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Outstanding Luxury Hotel PDF Print E-mail
Luxor HotelsThe August selection for the The Most Beautiful Hotels in the World is the Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, Egypt. The setting for Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, this historic colonial hotel is possibly the best hotel in all of Egypt. It is and experience, combined with artifact hunting and tomb visiting that should be on the list of every luxury adventure traveler's list.

The Old Cataract Experience

Imagine this scenario: Enter the large high-ceiling lobby and note the blend of Victorian elegance and eastern arabesques. Keep straight on until you reach the terrace. Gaze out at the Egyptian sailing boats called feluccas gliding over the waters of the Nile on either side of Elephantine Island. Feel the warm breeze as you sit down and notice the long-robed porters quietly scuffing down the wide halls. Survey this confluence of the past and the present, of East and West and as the waiter hands you your icy martini or cold lemonade, and contemplate the peacefulness and tranquility of it all. This is the Old Cataract Hotel, welcoming guests to its calming interiors since 1899 and unanimously considered one of the finest hotels in all of Egypt.

Perched atop a granite outcrop at the Nile river’s edge in Aswan, Egypt, the hotel takes its name from the rivers First Cataract (rapids). The large spacious guest rooms feature antiques, fine Egyptian linens, high ceilings, and most have achingly beautiful Nile views.

The grand restaurant, 1902, one of several at the hotel, was inaugurated for the opening of the first Aswan dam, with Winston Churchill, assorted royalty and dignitaries in attendance. French Continental cuisine is served in a grand colorful Moorish interior. There is also a freshwater swimming pool with terraces overlooking the Nile. The languorous beauty of the Nile will capture you at the Old Cataract, an experience not to be missed.

Luxury experiences for the adventurous from your base at the Old Cataract:

    * Take a taxi to the nearby island of Philae. You can bargain for a boat to motor you over to see this fantastic isle which is filled with temples that were moved there to be preserved when the Aswan Dam was created.

    * Take a 2-hour plane ride to visit the tremendous Abu Simbel -- gigantic seated figures presiding over a small temple that can be entered.

    * Go for a cruise on one of the feluccas, the graceful sail boats that course across the Nile.

Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel

Location: Abtal El Tahrir Street, Aswan, Egypt; arrival is more likely by train or coach; airport one half hour by taxi.

Luxury style: Adventurers who love the whiffs of the Old Cataract’s colonial past; dreamers who want nothing more than to watch feluccas drift lazily across the Nile; historians who wish to walk in the shoes of Howard Carter; Agatha Christie fans who wish to glimpse shadows of “Death on the Nile”; actually just about everyone who has had the thought that they would like to see the tombs of the ancient pharaohs as one of their lifetime list accomplishments.

What we’ve heard: If there was to be a contest for most beguiling spot in the world to while away the hours, the terrace at the Old Cataract hotel would surely be a contender.

More details on this hotel and other exquisite luxury experiences available at

Letitia Fairweather is the nom de plume of a travel and publishing maven who has taken upon herself the glorious task of choosing the most beautiful hotels in the world. After stints in both the world of luxury travel and publishing, she has traveled near and far and deems that no 'life list' is complete with out planning a stay at several of these heart-stopping, totally five-star deluxe properties in some of the most stupendous settings imaginable.

Learn more about The Most Beautiful Hotels of the World at

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