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“Most expensive option - nice, but unneccesary” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse

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St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse
Istanbul
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Most expensive option - nice, but unneccesary”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2012

The St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse is nice and clean, but about 7 times more expensive than the other places around. I enjoyed my time here, which includes breakfast and dinner in the price (about $35USD/night), and it is right at the monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai, it is clean, well maintained, and I have no complaints. There really is not a big advantage of staying here in my opinion. I enjoyed the monastery, and I am a reflective and prayerful person, but I slept on top of the mountain, and really just needed a place to lockup my baggage.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank josk34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    9
    12
    8
    3
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
283 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

The Monastery guesthouse, in itself, is nothing special. And the food served in the dining room is basic, filling, but hardly worth the journey. But what is special is the chance to stay in such a special place and to be there at times when the tour bus hoards are absent. Our room was basic, comfortable and clean. What else can you ask for the modest rates the monks charge?
One suggestion: Most people climb Mt. Sinai either in the late afternoon or in the dark, huddle in the cold just below the summit, and then take in the view at dawn with a large gaggle of fellow tourists. I'm sure the view at dawn is spectacular. But we left St. Catherine's at about 8:30 am and had the trail and the summit all to ourselves. The view was still fantastic and we had the solitude. This tactic worked well in February when the walking temperature was perfect . It might not be such a good idea in the summer.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank sptravelers5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
116 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

Saint Cats? Is that right? More than you know.... Cats were all over the place when I visited. One raised a paw - maybe to provide a blessing - as I went to religious services and another chased me into my room at the guesthouse. This place is amazing.

What can I say about the area where, repeatedly, God spoke to Moses? The foot of Mount Horeb is a very rough place. You may love this area or you may want to make a quick retreat to one of the comfortable resort areas by the sea.... I was reminded of some of the hard and dramatic places in Arizona and in Baja California. The local mountains aren't especially big - not when compared to the Rockies in Colorado - but they're dramatic. During the winter, the wind rushes down the slopes to shake the guesthouse.

The monastery guesthouse is - well, it's a monastery guesthouse, pilgrim. What did you expect? It's simple and the food served at the restaurant is also simple. And it's adequate and you'll be safe and you'll get what you need. If you go to Saint Cats, you should be very spiritual, or a bit of a romantic, or, at the least, you should be in love with history.
Take a Bible with you and read the story of Exodus. Then, ask your guides, "Where did Moses meet his wife? Where did he encounter the burning bush?" etc. Even if you're an agnostic, try to to understand the power of the Exodus story. If you want to be pampered and entertained, go back to Cairo.

Room Tip: Fitness center? The wilderness walks will put you in good shape.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank CelticRambler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

I came to spend a few days at the guesthouse, climb Mt. Sinai, visit the library and see the icon gallery. The people at reception spoke no English so I got no help even finding out when meals were (they're included), much less how to do the things I'd come to do. many tours come with hordes of people who definitely diminish the experience of being in this desolate, historic place. I had better luck with a local Bedouiin man finding out what to see and do.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Terrytravels1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2012

The guesthouse is next to the Monastery, itself occupied without interruption by Orthodox monks since the early seventh century. From the guesthouse, it is a 2,5 - 3 hours hike to the top of the Sinai where sunrise (or sunset) provide an experience of a lifetime and make you get in touch with who we really are and why we think about ourselves the way we do.
The guesthouse itself provided very basic yet clean and actually quite comfortable lodging and simple though tasty and hearty meals. The staff speaks very basic english but we found them very friendly and helpful. Sadly, some other travellers who thought to start their climb around midnight kept us out of our sleep.

Room Tip: I had booked over the phone a few weeks beforehand; no deposits or e-mails were accepted, but my res...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank geertvdh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abilene, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2011

My daughter and I enjoyed a lovely week at the Monastery Guest House just a few days after President Mubarek's resignation. The setting is calm and peaceful, a sort of oasis in the midst of the desert wilderness. The room was very basic, but clean and adequate. The staff were attentive and very cordial. The breakfast and dinner meals (which are included) were hearty and tasty. The value for money was excellent.

Due to the design and layout of the complex, the Guest House feels almost a part of the monastery. Recent attention given by the Bedouin to the walled gardens, the walkways, and the buildings really shows.

Camel rides up Jebel Musa, or the starting point of the famed Steps of Repentance path are just a few minutes' walk. It is an easy 10-minute walk to a small bazaar and cafe area, and about 40 minutes walk into the village -- though car transport into the village and any other local points of interest is cheaply and amply available.

But the best thing about the Guest House is its rather remote quality and its proximity to the remarkable Monastery and scenic mountain.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank 132jrny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sagle
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2011

This is not a place that lots of people would like. But I loved it because is was so peaceful so restful. What a wonderful place to think and reflect. I would love to spend a month there. The oppertunity for Spiritual growth is unlimited.

Not so Phar North

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank NSPharNorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse

Property: St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse
Address: at the foot of Mount Horeb (mount Moses), Saint Catherine, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Saint Catherine
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Saint Catherine
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
St. Catherine`s Monastery Guesthouse Hotel Saint Catherine

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