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The Le Méridien Cairo Airport Hotel is a wheelchair accessible hotel connected by skybridge to Terminal 3 of Cairo International Airport in Egypt. It is the perfect choice for wheelchair accessible accommodation during a layover, after a late arrival or on the night before an early morning departure.
I recently had an occasion to stay at Le Méridien, during a short stopover. I arrived to Cairo in the evening, on an EgyptAir flight from Abu Dhabi. The following afternoon, I had a flight with Qatar Airways to Doha. The Le Méridien was the most convenient place to crash, and I was able to book a free night for just 4,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points.
Reservation & Check-in
I made a reservation for a Monday night stay via the hotel's website at www.lemeridiencairoairport.com. The lowest available rate was about $170 USD inclusive of tax, but I instead chose to book a free night using SPG points. You can sign-up for Starwood Preferred Guest membership at www.spg.com. Due to the Marriott and Starwood merger, you can now transfer Marriott Rewards points to your SPG account. I believe 4,000 SPG points for a free night at this hotel is a good value.
I arrived to Cairo International Airport at Terminal 3. After clearing immigration and customs, I followed overhead signs in the arrivals hall to the skybridge connecting the airport terminal with the hotel.
Check-in at Le Méridien was a breeze, and I had keys to my wheelchair accessible hotel room within minutes. A bellman took my luggage and escorted me to my room on the 3rd floor.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room #554
Le Méridien Cairo Airport is quite fancy for an airport, and the interior corridors give it a very refined feel:
I was assigned to room #554, on the fifth floor. I used the keycard to access my room, and the door was easy to push open (into the room). A few steps in, I was greeted with the sight of a fabulous king size bed:
Apart from the plush feel and comfort of the bed, its height was also set lower than the beds in many of the hotels hotels I have reviewed. The top of the mattress sat about 2 inches higher than the seat of my wheelchair - much better than the 6 inches that has become quite common!
Sadly, this is a platform bed. It would not accommodate a hoyer lift to aid in transfers. If you are an electric wheelchair or scooter user, though, you'll find power outlets within easy reach of the bed - located just above the nightstand.
Power outlets in Egypt supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts. If you are traveling from the United States, where electricity is supplied at 120 volts, you'll want to protect your wheelchair and battery with a step-down power transformer.
There is ample space on both sides of the bed to accommodate the parking of your wheelchair or mobility device.
Looking back across the room, you'll see the flat screen television and an armoire/cabinets near the room's main door. The bellman who escorted me to my room placed my luggage on a bench in front of the TV, which made accessing my belongings very easy.
The second photo above is a close-up of the coffee and tea station that is built-in to the cabinetry. If you're a fan of Illy-brand coffee, then you'll be excited by the coffeemaker. A number of coffee blends are provided for your enjoyment.
Turning around again, the first photo above focuses on the very nice desk extending from the wall. While the chairs will take a bit of effort to move out of the way (they are not on wheels), the desk faces towards the window which provides a fantastic view of the airport terminal. The desk is wheelchair accessible, and I was able to roll underneath it in my wheelchair.
The second photo is a close-up shot of a welcome amenity the hotel prepared for me. The macaroons were delicious and branded with an edible SPG logo. I appreciated this recognition of my Platinum status in the Starwood loyalty program.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
Truth be told, I had no idea what to expect from an accessible bathroom in an Egyptian hotel. I did not expect much, but was generally surprised by what I found:
The wheelchair accessible roll-in shower was extremely spacious. The shower chair affixed to the wall was a bit small, but it was surrounded by grab bars on both sides (the leftmost bar folds down from the wall).
While beautiful in its marble design, there were a couple accessibility "no-nos." First, the water controls were installed far from the shower chair, and would be impossible to reach for anyone without oversized arms. The second was the height at which the handheld shower nozzle was attached to the wall. While this is easier to deal with because of the lengthy hose, the attachment hook should be more accessible to persons seated in the shower chair.
I'd also have liked to see a shower curtain installed.
The toilet, pictured in the first photo above, was situated inside an alcove (between two walls), leaving no room for a wheelchair to park alongside the toilet. This forces an awkward and potentially unsafe transfer. There were grab bars on both sides of the toilet, and the toilet paper was within reach.
In the second photo, you'll see the bathroom sink. It was set high enough to allow me to roll under safely in my wheelchair. The sink was definitely the most accessible feature in the bathroom (after I moved the scale and trashcan out from under it).
Breakfast (with a view) in the Club Lounge
Due to my member status in the SPG loyalty program, I received complimentary access to the hotel's club lounge. Guests without status can gain lounge privileges by booking a club room at the hotel - these are also accessible, and don't vary in design.
I was not particularly hungry when I awoke, so I picked just a few things from the buffet. The complete offering is a bit more substantial than what is pictured here, but not by much. The club upgrade is probably not worth the higher room rate. The view from the lounge was nice, however, and a nice place to spend some time in the morning.
Transportation to Terminals 1 & 2
Although I had arrived to Terminal 3, which is connected directly to the hotel via a skybridge, I was departing on a flight from Terminal 1. The hotel staff informed me that walking/rolling to T1 would take a long time, and would not be safe (sidewalks are not accessible). A complimentary hotel shuttle is available to/from the terminals, but it is also not accessible. Thankfully, the hotel worked out a solution, lifting me into a seat in the van. My power wheelchair was stowed in the trunk - no collapsing of the chair was necessary. While not ideal, and not a viable solution for everyone, it worked for me.
The Le Méridien Cairo Airport Hotel was a comfortable place to spend my very first night in Egypt. For my short stopover of one night, the hotel served my needs well. I was pleasantly surprised with my room's accessibility, while still disappointed by a few shortcomings in design.
Later this year, I will be returning to Cairo for an actual tour of the city (Pyramids and all!). I am very excited for that Summer getaway, so keep an eye on the blog. While I'll stay closer to the action during my vacation, I'll definitely consider another night at Le Méridien the day before my flight home.
Have you visited Cairo, Egypt? Which hotel did you stay at?
Let me know in the comments below!