The Four Seasons Hotel, Cairo
By Juergen Stryjak
Admittedly, my hotel recommendation for the Tour Egypt Monthly's July issue is not exactly what we understand of budget travel (see our feature, written by Jimmy Dunn)! Nevertheless, some of us like to dream and like to be well informed about the things which are worth being dreamed about. Others, probably the minority, will have the wherewithal to make a practical use of the following hotel review. They have the right to be well informed, too.
The Four Seasons Hotel Cairo is the latest of an astonishingly large number of newly opened five star hotels in Cairo. I always ask myself, from where do all their guests come? Alone, Hilton has three branches in Egypt's capital, you will find several Sheraton branches, the Marriott, the Swisshotels and Moevenpicks, Oberois and Meridiens, all of them with large guest houses. Moreover, we recently witnessed the inauguration of the first Conrad in Cairo, saw the opening of the interesting Sheraton Royal Garden and can hardly wait the remaining 200 days until the new Meridien tower will be completed - an impressive 43 stories high.
But, Egypt is a booming tourist destination. Some months ago it was rated in the top spot by the World Tourism Organization, considering the 1999 growth rates of the number of tourists worldwide. And just some days ago, TUI Germany, one of the country's leading travel companies, declared: "More and more people seek to connect their beach holidays with cultural trips. Therefore Egypt is exceptionally popular."
Aha, culture, the Pyramids, the famous Egyptian Museum, some of the most important mosques worldwide, the Opera House etc. etc. - Cairo apparently needs all these Five star hotels really. So, let's speak about the Four Seasons Hotel. It settled down in the First Residence, a classically, expensive looking and little bit kitschy styled building complex with eclectic touches between the Giza Zoo and the River Nile. If you enter the hotel, you will be astonished about the fact that you won't find any reception, only a little, a very little, guest service counter. The reception, although more spacious than expected, is hidden on the third floor. This idea already belongs to the Four Seasons Hotels around the world and in Cairo, too. The guests should not reach the reception as strangers, hopelessly packed with suitcases and suit bags. The service staff at that very little guest counter will care for your luggage while one of them escorts you to the reception. This alone gives the hotel a very private, personal and exclusive atmosphere, not to speak of the luxurious decor to be found everywhere.
The Four Seasons Hotel Cairo features a total of 271 deluxe guest rooms, including 43 suites, equipped with everything you need, or don't need. It houses the expected first-class restaurants and bars, a swimming pool, of course, and offers the usual five star services, for example, 24 hour room service, currency exchange, translation and limousine service, twice daily housekeeping. They say they have Cairo's largest Spa and Wellness Center, but I cannot prove it, since I don't visit hotels with a tape measure in hand. Also I would like to know if they really have the most spacious rooms in town, as declared, but I was able to witness the third highlight of the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo advertising campaign: a great view of both, the river Nile as well as on the Pyramids. (The latter only, of course, on a less smoggy day.)
To speak about smog, the hotel is ideally located between the Cairo Zoo and the Nile, near to the Orman Botanical Garden and the Cairo University, all of them large areas not occupied by traffic. This is a priceless advantage for those who like to settle down in centrally located city hotels, but wish to have bearable air at the same time.
You won't be surprised: All this is not cheap. The room rates range between $ 220 for the standard single room (standard double $ 250) and $ 3,400 for the Royal Suite. All rates are subject to 20 % service charge and taxes. When I visited the hotel, it seemed to be busier than I anticipated, one month after the grand opening in May. Currently, 70 percent of all rooms are rented. This probably comes from the hotel's invitation offer. Until the end of July, you can get a room for $ 145 per night. Does this fit your idea of budget travel?
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence. 35, Giza Street, Giza, Cairo. Telephone: (202) 3569-7581,
Fax: (202) 3569-7580
Budget and Independent Travel to Egypt - Part I By Jimmy Dunn
Historical Hotels in Egypt - Part I By Jimmy Dunn
Editor's Commentary By Jimmy Dunn
Ancient Beauty Secrets By Judith Illes
Book Reviews Various Editors
Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman
Cooking with Tour Egypt By Mary K Radnich
Hotel Reviews By Juergen Stryjak
Egyptian Exhibitions By deTraci Regula
Nightlife Various Editors
Restaurant Reviews Various Editors
Shopping Around By Juergen Stryjak
Egyptian View-Point By Adel Murad
Medical Advice in Egypt By Dr. Sameh Arab, M.D.
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Last Updated: June 2nd, 2011