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O Bar: Ladies' Night at the Fairmont Nile City in Cairo
We always get excited when a new bar opens up in Cairo. We get especially excited when said bar is located in the Fairmont Nile City. Prior to its opening, O Bar was already the talk of the town, not least because of its creative launch invitations; they were so exclusive they became the most sought after invites in town. After the grand opening, O bar launched Ladies’ Night on Tuesdays, offering free drinks and snacks to the Cairo’s glitterati. After hearing this we couldn’t help but go there ourselves to check it out.
O Bar is located in the lower lobby of the hotel. As soon as you walk in just follow the music and you can’t go wrong. The huge black and white entrance leads you in to find the electric blue bar in front of you. The first thing that is striking about O Bar is the space. The venue is relatively big and is made up of distinctive areas. Apart from a dance floor there is an area with booths, the bar, as well as another room towards the back with seats for those who want to escape the herds for a bit. We fell in love with the walls covered with pictures of well-known celebrities interspersed with the dark purple and cream stripes. The design gives an edgy touch to the place. Above the bar is a mirrored ceiling which we advise ladies with low-cut tops not to stand underneath!
Tuesday nights can get really busy and being a lady indeed paid off because it meant we got our complimentary Cuvée mimosas.
The resident DJ at O Bar is DJ Moody, though we’ve promised the occasional special guest. If said guests are of the same calibre as DJ Amr Hosny who played at the opening night, then we have nothing to complain about. Either way, the music is still generally good with a mixture of commercial, house and r&b. The atmosphere at O Bar can best be described as glamorous. At the time of our visit the ladies really went all out and were dressed up in their finest outfits.
Apart from our complimentary drinks we tried a Screwdriver (96LE) and a Long Island iced tea (93LE). The latter was one of the best we’ve ever had in this city. Unfortunately though, the second time round it was prepared with a little less love and tasted considerably worse in comparison. The Screwdriver was mixed with fresh orange juice and had a substantial amount of Vodka in it. Cocktail lovers will be pleased because O Bar has an extensive cocktail menu.
The club tends to get crowded which can be a bit claustrophobic when you are stuck in front of the bar. However, the venue is big enough to wander around when you want to escape. Overall the atmosphere and crowd are a joyful bunch who jump and dance around instead of sipping on their drinks with long faces and waiting for the photographer to spot them. Tuesday nights are already legendary around town and rumour has it that O Bar still has a lot more surprises in store.
Nestled in the heart of Downtown Cairo, located just a few minutes’ walk from the Naguib Metro stop, Happy City rooftop bar – of the Happy City Hotel – offers a chill, relaxed place to spend a night out with friends.
Walking into the lobby of the hotel we were somewhat worried we’d be in for a disappointing night, with fake flower door curtains and the 70s style décor of the rest of the lobby, but stepping out on the seventh floor rooftop bar, we were pleasantly surprised.
Happy City is spacious, with large tables and comfortable chairs scattered around; there were already several groups enjoying the open air, even though we had arrived rather early in the evening. Plastic covers protected patrons from the chill of the night, but a comfortable breeze was still blowing through and the plastic didn’t detract too much from the overall experience. In warmer months the rooftop would have a fantastic view.
Happy City’s décor is nothing particularly special, but it is comfortable and laidback – encouraging patrons to stay for hours and hours. The music mostly consists of Arab pop, but it largely faded into the background, allowing us to concentrate on our conversation. The other patrons were a mixed bag; a collection of tourists and ex-pats to locals. This isn’t really a place to meet new people though, since most people were concentrated on their own group and the tables are widely spaced apart.
On a side note, we found that the bathrooms were not kept in stock or particularly clean.
We settled in and called for the waiter, who explained that there weren’t any menus for us to look at. Deciding to go with Cairo staples, we ordered a round of Stellas (15LE) and Heinekens (20LE). After taking our orders the waiter quickly returned, drinks and complementary table snacks in tow. We found that the snacks at Happy City are a step up from those usually offered in bars, with a selection of chickpeas, tirmis, carrots and cucumbers. We saw other tables with fresh bread and dips, and at our request, our server was happy to provide us with those treats as well.
However, we weren’t as impressed with service; the Stellas weren’t as cold as they could have been and we had to really work to flag down the waiter when we wanted to order another round.
We ordered both the apple and peach flavoured shisha (5LE) to find that the shisha is a definite highlight at Happy City. Though it took quite a while to arrive at our table, it was definitely much better than other shisha we’ve had around Cairo, and the price absolutely can’t be beat. The shisha attendant also did a great job keeping the coals hot all night.
We quite enjoyed our time at Happy City and are planning to make it a constant in our routine. Though the service wasn’t great that night, the prices are good, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the people are chill. Happy City is the perfect place to whittle away the hours with a couple of friends over some good conversation.