EN BREF 1:
IT'S A PALACE ... LITERALLY !!!
Well, well well.... The
Hotel Marriott Nile, official tournament hotel of the World Teams
where I've been invited to stay by the Egyptian Federation, is a bit of
an amazing place. I didn't know at all how prestigious this place was,
until Mona Farag (Ali's mum) mentioned it!
So I did a bit of research ... Built by Khedive Ismail as a guest
palace to house Empress Eugenie (Napoleon III's Wife) during the
opening of the Suez Canal celebrations in 1869, it has housed European
monarchs and was to be the venue of the first performance of Verdi's
First known as
Gezirah Palace, it became a world famous hotel, then changed
hands to become a private residence, even a hospital for British
Soldiers, it was finally privatised by Nasser in 1961, and was finally
bought back by Marriott in 1970.
Now surrounded by two modern towers - Gezirah Tower and Zamalek Tower
- with amazing views on the Nile (to which I seem to have a strange
connection), the hotel, with the Omar Khayyam Casino
attached to it, still has those wonderful gardens where the "Tout Cairo"
loves to come and sit/eat/smoke, or just read while "sirotant une
limonade" ... Truly THE place to meet ...
they changed a tiny bit with the opening, but the feel is the same. It's
just an amazing place to hang out. And as it seems to be the topic of
the week, the security here is the best I've seen anywhere in the world.
Today, I was actually stopped and my bag searched as the commemorative
plaque offered to me by the Federation during my visit to their offices
attracted the vigilant attention of the Security Screen guy. That was
the first time EVER my bag has been checked ANYWHERE in a hotel !!!
Anyway, it would take you about about a week to try all the food outlets
in the garden, not to mention enjoying the heated great huge pool/health
club facilities ...
Wish you were here? Why aren't you... I am :)
History in a few slides
A bit of History