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Old Cataract

We have always loved the historic charm of the Old Cataract, with its unparalleled Nile-side location, elegant terraces and Agatha Christie suite, although it was, in the past, a little dusty and run down. But now, after four long years of meticulous, painstaking renovations, the Sofitel Hotel group have reopened this fabulous hotel, and it is a real treasure. The swimming pool and sun deck have been lavishly extended, and the rest of the hotel is restored to its former glory. 
Our favourite for many years, this wonderfully historic old hotel, originally built in 1899, has recently been renovated to the most fabulous finish, maintaining the original character and thus creating a nostalgic atmosphere of timeless charm. The rooms are generally large, with high ceilings and comfortably furnished, with a couple of suites offering adjoining rooms to suit those travelling with family.

There are also options to stay in wonderfully furnished, elaborate suites with grand balconies and spacious sitting and dining areas, should you require it. The hotel is bedecked with museum-worthy photographs of many of its most celebrated guests, from Agatha Christie, who stayed here to write Death on the Nile, to Winston Churchill, Howard Carter, King Farouk and President Mitterand!

Situated right on the banks of the Nile overlooking Elephantine Island and the first cataract, the gardens of the hotel wend down to a felucca dock from where you can arrange sailing trips by the hour or by the day. The swimming pool has been enlarged during the renovations to create a very pleasant environment from which to soak up the atmosphere.
 
The newer part of the hotel has been transformed into a spa and hammam, (although our recent visit did not rate these services as highly as they do themselves, and found them to be overpriced and less than perfect!)
 
Eating out
The hotel’s main 1902 fine dining restaurant is a superb feature, a grand, octagonal building in the Arabic style, with a 75-ft Qualawun Mausoleum dome raised abovevaulted arches rising two storeys. The menu here is a little grand, and meals are expensive, but the experience is altogether impressive. There are two other smaller, less pricey restaurants for evening meals, and breakfasts, light lunches and snacks are served on the terraces overlooking the Nile.

AT A GLANCE

Old Cataract Rates:
$150 per person


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