After more than 9 years of full time traveling I finally made it to Egypt. Who would ever think that such an iconic travel destination would only be country number 116 for me on my journey to visit every country. To kick off my Egypt trip I decided to check in to the Fairmont Nile City hotel were I stayed the first couple days. A great base to visit all the highlights of Cairo and of course the pyramids of Giza.
This is my Fairmont Nile City Hotel review based on my own experiences.
There were several reasons why I never visited Egypt, one of them being my drone. Drones are considered weapons in Egypt and they will be confiscated at the airport on arrival. Since I declared my drone in advanced I was able to pick it up on departure. The whole process took about 2,5 when I arrived at Cairo Airport from Entebbe, Uganda. Therefore I could not have wished for a better welcome than at the Lounge of the Fairmont Nile City Hotel in Cairo city center.
As soon as my Uber driver pulled up to the hotel entrance I was greeted by the hotel staff and helped with my luggage. As I travel very light (see the Traveltomtom packing list) I handed my small backpack with my clothes to the staff and I was given a ticket with a number.
My day pack with my electronics went through an x-ray and I passed a metal detector as well as part of the security check before I could enter the hotel lobby.
From here I was escorted straight away to floor number 15 where the executive lounge is located and my check in was performed. They scanned my passport and handed me over the keys of my Signature Room with balcony and Nile River view. They asked for my luggage ticket and made sure my luggage was send directly to my room.
Fairmont Gold Lounge
The Gold Lounge at the Fairmont Nile River is a fully serviced executive lounge open from 6.00 AM till midnight, inclusive of coffee, tea, sodas and fresh juices.
Only guest that book a Signature Room, Fairmont Room or a Suite can enter the lounge and most of the day it is a quiet place. Hotel guests that have access to the lounge can enjoy their breakfast up here as well as lunch and even a light dinner is served in the early evening. All of this is included in the room rate. On top of that alcoholic beverages are included between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm.
During my stay at the Fairmont Nile River you could often find me at the Gold Lounge plunged back in one of the sofas. Although my signature room was very spacious the Gold Lounge felt like my living room and of course I could not get enough of the fresh mango and strawberry juices.
Whenever I was around for lunch and dinner, I would be up here too. The views from the Fairmont Gold Lounge are simply unbeatable and it is a great place to watch the sunset over Cairo.
Location Fairmont Nile City
The name of the hotel already gives away its location. The Fairmont Nile City is located right on the Nile, about 3 kilometers from the Tahrir Square, the city center of Cairo. The hotel overlooks the Nile River towards the popular residential island Zamalek, where many embassies are located.
Every taxi driver in Cairo knows the Fairmont Nile City hotel, but to the easiest way to get around is by Uber. An Uber Comfort from the hotel to the Pyramids of Giza costs less than $10 USD and takes about 45 minutes depending on traffic. The airport is only 35 minutes away and an Uber Comfort to the airport costs around $8 USD.
When showing the room on my Instagram stories everyone was raving about how spacious it was and I must say, the Signature Room was simply Devine! I was greeted by a plate of delicious sweets, baklava style I would say and a massive fruit platter. It are the small things that can make a big difference.
Thanks for the warm welcome Fairmont Nile City.
The bathroom was a little piece of heaven and a very romantic one with a couple floor to ceiling mirrors. The bath tub was a little too small for this Dutch giant, but I definitely used it.
My Signature Room at the Farimont had a balcony overlooking the Nile River and the first night in the hotel, the first night ever in Egypt, I sat on my balcony in my robe taking in the Nile River vibes while sipping a tea. Looking at the many boats going around the Zamalek island, right in front of the hotel.
Fairmont Nile City breakfast
The fantastic buffet breakfast deserves a separate mention. I am a huge fan of buffet breakfast style and the Fairmont in Cairo lives totally up to that. There are is a huge selection of cold and hot breakfast, fruits, pastries, local Egyptian breakfast, middle eastern food, salads, continental choice, etc.
What I really loved was that there is a barista at work to make specialty coffees. Scored big points here Fairmont Nile City! loved it.
Wellness and fitness
When a hotel fitness lives up to the hotel standards I am a very happy man, because a hotel fitness is never busy. The Fairmont Nile City gym is pretty damn spacious and equipment and machines all seem to be very new. There are a lot of different cardio and fitness machines, cables and free weights up to 50 KG when I am not mistaking.
The gym is open till 10.00 pm and staff is always around to help you out with your work out. As it was not busy I basically enjoy a PT session for free each time I wanted.
There is a complete wellness area with steam bath, sauna, changing rooms, showers and a relaxing room, also open till 10.00 pm. The area is free of charge for hotel guests. There are two separate wellness areas for men and women. The changing rooms provide lockers and robes are handed out by the staff. Of course I made full use of that and went to the sauna every day after my gym sessions. In the relaxing room the staff will offer you coffee or tea.
The wellness area is located just one floor under the rooftop pool (closed for renovation at the moment), I think around floor 22 and the views from up here are pretty damn impressive. Want a massage with a view? Then this is your place to go.
Nightlife and entertainment
The Fairmont Nile City houses several restaurants, but I can only brief you about the one I went to: Bab El Nil, the door of the Nile. When I first walked in for my reservation at 9:30 PM I was shocked: there was no one! Dining in an empty restaurant is NOT fun, so I asked around what was the deal.
The staff smiled and explained to me that dinner time in Egypt starts much later and they were totally right. By about 11.00 pm the place was packed. The restaurant tables are set up facing the stage and every night there is a live performance starting around 10.00 PM.
There are also a couple tables that have Nile view, but I would say that is not why you come to dine at Bab El Nil, it is all about the live shows. In my case, I went there 2 consecutive nights, there was a DJ, then a live band playing and singing Arab music and at the end of the night after midnight there was a spectacular belly dancing show by the famous belly dancer Oxana Bazaeva.
The portions were big and the food was very moderately priced for the entertainment offered. The overall experience was simply fantastic. The staff was super friendly and I truly had a great time. So much fun that the next evening I went to eat there again, this time much later.
Overall review Fairmont Nile river
The Fairmont Nile City is a great hotel to spend your days in Cairo. I found it a little piece of heaven from the bustling chaos of the city, but up in my room I felt like coming back at ease. The additional lounge access that came with the signature room was totally worth it and I was a lover of the gym and the wellness area. The entertainment offered at the Bab El Nil restaurant was the cherry on the cake of my visit.
Enjoy your trip to Cairo!