We headed over to the new Pepsi Lounge at the historic Marriott Cairo's Almaz to watch the World Cup but found so much more than just shisha and snacks...
The great debate dividing Egyptians this Ramadan, isn't about politics or food, but rather where the best location to catch this year's World Cup.
After watching several matches in different locations, we feel confident in saying that the Pepsi take over of the Almaz Lounge situated on top of the magnificent and historic Marriott Cairo, and is the absolute best place to cheer your favourite teams on their journey for football supremacy.
The beautiful open air rooftop is equipped with a cinema size screen ensuring that everyone watching has the best seat. Looking to watch the Belgium vs America game last night, we were instantly greeted warmly by an usher set on providing excellent service. Within minutes we were all set up with a deliciously smooth shisha and a thirst quenching Pepsi delivered on a collectible coaster of one of the many Pepsi football superstars.
The open air lounge is reminiscent to an outdoor amphitheatre filled with a variety of foreigners and Egyptians with one thing in common; a passion for football. Unfortunately, the game we watched was a complete and utter snooze fest, but despite that fact we managed to have a memorable time thanks to the ample side activities provided on location.
During half time, our group decided to split off with half of us taking a turn on the PlayStation set up in the corner, while the others took a turn playing a hilariously fun version of tennis using feet and a football. The intensity of our game put the Americans' play to shame, and as the second half started we decided to watch the rest of the game oin the comfortably cool bean bag area. The game remained boring and as such went into extra time.
During the break we noticed a large billiard style table laying flat on the ground. With our curiosity peaked we decided to enquire about the set up and learned, that it was a replica billiards game to be played by feet. It was a lot of fun, and definitely packed more action than the game we were watching.
As the embarrassing game continued we decided to order sohour. The prices were a bit steep, but expected as we were sitting on top of the Marriott, an estalishment that has built a global reputation of providing the highest standards in food and service. In this regard they did not disappoint, and as we filled our stomachs to complete satisfaction, the game finally picked up with the Belgians finally putting to rest the American dream.
With plenty of American fans in attendance, it was obviously a bittersweet moment but despite the outcome everyone who was there had a great time, which had little to do with the action on the pitch and more to do with the service and atmosphere of the space. The safe bet is that, win or lose, the Pepsi Lounge will create cherished memories this Ramadan regardless of the outcome.
Find out more about what's going on at the Marriott Cairo on their Facebook page here.