The Old Cataract Hotel is perched atop a granite hill at the Nile river`s edge in Aswan, Egypt, and takes its name from the rivers First Cataract (rapids) at the traditional northern border of Nubia.. It was Thomas Cook, the grand tour manager of Egypt who had the hotel constructed, mostly for the tourists that his company was escorting down the Nile at the end of the 19th century. Unlike many historical hotels in Egypt, it was never a royal palace or lodge. It has always been a grand hotel. Today, under the management of Sofetel, it remains one of the finest hotels in Egypt.