Adrère Amellal, Siwa, Egypt
Adrère Amellal Desert Eco-Lodge might not be everyone's typical understanding of luxury. But if the ability to truly step into another world, time travel and to be transported by such authenticity, doesn't constitute luxury, then we don’t know what does. The hidden gem of Siwa is a genuine hideaway that offers simple solitude in its uncompromising embrace of the primitive and provides hospitality in the traditions of the desert Berbers. It’s a sanctuary devoid of electricity, air conditioning or room service; instead, entirely lit by beeswax candles and the star-filled sky, ensuring the natural beauty of the landscape is well preserved and at the forefront of ever guests' experience. Even the nearby swimming pool appears innate to the region, flowing from a natural spring, shaded by a palm grove and encompassed by a subtle embankment of sandstone.
The "White Mountain's" architecture is seemingly spontaneous, yet uniquely designed to be sustainable and traditionally pure, resulting in unparalleled harmony with its setting. The labyrinthine village is exclusively built from local materials, such as kershef, a mixture of clay, straw and sundried rock salt that shapes the walls. Bathrooms are fashioned from sandstone; doors are made of olivewood and authentic décor comprises hand-woven fabric and palm fronds. In conjunction with the surrounding desert oasis and the salt lake vista, such unwavering minimalism would put any soul at peace.
But Adrere Amellal is more than a clay haven. It harbors the long, rich history of Siwa and the infinite Sahara. While there, you can visit some magnificent, historical sites built by Egypt's earliest civilizations, including the Tombs of Jabal el Mawta, The Temple of Um Ubeydah and The Temple of the Oracle of Amun, which was visited by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. In Siwa's main town, Shali, lies a 13th Century landmark fortress overlooking the Nile River and Old Siwa, a hub for tourism. Popular bathing spots are also located nearby, such as Cleopatra's Water Spring, a large stone pool situated along the path to the Temple of Amun, as well as Fatnus Island, known as one of the best places in Siwa to glimpse the sunset amidst beautiful scenery. For a true adventure, embark on a jeep excursion through the Great Sand Sea and ride the mammoth dunes to Bir Wahed, a remote hot pool with sulphureous water that overflows to irrigate an encircling garden.
Rooms & Suites
Though most opulent resort suites seek to spoil you like royalty, Adrere's eco-lodge grounds you in an authentic, timeless space. Its forty hand-built rooms feature little more than you would find in the clay abode of an ancient village. Each is solely lit by a dozen wax candles, creating moody, dynamic shadows against the rock salt walls. Locally woven Berber rugs furnish wooden floors, which support a broad bed with soft, white sheets. At night, small olivewood-framed windows afford a glimpse of the salt lake reflecting moonlight. The hotel's signature salt suites provide more spacious living with two floors and a living room while remaining simple and true to the minimalist aesthetic. But wherever you choose to reside, the silence of the desert will ensure a peaceful rest.
Whether you're dining alfresco, in your suite or surrounded by rock salt walls, dramatically lit by dozens of candles, an authentic culinary experience awaits from lead Chef Arafa Mahmoud. Light Egyptian-European cuisine is cooked in honey glazed pots and served in clay dishes. Every fruit and vegetable is locally grown and hand-picked from the hotel's organic garden, while bread is home-baked and meat is sourced from nearby farmers. Breakfast and lunch are typically served beneath the palm grooves by the swimming pool, where you can savor signature dishes like date cigars, hibiscus risotto or organic tomatoes stuffed with herb garden peas. After sunset, various liquors, appetizers and local olives can be enjoyed in a cozy, antique setting beside a wood-burning fireplace. If nothing else, be sure to try Siwa's famous dates, which are made into desserts and jam at the eco-lodge.
Administrative Office: 18 Mansour Mohamed Street Zamalek – 11211, Cairo, Egypt
Adrère Amellal: Gaafar Mountain – Siwa Matrouh Governorate, Egypt
+20 22736 7879