Pyramid Paradise

Cairo’s Le Meridien is a peaceful oasis

By: Jimmy Im

One of Cairo’s biggest highlights besides ancient history, of course is the convenience of escaping downtown’s schizophrenic bustle to the quieter Giza area. Relaxed and ambient, Le Meridien Pyramids, considered the only “resort” in Cairo, is appropriately located in the heart of Giza’s quarters and set up quite nicely the hotel faces the Pyramids, which is just a camel ride away.

“What makes our hotel unique is our prime location,” says Dina Naeem, PR manager for Le Meridien Pyramids. “We’re directly in front of the Pyramids and within short walking distance.”

The views whether from the pool, a room’s balcony or the main entrance are no less than commanding.

Opened in 1998 (the most recent conversion from two previous hotels), Le Meridien is a five-star hot spot for leisure travelers, families and young honeymooners. The lobby is a grand and spacious entrance to the property with a waterfall on the back wall, a gorgeous chandelier and marble staircase where an average of two wedding parties a day congregate for photos. With the lobby bar flooding out into the foyer, it can be chaotic at peak hours and feels a little Disneylandesque with the hustle and bustle of tourists and groups, but it’s thankfully the only aspect that is in any way reflective of downtown’s frenzy of activity.

Le Meridien Cairo is proud to boast the largest number of rooms in the Giza area. More than 500 rooms and suites are furnished with Egyptian ornaments and artwork and all include individually controlled air-conditioning, mini-bar, satellite TV, Internet access and 24-hour room service. There are four room types: back garden, pool, pyramid and pool and pyramid, all of which are priced respective to the views. The Royal Club is an exclusive floor with 71 rooms that are uniquely furnished. Guests experience VIP amenities as well as the Royal Club, which offers complimentary wireless Internet, snacks and beverages.

Step outside to a sprawling open swimming pool complex and you’ll enter an outdoor paradise comprised of a 6,000-square-foot heated pool with pool bar, waterfalls, four hydro-jet units providing underwater massage, live music and unique for Egyptian hotels, but not for a resort two floodlit tennis courts.

The resort offers state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities that feature the latest audio visual equipment available in four rooms that can cater up to 1,000 guests.

Though it has a friendly family atmosphere, Le Meridien retains a classiness perhaps children wouldn’t appreciate: attendants at the bathrooms and elevators; well-groomed and efficient front desk and concierge staff; and impeccable service. The kids, on the other hand, would appreciate the “children’s area” with their own pool.

If location is its forte, convenience is just as impressive. Facilities such as 24-hour currency exchange, shopping arcade, a fully equipped business center and beauty salon on the property makes traveling that much easier.

Six restaurants offer a range of cuisine, from traditional Mediterranean to Mexican. Shisha Cafe is the most popular: Patrons enjoy a typical Egyptian evening with flavored shisha (water pipe) and beverages.

While the spa at the moment is surprisingly drab and limited to massages, future plans include a full-service, state-of-the-art spa to be part of a larger project, including the addition of 160 new resort rooms and 66 new cabanas. Over $1 million has been invested, with opening scheduled for the end of 2007. In the meantime, a gym with very few cardio machines is provided in the spa.


Travel agents receive 10 percent commission and special room rates, and summer packages run during the summer and September and December. Deluxe pyramid-view rooms with breakfast run $133 per night.

Le Meridien Pyramids
El Remaya Square- Pyramids
PO BOX 25 Pyramids
Cairo 12561