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Marriott Mena House (near pyramids), Cairo, Egypt [Master Thread]

Marriott Mena House (near pyramids), Cairo, Egypt [Master Thread]

Old Apr 30, 18, 6:29 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by MahiMahi524 View Post
It's actually not a bad use of points. With taxes it comes out to $150+ vs 15K points with $0 taxes.
Depends on what you value points. If my math was right, based on the value of Marriott points as pegged by The Points Guy, it would have been a marginally better value to pay cash.
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Old May 16, 18, 1:49 am
  #32  
 
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The following response to a recent review was posted on TripAdvisor.

Not sure whether the highlighted phrase foretells of another merger , a rebranding or if the Director of Marketing Communications at The Mena House moonlights at The Four Seasons Cairo and didn't know what hat he was wearing at the time


Mena H, Director of Marketing Communications at Marriott Mena House, Cairo, responded to this reviewResponded 12/05/2018Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback further to your recent stay with us. I have noted your feedback regarding 139 Restaurant to you which did not meet with your expectations and also the lapse in some services and do apologise for the same. Please be assured that your feedback is well received as it is our constant endeavor to elevate our services and serve you better on your future stays with us.

Despite the above, I am glad to know that you enjoyed unique location and view.

I do hope that you will reconsider your decision and visit us again as we look forward to welcoming you back for a true Four Seasons experience.

Best regards,


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Old May 16, 18, 11:33 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
The following response to a recent review was posted on TripAdvisor.

Not sure whether the highlighted phrase foretells of another merger , a rebranding or if the Director of Marketing Communications at The Mena House moonlights at The Four Seasons Cairo and didn't know what hat he was wearing at the time


Could it be that the ultimate hotel owners are the same for both? Last year I was looking at a city in Turkey with just a few high(er)-class chain hotels. I requested a quote from the Radisson hotel for an offer not available on the hotel's website and the response came on Novotel-headed paper. This hotel had not rebranded and the current Novotel hotel address from another location in the city was on the quote. I assumed that some of the chain hotels in this city were owned/managed by the same group, and the chain brands were merely a marketing affiliation. I may be completely wrong, however!
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Old May 22, 18, 1:52 pm
  #34  
 
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Thanks so much for all the photos and info! We are hoping to stay there next year as part of a tour
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Old Aug 16, 18, 3:57 am
  #35  
 
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I have an opportunity to go stay in Cairo for a few days and was considering staying at the Marriott Mena, never having seen the pyramids and all. But the website says this:

Please note - Renovation has started on the historic wing of the palace. Access to that area of the hotel is restricted.

Is it still a good option? OR should maybe I skip it and a) try another hotel in the area, or b) stay at the Ritz-Carlton on the Nile?

Thanks! Powers
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Old Sep 15, 18, 3:58 pm
  #36  
 
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Anyone stay at the Mena yet? Looking at going to Egypt next year but will only have two nights in Cairo. Looking at doing Pyramids (including Saqqara) day 1, and the new Egyptian Museum on Day 2 before flying to Luxor. I know there isn't much walkable unlike the Marriott in Cairo - but given limited time thought it might be worthwhile to stay closer to the sites.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 5:45 am
  #37  
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Here now - just checked-in for a six-night stay. I hadn't been back to the Mena House since I last left it in June 2006 and it feels the same yet different at the same time. The lobby, located in the Palace, is still the same while the garden buildings are totally redone - and goodness they needed the redo. Some feedback:
  • Arrived following a four-night stay at the Sheraton Cairo in Dokki. You pass through two security checkpoints before accessing the hotel grounds and main entrance.
  • As mentioned, the lobby is totally untouched but the Palace building is closed off. I asked about the renovation and the staff told me that while the Palace is in fact closed, renovations have not started and the designs are not yet finalized. They didn't seem to have much information about what the status or plans were for it, either. Oh Egypt...
  • My PPE status was acknowledged and I was upgraded to from a Deluxe Pool View Room to an Executive Pyramid View Room. I inquired if any Grand Deluxe Rooms were available as the extra space always comes in handy, but was told that they're garden view and 'more expensive' so I decided to just stick with the room I was given. Plats get access to the lounge and breakfast in the lounge + main restaurant. Welcome gifts are a food and beverage amenity [i.e. a glass of wine + chocolates] or points.
  • The room itself is spacious and modern, with lots of dark wooden furniture and black and white photos of Cairo and vintage shots of the Mena House. Bathroom contains a sink, toilet and tub. Spacious balcony with stunning view of the Pyramids.
  • The grounds are beautifully kept and expansive - this will surely make for good walking and is a welcome retreat from the madness and odiousness of Giza just beyond the property walls. Pool is huge. Lounge is clearly just a former part of the poolside restaurant and is, as previously mentioned upthread, unmarked save a small sign out front. Breakfast is offered in the lounge, afternoon snacks from 12 to 3 and evening snacks and drinks from 6 to 8.
Will report back on other amenities like the spa and F&B/lounge offerings as the day/stay progresses. If anyone has any questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer them from on the ground.

khabah
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Old Sep 30, 18, 11:07 am
  #38  
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Updates:
  • The evening F&B in the lounge consists of breads, a cheese plate, salad greens and accoutrements, a hot selection of skewered meats and small bowls of hummus and labneh - enough to make a meal out of. Happy hour (6-8 PM) drinks on offer are local beer and wine, plus a fridge of water and soft drinks that's open all day. Lounge was empty save one couple; service is inattentive.
  • Clearly there isn't a dress code being enforced at the lounge in any shape or form as two guests who just walked in and were welcomed were wearing a swimsuit, t-shirt and flip-flops while the other is in a bathrobe and slippers. Me: ...
  • Spoke to the lovely Director of Guest Experience who introduced herself to guests in the lounge this evening about the renovation plans. As mentioned previously, the Palace is closed off and as-yet not renovated whilst the owners work on the designs and figure out plans with Marriott. They want to restore the Palace more than outright renovate it in order to bring back its original details and retain its character; this should happen after the start of 2019. When they finish, the plan is to position the Palace as a Marriott luxury brand, but they haven't decided which one yet - it could go to JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton or The Luxury Collection, but all they know for now is that it will be a luxury Marriott brand. The remainder of the property will continue to operate under the flagship Marriott brand even after the Palace reopens, so the property will include two separate hotels operating under different brands. Out with the JW plans for the whole property!
Very interesting... one to watch over the next few months.

khabah
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Last edited by khabah; Sep 30, 18 at 11:24 am
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Old Sep 30, 18, 11:22 am
  #39  
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Thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 3:03 pm
  #40  
 
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Thanks khabah! Do you have any opinion whether you'd prefer the Mena over the Marriott or Sheraton in Cairo?

Originally Posted by khabah View Post
Updates:
  • The evening F&B in the lounge consists of breads, a cheese plate, salad greens and accoutrements, a hot selection of skewered meats and small bowls of hummus and labneh - enough to make a meal out of. Happy hour (6-8 PM) drinks on offer are local beer and wine, plus a fridge of water and soft drinks that's open all day. Lounge was empty save one couple; service is inattentive.
  • Clearly there isn't a dress code being enforced at the lounge in any shape or form as two guests who just walked in and were welcomed were wearing a swimsuit, t-shirt and flip-flops while the other is in a bathrobe and slippers. Me: ...
  • Spoke to the lovely Director of Guest Experience who introduced herself to guests in the lounge this evening about the renovation plans. As mentioned previously, the Palace is closed off and as-yet not renovated whilst the owners work on the designs and figure out plans with Marriott. They want to restore the Palace more than outright renovate it in order to bring back its original details and retain its character; this should happen after the start of 2019. When they finish, the plan is to position the Palace as a Marriott luxury brand, but they haven't decided which one yet - it could go to JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton or The Luxury Collection, but all they know for now is that it will be a luxury Marriott brand. The remainder of the property will continue to operate under the flagship Marriott brand even after the Palace reopens, so the property will include two separate hotels operating under different brands. Out with the JW plans for the whole property!
Very interesting... one to watch over the next few months.

khabah
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Old Oct 1, 18, 1:19 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by dcstudent View Post
Thanks khabah! Do you have any opinion whether you'd prefer the Mena over the Marriott or Sheraton in Cairo?
No worries! They're very different hotels catering to different needs - the Sheraton is far more contemporary, business-like and centrally-located, with great views over the city and Nile, and the ability to get out and walk around Dokki and over into Zamalek. The Mena House is modern but feels more tourist-y since its right by the Pyramids, but other than them there really isn't much to see or do in the area as you're boxed into Giza [which is loud, dirty and packed]. The malls at 6th of October are about a half hour drive if you're into that kind of thing. Food-wise, I would say the evening lounge food at the Mena House is better than the canapés the Sheraton puts out, but the Sheraton's service is far better across the board. Haven't had breakfast yet at the Mena House as I just woke up, but the Sheraton's is extensive [and included for Platinums in addition to the lounge!].

Overall, I'd put the Sheraton ahead of the Mena House.

khabah
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Old Oct 1, 18, 10:31 am
  #42  
 
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Thanks again! I asked because my wife and I will have 3 nights in Cairo before heading to Aswan and Luxor next year. With our only "have to" activities being the Pyramids (incld. Saqqara) and the Egyptian Museum (which "should be" relocated to Giza by the time we visit) I thought about staying at the Mena House, but thanks to your review I will probably book the Marriott or Sheraton in Cairo as there will be more (especially cafes) that are walkable.

Originally Posted by khabah View Post
No worries! They're very different hotels catering to different needs - the Sheraton is far more contemporary, business-like and centrally-located, with great views over the city and Nile, and the ability to get out and walk around Dokki and over into Zamalek. The Mena House is modern but feels more tourist-y since its right by the Pyramids, but other than them there really isn't much to see or do in the area as you're boxed into Giza [which is loud, dirty and packed]. The malls at 6th of October are about a half hour drive if you're into that kind of thing. Food-wise, I would say the evening lounge food at the Mena House is better than the canapés the Sheraton puts out, but the Sheraton's service is far better across the board. Haven't had breakfast yet at the Mena House as I just woke up, but the Sheraton's is extensive [and included for Platinums in addition to the lounge!].

Overall, I'd put the Sheraton ahead of the Mena House.

khabah
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Old Oct 1, 18, 11:44 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by dcstudent View Post
Thanks again! I asked because my wife and I will have 3 nights in Cairo before heading to Aswan and Luxor next year. With our only "have to" activities being the Pyramids (incld. Saqqara) and the Egyptian Museum (which "should be" relocated to Giza by the time we visit) I thought about staying at the Mena House, but thanks to your review I will probably book the Marriott or Sheraton in Cairo as there will be more (especially cafes) that are walkable.
I actually lived in Zamalek around the corner from the Marriott, so I'm familiar with that area. It's a lovely property - the Palace building and gardens alone are worth wandering through, even if the rooms are ho-hum and the place is massive at over 1000 rooms. Zamalek itself is glorious - tranquil, green, and full of picturesque villas and little shops and restaurants. It's the most affluent/old-money part of the city, so things tend to skew pricey there... but you really can't fault the location in the middle of everything, yet literally an island from the energy.

The Sheraton is on the other side of the Nile from the Egyptian Museum/Tahrir, with Zamalek in the middle on Gezira Island. When I stayed there this past April, it was super easy to walk over to Zamalek and Tahrir thanks to a small bridge just outside the Sheraton's doors. The Sheraton is in infinitely better shape property-wise than the Marriott seeing as its been very recently renovated, so I'd recommend it on that virtue alone; if you're up for a small, non-challenging [braving Cairo traffic notwithstanding] walk, then by all means book. Being on the other side of the Nile shaves a few minutes off the drive to the Pyramids, too. As for the new/Grand Egyptian Museum: based on what I saw yesterday on my drive to the Mena House, they'll be lucky if they can make any form of opening in 2019. It's absolutely vast and will undoubtedly be beautiful upon completion, but they'll need all the help they can get to be anywhere remotely close to ready.

Mena House updates [hopefully the last - sorry for the trickle of messages!]:
  • Breakfast spread was lovely - possibly better than the one at the Sheraton, with lots of options from spreads and cheeses to fresh eggs and desserts spread over several counters and islands. Indoor and outdoor seating, with some pride-of-place tables staring directly at the Pyramids.
  • 'Afternoon snacks' at the lounge from 12 to 3 consisted only of jars of macarons, a plate of sugar-dusted brownie bites and a plate of baklava. The previously-mentioned fridge of water and soft drinks is open during the day.
  • Evening spread at the lounge is exactly the same as I saw yesterday - salad greens, cheeses, skewered meats, etc. I sense a theme here.
  • Service across the board is well-intentioned but mediocre. Staff don't check e-mails based on a few requests I've made before and during my stay, aren't particularly attentive or friendly yet will be saccharine-sweet to you and linger a little longer than necessary in the hopes of scoring the almighty 'baksheesh' [tip] from you.
Yeah. It's not a total wash here, but Pyramids aside it's too much of a mixed bag for me to recommend or want to come back. The next four+ days will be mighty interesting.

khabah
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Old Oct 2, 18, 9:26 am
  #44  
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Originally Posted by khabah View Post
  • Evening spread at the lounge is exactly the same as I saw yesterday - salad greens, cheeses, skewered meats, etc. I sense a theme here.
Let's hope it isn't the same food brought out from the refrigerator.
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Old Oct 3, 18, 2:23 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
Let's hope it isn't the same food brought out from the refrigerator.
Funny you say that - there was a hollowed-out wheel of Parmesan the first night that was lovely, but the second night the same wheel was out and the cheese chunks inside the hollow were soft and moist so I didn’t go near it. I saw it again yesterday, only this time in addition to the soft chunks the sides were turning orange and there was a strong smell of rancidity coming off it. One of my friends who came near it confirmed that it smelled very off.

Bad. Bad bad bad.

khabah
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