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.
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.
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.
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.
Planning your getaway to Egypt? Here’s some inspiration for your trip:
- Visiting the Valley of the Kings
- Temples in Luxor: Visiting Karnak Temple + Luxor Temple
- An Itinerary: Three Days in Luxor
- Journey to Abu Simbel
- A Glimpse of Aswan
Book a stay at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract in Aswan ✨