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Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
Willow Stream Spa: Luxurious Massages at Fairmont Nile City
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.
On the hunt for swimming pool day-use to escape from Cairo’s heat, we knew we were in for a day of luxury when we rocked up at Fairmont Nile City. Its looming towers glisten with an almost Art Deco twinkle – Gatsby, eat your heart out. The glass-fronted elevator whisked us up 24 stories, through the grandiose magnificence of the ballrooms, conference rooms, restaurants and bars contained in the hotel, to the hotel spa where we made our booking. And 24th floor spa means 25th floor pool – and that means rooftop pool!
We prayed for the sun to shine on our day at the pool, and it did us proud. While you’re sure to get a tan that high out of the smog of inner city Cairo, we also caught a nice breeze as we lounged atop the towering building.
The pool is technically part of Willow Stream Spa, where Fairmont’s guests pamper themselves and stay healthy in its gym, pool, massage parlour, hair salon, lounge, and spa. For 550LE, all of this, except for the massages and salon, is available.
In case you missed our hints, the view from this place is out-of-this-world, and is best enjoyed gazing down upon it from the Jacuzzi, with drink in hand. The hotel’s position means that the Nile snakes along below and the vast hulking mass of Cairo sprawls out where ever you look. The magnitude of the city is staggering from this vantage point, and the quiet of the rooftop calls for a moment of reflection.
There are plenty of chairs arranged around the pool and under canopies, so visitors can eat, chat and sunbathe as they wish. Pool attendants are ready with clean, fluffy towels for all and food and drink can be ordered. Although the pool isn’t huge, it’s fine for splashing about in, and there’s a separate toddler and baby pool as well. Although a few families were out enjoying the weather, it was mostly adults swimming, and it would be possible for the keen swimmer to do a few short laps undisturbed. The water stayed cool and refreshing all day, but despite the rooftop setting, it still falls into shadow from about 5pm by a taller building next-door.
The pool can be used between 7AM and sunset each day, and although we arrived around 11AM and there were still spots to sit at, all the seats were filled up by about lunchtime. Overall, though, you cannot go wrong at Fairmont Nile City for a day of relaxing, replenishment and rejuvenation.