• Wadi Degla PSA World Squash Champs  • 25-Oct to 04-Nov 2016 • Cairo, Egypt •  

 EN BREF        #2: Reasons for Success
 Everything you never knew you needed to know about the Wadi Degla World Champs ...

#1: From Bumpy to Dusit Smoooooth

When I arrived at my less favourite airport in the world, Charles de Gaule, in Paris, to take my normal 15.45 Paris Cairo Egyptair flight, and I saw a little nest of attendants, instead of behind their desks, in a meeting, with a queue that was about 10miles long, I realise rather quickly - despite my natural blondness - it was going to be a bumpy ride.

Like a lot of people at that time of the year, I was suffering from a bad sore throat that by then had turned into a flew. It was on a recessing end of things, but still pretty banged up. And was looking forward to crash on the plane, sleep my head off at the 53A seat I systematically take. It’s the last at the back, very quiet, and nobody behind you banging your seat…

“Well, our plane is stuck in Athens, and we don’t know if it’s going to arrive today, or if Egyptair is going send us another one tomorrow morning. So we are going to put you in a hotel. The 300 of you.”

It took a little time, as you may imagine, to organise that, and I stayed in the freezing wind for a while waiting for a bus – didn’t help for the flue - until I became wise and got back inside. I was lucky, I got my luggage checked in immediately, got on the first bus to the Mercure Hotel – a lovely 3 stars at 5m drive – got a room and just did what I planned to do, crashed for 3hours!!

Back at the airport at 9, that was the long part, and tiring one, as we only boarded at 1am – not to mention 1 passport agent for 2 Egyptair flights. Clever French Airport, yet again!!!

The flight was nice, the attendants having no blankets or pillows for us – the plane didn’t get the normal treatment as it arrived that late – they went and got some from the Business Class for us, and the food was extremely good as it was well, coming from Paris!!! Sorry, but the eternal “Chicken or Beef” was replaced by “Chicken or Pasta”, and the latter were excellent!!!!

And strangely enough, just smelling the Egyptian Air on the plane, my cold got better. True Story.

Arriving in Cairo, Finally...

Smoothest arrival would have been impossible. Plenty of passport desks open, whizzed through customs like never, thanks to the tournament organisers (thanks Tamer Mamdouh), I had a pickup right from the customs, and zoomed to the hotel – the airport is very close to New Cairo 5th Settlement – and in 20m, I was at reception…

But it was 7am, instead of 9am the previous night.

Needless to say that f.. up the whole day and the meetings I was supposed to have, photos/stories I was supposed to run well, not possible. After a quick change of room – I arrived that late they didn’t have the one I was supposed to have, I was moved to a lovely suite on the second building, which I didn’t know.

View on the second pool, much quieter than the main one, and I have to say that I am forever more love with the Dusit...


My love story with the Dusit

Back in November 2013, three months after Morsi was deposed, there were not many tourists that wanted to come to Egypt. It didn’t prevent us to come here, to the PetroSport tournament, organised by the efficient Ashraf Hanafi – one of my dearest friend in Egypt for sure. And Ashraf had arranged for me a superb suite, which I learned later was the one not only Mohamed Ali Refa but also Tarek/Raneem had for their “nuit de noces”…

Yes, don't even start me on those images...

The hotel in all has got 450 rooms and if 3 years ago, I was basically the only foreigner, I’m glad to report times have changed and tourists are back.

The place is superb I have to say, and I understand why everybody is getting married here! The décor is sumptuous, the service impeccable, the rooms superb – especially when you are given a suite, merci Karim –

The breakfast is truly amazing, food from so many countries, including sushi rolls, dim sum, which is my favourite food… I can say that the level of service has raised to new levels since the last time I came, and I’m pretty sure they changed Chef, as the food here is now high quality.

There are several restaurants in the building, including an excellent Thai - Tao, a patisserie – don’t start me on that one – a japonese restaurant at the top, a bar. Everything you can wish really, you can have.

And the bonus of it all, it’s really close to the airport AND the Wadi Degla Club El Nakheel – the last time we were in the Maadi Branch – which means that the organisers took off one of the difficult parameters to handle in Cairo: the traffic.

One extra bonus: as I have a suite, I am allowed into the Dusit Lounge, that offers peace and quiet, drinks and little nibbles all day. OK, I only used it on the first day and on the last day. But the view from there is peaceful, and it's certainly an incentive for choosing that kind of luxury room, let me tell you...

I was born for luxury, sue me.

Only regret, I just wish I had more time to enjoy this superb hotel, never had the chance to step next to the pool, or visit the SPA. But then again, we had some little tournaments happening at the same time than my holidays in the Sumptuous Dusit....

Inshallah one day I'll have the time. YES. I. WILL.

 #2: Reasons for Success

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