Tolip Family Park Hotel is located on the Cairo-Suez Road, adjacent to Cairo Family Park and 7km away from the Cairo International Airport.
All it took was a phone call, a few text messages, support from my wife, and very little encouragement before I found myself at this hotel on the outskirts of Cairo where an adventure was about to begin.
This was my first trip to Egypt, unexpected as it was and also my first long distance flight since before the pandemic struck and kept me grounded in South Africa for 2 years.
So, it was with wide-eyed enthusiasm that I climbed out of the car that had collected a colleague and myself from the airport and climbed these steps for the first time. Uncertain as to what lay behind the sliding glass doors.
And this is what I found. Shiny marble floors and friendly staff, most of who spoke a much better English than my stop-start Arabic (If you are going to Egypt, I suggest that you make use of a translation app called ‘SayHi’. Arguably one of the best that I have come across)
Reception to the left and security to the right, both just out of frame.
This led to the bank of elevators as well as the Wonder Lounge and the restaurant. Clean and neat as a pin, this became my exercise circuit as it was too hot to walk outside.
As I was to discover the hotel includes state of the art venues for weddings and other types of events.
I was in the hotel for a full week and there seemed to be a wedding almost every evening during my stay. There were several rooms on ‘my’ floor that were regularly used by brides and their entourages for hair and make up. I am uncertain as to where (or if) the groom had access to similar facilities.
This was the main banqueting room, situated on the ground floor between the Wonder Lounge and the restaurant.
Some of the hotel décor based on the The Eye of Horus.
Also known as left wedjat eye or udjat eye, specular to the Eye of Ra, is a concept and symbol in ancient Egyptian religion that represents well-being, healing, and protection.
My room before I unpacked. There was a coffee and tea station in an alcove near the wardrobe and the bathroom contained a shower, toilet and hand basin.
And then I arrived. Seeing I was staying on my own, I could spread myself to my hearts content. Eventually I did hang up shirts and unpack other clothing, but not unpacking has its pitfalls. I never found the chocolate or the chewing gum that I had packed, both of us were found on my return home.
The room that I was in was on the 4th floor, meaning that I had a view past the hotel walls to the suburb beyond. It seems that most of the local accommodation I saw was a similar colour and almost blended into the desert sand.
By comparison, the hotel had different colours as well as a large patch of astro-turf to add in some greenery.
The pool did look inviting, but there was no time to try it out.
This is where I could be found every morning…seeing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What I was unaware of it that it also serves lunch and dinner. I was not usually at the hotel for lunch, but for the duration of my stay, dinner was room service. I wish that I had checked.
The view from the restaurant. The reason for the difference in colour is the fact that the windows are tinted to reduce the harsh glare of the sunlight. (It would look odd to eat a meal while wearing sunglasses.)
I liked the idea so much that when I returned home, I had our lounge windows tinted and what a difference that has made to our home.
My breakfast companion on most mornings. There were many of these scattered around the dining area and used as decoration.
There there was ‘healthy’ food, but as with most African countiries, foreign guys have to be wary as to what they eat, especially if the item has been washed. That being said, I erred on the side of caution and for once I got away with NOT eating vegetables or salad at mealtimes.
I did not try the corn flex…but the sign reminded me of one that I had seen at a breakfast in Vietnam. That sign should have read ‘crab’ meat, but instead it was misspelled as ‘crap’ meat. Once of the Vietnamese staff saw me taking a picture of the sign and when my wife went bad to see what had made me laugh, the sign had been removed!
It has been years since I had a sugary cereal for breakfast, but seeing it was available, who was I to turn it down. My rationale was that the bowls were small and hence I was not eating vast quantities of these chocolate ‘delights’.
There cooks were on duty every morning. Interacting with people from a variety of different countries and, to the best of my knowledge, never getting an order wrong.
My breakfast of choice…a cheese and onion omelet. I should have used an item to give scale to this pictures as they were on the small side…as were the plates. There was no room for a side of anything and if you did want you needed to utilize either a second or even third plate for that.
Hugely popular with the local adults and children, Freshly deep fried crisps. There was only one fryer producing these and it could almost not keep up with the demand.
It seems that sunset happens quickly in Egypt, well where I was staying. In the time it took me to get from my room to the front of the hotel, the sun had vanished.
Good night from this Tolip Family Park Hotel that is situated conveniently alongside the highway to the New Cairo, Egypt.
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