view of the Pyramids of Giza from Marriott Mena House, Cairo

A road trip in the Middle East and Africa promises incredible sights, including this view of the Pyramids of Giza from Marriott Mena House, Cairo. (Photo: Marriott International)

Road Trips

Plan a Road Trip Around These 6 Hotels in the Middle East and Africa

The allure of hitting the open road seldom fades. There’s something incredibly attractive about embracing the unknown, heading out on a journey from which there’s no coming back unchanged (all for the better, of course). With ancient histories, fascinating cultures and cinematic landscapes, some destinations in the Middle East and Africa provide the perfect backdrop for a road trip of a lifetime.  

Set out on grand explorations and along the way find comfort and refuge at these magnificent hotels, which are worth building a road trip itinerary around. As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip. 

Marriott Mena House, Cairo in Egypt 

There’s simply no place like Cairo. Here, history whispers from every corner and life happens at a frenzied pace. Explore spectacular museums, walk through meandering souks, visit ornate mosques and get a taste of exceptional local cuisine in Egypt’s high-octane capital city.  

And of course, you can’t visit Cairo without staring in awe at the Pyramids of Giza. You’re not alone if you can’t get enough of them — fortunately, at the fantastically located Marriott Mena House, Cairo, they’re almost always a glance away. After a day of sightseeing, relax in the jewel-toned swimming pool, unwind at the spa or enjoy an alfresco meal with the pyramids for company.  

If the ancient behemoths have stoked your curiosity to dive into Egypt’s storied history, continue your road trip to Alexandria, Aswan or Luxor to delve deeper.  

Protea Hotel by Marriott Livingstone in Zambia 

aerial view of Victoria Falls in Zambia
During a stay at Protea Hotel by Marriott Livingstone, you can make a trip to Victoria Falls. (Photo: Getty Images)

Begin your Zambian adventure at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Livingstone, a short 10-minute drive away from the mighty Victoria Falls. No photo or video can prepare you for the sheer magnificence of this natural spectacle, and there’s nothing quite like seeing it for yourself.  

Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya or “the smoke that thunders,” Victoria Falls can be experienced in many ways: Go bungee jumping, glide across on a microlight flight, or jump right in at what’s known as the Devil’s Pool. Thrill-seekers have plenty more to look forward to in Livingstone, such as rafting on the Zambezi River, hiking or going on a game drive through Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.  

Back at Protea Hotel Livingstone, catch your breath with a swim in the outdoor pool or grab a drink as you soak in the glorious Zambian sunshine in well-tended grounds. 

The St. Regis Amman in Jordan 

a rooftop at The St. Regis Amman in Jordan
The St. Regis Amman has amazing city views. (Photo: Marriott International)

With endless historical riches, achingly beautiful landscapes, warm people and a fantastic network of roads, Jordan is a road trip dream. Start things off in Amman, the capital city known for its burgeoning art and cultural scene.  

The sand-colored facade of The St. Regis Amman blends in with the surrounding cityscape characterized by pale stone buildings and historical ruins that include an amphitheater. Inside, gleaming black-and-white marble floors, elaborate floral arrangements and an impressive collection of local art from Jordan and the wider region all add a touch of refined sophistication to the hotel’s interiors.  

After a day of exploring Amman, get pampered in style with the impeccable service that’s a St. Regis trademark. Book a revitalizing spa treatment, delight in an elaborate afternoon tea or enjoy a special evening Champagne sabering ritual — every moment at this hotel is to be savored and treasured.  

Plus, many of Jordan’s ancient treasures are all within easy day trip distance of Amman, so you can keep driving and exploring.  

JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi in Kenya 

a guest room at JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi
Catch up on your rest at JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi. (Photo: Marriott International)

A cocoon of modern style and comfort, JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi sits in the heart of the city’s dominating commercial district. The tallest hotel in Nairobi, JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi offers unparalleled views of the surrounding urban areas.  

Bold lines, soaring ceilings, dramatic lighting and spacious rooms with all the creature comforts you could need — not to mention ample wellness offerings at Spa by JW — make this the perfect spot to begin your road trip adventures in Nairobi. 

Nairobi, Kenya’s dynamic capital city, is a fantastic starting point for an African vacation of your dreams. Stop by the weekly Masai market for handmade goods or delight in the antics of orphaned baby elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Come face to face with Kenya’s rich wildlife and natural beauty on excursions to Mount Kenya, Lake Nakuru or Masai Mara National Reserve, which plays host to the annual animal migration from July through October.  

Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Qatar 

a pool at Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Take a break from driving to enjoy the serenity of Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel. (Photo: Marriott International)

One of the region’s most electrifying cities, Doha is not new to the spotlight. What relatively few know, though, is that the capital city is ideally positioned for road trips to Qatar’s lesser-known corners.  

Go kayaking and flamingo-spotting in Al Thakira Mangroves, set up a picnic on the remote Umm Bab (also known as Palm Tree Beach) or explore Zekreet with its large conglomeration of limestone formations.  

Then seek rest and relaxation at Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Doha. Drawing inspiration from a Sheikh’s palace, the hotel brims with regal touches: think four-poster beds, carved wooden pillars, filigree chandeliers and calming water features. With meandering walkways through beautifully landscaped gardens, outdoor pools and a private beach flanked by the Doha skyline in the distance, the setting is nothing short of magical.  

An exclusive Ritz-Kids Club ensures young guests are well taken care of with a roster of fun activities, ranging from learning about the wonders of the ocean to building sandcastles to roasting marshmallows on the beach. 

JW Marriott Hotel Muscat in Oman 

a pool area at JW Marriott Hotel Muscat
Relax by one of the swimming pools at JW Marriott Hotel Muscat. (Photo: Marriott International)

Considered one of Asia’s best kept secrets, Oman has a laid-back lifestyle that conjures images of a time gone by. Even its capital city, Muscat, has an infectious, coastal mellowness — but it doesn’t lack for anything, including things to do. Set out to explore the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, stroll along the Corniche or sharpen your bargaining skills at the Mutrah Souq.  

At the doorstep of the Al Hajar Mountains, the JW Marriott Hotel Muscat combines big-city comforts with a rustic flare. It’s a contemporary hotel with traditional Omani elements throughout, including the incredible Bedouin cuisine and hospitality the country is known for. 

With wellness at its core, JW Marriott Hotel Muscat offers plenty of experiences to stretch those muscles and set your heart racing. Or you can take a slower pace and let expert hands pamper you at Spa by JW. Take advantage of the carefully curated grounds and get on a bicycle and catch the wind, find a spot for some quiet contemplation, or focus on spending precious time with the family.  

After a rejuvenating stay, you’ll be ready to road trip. Beyond Muscat, Oman is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground with emerald sinkholes, stark mountains chiseled by the elements, quiet wadis and secluded beaches.