Luxury doesn’t necessary mean lavish opulence. The Mena House Hotel is a perfect example for that motto: this place offers soft luxury accommodation with excellent service, letting guests enjoying incredible views over the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.
The Mena House Hotel is situated on the edge of the Libyan Desert, a mere stone’s throw away from the ever-looming Great Pyramid of Giza, and a few miles west of the River Nile and Cairo city centre.
Given its location, it should come as no surprise to learn that this hotel is surrounded by history. But that would be selling it short—it’s not just surrounded by history, it’s a part of history, too.
Having begun life as a royal lodge during the Ottoman period, Mena House soon became an outpost for well-to-do Arabs and European imperialists, and the lavish interiors still reflect this late-19th century marriage of convenience and curiosity.
One can’t help but wonder whether Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt had this latter detail in mind when they met at the hotel in November 1943 to discuss the ongoing war in the Pacific.
Whatever the case, Mena House is no stranger to hosting kings, queens, and presidents, and it plays up this conceit with a panache that only old money can bring.
The elegance of design and place hits you straight away. The perfectly manicured gardens, marble stairs, ornate, hand-fashioned furniture, deep red carpets lining every corridor, and even the scent of Marc Jacobs perfume wafting through the lobby, all add a touch of class that you’d be hard pushed to find in more conventional luxury resorts.
This refinement is also evident in the accommodation. There are a total of 532 rooms, ranging from the reasonably priced Premier Pyramid Suites (“breath-taking views of the pyramids, the Palace, and gardens”) and Garden Suites (“a spacious living room, a lavish bathroom”) to the more high-end Grand Deluxe Suites (“offer the highest standards of comfort”) and Executive Suites (“each features beautiful Arabesque furniture inlaid with mother of pearl”).
If you’re feeling particularly flush, you can even stay in the Churchill Suite, where the great man himself resided during the first Cairo Conference. Despite the colonial vibe, every room has access to a wired or wireless internet connection, and a twice-daily housekeeping service.
Mena House has four restaurants and three bars with something for everybody. There’s Italian (Alfredo) and Middle Eastern (Khan El Khalili) to Indian (The Mogul Room) and pan-Asian cuisine (139 Dining Room).
Which is convenient, because it’s wholly possible to spend your entire stay sampling the wide variety of refreshments and foodstuffs on offer.
The Sultan Lounge allows guests to sip cocktails in the shadow of the pyramids, while 139 Lounge Bar serves grape, grain and everything in-between. And if you’re in an especially adventurous mood, you can try the shisha at 139 Terrace.
Level of exigency
As one might expect, the service at Mena House is second to none. The staff is friendly and helpful and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. And for those who are easily impressed, the hotel ferries guests from the reception to the rooms in a golf buggy.
With its sprawling, palatial grounds, opulent green gardens, and views of the Great Pyramid of Giza, this residence is the perfect getaway spot for those who want a taste of a bygone era, but with all the mod cons that one expects from a contemporary luxury resort.
The Mena House Hotel opened in 1886, renovated regularly and is now composed of 532 room and suites. This article features a Premier Pyramid View room – around 55sqm large – which public rates starts at USD305++/night.
Mena House Hotel – Book
Kafr Nassar, Al Haram,
Giza Governorate, Egypt