Al-Ahram Weekly Online   9 - 15 October 2008
Issue No. 917
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875


Hotels and resorts

Sushi feast at Fairmont Towers

SINCE SUSHI's unique concept is an exciting experience not to be missed, visit the Fuze Bar at Fairmont Towers Hotel every Monday and Friday of this month for amazing Sushi Nights from 9pm to 12pm.

Fairmont Towers invites everyone for an artful, unique, and healthful dining experience as its Fuze Bar & Lounge dishes up Sushi Nights providing the perfect venue for a casual business dinner or light grazing right through to a laid back dinner in the evening. Fuze guests have much to cheer about ahead with the launch of the hotel's sushi promotional prices, which have made it more affordable for more guests to enjoy, experience and benefit from healthy Japanese food.

First Ladies Club beauty lunch

THE Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence hosted a lavish luncheon for the exclusive First Residence Ladies Club members featuring Dr Ibrahim Naguib, the prominent plastic surgeon, at the hotel's ballroom.

The talented surgeon gave an intriguing presentation on the latest techniques in plastic surgery to look and feel beautiful, referring to beauty lifts, full rejuvenation, liposuction and other practices. The discussion was interactive and educational as the esteemed surgeon answered the guests' questions.

The First Residence Ladies Club has been playing an active role in hosting a variety of events to discuss and address novel and interesting experiences that would be useful in everyday life. The club is a platform to exchange various experiences and topics that are of interest to women who care to go that extra mile for their beauty.

The presentation was followed by lunch at Seasons Restaurant, where Chef Marco, the culinary expert hailing from "La dolce vita" Italy, indulged guests in mouth-watering platters of his delectable dishes. Chef Marco is known for his artistic and innovative cuisine, creating a wide array of exquisite recipes and flavours.

From lectures to benefit your health, fashion shows and jewellery exhibitions to overwhelm your senses, and restaurants to delightfully tantalise your taste buds, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence will continue to provide you solace from the normal hustle and bustle of your daily routine with phenomenal dining experiences and entertainment to be found in Egypt.

New Revolving Restaurant chef

CHEF Kai Eick has been appointed Chef De Cuisine at Grand Hyatt Cairo's Revolving Restaurant, the highest fine dining revolving restaurant in the Middle East overlooking the entire city of Cairo. Eick has vast experience in the food & beverage industry having worked in Switzerland, Germany and the UAE.

Prior to joining Grand Hyatt Cairo, Eick was Chef De Cuisine at Park Hyatt Dubai. The enthusiastic German chef is in the process of creating a new menu including various mouth-watering main dishes and pastries which will surely add to the guests' experience at the Revolving Restaurant.

Thai massage at the JW Marriott

NOW open, the Mandara Thai Spa at the JW Marriott Hotel Cairo. This prestigious 2,500 square metre spa will become a destination in itself and adds a new dimension of luxury to the hotel. The spa offers 30 treatments and boasts spacious private single rooms and couple rooms with baths and Jacuzzis, in addition to the luxurious suites, which include private steam baths. Mandara Spa invites you to try the "Luk Prakob" hot compress therapy. A professional Thai masseuse greets you with a warm smile, assuring you that all your tensions will be gone during this traditional hot Thai massage.

Starting with a soft foot massage using Thai oils and scrubs, Dee, the Thai masseuse, escorts you to your bed where you lay down and she starts with a traditional Thai massage. A selection of therapeutic herbs including prai, ginger, turmeric and lemongrass are wrapped in a muslin compress, steamed and then applied to the body in gentle circular and rolling movements. As the pores open and allow the herbs to take effect, ailments such as stiff, sore or pulled muscles and ligaments, back pain, stress and anxiety are almost instantly relieved.

Housekeeping celebrated

IN RECOGNITION of the vital role of housekeeping, Conrad Cairo celebrated housekeeping week in an atmosphere of fun and games, as the housekeeping team went through several competitive games such as room inspection race, the housekeeping Olympics, housekeeping trivia treasure hunt and housekeeper swap.

The games gave the team the chance to show off their skills, sharpen their knowledge and strengthen teamwork spirit. In the photo is Kevin Brett, Conrad Cairo general manager, together with the housekeeping team sharing the fun of pulling the rope. (may be it's called tug of war).

A Jazzy brunch

FRIDAY brunches are set to reach new levels of excellence in Cairo, as Fairmont Towers re-launches its dining experience highlighted by superior cuisine and service, with added jazz music and sweet surprises for children as of 1 October every Friday from 2 -- 6pm.

Now being served in the luxury hotel's elegant Aqua e Lucce Restaurant, the Fairmont Towers brunch sees Executive Chef Zeyad Daoud directing the mastery of various combinations of brunch favourites comprising Arabic and international dishes as guests take in sweeping views of the hotel's remarkable Atrium.

"Dining out in Cairo is seen as a culinary adventure and a treasured family pastime, and our Friday brunch is designed with this in mind," said Daniel Kaeflein, Fairmont Towers Food & Beverage manager. "It's another reason why the hotel has gained an unrivaled position as one of Cairo's top venues for dining out."

The Friday brunch features a delicious array of dishes in a casual dining experience with a wide range of seafood, sushi, carvings, pastas, pizzas and dessert selection.

"We understand the emphasis families place on dining and eating out in Cairo," said Kaeflein. "Our brunch has been designed to ensure every member of the family has fun and gets to experience an explosion of flavours. Kids will partake in plenty of exciting activities ranging from face painting, a well-selected range of children's movies and cartoons and colouring books, all while having their own food selection buffet set up to make sure that the young ones will receive the right mixture of healthy nutrition and still have fun."

Aqua e Luce offers guests a memorable experience that flatters the senses, offering dining connoisseurs a variety of antipasti, soups, salads, homemade raviolis and pastas, mouth-watering seafood platters, and tantalising desserts.

An artificial river flows through the whole atrium between plants, water passages, pebbles and stones, while floor lights emit a spectrum of orange, blue, and green, and wooden pontoons serve as the water dining areas of the gourmet restaurant, Aqua e Luce. The restaurant's design is an integral part of the dining experience with its open areas, private dining room, wine racks, and display kitchens. Aqua e Luce is Cairo's fine cigar sampling hub.

Delivered in an atmosphere of respect, integrity and trust, Fairmont guarantees guests a unique stay experience, featuring warm and engaging service, in authentic and unparalleled locations throughout the world. As a customer-focused brand, with a long history of delivering luxury, Fairmont is also steadfast in its approach of establishing and fostering meaningful and lasting relationships with its guests. We strive to "turn moments into memories" for all our customers.

The best of France

A FRENCH promotion replete with haute cuisine from the culture-rich region will showcase gourmets in Aqua Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza for two weeks starting 19 October. French music, flowers and art, along with an oyster and champagne bar, will provide the perfect ambience.

Gastronomes will experience this autumn highlight under the auspices of resident French chef Christophe Gillino, a native of Provence who designed courses for the occasion that will reveal all of the hallmarks of expertly crafted, modern French menus. Thomas Vaucouleur, the French assistant food and beverage director, will be the Ma"tre d' Hotel during the two-week promotion.

Paying homage to the aquatic theme of the restaurant, there will be seafood aplenty on the a la carte menu. For starters, guests can try sweet bread and shrimps with orange-carrot reduction, spinach and mustard grains, followed by pan-fried turbot with chestnuts, grilled porcini mushrooms, baby onions and snow peas, or poached Breton baby lobster, mussels and octopus ragout with garlic and ginger cream.

Avowed carnivores can opt instead for dishes like ginger-bread crusted beef and melted autumn vegetables with a lemon and thyme scented jus. Desserts reveal the French love of pastry, with treats such as crispy rhubarb tart, strawberry and mint juice and home-made white cheese.

Gillino has worked in numerous Michelin kitchens, including the famous Parisian restaurant Tour d'Argent, and under esteemed mentors such as Alain Ducasse and Manuel Martinez.

Silver Cristal for Steigenberger Nile Palace

STEIGENBERGER Nile Palace Luxor Hotel was awarded the Cristal Certificate of Achievements in recognition of its high standards of hygiene for successfully implementing the policies of the Cristal System Programmes, based on the HACCP food safety management programme. The system is being managed on a daily basis and providing significantly reduced risk from food.

A month of awards for Hurghada Marriott Red Sea Resort

HURGHADA Marriott Red Sea Resort has recently been awarded the Thomas Cook Marque of Excellence Award for 2007. The award is given on the basis of customer recognition of exceedingly high standards of service and quality of accommodation. Sameh El-Garef, general manager of Hurghada Marriott Red Sea Resort, expressed his gratitude for receiving such an award "from a prestigious company in the travel market." El-Garef pledged to continue providing premium services to all customers.

The same resort continues celebrating what seems to be a golden year for them, after reaching the Travelife Gold Supplier Level. The resort worked with the Thomas Cook Group who commissioned a Travelife auditor to complete a Travelife sustainability audit on the property. Travelife Gold hotels are embracing the concept of environmental management and community support. Jo Baddeley of Thomas Cook emphasised the importance of "linking the long-term success of our industry and the impact of our holidays on the environment and on communities."


Pharaons Rally

THE 26TH International Egyptian Pharaon's Cross Country Rally kicked off its seven-day event on 5 October. The international event is organised by JVD International in collaboration with Egypt's leading tourism company Travco, and is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism, and in corroboration with the Egyptian Travel Authority, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Environment, Supreme Council of Antiquities, National Security, National Intelligence, EgyptAir as the official carrier and Total as the main sponsor.

The event attracted pilots from Russia, Brazil, France, Italy, Egypt, United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Qatar, the UAE, Belgium, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, Norway, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Argentina, Uruguay, Finland, Chile and Canada, with approximately 600 participants. With the success achieved in the past two years and for the third consecutive year, Travco, JVD International and Event Me, the media partner, organised this year's edition of the rally. The seven-day race is held under the supervision of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) in coordination with the Fédération Internationale de Automobile (FIA) and in association with the Automobile Club of Egypt (ATCE).

The start of the Pharaons 2008 Rally began at the Pyramids plateau, and will cover 3,000 kilometres. The rally will run in seven stages starting in the Pyramids area towards Bahareya and Siwa oasis. The second stage will be a loop centred around the Bahareya oasis with the track leading south towards Farafra, and back to the Oasis of the 3,000 Mummies.

The drivers will head straight to Siwa, with a break in Sitra, a "lost" spot in the middle of nowhere where a lake was born a few years ago following oil drilling. The usual loop Siwa for the fifth stage is a full immersion in the dunes of the Great Sand Sea surrounding the most spectacular Egyptian oasis. To reach the sixth stage, pilots will be moving during the day from Siwa towards Bahareya, followed by the final trip back to Cairo, where the competition will have covered all seven stages, with the final boardwalk in front of the Giza Pyramids.

New appointments at Semiramis InterContinental

JUERGEN Baumhoff, general manager of the Semiramis InternContinental Cairo, announced the promotion of Hala Sabri to acting director of sales and marketing, Mansour Hafez to banquet and conferences sales manages and Ashraf Sobhi to senior food and beverage manager. Baumhoff also announced the appointment of Mahmoud El-Gamal as director of catering sales, Etienne Joguin as director of food and beverage and Graham Dungey director of revenue.

Amlak inaugurates resorts aplenty

AMLAK Real Estate Investment and Marketing launches Petra Resort and Hotel by the North Coast where you can chill and unwind. Located 63kms on the Alexandria- Matruh road, 28kms from Marina, Petra is a four-star hotel with 96 chalets and 120 hotel apartments. All chalets overlook the sea or pool. It has two outdoor swimming pools, one Olympic swimming pool along with a covered pool for ladies, a Jacuzzi, sauna and a fully equipped gym.

Amlak Finance and Real Estate Investment inaugurated the Aurora project in Al-Ein Al-Sokhna. The launch ceremony was attended by Fathi El-Sebai, chairman of the Egyptian Arab Land Bank and Ahmed Haggag, CEO of Amlak Finance and Real Estate Investment.

The resort is one of the most affordable luxury projects in Ein Sokhna, which was developed by SABA, the Egyptian Gulf company for touristic projects. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Egyptian Arab Land Bank, and located just 23 kilometres after Porto Sokhna. Aurora-Ein Sokhna hosts 19 villas and 150 chalets of varying sizes and is centred around a 350-room hotel with an extensive 250 metres of beachfront accessibility. The newborn project has multiple advantages, making it an ideal destination for holidaymakers. Ahmed Haggag, CEO of Amlak Finance and Real Estate Investment, said the project offers a variety of housing styles to suit individual requirements. Moreover its affordability and the feasibility in payment which reaches up to 90 per cent over 20 years, coupled with its proximity to Egypt, makes Aurora a good opportunity for investors.

Spread over 81,840 square metres, Aurora-Ein Sokhna will be ready for delivery in the third quarter of 2010 and will become one of the most ideal leisure projects in Egypt. The project will feature numerous amenities such as four swimming pools, multi- cuisine restaurants, a children's play area, 350-room hotel and a 250-metre personal beachfront.

Trade, investment and tourism

THE EMBASSY of South Africa is organising a four-day trade, investment and tourism exhibition with Egypt starting 22 October at the Grand Hayatt Hotel to create investment opportunities between both countries.

In 2006, South Africa's economy grew by five per cent, representing the highest rate of economic growth in 25 years. After years of rising unemployment, the unemployment rate has declined for three years in a row, with over a million jobs created in this period. The past decade, South Africa has pursued policies that have put the economy on a sound footing, where it can grow faster and more sustainable. The present economic boom represents one of the longest sustained increases in income in about 40 years.

South Africa is also a tourist paradise, offering scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, a kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions, and endless opportunities to explore the outdoors through sport and adventure activities. South Africa has made its mark as a global destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. Foreign arrivals have increased by 4.4 per cent during the first five months of 2007. The estimated tourism contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 4.6 per cent in 1993 to 8.3 per cent in 2006 and is expected to make a leap of up to 12 per cent by 2014.

Book your Nile Cruise on line with Sonesta

SONESTA collection announces the availability of its online cruise booking engine for consumers and travel agents interested in the Sonesta Nile Cruise fleet. Available at,,the booking engine allows the consumer to review sailing dates, check availability and book the cruise and ship of their choosing, all from the website. With Sonesta's 12 properties in the region, will enable you to book your entire Egypt experience from the convenience of your computer.

The renowned five-star Sonesta Nile Cruises provide relaxing voyages between Luxor and Aswan aboard its five luxurious cruise ships for either three, four, six or seven nights. Onboard activities are endless with fully equipped luxurious guest cabins and suites, several outlets to choose from and daily entertainment. There is also the opportunity to unwind at the pool on the sun deck, treat yourself to a massage provided by a professional masseuse aboard or work out at the fitness centre.

Tia Heights Makadi Bay

AS OF 1 October, Tia Heights is the new managing company that will take over the one million square metre resort in Makadi Bay, formally known as Le Meridien. Tia Heights Makadi Bay has 1,049 rooms, all recently renovated and altered for a more modern style. Along with the expansion of outlets, Tia Heights Makadi Bay now holds 15 food and beverage outlets.

© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved

Issue 917 Front Page
Front Page | Egypt | Region | Economy | International | Opinion | Press review | Reader's corner | Focus | Culture | Feature | Heritage | Special | Living | Sports | Cartoons | People | Listings | BOOKS | TRAVEL
Current issue | Previous issue | Site map