"Best hotel in Egypt?" Sofitel Old Cataract Tip by moonbeam9
Sofitel Old Cataract, Aswan: 1,001 reviews and 24 photos
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 Qualities: 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.
Address: Abtal El Tahir St
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: Large park-like site overlooking Nile.
Price: US$180 and up
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