With Cairo weather reaching scorching high degrees and humidity completely massacring our hair, our only source of comfort is to run for shelter in the closest swimming pool. Following weeks of laborious work and research (sigh), Cairo 360 has found you the best pools in Cairo, with prices, details et al.
JW Marriott: The only hotel pool in Cairo to have man-made waves and a beach, the JW Marriott certainly promises an entertaining afternoon by the pool. And so it should be, considering that you have to rent a room (LE 700) or a cabana (LE950) to access the pool from 11 am to 7 pm. Poolside food is expensive; be prepared to pay up to LE 200 for a few sandwiches and drinks. Tip to the wise: a room can be split among four people, which makes the fee per person actually quite reasonable for such a five-star hotel.
Address: Ring Road, Mirage City, P.O.Box 427, Heliopolis, Cairo.
Nile Country Club: Probably the most affordable pool in Cairo, the Nile Country Club’s pool is adequate for just LE40 for a day-use. You can also rent a cabin for the day at LE250, which can fit up to six people (their words, not ours) and can provide some shaded shelter. The pool is adequately sized, though you’d better go as early as possible, as it tends to be packed after 11 am on weekends. Be warned that when it gets crowded, you may find women swimming in shari’a swimsuits. If that makes you uncomfortable, it’s best to hit this pool mid-week or on a sublimely early morning.
Address: Hadyak Helwan, Corniche El Nile, Helwan, Cairo , Egypt
Katameya Heights Country Club: This country club’s pool is a popular destination for Maadi and Kattameya residents. The large pool is kid-friendly with a lifeguard always on standby, and there’s a nice bar at the deeper end of the pool, where you can order a drink from the nearby Breeze. During weekdays, entrance to the country will cost LE 80, plus another LE 60 for the pool. On weekends, the price increases to LE 150 for entrance plus another LE 60 for the pool. Day use includes access to the changing rooms and spa, which has three different Jacuzzis, a sauna and steam room. The major downside is that the club is restricted to members only and their guests; but if your member friend has coupons, you can use them to enter the club free of charge and then only pay for the pool.
Zamalek Residence Hotel: This hotel was formerly known as Safir before it underwent a major renovation and is now part of the Hilton franchise. The kidney-shaped pool is not large enough for swimming laps, but with a Nile view and a moderate rate of LE 150 for day-use from 9 am till sunset, it’s an affordable option to chill poolside. Warning: due to the hotel’s design, the building’s shade falls onto the pool after 2 pm; so you’ll be swimming in the shade and missing out on the scorching sun. The neighboring Nile Breeze Café has an annoying LE 100-minimum, even if you just want to grab a drink.
Address: 21 Mohamed Mazhar, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino: Using this pool for the day will set you back LE 310, and nothing is included. You can’t access a room to change in, you can’t use their spa or their gym, and they’ll be very keen to remind you of that if you so much as go near the facilities. The Marriott pool is almost always full of people, especially on weekends. So even though its 25m-length makes it perfect for swimming laps; good luck trying to when you have to navigate through the crowds. A three-tiered terrace area around the pool gives everyone a prime view of the pool, though the waiters will barely notice you if you sit too far up.
Address: Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino, 16 Saray El Gezira St., Zamalek. Cairo
Gezirah Sporting Club: Zamalek’s biggest park and only sports club, the Gezirah Sporting Club has two swimming pools: an eight-lane, Olympic-sized pool and the affectionately named lido, which is only 25m-long with around six lanes. Although the Olympic pool is best for laps, kids’ practice takes over every day at five, while the lido stays open well into the night. A popular hangout on weekends for the young and beautiful, the lido also has two Jacuzzi-like pools, and you can go for a swim as late as 10 pm. Access for guests costs LE 30 for Egyptians and LE 100 for foreigners. You’ll need a member to accompany you in, and it’s often difficult to get into the club on weekends, when it’s seriously crowded.
Address: 5 Saray El Gezirah St., Zamalek, Cairo , Egypt
Telephone: 27360307, 27360328, 27356000
Nabila Hotel Pool: Situated in the heart of Mohandiseen, Nabila Hotel’s pool has the cheapest day-use deal at only LE 40. However, use of the pool is only permitted between 10 am and 5 pm, which hampers any plans for late-evening chilling. The pool is small; it’s not great for swimming laps but perfect for relaxation, especially since the pool area is quiet and lacks the loud music often associated with other hotel pools.
Address: 4 Gamaet El Dewal El Arabeya St., Mohandiseen, Cairo , Egypt
Mohamed Ali Club: Located on the Giza Nile Banks across from Maadi in a quiet and secluded area, this club is full of greenery, chaise lounges and an infinity pool where you can swim a few laps, or you can lounge in the Jacuzzi at the north edge of the pool. A day use of the pool costs LE 100 and includes a big fluffy towel, but you’ll have to pay extra for food. This is a great place for a pool party or an all-day adventure.
Address: Km 13, Upper Egypt Agriculture Rd.Km 13, Upper Egypt Agriculture Rd., Giza, Cairo , Egypt
Intercontinental Citystars: One of the most expensive day-use options in Cairo, the InterContinental’s large swimming pool wraps around a Las-Vegas-like pyramid, with a kids’ area and a depth of up to 8-feet. It’s difficult to swim laps here; so just enjoy the cool water and the excellent poolside service. To access the pool, you have to rent a single room for LE 830 or a double for LE 950, which allows you use of the pool and the room from 10 am to 8 pm. The deal includes LE 150 per person for food and drink, as well as free use of the gym and the hydro-pool; supposedly the largest hot tub in Cairo.
Address: Oman Ibn Khattab St., Heliopolis, Cairo , Egypt
Corniche El Nil:
Fairmont Nile City: Located on the 25th floor of the luxurious hotel, the negative-edged Fairmont pool is big enough for some healthy laps-swimming, while a smaller pool nearby makes for excellent lounging and paddling. LE 600 will give you access to the pool and a single room to change and leave your stuff in. The room’s bathroom is decked out with Miller Harris products and super fluffy towels.
Address: Nile City Towers, 2005 B, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Downtown, Cairo , Egypt
Grand Hyatt Hotel: With arguably the best Nile view smack dab on the Garden city Corniche, the Hyatt’s rectangular-sized pool is 22 meters long, so great for swimming laps, while the chaise lounges around the pool provide some luxurious tanning with a view. For such an upscale hotel, LE 200 per person seems like a good deal. The day use fee includes a complimentary towel, but food and drinks are extra.
Corniche El Nile, Garden City, Roda Island,
Tel: +20 2 2365 1234
6th of October City:
Mövenpick Hotel Cairo Media City: Located in the far edge of the suburbs and in the heart of Media City, the Mövenpick has two large swimming pools, which wind elaborately around little islands with chaise lounges. The pools are basically circular ponds; so it’s very hard to swim laps in them, and your safest bet is to paddle casually. The pools are shallow; so kid-friendly, and for LE 129LE; you get to use the pool from 9 am to 7 pm. A complimentary towel is provided and you get your own locker in the Health Club nearby.
Address: Mövenpick Hotel Cairo-Media City, 6th of October City, Cairo , Egypt
This article was contributed to Daily News Egypt by Cairo 360 http://www.cairo360.com/