This hotel marked Starwood’s first hotel in Africa when it opened in 1971 but now following a lengthy closure – and its merger with Marriott – one tower has been fully refurbished with 326 rooms and the second is due to open by the year end, providing another 330 rooms.
Other Marriott International properties in the city include the Cairo Marriott, Marriott Mena House – next to the Pyramids – and JW Marriott Hotel Cairo, and I was given a sneak peek of the sharp-looking St. Regis Cairo which aims to open in Q3.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
After passing tight security and a small lobby, most guests head up to the first floor reception which links the two towers, although as a Club guest, I was escorted to the 26th floor lounge which affords striking 360-degree views, serves up a fine breakfast and a narrow terrace is perfect for enviable Nile view photos.
If you’re not a Club/suite guest, and until the second tower is finished, you’ll have to head down to the first floor and walk to the second, where the bulk of F&B is located. The top four markets are KSA, UAE, Kuwait and US.
Cairo’s traffic is notorious and the journey from the airport to the hotel took one hour 15 minutes.
My 17th floor Club room was comfortable with Sleeper bed, chaise longue, lounge chair and desk (38-44qsm). The windows opened partially and offered striking Nile views (this stretch looks popular with rowers) and I could just make out the Pyramids through the horizon haze.
The windows and bed were framed by wood, a trunk-style table hosted sweet and fruit amenities and the desk was sturdy; it was fine if a touch heavy, especially for a refurbished room. The bathroom had a stand-alone shower and tub and tight sink area which didn’t leave much room for toiletries.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
We were served a set menu dinner at Giannini’s New York Italian, and different dishes for lunch (seafood/beef) and dinner (grills) at the larger Rawi, which affords striking Nile views.
Other options include the Bridge Café by reception and Studio70 bar which displays black-and-white photos of Arab stars from the 70s (and serves some novel lychee cocktails); El Mawardia Depuis 1985 café provides another historical tie-in, but it’s been set back further from the road and wrapped in a see-through design.
On the last evening we watched a belly dancer perform in the lounge area of Rawi and more adult entertainment is available opposite Giannini’s, along with a pool bar.
MEETING AND BUSINESS FACILITIES
The ground floor ballroom was holding a healthcare conference during our visit and a larger ballroom should open later this year. There are 13 meeting rooms in all and fully equipped business centre.
The second floor features an outdoor oval pool – which was freezing, but caught the late afternoon sun – and a fabulous Sheraton Fitness, one of the best gyms I’ve seen with plentiful weights and machines and studio at the far end, where I took part in Zumba and yoga classes.
SPG members have had a patient wait but they should be happy with the product and services.
- Best for Club lounge views
- Don’t miss Sheraton Fitness facilities
- Prices Deluxe non-smoking rooms in April start from $120, rising to $180 for a Club floor King Bed.
- Contact sheratoncairo.com