Old Cataract

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Old Cataract

Post by hatusu »

We had a travel writer staying at the hotel last night with his family. He had just come back from Aswan where they had attempted to go and have tea at the Old Cataract. They weren’t allowed in. The hotel had been taken over by a Saudi prince (is everybody a prince there?) with no notice and guests staying there already had been asked (told?) to leave. The travel writer got talking to one lady who had been thrown out – she told him that she had been going to this hotel for years and stays for a month or more, and not surprisingly she said she will never set foot in it again.


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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

Money talks, they have lot's of demands like floors for the women to stay on with no men around.
I doubt there were many staying so not a difficult decision for the owners.

Not always been that easy to get into for tea although we had cocktails in the residents only area a couple of years ago after the 75mil referb spectacular, Just a shame the revolution came along and stopped the same investment at the Winter Palace.
Last edited by Bombay on Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by carrie »

Well one can only hope that they are charging the Saudi Prince and his retinue a fortune to stay there, they will have to just to make up for the bad publicity. A lovely hotel and I know people who have saved up for ages just to stay there, to then be thrown out must be devastating. I hope they have not been re housed at the barrack like New Cataract.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Horus »

Pretty disgusting if that is true, its bad enough, but maybe understandable when it involves the security of a countries leader, but a Saudi Prince? Lets face it they are two a penny and if it was just that his entourage demanded that he have the whole place by throwing money around then that is unacceptable, but if the hotel did this just to get his business then that is even worse and while they may gain financially in the short term it is bound to bite them in the backside once the story gets out.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Yildez »

A drink on the terrace at the Old Cataract was a highlight of my stay in Aswan a few years ago. What a shame, and very short-sighted of the hotel management.

The low point of the visit was an elderly lady in the souk who managed to get her fingers in my handbag, despite it being across my body with my hand on the top zip! She removed my comb and little mirror - annoying, and soured my impression of Aswan.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

I am sorry but you are all talking rubbish its business in an environment currently devoid of business I doubt as I said they moved many as Aswan is in a worse situation than Luxor if that's possible. Come on get a grip folks.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Mad Dilys »

Saudi Prince? Sounds like a "believable" excuse for any number of other reasons the hotel might have to abruptly close. ;)
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

Yildez wrote:A drink on the terrace at the Old Cataract was a highlight of my stay in Aswan a few years ago. What a shame, and very short-sighted of the hotel management.

The low point of the visit was an elderly lady in the souk who managed to get her fingers in my handbag, despite it being across my body with my hand on the top zip! She removed my comb and little mirror - annoying, and soured my impression of Aswan.
Yes the pick pockets in Aswan are legionary.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by carrie »

I can quite understand the business ramifications of letting the hotel to the Prince and his retinue, how many would be able to turn such a lot of money down. Yet you must sympathize with those who have been thrown out, it might have been a one off dream of a lifetime to stay there.
Years ago some friends saved up to stay at the Mena Palace in Cairo followed by a stay at the Old Cataract then the Winter Palace in Luxor, they may not be the best hotels now in those cities but it was the history and romance they were after.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

I am sorry you are assuming they have been thrown out when they would have been compensated and moved to another hotel all arranged by the hotel they have other hotels in Aswan.
Even those staying there especially any regulars would be fully aware of the situation here over the past few years.

As I said it's not likely to be many.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Dusak »

Mad Dilys wrote:Saudi Prince? Sounds like a "believable" excuse for any number of other reasons the hotel might have to abruptly close. ;)
Easy to say when it wasn't your ''dream stay.'' Knowing you as I do, with respect of course, if you had been one of those asked to relocate you would of been 'effing and blinding your way towards the outer hemisphere. I remember watching a fly on the wall documentary a few years back concerning a famous hotel in London, can't remember which. They faced a similar dilemma concerning a Saudi Prince that had pre-booked two floors, but had suddenly increased the guest numbers by 30/40 or so expecting them to move guest out so they could take over the next floor. I think that it carried a value of around £600,000. But the hotel refused to pit out any of their customers, regulars or not. So they all shipped out to another hotel. sudden big and unexpected profits are OK, but only short term at the cost of long term bookings and a steady feed of cash over a number of years that could be destroyed by bad publicity in cases such as this one.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by HEPZIBAH »

There is a series on tv at the moment - The Very British Hotel. I only found it at the tail end of a programme and it was saying that they often have to chase the money owed for months. Always a dilema in having the prestige and large booking over possibly short term guests who actually wouldn't be allowed to leave until payment had been made.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

Dusak wrote:
Mad Dilys wrote:Saudi Prince? Sounds like a "believable" excuse for any number of other reasons the hotel might have to abruptly close. ;)
Easy to say when it wasn't your ''dream stay.'' Knowing you as I do, with respect of course, if you had been one of those asked to relocate you would of been 'effing and blinding your way towards the outer hemisphere. I remember watching a fly on the wall documentary a few years back concerning a famous hotel in London, can't remember which. They faced a similar dilemma concerning a Saudi Prince that had pre-booked two floors, but had suddenly increased the guest numbers by 30/40 or so expecting them to move guest out so they could take over the next floor. I think that it carried a value of around £600,000. But the hotel refused to pit out any of their customers, regulars or not. So they all shipped out to another hotel. sudden big and unexpected profits are OK, but only short term at the cost of long term bookings and a steady feed of cash over a number of years that could be destroyed by bad publicity in cases such as this one.
But in reality they don't exist these days so to rent the whole hotel probably generated the same or more than the whole year and more don't forget premium rooms here go for more tha 5k GBP per night so a few rooms being moved out is worth it.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

HEPZIBAH wrote:There is a series on tv at the moment - The Very British Hotel. I only found it at the tail end of a programme and it was saying that they often have to chase the money owed for months. Always a dilema in having the prestige and large booking over possibly short term guests who actually wouldn't be allowed to leave until payment had been made.
I also watched a program a few years back where there was a booking like this and they had very specific requirements for the hotel to meet.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Mad Dilys »

Dusak wrote:
Mad Dilys wrote:Saudi Prince? Sounds like a "believable" excuse for any number of other reasons the hotel might have to abruptly close. ;)
Easy to say when it wasn't your ''dream stay.'' Knowing you as I do, with respect of course, if you had been one of those asked to relocate you would of been 'effing and blinding your way towards the outer hemisphere. I remember watching a fly on the wall documentary a few years back concerning a famous hotel in London, can't remember which. They faced a similar dilemma concerning a Saudi Prince that had pre-booked two floors, but had suddenly increased the guest numbers by 30/40 or so expecting them to move guest out so they could take over the next floor. I think that it carried a value of around £600,000. But the hotel refused to pit out any of their customers, regulars or not. So they all shipped out to another hotel. sudden big and unexpected profits are OK, but only short term at the cost of long term bookings and a steady feed of cash over a number of years that could be destroyed by bad publicity in cases such as this one.
I stayed at the this hotel in 1989. It was not a pleasant experience and I hope that things have improved. At that time I might have expected the hotel to be closed as not coming up to star standard.

Yes the view from the terrace was wonderful, the Om Ali was the best ever, but standards of comfort, cleanliness - especially in the dining room - and service left much to be desired. :td

PS You don't yet know me very well Dusak. I am a reasonable woman, I know that sometimes things skid a bit in business. When the tourists suddenly returned to Egypt in the early 90s tour operators were using boats for the people who couldn't get into the hotels they had booked. Tour leaders were very quickly moved into boats and even private homes in some cases. The manager of The Winter Palace lost his job in the clean up, as reputedly even they were overbooked by 50 rooms.
It was chaos. I know that some of our clients were on the many boats pulled into use which remained on moorings. Most realised there was nothing they could do until they got home. I did feel especially sorry for one family of adults who had come for a family celebration. Some were split up on different boats and a lady at the centre of the celebrations was persuaded to look at the cruiser's facilities. She wept when she told me of the humiliation - her size prevented her from getting through the door to her allotted cabin.

Sometimes the story covers another reason. On the 1989 trip our flight home was delayed by several hours - we were told when we got on board that unfortunately there was no food available. When we got to the UK were found out that our scheduled plane had gone down on the way to Egypt. I for one was glad that they didn't tell us until we got home.

There's nothing you can do when the **** hits the fan - at the time - you may deal with it later or not. I don't usually bother, but if I do it will be with management that's where the buck stops.
Last edited by Mad Dilys on Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

Mad Dilys wrote:
Dusak wrote:
Mad Dilys wrote:Saudi Prince? Sounds like a "believable" excuse for any number of other reasons the hotel might have to abruptly close. ;)
Easy to say when it wasn't your ''dream stay.'' Knowing you as I do, with respect of course, if you had been one of those asked to relocate you would of been 'effing and blinding your way towards the outer hemisphere. I remember watching a fly on the wall documentary a few years back concerning a famous hotel in London, can't remember which. They faced a similar dilemma concerning a Saudi Prince that had pre-booked two floors, but had suddenly increased the guest numbers by 30/40 or so expecting them to move guest out so they could take over the next floor. I think that it carried a value of around £600,000. But the hotel refused to pit out any of their customers, regulars or not. So they all shipped out to another hotel. sudden big and unexpected profits are OK, but only short term at the cost of long term bookings and a steady feed of cash over a number of years that could be destroyed by bad publicity in cases such as this one.
I stayed at the this hotel in 1989. It was not a pleasant experience and I hope that things have improved. At that time I might have expected the hotel to be closed as not coming up to star standard.


Yes the view from the terrace was wonderful, the Om Ali was the best ever, but standards of comfort, cleanliness - especially in the dining room - and service left much to be desired. :td
Probably why they invested $75 million in 2010 to completely restore the hotel to fantastic standards.
Last edited by Bombay on Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by newcastle »

A friend of mine was staying at theOld Cataract last year when a Saudi wedding party arrived.

The hotel apologised that it was going to get a bit "noisy" and offered to move her to another hotel with some cash compensation too.

She declined their offer and didn't get a moment's peace and quiet for 48 hours. Bad choice on her part :lol:
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

hatusu wrote:We had a travel writer staying at the hotel last night with his family. He had just come back from Aswan where they had attempted to go and have tea at the Old Cataract. They weren’t allowed in. The hotel had been taken over by a Saudi prince (is everybody a prince there?) with no notice and guests staying there already had been asked (told?) to leave. The travel writer got talking to one lady who had been thrown out – she told him that she had been going to this hotel for years and stays for a month or more, and not surprisingly she said she will never set foot in it again.
So as a hotelier yourself facing a similar situation would have been your decision fill your hotel or keep a few guests on allowing for the fact they have a lot more rooms to fill?
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by hatusu »

I dont think we're going to be troubled by many Saudi princes here on the West Bank.
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Re: Old Cataract

Post by Bombay »

hatusu wrote:I dont think we're going to be troubled by many Saudi princes here on the West Bank.
Me neither over here but I am pretty sure what we would do in a pleasant way :D