Sakkara Country Club is about an hour by taxi from downtown Cairo, but it's worth the trek. It's the perfect way to escape Cairo without leaving Cairo. The Country Club has expansive lawns, views of the Sakkara pyramids, a restaurant, quad-biking tours, low-rise hotel rooms and greenery, making it a worthy recipient of our top pool pick. And the in-pool bar - one that guests can swim up to and perch themselves against on underwater stools - is a novelty that does not wear-off easily.
I always find that the route to Sakkara, though interesting, is torturous. Most taxi drivers know the way through the heavily-traffic'd streets and winding dirt roads that are difficult to navigate - or they'll get you there by asking locals for directions at every turn.
On particularly hot days, you start seeing mirages from the taxi as you dream about throwing yourself in the cold water. Winding down the window doesn't help, as it feels like a hot hairdryer is blowing in your face. But it's all part of the experience and makes the day at Sakkara even more rewarding (until you have to get back in the car, that is).
There's generally an eclectic mix of characters in the water. There's scrawny little kids with their arms flailing about; teenage boys casually throwing a ball (which always conveniently lands in the middle of a group of girls); body builders strutting their stuff; a group soothing hangovers by the in-pool bar; and always that one person attempting to do laps in amongst it all. In saying that, we've never felt that the place is overly packed even during the hottest months (June, July, August).
For meat-lovers, the juicy grilled chicken is a Sakkara Country Club specialty to devour pool-side. Other dishes include tahina, fattoush, basic pasta, fries and salads, at reasonable prices. The grilled fish and other seafood dishes, while on the menu, are never available.
Generally, medium-sized groups with kids frequent the Sakkara Country Club; however it’s also a great place for young adults to drink and relish the sun. The service desk will order you a taxi at the end of your visit, but be sure to request this at least 30 minutes before your desired departure time.
Cost per person: 125 LE for non-hotel guests day-pas including pool towel
Meal prices: Mezza 17 LE/each , Chicken Sandwich 45 LE (incl. tax and service)
Drink prices: Beer 40 LE, Soft drinks 10 LE (incl. tax and service)