Too often, Egyptian itineraries give Cairo short shrift. Admittedly, this vast metropolitan area of some 21 million people has problems with air pollution, chaotic traffic and shoddy and illegal construction. But Cairo is an utterly fascinating place to visit; its complex history, like Jerusalem’s, is layered with the imprints of Jews, Christians and Muslims. On this recent visit, we spent a total of five nights there, but even so, we had to skip a number of major attractions entirely. When the much-delayed Grand Egyptian Museum finally opens in Giza, theoretically in November, Cairo will merit yet more time.
The Four Seasons vs. The St. Regis
For years, we have recommended only the 365-room Four Seasons Cairo at Nile Plaza in Cairo. A recent attempt to find a hideaway-size alternative failed. But in a city like Cairo, larger hotels have much to be said for them. After five or six hours of sightseeing, it’s a pleasure to relax beside the pool or in the spa, unwind with a drink in the bar and dine in a Nile-view restaurant, all without leaving the premises.