By Jessica Gulhane
As Cairenes we all seem to be victims and eventually slaves to the inevitable stressful aspects of Cairo lifestyle that we must endure in order to reach those more enjoyable moments. If you feel like you need some time out, one of those rare enjoyable moments can be spent pampering yourself at the Four Seasons Spa, Nile Plaza. Here you can be treated like old Egyptian Royalty experiencing the “Cleopatra Treatment”, or delve into one of their more exotic treatments from around the world such as the “Balinese Massage” in one of the fourteen treatment rooms, many of which overlook the peaceful part of the Nile River.
Entering the reception we were met by an impressive painting hung above the calmly lit seating area and accompanied by a tiny shop, which is to stock the new facial range products in January 2014. We were firstly shown around the bathing area, which boasts a large indoor pool and jacuzzi surrounded by plush, comfy white recliners with fresh towels strategically located for guests. We found ourselves surrounded by orange walls adorned with the Four Seasons masterpiece artwork and sculpture collection by famous Egyptian artists accompanied by plants to establish that luxurious yet exotic feel.
Entering the Ladies area you immediately realise the amenities cater for the busy and the calm women with various comfortable, modern seating areas lit by a variety of dim and bright lighting according to preference. The dressing area is large with private changing rooms and individual dressers fully stocked with the standard powerful hair dryer and complementary beauty essentials. The luxurious marbled and wooden décor is surrounded by rich, feminine purple walls with a vanilla and orange scent perpetuated throughout the whole area, creating the perfect ambience that strives to establish and celebrate a feeling of the powerful, Egyptian femininity. The treatment rooms are designed according to treatments with a traditional Thai massage bed to achieve the perfect Thai massage, the Moroccan bathing room as well as manicure and pedicure treatment chair and other massage rooms which overlook the beautiful night lights of Cairo reflected in the Nile River.
The Spa offers couples packages or the opportunity to undergo your treatments alongside your partner, with two couples treatment rooms both of which have a steam room and one of which also has a jacuzzi with the standard his and her showers and treatment beds. The Men’s area offers a completely different atmosphere, with orange walls and a manly scent with the walls decorated by Barry Iverson’s images of Egyptian agricultural scenes celebrating the resilient masculinity of Egypt. While the women’s area have eight of the treatment rooms, the men’s area have five that offer similar if not the same treatments catered to the male. Both areas offer a steam room and sauna as well as a marbled jacuzzi and a separate cold plunge pool of the same generous size set at 18 degrees.
Unfortunately for the men there are no Nile views from any of the treatment rooms themselves. Both men and women have the opportunity to relax on large sofa recliners with blankets in their respective Relaxation Rooms enjoying the uninterrupted view of Cairo and the Nile through the floor to ceiling glass windows.
The Spa offers individual packages such as a Moroccan Indulgence (body scrub and exfoliation) and other packages including the Cleopatra Treatment, Nile Journey, Revitalize and the De-Stresser that combine body scrubs, body wraps, facials and massages and can last anything from 90 minutes to 5 hours depending on your choice of pampering. Couples can enjoy the Nile Plaza Royal Package 3 hours catered to their requirements. There is a range of interesting massages for 60 or 90 minutes including specialities such as a Nefertari Herbal Massage (where you are massaged by linen pouched filled with chamomile and mint dipped in warm jasmine and rose oil), Classic Honey & OJ Massage, Lomi Lomi Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Anti-Cellulite Body Treatment or the Spirit of Four Hands. Or why not try an Egyptian Herbal Scrub or Four Seasons Nature Scrub accompanied by an Avocado Body Wrap or Cleopatra Milk Body Wrap? Four Seasons are famous for their fantastic facials, which both men and women flock to. Men can enjoy the Gentlemen Facial while women can choose from a range or treat themselves to the 24 carat gold leaf Anti Ageing Facial, otherwise known as the Golden Mask, where you are cleansed and massaged and then covered in an anti-ageing caviar and treated to a Pharaonic Golden Mask. The Spa also offers a small gym with the essential machines and equipment, where you can exercise while also taking in the Nile view.
After our tour I quickly changed and was escorted to my private Cleopatra Treatment room. The room had a private step upwards and into a jacuzzi surrounded by Egyptian sphinx and other Pharonic marble figures and candles to establish a real Egyptian feeling to the world famous Cleopatra Milk Bath. I was treated to a private jacuzzi already filled with red rose petals, mineral salts and essence of rose oil. Upon my arrival my masseuse explained while pouring the bucket of milk and honey into the water, this is exactly how Cleopatra took her bath. She promptly left me to my privacy and would be back in a while to check on me. I slipped in and enjoyed the ginger tea and cucumber water while playing with the red rose petals. As promised she was back and ready to refill the delicious complimentary tea. If there was a perfect way to take a bath to relieve the daily stresses of life, Cleopatra has clearly mastered it down to a T. Everybody deserves the Cleopatra Treatment once in a while I thought as I lay back surrounded by candle light, rose petals and classical music drowning out any thoughts…
Twenty minutes later I was helped out and onto the massage bed where I was given an Aromatherapy Massage, calmly massaged according to my preference of hand pressure from head to toe. It was complete bliss and I was definitely given the state of absolute relaxation as promised with a specially formulated almond, sweet coconut and essence of rose oil. At the end of the massage my feet were wiped down and refreshed with a hot flannel and my entire back treated to the same larger hot flannel refreshing treatment. I was then given time to get back into my fluffy bathrobe when ready and escorted to the Relaxation Room to lie back and contemplate the value in relaxation of body and mind. This is something that one can truly expect and realistically achieve when taking a visit to the Four Seasons Spa. On the men’s side we were treated to a Balinese Massage that was given 8.5 out of 10. The masseuse established a state of complete relaxation renewing, strengthening and healing the tired muscles of our reviewer.
Four Seasons Spa at the Nile Plaza takes you back to the roots of traditional Pharaonic Egyptian beauty with a modern application, set amongst a backdrop of luxury and an atmosphere that achieves complete relaxation. If you are looking to relax or treat a loved one, we highly recommend a trip to the Four Seasons Spa, which is open daily from 10am until 10pm. Spa members and hotel guests enjoy free access to the spa facilities from 6am to 10pm and 24-hour access to the gym. Currently, they are offering 50% off from 10am to 3pm for body scrubs, body wraps and massages…so why not take advantage and relax as the Pharaohs did, clearly they were onto something and so is the Four Seasons.