Where tradition meets luxury
Among the skyscrapers and buildings along the Nile, the Semiramis InterContinental Cairo doesn’t go unnoticed. Iconic property resides on the east bank of the river, in the district of Garden City, right before Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” we often hear. And we shouldn’t judge this hotel by its cover either, as it only looks somewhat outdated…step in and start judging.
Judge it by its high ceilings, the ornaments…by the attention to details. Notice how alive the hotel is, how much is actually going on: people sitting at the Tea Garden, talking and sipping their beverage, people hurrying towards the lifts, maybe late for a meeting, people checking-in and checking-out at the reception, busy with their cases and bags, people enjoying their time and probably heading to the city center for sightseeing. If you’re looking for an energetic and lively atmosphere, Semiramis InterContinental Cairo is the place to be!
There are twelve dining destinations within the hotel, and they all specialize on a different cuisine: Italian, Japanese (just opened by the way, named Sushiramis – thumbs up for the creativity!), Lebanese, Thai, French, International…and the list goes on. You really can’t get bored when it comes to food (as if it was possible..). Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to try them all, but I can easily say that the sushi there is astounding, though you don’t expect Japanese cuisine to be as advanced in the Egyptian capital, and Lebanese restaurant is out of this world!
Besides restaurants, Semiramis InterContinental Cairo offers other places where you can stay and hang out with friends and family. For example, the Ambassador Club, Haroun Al Rashid (club with singers and belly dancers too), the Nile Terrace, where you can find a large swimming pool and a bar, the Palm Garden, Café Corniche, a casino, and much more including a pharmacy and a clinic (that’s very convenient). It’s perfect for business trips as well, as they provide you with plenty of rooms for meetings and presentations.
Chapter rooms. The scent is the first thing I noticed as I stepped into my room. Some incense mixed with other herbs, I believe. Anyway, it suits the wooden setting perfectly, as the rooms tend to have dark tones, from the carpet to the furniture. With all the extras at guests’ disposal, rooms either face the Nile, or the inner part where Tharir square is located. Make sure you are given a room at the higher floors though – Cairo´s sunset is something you don’t want to miss out on (for more things you shouldn’t be missing out when in Cairo, check the main article here).
Chapter breakfast. Make sure you’re hungry in the morning, because breakfast can’t get any better. You’ll feel overwhelmed by the vast choice before your eyes as you enter the lounge room. Own bakery, with a friendly female expert preparing the typical Egyptian, or baladi, bread live, warm dishes such as omelets and sausages, fruits, nuts, a huge and fat piece of salmon lying there for you to cut, hummus, vegetables. Tip: go there early, as the tables by the windows facing the Nile are not occupied.
People working at Semiramis InterContinental Cairo are unbelievably kind and caring, from the waiter to the receptionist to the manager. As soon as you need something, they’re there to help you solve your issues and doubts. Which I think to be one of the pillars of InterContinetal hotels: customer service is definitely one of the best. To prove this theory, I paid attention to every time I called the customer center (which happened quite often since I forgot not once, not twice, but thrice something around the hotel…), and as soon as you dial the number, you already hear the voice saying “Hello Sir, how may I help you today?”. This is one hell of a service! And by the way, they managed to find and deliver to my door all the things that I forgot. Not bad Semiramis InterContinental Cairo, not bad!
Chapter downside. Though provided with six elevators, there’s always much traffic and getting to your room might take you up to 2-3 minutes sometimes.
Anyway, the hotel is cool, end of the story. If you aim at delving into the upper-class and luxurious Cairo at a good price for western standards, this hotel is what you’re looking for.
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