the likes of Frank Sinatra and even Elizabeth Taylor, the Cleopatra of the silver screen, the Nile Ritz Karlton Hotel will leave you feeling like a film star with its refreshing spa treatments, private swimming pool and fitness studio. The hotel staff also takes care to offer every possible amenity in each room, as well awe-inspiring views of the Nile or the museum from every single room or suite.
Talisman Hotel de Charme is a single-storey boutique bed and breakfast in downtown Cairo. Bedecked in antique furniture, Egyptian paintings and hand-made Persian carpets, Talisman gives a sense of old Egyptian times and adds to this relaxing old-school environment with a private library, where guests can curl up and bury themselves in a different kind of Egyptian tome. Though there is no restaurant in the hotel, the Talisman is surrounded by a number of inexpensive local restaurants and bars, so you won’t be hurting for nightlife options.
Hotel Osiris is a cosy family-friendly hotel, located just 1km (0.6mi) from the Old Town in Cairo and conveniently based right outside the subway station. This hotel offers several spacious and well-equipped rooms, with options for single, triple, and family-sized accommodations. Decorated in warm, welcoming colours and classic Egyptian design, Osiris Hotel is a highly affordable option for every type of traveller.
The Four Seasons Hotel is a true luxury retreat located on the Nile’s West Bank, in the prestigious First Palace Complex. The hotel boasts some of the finest dining facilities in the city, a range of revitalising spa treatments and gorgeous views of not only the river, but the pyramids as well. The pinnacle of contemporary luxury and elegance, Cairo’s Four Seasons will satisfy even the most discerning traveller.
Located in Cairo’s old town, Le Riad is a small hotel with a long history. Situated in a medieval area that’s barely changed over the centuries, Le Riad takes the inspiration from its surroundings and evokes a strong sense of the distant past in its decor. All 17 suites reflect the architecture and environment of the surrounding Old Town. Decorated with rich colours, ornamentation, and textiles, Le Riad is a gem shining light on Cairo’s storied history.
A refreshing little oasis in Zamalek, Hotel Longchamps carries on the long traditional of true Egyptian hospitality. Surrounded by lovely old villas and gardens from 1860s, it is located in a safe and upscale district. Since 1953, Longchamps has charmed visitors to Cairo with its combination of luxury Egyptian decor and intimate elegance – not only in the hotel’s beautifully decorated rooms, but also in their summer terrace and cosy winter garden.
The Gabriel Hotel is a glorious luxury hotel located in Sheraton, close to Cairo International Airport. The hotel’s 21 rooms and four suites are all tastefully decorated with exotic high-quality patterns, textures, colours and fabrics. A boutique atmosphere is maintained by selection of warm, bright colours and distinctive style. The hotel serves chic French cuisine in its restaurant; a complimentary breakfast is available.
The American-owned Pyramids View Inn certainly makes good on its name: this hotel offers a fine vantage point to see the Great Pyramids and the Great Sphinx. Those looking within the hotel will find another satisfying view: with its elegant interior and natural wooden details, this bed and breakfast combines modern amenities with traditional Egyptian style. Its wealth of charming ornaments, carefully designed details, and colourful carpets create a vivid yet laid back atmosphere that perfectly captures the spirit of the city.
If you wish to spend your holiday surrounded by lakes and greenery despite the desert climate, Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo is the natural choice. This luxury hotel was inspired by traditional Thai design, brings a Bangkok sensibility to the heart of New Cairo. Located just 20 minutes away from Cairo International Airport, this hotel offers three swimming pools as well as a jacuzzi, a fitness studio and fine dining options. While it’s an especially popular destination for romantic getaways, Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo is also a brilliant option for families, friends and solo travellers looking for a pampered experience.