Reviewed by lovely journalist Triska Hamid!
Many hotels like to describe their property as a place of ‘tranquility’ or ‘bliss’, but there are few places where those two words have such poignancy.
The Ritz-Carlton in Cairo is definitely one of these places. Amidst the chaos and noise of one of the oldest cities in the world stands the Ritz, opened late in 2015 to cater to the steadily rising number of tourists from the Middle East region. The hotel offers a much-needed haven after a day of sightseeing man’s many wonders in Cairo – notably the Pyramids and the city’s traffic.
Past security is a welcome respite in the lobby, tastefully decorated with the design routinely changed to reflect the season and festivals.
If you happen to stay at the club level or in one of the suites, you’re escorted upstairs to the club check-in lounge, where you’re served a drink of your choice. While the club lounge is not as impressive as the lobby, it’s a more intimate affair with excellent views of The Nile.
The rooms are spacious, tastefully decorated with the typical geometric patterns of the Arabian world. Little Egyptian touches are found in the artwork, but overall the rooms are crisp and simple, rather than overwhelming in terms of colour or design.
Best of all is the exceptionally comfortable king-size bed, adorned with beautifully soft Egyptian cotton sheets (what else?).
The views from the room vary, with some overlooking the Nile and others the Museum of Cairo and the rest of the city. Cairo’s skyline is not exactly pretty, but it still manages to be rather momentous.
There are nine food and drink options available throughout the hotel from traditional Egyptian fair to Italian and American. Those staying in the club rooms have access to three meals a day and afternoon tea in the lounge. Chocolate fountain, anyone?
Breakfast feels a tad more refined here with the chef ready to create any dish of your choice. The eggs benedict, although served on a slice of toast instead of a muffin is a winner.
Nox, the rooftop restaurant and bar, is one of the hottest places to go in Cairo right now and guests get priority booking. Dishes like wagyu beef steak and shrimp and seared salmon feature on the menu at a bargain price with beautiful views of The Nile. This is definitely an ideal spot for a romantic meal.
The Ritz is truly a welcome addition to the city’s hotel scene and still maintains a sheen of elegance and modernity in one of the most ancient cities in the world.
Cairo is still a rather conservative society and it’s important to bear this in mind when packing. Silk blouses and knee length shift dresses would be good options to pack. And if you intend on walking around, comfortable shoes are a must.
Here is some sartorial inspiration for a jaunt in Cairo! Wear the scarf when out and about during the day and pop on the chunky necklace for lunch at the Ritz 😉