HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at the Old Cataract, Aswan

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract
Perched on the water in the riverside city of Aswan sits Old Cataract, an iconic property of Agatha Christie fame which is now part of Sofitel’s exclusive ‘Legend’ collection. Bringing a burst of glamour with stunning spaces and wonderful service, it takes a place as history-laden as Egypt to pull you away from this hotel haven. Give yourself some extra time in Aswan to simply revel in this property’s beauty. 

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract

DESTINATION: ASWAN 🇪🇬

If any of the Egyptian cities could be described as ‘peaceful,’ Aswan is as close as it gets. Situated on the Nile, the city brings a host of Nubian sites and a unique history, in one of Egypt’s prettiest landscapes. Visitors can sail down the river or travel by boat to the islands in the middle of the Nile. If there’s a city in Egypt where you could feasibly unwind, this is it. After the chaos of Cairo, the history-fueled days in Luxor, and sightseeing trips to temples around Egypt, Aswan is a bit of an oasis where you can allow yourself to marinate in sunshine surrounded by the country’s natural beauty.

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Hotel Bristol, Vienna

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract

When the Old Cataract defines their property as 5 star, it’s not the 5-star status that requires a qualification (e.g. “5-star for Egypt”). The Old Cataract is truly a five-star experience, from the glamour and splendour of their common spaces to the service. Now part of the exclusive Sofitel Legend collection, the hotel embodies what the collection tries to highlight: legendary places that allow guests to step into a timeless story. We stayed in an entry-level room (not Nile facing) which was the loveliest room we stayed in during our entire time in Egypt. The rooms are spacious – even the standard room – and the bathrooms are equally grand. Worth noting: the hotel has the original building with its heritage rooms, along with a newer building facing the Nile. Our friends stayed in the newer building and raved about their suite, which was roughly the size of their apartment in Paris. The hardest part of being there is pulling yourself away from the property to enjoy some of Aswan’s highlights.

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Hotel Bristol, Vienna

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract

Old Cataract’s 1902 Restaurant begged us to get all dolled up and live the lives of people far more glamorous than ourselves. The restaurant serves up French cuisine with a distinctly Middle Eastern feel and the menu was one of the more pricey options we’d seen during our entire time in Egypt. We opted to dine at The Terrace, a more casual option with views of the Nile. Food was good, but it was the setting that was the star for us, overlooking sailboats and islands in the river. For drinks, The Bar was an absolute gem, with cool craft cocktails and a selection of mocktails in a plush old-world lobby (a Winston Churchill favorite) or outside with panoramic views of Upper Egypt.

HOTEL INSIDER: A Stay at Hotel Bristol, Vienna

Planning your getaway to Egypt? Here’s some inspiration for your trip:

Book a stay at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract in Aswan ✨

THE WANDERLUST EFFECT: HOTEL INSIDER

Number of Rooms: 76 rooms and suites as part of the original ‘Palace’ and 62 rooms and suites in the ‘Nile’, the newer more contemporary wing of the hotel
Cost Per Night: From $175 – $800 for rooms and suites
Must-Try Eats & Drinks: Grab a cocktail overlooking the Nile at sunset.
Hotel Highlights: Glamorous dining + common spaces that harken back to the golden era
Worth the Investment? Possibly. The Old Cataract is expensive as far as Egyptian properties go, but for those wanting history + glamour, it’s a great value luxury experience.
Points Perks: Accor Hotel’s Le Club has perks for joining from discounted rates, free internet, etc.
〰️ Find more inspiration in my Hotel Insider series 〰️

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect, formerly The Traveling Scholar. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. She is a former resident of London and San Francisco and now calls the island of Anguilla home. In addition to The Wanderlust Effect, Shannon is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort.


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