You'll easily spy the Revolving Restaurant if you are in downtown Cairo and look up - it's the tall building on the Nile which looks like a UFO has landed on top of it. It's not nearly as futuristic once you've made the ear-popping lift journey up to the 44th floor, but it is just very sleek.
If you really want to splash out then you can have dinner in the restaurant, but a more affordable way to enjoy the view of central Cairo is by having a drink in the bar on the floor below the restaurant. They have a minimum charge, but two or three drinks will usually meet it.
The best time to go is just before sunset as you'll see the sun going down behind the pyramids, and the city lights coming alive.
1089 Corniche El Nil, P.O. Box 63 Maglis El Shaab, Garden City 11519, Cairo, Egypt
+ 20 (2) 2791-7000
Google map: bit.ly/u89og6
If you're treating yourself, the Mena House Oberoi has got to be the swankiest hotel in Egypt. Built in the shadow of the pyramids, it has a great pool and the best Indian restaurant I've encountered outside India. It's truly stunning. And having your breakfast looking out at the pyramids is something else. The rooms aren't anywhere near as luxurious as the Al Moudira in Luxor but it's an amazing place. And wandering up to the pyramids after breakfast (as soon as they open) means beating the throngs.
Mena House Oberoi, Pyramids Road, Giza,
Tel : 00 20 2 377 3222, 377 3444
Situated in a boring and slightly scruffy building, this place is a real find. The three-star Longchamps Hotel is on one of the upper floors and, with two large terraces, is one of the most relaxing places in Cairo. Its decor could be described as a mix of elegant, Bohemian and ethnic. But what most people find surprising is the food. Menus are simple but dishes are invariably delicious to the point of being memorable. If you are looking for somewhere inexpensive, quiet, clean and pleasant to stay in Cairo, this is it.
Hotel Longchamps, 21 Ismail Mohamed Street, Zamalek. 3409644
Tel : 00 20 2 735 2311/12.
This is a little gem! It's all about windsurfing, yoga, kitesurfing but in a fantastically relaxed and friendly environment that is off the beaten track and feels like you have really escaped.
Even though I was on my own, it was really easy to fit in and great to try something as full on as kitesurfing on a huge natural lagoon area, but then get into yoga as well. It's close enough to Cairo to get to see the pyramids which are really awesome. Moonbeach itself is a 3 star kind of hotel, or there is a new, bigger very nice 4 star Green hotel beside the kite lagoons. There are flight options every day and it felt like a very tailor made holiday - without the price tag!
Moonbeach is in Ras Sudr which is halfway between Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh
Tel: 44 1580 753824
It's not even close to a 3 star hotel but the people who work there are really friendly and gave us such great advice. They even advised us on places to stay in Dahab and Luxor. Great food and a very safe, cheap place to stay near the Egyptian Museum.
Sharia Mahmoud, Bassiouni 26
This hotel is an excellent bargain for those who want to be based out near the pyramids. It has all the usual facilities of the InterContinental chain (large outdoor pool and a good variety of restaurants) and offers a relaxing haven away from the chaos of central Cairo. Advance purchase double rooms are available for as little as £30 a night on the hotel’s website.
InterContinental Pyramids Park Resort Cairo, Alexandria Desert Road, PO Box 70, Pyramids, Giza, Egypt.
Tel: (00 20) 2 8388 300
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