After wandering around in Cairo for a while, your skin can use some thorough cleaning and pampering. The constant pollution and hot desert wind is a killer to smooth skin, so spa visits should be a basic necessity, if they weren't so expensive.

Fairmont Nile City Hotel has recently launched its Willow Stream Spa. Located one floor below the hotel’s rooftop pool, the spa has exquisite views over the city. On a clear day you can see the pyramids in the distance.

As you enter the spa’s modern, minimalist lounge, the very friendly and efficient staff will greet you. On the left side is the spa and on the right side the beauty salon and gym. There is also a little shop where you can purchase the products used in the spa as well as slippers, robes and gift sets.

The spa has a separate male and female wing. However, if you want a couple’s spa treatment, you can book a private room. The private rooms consist of two treatment tables and a spacious bathtub, where you can have a honey or milk bath. Behind the reception desk there is the Lapis lounge, which is a lounge for both male and female patrons.

The dressing rooms are not very big but not cramped either, though the lockers are a bit small. You are given a clean robe and slippers as well as disposable underwear to change into before your treatment. The dressing rooms are equipped with blow-dryers, hair-straighteners, towels, razors and shower caps as well as body lotion and a scale. You are escorted to your treatment room by your masseuse.

The treatment rooms have a very modern and tranquil ambiance, with soft ambient music playing in the background. This reviewer sampled the one-hour relaxation massage. The masseuse is very friendly and tries to make you feel as comfortable as possible. First, you are covered with hot towels, and a bowl with pleasant scents is laid underneath you on the floor. The masseuse works your muscles thoroughly and makes sure to ask you if the pressure of her touch is enough or not. Face and hair massage are included, but only if you want it.

After your massage, you can go over to the relaxation room with a Nile view for some coffee, tea or lemon- strawberry water while reading a magazine. You can use the steam room, after which you can cool down in the rain shower or the cool mist shower. In the rain shower, the water literally comes from everywhere. In the cool mist shower you can turn on the mist, which gives a nice combination of the cool air and hot water together.  

Willow Stream Spa offers a relaxing, luxurious experience that comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Massages, facials and other treatments average at around 766LE (US$129) per hour and above.