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


Baccarat: Two-Star Dining at a Four-Star Hotel

  • on board Marquise, Grand Hyatt Cairo's Private Yacht,
  • Cabaret,International
  • 2:30AM -4:30PM/ 8PM- 10PM -
reviewed by
Dalia El Fiki
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Baccarat: Two-Star Dining at a Four-Star Hotel

The Nile yacht looks grand; just what you’d expect from a four-star
hotel in Cairo: great glass windows, the word Marquise plastered in gold across
a glossy white background. As you’re led towards your table inside Baccarat,
you’ll feel even more like royalty. Don’t let the decor fool you, though; while
the yacht is outstanding, the food and entertainment are not.

Once you’ve made your reservations, you’ll be asked to arrive half an
hour before the yacht departs at the Cairo Grand Hyatt’s reception in Garden
City, where you will be directed to the dock and onto the grandeur of the
Hyatt’s private yacht Marquise. At first glance, the service is impeccable.
Upon your arrival, you’re escorted to your table amidst lavish classic French decor,
with splashes of gold surrounding the interior and romantic lighting
illuminating the ceiling. The waiters are attentive and friendly; always up to
speed with your requirements and advising all relevant information regarding
the trip.

The drawbacks start once the red velvet curtains are drawn to expose
your entertainment for the night. The couple that start singing for about the
first 45 minutes of the trip seem to be better suited to a low-end cabaret as
opposed to a 4-star yacht. While their song choice isn’t terrible, their
outfits and amateur performance give off a negative vibe. The live band playing
on Egyptian instruments is quite good, with enough harmony and flow to leave
you bobbing your head in satisfaction. The final segment of the entertainment
is a belly dancer who, while talented, breaks out into some Beyoncé-like dance
moves mid-routine. All in all, you will be entertained; just don’t get too
excited about the quality.

Baccarat’s dinner trip offers an open buffet that is mainly a fusion of
Egyptian and European dishes. Some buffet include mousa’aa (fried eggplant with
béchamel sauce and tomatoes), piccata, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables,
as well as a basic range of salads, dips and desserts. While the mousa’aa was a
mouth-watering pleasure, the rest of the food fell short in terms of flavour.

It is also worth noting that you can leave the air-conditioned dining
area at any point and head upstairs to the deck, where several round, dark
wooden tables and spectacular views of the Nile await. While on the deck, the
expertise of the waiters comes into check when all guests on the deck are
ushered towards the centre to avoid dripping water from Kasr El Nil Bridge.

Baccarat has two daily two-hour trips, one starting at 5PM for 186LE and
another starting at 8:30PM for 286LE. Costs for the trips exclude drinks, and
it is worth noting that you will easily pay over 600LE if you opt for the
evening trip. Credit cards are accepted
on board; but smoking is not permitted inside the boat. For reservations,
contact the Grand Hyatt on 23651234 and ask to be transferred to Baccarat’s
reservations desk.

All in all, while
Baccarat’s staff are professional and the decor is mesmerising; there is a wide
chasm between this and the quality of food and entertainment.

360 Tip

Call and double check that the yacht trip will still be occurring; trips are sometimes cancelled when there isn’t enough interest. Also, try to park in Garden City to avoid the hotel’s high parking fees.

Best Bit

The views from the deck and the sense of glamour that you feel as you walk in.

Worst Bit

The quality of food and entertainment is disappointing.

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