Fairmont Nile City is your home away from home in the bustling capital

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Tue, 11 Apr 2017 - 07:57 GMT

Fairmont Nile City - photo by Anna Bernsen

Fairmont Nile City - photo by Anna Bernsen

By Anna Bernsen

Leaving behind the constant honking, uneven sidewalks and dust of the busy Corniche I enter the Fairmont Nile City to the subtle sound of water trickling from the indoor fountain and spotless marble floors. I walk across the lobby to the reception, looking up and around and take in the classic combination of black and cream complimented by wooden panels and elegant furniture. At reception I am given a warm greeting and the option to choose between a kingsize or twin beds — naturally I go for the kingsize. I pop in to the lobby café, Onyx Lounge, for a quick cappuccino and see a mix of families with little children and businessmen in suits enjoying a little downtime.

The spacious hotel employs about 1,000 people, and with 540 rooms, five restaurants and bars, a casino, a sky pool, and a spa complete with fitness center and personal trainers, it makes perfect sense why it takes that many people to keep the hotel running. My room was waiting for me and as I opened the door, all I had eyes for were the soft bed and view of the Nile straight ahead. I kicked took off my shoes and jumped on the comfortable, turning my head to look out the enormous window and take in the Nile’s blue water, the Zamalek skyline and the bank of Giza.


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Fairmont Nile City - photo by Anna Bernsen



I could lie here forever, but feeling the stirrings of hunger I head to the hotel’s Middle Eastern themed restaurant Bab El Nil for lunch. Inside the brightly colored venue guests were making themselves at home, some smoking shisha while others watched the big television screen. The atmosphere was very relaxed, and I am greeted by hotel public relations manager Yara Eldouky who tells me the stage comes to life every night with a belly dancer and live band, and it was easy to imagine the place with dim lightning, music and lively chatter. For lunch we ordered several appetizers including hummus, chicken liver, tabbouleh and some particularly delicious sausages. My main dish was perfectly cooked veal served with vermicelli, which the chef had seasoned just right. Yara insisted that I try the Om Ali for dessert, and she confessed that it is her and the rest of her office’s favorite dessert. I could easily understand why. The bread pudding was not too sweet, and the small pieces of pistachio gave the dessert just the right bite.

After lunch I go back to my room, change into a bathrobe and make myself a cup of tea that I sip while reading a book. Even though the street below me was still busy, the room was almost completely silent. I had plans to go to a concert later that night, so I gave myself a manicure while sitting on the bed and listening to music—I’ve never applied nail polish with such a good view before.

Getting ready to go out, I reluctantly changed into something more appropriate than the snug bathrobe and slippers. I looked around for a full length mirror, but could not find any. Oh, well, you cannot have it all, I thought as I left the room. After a fun night out I returned to the hotel and my soft bed and fell asleep instantly.


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Fairmont Nile City - photo by Anna Bernsen



Waking up the next day, I spent my first ten minutes lying in bed looking out the window at the Nile and the occasional boat passing by. Dragging myself out of bed and into the bathroom I run a bath, the glass wall between the bathroom and bedroom making it possible to lie in the tub while still looking out the big window.

Breakfast has always been my favorite meal, so after the delicious lunch the day before, I had high expectations for the breakfast at Napa Grill. Walking toward the restaurant I was greeted by the maitre d’ who offered to give me a quick tour of the extravagant breakfast buffet. They served everything my breakfast-loving heart desired. Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, all kinds of bread and pastries, omelets and pancakes made in front of you, warm eggs, sausages and potatoes, and six different kinds of juice. I’ve tried a lot of different breakfast buffets, but only a few were as delicious as Napa Grill’s. The friendly waiter who first helped me reach for a croissant, then opened the tiny jar of ketchup for me, made the experience that much better—and it’s this friendly service and attention to detail that make the Fairmont stand out.

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