The Cairo Marriott has gorgeous Nile views and a sumptuous palace perfect for taking in some Egyptian history. Here’s my hotel review.
If the lavish decor at the Cairo Marriott lounge and reception reminds you of a belle epoque palace, that’s because it is.
The Gezirah Palace, built to entertain visiting dignitaries during the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, makes up the hotel’s centerpiece. The palace is nestled between the hotel’s twin towers that contain all the rooms.
And the Cairo Marriott is right in the heart of Zamalek, across the river from downtown Cairo. This leafy, affluent district is great for browsing trendy boutiques and unwinding in picture-perfect cafes.
Another selling point are the views. Not all Nile views are created equal – some overlook the city’s noisy, car-honking streets. But at the Cairo Marriott, you get vast stretches of green (the Gezirah Sporting Club,) and the tree-lined streets of Zamalek. During the few hours when the air is clear, you can spot the peak of a pyramid in the distance.
At night the black waters of the Nile sparkle, illuminated by neon signs and passing party boats.
Cairo Marriott Restaurants
At Ristorante Tuscany, on the ground floor of the palace, you can dine indoors or eat outside in the gorgeous promenade and gardens.
Start your meal off with the Fritto Misto di Pesce, or fried calamari, shrimp and octopus with a spicy tomato-basil sauce on the side. The dish is a refreshing start to a meal – especially doused with some zesty lime.
The Branzino Scottato, or pan-seared seabass and braised vegetables, is an oily and irresistibly juicy fish. A sprinkling of black olives is a great compliment.
The Garden Promenade Cafe has a great outdoor barbecue buffet in the glowing Egyptian sun. You sit surrounded by ornate oriental arches, sculptures and greenery.
It’s here you’ll feel that unique “magic” of the palace and its atmosphere. You’ll understand why one woman on their Facebook page commented that she’s been coming to the palace every weekend for the past 20 years.
There’s a jazz band on weekends and the place gets packed. It feels elegant but not pretentious – and very carefree.
There’s sushi, seafood and everything you could crave along with gracious but unobtrusive service.
What to do nearby
The Diwan Bookstore is just across the street and great for browsing. There are books on Egyptology, Egyptian history and just about anything you’d want for background reading for your travels.
Drinkies sells local beer and wine.
Maison Thomas is a great, historic spot for pizza.
Abou El Sid serves classic Egyptian dishes in a photogenic oriental atmosphere, and serves beer too.
If you’re an art lover, you’ve also got a few great galleries nearby including Picasso Art Gallery, Zamalek Art Gallery and UBUNTU Art Gallery.