Old Cataract Hotel, in Egypt, and the writer Agatha Christie

I frequently say that a cruise on the Nile River is one of the most exciting things to do in Egypt. Aswan is part of the route, and people there usually leave the ship for some minutes to join a delightful felucca ride. I have already written about this ride, including how’s the approach of the “kids of the Nile.” But there’s an extra attraction that I’m showing only now: the Old Cataract Hotel.

During the felucca ride, we suddenly sight a vast construction on the bank of the river. The hotel, one of the most famous and luxurious in Egypt, has received world personalities in the last decades, which is why it gains historical and tourist interest. The most prominent star linked to it is the writer Agatha Christie, who died in 1976.

Agatha Christie stayed at the Old Cataract a few times. Impressed with the place, she used it as an inspiration when creating the bestseller Death on the Nile — adapted (again) as a film in 2022, with a millionaire cast.

Agatha Christie at the Hotel Old Cataract.
Agatha Christie at the Old Cataract Hotel.
Death on the Nile's cover
One of the novel’s covers.
Old Cataract facade seen from the river.
The hotel seen from the felucca.
The Old Cataract Hotel

Egypt was a rich inspiration for Agatha Christie

The Old Cataract Hotel
The Old Cataract Hotel

How exciting, Damas! I love Agatha Christie! I wonder now if I could book the same room occupied by her.

I answer with a pharaonic YES!

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The Old Cataract Hotel offers the Agatha Christie Suit. Now picture this: stay in that suit and start reading Death on the Nile! To make things better, have tea on the terrace during the sunset, just like the Queen of Crime used to do. 🙂

Agatha Christie Suit at the Old Cataract Hotel
The Agatha Christie Suit (also next photo).
Agatha Christie Suit at the Old Cataract Hotel

‘Death on the Nile’ is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous works

A short video I recorded during a felucca ride. I speak in Portuguese, my native language, but I believe the images will be enough for you.

Tips for visiting the Old Cataract

Remember that you will most likely be on a cruise on the Nile River — which means you will have a room on the ship. Strictly speaking, there’s no sense in paying for a stay at the Old Cataract.

Indeed, Damas. So, what do you suggest? I want so much to have an experience at this hotel!

This is a question I hear often. I have three suggestions:

  1. Don’t add the cruise on the Nile River to your travel plan. Tourists who prefer to avoid water or do not have enough time for a cruise will probably stay at a hotel in Luxor and later in Aswan — two places that are always part of the cruise. In Aswan, the obvious choice will be the Old Cataract. (This is my least favourite option. Cruising on the Nile River is a FANTASTIC experience that no one should miss.)
  2. Increase the number of days in Aswan. One, two, three days. After the cruise, the tourists check in at the Old Cataract Hotel and enjoy more of what the region offers. (The best option, but naturally the most expensive.)
  3. During the cruise, go to the Old Cataract just for dinner (dismissing the dinner included in the price you paid for the cruise). It is possible to have dinner at the hotel even when you are not a guest. Enjoy the delicious meal and explore the areas accessible to non-guests. Many tourists follow this advice and thank me later. Have everything arranged with your tour guide. They should organise transportation to and from the hotel. (I remember the delight of a tourist who visited Egypt using my tips and my partnership with a famous travel agency. He was a fan of Agatha Christie, and the week when he would cruise on the Nile would be exactly the week of his birthday. The hotel staff offered him a special dinner.)

Finally, a special note. Remember that Agatha Christie was only one of many celebrities in the hotel. The place has received artists, kings, politicians. For instance, you could choose the Winston Churchill Suit. How about this?

Locate the hotel on Google Maps.

» I live in the Algarve (South of Portugal).

» My first fiction books, for young adults, were published in the early 2000s in Portuguese — a time travel adventure and a drama about child adoption, both with thousands of readers. I also wrote books and guides about travel and technology. Screenplays are my greatest passion.

» This blog is the English version of my G.P. DAMAS (Portuguese language, online since 2010). English is not my native language.

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