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“Wonderful Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse

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St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse
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at the foot of Mount Horeb (mount Moses), Saint Catherine, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Manchester
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

I arrived at the Monastery Guest House at night. After setting off from a modern British city, 8 hours later I was making my way up a dusty road with Bedouin people riding past my taxi on camels. An amazing experience. I was preparing to sleep outside when I arrived at 1am, but thankfully they're open throughout the night as they take in people wanting to climb Mt Sinai to see the sunrise.

The rooms are basic, with bed, desk, wardrobe, air-con, toilet, shower and towels. Breakfast and dinner is good wholesome food made with fresh produce. Buffet breakfast with bread and jam/honey, with tea or coffee. Dinner you get three starters, a combination of soup, bean salad etc. A main course such as chicken and rice. And a desert. The restaurant serves water, cans of pop, wine and beer. The dining area has large pictures of the interior of the monastery hung on the wall. Outside the restaurant there is a cafe that sells snacks, water, beer, ice cream etc, with a seating area outside where there's grapes growing above you with lots of plants and flowers in the surrounding area, with monks coming and going.

I spent seven nights here on my own and felt perfectly safe. It would suit the adventurous traveller easily for four nights. It's a great place to stay if you like hiking as the local Bedouin can take you up all the mountains in the locality, including visiting some beautiful oasis's in the desert. Oh, and there's also the monastery. It's great to be able to soak up the scene after all the crowds have gone, imagining all the history that's passed through this valley. You can see the stars every night. Peace and serenity aside, if you're a committed Orthodox Christian on pilgrimage, you will gain much by a visit to this Holy place!

There's a village down the road with an ATM and shops. You can get a taxi or a camel, or walk. A taxi there and back cost me 30 Egyptian. I got well acquainted with the Bedouin and ended up having dinner with them at their house!

A brilliant place to get away from the plastic and mechanical modern world. A wonderful experience. Spiritually nourishing. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    7
    7
    5
    2
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

Wonderful hébergement in in wonderful place. I stayed one week... walking till st.Catherine' s peak... Really wonderful. ... Spiritually great...
In truth I stayed end of February but I couldn't give my opionion if not referred to april...
Considere it was quite cold ... then no no problems at all for insects. .. I'm sure it might be during hot season. I'd surely get there again ...

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Faversham
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I dream of returning here. We visited in early January 2010, after the bombing in Alexandria and just before the uprising so I was pleased to read that people are still going there. I was very lucky as I had an introduction to Father Justin and permission to attend the early morning service. We stayed several days there and in future I would stay longer instead of hanging out in Dahab. Because I spoke a little Greek, which is the language used in the monastery people were very friendly and the cook even wanted to show us a special place some miles away but he was unable to find the time. One day in the town we passed a camel driver who used to ask us to ride his camel and we talked with him and asked him to take us to St John Climactus's place on foot which he did, walking in the most beautiful landscape and visiting a garden owned by the monastery after which we had tea with him and his wife. Life for these people is very very hard, but this was a lovely outing . I found the guest house had everything we needed. The water was hot and the bathroom very clean. Why anyone would want a TV in their room is very hard to understand. The view of the mountain and the constant flow of camel drivers, the changes of colour as the sun rose , which we could watch from outside our room was more stunning than any TV screen could provide. Ask yourself why you are going before you go. I was lucky to be able to visit the icon gallery when the tourists were not there and this makes a big difference because many of the tourists don't know or care what they are looking at . The advantage of staying at the monastery is to experience its tranquility and serenity after the crowds have gone . The food, breakfast and dinner is fine and certainly filling, Egypt is not a place to go for food anyway . I can't recommend this place too highly but remember you are not going to a hotel you are going to a place of retreat. Take a sketch book and something to read. The monks here are very cutoff and it is very hard for them to receive parcels so if you can bring them a packet of good quality tea they would be most grateful I'm sure. annjwelch

Room Tip: A room that has a view of the road up to the mountain is nice, but I believe most have this view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

The St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse is nice and clean, but about 7 times more expensive than the other places around. I enjoyed my time here, which includes breakfast and dinner in the price (about $35USD/night), and it is right at the monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai, it is clean, well maintained, and I have no complaints. There really is not a big advantage of staying here in my opinion. I enjoyed the monastery, and I am a reflective and prayerful person, but I slept on top of the mountain, and really just needed a place to lockup my baggage.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, D.C.
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

The Monastery guesthouse, in itself, is nothing special. And the food served in the dining room is basic, filling, but hardly worth the journey. But what is special is the chance to stay in such a special place and to be there at times when the tour bus hoards are absent. Our room was basic, comfortable and clean. What else can you ask for the modest rates the monks charge?
One suggestion: Most people climb Mt. Sinai either in the late afternoon or in the dark, huddle in the cold just below the summit, and then take in the view at dawn with a large gaggle of fellow tourists. I'm sure the view at dawn is spectacular. But we left St. Catherine's at about 8:30 am and had the trail and the summit all to ourselves. The view was still fantastic and we had the solitude. This tactic worked well in February when the walking temperature was perfect . It might not be such a good idea in the summer.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falmouth, MA
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2012

Saint Cats? Is that right? More than you know.... Cats were all over the place when I visited. One raised a paw - maybe to provide a blessing - as I went to religious services and another chased me into my room at the guesthouse. This place is amazing.

What can I say about the area where, repeatedly, God spoke to Moses? The foot of Mount Horeb is a very rough place. You may love this area or you may want to make a quick retreat to one of the comfortable resort areas by the sea.... I was reminded of some of the hard and dramatic places in Arizona and in Baja California. The local mountains aren't especially big - not when compared to the Rockies in Colorado - but they're dramatic. During the winter, the wind rushes down the slopes to shake the guesthouse.

The monastery guesthouse is - well, it's a monastery guesthouse, pilgrim. What did you expect? It's simple and the food served at the restaurant is also simple. And it's adequate and you'll be safe and you'll get what you need. If you go to Saint Cats, you should be very spiritual, or a bit of a romantic, or, at the least, you should be in love with history.
Take a Bible with you and read the story of Exodus. Then, ask your guides, "Where did Moses meet his wife? Where did he encounter the burning bush?" etc. Even if you're an agnostic, try to to understand the power of the Exodus story. If you want to be pampered and entertained, go back to Cairo.

Room Tip: Fitness center? The wilderness walks will put you in good shape.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2012 via mobile

I came to spend a few days at the guesthouse, climb Mt. Sinai, visit the library and see the icon gallery. The people at reception spoke no English so I got no help even finding out when meals were (they're included), much less how to do the things I'd come to do. many tours come with hordes of people who definitely diminish the experience of being in this desolate, historic place. I had better luck with a local Bedouiin man finding out what to see and do.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse

Address: at the foot of Mount Horeb (mount Moses), Saint Catherine, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Saint Catherine
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Saint Catherine
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
St. Catherine`s Monastery Guesthouse Hotel Saint Catherine
St. Catherine's Monastery Guesthouse Saint Catherine, Egypt - Red Sea And Sinai

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