Updated: Jan 26, 2021
Being a Cairo local means that we’ve at one point or another stayed overnight in most of the capital’s numerous hotels, and we eat/party/swim/drink/go to a wedding/go to a mind-numbingly boring conference in these same numerous hotels on a *very* frequent basis.
In other words, we know what we're talking about when it comes to Cairo hotels.
And there's good news: compared to the US and Europe, these high-end hotels in Cairo are infinitely more affordable.
So if you’ve always wanted to have the 5-star hotel experience but found it just too damn expensive (we hear you) then Cairo just might be the place where you can indulge cheaper than you would anywhere else.
We compiled a list of our 7 favorite hotels in Cairo based on which places produce the most bang for your buck, whether it comes to experience, location, view, restaurants, etc. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Sofitel Gezirah
Sofitel Gezirah is one of our favorite hotels in Cairo for several reasons. First off, it’s an actual tower smack on the tip of an island in the middle of the Nile, so there’s no such thing as a bad view there. No looking out at the side of a brick building for you.
Secondly, most of their restaurants are literally on the water -- all you need to do is reach down from your dinner table and stick your hand in the river (not sure if you would want to, though).
Local tip: Their Moroccan restaurant has live Arabic music and a belly-dancer on weekend nights, so have a drink and a shisha next to the Nile and get ready for some entertainment. Oh yeah.
2. Four Seasons Nile Plaza
Location: Garden City
We don’t know about you, but whenever we think of Four Seasons, we feel all fancypants.
Four Seasons Nile Plaza is everything you’d expect of 5 star hotel -- great restaurants, shopping (they have a department store called Beymen), Nile views, awesome service, etc.
If you always wanted to have the Four Seasons experience, Cairo is a good place to start.
Local tip: there’s also another Four Seasons in Cairo called the Four Seasons First Residence (in Giza), but Four Seasons Nile Plaza is the clear winner in our eyes.
What we love: their restaurants are all worth their salt.
3. Semiramis Intercontinental
Location: Garden City
The Semiramis is one of Cairo’s older hotels, and despite being a tad more dated than the others on this list, we still love it.
The hotel overlooks the Nile on one side and Tahrir Square on the other (it’s basically sitting on Tahrir Square, so the location is awesome). It’s also a five minute walk to Cairo Museum.
4. Marriott Mena House
You guys real talk, this hotel has *the* best view of the Giza pyramids of all hotels in the area. We also aren’t big fans other hotels in the Pyramids area but that’s a different story for a different day.
Who wouldn’t want to swim with an ancient wonder of the world in the background? We’ll wait.
What we love: the Mena House started out as a royal lodge for the Khedive Ismail for when he or his guests wanted to rest after hunting in the desert or spending time at the Pyramids. It was then sold to a British couple in 1869 and turned into a hotel in 1887.
It also has a lot of modern history: it was the setting for peace conferences between then-presidents Sadat, Jimmy Carter and Prime Minister Begin. You can’t pay for that kind of history, folks! (Or actually, yes you can).
5. Kempinski Nile Hotel
Location: Garden City
Kempinski, while not an actual boutique hotel, has a cute boutique-y feel to it compared to the other heavy-hitters on this list (besides Villa Belle Epoque, which is an *actual* boutique hotel).
It too is situated right on the river Nile in Garden City, close to Tahrir Square and the Cairo Museum.
What we love: their rooftop pool, while small, has an awesome view. Their Turkish restaurant Osmanly is also a crowd favorite.
6. Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
A former palace, this now-hotel has the most stunning interiors and original architecture of any hotel in the city.
Quick history run-through, because this hotel has a lot of it: the Cairo Marriott used to be the Palace el Gezirah, built by Khedive Ismail in 1869 (yup, same year he built his royal lodge, the now Marriott Mena House). This palace was a “guest palace” for the Suez Canal inauguration celebrations, and later on housed names you might recognize like Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III.
For a deeper look at the hotel’s history, check out 11 Historical Hotels in Egypt that You Can Still Stay At.
What we love: besides the architecture and history, the Marriott’s gardens are a great place to kick back with a drink and people-watch.
7. Villa Belle Époque
The one true boutique hotel on this list, the Villa Belle Époque is hidden in Maadi’s leafy streets, away from the chaos of the rest of Cairo.
This hotel is much more personal than the rest on the list -- each room is different and has local touches everywhere.
What we love: the pool in the private garden <3
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