Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan
What We Love
- Gorgeous Nile views from pool, terrace, guestrooms and restaurants
- Infinity pool that seems to spill over into the Nile
- Four restaurants to choose from (all offering alfresco dining) and four bars, too
What To Know
- Staff tries hard, but service sometimes falls short of five-star expectations
- Nile Wing, built in 1961, dwarfs the original Old Palace Wing
- Don’t count on using that infinity pool or dining alfresco in midwinter
- Pets are permitted for a fee of $30 per day
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Built in 1899, in the heyday of luxury travel on the Nile, this grande dame of Egyptian tourism was given a makeover by renowned interior architect Sybille de Margerie before reopening with a classy new look in late 2010. Old motifs, redolent of Khedivial Egypt — such as the red and white arches and gilt and crimson chairs that embellish the fine dining 1902 restaurant — have been retained, but the once-gloomy lobby area sports clean new styling, with pale marble floors and dark leather armchairs that bring it up to date without losing its original flair. Making the most of the Nile Wing’s more minimalist lines, the designer has given this 1960s tower a brighter, more contemporary look, with clean lines and a palette of pale gray, pale lemon, sea-green and blue. Outside, though, both wings retain their original ochre paintwork, echoing the natural sandstone of their setting.
Bed and Bath
In the Old Palace Wing, rose-pink walls enclose slim four-poster beds boasting Sofitel’s signature MyBed mattresses. White Egyptian cotton sheets are augmented with crimson scatter pillows and bedspreads that chime with burgundy plush armchairs and creamy sculpted rugs. Marble bathrooms have separate showers and tubs, with Hermès soaps and shampoos. Other in-room goodies include a Nespresso coffeemaker. Nile Wing rooms and suites have pale cream walls and soft, modern furnishings in dove-gray fabric, brightened by sea-green and blue cushions. In suites, a half-width glass partition divides sleeping and sitting areas, and goodies include Bose sound systems. As in the Old Palace rooms, marble bathrooms offer Hermès toiletries. Best of all, each Nile Wing room and suite has a private balcony overlooking the Nile.
The Nile-side infinity pool, surrounded by palms and gardens, is perfection. Enclosed by glittering mosaic columns, the heated indoor SoSPA pool looks fit for a pharaoh’s princess, offering a haven when the occasional chilly winter day makes outdoor swimming less appealing. Eight treatment rooms offer SoSPA’s signature treatments and therapies, including Maria Berenson’s Soin Sublime “beauty ceremony” and products by Cinq Mondes. The SoFIT gym offers TechnoGym, cross training, and bikes. Four restaurants and the same number of bars cover all the culinary bases, from classic French cuisine at 1902 to poolside snacks at Palms. Saraya serves a Mediterranean menu, and the jewel in the crown is Oriental-Kebabgy, which serves authentic grilled dishes from Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey accompanied by spicy dips and Middle Eastern breads. At teatime or sunset the place to be is the Promenade, a palm-shaded riverside terrace. Lounge on a chaise lounge at Yasmin, choose from the edgy menu at the brasserie-style Terrace, and end the evening in the clubby leather and mahogany surroundings of the Bar.
In the Area
A sunset felucca cruise on the Nile is mandatory. Other musts include a trip to Elephantine Island, home to the ancient Temple of Khnum, and the relic-heavy Aswan Museum. Daytrips take you to the astonishing Kalabsha and Philae temples, relocated to islands in Lake Nasser to save them from the rising waters after the damming of the Nile in the last century. For a grand finale, take the longer trip to see the colossal statues at Abu Simbel — the most amazing sight in Upper Egypt.
How to Get There
The old world charm of this hotel pulls you out of the 20th century and back in time. The staff are very friendly and helpful. We were upgraded to a prestige suite which made me shed a tear of gratefulness. The suites in the new part of the hotel are spacious with an amazing view over the outdoor pool to the Nile. Watching the Feluccas pass down the passage between the hotel and Elephantine island was mesmerising. My daughter and I visited the hamman every night and cleaned the dust from Cairo out of our pores followed by a scrub in the shower and a swim in the amazing indoor pool. There are so many choices for dinner and an amazing breakfast in the morning. I most definitely will be back to this hotel in the future. I adored our stay and thank you.
I have been twice to Aswan and every time going for a drink on the terrace is a must and a great pleasure .
Staff is very professional, massage at the SPA is AMAZING, ( special shout out to the SPA receptionist- very smart girl.
You can feel the modern and international Vibe of the hotel.
Definitely the place to be in Aswan.
I have stayed in Many Sofitel around the world, but this place was just WOW, the view was terrific.
I decided to stay in their suite and was one of the best decisions the view was breathtaking.
The only thing I found weird its the outside pool close after sunset, which happens at all five-star hotel in Egypt, For me don't make sense since the country is a tropical place swimming after the sun goes down is very refreshing
Was the best stay ever!
This trip was to revive our honeymoon and attend a friend’s wedding
We stayed at Sofitel Legend Cataract, in the new Building - they call it Nile building. The view was spectacular, the staff are friendly, attentive, kind and cheerful.
The breakfast was superb with that breath-taking nile view; everything was fresh and made in house.
If you go, try to plan your visit to be in November - January so that you enjoy the weather. I would advise to book a suite in the Nile building (aka New one) and preferably 3rd/4th floor or higher so that you enjoy the nile view more
Make sure to visit the colorful Nubian village and get the spices you can lay eyes on, it’s more of a natural remedies pharmacy over there. Take a boat through the Nile, you will enjoy the scenery more
Would definitely do it again and again and again
Thank you Cataract hotel :)
We stayed in a suite in the "old" building for 2 nights and the quality far exceeded our expectations. The service was friendly and impeccable, the room clean and comfortable, and had a fantastic view on the Nile. The management did a beautiful decoration in the room and a cake for our anniversary. An expensive hotel, but definitely worth the price. We'll try to return.