The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

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Cherokee Health Club

Cherokee Health Club: Hidden in Mohandiseen

reviewed by
Naila Haris
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Cherokee Health Club: Hidden in Mohandiseen

It’s time to build your brain or
brawn, and the only direction is up for the ambitious exerciser; so hit the
elevator selection for lucky floor number thirteen.

Far removed from the Cairo traffic
hiss and stacked atop the Pharaoh Egypt Hotel in Mohandiseen is Cherokee Health
Club, a gym and spa with a café for quiet study.

Pharaoh Egypt Hotel touts Cherokee
Health Club from the thirteenth to fifteenth floors, offering a gym area as
well as a Jacuzzi, steam room and dry heat sauna. Also available are seasonal
aerobic classes and professional massage using the latest techniques.

The gym is split between the
fourteenth and fifteenth floors. An invigorating orange dominates the gym and
the stairwell walls connecting both gym sections.

The men and women’s washroom and
changing areas are also separated on either floor. Both men’s and women’s rooms
are considerably small with two showers, one bathroom, and a long bench
adjacent to several storage lockers, evoking a comfortable atmosphere of privacy
and reclusion.

The men’s restroom and changing area has wood
cabinets for storage and urinals separated in a different room from showers.
The section appeared homier and better lit than the women’s room with steel
lockers and unified washrooms.   .

Despite the forgotten atmosphere of
this uninhabited club, at the time of this writer’s unannounced review, the gym
was in tip-top condition. The sauna smelt trustworthy and of dry wood, the
floors and equipment were free of dust with the windows wide open. The high-
and low-impact training equipment looked well-maintained.

On the thirteenth floor is a
semi-shaded pool area with orange beach umbrellas, tables and recliners for
natural tanning. There are sky blue tiles, synthetic grass, beige stucco walls and
stone-arch niche framing live plants. The terrace edge is guarded by a tinted
glass wall for an unobstructed view of Cairo. Curling bronze lamps hanging
iridescent, champagne globe fitters give
this metropolitan escape a vintage feel.

The small pool is best suited for
leisure and is shaped like a sun-dial. It’s appropriately paved with a blue
mosaic sunburst off-centre left (rising) in a cartouche:
the hotel logo.

Opposite of the pool and across the
hall is the refreshing diner with a nominal name. Café Pharaohs is a pineapple
cabana of zesty yellow walls and brown bamboo panelling tastefully balanced. Café
Pharaohs serves a full-course meal at a reasonable price. Tea costs 5LE, salad
costs 7LE, dessert and soup cost 10LE. Appetisers and sandwiches start at 18LE.

Cherokee Health Club offers a great
deal for an intense workout. Gym membership for one month of twelve visits (three
visits per week) is 150LE. Long-term membership secures unlimited visits with
three-month access for 500LE, six months for 800LE, and twelve months for
1300LE. Including spa benefits doubles each fee. Individual spa visits are

A second, rooftop café called, King
Tut’s Café, is under renovation and scheduled to open summer 2011. Life-size
pharaohs make King Tut’s Café the most Pharaonic terrace.

360 Tip

Bring sunscreen.

Best Bit

The dramatic interior is tastefully designed and maintained clean.

Worst Bit

The gym is quite empty, due to lack of hotel guests for the time being.

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