Soon after the Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo opened, the Egyptian revolution took place (in January 2011) and business in Egypt grinded to a halt. But now that things are a little more normal, this 191-room sleek contemporary temple to luxury is fast becoming a hotspot for well-to-do locals and tourists.
Where is it?
Located in the Garden City district near the British Embassy and the Egyptian Museum, the hotel is across the road from the Nile.
Historic or contemporary?
French architect Pierre Yves Rochon – a world-renowned designed of more than 60 properties including Four Seasons Georges V in Paris – has done a fantastic job of incorporating themes from ancient Egypt into a contemporary base.
What about the rooms?
Entry level rooms have clean lines and furnishings are high quality and European in style.
The rooms are equipped with all the mod cons you’d expect in a luxury property, including flat high-definition LCD sets, free internet, marble bathrooms and balconies.
It’s worth booking a room with a view of the Nile. There’s nothing quite as quintessentially representative of Cairo as watching the feluccas sail past.
There’s a complimentary mini bar stocked with soft drinks, a pillow concierge and butler service.
For top-of-the-range luxury, the Imperial Suite on the ninth floor is a spacious two-bedroom suite with a 300sqm terrace overlooking the Nile.
What’s there to do?
Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo’s location is perfect for walks along the Nile and it’s conveniently located within walking distance of the Cairo Museum.
The Khan el-Khalili bazaar and Old Cairo are only a short taxi ride away.
Along with keeping taxi drivers in line and helping guests across the road, the smartly dressed doorman in his top hat and tails adds a dash of colonial charm to the experience.
After exploring Cairo, head for a refreshing dip in the hotel’s rooftop pool. It has views across the city.
What about the spa?
The Kempinski Spa has an outdoor swimming poop.
The spa offers a menu of treatments that combine ancient recipes with aromatic herbs and recognises that the body and mind are affected by seasonal, hormonal, lifestyle and environmental changes.
The products used are 95% natural from London company Elemental Herbology.
What about the food at Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo?
Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo has four restaurants and bars including the Chocolate Lounge, where glass cabinets display mouth-watering hand-made chocolates, and Osmanly, which bills itself as Cairo’s only authentic Ottoman restaurant.
The Blue has an interesting concept where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served without menus. At breakfast, a kitchen area is set out like a kitchen in a luxury home with a buffet of choices, two large refrigerators where guests help themselves pots of fruit, muesli and yogurt.
Along one wall are shelves stacked with bread and pastries.
The “home kitchen” themes change with each meal, displaying fresh cuts of meat and fish in a butchery setup at lunch and dinner.
Diners are presented with a market list of fresh produce of the day.
The chef comes to take your order and the meal is cooked according to your preference.
There’s a Jazz Club with twinkling views of the city and the river.
What’s the bottom line?
Kempinski Nile Hotel (Cornish El-Nile, 12 Ahmed Ragheb Street, Garden City, Cairo, Egypt, tel.: +20 2 2798 0000)
Christina Pfeiffer was a guest of Kempinski Nile Hotel