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Mohandiseen, Cairo, Egypt.
Blossom Russian Spa: Basic but Professional Massages in Mohandiseen
If you work at a desk all day in Cairo or still own one of those mattresses made back before springs were invented, you should seriously consider giving yourself a trip to the spa. And we’ve found just the one. Located in Mohandiseen, Blossom Russian Spa is a welcome respite from the dusty outside world with its dark finished wooden interior and excellent service.
The sign out front reads Blossom International Spa, and is indicative of the variety of treatments offered, from the Hawaiian lomi-lomi massage (350LE) to the Japanese Royal manicure and pedicure (800LE). All three members of the spa’s small staff are incredibly kind, helpful and hail from Russia, with the exception of the resident masseuse, who is Ukrainian.
For a bit of the spa’s native offerings, try the classic Russian massage (300LE). As with all services you will be offered a private room with a small bathroom across the hall, where you can shower before or after the massage. Don’t expect too much luxury in the way of robes, slippers or towels – you will be offered a pair of used flip-flops if you plan to walk over to the bathroom and will have to leave your clothes on a plastic chair in the corner of the room during the massage.
What the spa might lack in fanfare it certainly makes up for in professionalism. The staff is willing to engage in honest conversation about what they offer and what might be best for you without trying to hassle or encourage the most expensive treatment. In addition to a number of more traditional massages, you can opt for a number of medical massages like the lymph drainage massage (350LE) or anti-cellulite and anti-stretch mark treatments (150LE), which require multiple visits. You can also engage in scrubs, facials, manicures and pedicures. The spa offers full-day treatments from 750LE to 3000LE and wedding packages for women and men starting at 1500LE.
The full-body classic Russian massage (300LE) is a safe bet for those who don’t come to the spa often or who have never had a massage before. Dealing with one section of your body at a time, the masseuse will warm your muscles up with a soft kneading, and then proceed to use more vigorous motions to really loosen you up, after which she will conclude with more gentle twisting.
If you object to a very firm touch or joint popping, it would be a good idea to speak your mind early on; as this appears to be an essential part of the massage – and getting your toes popped is not always that pleasant.
You won’t walk out of Blossom Russian Spa amazed, but you’ll certainly feel satisfied, and nobody would blame you for booking your next appointment on the spot.
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.