While the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo At Nile Plaza is past its prime in certain ways, I had a lovely stay here and found it a great base for my three days in Cairo.
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo At Nile Plaza Review
It’s easy to look at my photos below, especially of the guest room, and dismiss this hotel as outdated. But I do not recommend you be so quick to dismiss it. While I considered the Hyatt Regency, which is located in Giza much closer to the pyramids, I ultimately chose this hotel for its central location and for its amenities. Yes, the rooms are quite dated, but when you factor in the quality of the food, superb breakfast spread, spa, and great service I walked away very glad I chose this hotel.
Located in Garden City (a cool neighborhood of Cairo) and close to the Egyptian Museum, the hotel’s location is difficult to beat.
This was booked under American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts for about $432 per night, including taxes (which are nearly 30% once all the fees are factored in). That’s on the high side for Egypt, but it looks like the rate is even higher now and after a questionable stay at the Ramses Hilton last time in Cairo I just wanted to stay somewhere a bit nicer.
Booking with AMEX included a $100 spa credit, breakfast each morning, late checkout, and a room upgrade.
As I was traveling with my friend, we engaged the hotel for a meet & greet at Cairo Airport. A representative met us as we stepped off our flight, had our visas ready to go, escorted us through the immigration line and baggage claim, then out to a waiting Mercedes E-Class. The cost for this was 50USD per-person.
The hotel also offers guided tour packages and car service to anywhere in Egypt:
Guest Room (Nile View)
A courteous check-in agent was waiting for us as we arrived, likely because we used the hotel’s car service. We bypasses the front desk altogether and were taken to our rooms (credit card was swiped in the room for incidentals with a portable reader).
I was upgraded to a Nile view room, 1515, which included a terrace overlooking the Nile.
My 495-square-foot room included a king-sized bed, a work area, and a large bathroom with two sinks, a separate tub, and a water closet.
Let me stop here and say that smell…that smell..that smell. When you step outside in Egypt, the smell of pollution is a bit overwhelming, but you get used to it surprisingly quickly.
Bath products were from Aromatherapy Associates of London.
Rooms feature universal power ports and USB-A ports.
Waiting in the room was an assortment of fresh fruits and delicious Egyptian sweets.
My balcony was large and offered seating for two with a great view of the city:
Wi-Fi was complimentary in the room and functioned well.
Every morning began at the fitness center, which had a generous section of Life Fitness equipment as well as cold towels, apples, and bottled water.
Both and indoor and outdoor pool were available. The indoor pool was quite large and includes a separate whirlpool as well as plenty of seating and a skylight that allowed sunlight to stream in.
The outdoor pool is located in a restaurant area (Pool Grill). Neither were crowded during my stay.
Spa + Wellness
I mentioned that my AMEX package came with a $100 spa credit that easily covered a one-hour massage. The massage technicians were highly skilled and from Thailand…it was a very therapeutic massage.
In the spa area, there is also a wellness area that includes a whirlpool, steam room, and sauna. I used this each day as well and was always alone. It was not a hot time of year in Egypt, yet perhaps too warm for the sauna for most?
The spa also had a beauty salon…
…and a relaxation area.
Food + Drink
This hotel offers many restaurants…too many for us to try during our short stay. I’ll start with breakfast.
A breakfast buffet is offered in Zitouni each morning and was probably the highlight of my stay.
The staff quickly got to know me and by the second day got to work on my omelet and falafel sandwiches upon my entry. Coffee was just okay (a bit too bitter), but the fresh-squeezed juices were excellent and I appreciated the strawberries.
The buffet included an extensive assortment of baked items, a juice bar, eggs cooked to ordered, salads, and Middle Eastern and European comfort items like foul mudamas, cheese, and cold cuts.
I love capping off my morning with a heaping plate of falafel and an egg-white omelet after my workout. I love a superb breakfast buffet and the Four Seasons delivered…and it was so tranquil as well.
After our tour of the pyramids, we wanted to relax outdoors and sat outside at the pool. Our stay was during Ramadan and the hotel offered a special Iftar dinner menu as well as its normal food. The pool are was decorated in a very festive way to mark the end of daily fasting, but food and alcohol was available throughout the day.
I tried a mixed grill with salad, which was perfectly acceptable (though not the most succulent meat I’ve had).
We visited the hotel’s art-deco-themed bar on two nights. The first night we dealt with a very drunk woman, which I will detail in a separate installment. The bartender was superb, though, and you often can strike up great conversations if you just sit at the bar and chat with the bartender. The bar itself is dark wood paneled and a smoking area, so expect a lot of cigarette smoke. There’s also a sushi menu at the bar, which I was not adventurous enough to explore. Note: alcohol is quite expensive in Egypt (primarily due to heavy taxes).
The very French-inspired lobby lounge includes coffee and tea, an assortment of sweets, a light menu of food, and a bar menu as well. Coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice was superb here and there is live entertainment each evening (piano, violin, guitar, bass, or saxaphone…it depends upon the day).
One night I ordered in and felt like some “comfort food” so I ordered a filet mignon with mashed potatoes. It was beautifully presented, cooked medium-rare as specified, and quite delicious.
Other hotel restaurants I did not get to try during my stay included:
- 8 (Chinese)
- Bullona (Mediterranean fusion)
- Riviera (Italian)
- Upper Deck Lounge (tapas + cocktails)
Finally, let me briefly add that one thing that made this hotel great was the superb service and kind attitude of every employee I encountered. It does matter and this, perhaps more than anything else, it what sets a good hotel apart from a great hotel.
I enjoyed a lovely three days here and would return again. I hear other Four Seasons (Cairo at The First Residence) is also nice so maybe I will try that next time to compare them. But yes, the rooms and some of the common areas are quite tired looking, yet I really liked this hotel.