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Four Seasons Hotel, Cairo at Nile Plaza

At the Four Seasons Hotel, Cairo at Nile Plaza, lobby lizards prowl the glittering public spaces with primeval focus. The mission of these liveried staffers (whose reptilian name refers not to the crocodiles in Cairo’s waterways but to the observant qualities that the job demands) is to make sure that every one of the hotel’s guests feels welcome and appreciated. This may involve little more than a pleasantry: asking how your day is going or if there is anything they can do for you. Should you ask for directions to any part of the hotel or the connected shopping mall, you will not receive directions; rather, your friendly lizard will escort you to your destination. But the hotel’s entry is its primary distinguishing point. “In other hotels the lobby is a lobby,” says general manager Olivier Masson. “Here, it is a womb.” Accommodations Through triple-glazed windows, guests in the 288 rooms and 78 suites enjoy views of either the Nile and the island of Zamalek or Cairo’s 12th-century Citadel. Facilities A fitness center and indoor pool compose Cairo’s largest health club, and there are three heated pools on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. There's also a spa where guests can soak, à la Cleopatra, in a milk bath scented with exotic oils. Dining Its eight restaurants include Italian fare at Bella, Cantonese at Spice, seafood at Aqua, Lebanese at Zitouni, and light meals at the lobby lounge, pool grill, and Beyman Cafe. Concierge Recommends After seeing the pyramids and the Egyptian Museum, take a cruise on the Nile in a traditional wooden sailing boat. Rates Rooms from $300. The Royal Suite is $10,000.

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Photo by Janos Grapow