I was predisposed to love the Mena House. I’d been hearing about it for years and it sounded like my kind of place. It had historical significance and it was a luxury hotel Bill’s place of birth would make affordable. Let me tell you about it.
Arriving in Style
I will admit there is something posh about being delivered to your hotel by a private driver and car. We pulled up to the security gate to be sniffed by dogs, checked by metal detectors and generally gone over with a fine tooth comb, but our driver handled it all while Bill and I marveled at the Pyramids looming over us. I thought we’d have a view of them. I didn’t realize we’d be next door.
The lobby was opulent and we were treated like dignitaries. Being treated like dignitaries takes a little longer than just being tourists, but it was kind of fun. We were whisked to our room on a golf cart by a servile employee of the hotel and escorted around our new digs as if they rooms of the old palace, instead of the very comfortable modern room we’d reserved.
A Delicious Meal
Our next stop was lunch. We wandered across the grounds and found a nice patio restaurant which served food all day long. The prices were reasonable, the service was attentive and the food was amazing. The travel gods were shining on us.
A Free Historical Tour
As we lazed about enjoying the view our nephew Steven and his friend John arrived. They’d fallen for the 8:30 sight-seeing tour I’d rejected. While they regretted waking up early, they were very happy with their day. We decided to meet up again soon and see the free historical tour of the hotel I’d seen advertised in the lobby. The parade of celebrities who have stayed at the Mena House is pretty interesting, but not anything compared to the amount of history that has occurred since it was built in the 1800’s as a lodge for royalty.
The Rest of the Stay
The only problem we had with our stay at the Mena House is that it was too short. We loved hanging out in our room and enjoying the patio with the great view of the pyramids. We loved wandering around the hotel and grounds, photographing all the beauty both natural and man-planned. The service was amazing. The food was great – whether we were enjoying the free breakfast buffet, having lunch with a view or enjoying a Middle Eastern feast at the Khan il Khalili restaurant (named after the famous Cairo bazaar).
I have a fantasy of returning to Giza some day to see the wonderful museum being built to replace the Cairo Museum and the Mena House would be the perfect place to stay – but I doubt I could ever get Mr. Bill back to Egypt. The place he has fond memories of growing up in doesn’t exist anymore.
If you’re still hungry for more about the Mena House, watch this video. If you want to know about visiting the Pyramids, then come back next week.