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

Al Alamein Hotel: Perfect but Pricey North Coast Beach

Al Alamein Hotel: Perfect but Pricey North Coast Beach

If you spent your childhood summers in the
80s and 90s on Egypt’s North Coast, chances are you may have been to Sidi Abdel
Rahman at some point. Officially named Al Alamein Hotel after the famous desert
battlefield area close by, veteran patrons know the hotel as Sidi Abdel Rahman, named after the Bedouin village located nearby.
Located on Km 129 on the Alexandria-Matrouh Road less than 10km after
Marina and 3km after the Diplomat’s Village, the hotel was once blessed with an
ample landscape full of palm trees before it was sold recently to Emaar and now
is part of the major Marassi construction project.

Now under Emaar’s management, the hotel has
improved its service and upgraded its furnishing and interiors, with exuberant
prices to match. The greatest selling point of the hotel is its bay; quite
possibly the most pristine swimming spot on the North Coast. With umbrellas and
chaise-lounges dotted along the bay, the beach’s white sands contrast with its
aquamarine sea.

Two presidential villas are located at the
far left end of the hotel with seven bedrooms each and their own private terrace; they were once the holiday
destination for Egypt’s former presidents Abdel Nasser and Sadat. Additionally, the hotel offers three
different sizes of villas and single as well as double rooms. All rooms and villas face the sea and are
located right on the beach; a nice change from all the resorts where you have
to walk for two days to reach the beach.

Egypt’s current economic situation seems to
have absolutely no effect on the hotel’s prices. With major luxury hotel
chains in Cairo cutting their prices to almost 50%, it’s shocking to find that
a night in a single bed at Al Alamein could easily get you two nights in a
five-star hotel in Cairo now.

For the low season ending on June 30th
2011, the hotel’s rate are as follows: 1100LE for a ground-floor single room
and 1250LE for a double room, while single and double rooms on the first and
second floor cost 950LE and 1100LE respectively. A three-bedroom villa will set
you back 2800LE, a five-bedroom villa will cost you 4500LE, and the
presidential villa will set you back a mere 6000LE. Interested in a day use at
the hotel? That will set you back 1000LE for a double room to be used until
7PM, meals excluded. Bear in mind that these prices are for the low season
only. 

Ready for the high season? From
July 1
st till July 30th, and from September 1st
to September 7
th, a single
room on the ground floor will set you back 2350LE (yes, 2350LE), a double room
will cost 2600LE, while single and double rooms on the first and second floors
will cost you 1950LE and 2300LE respectively.

Care to dish out 10,000LE a night on a
presidential villa? Well, you can do just that at Al Alamein. Five-bedroom
villas cost 6000LE while three-bedroom villas will cost you 4500LE. Breakfast
at the hotel will cost 75LE, while lunch will cost 125LE and dinner will set
you back 150LE. The food at the hotel is pretty standard, with options of
continental breakfasts or foul and falafel, and grilled chicken or fish for dinner. You
can have the meal delivered to your room, and if you feel like barbequing,
every villa comes with
a sea-front garden and a barbeque set.

Once an affordable summer destination for
many families, it seems that Al Alamein’s prices for this season are aiming for
a smaller niche of clientele that can afford the masses of villas and
apartments under construction on the land behind the hotel.  Still, for those familiar with the beaches
and gardens of Al Alamein Hotel, perhaps sharing a villa for a night or two
would be a feasible option.

For more information and reservations, call 046
4680140 or visit the hotel’s website
.

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