Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence
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I left Damascus this morning for Cairo. This time I had to fly via Amman on Royal Jordanian on their new Embraer 195 regional jets. I had a three hour layover, but by this time, I knew their lounge well. Everything was on time today. I got my first surprise stepping off of the plane. The weather was magnificent: clear skies with temperature in the …
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Arrived in Cairo's airport to old linoleum, dark corridors and a million people crowded into the passport area. The contrast between Dubai's hushed gleaming expanses and this place is stark. Luckily my travel hero, Jon, knew the drill and secured us a place in the disorderly passport line and dispatched me to the line of bank windows in search of a …
... the two pyramids here are impressive. The Bent Pyramid is 90 meters tall and is the fourth tallest pyramid in Egypt. It was built by Senefru, father of Cheops (the builder of the Great Pyramid).
Next stop was Saqqara: Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built during the third dynasty. Another 16 Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now ...
... rest of the day. ( I was really too tired to deal with more **** from some guy wanting a green card) the men here are way to forward, he asked to speak to me, so I told him I was tired and didn't need a driver and I would stay in for the rest of the day. He spoke to Peter again and asked Peter to tell me to think about it. I decided to walk to the market, where I met another guy (Muhamad) he started talking to me as I continued walking, (the men here just start walking with you, ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence Giza
Service par excellance!!
The hotel itself, rooms, staff, restuarants, and facilities are exceptional and need no futher elaboration. An added service available is being met at the airport and transported to the hotel, a service we used. In all our travels we have not seen such efficiency! As we entered the baggage terminal the Fout Seasons staff was there to greet us; had us out of the terminal into a transport with such skill and speed; were greeted by name at the hotel as the vehicle arrived; and into our sumptious room seemingly before we knew what was happening. Bravo to the hotel and its efficient staff!
World class city refuge, fantastic service culture
It is a modest affair as most Four Season hotels go, but the staff made a real difference with their enthusiasm and genuine warmth. I can not say I liked Cairo very much, it is dirty and noisy beyond endurance and I found myself coming back to the hotel to restore sanity and standards. The lay-out is quirky and the building is dated but the management obviously understands how to make travelers welcome. Do make use of the hotels limo service. It is reasonably priced and carries little comforts such as refreshments and wet cotton towels, essential btw meeting while you are stuck in the notorious Cairo traffic.
5 stays and all FANTANSTIC!
We got in on a late flight (3am!) and had arranged to get the "Meet and Greet" at the airport. Our man took our passports and took care of everything for us while we waited for our luggage. This included a ride in a BMW(waiting at the terminal)with hot towels and cold bottled water. It was worth every penny after our exhausting flights and delays!!! Another man met us in the lobby and took us directly to our room. I'm not sure if this was because we were so late or if it was included in the meet and greet, but it was a nice touch.
I love the Four Season's and they offer the best service in all of Egypt. It is wonderful to come back from a tiresome day of sightseeing to a beautiful hotel with a professional staff that knows how to take care of the guest.
I recommend the First Residence(felt more private) over the Garden City location which had a hectic lobby with many travelers. Garden City, however, is closer to tourist sites.
One of the finest urban hotels in the world
I travel frequently around the world and have stayed at many of the best Four Seasons and Peninsulas in the world -- this hotel (which I have visited three times) ranks right up there with the best. The hotel is located a bit out of the way, but its location on the opposite side of the river from the museum and historic cairo allows for beautiful views and a little bit less noise in a cacaphonous city. One side of the hotel has distant views of the pyramids (if the smog clears), while the other offers nile views (albeit obstructed somewhat by tower that is part of the First Residence complex).
Service here is superb. An army of greeters at the street outside and in the ground level lobby provide for your every need. If you are taking the hotel car from the airport or anywhere else, a discrete phone call for the driver gives the hotel staff the 5 minute warning so everything is ready when you arrive. Check in is swift and the bell people terrific. The very knowledgeable concierge staff will assist with flight reconfirmations or anything else you need around cairo (Dalia is particularly good). The concierge is happy to write out directions in arabic if you are brave enough to take a local taxi (I usually do a local taxi for short trips, but I have a few words of arabic under my belt -- I would not recommend it for your first visit to Cairo). The hotel cars are beautiful and, as a previous reviewer pointed out, well stocked with water and other comfort items. They are also driven more safely then the generally manical local egyptian taxis (you will learn that the horn on these taxis is simply the egyption brake pedel).
Rooms are excellent, in typical 4 Seasons style. Bathrooms are large and everything is spotless. On my last visit, I booked with the Amex platinum program and was upgraded -- to the six room, 2,000 square foot Presidential Suite! The gym facilities are excellent, with a good sized outdoor pool (although not heated as much as I would like in the winter) and a gym overlooking the nile. There are seperate men's and women's steam and sauna, as well as an indoor whirlpool that, at least in the men's section, overlooks the nile. Service in the pool area and the locker room is superb -- towels appear on your chair when you need them, someone comes around the pool area with free four seasons goodies, etc.
The restaurant has an excellent breakfast buffet and a nice dinner. A Thai restaurant is a new addition that I have not tried, but seemed popular. As at everywhere else in the hotel, service is superb. My only complaint (a typical American one, admittedly), the non-smoking section is too small and unseperated from the smoking section. You can expect the egyption and european guests to be puffing away.
I have not tried the other 4Seasons in Cairo. It is certainly newer, but I can't imagine that the service could be better. I don't think you can go wrong with either one. For those hesitant to visit Egypt due to security fears, I say go! I have been there several times after 9/11 and have never had a problem. I travelled there with my family last Christmas and my wife and four year old, both on there first visit to Egypt, loved it. We were met with nothing but kindness and politeness and, no, we did not pretend to be Canadians or Australians!
If you are heading to Cairo and upper Egypt -- definitely take the time to relax at the 4Seasons Sharm el Sheikh for a few days at the end of your trip. A truly wonderful beach resort in Sinai! As much as I love Cairo, it is nice to get a break at the end of the trip from all the stimulation. Talke a look at the reviews on tripadvisor and you will see what a phenomenal place it is. Take everything I have said about the Four Seasons Cairo First Residence, add a beach and terrific diving and you get the Four Seasons Sharm.
City hotels don't get any better than this....
This hotel is an oasis of calm in an otherwise hectic city. Set on the quieter side of the nile, this hotel is a glamourous haven patrolled by glamourous staff, who are only too keen to help with any query. This hotel is sheer discreet elegance, where the hotel security appear looking like members of the FBI from nowhere to help you find your way around this maze of a hotel.
The rooms here are large and beautiful, but then so are so many other 5 star hotels. What sets this hotel on a pedestal is the level of service, which is attentive, but always discreet. Lying by the pool on a blistering hot day, the staff take time to go round the guests with ice cold flannels, then perhaps an ice cold facial spritz later, followed by a fruit juice or ice lolly to cool you down. Someone is always on hand to ensure there is a towel placed at the edge of the pool, to dry yourself off as soon as you exit the pool.
We took the hotel taxi to the museum at a cost of about £6 sterling, which is about 2-3 times more than a local taxi would cost. However, you get what you pay for, a huge mercedes with dark glass windows....step inside and you are greeted with a cold flannel, some sweets, and a bottle of water each, all at no extra cost. Arrive in style and watch peoples faces as you step out into the scorching Cairo sun....
We left this hotel at about 4 am and the hotel laid on a beautiful room service breakfast, which was the only hotel to do so on our trip around Egypt. All too many of the hotels simply hand out bland breakfast boxes to be taken on your journey.
We will definitely return.
Elegance and sublime service
An oasis of tranquility from the hustle and bustle and heat of Cairo. We stayed end of June for 4 days and wished we stayed longer. Descreet, attentive service. Beautiful rooms and relaxing pool area. Food wonderful. Could not be better. All you would expect and more of a Four Seasons Hotel. Do not consider staying anywhere else in Cairo!
Excellent Cairo hotel
Stayed twice with my family at this superb hotel.Faultless service,lovely rooms, excellent food especially the Thai restaurant .Slightly confusing layout by there are always plenty of charming staff to point you in the right direction.
Loved the First Residence!
I had erroneously booked the First Residence instead of the Nile Plaza, but have to admit we were pleasantly surprised. The location of the First Residence is away from all the hustle/bustle of the constant honking of cars whereas the Nile is smack in the middle of it. Attached to the First Residence is an upscale shopping mall which has a very nice indoor cafe stocked with great late night desserts. The staff was very helpful, spoke English and went over and beyond (a bit too much) with any special requests that we had. The breakfast buffet was plentiful offering hot/cold dishes and the Thai restaurant's food was delicious! High tea (complete with piano player) was a great afternoon refresher after our long journey to the pyramids. The beds were very comfortable and bathrooms were spotless stocked with a generous supply of L'occitaine products, my favorite. The tours were priced a bit high, so we went through an agency and found a great guide (see cairo) and saved about half off the hotel's prices. I would definitely use the hotel pickup at $70.00USD because they let you go to the front of the long line at the airport and the driver takes care of all the paperwork for you. Should I ever visit Cairo again, I will only stay at the First Residence.
Good place to stay in Cairo
We spent 2 nights at Four Seasons Cairo in February 2003. Cairo is a difficult city for the picky traveller and staying at Four Seasons eases your life in many ways. The hotel is clean, rooms are large and have the best amenities that you can probably find in Cairo. The flower arrangements within the hotel pleased us very much. The staff seemed somewhat undertrained and the number was less than needed as they were very busy for most of the times. We decided to hire a full day guided tour of the pyramids and the Egyptian Museum from the hotel. The quoted price was very high and when we hesitated they halved it immediately. Not a good mark for such an hotel.
Our plan was to hire a car to drive to Four Seasons Sharm el Sheikh to continue our vacation there but the hotel did not accept my driver's licence valid as per Egyptian laws and insisted us to hire a chauffered car at 3 times the ordinary price. As all flights to Sharm was full, we had to accept it. We returned from Sharm to Cairo again by a rented chauffered car from Four Seasons at Sharm el Sheikh but the quoted price for the return trip was less than what we have initially paid. These all made us quite disappointed about the level of consistency of the service of the hotel and their sincerity.
The food at the hotel was mediocre but as it is a problem to find safe food in Egypt, it is advisable to take your food at the hotel.
I will especially recommend Four Seasons Sharm el Sheikh and will write about it on the relevant section.
I think it is wise to combine Cairo and Sharm at one visit to Egypt.
Be pampered in Cairo
The Residence Cairo meets the exacting standards of the Four Season's Group. Our deluxe Room offered views of the Pyramids and the Nile and included all the extras to make you feel special i.e. fluffy robes and slippers, spa bathroom products, DVD player and CD music system.
The one-hour pressing facility was excellent and all our clothes had magically appeared in the closet on our return from the Spa.
The Pool area is a haven with Bedouin style canopies over sun loungers offering shade and privacy. Choose a sun lounger and immediately four towels are laid for your comfort and cool face towels and water are offered. The calamari in coconut with dipping sauce was sublime.
The Spa is a must and the pharaoh massage is the best massage I have ever had, the ladies hot tub is comparable to a small pool.
I would definitely recommend this to even the picky, check out the top end shopping mall below the hotel.