Al-Ahram Weekly Online   23 - 29 September 2010
Issue No. 1016
Travel
 
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Guidelines


Eid close to heaven

DUSIT Thani LakeView Cairo offers an un forgettable atmosphere.You can relax by the pool and enjoy the perfect mix of warm Thai hospitality, great food, lots of relaxation, wonderful entertainment and atmospheric nights with plenty of fresh air. Spend the evenings on the terrace lounge and enjoy the sunset with your favourite cocktail in hand. Relax, unwind and enjoy the superb serenity at the spectacular swimming pool and large Jacuzzi with a separate children's pool. Day use package for families cost LE 400. This price is not valid during public holidays.

Magical nights worldwide

HILTON Worldwide launched the "Magical Nights Away" promotion for leisure travellers during Eid and Ramadan, by giving a 33 per cent discount on stays in over 45 hotels across the Middle East, Egypt, Africa and Indian Ocean during the entire month of September.

Participating hotels include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Maldives, Seychelles and others. Reservations must be made between 24 August-23 September and require a seven-day non- refundable advance purchase with full payment at the time of booking. Discounts vary by hotel brand.

"Ramadan is connected to night festivities, and with Magical Nights Away, we are inviting our customers to spend their Ramadan nights at one of our hotels," explained Oliver Schmaeing, Regional Director of Marketing, Hilton Worldwide, Arabian Peninsula & Indian Ocean. "Guests can receive our world-class hospitality while gathering with family and friends and enjoying one of our outstanding dining options." Schmaeing added that since travel is a tradition during this season, "the promotion gives families the opportunity to take their Ramadan and Eid celebrations to a new setting, providing them with great deals on travel accommodation."

Mission accomplished

'TASTE Force' at Kempinski Nile Hotel is now complete, according to the hotel's General Manager Fuat Koroglu and Executive Chef Holger Jackisch, who announced the arrival of chefs Simon John Dow, Frederic Le Gac, Soner Kesgin and Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar. Jackisch has over 30 years of work experience in the culinary industry accumulated at top international hotels in eight countries, and won several awards in international competitions. He will be leading the taste force which will work to provide guests with sophisticated simplicity.

Dow, a British national, has more than 19 years of experience at Michelin rated kitchens, and will lead the culinary team of Floor Ten with his passion for style and flavour. Among his accomplishments is having one of his recipes published in the Dom Perignon Vintage book, which sells at 1000 a copy and is bound in the ultra- rare hide of a Japanese ray, packed with recipes, reminiscences and portraits by the world's most bankable celebrities.

Cairo Kempinski also proudly introduces Osmanly, the first ottoman restaurant inspired by Egypt's rich history in association with Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. Chef Kesgin a Turkish native, will take you on a journey to his homeland where you will sample warm freshly baked bread, fragrant dips, or succulent beef and pomegranate bursting with flavour.

French Pastry Chef Le Gac will craft savory, world-class dessert creations to compliment Kempinski's dining menus, such as developing the homemade chocolate creations for the Hotel's Chocolate Lounge. It features exquisite, handmade chocolate crafted by Le Gac sur command that is certain to satisfy the most discerning palates. Le Gac has more than 20 years of international pastry expertise and is a graduate of the prestigious Professional School France. He is winner of Best Cuisine at Sea Oceania cruise line, Best Brunch of Dubai for Al-Qasr Hotel, and Gold Medal wedding cake in Dubai.

The entire multinational Taste Force are expected to work seamlessly to elevate the dining experience for Kempinski Nile Hotel's guests.

Top pick for distinguished guests

ITS UNIQUE location, eye-catching design and luxury quality service, were a few of the reasons why Croatia's Ambassador to Cairo Drazen Margeta chose to stay at Jaz Crystal Resort during a recent official stay at Marsa Matrouh. Combining tasteful architecture with modernity and convenience, Jaz Crystal Resort encourages guests to unwind and relax in spacious rooms, indulge in a range of sports and recreational activities, as well as enjoy outstanding cuisine and dining. The hotel's upscale business facilities distinguish it as an ideal business venue visited by the country's most prominent figures.

Meanwhile, Jaz Oriental Resort, Marsa Matrouh is known as a sanctuary for dignitaries and superstars because of its privacy and outstanding services. Famous music stars Craig David & Estelle and their crew stayed there during their visit to Egypt, where they performed on the North Coast.

All business at the Conrad

CONRAD Cairo has proven it is one of the best business hotels in Egypt and the choice of Cairo's most prestigious business functions. The Arab Women Investors Union (AWIU) chose the hotel to host the signature ceremony of a partnership agreement and cooperation between Italian executive business women and investors, headed by Laura Gucci and AWIU headed by Hoda Yassa.

Italian Ambassador to Cairo Claudio Pacifico was also in attendance alongside top business figures including former prime minister Atef Ebeid who currently heads the Arab International Bank. Other guests were the state ministers for family and population, and local development.

The hotel, located in the heart of Cairo's commercial district overlooking the River Nile, is a contemporary luxury hotel with 617 elegantly designed guestrooms, inclusive of 52 suites and five executive floors and an array of restaurants and bars. Conrad Hotels & Resorts is a Hilton Worldwide global contemporary luxury brand, offering a seamless intersection of life, business and pleasure for today's sophisticated traveller.

Each Conrad hotel is a dynamic reflection of its city and culture, as well as a showcase for striking design and distinct surroundings. With hotels and resorts across six continents, the world's gateway cities and most sought-after resort destinations, Conrad guests enjoy personalised service.

An elaborate culinary experience

SEMIRAMIS InterContinental introduced special kahk delights at Café Corniche and Tea Garden, with many delicious fillings whether including malban, nuts, agameya or tamr. For a livelier setting, go to Haroun El-Rashid where the popular belly dancer Dina will be performing her unique choreography. You will also be entertained by Saad El-Soghayar on these delightful nights.

There are several promotions during September including the newly renovated Pane Vino Terrace offering authentic specialties by Italian Chef Federica Piccioni, such as fresh pasta with specialty savory sauces. Lebanese restaurant Sabaya is bringing its delicacies poolside for dinner this summer, along with live entertainment under the starry sky. On Saturdays, however, Sabaya will be celebrating Egypt's culinary traditions as Chef Makhoul makes a meal out of Egypt's finest local ingredients for lunch and dinner, including scrumptious molokhiya with chicken or the flavourful Egyptian fattah.

On Sundays, indulge in a spectacular tapas selection as you relax in the sophisticated atmosphere at the Grill's exclusive lounge area. Enjoy the smooth tunes of the Jazz Quartet as you enjoy a large variety of tapas creations, from tasty avocado and crab éclair to delicious beef enchiladas. At the Ambassador Club on Mondays, you can cheer for beer with Heineken in front of a big screen TV and the latest sporting actions. The first 50 clients will enjoy their first Heineken beer free of charge and receive a 50 per cent discount when reordering their second beer.

For a tour of Asian proportions, visit Night & Day on Tuesdays and take a bite of a non-stop, live cooking Asian fare, from papaya salad with mango and lime, to steamed dumplings and stir-fry specialties. Sample fisherman's night on Wednesdays at the same venue, where a brigade of chefs will bring you an array of seafood specialties for dinner from grilled prawns to roasted local fish.

The new look of Hilton

THE FLAGSHIP brand of Hilton Worldwide, Hilton Hotels & Resorts (formerly Hilton Hotels), introduced a refreshed brand name and logo in August. The new name and logo holistically represent the brand's extensive global portfolio, which includes more than 70 resorts in 25 countries with more than 32,600 guest rooms in key leisure markets around the world. "Generations of global travellers share a strong connection with our brand identity," stated Dave Horton, global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand. "Our name and core mark are both recognisable and incredibly powerful. This evolution reflects the modern style and world-class resorts that define our brand today."

The logo change continues an enhanced leisure marketing strategy for the brand. The Hilton Hotels & Resorts development pipeline currently includes more than 11 resort properties from Argentina to Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE. and Hangzhou, China. The many award-winning and legendary resorts within the brand include Caribe Hilton, birthplace of the Pina Colada; Hilton Namhae Golf & Spa Resort, World Travel Award winner as South Korea's leading resort and golf resort; Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, 2010 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award, global winner for romance.

Earlier this year Hilton introduced "Stay Hilton. Go Everywhere.", a global advertising campaign promoting the brand's more than 530 hotels and resorts in 76 countries across six continents. The campaign calls special attention to signature Hilton resort properties while entertainment industry integrations have placed Hilton resorts on popular television shows.

A global consumer research study conducted as part of the logo refresh indicated strong awareness of the signature "Hilton cartouche" and association of the symbol with highly positive brand attributes. The contemporary design is the first change to the iconic brand's logo since 1998.

Green tourism championed

TO MARK World Tourism Day on 27 September, Minister of Tourism Zohair Garanah formed a committee of key figures at the Ministry of Tourism and private sector representatives to prepare for the celebration. In several meetings, the committee discussed a number of proposals of how best to mark the occasion, which this year is held under the banner 'Tourism and Biodiversity'. The theme aims to highlight the importance of the interdependence between tourism and biodiversity, and the vital role tourism can play in conservation and alleviating poverty.

Garanah approved a number of ideas, including that on World Tourism Day hotels will work to limit environment pollutants. Also, tourism leaders who will be honoured during celebrations will be selected on the basis of their association with best environmental practices in tourist activities.

The committee will continue meetings to decide on a range of activities, in coordination with relevant authorities, and communicate with the World Tourism Organisation about the new forms of celebration of World Tourism Day in Egypt.

Eid fun for everyone

SWEETS, candy, fireworks, new clothing and going out are all ways by which children celebrated Eid. But what about adults? Sheraton Montazah Hotel Alexandria prepared a selection of entertaining activities during Eid for adults, to indulge themselves and celebrate the festive season in inviting surroundings.

There were full programmes and activities for couples, groups and families at Caesar Inn and Aquarius Discotheque to have fun and enjoy themselves. Different parties were also on offer to suit every taste, with a variety of entertainment such as belly dancers, live songs and DJ hits.

Facelift at Sharm Ritz

AFTER one year of intensive work, The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh, is ready to show off a refurbished interior and exterior to guests in the upcoming holiday seasons. Among the new enhancements at this stunning resort overlooking the Red Sea are full refurbishments of all 88 sea view rooms, La Luna Italian restaurant, Pyramid's pool area and the adjacent Waves restaurant, as well as the main lobby.

"We are proud to see the fruits of our labour after 12 long months from the commencement of this renovation project," stated General Manager Carsten Fritz. "It's a good feeling to know that we have elevated the standards of The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh, and it is very exciting to give our guests something to look forward to when they come to stay with us."

Part of the project's plan is to change the room count to 320 rooms and suites. The newly renovated sea view rooms are bathed in a new palette of warm soothing colours to add a contemporary perspective to the existing décor, while preserving the chain's elegance and comfort.

The beds now sport rich orange leather headboards, as well as silk duvet covers. Plush burgundy drapes and a 32-inch LCD television featuring more than 20 local and international channels complete the room experience. "This renovation process is the outcome of our observations and considerations of our guests' usage patterns over a number of years," explained Fritz.

The renovation plan included the award-winning restaurant La Luna, which offers a fine Italian cuisine experience in Sharm El Sheikh. The restaurant floor's marble was updated to a trendier style to match the restaurant's cool colour scheme. Its unique interior architecture, incredible views of the Red Sea, and high wood panel ceiling set it apart from other eateries. Offering elegant seating both indoors and alfresco, the restaurant features a wide selection of Italian wines, while the private Wine Room seats eight guests and offers menus and wine pairings that can be tailored to individual preferences and requests.

Guests entering the resort will notice a transformation such as the latest furnishings in the main lobby, complemented by a subtle lighting scheme, soft music and gorgeous flower arrangements indigenous to the Middle East by the resident florist.

Additional changes were made to the Pyramid pool area, where new and immersive tiles were installed to keep the pool hygienic and safe, especially for younger guests. A favourite hang-out for guests, the interior of the pool-side restaurant Waves was refreshed to reflect the casual elegance of both daytime and evening dining.

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