Christmas in Cairo: Celebrate in Style at the City’s Top Hotels
The only thing that comforts the heart and soul during Cairo’s cold winter days is the Christmas period. Tinsel, baubles, lights and trees are littered across the city – often in the most unexpected of places – and with them comes an unequivocal seasonal joy; well at least for some.
Cairo’s top hotels have outdone themselves this year, with a host of top-notch celebration plans. Scrooges are not welcome.
Dusit Thani Lakeview
The spirit of Christmas has even touched Cairenes out there in the wilderness that is New Cairo. As one of the newer hotels in the city, Dusit Thani is also without doubt one of the plushest, with Ruen Thai proving just that. The restaurant received a commendable Cairo 360 4-star rating for its impressive food and perfect ambiance, but it’s the hotel’s other venues that are embracing the Christmas spirit whole-heartedly. Branzino is offering diners a festive buffet on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, while bakery, Dusit Gourmet, is churning out all sorts Christmas-themed sweet goods.
Grand Nile Tower
Even Saudis love Christmas! After last year’s acrimonious change in management, the Grand Nile Tower – formerly the Grand Hyatt – is on the road to affirming its position as a respectable Cairo hotel once more. Fontana, popular for its special Ramadan menus, will offer a special a la carte Christmas menu; think turkey, stuffing, et al. But that’s not all; Baccarat, aboard the hotel’s Marquise yacht, is to host a special Christmas buffet, accompanied by live music. If you can’t bear the harsh Nile December breeze, the Revolving Restaurant is another option. The once highest restaurant in the Middle East affords diners a great panoramic view of the city and full-blown Christmas festivities.
Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers
The Fairmont Heliopolis often receives flack when compared to its glitzier Nile-adjacent kin, but this year, no amount of aeroplane fuel leaking over from Cairo International Airport will dampen the Christmas spirit. Over Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Leonardo, Noble House and Maria’s will serve a special set Christmas menu, while Le Marché will offer that in addition to an à la carte menu. Meanwhile, Fuze has sunk its hooks in a couple of DJs to celebrate the two days, heathen-style, while Aqua e Luce is taking a much more traditional approach to holidays, with a special set menu and a live pianist on Christmas eve, before a Christmas day brunch which will have a range of fun, distracting and noisy kids’ activities.
Fairmont Nile City
Always game for a party, the good people at the Fairmont Nile City are merrier than a band of carol singers high on eggnog. Proceedings begin on December 15th with an official Christmas tree-lighting. Taking place in the hotel’s Onyx Lounge, the celebrations will include Christmas gifts for the kids and eggnog and other equally devilish treats for the adults. That’s not all, because this will all take place with jazz singer, Ahmed Harfoush, performing. Harfoush is a bit of a favourite at the Fairmont and will also be performing in the Magneta ballroom on Christmas day with the Riff Band, where guests can also enjoy a classic Christmas dinner. One day before that, on Christmas Eve, Napa Grill rolls out a special Christmas degustation menu – how delightful.
Four Seasons First Residence
Anyone who has ever got lost in the winding corridors of the Four Seasons First Residence will attest to the kitsch museum in a kitschier mansion vibe of the hotel – and there’s nothing kitschier than Christmas. Hundreds of Cairenes flock to the hotel chain’s flagship restaurant, Seasons, for their daily rotating buffet – including seafood and French cuisine. This Christmas, the restaurant is switching things up, with a grand Christmas buffet. Tea Lounge is also serving an array of festive sweet treats, all of which can be ordered and made to your specification; Four Seasons does it so that you don’t have to. Call 0235671600 for more information.
Boy does the InterContinental Citystars take Christmas seriously. Celebrations start on Christmas Eve with a veritable smorgasbord of live music in the lobby. That very same day, Esplanade will begin serving up its special Christmas buffet, while restaurants, Shogun, Al Bustan and Maestro, will present a special Christmas menu. Meanwhile, cocktail bar, Bellini, is hosting parties on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, while Fayruz presents an Oriental twist of proceedings courtesy of a belly dancer who may or may not be dressed as Mrs Claus.
Possibly Garden City’s most decadent hotel, the Kempinski knows how to celebrate in style. The Chocolate Lounge, usually the perennial home of art exhibits in collaboration with Zamalek Art Gallery, is offering holiday sweets and treats, while the extravagant Floor Ten has transformed its brunch service into all things Christmas. Later on in the evenings, Floor 10 will also offer a special four-course Christmas meal, as will Turkish restaurant, Osmanly. As one of the premier restaurants in the city, Osmanly’s Christmas menu has us feverishly excited.
Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
Home to an eclectic assortment of restaurants and bars, the Marriott has a special Christmas period lined up. Special set menus can be found at JW’s Steakhouse, Ristorante Tuscany and Saraya Café, as well as Harry’s Pub, where live music will surely remedy any Scrooge tendencies. Elsewhere, Roy’s Country Kitchen will offer a special Christmas buffet for both lunch and dinner, while the festivities continue in some of the hotel’s other venues including Egyptian Nights and the Bakery, the latter of which is housing a very unique collection of offerings for your seasonal sweet tooth. If you’re lucky enough to possess a foreign passport, why not end the night at the casino.
Overlooking Downtown Cairo and Tahrir Square, the Ramses Hilton is taking a more whimsical approach to Christmas at Garden Court Café. This is definitely one for the kids, with elaborate decorations, a ginger bread house that no one should attempt to eat and the actual, real Santa Claus – just kidding; he’s probably an MB member they picked up from Tahrir. On the hotel’s roof, one of Cairo’s most peculiarly named restaurants, Windows on the World, will offer a lavish five-course Christmas meal against a stunning panoramic view of the city. The slightly less grand surroundings of Terrace Café is compensated for with a huge Christmas buffet.
Stay tuned for more nauseating Christmas material from the merry Cairo 360 elves.