Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria: Seaside seclusion on Egyptian shores

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Mon, 2019-10-07 08:18

CAIRO: Many a property development commercial has used the
cliched statement of offering “city within a city” living, but
at the new beachfront accommodation at the Four Seasons Hotel
Alexandria at San Stefano, this statement couldn’t ring
truer.

The luxury five-star hotel has been around for over a decade,
and the building is considered something of an iconic landmark in
the Egyptian port city. And when it comes to service and
hospitality, it remains unrivalled — just ask any seasoned
traveller to Alexandria. Reviews across the broad spectrum of hotel
sites online also back this up.

Over the years, the property has acquired a loyal fanbase of
local ‘staycationers,’ Egyptians living abroad, and GCC and
Western visitors. The sea-view rooms are a big draw, while the
private beach is the only one in the city that’s on par with
international seaside resorts. Some of the best beaches in
Alexandria are on the North Coast, but they are at least an
hour’s drive — possibly two — away from the main city, and
difficult to get to if you’re not with family or friends who know
the area.

Over the years, the property has acquired a loyal fanbase of local
‘staycationers.’ (Supplied)

But who needs the North Coast, really? With its new
accommodation offering, we have a feeling that the Four Seasons’
fanbase will only get bigger.

Earlier this year, the hotel launched 16 beach suites in a new
extension. In fact, a complete revamp of the private beach area has
taken place. Gone is the old seafood restaurant (imaginatively
named ‘Fish’), replaced by a new eatery, called (equally
creatively) Beach Restaurant and Lounge. An infinity pool has been
added — a seawater pool located directly on the beach and
overlooking the Mediterranean — with private cabanas. Kids get
their own pool as well, plus a new larger play area.

But it’s the rooms that are the main attraction of this
overhaul. With its own beachside area for check-in — separate
from the main reception in the hotel across the road — we were
quickly transported to our suite on a golf cart, and at the very
moment we arrived it felt like we were no longer in Alexandria. The
incessant traffic noise was replaced by the calming sounds of the
sea’s waves. The chaotic streets replaced by views of greenery
and well-maintained flowers. Each beach suite has a mini garden,
tended by a dedicated team of gardeners.

Earlier this year, the hotel launched 16 beach suites in a new
extension. (Supplied)

Available in either one-bedroom or two-bedroom, The beach suites
— available with one- or two-bedrooms — feature a living room
with sofa bed, widescreen TV, minibar, and Nespresso machine, plus
a double bedroom (or two) and two bathrooms. Some nice add-ons are
included, such as flip-flops in addition to the usual slippers.

All rooms open directly to the beach, giving you the option to
either enjoy the sea, or lounge around in the garden (there are
loungers and a table with chairs outside). There’s not much else
you’ll need, really. In fact, during our stay we did not bother
walking to the main property, despite the fact we could use all of
its offerings too, including the spa, gym and additional outdoor
pool.

Each beach suite has a mini garden, tended by a dedicated team of
gardeners. (Supplied)

We also had the option to visit the main hotel for food. If you
reserve a beach suite with breakfast, then you can have your
morning meal by the beach at, er, Beach, or at the all-day dining
restaurant, Kala. While Kala offers a breakfast buffet — and a
very good one at that — we couldn’t resist the fresh air. The
only drawback to Beach Restaurant’s breakfast is that it’s a
set menu, and they don’t seem to take into account the number of
people dining. For example, there were two of us, yet they brought
us easily enough food for four. The next day, now knowing what to
expect, we indicated what we wanted off the menu and asked them to
halve the portions.

In case you aren’t aware, hotels in many countries are not
allowed, by law, to donate food, so anything left over — even
if you haven’t touched it — goes into the wastebin. Thankfully,
the staff were able to pack our leftovers to go, but we think they
should advise guests of the amount of food so they can decide for
themselves how much to order. Sure, it’s ‘free’ and part of
the package, but it’s still food.

Breakfast blunder aside, our stay was relaxing and enjoyable,
and definitely one that we’d like to repeat in the future. Go
ahead, treat yourself.

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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria: Seaside seclusion on Egyptian shores