by Josh Cahill
Cairo is one of the largest and most stunning cities in the world. I've always wanted to travel there, not just for the pyramids but also for its diversity. It is the bridge between Africa and the Middle East. A place where modern life began, where Pharaohs ruled, and where the Arab Spring changed the country. It is a part of the world that everyone has to visit at least once in their lifetime.
That's what brought me to Cairo, especially during this very rough time. I was looking for a sponsor for my trip to Egypt and the Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza gladly welcomed me to their amazing property. I had a fantastic time there at one of the best hotels in Egypt. Let me take you on a little tour...
- The Room -
I was given one of the best rooms available, a Nile View Room. As the name already indicates, the spacious balcony faces the longest river in the world. My room was located on the 15th floor. The rooms are very spacious, immaculately clean, and very stylish. The bathroom is huge and comprises of a shower, a bathtub and two separate sinks. There is a extra room inside with the toilet, which is handy, so you can get ready and your partner won't get disturbed while reading the newspaper...
The king-sized bed is an absolute dream, with a large widescreen TV in front of it. There's cable (of course) which includes all the sport channels - don't worry you won't have to miss your favorite Premier League team playing - as well as a bunch of international channels, including Al Jazeera and BBC.
There's also a comfortable armchair and a large desk, then you're on your way to the real highlight of the room. Yes, I'm talking about the balcony. Take a deep breath before opening the door because you are about to see a very awesome view. I'm not bullshitting but it's pretty full on. You can see literally everything, the Nile Island, the river itself, all the cool little boats on it and if you are lucky enough, the Cheops Pyramids. I did see them. Good stuff!
You have two comfy chairs and a nice table on the balcony. I could have stayed there for hours. Breakfast overlooking the Nile and catching a little glimpse of the pyramids, how tempting does that sound? Go for it.
- The Location -
I think it's fair enough to say that if Cairo can be considered the heart of Egypt then right next to it is its major artery, the Nile. The location is excellent and everything is fairly close to the hotel. Tahrir Square is five minutes away, and a drive to Giza is about 30 minutes. If the traffic is kind to you, you can make it to the airport in 30-45 minutes.
If you are interested in a Nile cruise, the boats depart from the hotel's door step. The local markets aren't that far away either. I went for a little stroll in the evening towards Tahrir and I just happened to find them after 15 minutes on the right hand side.
Even now, during all the unrest happening in Cairo, the area is to be considered as super safe. Mostafa, the assistant Front Office Manager also ensured me that the hotel is a fortress. He also said that there has never been any attempt anyways to enter the building. I felt very safe and I never was scared or threatened by any protestors or by the military.
- The Dining Options -
I could dedicate an entire blog to all the in-house dining facilities that the Four Seasons offer. But I won't because it would just make me very hungry. Let's start with the breakfast though, of course once again with a view of the Nile. It is really enjoyable. You get a wide selection of fresh bread, a variety of hot options such as eggs, sausages, Middle Eastern fare, and a cold selection of smoked salmon, cold cuts, cheese, fruits and vegetables, and even a pastry table with assorted danishes and pastries. Literally everything you could ask for! But the rather more impressive thing was the service. You are really well looked after. That impressed me the most. The staff are very friendly and that makes the real difference here.
There is something for everyone. A Chinese restaurant with a proper Asian interior. An Italian one for pasta and pizza lovers. The Zitouni offers local Egyptian cuisine, a must if you aren't from Egypt. But my favourite was the Pool Grill which surrounds the outside pool. It is especially nice for dinner in the evening. You can have some nice meat and fish fresh off the grill. And for dessert, I can strongly recommend a good apple shisha. It really does give your trip a little Middle Eastern touch.
If you wanna have a beer with your mates, smoke a hookah and watch the football, reserve one of the cabins which has nice comfortable lounges and a big TV screen just for you. There are only a handful available, so make sure you make a reservation in case your favorite team is playing, otherwise you have to watch with your wife upstairs...yeah right.
- Welcome to Cairo's Largest Spa -
It is the perfect place to chill and relax. You'll find two pools and we are not talking about something small. Both the outside pool and the inside pool are huge. Bigger than any other pool I have seen so far. Not even in Dubai and I have seen a lot of hotel pools there. There are separate male and female whirlpool jacuzzis, a sauna and a steam room, and even a cold plunge. There are also relaxation rooms and a big, fully equipped gym that's available 24 hours. The spa offers a lot of possibilities.
You wanna make your wife or girlfriend feel like Cleopatra? Shout her a traditional Egyptian bath in honey and milk. It's safe to say that it was the beauty secret of your highness herself, Queen Cleopatra. Was that all it took to be so beautiful? Well in that case, don't hesitate for another second.
Fourteen treatment rooms, twelve different face and body treatments, and ten types of massages. There is surely something for everyone. The staff are perfectly trained, and some even from Thailand are at your service to take your wellness experience to the next level. That is quite awesome and I wish I had a clue about the massages I'm just promoting here...
I personally enjoyed the refreshments available at the spa. A jug of ice cold lemon-mint water and some cucumber water too. Nice fresh apples, it's all about the details. That's what I enjoyed the most.
The Four Seasons at Nile Plaza is one of the best hotels in Cairo, that's for sure. The staff are willing to go the extra mile every time you ask for something. Even if you don't ask for it, they will go at least half the mile. The rooms are amazing and the absolute highlight is the view. You can't miss out on that. It provides everything you need and maybe even a little more.
It's rated number one on Tripadvisor and it clearly deserves its title. The staff seem happy, the management more than capable and overall it seems like an environment everyone enjoys. Whether you are a business traveller or on holidays, or perhaps you just love to dine or to relax, it doesn't matter. The Four Seasons has it all covered!
Disclaimer: The stay at the Four Seasons at Nile Plaza was complimentary but this review is based on my own opinion of working in the hospitality industy for several years.
Thanks for the great time and I really enjoyed my stay. Special thanks to Mr. Ibrahim for the tour.