A safe place to stay in Cairo Egypt

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – 27oC heated pool

Stay safe in Cairo Egypt

“What is your name?”    “Where are you from?”    “How old are you?”
Little voices speak probing questions from smiling faces, as Explorason jumps into the swimming pool.
No matter the color, race, or religion, kids are forthright and love to make friends.
They know no fear. They are unaware of any misconceptions or truths to how the outside world perceives a situation or a status of a country.
And this is what we experienced here in Egypt, not only from kids in the pool but throughout our time here.
We have been here in Egypt for nearly a month, and we have seen the rich and the poor, and the remnants of a scarred country that is recovering from the 2011 Revolution.  The city remains a bit of a mess with litter and rubble, but it is slowly recovering, and the Government (with the help of a strong army) are now making great improvements to the waterways, hospitals, schools, etc.  They are building new roads and highways, and even taking control of the petrol stations to ensure fair and honest trade.
But the people of Egypt have suffered, and they are working hard to invite tourists to return to Cairo and to Egypt and to feel safe.
But with the media painting a picture of doom and gloom, it is a challenge for them.
Yet the people we meet have warm smiles and big hearts.
Like this family, we have met the past few days at Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel.  The first time they wanted their photo taken with us, and then the next morning they greet us with a kiss and hug at breakfast. Each time they saw us after this, I felt I had new friends. As westerners, because of the ISIS and other terrorist attacks, some folks have been naively blaming all North Africans and Middle Easterners and Muslims as terrorists, and a threat.  It is time for us to learn, and be wise, and to open our hearts to the kind and good people of Egypt.
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – making new friends

Once I was walking with my camera in the ‘Latitude Garden’ of Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel, and I met a wedding party.  They invited me for a photo and so I rushed in and had one with the bride, groom and father, and next thing the professional photographer wants to take a ‘selfie’ with me! It really is funny, and we all laugh, so now I’m in someone’s bridal photos!
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – wedding photographs

Families, singles, holiday-makers, and business people alike all mingle together at Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel.
Yet some people feel nervous just to even have a layover at the Cairo Airport, let alone to come and explore this beautiful land and all the history and excitement it has to offer.
But Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel to us felt and was a very secure and convenient option. There is the added security of the Airport right opposite. So it proved to an unusual, but a good base to stay for a few days.
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – front of the hotel

 When we were invited to come and experience all Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel has to offer, we said yes.
It is a real mix of business and pleasure, and on arrival, there are two security guards at the main boom gate at the front of the property, and a sniffer dog who checks each vehicle before allowing entry.
It is like an oasis in the desert.
A new hotel with so many incredible features including a sound-proofed building so you don’t feel like you are even at an airport area, and with a mix of clientele that is Egyptian and International.
It has all the features of a resort style hotel, with lavish pools, cabanas, restaurants, cafes, bars, and an SPG Clubroom.
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – SPG Club Room

It is a mix of short-stay guests with hotel rooms; or cabana rooms by the pool that are available to rent and have a rest in by the hour, or more.
There are day guests that have long waits for their next flight.
There are overnight guests, and people who come and stay before or after their flight.
There are also weekend guests who stay a few days.
And then there are holiday guests that come for a few days or a week or more.
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Indochine Restaurant

We feel like we are miles away from Cairo center, but essentially close enough for a day trip to the Cairo city center if we wanted to head back in for shopping or to see the Pyramids of Giza, or other great sites.
The hotel happily can call for a limousine or private transfer for guests into the city if they do wish to venture in.  And shopping centers are also nearby too.
But we feel we just want to stay here on the property for our few days and enjoy all they had to offer. There is just so much within the Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel to see and do we didn’t need to go out, and we wanted a rest.
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – pool area near the cabana rooms

Below (and hidden well away from the hustle and bustle) lies the magnificent ‘Latitude Garden’ area where many functions are held, and also where children run and play in the sunshine, as the fountain bubbles.
The whole design of Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel is like a lotus flower, with the walkway bridge overpass leading to the airport forming part of it as the two winged sections of the building emerge.
I took this photo below from the 5th floor where the SPG Club is, and it is here we tend to go each evening to sit and have a drink at Happy Hour, and to enjoy the view that stretches out before us clearly for miles.
Contrary to all you hear and read, Cairo is not a smog filled city all the time, but we found clear and gorgeous views.
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Latitude Garden

So some of you might ask what SPG is? Well firstly let me tell you it is FREE, and as a single Mum traveling long term, anything that is a bonus to us is a winner.  You can read more about SPG here.  SPG is a programme and there are so many benefits.  But one benefit is the use of the magnificent 5th floor SPG Club – where every morning they serve a separate breakfast from the Buffet downstairs in EVOO.

Then there is morning tea, and next is a light lunch.  We popped into the SPG Cub two of the days for afternoon tea.

And then each evening from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. is Happy Hour where we enjoyed a variety of selected complimentary alcoholic beverages as we watched the sunset. With a growing boy, we found this to be a useful place to sit and use our computer and other devices, whilst Explorason snacked.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – SPG Club – afternoon tea

There is also the option to go downstairs and enjoy some Fizz at the Sparking Cocktail Bar at Latitudes. (Part of the Branded Programme from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m). There are alcoholic and non-alcoholic sparkling cocktails and a cheese corner at the side.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Sparkling Cocktail Bar

But not to be confused, there is also Latitude Coffee Bar where signature Eclairs and Illy Aromatic Coffee are served.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Latitude Cafe Bar

Here we enjoy ‘Sakhr Cake’ – a lush Chocolate Torte that is served to Explorason that he washes down with one glass of full cream milk.  And for me, I select ‘Raspberry Macaroon with Strawberry’, and a Cappuccino that is flavored with a hint of melted white chocolate.  YUM!

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Signature Eclairs

One of the other fun places to visit is the Live Sports Bar on the Basement level that leads out to the rear garden and pool area.

Family time is an important part of travel, and here we had a fun time together, as Explorason set the camera up on auto-timer (his new passion is photography). There is a Football/Soccer table and Snooker/pool table, and it is filled with sports memorabilia.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Live Sports Bar

I really enjoyed finally not having to wake at a set time for a tour (even though we really had an amazing time on our Nile Explorer Tour with Egypt Uncovered), so it was nice to sleep in, and to then meander down to the breakfast area at EVOO Restaurant where we could sit out on the patio area by the pool, or inside by the buffet.

I was trying (rather unsuccessfully) to go on a health kick, but I was able to have some lovely fresh and healthy juices here including Hibiscus Juice ‘Karkade‘, which is packed full of vitamins and is Egypt’s own ‘power’ drink.  It isn’t sweet, and a little similar I thought to a light Cranberry Juice. You don’t need to drink much either – just a shot glass size is enough for per day.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – starting the day with Hibiscus Juice

I think we ate our way around Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel during the course of our stay!

For lunch one day we enjoyed MEZZEH Restaurant which has a Lebanese flair – we enjoyed not only fabulous service, but also incredible food, and the starter platters were beyond awesome.  These included ‘Tamiya’ – a chickpea patty, ‘Hummus’, Oriental Pickles, ‘Sambossek Cheese’ – Deep fried halloumi cheese and mint pastry (my all-time favorite).

For Main Course there was ‘Fillet Aroos’ – Char-Grilled Marinated Sea Bass fillet with a fine tomato salsa served with jasmine infused rice for me. And Explorason chose ‘Djaj Masahato’ – Char-Grilled boneless 1/2 chicken marinated with garlic and lemon served with a parsley salad and rice.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Mezzeh Lebanese Restaurant

There was so much food at this lunch I thought I would burst, but it was hard to stop eating, as it was so delicious.

In the end, Explorason nearly fell asleep at the table, so I had to pop him to bed back up in our room for a rest.

Never in my life have I eaten so much incredibly interesting and flavorsome food as in Egypt.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – our SPG Preferred Guest Suite

Another night we ventured to Indochine which is their Singapore themed Restaurant. It is a groovy restaurant that adults and kids alike enjoy, as it has a runway of lights that color change and infuses the whole room with a vibrant reflection of its lights. Great for kids!  Not only was the decor just amazing, yet again the service was really great.  I so loved the angle bowls they served their food in and would love to have purchased one as a memory of a great evening there.

Here we chose ‘Nasi Ayam’ for Explorason – which is a Chicken dish, and I had ‘Vegetarian Tofu Goreng Wok’ which was sensational.

It is a real mix of Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and other Oriental dishes.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Indochine

I highly recommend Indochine Restaurant, and if I had to pick out of all the restaurants, for some reason this would be my favorite. I think it is because it has been so long since we ate Asian food, that it was a real treat for us.

We came back to our room to be surprised with a dish of their signature Eclairs.

Explorason was just so excited, as he is such a sweet tooth. They have two Eclairs that are unique to Egypt and if I remember rightly one is Date, and the other is Hibiscus.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Signature Eclairs

“Mum, do you want to Make a Green Choice?” (MAGC) Explorason asked me from the bedroom (I’m in the bathroom).  Seeing we only ever write about what we actually do, we thought we would give it a try.

We decided on our first night we would start using the Make a Green Choice option, and we did this for two nights of our stay.

We hung this Make a Green Choice sign outside your door (see below pic), and instead of wasting un-necessary cleaning, we chose to forgo that, and get a $5 F&B voucher or a 500 point SPG credit, or we could donate funds to charity.
We both thought it is a great idea!  Especially as Egypt needs to save its water.  And we were able to go online to organize the charity donation too.  It can also link to our airline points.
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Exploramum and Explorason – Cairo, Egypt -Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel – Make A Green Choice

So thus ends our nearly one month stay in Egypt.  It has flown by, and I wish we could have spent longer.  We have been told by quite a few people here they think we will return, and I hope they are right.  We have so much more to see here, and we did feel safe throughout our stay.

Never once were we threatened, heckled or harassed. Faith seemed not to be an issue as we found out at Easter, and Christians can still safely go to church here even though it is predominantly a Muslim country.

Egypt is an incredible place to visit.  Egyptians have warm hearts, friendly smiles, and welcome visitors to their country.

I hope that if any of you have thought about coming to Egypt that we can encourage you.

For us, Egypt felt really safe.

A little information about where we stayed

Accommodation Name: Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel

Location:  Cairo Intl. Airport, directly opposite Terminal 3 (use overpass) Cairo Egypt

Telephone:  (20)(2) 22659600

email: reservations.03265@lemeridien.com

Website: http://www.lemeridiencairoairport.com

Date stayed: April 2015

Breakfast: a full buffet breakfast in EVOO or breakfast for SPG available on the 5th Floor

Bar: Yes

Wi-fi:  Free good wifi throughout the property with SPG program

(A combination of complimentary WIFI and cable connection coupled with the latest technology made it easy to conduct business if necessary)

Child-friendly: Yes

 

Rooms and suites featuring Le Méridien signature bed. Unlock Art™ pass with each room key to explore an inspiring experience nearby.

Fitness center and swimming pool facilitate active stays.

Unique dining venues range from Lebanese and Singaporean restaurants to a High-energy Sports bar.

Inspiring meetings, conferences, and conventions happen with our innovative meeting facilities, flexible exhibit space, stylish guest rooms, and stunning locales.

 

6 thoughts on “A safe place to stay in Cairo Egypt

  1. Dear Ruth,

    It was great meeting up with you both at Le Meridien and how you featured us so well, and I wish I could meet you guys again soon.

    Thanks,

    Marwa

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