There’s more to Egypt than the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings. For those seeking authenticity, exoticism and a touch of exclusivity, there are sites that are more confidential but which guarantee visitors an unforgettable experience. The Siwa oasis is one of the five largest oases in the desert. Located in the northwest of Egypt, seventy kilometers from the Libyan border, lies a preserved site, far from mass tourism. The inhabitants speak a dialect of their own, the Siwie. Siwa is a land of legends and magic. The region is associated with the oracle of Amon, recognized by the Hellenistic world as one of the greatest of his era, and who was an advisor to Alexander the Great, Cleopatra and Plato. The caves of Gebel and Moutat, the “Mountain of the Dead” and the Greco-Roman necropolis with its painted walls are all mysterious and historic. It’s a timeless place where traditions and ancient gestures are still alive. Fifteen kilometers from this oasis of a thousand inhabitants, we find the Hotel Adrere Amellal. Lost in the immensity of the white desert, visitors are invited to share in an experience completely different from a traditional luxury hotel.
Built on the sides of a white limestone mountain (Adrere amellal means white mountain), the hotel takes the form of a traditional village. The buildings are made of kershef, a local mixture of stones and salt water, which provides surprisingly good insulation. “It conserves the heat in winter and the cold in summer. Air conditioning is unnecessary. So much the better since there’s no electricity”, according to the Adrere Amemmal’s creator, Mounir Nemagalla.
There are no telephones, no reception desk, and the food comes exclusively from the hotel’s organic garden. The Adrere Amellal is disconcerting for a number of reasons. It’s a labyrinth of winding corridors which sometimes seem to have been dug out of the mountain. After a while, we end up either in the reading rooms, the open terraces or sheltered areas. The guest is in direct contact with nature and with the history of this very special region. Whether one wants to relax on the bank of the lake’s crystalline water or have a romantic candlelight dinner for two and take advantage of the zenlike calm that reigns over the hotel, there’s something for everyone. It’s even possible to venture into the desert in a four-wheel drive vehicle and contemplate the eternal and infinite sand. The Adrere Amellal is not a mirage but proof that luxury can rhyme with simplicity, and ecology with exclusivity. It’s a tale out of A Thousand One Nights where splendor and opulence have left room for the beauty of nature whose elements have been assimilated with such great talent.
Internationally recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful hotels and one of the most impressive eco-lodges, the Adrere Amellal has welcomed, among other celebrities, Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles.
At the foot of the White Mountain / A place out of time / Siwa oasis / Date groves / Salt lake / Dining in the dunes or in a grotto / Organic cuisine / Outdoor pool / No electricity
Open all year
Double occupancy from 417 euros
Siwa Airport (SEW) - Siwa
Adrere Amellal Resort
+ 1 hour
Mediterranean climate on the Alexandria coast, semi-desert on the heights of Cairo and desert in the south
National identity card or valid passport
Visa required for French citizens, which can be purchased at the
Egyptian Embassy in France (about 25 euros) or upon arrival in Egypt (about 15 euros). ID photo required
No vaccinations required
Sanitary conditions are satisfactory on the whole.
Drinking from uncapped bottles is not advisable.
Beware of radical temperature changes when going from the hot sun to the cold temperatures of air conditioned places, and avoid drinking iced beverages.
The Egyptian pound (EGP)
French and English at most tourist sites
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+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).