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  • The Nile High Club

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    February 17th, 2010Safari GatewayInspiration, Luxury Travel

    February 17, 2010

    AFRICA & MIDEAST | EGYPT | CAIRO

    Cairo’s latest luxury hotel is bringing sexy back to Egypt’s ancient city.

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    Cairo’s hotel scene has long been heavy on the “hotel” (mainly of the cavernous business- and group-friendly variety) and pretty low on the “scene.” With the launch of Fairmont Nile City, though, that may finally be changing. Soft-opened in late October, with the remaining facilities rolling out through this spring, Fairmont’s third (and only city-center) Cairo property is giving more traditionally-minded luxury stalwarts like the Four Seasons a run for their money with its contemporary design and lively F&B offerings. Though it houses 566 rooms and suites, the Nile-side hotel seeks a boutique sensibility: a chic Art Deco style and modern artwork are found throughout; amenities include custom bath products from Miller Harris; and service is on-the-ball without being stuffy.

    The grand seduction comes by way of the dining and entertainment options, which deliver several first-in-Cairo offerings. The relaxed Napa Grill, the city’s first Northern Californian eatery, makes use of locally-sourced ingredients and Red Sea fish, while Saigon Bleu serves a seafood-heavy Vietnamese menu which guests can watch being prepared through the glass-walled open kitchen. The O Bar — officially opening in March — will have a sushi/sashimi/caviar raw bar, Cuban-stocked walk-in humidor and a jazz band imported from New Orleans, while the Sky Bar and Pool, set for April, will offer Lebanese bites, rotating “She Jays” (female DJs) and entertainment curated by British record label Kinky Malinki. And it’s all set against views of the Nile and the downtown skyline. After all the indulgences, what’s left to do? Detox at Cairo’s largest spa, of course (opening in June).

    Fairmont is making its mark on Cairo just in time, as another five-star — The Ritz-Carlton — is set to hit town next year. It remains to be seen if that hotel will take the traditional or hip road (our bet is on the former), but by then Fairmont will be on to other pressing matters: after this new opening in an ancient city, they’ve got their hands full re-booting two beloved classics: London’s The Savoy and Shanghai’s Peace Hotel.

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