CASE IN POINT | The Hilton Zamalek
by Andrew Ngozo
The Jewel of the Nile
The Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences is a top class hotel situated on the Nile River in one of the most sought after areas in Egypt.
Mr. Medhat Samir, a well-seasoned hotelier, is responsible for ensuring the smoothing running and exceptional service the hotel offers. “After a short spell in Germany, I worked in a number of Egyptian industries to broaden my knowledge base of commerce and industry,” he reveals.
His desire to learn as much as possible about the hospitality industry has seen him spend time in a variety of roles including guest reception, supervisory roles, sales director and his current role of general manager.
“I have really been through the mill, in terms of gaining experience and knowledge in the workings of the hotel industry,” he shares. “I believe it is a good thing because it has provided me with an understanding of the challenges my staff face on a day-to-day basis, that I might otherwise never have had.”
The Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences can confidently claim uniqueness. It starts with its small grand lobby (where you don’t feel overwhelmed by size) which combines a marble ambiance and classic look, and provides both a relaxed atmosphere and comfortable waiting area.
This uniqueness extends further to the rooms and suites, which have a great view up and down the famous Nile River, allowing guests to view boats with their colourful lighting, music and people on board sailing by. The pool deck also looks out over the Nile and is excellently situated to enjoy sundowners while listening to the music coming from the little restaurants along the River.
“We have a tea room fitted out with lovely comfortable lounge chairs and again the lovely view over the pool deck onto the Nile River makes it a captivating experience,” adds Medhat.
The hotel also provides meeting facilities that is very well equipped with excellent cuisine available to all corporates. In general the hotel has excellent menu options and even offers À la carte to ensure regular restaurant diners will feel at home. For those that are a little more adventurous on the culinary front, there is also a Japanese restaurant attached to the hotel, to add more variety.
Guests that may have enjoyed too much of the top notch cuisine on offer can keep themselves in shape by visiting the well-equipped gym. There are also saunas, steam rooms and a spa for some alternative rejuvenation.
“Our suites are two and three roomed, with large lounge and dining room areas and small but well equipped kitchens. Our bedrooms are designed to ensure that guests have a restful stay and are spacious,” notes Medhat.
He points out that whilst the location of the hotel is in the heart of Cairo, close to most amenities, the hectic hustle and bustle of downtown Cairo, is not intrusive. The close proximity to many embassies and a number of multi-national organisations means that guests are also living in a secure area of the city.
“Our focus is set on both the leisure and corporate market and we are gearing up to ensure that we meet both the demands of these markets to ensure that our clients will get the best deal and treatment possible. This also ensures that should the one or the other sector dwindle, that we will not be in a dire position and still be profitable enough to give a service to our guests that remain second to none.”
Looking towards the future the Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences is considering development and more special projects to grow its market - even though it does not have much development space available. As a first step in this direction it will be opening a small intimate café for it guests to further broaden their experiences and ensure their satisfaction.
Medhat and his team are very proud of the fact that that they are a four star hotel in a country where there are not many ‘real’ four star establishments: “We are a four star hotel giving five star service. Our clients have high expectations of us and I am happy to say many of them are pleasantly surprised when we exceed them.”
One of the other major benefits setting the hotel apart from its competitors and ensuring it has a steady stream of clients compared to other hotels is its Hilton honours programme where guests earn miles and points for their stay with the hotel.
“Our rates are very competitive but what also sets us further apart is our team effort to ensure the satisfaction of our guests and to make them truly feel at home. We also do not have a street between us and the Nile River, making it much more relaxed and quiet, “ Medhat observes. “The hard work and the service provided by our whole team also ensure that everything goes right for our guests and where a problem may arise it is dealt with promptly and in a professional way.”
After all, he concludes: “We want our guests to relax and enjoy themselves when they come to us, be it for business or leisure, therefore the finer details of your stay with us, is our responsibility.”