by Jimmy Dunn
On my last trip to Egypt, just before leaving Cairo, I was in contact with Dr. Susan Wilson who has been a great resource for the web site. I mentioned my interest in budget hotels in the Aswan and Luxor area, and she pointed me to the Sara in Aswan. Without her, I would never have known of this hotel's existence.
Located on one of the highest points in Aswan, the hotel is invisible from the main roads, but not from the Nile. In fact, due to its perch, every room of this hotel has a Nile View, and some very grand views at that. And while it is not really a budget class hotel, but rather more midrange, it is affordable for most. It is also brand new.
At the outset, however, I must also point out that, because it is new, it had no swimming pool when I visited the hotel, though one was scheduled to soon be built. Also, the hotel is some distance from Aswan's city center, though there was a free, hourly shuttle service into town.
The hotel itself is very bright, with a contrasting white and pink paint theme, and an open, spacious lobby.
All rooms include a reasonably large, furnished balcony, individually controlled air-conditioning, direct dial telephones, satellite international color television, a mini bar, and shower, hair dryer and a shaver outlet.
There is also a second day laundry service, express pressing and 24-hour room service.
There are several restaurants in the Hotel, including the Van Gogh main restaurant near the lobby area. It serves international as well as local cuisine, and as with most of the hotel, enjoys a spectacular Nile view. The Veronica Terrace is an open air BBQ pool restaurant overlooking the Nile. It serves various snacks. The Sahlala Garden and Takeout also serves light fare, including pastries, breads, sandwiches and ice cream. Likewise, the Salouga Corner also serves a snack and drink menu on a terrace directly overlooking the Nile. For somewhat more formal dining, the Le Mediterranee Restaurant serves fresh seafood, along with specialty oriental dishes. Finally for a definitive native dining experience, there is Dawar El Amda Oriental Cafe, and Shisha for oriental food, smoking a Shisha pipe, and live entertainment.
For entertainment and drinks, the Cliff Top Bar serves drinks in a typical English Pub atmosphere. Soft piano music provides a backdrop for a relaxing before or after dinner venue. For more lively entertainment, there is the Spartacus Night Club and Discotheque. A true nightclub after midnight, the venues include international live entertainment and animation teams. Prior to midnight, the club is operated as a disco.
All in all, I found this hotel to be enjoyable and the management and personnel friendly. Certainly for midrange pricing, it was worthy. But the real beauty of the hotel is the view, which is grand.
The Sara Hotel
Naser City - El-Fanadek St., Aswan Egypt
Phone: 097-3272374 - 327235
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