Le Meridien Cairo Airport — WOW!

I spent 30 hours in Egypt earlier in the week, and it was eye opening. My friend Tiffany and I had layovers that overlapped by a few hours, so we hired a guide to and went to the pyramids, which was amazing.

But what I took away from Egypt more than anything is just how dire the situation is. It’s surreal to go somewhere as iconic as the Pyramids of Giza and more or less have them to yourselves. Heck, they’re so deserted that even half of the vendors don’t bother showing up anymore.

Pyramids-Egypt
Pyramids of Giza

The degree to which the revolution destroyed Egypt’s tourism industry is indescribable.

Not only did I feel safe everywhere I went, but I also found everyone I interacted with to be over the top friendly. I think they kind of realize the situation they’re collectively in, and are trying to do everything they can to paint a positive image.

On the hotel front, I can’t even begin to say how positively blown away I was by Le Meridien Cairo Airport. It’s a brand new hotel, and the construction of it was clearly very poorly timed. They started building it before the revolution, and frankly I’m kind of surprised they ended up finishing it, given how things changed. It’s amazing how much construction in Egypt is 90% done, but they never bothered to finish it after the revolution.

After landing at Terminal 1 at Cairo Airport I had low expectations of the airport hotel, given what a dump the airport is.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong, as the property was gorgeous.

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-01
Le Meridien Cairo Airport lobby

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-07
Le Meridien Cairo Airport club lounge

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-11
Le Meridien Cairo Airport pool

I got upgraded to a massive 1,700+ square foot panoramic suite.

LM-Cairo

It featured what I think may be the biggest living room I’ve ever had in a hotel room.

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-02
Le Meridien Cairo Panoramic Suite living room

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-03
Le Meridien Cairo Panoramic Suite living room

Hell, even my separate bedroom had a living room!

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-04
Le Meridien Cairo Panoramic Suite bedroom

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-05
Le Meridien Cairo Panoramic Suite bedroom

Then there was a large balcony, which was actually quite nice since it wasn’t too hot outside.

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-06
Le Meridien Cairo Panoramic Suite balcony

While the whole property was gorgeous and in great condition, the service was really what stood out. Every single employee was so over-the-top indescribably accommodating. Tiffany also stayed at the Le Meridien (and got the same upgrade as a Platinum member), and she mentioned that the experience felt like it was straight out of Beauty and the Beast.

I’ve never seen Beauty and the Beast (what can I say, I had a deprived childhood), so she sent me this clip from the movie:

I think that really sums it up perfectly. For example, we had lunch at the hotel’s Lebanese restaurant, and while there were a handful of chefs and servers on hand, we were the only guests. The level of attentiveness was unreal and felt exactly like that clip.

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-08
Mezzeh Restaurant

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-09
Mezzeh Restaurant lunch

Le-Meridien-Cairo-Airport-10
Mezzeh Restaurant lunch

I might just come back and vacation at the Le Meridien Cairo Airport. It’s an amazing hotel with amazing service — I can’t recommend it enough!

Have you stayed at the Le Meridien Cairo Airport, and if so, what was your experience?

Comments

  1. As my memory serves me right, this is the place where John Kerry conducted a press conference? This hotel conveniently provides daytime use rate. I’ve been to all SPG properties in Cairo & Giza (including newly renovated Le Meridien Pyramid which is excellent but surprisingly just Cat 1) except this one. My usual residence hotel is JW Marriott Cairo Mirage and its sister hotel, Renaissance Mirage (which opened Nov 2013, also sparklingly clean) which operates complimentary airport shuttle btw. I just book two separate stays at this Le Meridien Cairo airport hotel at my return via SPG BRG (just in order to stock up more starpoints). Pretty easy to get SPG BRG approved for most of SPG properties in Cairo & Giza so anybody should try if one plans to stay in one of them.

  2. I have always wanted to see Egypt – the Pyramids, the Sphinx, all of it. I might have to see what I can do about rearranging some travel and go in the next 18 months. It would be indescribable to see such history without a huge crowd.

  3. This hotel will be my last SPG stay this year and final #New7Wonders 8th destination! Looking forward to it in December!

  4. As impressive as the Pyramids are, the absolutely incredible places to see in Egypt are the Temples of Karnak and Luxor, and the adjacent Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Described by Wikipedia as “world’s greatest open air museum”. Which if anything is an understatement. I’ve heard the same thing that Lucky said about the Pyramids; you can practically have King Tut’s tomb to yourself these days. If one is going to already be in Cairo, it’s absolutely worth the one hour flight up to Luxor.

  5. Hey Lucky, did you need an Egyptian visa to visit, and if so is it something you have to apply and send off for or can you get it at the airport Cairo?

    If not then great!

  6. We were there in October 2010 and stayed overnight at the airport and then at the Giza one, both well situated for tourism.
    The Sheraton at Luxor is also great as a jumping point to see the valley of the kings and the temples.
    The security was tight even then and our guides were good at letting us loose when we wanted to roam.
    All of them were 3000 points each night and we got 14 nights stay for 42000 points total

  7. We went on Air France using DL miles and they had amazing availability then.
    Perhaps now as well.
    120k pesos for Business class is a good value then and now may be a bit more, 150 perhaps. (one never knows with Delta)

    Egypt Air was used for CAI-LXR, and you had to show your Star Gold cards (which were copied) to get into a small lounge seating 15 people, that only served orange juice.

  8. Most of the buildings in Egypt looks unfinished because previously if they had finished them, they would have to pay property tax on the complete building. This is why they all look like they have the top floor unfinished, but really they are complete inside.

  9. @ Mike S. — The hotel had a nice gym. The two main restaurants were Lebanese and Asian fusion. Maybe they had Egyptian food on the room service menu, though I didn’t look.

  10. We are a family of four going to Egypt in december, one way business, back on coach. Egypt air had great availability. All the hotels are being booked with points. Hilton in Cairo, SPG in Luxor, Alexandria and back in Cairo near the airport for our return trip. But I booked Le Meridien Heliopolis because I wanted to save some points for future trips. I hope this one is good too. I’m looking forward to the trip because the place will be very empty.

  11. @lucky

    Notice that your room allowed smoking. Did you experience any lingering smell from the smoke or was it an non issue due to it being a recently constructed property?

    Could you have opted for a non smoking room instead?

    Thnx and safe travels!

  12. @ Drew : Was $15 but recently (I think around this June) increased to $25, alas..

    @ Charlie : I am fond of EgypAir in general, but for the route (CAI-JFK), I would rather take Qatar (CAI-DOH-JFK or IAD) with which I am flying in Nov.

    @ Mariana: I stayed at several times in Le Meridien Heliopolis (again as for me, just for stock up starpoints via SPG BRG). This hotel is reasonably good/just OK (clean linen, neat bathroom) but remember this is a bit overpriced old property (due to heliopolis location) and in any sense, not close to newly built Le Meridien Cairo airport. My initial expectation for Le Meridien Heliopolis was very low so I was reasonably satisfied but I wouldn’t strongly recommended this hotel to my friends as there are plenty of better options along Nile River with that price range.

  13. @ Min — It is odd that it said that, as I believe this is the first non-smoking hotel in all of Egypt. Definitely no smell of smoke.

  14. Egypt is a wonderful country and is a lot safer than the media is making it out to be.

    If you go back to Egypt I’d highly recommend a visit to Dahab. The LeMeridian there is also gorgeous and summer rates can be as low as $75.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *