The Cairo summer heat always seems to take us by surprise. Out of the blue, the temperature hits 40 degrees and we find ourselves glued to our A/Cs behind closed blinds, avoiding sunlight. Swimming pools are very necessary for days like these. If you want to enjoy sunbathing and swimming in Cairo without paying an arm and a leg, then head to Nabila Hotel in Mohandiseen. Located on Gamaat El Dowal Street, the hotel’s swimming pool offers arguably the cheapest day-use in Cairo for only 40LE.

The pool is located on the hotel rooftop, and despite its moderate size, you can still have a good swim in it. It is also convenient for children because part of the pool is quite shallow. There are a few chaise longues and chairs around the pool, and if you want shade, you can ask for an umbrella. There is also a covered area that provides shelter from the sun. Toilets and showers are located nearby, and big towels are provided for your pool use.

The pool’s food menu is quite extensive but not all items are always available. To give you an indication of prices, you can get soups starting at 12LE and various salads for 10LE and above. You can also sample mezzas like sambousak (15LE) and kobeba (18LE). Main courses are a bit pricier with grilled prawns for 90LE, fillet with pepper sauce for 70LE and chicken dishes for 45LE. In case you are really hungry, get yourself a kilo of kofta or kabab for 130LE. Sandwiches start at 12LE.

The drinks menu includes coffee starting at 7LE, soft drinks at 10LE, juice starting at 15LE and Stella beer for 15LE.

This reviewer sampled the tehina (10LE) and the big burger sandwich (25LE). The tehina was appropriately creamy and served with shami bread. The burger tasted fine, but it was nothing extraordinary. It does take a while for the food to arrive and the waiters are not always around. Whenever you see them; order everything you want at once.

Day use at Nabila Hotel also gives you access to the spa, which consists of a Jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna, which at the time of this reviewer’s visit didn’t seem too clean. However, the gym area at Nabila is in much better condition, but you will have to pay an additional 40LE. So just to sum it up; using the pool and spa will cost you 40LE, the gym alone costs 40LE, while the gym, pool and spa cost 80LE.

It might not be the biggest and coolest pool in Cairo, but for 40LE, Nabila Hotel offers a cheap way to cool down in the heat.