St. Regis Cairo – Review

As one of the newest properties to open in Cairo (officially opened in Jan 2021), the St. Regis Cairo really sets the standard for service and excellence with a price tag to match.  Depending on your definition of convenient, it could be a great location or a bit far from the action.  However, you can’t deny the service that you would expect from a St. Regis hotel.  The hotel certainly checks all the boxes but it won’t be easy on the wallet.

Location 

Located along the Nile, it’s about 1.5 miles from Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum.  In terms of an Uber ride, it was about 5-10 minutes from both (depending on the traffic which can be nightmarish).  Uber is widely used throughout the city so getting anywhere isn’t a problem.  However, if you want to go somewhere for a quick, cheap meal (fast food) or eat somewhere outside of the hotel, there really isn’t anything within walking distance.  Now you can have food delivered (just ask the concierge for help ordering like I did) or you can take an Uber to Zamalek island (which was about 20LE or just over $1) and take advantage of all the eateries.  But know that there isn’t much in terms of a simple meal or snack you can get once you’re at the hotel.   

Booking  

When I was beginning to plan my trip and searching for places to stay, I noticed that the St. Regis Cairo was available for 35K points a night.  Now because 2020 was the lost year of travel, I had a few Marriott 35K award night certificates that I had to use that were going to expire in a few months.  So, I had planned to spend them here.   

Unfortunately, the redemption went up to 40K/night right when I was able to book the rooms about a week later.  Dejected and defeated, I booked a few nights at the Marriott Mena House, located at the base of the pyramids in Giza.   

Well, a week before I was set to leave, I just checked the St. Regis on whim and bam, the redemption rate had dropped to 35K/night again.  I quickly cancelled my stay at the Mena house and rebooked for the St. Regis.   

Before Arrival  

A couple days before my scheduled arrival, the butler team at the St. Regis contacted me to see if they could get my flight details so they could prep.  This is customary for the brand and to me it’s just a small part of their acknowledgement for their goal to achieve the overall satisfaction of the guest.  

They also asked if I needed anything upon my arrival such as a service to meet me and escort me through immigration or even a transfer vehicle to the hotel.  I declined as Uber is prevalent in Cairo but if you were so inclined, you could definitely arrange a transfer.  Just remember that this is a premium hotel and thus the prices will reflect that.  

Check In 

Upon arrival, you go through a quick metal detector as well as have your bags scanned.  They also do a quick temperature check and you’re on your way.  I was told to go up to reception which is located on the 5th floor.  Once there, the person immediately knew who I was because I had already provided my itinerary and I’m assuming I was the last person to arrive (I ended up checking in around 1:30am because of my flight delays).   

Now unfortunately, I wasn’t able to apply my suite night upgrades to this property because it doesn’t participate in the program.  However, due to my platinum status, I was able to get a deluxe room, which is an upgrade from the standard superior room I was originally booked.   

Deluxe Room with Partial Nile Views 

I was given room 1204 and it was a corner room.  Although I couldn’t see it at night, the room came with partial Nile views which was nice.  The main view however overlooked the neighboring area so it wasn’t much of a view.   

As you walk in, there were 2 walk in closets immediately to my right.  One had the safe while the other was a regular closet.  Between them was the coffee/tea station with a Nespresso coffee maker with coffee pods and an electric kettle with an assortment of teas.   

The living area had a small dining table for two where a welcome note along with some fruit and local pastries had been left.  Next to that was the sitting area and TV with a Bose sound system and a DVD player were available.  Behind that was the desk and finally the king bed with a Bose alarm clock on the nightstand.   

The bathroom had a double vanity on one side and a large soaker tub on the other.  A nice touch was the TV mounted on the wall so you could watch TV while taking a relaxing bath if you wanted.  Finally, there was a massive shower with a rainfall showerhead and a separate toilet and bidet.   

Overall, the room was fantastic and was more than enough space for me.  To be honest, I think it would more than enough for any couple or family staying in the hotel especially if you choose the room with 2 queen beds vs. a king.  

Amenities 

You definitely have your fair share of amenities here.  The hotel has an outdoor pool, and indoor pool, gym, and spa.  Depending on what you like to do to relax, the hotel has you covered for sure.  I thought the indoor pool was a nice touch since as nice it is to be in the pool on a warm day, the weather in Cairo during the summer is hot (to put it kindly).  It was hovering around 100 midday and I won’t deny it was pretty uncomfortable at times.   

Restaurants 

Breakfast is served in La Ziza which is an Italian restaurant on site.  I don’t know if that’s normal for the property or if they were improvising during Covid.  Their breakfast was a continental breakfast with the normal food items you’d expect (assortment of bread, juices, fruit, etc) but they also had items like a cheese plate, individual meat platters, and even salads and bread pudding.  I just thought it was an odd for items like that to be served for breakfast but I’m assuming it’s normal here.   

I was never provided a menu but the waiter came and asked me what I wanted (as in an omelet, eggs benedict, or something else).  I wasn’t given a list of what was available for ingredients to go in the omelet so I was a little confused so I just asked if there were any Egyptian breakfast items that he would recommend.  He perked up and recommended the falafel and feteer.  I would describe feteer as a flat pastry dough with ghee or butter in between that has crushed pistachios and some different sauces on the side.  It’s a sweet dish but certainly not as sweet as a donut or pancakes drenched in syrup.  It’s a good dish and I could easily see why he was so proud to serve it.   

I will say that the main thing I fell in love with though was the falafel.  Unlike other falafel that is made with chickpeas, in Egypt, it’s made with fava beans and served in a patty shape v. a ball.  The outside is also much crispier and just has a wonderful texture.  I’ve had the falafel throughout the city and it’s all wonderful and made in a similar fashion.   

Although I didn’t eat there, the hotel also has a J&G steakhouse, a Singaporean restaurant called Tianma, and the aforementioned La Ziza which is an Italian restaurant.  For drinks, there is the St. Regis Bar which I’m assuming also serves food but is obviously where you would go to get the signature St. Regis (regional) Bloody Mary.  

I will mention that the drink itself is about 350ish Egyptian Pounds (so about $23 USD) but there is a massive tax on alcohol here (it’s over 20% for sure) so your already expensive 350LE drink will cost around 500LE (about $33 USD) after factoring in the tax and the service charge.  BTW, this does NOT include the tip.  Look, it’s good but for that price tag, I really thought it was excessive.  If you get sticker shock at the price on the menu, you’ll have a heart attack when you see the final bill.   

Water Garden 

Right next to the St Regis Bar/tea room is the water garden.  It actually bisects the room with the entrance to Tianma.  It’s actually a really beautiful feature and if you wanted, you can have drinks in the library (at the far end of the garden) and just enjoy the environment.  I thought it was really nice and calming.   

Final Thoughts 

The St. Regis brand is certainly known for its service and the St. Regis Cairo doesn’t disappoint.  It is a world class hotel brand and it lives up to the expectation that you would have when you stay at a St. Regis.  All the staff here are incredibly nice and professional and really go out of their way to make your stay flawless.   

My only negative comment would be the prices.  I understand paying a premium at a hotel and an even higher premium for a luxury hotel.  I admit that you can’t blame the hotel for the government-imposed taxes.  But I just felt like some of the pricing was more than a bit over the top.  From airport transfers, food in the restaurants, and even the drink at the bar, I thought the pricing was a bit out of touch.   

That said, would I stay here again?  Absolutely. I think great service is worth the cost because you can have the world’s greatest hotel but have the most uncaring staff and your stay would be ruined.  The opposite is also true.  The worst room in the city can be overlooked with superb service.  The service is fantastic and if you stay here to only experience the unparalleled service, it’s worth the price of admission.   


Leave a Reply