For the March Hideaway Report, our editor traveled to Egypt to try to find a few small hotels of distinction. After a colossal hotel failure in Cairo and a comfortable stay at a somewhat idiosyncratic boutique hotel outside Luxor, he found respite at one of the truly great hotels of the world.
This stylish 138-room property perched above the Nile offers incomparable views of Elephantine Island. Over half of the guest lodgings are contained within an imposing Victorian palace built in 1899, and the rest are housed in the modern, yet relatively nondescript Nile Wing. The grandly appointed palace features magnificent ruby-red chandeliers, handcrafted furnishings, Byzantine arches, exquisite Persian carpets and imposing arcades. Dining options include the grand 1902 Restaurant, where French cuisine is served under a stunning Arabian dome, as well as a terrace café for Mediterranean delicacies. The hotel also has a piano bar, an outdoor infinity pool facing the river, a fitness center and a full-service spa with an adults-only indoor pool, hammam and Jacuzzi.
From the editor: “The security precautions at the Old Cataract were the most thorough that we encountered at a hotel on our entire trip, with an extensively equipped reception area located 100 yards from the main entrance. No cars are allowed onto the grounds. Once inside, the hotel is an oasis of calm set amid manicured gardens.”
Read more about Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan.