While big bold chains continue to dominate Cairo's hotel scene, there's plenty of hidden gems. Here are some of our favourites...
The Gabriel recently won the Luxury Boutique Hotel Award and the Luxury Design Hotel Award from the World Luxury Hotel Awards, putting those accolades on their mantle, alongside best boutique hotel in Egypt and best design in Africa. That is a lot of awards. Maybe it's because the hotels simply oozes the personification of all things, well, luxury with it's modern macabre interiors carefully curated by one of the hotels owners Nuaman Soufraki. Conveniently situated near the airport as well being inside Sun City mall, with all its ammentieis. Within The Gabriel's walls is also their shining star, Salt; the stunning gourmet fine dining venue where guests guests are served a global culinary experience that usually goes above and beyond.
Quote from Trip Advisor: "I really felt at home, the interior design is fascinating and gives you a vibe you don't often get from the majority of other hotels."
Rooms from 1000LE per night
Recently announced as Continent Winner in the category of "Best Luxury Honeymoon Hotel" from the World Luxury Hotel Awards, Le Riad is tucked away in a quiet historic catacomb of an alleyway in Khan El Khalili. More than any other hotel in the country, Le Riad evokes the romance of times past, that Aladdin-ness if you will, in the district that inspired the writings of the legendary Naguib Mahfouz. The hotels 17 suites reflect Old town Cairo architecture, rich warm colors, Fatimid fabrics, local talented paintings dating back to the era of architectural, music, lifestyle and love. Note that Le Riad doesn't serve alcohol due its close proximity to El Hussein mosque.
Quote from Trip Advisor: "This hotel is the stuff of Arabian fairy tales."
Rooms from 950 LE per night.
Villa Belle Epoque
Built in colonial 1920s and opened up as a hotel in 2009, within the serenity and greenery on the Nile in Maadi, is the little known Villa Belle Epoque. As the name suggests it is a renovated villa, occupying a 1300 m2 plot of land. The hotel, its swimming pool, sundecks and patios are surrounded by lemon, mango, olive and guava trees, intermingled with centennial palms. Decorated for a period feel, the hotel also plays hosts to works from a number of contemporary Egyptian artists, and some of the hotel’s rooms (suites, doubles and some triples) are named after Egyptian cities.
Quote from Trip Advisor: "The decor, the ambiance, the sense of history make this a very special place."
Rooms from 1,500 LE per night
Supposedly central Cairo's first ever boutique hotel, the 24-room Talisman is situated close to the Egyptian Museum, Downtown and is quirkily concealed in a downtown apartment block. Bright, warm colours run throughout the hotel and each room is designed differently. The hotel also features high-ceiling-ed dining room and a well-stocked library. For it's prices, there's probably no better quality.
Quote from Trip Advisor: "Even though Talaat Harb street is very noisy, once you're in the hotel you find peace and calm!"
Rooms from 650 per night
Partly owned by telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris, Zamalek's Riverside came to life in 2013 masked by a hint of mystery until its eponymous resto-bar opened up bringing the country's bourgeoisie out from hiding. Rooms are hard to come by though, so just enjoy the parties until you know someone who knows someone who might be able to bag you an exclusive look in to the hotel.