Cairo’s 5-Star Oases
Cairo’s 5-Star Oases
Cover Story: 52 Weekends
Available at: http://www.egypttoday.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=7948
Photo Credit: Four Seasons Nile Plaza
Enjoy a short but sweet vacation with a day-use package
By: Ethar El-Katatney
To escape the stresses of work, school and daily life, some of us opt to relax and unwind by taking off to the beach. But if you can’t afford the time, don’t despair! Day uses at hotels offer the benefits of feeling you have gotten away from it all without the hassle of traveling. Here is a selection of hotels around Cairo you could visit on your daylong vacation.
At the Conrad Cairo, enjoy a picturesque view of the Nile without the screeching traffic of the Corniche. Prices for a day-use package are $70, plus 25.5 percent service and tax, for both foreigners and Egyptians. Day use hours are 10am – 6pm, during which time you will have access to both the health club and the pool. Up to three adults can use the room, and children under the age of 12 can accompany their parents for free. During holidays, the hotel occasionally provides entertainment or activities for children. Tel: (02) 2 580-8000.
The Four Seasons Cairo at the Nile Plaza does not offer day use, but if you take a room for the day instead, use of the pool, health club and other Plaza facilities is included, except for the spa. The ‘superior’ room costs foreigners. $350 for a single or $390 for a double while the ‘deluxe’ room (which includes a balcony) costs $400 for a single or $440 for a double For Egyptians and foreign residents, the ‘superior’ room costs $175 for a single or $195 for a double while the ‘deluxe’ room costs $200 for a single or $220 for a double. Prices include taxes and service charges, with check-in at 3pm and check-out at noon. Use it either as a base to shop at Beymen, pamper yourself with a gorgeous new haircut from Mohammed El-Sagheer or try the delicious food at Aqua or Steak. Call early for availability. Tel: (02) 2 791-7000.
The Nile Hilton, located in an incredibly central position in Tahrir Square, allows day-use patrons to stay in the hotel from 10am to 5pm. For an Egyptian, the rate for a room, including access to the heated outdoor pool (with grass!), ranges from LE 800–975 depending on the season, and costs $120 for foreigners (LE 650). A cabana will cost LE 320 on weekdays, and LE 350 on the weekend, and includes use of the pool and the health club from 9am to 6pm. This covers up to three adults or two adults with two children; additional people can join for LE 100 on weekdays and LE 130 on weekends. Stay in a cabana for the day, then dress up and head to Jazz Up, the Hilton’s trendy bar/restaurant, or Latex, its nightclub. It is also possible to book ten days by the swimming pool, without a room, for LE 1,000 if you are a member of the health club. Rates vary depending on the season. Tel: (02) 2 578-0444.
The Grand Hyatt Cairo rents out its poolside cabanas for LE 650 for both Egyptians and foreigners, with a maximum of three people per cabana. You can use the pool from 10am–8pm; the health club and sports facilities are available at extra cost. If you prefer the sole use of the pool, spa or gym without taking a room, you can pay LE 201 for each facility. Make sure to check out the adjacent Galleria, with boutiques from top Egyptian brands as well as Chopard and Filopateer Palace. Tel: (02) 2 365-1234.
At the Semiramis InterContinental, day use starts at 9am and ends at 7pm. The price for both Egyptians and foreigners is $125 (LE 684) and includes use of the swimming pool. The sauna and jacuzzi are available for LE 105 for both foreigners and Egyptians. Make sure you get a bite to eat at the Bird Cage, which offers some of the best Chinese and Thai food in town. Tel: (02) 2 795-7171.
At the Ramses Hilton, overlooking the Nile in Downtown Cairo, day use is $55 (LE 301) for Egyptians and $95 (LE 520) for foreigners, excluding taxes. This covers up to two adults and a child. The package, which runs from 10am–6pm, includes free use of the swimming pool but not the health club. Tel: (02) 2 577-7444.
The Cairo Marriott has recently begun to offer day use from 10am to 6pm for $100 (LE 547 including taxes, both Egyptians and foreigners). The hotelonly allows you to use the pool, although for an extra cost you may also use the heath club. The Cairo Marriott is an extremely popular location to spend the day relaxing with a drink or a bite to eat, for both guests and visitors. With its luscious, exotic gardens it is easy to see why. Indoors, the hotel is renowned for its lavish breakfast buffet and for the eats at Roy’s or an evening at Harry’s Pub. Tel: +2 (02) 2 728-3000.
The Pyramisa Hotel charges LE 300 for Egyptians and $120 (LE 656) for foreigners. Up to three people can share a room from 9am–6pm, and two children under the age of 12 can join adults for free. Tel: +2 (02) 3 336-7000.
The InterContinental CityStars, at the heart of the colossal CityStars complex, does not offer day uses, but you can splurge and book a room. For Egyptians, a single is $197 (LE 1078) and a double $223 (LE 1220). For foreigners, a single is $345 (LE 1890) and a double $383 (LE 2095). All prices include taxes. Children under 12 can stay for free, and if they are younger than six, they eat for free. Check-in is at 3pm and guests must leave by noon. Rates include free use of the pool and gym. Tel: +2 (02) 2 480-0100.
Adjacent to CityStars is the brand new Holiday Inn, which does offer rooms for the day. For foreigners, a single is $250 (LE 1370) and a double $275 (LE 1500). For Egyptians a single is $131 (LE 715) and a double $145 (LE 790). Rooms allow use of the pool and gym, and if you take advantage of their offer, for LE 650 (or LE 700 if you’re a foreigner) you can take a standard single room with breakfast.
Only 20 minutes outside Heliopolis, a trip to the JW Marriott will make you feel as though you have left the hustle and bustle of Cairo behind. Day use is from 11am–7pm. For Egyptians and foreign residents, two people can share a cabana for LE 700 including taxes. The same option is not open to foreigners, but they can book a room starting at $300 (LE 1640), which includes usage of the pool and gym. In addition to the regular pool, you can try out the artificial wave pool at The Beach. The hotel provides generously sized inner tubes at no charge so you can bob lazily atop the waves. Guests can use the health club and gym but must pay for other facilities such as the sauna and jacuzzi. For a separate fee, check out the golf course and tennis courts or the cards and billiards at the clubhouse. Tel: +2 (02) 2 411-9428.
A day at the elegant Concorde El-Salam Hotel will cost Egyptians or residents LE 600 (including taxes) for a room for two adults and two children. For a foreigner, the price is $115 (LE 630), plus taxes. The day lasts from 10am–6pm and includes use of the pool and health club. Tel: +2 (02) 2 622-4000.
At the recently renamed Fairmont Hotel (previously known as Sheraton Heliopolis), Egyptians can rent a poolside room for LE 650 (foreigners for $110 or LE 600) including taxes, for two adults and two children, or three adults and one child. Hours are from 10am–6pm, and include pool use only. Alternatively, Egyptians can book a normal room for day use for LE 500, while the rate for foreigners is $95 (LE 520). Tel: +2 (02) 2 267-8400.
For day use, Le Meridien Heliopolis charges LE 315 for Egyptians (two adults and two children) and $130 (LE 710) for foreigners. Day use is from 10am–6pm and includes use of the pool. However, the pool is being renovated and won’t be completed until early May. Until then, day use is unavailable. Tel: +2 (02) 2 290-5055.
Le Passage (previously known as Mövenpick Hotel) allows its day guests to dwell from 10am–7pm. Guests have access to the swimming pool and health club, though massages come at an extra cost. The room, which costs $100 (LE 550) plus taxes for foreigners, can accommodate up to three people. For Egyptians and foreign residents the price is LE 500, including service charges. Tel: (02) 2 291-9400.
The Heliopolis Cairo Hotel offers day use in a poolside cabin that accommodates three people for LE 650, or a room for LE 500, service and taxes included (for Egyptians and residents). For foreigners the cabin and room cost $110 (LE 600) and $95 (LE 520), respectively. Hours are 10am – 6:30pm and pool access is included (one is heated). Other sports facilities, including tennis and squash courts, are available for a fee. For the kids, there is a garden complete with swings and slides. Tel: (02) 2 267-7730.
Day use of a double room at the Sofitel Maadi Towers & Casino costs LE 275 for two adults and two children. Day residents can take full advantage of the swimming pool and health club, but must pay for use of any other facilities, including sauna or massage. Day use at the Sofitel is from 10am–8pm. Tel: +2 (02) 2 525-6172.
The Four Seasons Cairo at the First Residence in Giza has no regular day-use system, but for those interested in several hours of serious pampering, the 5-star spa and wellness center offers a selection of different facilities including a gym, jacuzzi and sauna, in addition to the wide range of tempting health and beauty treatments. From Ancient Egyptian and Asian body treatments to Decléor treatments and Dead Sea programs, they’ve got it all, including a number of different massage styles. There are several packages to choose from and all include lunch either by the pool or in the Seasons Restaurant. The spa is open from 6am–10pm daily. Tel: +2 (02) 3 573-1212.
For LE 325 for Egyptians or LE 475 for foreigners, including taxes, two adults and two children can use the poolside cabanas at the InterContinental Pyramid Park. Day use runs from 10am until sunset. Tel: (02) 3 838-8300.
Although the beautiful Mena House Oberoi does not offer day use, Egyptians can book a single for LE 800 or a double for LE 900, including breakfast, while foreigners pay $210 and $265 respectively. Check-in is at 2pm and check-out is at noon. Guests can enjoy the swimming pool, the gym, a game of tennis, pay a little extra for golf, or take a stroll in the grounds, all against the backdrop of the Pyramids. Tel: +2 (02) 3 377-3222.
On the same stretch of road, the Mövenpick Resort Cairo-Pyramids provides a day-use package at LE 350 for Egyptians and $60 (LE 330) for foreigners. The package allows two guests to use the hotel’s pool (heated in the winter), health club and sauna. Massage is available but at an extra cost. Day use starts at 10am and runs until 7pm. There is a playground for children. Tel: +2 (02) 3 377-2555.
Giza’s Cairo Sheraton offers cabanas by the swimming pool for one person at a rate of $90 (LE 495) plus taxes for foreigners and LE 550 for Egyptians. The pool is a bit small, and is usually in the shade after 3pm. Day-use packages begin at 10am and end at 6pm and include use of the swimming pool. They stop offering day use when it’s crowded though, so make sure you call ahead of time. Tel: +2 (02) 3 336-9700.
At the Sofitel Le Sphinx, day use of a room and the pool costs LE 350 for an Egyptian and $75 (LE 410) for a foreigner. Day-use hours run from 10am – 6pm. Use of the pool and hotel’s health club facilities is included in the rate, but unfortunately the health club is closed for renovations at the moment. Tel: (02) 3 377-6444.
You can enjoy day use at the Amarante Pyramids for LE 525 if you’re Egyptian or $85 (LE 465) if you’re a foreigner, with a maximum of two people per room. The hours are from 9am – 6pm. Tel: (02) 3 781-2211.
Cairo’s Omm Kolthoum Hotel is an appealing choice for day use if you are looking to set aside the international hotel chains in favor of an authentic Egyptian experience. If you’re Egyptian, LE 250 including tax and service will get you a regular room, and foreigners can do the same for $80 (LE 440). The room takes a maximum of two people and is available from 8am–7pm. No pool is available. Tel: +2 (02) 2 736-8444.
Close to the airport, the Novotel Cairo-Airport charges Egyptians LE 550 for a room, LE 610 for a cabin and LE 150 for pool use. For foreigners, a room is $156, a cabin is LE 610 and pool use is LE 150. All prices exclude service charges. Day use lasts from 11am–6pm. Tel: +2 (02) 2 291-8520.
The Sonesta Cairo Hotel & Casino allows three guests to enjoy day-use services, which includes a pool, for LE 300 including taxes for Egyptians and foreigners. Guests can use sports or health facilities for an additional charge. Day use lasts from 9am–5pm. Tel: +2 (02) 2 262-8111.
Sixth of October
At the Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort near Dreamland in Sixth of October City, day use is LE 400 for four people. The price is the same for Egyptians and foreigners. While there, you can use the outdoor heated swimming pool for free, and the health club for an extra charge. Children under 12 can attend a kids’ club free of charge. Day use starts at 10am and lasts until 6pm. Tel: (02) 3 855-3334.
The Mövenpick Media City offers a novel day-use package, which includes a free tour of Magic Land or the Media City. The tour begins at 4pm and shows guests around the studios for 45 minutes, and gives children a 50 percent discount on their tickets in Magic Land. Day use is from 11am–7:30pm and costs LE 350 for Egyptians and $70 for foreigners. Use of the pool is included, as are taxes, and up to two adults and two children can come along. Tel: +2 (02) 3 855-5001.
A cabana for four at the Novotel Cairo Sixth of October costs Egyptians LE 350 and foreigners LE 700 including service, taxes and use of the pool. Lunch is LE 95 per person and is compulsory for day use. For an extra fee, you can enjoy a massage or sauna at the Novotel’s fitness center. There’s also a children’s pool. Day uses run from 10am–6pm. Tel: +2 (02) 3 837-7200.
EDITOR’S NOTE: All prices and currency conversions quoted were accurate at the end of March 2008 but are subject to change without notice, particularly over holiday seasons. Please phone to confirm details or make reservations. et