If Cleopatra and Mark Anthony were to revisit Alexandria today, chances are they would fall in love all over again especially if they were sequestered in the romantic and sumptuous confines of the Four Seasons Hotel, tel: (20-3) 581 8000. Opened in late July, the seafront Four Seasons is the poshest pad in Egypt's maritime city and gives a new vitality to its San Stefano district, once home to Alexandria's polyglot élite. While it mostly lures deep-pocketed Arabs and weekending Cairenes, the hotel also celebrates the area's multicultural past, especially in its culinary offerings, with a trio of signature restaurants Mediterranean, Italian and French-Lebanese that honor the city's former foreign communities.
Towering 19 floors over Alexandria's bustling Corniche and with the water from its infinity-edge outdoor pool seemingly pouring straight into the sea beyond the hotel has an urbane feel. Guests are as comfortably clad in burqas as bikinis, and equally at ease sipping a cappuccino or a Cosmopolitan. French interiors ace Pierre-Yves Rochon has designed locally while sourcing globally with Alexandria's largest rooms accented by Riviera-inspired shutters, Egyptian prints, Roman-style marble baths and private balconies. Down below, a 14-room duplex spa is still under wraps, but three gym areas one for men, another for women and a third mixed are already bustling. Alexandria's iconic Bibliotheca is a fair trek away, but with its resort facilities and cold drinks on tap, the hotel offers plenty of diversions for guests who'd rather stay put.