Old Cataract Hotel

Old World, Grand, Romantic

Abtal El Tahrir Street., ASWAN 81511

+20 10 2222 9071

See Website

At a Glance

This grande dame property is widely recognized as the most luxurious hotel in Upper Egypt.

Indagare Loves

  • The impeccable design and authentic sense of place
  • Breakfast on the Victorian Terrace, overlooking the Nile
  • The Winston Churchill Suite with a large terrace that offers sweeping Nile views, maybe the best in all of Egypt
  • The indoor and outdoor pools


The sister property to the Old Winter Palace in Luxor, the Old Cataract underwent a complete renovation from 2008 to 2011, reopening just as the Arab Spring began and the Egyptian Government was overthrown. The spacious guest rooms and opulent marble bathrooms remained nearly untouched for the six years that followed, as the country’s tourism industry all but vanished. As a result, the property still feels fresh today and exudes an unparalleled sense of place. Elegant North African architecture and designs are married with colonial furnishings and accents.

The hotel is divided into two wings. The Palace Wing comprises the original hotel and houses the Terrace Restaurant, 1902 Restaurant and Bar, main public areas, classical rooms and the hotel’s famed suites. Many room options in the Palace Wing have garden views rather than the superior Nile views, so be sure to check view type at time of booking. The Nile Wing has more contemporary rooms with balconies and views of the Nile, as well as the indoor pool, gym and spa on the ground level. Connecting options are available in both wings, but we recommend booking the Palace Wing, if you can get a Nile or partial Nile view, featuring more authentic Egyptian décor.

There are several restaurants on property, including 1902, serving fine French cuisine (requires a jacket and an age minimum of 12). Terrace is an excellent choice for all-day international dining in comfortable wicker chairs that overlook the grounds and the Nile. Oriental Kababgy showcases a mix of Asian flavors that have influenced Egyptian and Middle Eastern cuisine, while Saraya offers a selection of Mediterranean dishes. For a drink, head to the Piano Bar, featuring richly carved mahogany walls, leather chairs and zebra prints.

Famous former guests include some of the world’s most well-known personalities, including Tsar Nicholas II, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie and Princess Diana—all drawn to the hotel’s spectacular setting perched above the Nile River and overlooking the temple ruins dotting Elephantine Island.

Written by Ried Stelly

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