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Expecting a classy afternoon tea we were treated to garden furniture on a non-descript terrace under the hotel, wooden cutlery and sachets of sugar, begrudging service, no menu, tea served in glass beakers, and tea that turned up 20 minutes before the food. And it...was hugely expensive and then with over 20% taxes added. The view was lovely and the food reasonable, and the hotel interesting to see, but do not have Western hotels teas in mind to avoid disappointment.More
The situation and the view are perfect. The staff not so much. We were lucky to be served by Mr. Ayman who is marvellous but the top man never even said hello though we had dinner there every night with the exception of NYE. The...food is indifferent at best and the choice limited though my wife did enjoy the prawns (same menu as in the 1902). There is room for improvement.More
This review is for afternoon tea only, not an overnight stay.
On the recommendation of a friend, we made reservations for afternoon tea one day of our Aswan visit timed for sunset. Making reservations was easy with a simple phone call and we were informed...about a few, reasonable hotel policies for visiting patrons like ourselves.
The first policy is that the official Terrace Restaurant is reserved for overnight guests only; other patrons are allowed at one of the other outdoor seating areas. This is completely fine...the view is still peaceful and gorgeous with palm trees along the Nile River.
The second policy is that there is a minimum charge of 300 Egyptian pounds per person. Despite the high price, you'll likely spend this anyway and it is clearly communicated. However, it is executed in an unfriendly manner: upon arrival, security treated us as second-class citizens and shamed us for attempting to enter the property despite having confirmed reservations, well-mannered behavior, and the intention to comply with all policies. Immediately upon arrival, you need to buy vouchers of 300 LE pp to guarantee your minimum spend.
We were seated at our choice of tables on the terrace and admittedly the view is gorgeous. It looks upon a stretch of river with a few boats floating by, very close to Elephantine Island. It's very picturesque.
The setting, unfortunately, is the only thing afternoon tea has going for it. It took 45 minutes to even receive a menu (!) although our waiter was apologetic about that and brought over a bread basket and complimentary bottled water while we were waiting for someone to find a menu. (Was the kitchen designing today's offering from scratch?! It was hard to imagine why this wasn't ready when they offer tea daily and had our reservation a week in advance).
The food came out quickly after ordering. We had ordered the Cataract Tea, which had an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones/pastries/desserts, and fresh fruit. There is also a second option, with a larger portion, that would be fit for sharing. The tea was beautifully presented with china, a good-sized teapot, and the three-tiered tray of assorted foods.
None of the foods were noteworthy and there were some that weren't worth eating more than a bite of. If you're looking for a gourmet meal, this isn't it. The service, while adequate, can't compete with how friendly and hospitality-focused most Aswan/Nubian restaurants are.
We ended up spending about two hours here, much of it due to the delay in getting a menuMore
After 7 days onboard the MS A'Sara, we couldn’t bear the thought of another buffet meal. The Old Cataract had caught our eye the previous week during a felucca ride. If you’re not staying at the hotel, in order to enter you must pay 300...EGP at the gate as a minimum spend. There were 5 of us, and this took some time (process goes faster if you can pay in cash). Vouchers in hand, we were then escorted inside and seated on the Terrace. The property is beautifully landscaped, and the public areas are elegant and richly appointed. Service was a bit on the slow side, but it gave us a chance to soak in the ambiance. Food was met with mixed opinion. Everyone agreed though that the view and atmosphere was worth the price. If I ever return to Aswan, the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract would be tops on my list.More
We ate at the Terrace a few times, the food was always wonderful! The service is very friendly and always willing to help. The view is great, we got a place overlooking the water each we ate or had drinks.
Response from Elizabeth N | Reviewed this property |
I think only a part of the Terrace is designated to guest.. There is an uncovered section that I think non-guest can access. Actually, it's where we sat as the other section was full. We still had a lovely view of the... More
I think only a part of the Terrace is designated to guest.. There is an uncovered section that I think non-guest can access. Actually, it's where we sat as the other section was full. We still had a lovely view of the Nile and service was good.