Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan Opens

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    In the Nubian Desert on the banks of the Nile River across from Elephantine Island the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan has risen from its ashes after a 3 year closure. The venerable Old Cataracts story began in 1899 in the heart of sparkling Aswan, its very name taken from the marriage of the river and the granite wall that forms the first cataract of the Nile. More than a hotel, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan is a destination unto itself. Sofitel entrusted French interior designer Sybille de Margerie with the task of bringing the luxury of the myth to life once again while conserving the original beauty of the Victorian building; a true challenge, given the weight of history that every wall bears and the rich memories of the legendary visitors who once crossed its threshold.

    The soul and splendour of the place are preserved, the architecture updated for a decidedly contemporary face Sybille de Margerie has risen to the challenge by bringing together Victorian, Middle Eastern and French styles.

    From its rose granite plateau rising above the sacred river, the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan offers visitors two different experiences in the hotels rooms and suites. The historic charm of The Palace pervades its 76 accommodations, including 45 suites. From Agatha Christie to Sir Winston Churchill and including Agha Khan, many famous faces have stayed here, movie stars, heads of state and crowned heads. Once a legend always a legend, and here that has held true through the extravagant transformation that managed to preserve the sites heritage in such touches as the Byzantine-style striped arches. The 2 most spacious suites are named Agatha Christie Suite and the Winston Churchill Suite which has its own private terrace. Each one proposes an adjacent room.

    The contemporary elegance of The Nile wing numbers 62 accommodations, 37 of which are suites, all with a balcony and a view of the famous river. The friezes and chandeliers found in the historic wing are reproduced here, inextricably linking the two buildings. Particular attention was paid to the bathrooms; some rooms even offer guests the luxury of taking a bath while gazing out over the Nile. The biggest suite in this wing is the Agha Khan Suite.

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    Daniel Fountain / 08.10.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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