Al-Ahram Weekly Online   4 - 10 March 2010
Issue No. 988
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875


Queen of the Feast

IT'S TIME to celebrate your mother for her love and care all those years. The best way to mark Mother's Day is at Sheraton Miramar so your mother can feel she's Queen of the Feast. Between breakfast in bed and family gatherings, Sheraton Miramar gives you many options to choose from.

These include dining at the buffet, specialty Oriental or Italian restaurants or relaxing with dazzling views of the Red Sea. There are also a variety of massage treatments, sauna and steam room to pamper your mum.

With love

EVERYONE is special, so come and show her how much by taking your mother out to the Terrace Café at Ramses Hilton on her special day. At our lunch and dinner buffets, she'll be the guest of honour and her meal will be complimentary if she is joined by four family members.

Also, don't forget to order a special Mother's Day cake from the Garden Court Café, to make sure her day ends sweetly.

Sweet treats

CONRAD Cairo is preparing unforgettable retreat for all mothers on 21 March. Chef Gede has spared nothing on this occasion in Kamal, our new Asian restaurant, offering signature rice table and serving different dishes from Indonesia. At the same time, Oak Grill's team has prepared menus ranging from three to five courses for your choosing.

Chef Faris at Jayda will prepare Lebanese delights and a three course menu, and you'll be able to take the recipes home to impress you mother with your culinary skills. This special promotion is available 15-22 March.

Chocolate delights are March's specialty in the Atrium 1-22 March. Whether you are a fan of the classic opera cake, chocolate raspberry mousse or chocolate tart with Earl Grey mousseline you are certain to find something that will tantalise your palate and please your sweet tooth.

Honouring all mothers

MOTHER'S Day is a time of celebration for all. It is time for breakfast in bed, family gatherings, sending mother a poem and best wishes. Bring your mother a delicious cake created by Mustafa El-Gendi, Sheraton Montazah's pastry chef, innovated especially for the mother on her special day. And all this at a great discounted price.

Meanwhile, Chef Hamdi Abdel-Wanis, the hotel's executive chef is preparing a Strawberry Promotion during the first week of March, where the freshest strawberries are blended in authentic recipes to make delectable desserts. Chefs El-Gendi and Abdel-Wanis promise to bring their talents together for this event, creating unforgettable strawberry dishes that are as delightful to look at as they are to eat.

March is for Mothers

MOTHERS rule on 21 March; it is a day to show your love and gratitude, express your feelings and pamper your mother with special offers at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano. Nothing sounds better than a treat at the spa, with the 'March is for Mothers' package.

The treatment begins with a facial treatment which leaves the skin bright and healthy, and then continues with a body treatment with special products from Austria. It finishes with complimentary eyebrow shaping. Daughters can also join their mother for a complimentary sauna or steam, then time off together in the relaxation room.

For a family gathering, Kala offers a brunch from 1pm until 6:30pm. The hotel chef will deliver tasteful homemade dishes cooked for mothers with love. Grandchildren will be well taken care of at the kids corner, where they will be kept entertained. So, head to the Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano and let the team there help you create memorable moments for your mother on her special day.

Saving street children

HILTON Worldwide, Egypt, signed a partnership agreement with Ana Al-Masry Foundation in February to provide an integrated approach to the phenomenon of Egypt's street children. The agreement was signed by Ana Al-Masry Foundation Chairman Yousriya Nassif Loza and vice- president of operations at Hilton Worldwide, Egypt, Mahmoud Mokhtar.

Ana Al-Masry operates shelter and reception facilities for children at risk, by offering accommodation and food services very similar to those offered by hotels on a much smaller scale. As the leading global hospitality company, Hilton Worldwide, Egypt, has experience and knowledge to offer Ana Al-Masry in running the foundation's rehabilitation programme. Hilton's team from all 16 hotels and resorts in Egypt will present technical support and training to the foundation in a number of areas, ranging from food and beverage, housekeeping, engineering, technical services and design, procurement, as well as human resources and training support.

"This agreement will enable Ana Al-Masry to support children at risk in a respectable rehabilitation shelter, served by competent individuals who will be trained by the Hilton team," stated Loza. "I express my deep happiness since such fruitful cooperation will strongly render good benefits to an important section of our society: the children who need to be saved for a better future."

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to support an organisation which not only works for such a worthy cause, but is also one that shares our core values of determination, integrity, responsibility and developing talent," asserted Mokhtar. "Such partnership will definitely complement Hilton Egypt's ongoing commitment to its corporate social responsibility within the wider Egyptian community."

Ana Al-Masry provides essential care and services to street children, and also works with low- income and marginalised communities who run high risks of sending their children to the streets.

Aid to drowning villages

A SELECT team representing the Semiramis InterContinental Cairo joined an aid convoy sponsored by Dar Al-Orman to Aswan, in support of families affected by recent flash floods which destroyed several villages. Employees collected food, money and blankets for the victims, which were distributed by the team from the hotel who spent a day with the displaced.

The team, which included Graham Dungy, Maghrabi Suleiman, Emad Reda, Marwa Salem, Amna Gamaleddin and Walid Kandil, toured the temporary camps where the homeless were housed, and vowed to return with more donations.

Tiger celebrations

TO COMMEMORATE the beginning of the Year of the Tiger, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza hosted a Chinese new year worship. Olivier Masson, the regional vice-president of Four Seasons Hotels Egypt and the hotel's planning committee members celebrated the event with the staff, who all joined in making a wish for health and happiness.

To mark the dawning of the Chinese new year, Spice restaurant has prepared a unique menu, where guests can indulge in a mouthwatering eight course meal of Cantonese specialties. These include crystal dumplings with vegetables, shrimps in chili sauce and stir-fried chicken.

Tourism leaders gather at Conrad

THE EGYPTIAN Tourism Federation (ETF) chose Conrad Cairo as the meeting place for an open forum between Tourism Minister Zoheir Garana and the ETF General Assembly. Garana discussed pending issues with 100 participants at the Conrad Ballroom, and Chairman of the Egyptian Tourist Authority Amr El-Ezabi presented the 2010 tourism promotion plan.

In fact, Conrad Cairo was named best in business by Business Traveller Middle East & Business Destinations, UK and has proven to be the first choice on the business map.

Secrets of Thai cuisine

FOURS SEASONS at the First Residence held another of their successful cooking classes for its Ladies Club members, along with a group of elite socialites in Cairo. The class was given by new Chef Pitchapat who presented various Thai dishes.

Guests were given the secrets to her exquisite selection of famous dishes, and the class was followed by a session of the newest Thai therapies and tips for yoga. The delightful day ended with a lavish lunch at the Lai Thai restaurant, where the ladies tasted the food they cooked.

Learn, cook and taste

AT A CHEERFUL soiree at Aladdin Restaurant, Sheraton Cairo Hotel, Chef Fahd, along with Director of Public Relations Magda Sami and Senior Sales Executive Rieckermann Co Rachel Refaat introduced a wonderful style of cooking classes for StarChoice members. Chef Fahd demonstrated the cooking process of a sumptuous selection of the most popular Lebanese specialties. After enjoying the exciting cooking lesson and the delicious meal, attendees were entertained by belly dancer Hanady.

The event was Sheraton Cairo's first StarChoice members' gathering for 2010, which was organised as part of efforts by Starwood Hotels & Resorts to maintain the lead and entice guests. The hotel's continued creative events and superior services are certain to lure customers into coming back for more.

Saudi Press Delegation at Ramses Hilton

IN AN EFFORT to promote tourism to Egypt, Ramses Hilton recently hosted a group of travel writers from Saudi Arabia, representing top Saudi publications. The group were given a comprehensive orientation tour of the hotel and its facilities, and were impressed by the hotel staff and services which are readying for the season of Arab tourists.

Rooftop academic celebration

WINDOWS on the World rooftop restaurant at Ramses Hilton was chosen as the venue to celebrate the launch of the American University in Cairo's (AUC) graduate School of Education. The celebration was attend by Parliament Speaker Fathi Sorour, Minister of Higher Education Hani Hilal, Minister of Education Ahmed Zaki Badr, Minister of State for Family and Population Mushira Khattab, AUC President David Arnold, AUC Counsellor Amr Salama, in addition to the deans of Egyptian public and private universities.

Unparalleled fine dining

SIGNATURE Italian cuisine that was twice recognised as the finest gourmet restaurant in the Sinai Peninsula is ready to serve at La Luna restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El-Sheikh. The new Chef Roman Mendoza and his team will ensure that guests have a memorable dining experience with unique service and outstanding cuisine. Homemade pastas, delicious Italian deserts, and a wide selection of imported and local wines are at hand.

"With a new chef, the best quality of food, best product, and the best service, La Luna will maintain its reputation of being among the best restaurants in the Sinai Peninsula," asserts Executive Chef Jarrett J Beaulieu.

Its unique architecture, majestic views and wooden panel ceiling distinguish the ambiance, offering elegant seating both indoors and out. The private Wine Room seats eight people and offers menus and wine pairing that can be tailored to individual preferences and requests. The restaurant welcomes guests to this fine dining restaurant which samples dishes from various regions of Italy.

The cuisine is authentically prepared for the most discerning palate, and the quality of food centres around the selection of the freshest ingredients, both imported and local. The new menu at La Luna features such dishes as seared tuna with citrus glaze and orange; fennel and herb salad; and pan seared sea scallops with vanilla emulsion and red pepper oil. Braised shin of lamb with kalamata olive polenta and asparagus; and olive oil poached black cod with smoked lentils and aubergine puree are highlights of the main courses. Various desserts include ricotta tort with forest berry compote and mocha anglaise.

Body and soul rejuvenation

EXTENSIVE spa facilities, which combine quality, service and ambiance, will carry you away to a world of complete rejuvenation at the Ritz- Carlton, Sharm El-Sheikh. Professional Spa attendants are dedicated to guest comfort and well- being, with an extra measure of pampering.

Guests are treated to an extravagant variety of state-of-the-art therapies and unique treatments, including massage therapies, body therapies and signature Cleopatra Bath and the Egyptian Coffee Scrub -- both authentic treatments used in the days of the Pharaohs and Queens of Egypt.

The décor of the spa reflects a relaxing Asian influence, where much of the furniture and artwork is made of dark wood and ivory tiles, and candles soften the light for a more cosy feel. Guests may choose a massage in an exotic outdoor Arabian massage tent overlooking the Red Sea, where the natural sound of the sea provides a relaxing ambiance. This is ideal for couples or individuals who want the ultimate massage experience.

The resort is spread over 100,000 square metres of lush tropical landscape on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, offering 321 rooms including 35 suites. In addition to the spa, the resort also owns 500 metres of beach coves and beautiful landscape, two floodlit tennis courts, a 24-hour fitness centre, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and the only chill room in Sharm El-Sheikh, along with seven swimming pools, a diving centre and nearby 18-hole golf course.

New management at Sheraton Miramar

NOTED community leader and Starwood veteran Ko Van den Hil was appointed general manager at Sheraton Miramar Resort, the stunning oasis for holidaymakers seeking peace and tranquillity on the Red Sea, El-Gouna.

Van den Hil has 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry, joining Starwood in 2001 as the financial controller for Sheraton Luxembourg Aero Golf Hotel. He went on to successfully serve as director of finance, complex director of finance and hotel manager for several Starwood properties.

Kempinski on the Nile

ON A RECENT trip to Cairo, the CEO and President of Kempinski Hotels Reto Wittwer announced that the Kempinski Nile Hotel will open in mid-2010. Wittwer noted that Cairo's newest boutique hotel, located on the Nile front at Garden City, is the first important property for Kempinski in Cairo and is owned by Talaat Mustafa Group (TMG).

Kempinski Nile Hotel will replace an old hotel, launching a new phase in hotelier traditions on the banks of the Nile. The hotel was revamped in a record time of 30 months, where the décor and character were overhauled to make it a more contemporary establishment. The warm and refined atmosphere, combined with state-of-the-art technology, will offer guests a memorable stay.

"Cairo is a city where we have long been interested in to establish a Kempinski presence," declared Wittwer. "We are particularly delighted to enter Cairo with such a great property on the banks of the River Nile." For his part, Zaki El-Gezuiri, vice-president for investment, business development and hotels at TMG asserted that, "we are delighted that TMG [will] bring this level of luxury to Cairo's hospitality sector for the first time."

The interior design of the 191-room hotel was done by French architect Pierre Yves Rochon, who created an atmosphere of luxury and energy. The hotel boasts a rich array of culinary delights, alongside the bar and lounges which will open for leisure and night-time entertainment. The outlets range from a rooftop pool bar, shisha lounge, an Ottoman restaurant, Jazz bar and chic dining restaurant. The hotel will also house a spa, outdoor rooftop swimming pool, as well as state-of-the-art business and meeting facilities.

"The prime location of the property, combined with its superlative facilities, give Kempinski a great opportunity to positively establish our brand in Cairo," according to the hotel's General Manager Axel Ludwig.

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