Magic Carpet Journals

The Mena House Hotel was the first stop on my return to Egypt

Visit Egypt with Maxine George and Marion George


View of the Pyramids from The Mena House


The Mena House Hotel in Giza provided our first accommodation in Egypt. On my previous tour of this fascinating country, a brief stop at the Mena House for lunch, in the shadow of the pyramids, had wet my appetite to revisit this exotic hotel. Now I was actually going to stay there. The Mena House was built as a royal hunting lodge in 1869 by the Khedive Ismail, who was the ruler of Egypt from 1863 to 1879.


The Khedive Ishmail


The Mena House Hotel  offers glimpses of pyramids and beautiful gardens


The Mena House Pool

This once grand lodge has now evolved into a luxurious hotel, sprawling over 40 acres of beautiful gardens, with a huge outdoor pool and grounds that are used for many activities. Flame trees, with their bright red foliage, provide contrast to the many palm trees that dot the landscape.


Floral display sits under the ornate ceiling in the lobby of Mena House

A huge red and white floral display greeted us as we entered the Mena House Hotel, now a Marriot property. The luxurious interiors are resplendent with moorish antiques, gilded furnishings and decor.  Fit for royal personages, yes, and many famous persons have been their guests. I saw a glass case with portraits of some of their famous guests, going back as far as the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. Their faces were easily recognized.  It shows that the Pyramids of Giza have been like magnets attracting tourists for centuries.


Gilded furnishing

Moorish Antiques

We were in Egypt during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. That evening a Muslim celebration was taking place out in the gardens, after their day of fasting and prayer came to an end. There was a joyful atmosphere with music, lights and laughter. It was a pleasure to hear the festivities.



My most cherished moment, while a guest at the Mena House, came the last thing before retiring for the night, I sat on a lounge chair on the private patio outside of my room, and enjoyed the moonlit view of Cheops, the Great Pyramid, through the palm trees. I was enchanted. Time stood still.



The Pyramid can be seen through the palm trees in the centre of the picture. 

Story by M. Maxine George        Pictures by M. Maxine George and Marion George

Continue on our journey to Egypt:

Visit the Pyramids of Giza

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