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“Wonderful Historic Hotel, but some unfortunate renovations”

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Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan
Ranked #1 of 22 Hotels in Aswan
Certificate of Excellence
Albany, New York
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Wonderful Historic Hotel, but some unfortunate renovations”
Reviewed 31 December 2012

This is one of he world's greatest hotels with much historic charm. Unfortunately, the rather over the top renovations have priced it out of the reach of many and many lovely, antique pieces of furniture have been replaced by tacky, 4-Seasons-style, oversized and ugly chairs and incongruous modern tables. The old staff used to be very friendly but now is rather corporate. Still a wonderful place but many of the alterations weren't necessary or for the better and the decorator should be hung!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank placova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed Z, Front Office Manager at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, responded to this review, 3 January 2013
Dear Madam/ Sir,

Thank you for choosing Sofitel Legend Old Cataract for your recent visit to Aswan.

I am pleased to learn you enjoyed your stay and I would like to thank you for your valuable comments and feedback.

I am really sorry to learn that you feel the renovation has somehow diminished the hotel antique charm but I hope this will not affect you so much as not to give us the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

Sincerely,

Rushdee Hosany
Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cairo, Egypt
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2012

I'll admit up front that my experience with top-flight hotels is limited. My paychecks won't cover too many five starred hotels, but our stay in the Old Cataract was a joy. If you are not familiar with it, the Old Cataract has one of the truly great locations in the world literally abutting one of the cataracts of the Nile. The original building (where we stayed) is a grand old hotel in the classic tradition -- high ceilings, beautiful furnishings and buckets of charm. We arrived in Aswan, took a hotel transfer (in a smokin' hot Dodge Charger) and arrived with not a bit of fuss. We were escorted to a wonderful old veranda where a staffer came to us to check us in. We discovered that I had made massage appointments for the wrong day, and the staffer immediately corrected the reservation for us.

We live in Cairo so we did not set up any excursions, preferring to loll by the pool during the day and wander down into town for dinner. The quiet, elegant air was a balm to our jangled nerves. I see others have complained about the room service, but I cannot comment as we did not take advantage of it. We were more than happy with the breakfast that were included in the price of our room.

This is not a place for the faint of pocketbook. We normally would never pay this much for a hotel, but I do not regret the cost for even a moment. We got a (comparatively) good deal because tourism is down in Egypt. If you want to stay in one of the world's legendary hotels, now is a good time to do it.

Room Tip: If you can afford one of the suites in the old building with a river view, go for it.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nedu_Jamin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed Z, Rooms Division Manager at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, responded to this review, 29 December 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for choosing Sofitel Legend Old Cataract for your recent visit to Aswan.

I am really pleased to know that you appreciated the facilities and service provided during your stay and would like to thank you for your feedback.

Your valuable comments has been shared with the team this will encourage them in their pursuit for excellence.

I look forward to welcome you back very soon.

Sincerely,

Ahmed El Zomor
Rooms Division Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lagos
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2012

Having stayed in the Old cataract, obviously it remains one of the most magic place around the world. Sadly the overall level and standard that would be expected in such hotel is far to be at the usual standards you'll find elsewhere in the world. To give some examples, room service ordered got partially delivered, and some of the orders were wrong. We had diner at the so called "Gastronomic" 1902, where my wife's sea bass was over cooked; We had diner in every restaurant of the hotel and it was good, but surely not worth the price paid. We had to regularly struggle to get hot water in our room, in fact only achieving tepid despite our numerous request. Surely the personnel is very friendly, but the understanding of English language can be surprising to say the least, some days breakfast bread was from the previous day, quality of the french pastries, croissant and others is far to be up to the expected quality in such place. Overall, given the prices of the meals and rooms, the rating is low compared to similar 5* standard around the world. (Ritz, Shangri-la, Baumaniere, Hyatt Dar es Salaam, Sofitel Cairo, Sofitel St James London, Wheatbaker Lagos etc...)

Room Tip: Garden rooms in the main building are ideal for winter as the sun will hit all day long and you'...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank loloDLagos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed Z, Rooms Division Manager at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, responded to this review, 26 December 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for choosing Sofitel Legend Old Cataract for your recent visit to Aswan.

I appreciate you took the time to inform us on what you experienced in the hotel and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you might have encountered.

Your valuable comments have been brought to the attention of the departments concerned for their immediate review and action.

We are grateful for your patronage and hope we may have the opportunity to welcome you back at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan in the not too distant future.

Sincerely,

Ahmed El Zomor
Rooms Division Manager
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Basingstoke, England
Level 6 Contributor
219 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2012

The Old Cataract is in a stunning situation on the bank of the River Nile, opposite Elephantine Island, and the architecture of the original building is wonderful. The servive we enjoyed was excellent. We ate at the hotel's "1902" restaurant one evening, and the food and service were brilliant.
Our room on the sixth floor of the New Wing was enormous, with a lobby, living room, bedroom, large balcony, dressing room and huge bathroom with separate shower and toilet. The only down sides were that the aircon wasn't very good, and the room was a little warm for our taste (24 degrees C in December), and the lack of plugs in the his and hers washbasins; we were astounded to be informed by Guest Relations that, following a multi-million dollar refurb of the hotel, after which it reopened three months before our stay, the lack of plugs was a design matter - on which planet do you spend a fortune refurbing a hotel, and design the sinks to have no plugs?
We tried afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the Nile - very nice indeed.
The pool area was clean, tidy, and the staff attentive and helpful.
Our only other issue with the hotel was that I wanted to change some Sterling into Egyptian Pounds - I've never known a major hotel that didn't offer currency conversion, albeit sometimes at crap rates, but the Old Cataract doesn't - they send you to a bank 5 minutes' walk away on the Corniche in the town. Bizarre.
One member of the hotel staff was particularly helpful, a lady called Amira from Guest Relations.

Room Tip: All the rooms in the New Wing have stunning views of the Nile and Elephantine Island, and our room...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Samthetax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed Z, Rooms Division Manager at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, responded to this review, 26 December 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for choosing Sofitel Legend Old Cataract for your recent visit to Aswan.

I am grateful to receive your comments and constructive criticism which enable us to continuously improve the services we are offering.

Rest assured that your comments have been brought to the attention of the department heads concerned as the satisfaction of our valuable customers is our highest mission.

I hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the not too distant future.

Sincerely,

Ahmed El Zomor
Rooms Division Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2012

We stayed on 11th floor of the Nile wing in Nov 2012, it was very quiet, hardly any tourists around and the hotel was almost empty. The benefit of this was there was no problem getting a sun lounger at the relatively small pool and it was quiet, the down side was that there was very little or no atmosphere in the bar and restaurants. Guests were outnumbered by staff. This was a great shame as the hotel is beautiful and the staff are amazing. The service we received exceeded any we'd ever had before (with the possible exception of the Steamship Sudan). Our room was stunning; very well decorated, clean and very comfortable, and the view was world class. We had a very relaxing and happy 3 days.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Deborah E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed Z, Rooms Division Manager at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, responded to this review, 21 December 2012
Dear Madam/ Sir,

Thank you for choosing Sofitel Legend Old Cataract for your recent visit to Aswan.

I am delighted to learn you enjoyed your stay with us from the service to the facilities and your room on the top 9th floor of our Nile wing.

I would like to sincerely thank you for your very kind words which I will share with the team.

I look forward to welcome you back in the near future.

Sincerely,

Ahmed El Zomor
Rooms Division Manager
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norfolk
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2012

We visited this Hotel for afternoon tea whilst on a cruise last year (2011) and were shown around the recently refurbished (£7m was mentioned!) and promised we would be back! We still did the cruise down the Nile on the luxury yacht The Alexander the Great and we were the only guests! And then arrived at The Old Cataract for a weeks stay. The first thing you notice when you enter the beautiful entrance is the Sofitel perfume, a warm welcome from the uniformed staff and the most magnifient flower display set under Moorish arches and many coloured lanterns plus a cool marble floor. we we shown along quiet corridors to our suite, huge bed with the most comfortable pillows I have ever slept on! Little touches of canapés, fruit, wine and in the bathroom a walk in and out shower above and side sprays, even a dressing room! Hermes products, loofahs and soft big towels. We were in the old Cataract and had a view over the gardens and Nile, balcony as well although a bit small for two of us and anyway it was so hot! The Nile modern block was closed and we were told there were only 8 in the Hotel, what a shame!

Nice touches were the TImes newspaper printed out tabloid size every morning and delivered in a special bag to our room. My husband was loaned an Apple I pad for the duration of our stay there is free WiFi so he was happy! Having visited most of the historic sites before we stayed in the Hotel and spent most days by the pool under the mango tree!, the pool is a short walk from the terrace and the pool staff are very attentive, the beds are comfortable and the shades are easy to move around, we had lunch overlooking Elephantine Island and watching the feluccas sailing by with a. Few tourists looking up at us sipping a G&T.

There wasn't a great choice of restaurants for dinner as there were so few guests but we had dinner every night. In the main Hotel. My only criticism is the erratic quality of the food and the price, I had been made aware of the prices by earlier reviews on this site so we were prepared, but £30 for two double G&T's was a trifle excessive and a Chocolate Snicker bar at £4 and a Banana split at £13 ( and it was not up to scratch!) meant that we watched the prices. we mentioned this to the Hotel Manager.

However, despite the cost of eating in we had a wonderful relaxing time and the staff could not have been more helpful and courteous, everywhere you went someone unseen popped up and opened the door for you! We must mention the Spa which was an added luxury of indulgence and relaxation, we have had many spa experiences but this Spa was suberb. Try the massage or the steam rooms and the swimming pool is just gorgeous. towels, Hermes products and toothpaste and brushes. lovely!

The renovation of this Hotel with a great name and history to live up to has been done so tastefully and it is undeniably a luxury hotel where the prices would normally be out of our reach, but with the uncertain political situation the prices reflect the lack of guests. we love Egypt and its people and will be back next year. do go you won't regret it!!

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade with a Nile view in the main Hotel. Have Room Service it's better value.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bellenorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed Z, Rooms Division Manager at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, responded to this review, 11 December 2012
Dear Madam,

Thank you for choosing Sofitel Legend Old Cataract for your recent visit to Aswan.

I would like to sincerely thank you for sharing the details of your stay with us. I am pleased that you liked the way the hotel has been renovated and that the SoSpa was one of the highlight of your stay.

We have well noted your constructive criticism concerning the food quality and prices. Rest assured that I have shared your comments with the respective department head for them to take the necessary corrective measures.

Thank you again for taking the time to provide us with your feedback.

I look forward to welcome you back on your next trip to Egypt.

Sincerely,

Ahmed El Zomor
Rooms Division Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Property: Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan
Address: Abtal El Tahrir Street, Aswan, Egypt
Phone Number:
Region: Egypt > Nile River Valley > Aswan Governorate > Aswan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Aswan
#1 Romantic Hotel in Aswan
#1 Spa Hotel in Aswan
#1 Luxury Hotel in Aswan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan 5*
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Complex encompassing famous Victorian-style Cataract Hotel & adjacent high-rise New Cataract Hotel (1963). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan Hotel Aswan
Accor Old Cataract Aswan
Sofitel Aswan
Aswan Sofitel

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