It is funny to say “one of the oldest” next to the pyramids, but Mena House Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Giza, just couple of minutes walk to the actual hotel. It was built on the site of an 1869 hunting lodge, and in 1890 opened Egypt’s first swimming pool. It is well known by Egyptians and tourist as the best hotel in Gizah.
Let´s read a little bit about the history of the hotel as I find it really interesting. Build in 1869 as a hunting lodge it has pass a long way to the luxurious hotel. Due to political matters in 1883, it was sold the lodge to couple Frederick and Jessie Head as a private residence. The couple came across the building while on their honeymoon and once it was purchased they expanded it. During World War I the hotel was requisitioned by Australian troops and occupied again by the Australians in 1939. Towards the end of the war it was then converted to a hospital for wounded Australian troops. Since 1972 it is known as a hotel.
As we were doing Agatha Christie cruise just couple of days after, so we were in the mood and spend one whole day in 1920´s. You would expect weird looks from the people as the situation in Egypt is not the best but it was quite the opposite. In the hotel area it is super safe and beautiful but as the real Egypt is, once you get out of the hotel chaos awaits. Wonderful view from everywhere as pyramids are just next to it, amazing food, lovely staff and friendly manager who showed us all the parts of the hotel. Here are some photos.
One of the best rooms, the Carter suite with the wonderful balcony faced to the pyramids. Imagine waking up next to the pyramids. In this case, waking up after 9am as the fog is so strong you can´t see anything. Yes, the pollution is terrible in Cairo.
The second room we have visited was the Montgomery suite where lots of famous people stayed, such as Churchill, Sarkozy and Carla Bruni, President Nixon and King Farouk. It is very beautiful room with extremely big balcony. We were really happy to be able to visit this place dressed in 1920s, and reproduce the photo which was taken back in that period.
The rest of the hotel is magnificent as well, the old part at least. You can find couple of restaurants, swimming pool and spa. The old part of the hotel is where everything is happening and the new part is just rooms. The rooms facing opposite of the pyramids are cheaper but the view is not bad as well, facing towards pool. We ate the the Egyptian restaurant, great food have to mention. At the end, I would recommend this hotel if you´re planing to visit Cairo. There is everything you need, and it is really peaceful, and trust me, you will need peace while in Cairo.