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

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Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort: A Getaway to Egypt’s Red Sea Beaches

Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort: A Getaway to Egypt’s Red Sea Beaches
    written by
    Anne de Groot

    Now that the summer
    heat is taking over the city, it is the perfect time to escape to the shores of
    the Red Sea. Although Marsa Alam is not exactly the closest beach to Cairo, it
    is undoubtedly one of the best in Egypt. The coastline is still relatively
    virgin compared to Egypt’s other shores that have suffered from over
    development and popularisation; destroying their natural beauty as a result.

    A roundtrip flight to
    Marsa Alam is around 1200LE from Cairo, there is also a bus ride but it would take
    15 hours to get there from the capital.

    The Hilton Marsa
    Alam Nubian Resort is one of the nicest places to stay if you want to pamper yourself.
    The resort is just a 20-minute car ride from the airport and about half an hour
    north of Marsa Alam’s centre.

    The hotel is
    fundamentally Nubian in its décor, but it is accentuated with some modern twists
    and overall has a homely feel to it. There are 250 rooms divided between separate
    two-storey bungalows; seeing as the hotel only recently opened last summer, the
    rooms are still brand new. The standard rooms are nice and spacious, while the
    suites are designed with a separate bedroom and up to two bathrooms; all the
    rooms have an outdoor seating area with either a dining table or low seats. The
    bathrooms are luxurious with a rain shower, lots of nice body care products and
    other deluxe amenities.

    As a fun gimmick, every
    guest is presented with a Nubian hat and a bracelet upon their arrival to the
    room.  The beds are super comfortable and
    have a heavenly amount of pillows you can sink into. There are flat screens
    TV’s with international channels and internet is available at a surcharge. However,
    you can use the computers found in the lobby or in the ‘souk’ area of
    the hotel for your web needs for free.

    With four swimming
    pools you will never run out of options for a refreshing dip; two
    out of the four have a built-in bar so you can sip on cocktails while lazing by
    the pool. The main swimming pool is ideal for children as it’s very big and the
    animation team tends to hang out there. If you’d rather steer clear of those
    shenanigans though, then head to the beach-style pool with waves which is
    surrounded by sand and rocks and has one of the built-in bars where you can
    enjoy fresh beverages. There is also a gym available for those who can’t keep
    away from working out; open 24 hours a day, it offers the latest workout equipment.

    The best part of
    the whole trip however is of course the beach. The resort is situated
    on Abu Dabbab Bay, which is a haven for snorkelers and divers. The one downside
    is that due to the reef on the resort’s shore, you have to walk a good five to
    ten minutes to be able to swim. If you don’t want to walk that far every time it’s
    best to sit on the adjoining beach belonging to the dive centre. This would
    mean you’d have to walk pretty far to the beach bar for a refreshing drink
    though.

    Day trips are
    another way to enjoy your evening hours in Marsa Alam and if you don’t have a car you
    can book your trips through the hotel. An absolute highlight is the trip to
    Samadai Reef, aka Dolphin House. The trip takes up the whole day but is
    absolutely worth your time. It entails taking a boat out to a horseshoe-shaped
    reef in the open sea.  It isn’t called Dolphin
    House for nothing of course; Spinner dolphins are usually found there and
    according to travel agenciesyou can even
    swim with them.

    The hotel works on
    an all inclusive basis and has a number of restaurants and bars around the
    premises. The Marsa restaurant, located in the main hall, serves buffet style
    breakfast, lunch and dinner. The items on the buffet are different everyday so
    don’t worry about getting bored with the options. We found that the chicken
    dishes from the buffet fared exceptionally well.

    For a typical
    Egyptian meal it is best to head over to Souk Café. This outdoor restaurant
    has an oriental menu with various appetizers and main courses to choose from. The
    grilled items are especially delicious and come in such big portions that it’s
    difficult to have dessert afterwards, though you could relax with an after meal
    shisha. Located near the main pool, the Breeze Pool bar is also a good option
    for outdoor dining with more excellent grilled items. The fish comes highly recommended; lightly grilled and well seasoned.

    If you are looking
    for a party you are best off at Axis Bar; a DJ provides the music during the evening
    hours and the waiters serve some wonderful tasting cocktails.

    In case you tire of
    the typical routine that includes swimming, snorkelling and other water related
    activities, the hotel has a lot of alternative activities you can take part in
    as well; such as Arabic classes, belly dancing class and yoga classes. There is
    also a centre for children with endless entertainment appropriate for their age.

    The staff at the
    Hilton is very friendly and attentive, everybody will greet you with a smile
    and service is swift in all the restaurants. As a matter of fact, we feel a lot
    of Cairo waiters should be sent down there for some training!

    For a couple of
    days of ultimate relaxation the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort is a definite
    go to. Marsa Alam is even worth visiting in winter since their temperatures are
    moderate and the pools at the Hilton are heated; the rooms are so nice you will
    never want to leave them anyway.

    Room rates start at $120/720LE per night, but fluctuate regularly. Prices are available on the Marsa Alam Nubian Resort website.

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