Where to Stay in Cairo; The BEST Luxury Hotel in Cairo
I’ve spent a lot of time in Cairo recently, and I’ll be going back again, for my 6th and 7th visit again soon! I’m starting to know the city pretty well, so I wrote a guide about how to spend 3 days in Cairo here, if you’re a tourist in Egypt, that should help your planning. But where to stay in Cairo? What’s the best luxury hotel in Cairo? Those questions are a little trickier. Previously I used to stay in ‘Old Cairo’, then I stayed near the Nile, and both positive experiences, although the energy there is quite hectic. On my last visit, I took my girlfriend and we decided it would be best to stay in New Cairo, an area about 20 minutes south of the Airport and it was a much better place to base ourselves for sure.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN NEW CAIRO
Ok, so to get this straight, if you’re a backpacker, or on a super-tight budget, then perhaps Old Cairo/Downtown is best for you so you can minimise costs on transport and food. If you’re on holiday, or traveling on a mid-range or higher budget, then in my opinion, New Cairo is without doubt the best area in the city to stay in. Why? Cairo is one of those cities. A little like Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi, Lima. Cities that are amazing to visit. Getting immersed on the street level, eating, feeling the different culture around you. Real travel, I would say. But if you’re on a holiday, cities like that can take it out of you. And it’s such a relief at the end of a tiring, touristic day, to escape somewhere peaceful, clean and easy to navigate. Cairo falls within that category, and when I visit cities like that, I make sure to get the right location to escape to at the end of the day. New Cairo feels like a different world from Old Cairo. Health food shops, no-one bothering you for taxis rides to the Pyramids etc.
I had just spent the last few days downtown with a group that I was taking to Socotra, Yemen and moving to New Cairo, and more specifically to the Dusit Thani there, was a beautiful feeling. My girlfriend had flown in to see me for a few days before I went back to Yemen, and instantly I knew I had made the right choice to move areas. Also, Uber from New Cairo to Old Cairo was only costing about $5 and 20 minutes or so each day, so it was still easy to access all the tourist sights. No big deal, and a welcome price to pay for the easy-going, relaxing nature of New Cairo.
So Which Is The Best Luxury Hotel in Cairo?
I spent 75% of my year in hotels. So hotels are my home. Since my blog took off, I love nothing more than checking into a luxury hotel and doing nothing for a few hours, and being back in Cairo, I felt ready for that experience once more. Even more so having spent the last 4 days in manic downtown Cairo. I hopped in an Uber to new Cairo with my fiance, $5 and 20 minutes later we were checking into, in my opinion, the best luxury hotel in Cairo – the Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo.
Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo
So why do I think this is number 1? I’ve already explained about the location so that’s ideal. It’s also close to the airport so getting to and from the hotel is super easy, fast and inexpensive (actually they have free shuttles, but it’s so near, and cheap that I always used Uber anyway). Well, the hotel is a Thai brand, and living in Thailand, I knew that hotels are kept to a really high standard in Thailand, so I was quietly confident it would be the same thing here, and I wasn’t disappointed.
First, we checked in. And instantly the lobby is luxurious. Huge, high ceilings. Wall-to-wall marble. Staff everywhere you looked. We checked-in very quickly, and were shown to our room. It was quite quiet in the hotel with the COVID thing starting to kick-off around the globe, due to that we were upgraded to a suite. Similar to the Grand Hyatts, at the Dusit Thani hotels if you have a suite, that gives you access to the club lounge. This is an awesome perk, like a airport business-class lounge in the hotel. I’ll get back to that later on.
We walked through the hotel, shaped in a kind-of U shape, with the pool, spa and gym central to the building and the rooms stretching out like arms along each side. As we were now in the suite, we were on the 1st floor, and by the time we arrived our bags had already been delivered. Great service.
Being a 5* hotel, the rooms are of course beautiful. But, more than that, the Dusit Thani Lakeview holds the largest rooms and suites in all of Cairo which was an unexpected bonus. With Cairo being so fast-paced, having a huge room to get lost in is a beautiful aspect to staying a the hotel, and with each large bathroom hosting a bathtub, you can really remove your tourist-stresses in the evening.
All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and guests can enjoy complimentary soft drinks from the mini-bar. Certain units include a seating area. All rooms include a private bathroom featuring bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries. But our room was the Dusit Suite (*the cheapest of the suites) and it was HUGE. Over 100sqm, crazy.
We were on the ground level, so had direct access to the pool too. I’d recommend this suite above the others. It’s cheaper, but still super lush, and it still gives you access to the Dusit Lounge, a lovely addition.
The hotel features 2 outdoor pools, a hot tub, 5 restaurants and 2 bars. Complimentary airport transfers can be organized to and from the hotel. So all the things you’d expect from a luxury 5*. The little gem I’d recommend though requires you to upgrade your room to the Dusit Suite like us (about an extra $40 or so). Not only do you get an apartment rather than a hotel room, you get access to the ‘Dusit Lounge’. Hotel lounges aren’t that common, but they really should be! I’ve had them at a select few hotels and every single time I make use of them multiple times.
It’s normally a large room or 2, on a higher floor, which you can access 24/7. Most of the time they have snacks, teas, coffees (all complimentary of course, and often very good quality). It’s a great place to catch up with work, which is normally how I use it. Often then, around 5pm for 2 hours, they have ‘happy hour’ which is more complimentary food, easily enough to consider it dinner, but also cocktails, champagnes, beers and wine. A great way to wind down for the day before dinner. And the Dusit Lounge was perhaps the best hotel lounge I’ve been in to date. Well done guys!
The main swimming pool at the centre is heated during the winter, so you can go for a dip all year long. The indoor pools are also heated, and there’s the Deravana spa. Paradise in Cairo! The gym is more than good enough to keep the hummus and wine at bay while you’re staying here too. Gyms often let hotels down in my opinion, but the one here is very usable. All in all, the overarching vibe is the escape from Cairo. It’s a laid-back, spacious place to relax and recover on holiday or at work. And all within 20 minutes or so of the Pyramids and museum etc. Perfect really.
There are 5 restaurants, so enough to keep you for your whole stay. I only tried 2. The Straight Kitchen, where we had breakfast every day, and the Ruen Thai restaurant where we had a romantic dinner one evening.
First up was breakfast. It’s often a make-or-break experience for me when I stay in 5*. If the brekkie is good, I’m inclined to stay down there for an hour or more. If it’s average, I may skip it altogether. At the Dusit Thani Cairo? I was there almost 2 hours each morning! Wow. Asian breakfast? Covered. Arabic breakfast? Covered. Healthy breakfast? Yup. Fatty, delicious brekkie. That too! It’s heaven at breakfast in the Dusit Thani. The first morning I went for healthy – they have everything. Soy milk with sugar-free granola, all types of fresh fruit, Americanos/lattes/smoothies made to order. Everything. Next day, the chef came and said hi and we went full Arabic. So fulfilling, but I felt a desperate need of a gym after that! But not as much as the last day. Fresh croissant, and danishes, and pancakes, and muffins. Wow. Leaving the hotel on my last morning, I was genuinely sad to be leaving the breakfast behind. So long Straight Kitchen, I’ll miss you.
And then there was dinner. I travel so much for my life. My fiance suffers a lot, so bringing her to Egypt to see the Pyramids was great, but I owed her a romantic experience too. Also, I love Arabic food, but bread, beans, hummus etc felt like it was coming out of my ears! Having spent a couple of weeks in Yemen, I need some ‘home’ food, and being based in Thailand, that means Thai. Thankfully, Dusit Thani Cairo is home to Ruen Thai restaurant.
The Ruen Thai restaurant has a Thai head-chef, and the vibe is modern, chic. The kitchen is open so you can see everything being prepared right before you, or you can chill att there Thai style bar and wait there. I have reviewed the restaurant in a specific blog post because I was so, so impressed with the experience. From the atmosphere, to the staff, but most importantly, the food. I’ve lived in Thailand for more than a decade, and this was one of the best meals of my life, and without doubt the most delicious Thai food I’ve ever had outside of Thailand. If you find yourself in Cairo, give it a shot. You won’t regret it.
Cairo is a city that most travelers always end up visiting. Whether it’s spending 3 days in Cairo, or an adventure from Capetown to Cairo overland, due to the fact that it is home to the Pyramids, means that you should go at least once. Cairo isn’t one of my favourite cities in the world, it must be said, and for that very reason, it’s why I choose to stay somewhere lovely when I come to visit. So when you come, I recommend you follow my lead and stay at the Dusit Thani Lakeview. Rooms start at about $150, and for another $30 or so you can upgrade to a suite and access the Dusit Lounge. Suddenly, with the Dusit to come home to, craziness of Cairo is charming, you can hit up the Pyramids, Sakkara, and the Bazaars, knowing that you’re coming back to paradise. I loved my time here, and when I’m back in Cairo taking my next group tour to Socotra, Yemen, I’ll be right back here before it starts. Enjoy!
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