Live the Legend at Sofitel Old Cataract Aswan, a luxury 5-star hotel in a 19th-century Victorian palace on the banks of the river Nile. Rising grandly from a pink granite shelf at the edge of the Nubian Desert with views of Elephantine Island , the Old Cataract Hotel takes its name from the river’s First Cataract (rapids) at the traditional northern border of Nubia. Thomas Cook had the hotel constructed, mostly for the tourists that his company was escorting down the Nile at the end of the 19th century. So unlike many historical hotels in Egypt, it was never a royal palace or lodge. It has always been a grand hotel, and it remains one of the finest hotels in Egypt today. Victorian architecture combines elegantly with interior decor inspired by the Orient. This unique hotel inspired the Agatha Christie novel, Death on the Nile. The rooms are all air conditioned, spacious and feature en suite bathrooms. Relax and immerse yourself in an infinity pool overlooking the Nile or book a hot stone massage at the Spa. The1902 Restaurant offers a gourmet menu while the Darna Restaurant specializes in Eastern cuisine. Four bars, one featuring a view of the Nile is well known for its terrace. The town of Aswan in Upper Egypt marked the southern boundary of Ancient Egypt. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country with the town located on the east bank and the desert coming right to the Nile on the west bank. The best view of Aswan is from the Aga Khan’s Mausoleum on the west bank. For total relaxation and an excellent vantage point for sight seeing, take a felucca around the islands.