Stay the night: Kempinski Nile, Cairo

The Nile in Cairo was once lined with grim high-rise hotels, concrete futuristic constructions from the 1960s, crumbling slowly like something out of a dusty version of Bladerunner.

Thank goodness things are changing. Ritz-Carlton has recently taken over and gutted one block-like hotel and, last Wednesday, the Kempinski group reopened an old government hotel that had stood empty for 15 years.

Now revamped, refurbished and renamed, the Kempinski Nile is squeezed into a narrow triangle along the eastern embankment. It is boutique in ambience but has 137 rooms and 54 suites leading off from an exquisite lobby filled with light-brown marble and eager staff. The marble – from Zimbabwe – is also a feature of the new exterior.

The hotel is a superb conversion job by Pierre Yves Rochon, who has countless Sofitels and Four Seasons to his name, as well as the over-the-top Hotel du Lac in Vevey, Switzerland, and the Magic Kingdom Hotel in Disneyland Paris.

For Kempinski, he has created calm public spaces, with just one large black marble bas relief in the lobby to allude to the city’s Pharaonic tourist trade. Corridors are livelier, lined with colourful reproduction art. The large lifts are gilded and ascend next to an atrium that fills in the middle of the hotel’s wedge-like floor-plan.

There is still some work to be done (currently the rooftop sign signals that this is the “Kempi”) but rejoice that staying in Cairo need no longer be ruined by its soulless bed factories.

The rooms :

Rooms on the Nile side are painted light blue, those looking into the city light green. Bedding is Egyptian cotton, and furniture dark lacquer with tables in glass or marble. With the quiet hum of the conscientious air-conditioning and the noise of Cairo reduced to just a few car horns in the distance, each room is a refuge. A small balcony, just wide enough to wedge a chair on, gives great sunset views if you book a room on the Nile side. The TVs by LG are large, black and wired up to 150 films for free viewing (anything from noir classics to the latest rom-coms). Wifi is free in every room. The bathrooms are decked out in the same beige marble, with his and hers sinks and a shower room. Toiletries are made specifically for Kempinski Nile by Jeanne Habashi, a French woman who moved to Egypt in 2004 and realised that there was a market for five-star hotel toiletries that used traditional Egyptian ingredients.

The address :

Kempinski Nile Hotel, Cornish El-Nile, 12 Ahmed Ragheb Street, 11519 Cairo Egypt.

Exclusive special rates for GCC & Middle East

customers ,

Available until OCT, 31 , 2011.

For more information you can always visit our office:

2,3, Al-Hamam Tower – Commercial area 9 – Qibla – Kuwait

Or you can contact us through:

Tel: +965-22498576 / 7

Fax: +965-22498578

Email: neda@al-darwaz.com

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