I found the Fairmont Towers overall, very good. I will lay out the pros and cons and let you decide for yourself.
The hotel is new and modern. There are 2 hotels on the same property. The Fairmont Heliopolis is an older (80s?) hotel. I'm told rooms are basic, small and just ok. The Fairmont Towers are much nicer and I think geared toward the business traveler.
Upon checkin, I only waited about 5 minutes to sign the paperwork and was led up to the room by a bellman with my luggage and a butler. Signature rooms at the Fairmont Tower come with butler service. The front desk staff are very nice and professional, and I noted that Ms Heba tried her best to be friendly and welcoming. She remembered my face and name and greeted me as such each time I walked past her.
The room was quiet, large, modern and did not have the purple metallic headboard I had read about in other reviews. It was tastefully decorated. Hardwood floors in the bedroom. Marble in the entrance and bathroom. The king size bed was comfy. The sofa was lovely by the window. There were two other chairs in the room that I didn't actually try out.
The bathroom is excellent. Next to the Four Seasons Cairo, this is a great bathroom. Rainshower was excellent. Temperature and pressure were good.
The bathtub is large and wonderful. The toilet and bidet are in their separate compartment.
The closet in the entrance is large with plenty of storage and drawer space. An iron, ironing board, hairdryer, safe (large enough for my 17" macbook pro), slippers and shoe horns were nice to see.
Pros: This hotel has allot of dining options. I ate in the mexican restaurant (which was just ok); Marilyn's, which is a cheeseburger joint (great concept, just ok food); and at the Indian restaurant which was the best dining experience I had. I also ordered room service and the food was good and came in 30 minutes. (also, see below)
The pool areas are nice. You can use any of the 4 pools (3 at the Fairmont Heliopolis, 1 at the Towers). Nice pool bar. Nice staff.
The entire property is connected and you do not have to leave one building to enter another.
The rooms are great.
The Signature lounge served a nice continental breakfast. It's not so different from any other concierge level continental breakfast, but it was ok. I did enjoy the evening hors d'oeuvres and the wine. The Signature lounge is accessible by private elevator, which I liked allot. (see below under smoking).
The housekeeping staff are very nice and efficient.
The spa staff are great. Very helpful in everyway, and anticipated my needs (bottled water, shorts for the jacuzzi).
The spa is nice. Not the best spa, but ok (see below).
Butler service. It was never made clear to me what butler service was about. Besides escorting me to my room (with a bellman) they didn't do anything. They did work in the Signature lounge, bringing drinks. But I thought a butler would be there more often offering services like running a bath, offering to pack or unpack, etc. I read the hotel website and it states this is their job responsibility, but noone actually offered anything while I was there, except drinks. They are nice employees though.
Dining prices. Food prices are a bit steep at this hotel. I've read allot of other reviews and I can affirm, that they the food and beverage department is certainly trying to recoup some revenue in this area. Food was not worth the cost. I would suggest a trip to SunCity or CityStars. Lots of reasonably priced restaurants and you can do a bit of shopping while you're out. Maria's mexican was really expensive in comparison to the food. I paid 360le for just me (burritos and a taco salad). I should have paid about 200le for this. Room service prices seems more in line with a hotel like this. Mini bar prices are high, but expected.
When I ate at Marilyn's (hamburger place), I was impressed by the concept. The prices were also very reasonable. The problem came when the cheeseburger I ordered was very rare. I took two small bites and couldn't eat it. The manager however asked about the food, I told him the problem and he comped almost the whole meal, charging me only for my sides. He also offered me either another cheeseburger or an alternative. He was very nice and handled this situation beautifully.
Spa. The spa is new and nice. The issues for me were: cockroaches. I saw one outside the shower in the steam/sauna area. I told a massage attendent and she handled the issue quickly. But I should not have seen this. The steam room is really small. There is room for 2, but one of you will have to sit very close to the steam output...burning your legs. It is a good steam room...just too small. The massage rooms (there are two in the men's area) are well located, but female massage therapists sit inside theirs,waiting for the next appointment. Women in the men's wet area was not acceptable to me and walking from the shower to the sauna or steam in a towel was odd and uncomfortable. The female attendent today also walked into the sauna and placed her lotion in there to warm it up. I was completely naked on a towel in the steam room under lights. It was as if I was on stage as she looked in. I'm no prude, but this was weird. This is an easy fix...have the massage therapist wait somewhere else (outside the men's wet area) until the actual appointment time or only employ male masseurs. I was also surprised the hotel did not offer in-room massages. Had they, I would have booked one. I saw nothing in my room about the spa, services or pricing. The hotel should put spa menus in the room.
Duvet/Bath towels. I had two bath towels in my bathroom. I had to request more. Yes...it's a minor issue, but for the price of this hotel, there should be plenty of towels on hand. The duvet on the bed is thin. In the middle of the night each night, I felt cold (and I like cold). I would suggest putting an extra duvet in the closet just in case your guests need it. I didn't feel like calling for an extra blanket at 3am and really, I shouldn't have to.
Security. There are peepholes in the door, but mine didn't work. When you look out, it's blurry and you cannot see anything or anyone in the hall. I'm hoping it was just my room (446) with this problem.
Smoking. Yes, this is Egypt, but my God....the smoking in the hotel is ridiculous. You cannot escape the smell (anywhere). There are open bars throughout the lobby. I would expect smoking sections in those bars. I would not expect smoking in open-air restaurants (inside the lobby). There was no smoking smell in my room, but even guests smoked in the hallway on the way to their rooms (even though I was on a non-smoking floor). The Signature Lounge also allows smoking, so you can inhale second hand smoke while having breakfast. Disgusting.
The location is only good for the airport. There is very little within walking distance around the hotel. So, be prepared to do some taxis.
Overall, I was happy with my stay at the Fairmont. I hope you find my review objectively fair.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the heart of Cairo’s diplomatic and presidential neighborhood, few minutes away from Cairo International Airport elegantly stands the Fairmont Towers, Heliopolis, a luxury Cairo, Egypt hotel.The design of Fairmont Towers, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt hotel comprises a unique mix of contemporary art and authentic décor that echoes modern Cairo along with the distinct Egyptian heritage. From the unequalled spacious guest rooms to the state-of-the-art conference facilities, from the water passages across diverse array of restaurants’With 835 guest rooms and suites providing the most lavish Cairo, Egypt accommodation, 15 superlative dining choices, 69 thousand square feet of Cairo banquet space, unrivalled range of guest services and recreational facilities that incorporate squash, tennis, and beach-volley courts, fully-equipped health club, 3 swimming pools, kids pool and play ground, beauty salon, and convenient shopping choices, Fairmont Towers, Heliopolis portray a destination on its own. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fairmont Towers Heliopolis Hotel Cairo
- Fairmont Hotel Cairo
- Fairmont Cairo
- Cairo Fairmont