Cairo Marriott Hotel

Architecture in Cairo
Karima Hassan Ragab / Lonely Planet

The core of this luxury hotel is a lavish palace built by Khedive Ismail to house Empress Éugenie when she visited for the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. A stroll inside gives a sense of its original grandeur. Head straight through and down the stairs to grand old sitting rooms, then into the garden and right to the next entrance and the fantastic former ballroom, with triple-height ceilings and an enormous staircase for making that dramatic entrance.