With 40 years of design experience in hospitality, El Ghoneimi have worked on a plethora of world-renowned hotels and Conrad Cairo has joined that list with golden renovation plans inspired by Egypt.
Whether you swayed in its interior with friends or family visiting from abroad or happened to drive past its monumental facade because you missed the intended U-turn on the Nile corniche, there’s no doubting the iconic nature and charm of the Conrad Cairo Hotel. El Ghoneimi, a design consultancy with 40 years’ worth of experience in hospitality, has unveiled plans for the Nile-side landmark’s renovation and they are heavily rooted in Ancient Egyptian inspiration.
“Its an icon of hospitality in Cairo, and one of Hilton International’s prized luxury brands,” Shadi El Ghoneimi, the firm’s partner and head of design, tells #SceneHome of the five-star hotel’s stature. “Our goal was to revitalize the hotel with a genuine Egyptian approach to luxurious hospitality designs.” Set to be completed by the end of 2022, the project includes the redesign of the entrance and lobby, ballrooms and casino, poolside deck and spa, meeting and board rooms, and 617 guest rooms and suites.
El Ghoneimi’s ambitious concept is backed by their expertise, with a portfolio that includes designs for renowned hotels such as the Sofitel Cataract in Aswan, Novotel Resort in Marsa Alam, and even the Mandara Spa in New Cairo’s JW Marriott. That being said, this may sound cliche but first impressions last, and nothing gives away a hotel’s narrative more than the lobby. Which is why the designers epitomized their approach in Conrad’s new lobby, telling its tale through an Egyptian-inspired contemporary design language that features plenty of gold and bits of blue.
“Upon entering, directional marble flooring patterns and their reflection on the ceiling guide the guests towards the central seating area,” El Ghoneimi says of the new lobby design, which is reminiscent of the connection between Egyptian temples and star constellations. The seating areas are framed by reflective gold insets on the floors, papyrus-themed stone columns and a fluid, water-like carpet that adds some blue to the rich, golden space.
“It’s embossed with natural stone that provides a sense of timeless luxury, while contemporary wooden cladding joins brass accents and local artworks in bringing life to the space,” he adds. At the center, a feature chandelier brings a mystical quality to the welcoming volume. “The main pillars that guided the design were the ideals of Iteru ‘the great river’ and Nebu ‘the indestructibility and heavenly properties of gold’,” El Ghoneimi continues. Being on the banks of the Nile, the design instinctively drew from Ancient Egypt and its organic forms, fusing the influences with contemporary elements to provide a functional experience for its guests, one that is supplemented with native aesthetics.