Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Fairmont Nile City

1 May 2010 by AndrewGough

WHAT’S IT LIKE? One of Cairo’s newest luxury hotels, the Fairmont Nile City is located in the Nile City Towers office and retail complex. It had its soft opening in October and the spa, gym, lower lobby and bar were not ready when I visited in March, but should be complete by the summer. The 25-floor property has a double-height reception and, in the centre, a glass lift set into a wall with water flowing down. The interiors are slick, modern and masculine, with an emphasis on marble, glass and steel. As with all top-end hotels in the city, security is tight – vehicles are checked by guards and sniffer dogs, and there are metal detectors by the entrance. Staff are professional and welcoming, and the service is seamless.

WHERE IS IT? On Corniche El Nile in downtown Cairo. The airport is about 24km away but the journey can take up to an hour in heavy traffic. Taxis cost E£100-E£150 (£12-£18) and the hotel offers a limousine service from US$90.

ROOM FACILITIES Bedrooms are on levels one to 21 (no floor 13) and start from 33 sqm, with most offering Nile views. Standard amenities include tea and coffee-making facilities, a flatscreen TV, DVD player, minibar, workdesk, wired and wifi internet access for E£160 (£19), marble bathrooms with a separate bath and rainshower, Miller Harris toiletries and Egyptian cotton bedlinen. Signature rooms have a private terrace. Guests staying in Fairmont Gold rooms on floors 14-16 have in-room check-in, a 24-hour butler, free internet, and access to a meeting room. They can also use the executive lounge, which offers a concierge, waiter service, and free breakfast, snacks and drinks.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS On the lobby level there is the Onyx lounge and a piano bar, while O bar is due to open in the lower lobby in a couple of months. There are two restaurants on the second floor – Napa Grill (6am-12am) serves a lavish buffet and à la carte breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. Saigon Bleu (11am-12am) is a French-Vietnamese eatery specialising in seafood – it’s open for 45-minute business lunches during the week, and dinner daily. I tried the breaded crisp tofu and egg dumplings with cashew nuts and herb salad (E£78/£9) and the crisp-fried sea bass with garlic, red chilli and dill (E£188/£22), both of which were tasty. The restaurant’s bar is a good place for waiting for clients or a pre-dinner drink.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The owners are hoping to build a convention centre at the back of the property, but until then, there are 13 meeting rooms, including a ballroom. Most have natural daylight and the open-air roof terrace can also be booked.

LEISURE FACILITIES There is a temporary gym in one of the suites until Fairmont’s signature Willow Stream spa opens in June, plus two pools, a bar and a large spa bath on the roof – on a clear day you can see the pyramids from here.

VERDICT An excellent luxury business hotel with highly trained staff, a good downtown location and extensive on-site facilities. Considering it had only just opened, I was impressed by how well it was operating.

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 566 rooms, including 82 suites. Not all were completed when I stayed but they should be by the summer.
  • ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The luxurious wetroom, the comfy bed and the Nespresso machine.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in June started from US$226 for a Fairmont room.
  • CONTACT Fairmont Nile City, Nile City Towers, 2005 B, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac; tel +20 22 461 9494; fairmont.com
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