Crossroads senior web editor Judy Koutsky arrived in Cairo Jan.
29 to begin a two-week adventure in Egypt, sponsored by Wild Women
Adventures. Armed with a laptop and digital camera, she is
sending on-site reports and photographs back to Crossroads' New
Jersey headquarters on a daily basis (or whenever she can get an
Internet connection). Agents who have questions or advice for Judy
during her trip can send email to [email protected]
CAIRO, Egypt -- I spent my last day in Egypt simply walking
around Cairo and checking out different shops, restaurants and
hotels. I've highlighted some places to consider when sending
clients here. My last report, to be posted later this week, will be
an overview of my trip that will address what is probably the most
important issue concerning visitors to Egypt: safety.
When in Cairo, I stayed in the Sheraton Heliopolis and the
Semiramis Inter-Continental Hotel, but two other hotels that I
toured and are worth recommending are the Mena House Oberoi and the
The Mena House Oberoi, located just outside the Giza Pyramids,
offers a stunning view of the pyramids from the outer rooms and the
hotel bar. Rooms are decorated in an arabesque style, with
handcrafted mosaic tiles, carved brass-and-wood doors and original
pieces of art, making this hotel a favorite among international
travelers. Some say this is the leisure counterpart to the Cairo
Marriott. Having a drink at the El Sultan Lounge, watching the sun
set over the pyramids, is a must. This hotel is a member of The
Leading Hotels of the World.
The Cairo Marriott, located on an island on the Nile, was
renovated in 1996 and is the largest hotel in Cairo. The main building is
the Gezira Palace, built to commemorate the opening of the Suez
Canal in 1869. Today, there is a 24-hour casino, various
restaurants, a business center and nine meeting rooms,
accommodating up to 1,000 people. The Garden Promenade is a good
place to relax over a drink after a day of touring Cairo.
There are a number of restaurants worth mentioning. The Khan
al-Khalili cafe lies in the heart of the bazaar and offers a quiet
reprieve from the chaos outside. Egyptian and European food is
served here along with tasty desserts and a variety of teas and
coffees. It's good for a snack and notable for having the cleanest
toilets in the area.
Pub 28 is a favorite watering hole for locals and tourists.
Because Egypt is a Muslim country, alcohol is not served in many
restaurants, so this is a good place for those clients who want to
relax with a beer after touring Cairo's sites. It's a pub
atmosphere in dark decor, and the menu features steaks and
mezze (small dishes of dips and pita bread). It closes at
One of my favorite shops in Cairo was Nomad. Set in an
apartment building off the main street, this shop offers beautiful
handmade scarves, clothing, jewelry, housewares and rugs. All the
objects are done in traditional Egyptian style. This shop, unlike
most in Cairo, has a very relaxed feel. The owner allows visitors
to shop in peace without trying to push merchandise on clients.
The Mena House Oberoi: Pryamids' Road, Giza,
Cairo, Egypt. 520 rooms. Phone: (011) 20-2 383-3222, or in New
York, (800) 6-OBEROI. Fax: (011) 20-2 383-7777. Commission: 10%.
Rates: $145 to $210, single, $175 to $250, double.
Cairo Marriott Hotel and Casino: P.O. Box 33,
Saraya El Gezira Street, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt. 1,250 rooms. Phone:
(011) 20-2 340-8888, or in the U.S., (800) 228-9290. Fax: (011)
20-2 340-6667/1108. Commission: 10%. Prices: $100 to $185, single,
$130 to $245, double. Web: www.marriott.com.
Khan al-Khalili: 5 Sikkat el-Badistan, Cairo,
Egypt. Phone: (011) 20-2 903-7888.
Pub 28: 28 Sharia Shagaret ad-Dor, Zamalek,
Nomad: 14 Saraya Al Gezira, 1st Floor, Zamalek,
Cairo, Egypt. Phone: (011) 20-2 302-6577. Open daily from 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Wild Women Adventures: 107 N. Main Street,
Sebastopol, CA 95472. Phone: (800) 992-1322. Web: www.wildwomenadv.com. Email: [email protected]