Where to stay in Egypt
Egypt has a wide range of hotels from simple 2/3 star properties up to beautiful upscale boutique hotels. Whilst these top end properties are gorgeous and atmospheric, it would be fair to say that in general Egyptian hotels are fairly functional. Mid range hotels are comfortable with pleasant rooms and usually a large pool but they don’t ooze charm in the way that you can find in other countries. Tourism is not new to Egypt and over the years there have been a large number of relatively soulless hotels built to accommodate the hordes that have arrived.
The crowds may not be there at the moment, but this hasn’t changed the hotels. So, unless you are going top of the range, it is best to view your hotel as a convenient place to spend the night and be content with a comfortable bed and a good pool.
If you have a higher budget, however, you can immerse yourselves in colonial splendour and soak up the historic ambience of some truly lovely properties.
If you are travelling on a really tight budget there are some very inexpensive options in Egypt. These hotels will usually be a little tired around the edges, the breakfast won’t be great and the staff could perhaps do with some training. However, they are perfectly acceptable if you set your expectations accordingly! Read the Trip Advisor reports carefully to make sure that they look okay for your family and discuss the options with us.
What are the different standards of hotels like?
As an example of the different kinds of hotels that are available in Egypt, it is useful to look at the various options available in Cairo. Our favourite hotel is the Mena House, situated in 40 acres of lush gardens right next to the Pyramids of Giza. Here you can see Cairo’s history writ large in the sumptuous antique furnishings that have hosted kings, emperors and film stars for more than a hundred years. Rooms offer magnificent views over the Pyramids, the service is impeccable and there is an inviting pool set in beautifully manicured gardens. This is a gorgeous hotel with a price tag to match.
For something rather less expensive, but still comfortable, you can consider a hotel like the Mercure Cairo Le Sphinx. Again offering great views of the Pyramids, this hotel bills itself as a 5-star property but is perhaps closer to a 4-star. Rooms are very comfortable (if a little business-like) and there is an excellent child-friendly pool that makes this a great option for families.
If you are travelling on a tight budget, the best options can be found in Cairo itself, rather than out by the Pyramids. The King Hotel is a good choice as it is in a quiet residential street (keeping the noisy Cairo traffic to a minimum), the staff are pleasant, there is a great rooftop bar and the rooms are clean. However, the water pressure can be limited, the breakfast isn’t anything to write home about and the bathrooms are fairly tired.
What about overnight Nile Cruises?
Many people visiting Egypt will want to spend a night or two on the Nile River. The most popular choice for adventurous families is to spend a night on a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailing boat. You will have a ‘main’ felucca which will be the one that you spend time on (and where you spend the night) and a support felucca which will carry cooking equipment and a toilet tent. This is where your Nubian crew will spend the night.
You sleep on mattresses under the stars and your crew will cook you delicious local meals to eat out on deck. If you need the loo, you can either find a convenient bush on the banks of the river or the crew can erect the toilet tent (and dig a hole) for a little more privacy.
If this all sounds a bit too basic then the alternative is to stay on a luxury Nile cruise boat. These are generally quite large and offer comfortable twin share cabins, usually a small pool on deck, sun loungers and buffet meals. As there are relatively few tourists in Egypt at the moment, the different boat companies pool their clients, so you don’t necessarily know a long time in advance which boat you will actually be on. However, all boats are of a relatively similar standard and uniformly comfortable.
One other option is to stay on a ‘dahabiya’, which is like a luxury felucca. Although these boats have an engine, they also have sails and are a very picturesque way to sail down the Nile in comfort. There are only a very limited number of dahabiyas on the Nile at the moment and they are very expensive, but this is a great choice for families looking for a treat.
As always we will select hotels that will suit your family and fit your budget. Our ‘where to stay in Egypt’ page can only highlight a few hotels that other customers have loved. Do ring us, or email to find out more about where to stay in Egypt and we can put together an itinerary that is tailored to your family’s needs.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
Egypt in pictures
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