Cairo Hotels

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Mar 8th, 2004, 08:26 AM
  #1
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Cairo Hotels

I am in the early stages of planning a trip to Egypt and have started to try to figure out an itinerary...and have also started to look at hotels. I have a couple of questions:

First of all, is there is an area/district in Cairo that is centrally located eg. close to restaurants, museums, hotels, walking distance to things etc...??
(I am thinking of the Sultanhmet area in Istanbul)

Secondly, it sounds like lot of people like the Mena house that is close to the pyramids, although I would love to stay there I understand it is about 15 km away from the city center...Is it worth splitting up the stay where we would stay in Cairo for the first part of our trip, do our other excursions, and then end our vacation at the Mena House for one or two nights before flying home?
I am sure I will have a lot more questions and I can't tell you how much your other posts have helped in the past...I really appreciate the advice.

Thanks, Karen
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Mar 8th, 2004, 11:15 AM
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sandi
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The Mena House is the closest hotel to the Pyramids in Giza, but some recent posts have indicated that the hotel seems a bit worn. Something to consider. Giza is not 15km from Cairo center, rather about 15min ride.

Cairo itself is a very busy city with lots of traffic (and noise) and no control of said traffic. While staying in Cairo is close enough to the Museum, we found it was just as easy to be in Giza and get into Cairo, the Bazaar and Old Cairo either by taxi or private guide/driver.

Some sites are closer to Cairo, others closer from Gize side. It's a toss up. No matter, there is always traffic, except at about 3am.

We stayed on the Giza side at the Movenpick (right down the street from the Mena House which we liked very much - large rooms, beatiful grounds, pool - we had a drive/guide for two days, and on returnto Cairo stayed at the Sheraton on El Gazera island in middle of the Nile and took taxis to sites and it was easy enough and inexpensive.
 
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Mar 8th, 2004, 03:41 PM
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you cant go wrong at 4 seasons with a nile view room.
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Mar 9th, 2004, 01:29 AM
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I stayed at Mena house in Feb and regretted it. Location sucked in terms of everything except seeing the pyramids and the view from the room was not worth the inconvenience. It may be a 15 minute ride from city center when the 17 million cairenese are asleep, but in typical traffic, it was a 25-40 minute ride.

Nile Hilton was so better located, though soemthing in Zamalek might be more what you are looking for....expat territory, boutique-y shops and great restaurants.
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Mar 9th, 2004, 05:41 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I am rethinking the Mena House after reading these posts as well as others on another thread. I am going to look at the Movevenpick...any other hotels you would recommend in Giza that are 4-5*?
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Mar 9th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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I am leaving for Egypt on Thursday and staying at the Sofitel Sphinx in Giza. I believe this is a 4*. I'll let you know how it is when I get back.
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Mar 9th, 2004, 06:19 AM
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I have visited Cairo three times and have stayed at these hotels:

1. First trip -- split between Mena House and Nile Hilton. As others have said, Mena House is well situated to visit pyramids, but its at least 30 minutes with traffic from Cairo. The Nile Hilton is an OK hotel, about 50 feet from Egyptian museum.

2. Second Trip -- Marriott on Zemalek Island. Nice hotel, but you have to take a taxi to get into city center.

3. Third Trip -- Semiramis Intercontinental. Better hotel than Nile Hilton and also within walking distance of Egyptian Museum.

Basically, Cairo is very spread out and you won't be able to walk to Khan-el-Khali or Islamic Cairo or Citadel or City of the Dead or Coptic Museum or most other sites, other than Egyptian Museum, from any of the top hotels. Taxis are cheap so get the best hotel and rely on taxis -- unlike Istanbul, Cairo is not a walking city except within Islamic Cairo which is a great place to wander around.
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Mar 10th, 2004, 05:51 AM
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Thanks I appreciate your description. It really helped a lot.

Karen
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Mar 17th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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Mena House is a beautiful hotel but oh so hard to get to through all the Cairo traffic. Better to visit for dinner and view of the pyramids at sunset is fantastic. I like the Marriott Zamalek. As it used to be a Palace, it is rich with history. I like this versus a hotel that you can find in your own backyard. It just seems to be away from traffic and noise a little bit (if there is such a place in Cairo). You have to take a taxi anywhere anyway, don't plan on doing much walking directly from your hotel. My advice, hire a car and driver. (Costs less than you would normally pay a day for a rental car) They will literally be available 24 hours a day for you and wait while you shop. It is great to have a car to stash your purchases, & you don't have to constantly barter with the taxi drivers. Also some of those taxi's are really sorry looking! Just make sure you specify you need air conditioning if going during hot months. Have a great trip, the country is amazing.
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