Sofitel Old Cataract
Stay in historic hotel
The world famous Old Cataract Hotel, built in 1899, sits high above the Nile surrounded by gardens and splendid views. This is where Agatha Christie wrote her famous novel, Death on the Nile, and exterior shots were used for the movie of the same name. Many notables have stayed here including Czar Nicolas II, Winston Churchill, Egypt's own King Farouk, Lady Diana and Princess Caroline of Monacco. Deluxe Nile-view rooms start at $168 USD and can go as high as $1500. The veranda serves up refreshing cold drinks, tea or afternoon cocktails as well as unforgettable sunset views. Unfortunately, as of April 2008 the hotel is closed for an extended period for renovations. It will reopen January 2011 as the Sofitel Legend.
A legendary hotel, the Sofitel Old Cataract is the place to stay in Aswan, where countless famous figures have stayed. Dating from 1889, this hotel has conserved its old world charm and its neo-Moorish interior. It offers grand rooms with lofty ceilings and views of the Nile or the hotel's surrounding gardens. It is currently run by the Sofitel/Accor group, and while it could use a big facelift, it is certainly the best hotel in the city. I did not stay here because it was fully booked, but I stayed at the New Cataract annex and was able to use the amenities of Old Cataract.
Old times charm
Old cataract is built on the best and most peaceful location by the Nile, the building and the sorrounding area carries all the old times charm described in Agatha Christie's novel. Definately an elegant and classy choice for your accommodation in Aswan.
But, be precautious, your reservation to old cataract may lead you to the new cataract hotel which is in the same area but really an ugly place.
Unique Quality: Idyllic location, old times charm
You'll love it or hate it
Stayed for two nights in July 2007. Lots of redecoration occurring and so we were upgraded for free to a nile view room on the ground floor.
The rooms were huge, make that HUGE !!!! Very high ceilings, very wide heavy doors, a bed big enough to sleep four people and then some. Bathrooms basic but very clean.
The decor is dark with long corridors, dado rails, old photos, chandeliers all making an old colonial house feel. Then again this is the real thing not a copy. I personally loved the place and could have happily sat on the terrace writing a murder mystery novel just taking the inspiration from the ambience. My teenage children didn't like it (other than the fez rack outside the restaurant) My daughter was scared, she said it was like staying in a haunted house; we ended up splitting up and sharing with one of the children each.
Tea on the terrace with the cakes and tiny sandwiches was very nice indeed. The pool area was spotless and very good. The views over the nile are stunning.
The staff were the most friendly we encountered in Egypt and the food was pretty good too.
On the slightly negative side the place is old and dated. We had a little red lizard in our room and housekeeping promptly came and dealt with it. Although it was so high up in the ceiling that it wouldn't have bothered us.
I am glad we went for a couple of nights just for the experience.
Unique Quality: A palatial piece of colonial style history. A sunset to remember fo the rest of your life. Views of the nile, with the feluca's sailing quietly by, to die for.
Massive dining hall where you are encouraged to "dress" for dinner.
Directions: Next to the Coptic Cathederal on the upper nile side of Aswan.
Aswan's most historic hotel
Now managed by the Sofitel chain (part of the Accor group), the Old Cataract Hotel is arguably Aswan's most historic, partly because Agatha Christie did some writing here and the hotel was used in some scenes in the movie adaptation of her famous novel Death on the Nile. I never had the chance to stay here, so I can't share anything about the hotel's service and facilities. The terrace, though, has excellent views of the Nile and Elephantine island, and is a perfect place for a drink after a tiring day of sightseeing. Dress up a bit if you're not staying as management had become selective about admitting non-guest diners.
Unique Quality: Fantastic views of the Nile and Elephantine island.
Directions: On the east bank, at the southern end of Corniche el-Nil close to Egypt Air office.
Best hotel in Egypt?
The staff was very friendly and helpful but not very effective. The cashier never had small currency. The answer was always to go next door to the New Cataract for money. The concierge could not answer even basic questions about a trip we planned to take to Aswan.
The hotel is right next to the New Cataract, which has casual dining rooms, shops and other services. The best thing that can be said for the New Cataract is you do not have to look at the building when you look out its windows. Of course, the interior is as ugly as the exterior. The restaurants are a fallback if you do not want to dress up for the Old Cataract’s dining room or taxi to a restaurant in town. The restaurants are not bad – but not good either. Since there are no restaurants within walking distance, you are dependent on taxis for transportation to them.
Our room was poorly maintained. The bathroom was very modern, large and nicely equipped. However, it had a number of minor problems, such as a toilet that took five minutes to refill, a seat that would not stay up (sorry ladies for the wet seat) and a shower spray unit that would not stay in its holder.
The furniture looked very impressive but was cheap and falling apart. The bedside lamps had 40-watt bulbs, which made it impossible to read. The bedspread was stained and needed a good cleaning or replacement. The TV control was broken and held together with tape. Despite all these deficiencies, you forgot them when you looked out the window.
Despite the less-than-first-class condition of our room, I would stay at the Old Cataract again. Its setting, the views, the beautiful surrounding gardens, the atmosphere of a different time, and the ability to escape from the reality of Egyptian life more than compensated for its shortfalls.
Unique Quality: Historic hotel in a beautiful setting. Outstanding views of the Nile, the west bank, islands and temples from the patio and rooms facing the river. While the city center and the Cornice is a short walk from the hotel, it is isolated from city noise or confusion. Public spaces are very interesting and the whole facility has a very relaxed, exotic feel. The old but beautifully maintained wood floors, wide hallways and antique elevator add to the atmosphere. When you are sitting out on the patio or along the paths below the patio, you think you are in a different world.
The large (only) dining room, which serves breakfast and dinner, is beautifully decorated in the same oriental style as the rest of the hotel. We did not have dinner there but were very satisfied with the variety and quality of the breakfast selection.
If you stay at the Old Cataract, I recommend reserving a river view room. You are already paying a high price for staying there and it is more than worthwhile to upgrade to the river view. Our room on the third (fourth level) floor had an outstanding view overlooking the temples on Elephantine Island. The garden-facing views are pleasant and quiet but miss the views.
Directions: Large park-like site overlooking Nile.
Best views of Aswan
Even though we did not stay at the Old Cataract, we could not be in Aswan without visiting this landmark. A minimum charge is paid ( 85 E.L per person) , but it's worth it. However, the main terrace is reserved for the house guests. Never mind, thereis plenty of place to enjoy the best sunset, just follow the steps. You won't regret it. Try to be there before 4:30 pm as the Sun sets at about 5 pm, winter time. Ask for the house pastry, really exquist!
Unique Quality: View and pastry.
Directions: Right on the Nile. Can't miss it.
Glorious Location, Loaded with of History
This is one of the most exquisite hotels I've ever stayed in -- not becasue of the hotel itself, as much as for the location. The Old Cataract Hotel is perched atop a granite hill at the Nile river's edge in Aswan, Egypt, and takes its name from the rivers First Cataract (rapids) at the traditional northern border of Nubia. The sunsets from this marvelous location cannot be beat. The closest I've ever seen is the Bumi Hills Lodge on Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. Staying at the Cataract has been described as walking into a painting, or a period post card. This hotel is a living history that one not only senses with the eyes, but feels in the bones. With its high ceilings, long halls and Moorish decor, one is transported back through time to Egypt's past. Perfectly located to tour Aswan and Elephantine Island, visitors should do everything possible to stay at this hotel. It will be the memory of a lifetime.
Unique Quality: Absolutely charming with a magnificent view of the Nile and Elephantine Island. Truly wonderful, it is a privilege to stay here -- an unforgettable experience!
Old Cataract Hotel - Egypt’s most famous hotel
The Old Cataract Hotel is one of Egypt’s most famous hotels.
Built on the rocks of the first Nile cataract this is the place where the famous writer Agatha Christie wrote “Dead on the Nile”.
She used to stay on the balcony over the entrance and drink something while admiring the sunset.
On the terrace covered today, she used to write her novel.
This was also the hotel where Winston Churchill stayed during his trip to Aswan for inaugurating the Old Dam built by British.
Old Cataract Hotel
Unfortunately we didn't stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, but I wanted to mention it here as it is an Aswan institution.
It sit on a cliff looking over the Nile, and has been in operation since 1899.
Although always the toast of Aswan, it was made even more famous by its inclusion in the 1978 Agatha Christie movie "Death on the Nile".
Unique Quality: The main draw card for me would have to be its fabulous location. Would love to have a drink in the bar and watch the sunset.
Directions: Half way up the hill, towards the Nubian Museum.
The Old Cataract Hotel
This was a beautiful hotel in Aswan, that was made famous by the Agatha Christie book, Death on the Nile.
Although we only saw this from our felluca, you could definitely tell this was one of the higher end hotels in Aswan.
Unique Quality: Wonderful view of the Nile... great outside patio area...
An Agatha Christie Moment!
The Old Cataract Hotel built in 1899 is positioned in the banks of the Nile, set within its own gardens.
The standard of the rooms, service & international food menu are as expected all excellent. The interior is beautifully decorated in an old style (Victorian probably). There is a swimming pool & tennis courts, both of which are shared with the New Cataract Hotel next door.
The terrace is my favourite area of the hotel, I was in heaven sat here with a drink overlooking Nile life, like going back in time.
I feel the Hotel is a bit on the pricy side with rooms ranging upwards of $170 for a standard garden view room, $380 for a standard Nile View room & $500 for a suite. But I guess you are paying for the nostalga factor.
It is a well known fact Agatha Christie stayed here, whilst here she did some writing. Death on the Nile was also filmed at the Old Cataract Hotel.
Unique Quality: Views over to Elephantine Island & the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan over the Nile are fantastic from one of the terraces.
There is a real sense of history here with a wonderfully unique atmosphere. I can not wait to return!
Directions: Nile Waterfront
The great hotel in Aswan
The Old Cataract is a luxury hotel on the bank of Nile. It has beautiful terracces with incredible views towards Nile. Once even Agatha Christie stayed there.
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Sofitel Old Cataract
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Sofitel Aswan
- Aswan Sofitel
- Accor Old Cataract Aswan
- Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan Hotel Aswan
Address: Abtal El Tahrir Street, Aswan, Nile River Valley, 0, Egypt
24 Photos of Sofitel Old CataractView Professional Photos
Amenities at Sofitel Old Cataract
- Swimming Pool
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Room Service
- Fitness Center
- Free Parking
- Continental Breakfast
- Bar / Lounge
- Free High Speed Internet
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