Cairo is a timeless city. A place of physical contrasts, magnificent chaos and ancient cultures intricately woven into a landscape of history, religion and nostalgia. Known in the Middle East as Umm Al-Dunya, or ‘The Mother of the World’, the city sprawls in a fan-shape across both banks of Egypt's impressive River Nile. At its southwestern edge are the remarkable 4,500-year-old Pyramids of Giza, best viewed at dawn. Nearby is the world's largest single slab sculpture, the fabled Sphinx, its weathered face and upright pose locked as if in anticipation. In the city, an obelisk marks the site of Heliopolis, where Plato once studied.
High-rise hotels and modern apartment blocks, affluent tree-lined neighbourhoods, grand private mansions and chic restaurants forming new landmarks between the museums and occasional tanoura dancer. At the heart of Old Cairo, the large functioning Khan el-Khalili souk breaths noisy life into the air, while an extensive, semi-walled medieval city with massive stone gates dating back to 130 AD, holds four hundred registered historic monuments, medieval mosques, and mausoleums. As you explore the busy streets, you’ll hear the echo of the muezzins' call to prayer above the persistent car horns. While feluccas, traditional Egyptian sailboats crewed by local sailors, present a timeless sight as they cruise languidly along the river.
Find below our BusinessClass.com guide to the best places to stay in Cairo:
The Four Season Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza is located in one of the city’s chicest neighbourhoods - Garden City. Known for its broad tree-lined avenues and grand private mansions and embassies, the lush surrounds and elegant ambience captivate from arrival. The hotel features 365 guestrooms including 100 suites. The bright and airy accommodations range in size and category, most have floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies to maximise on the setting and cityscapes. For the ultimate sojourn, book the Presidential or Royal Suite. Situated on the top floors, they award extra space with marble bathrooms – filled with Bulgari amenities, marble countertops, colourful rugs and fresh flowers.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Zitouni, serves traditional Egyptian cuisine in an authentic atmosphere. Known for its handmade pasta and fresh-baked bread from the wood-burning stove, Bella is the property’s Italian eatery. Chinese restaurant - 8 - explores a wide range of traditional Cantonese dishes. The Upper Deck Lounge rooftop hideaway is where you will want to be though, with plush chairs and couches, soft lighting and local artwork inviting you to settle in over tapas and speciality cocktails. Enjoy traditional treatments with a specialist therapist at The Spa & Wellness Centre, or pop in for a last-minute makeover at the hotels’ Al Sagheer Salon, one of Egypt’s finest.
Located on the west bank of the Nile, the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo At The First Residence in Giza’s prestigious First Place complex holds a timeless appeal. The interiors pay homage to Egypt’s Napoleonic history with dark wooden furniture, period paintings and gilded details. This theme is followed through in the 262 guestrooms - including 50 suites - among the largest in Cairo and richly appointed with marble bathrooms and rich gold and green fabrics. The fifth floor houses the Deluxe Premium Suites, which are ideal for families and long styles. But for a distant glimpse of the Pyramids from your balcony, ask for a Nile-view room on a higher floor.
Guests will enjoy the high-end boutiques of the First Mall or the gastronomy aboard the swanky First Nile Boat that’s docked opposite Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence. For in-house dining and the finest cuts of meat, head to the Brazilian grill Xodó. At Nairu & Nairu Lounge, indulge in fresh sushi and sashimi, at the Flavours Of Cairo on the crispy grilled lamb. The hotel highlight though is the picture-perfect river-facing swimming pool with Venetian-inspired mosaics, intricate ironwork and chic white loungers, where you’ve inevitably going to want to spend much of your time.
The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo – 9/10
The Nile Ritz-Carlton prides itself on creating an elegant Egyptian experience in the Land of the Pharaohs. The lobby’s modern decor is a mix of ancient Egyptian artefacts and Islamic arabesque details, all setting the scene for your stay. The well-appointed 331 rooms including 50 suites are designed with great attention to detail. Inspired by the royalty of ancient Egypt, they provide a sanctuary in the heart of the city with floor-to-ceiling windows and layouts featuring spaces for work and relaxation. To wake up next to the river, request a stay in a Deluxe Nile View Room or Executive Suite. However, you cannot go wrong whichever way your room faces though, be it towards Cairo’s elite Zamalek neighbourhood or the waterway. Egyptian history enthusiasts will love the pharaonic tablets embedded in The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo’s design. Look for examples built into the lobby’s floor near the elevators.
Whether you are craving a Middle Eastern mezze or rustic Italian cuisine, you can satisfy your hunger at one of the hotel’s nine dining venues. Highlights include sultry evenings at the rooftop Bar El-Sharq and afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge. On a hot day, the Olympic size swimming pool fringed with private cabanas is the perfect escape. The Nile Ritz-Carlton Spa offers Cleopatra inspired treatments and for a unique souvenir, get your hands on the hotel’s signature scent, Cairo at the spa boutique.
The St. Regis Cairo – 9/10
The St. Regis Cairo hotel stands as a pivotal landmark - gracefully designed by the renowned architect Michael Graves. The hotel's 366 rooms are spread across the 37 storey tower, offering quintessential Nile and cityscape. The comfortable rooms have been thoughtfully and tastefully decorated with artefacts and photographs that reflect local Egyptian culture, incorporating local influences into a classical design. Luxurious touches abound alongside all modern amenities required for your stay, including plush bedding, a pillow menu and in-bathroom flat-screen televisions. Guests can choose between pool, city or Nile view rooms, and suites are available for those preferring to upgrade.
Enjoy the multi-Michelin-star-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten designed menu at J&G Steakhouse, sample the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes at poolside Sirocco, or soak up the casual setting at La Zisa, where chefs expertly fuse Sicilian and Arab flavours. Tianma offers a taste of Asia, whilst Envy is the place for a casual bite to eat. There is no shortage of drinks and cocktails at The St. Regis and Water Garden bars. Outdoor and indoor swimming pools, and a fully-equipped fitness centre complete the picture. As does The Iridium Spa. Laid out over two floors of the hotel it features ice rooms, vitality pools, steam rooms and shock showers, playing into the ancient wellness rituals of the Pharaohs.
The Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah is located on the edge of Gezirah Island. Drawing inspiration from local culture and tradition, each of the 433 suites and rooms benefits from the quiet island location and has contemporary fittings that blend modern French with Oriental trimmings. The Opera and Imperial Suites in particular provide an extraordinary experience, on the higher floors to max on the panoramic views, they have elegant bedrooms, with dining and living area, and large bathrooms. Butler service lets you relax and unwind as all of your needs are considered.
Le Deck restaurant floats above the Nile to provide a relaxing and peaceful dining experience. Journey from Cairo to Marrakesh at La Palmeraie, a Moroccan restaurant where the menu is as authentic as the ambience. From a vast breakfast buffet to elegant à la carte dinners, Casa Mia offers Italian all-day dining. Just off the lobby, discover the delights of a French patisserie serving Nespresso coffee, gourmet macarons and delicious pains au chocolate, Cairo's most authentic French café. Indulge your senses at the Sofitel Spa, a haven of wellbeing that blends ancient tradition with French expertise, and includes a jacuzzi and high-tech gym. Fringed by shady palms and temperature-controlled for comfort, the infinity pool water will relax and invigorate you. There’s a large, arched window overlooking the river, so you can swim while admiring the city lights across the water.
Fairmont Nile City Hotel, Cairo brings superb style with authentically local touches to the city. Located in the Bulaq district, the hotel is located close to the popular El-Wekala market, known for its gorgeous fabrics, and the lush riverside El Masslaa Park. Art deco and modern design combine here to provide timeless elegance and refinement that’s reflected throughout the 542 guest rooms and luxury suites. All hotel rooms and suites are complemented by open-concept bathrooms with sliding shutters, amenities by Le Labo, interactive LED TV’s as well as Nespresso machines. The rooms are soundproof and decorated with elegant furnishings in neutral tones and sandy hues that embody the desert and resonate with Egypt’s natural beauty.
From seasonally inspired menus to dining experiences that will heed any craving, see what the chefs are preparing at the Asian Fusion Saigon Restaurant and Lounge, as well as Italian favourites at L’Uliveto. Bab El Nil offers night-time entertainment and Middle Eastern cuisine. Allow time on the hotel's 25th-floor pool deck terrace that overlooks the Pyramids of Giza. The Willow Stream Spa is a haven of tranquillity that prides itself on serenity and well-being and there’s a state-of-the-art gym with experienced personal trainers. Golf playing guests can enjoy special rates at The Allegria, a Greg Norman golf course 40-minute drive from the property.
The Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City Cairo is set in the affluent historical quarter of Cairo's Garden with both the Egyptian Museum and Cairo Opera House just a short walk away. A luxury boutique hotel in every sense of the word, it features 137 rooms and 54 exclusive suites, making for an intimate stay. Contemporary European in style, impeccable in detail and unequivocally personal in its service, all suites come with a private balcony so that guests may relax into the views. Each room includes complimentary soft drinks, tea and coffee, flat-screen television, Pillow Concierge and an in-room music system. The expansive list of amenities and services include a personal butler on every level. Kempinski the Spa has four treatment rooms, a Private Couple Spa and Relaxation Rooms with separate facilities for ladies and gentlemen. Access to a fully equipped gym, sauna, jacuzzi, and steam room is included for all guests.
Other on-site experiences include the four restaurants and lounges; Osmanly takes you on a culinary journey to the Ottoman Empire of old with the charismatic waiters adding to the memorable experience. The Blue Restaurant and Grill bring you delightful Italian fare and The Chocolate Lounge afternoon tea from around the world, a chocolate and pastry boutique, barista and tea ceremony. Take an indulgent break at Kempinski Nile Hotel's roof-top swimming pool, where you can cool off, enjoy a refreshing drink and reflect on this ancient city and all that a visit has brought you.
Set amidst six acres of verdant palace gardens in the vibrant Zamalek district, the Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino was built in 1869 as the Gezirah Palace, to host guests for the Suez Canal inauguration. Ever beautiful and occupying one of the tallest buildings in Cairo, the twin towers palace overlooking the Nile River is a dream of opulent marble, gold embellishment and lavishtextiles. The 1060 luxuriously furnished rooms are designed in an elegant suitably royal style with luxury bedding, free Wi-Fi, minibars, espresso makers and 24-hour room service. Rooms open onto balconies, many with views towards the wonderfully manicured gardens. The generous suites feature kitchenettes and working fireplaces.
The hotel serves Japanese, Italian, International and Middle Eastern cuisines at its 14 restaurants, either indoors or al-fresco. There are also numerous lounges and cafes. On-site facilities include a 24-hour gym, a brilliant swimming pool and an elegant casino. The Saray Spa Cairo features a Moroccan hammam, Turkish hammam and couples treatment rooms offering an array of treatments. The Gabalaya Park and Cairo Tower are just a two-minute walk away, although you may want to start your exploration with a stroll around the hotel itself, to marvel at the antiques and character it homes.
The landmark Hotel Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis provides five-star luxury on the banks of the Nile and in the heart of the city, close to the unmissable Egyptian Museum, the bazaars, Opera House, and Citadel. Standing on the site of the historic Semiramis hotel, it has 726 tastefully appointed, spacious rooms, ranging from Suites to Executive and Classic Rooms. Each with private balconies, an en-suite bathroom, mini-bar and modern amenities. Escape the heat with a dip in the large rooftop pool with commanding views of the Nile, or visit the gym and state of the art Spa where a steam bath, jacuzzi, plunge pool and massage rooms await you. There is a gift shop, games room, nightclub, live entertainment and casino should that be to your interest.
The in-house restaurants and bars offer a range of outstanding European and Eastern dining experiences. Night & Day serves up superb river views and fusion dishes, Pane Vino specialises in Italian fare, haute cuisine is on the menu at The Grill, and Thai feasts at the popular Birdcage. Or simply sip on a coffee or cocktail in the sophisticated lounge and people-watch between excursions. The hotel ensures multi-lingual staff at the 24-hour front desk, help with planning sightseeing, and extra requests such as luggage storage and babysitting.
The Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino brings you effortless service and modern accommodations in the heart of Cairo. Built in 1970 with a comprehensive refurbishment in 2017, the hotel offers 660 Deluxe Rooms over 50 floors, including 82 Suites. Fitted with stylish wooden furniture and 100% Egyptian cotton, most have private balconies and river and city views. Those wishing for more can upgrade to the Club Level hotel rooms with exclusive Lounge access, or to one of the large Suites. All bathrooms offer rain showers, hairdryers, free toiletries and a pillow menu to ensure a restful night’s sleep.
Indulge in the range of dining experiences from the restaurants, cafes and bars, each with a distinctive theme and cuisine. The Bridge Café in the upper lobby is the heartbeat of the hotel and where guests can enjoy their morning coffee. For authentic Italian dishes try Giannini's New York Italian restaurant. Located on the ground floor and offering both indoor and terrace dining, El Mawardia serves delicious traditional Arabic cuisine, while Rawi is where local cuisine is presented with refreshing cocktails in a most relaxed atmosphere. Rejuvenate at the spa or head to the well-equipped gym to keep up your fitness between all the feasting. There’s a jacuzzi and a steam bath, an extremely helpful travel desk and the casino, where you may meet your fortune.
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