Siwa & the Western Desert, Egypt
Adrere Amellal is an exceptional eco-lodge located in Siwa Oasis, on the edge of the dramatic Great Sand Sea. Its tranquil and idyllic location, right on a salt-water lake, creates the perfect off the beaten track escape.
At a Glance
With no electricity, Adrere Amellal relies on solar energy and recycles all its waste and water
Right next to the Great Sand Sea with many possible excursions to remote parts of the desert
They vary the location of the dining each right
All inclusive basis - so this includes all meals, drinks and excursions
It is a 9-hour drive from Cairo, but you can charter private planes to Siwa
To start planning your vacation to Adrere Amellal
Adrere Amellal is reassuringly unique; it doesn’t have electricity or phones, but offers an escape from all of that; a place where you can get far away from the madding crowds that flock to the sites of the Nile Valley. Adrere Amellal is simply all about the experience; a rustic, yet luxurious retreat of the highest standards. At night, the whole place is lit by a plethora of candles that glimmer against its handcrafted mud made buildings, and in the morning you wake up to a beautiful view of a salt-water lake and a beautiful sand colored rock towering above the lodge. It all makes for a truly remarkable atmosphere.
There are 40 rooms, often split into a few different clusters that create a village feel, but also retains your privacy. Each room has all the comforts you want, offering hot showers and inviting beds, with the Special Desert Rooms offering far more space and a Royal Desert Room great for a large family.
Each night, they find a new location to set up a bar and serve dinner (the lodge operates a fully inclusive rate that includes meals, drinks and excursions). There is also a delightful natural pool, around which lunch is served.
It is worth dividing your time between letting the natural beauty of the area sink in, and heading off on excursions. Siwa is located beside the Great Sand Sea, one of the most dramatic dune deserts in the entire Sahara. One thing that is remarkable is the lack of other people when heading off for a drive through the dunes – it really does feel like it is exclusively yours for a few hours. Siwa is a town that is Egypt of a bygone era; most passing traffic is a collection of rustic vehicles and donkeys & carts.
Adrere Amellal may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those with an element of unique adventure and romance it is as good as you will find anywhere in the world. It does involve a long drive from Cairo (see our Desert Camp itinerary to break the journey), but this does mean Siwa doesn’t get huge numbers of tourists making it is refreshingly authentic.
Adrere Amellal has 40 unique hand built rooms. The earth buildings blend into the landscape and at night are lit by candles as there is no electricity. Furnishings and crafts which adorn the rooms pay tribute to local artisans and simple chic design, great quality bed linen add to the comfort and style. There are 10 Single Rooms, 22 Double Rooms, seven Special Desert Rooms and one Royal Desert Room. Several of the rooms have terraces or balconies, a couple with outdoor beds in case you want to sleep under the stars and many have cushioned seating areas.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Adrere Amella. Families which have a keen sense of adventure will love their stay as it would be a once in a lifetime experience. However, there are no specific facilities available for children at the hotel.
Most of the mainly organic food served at Adrere Amellal is grown on site or sourced locally so food is fresh and flavorsome. Breakfasts are by the lake, lunches by the pool and dinner is always served in a different location in the evenings, making each dinner a whole new experience. There is a swimming pool with cushioned loungers and a resident masseuse who can give massages in your room.
Activities here mostly center around daily drives, walks and even horse riding in the Great Sand Sea but trips can also be taken into Siwa where there is a fascinating citadel, temple and local marketplace - making it a wonderful place to admire the local craftsmanship.
Location & Directions
Siwa & the Western Desert, Egypt
At the foot of the White Mountain, 16km outside the oasis town of Siwa, which is on the edge of the Great Sand Sea in Egypt. Adrère Amellal is 800km from Cairo and 300km south of Mersa Matruh on the Mediterranean coast.
When to go
Siwa has a typical desert climate. The best time is winter (November-March) which is warm but not hot by day, and surprisingly cold at night. In the summer (June through August), when the heat is at its strongest, the hotel limits occupancy to 10 rooms; you really want to avoid coming at this time, though, as it is far too hot for comfort. Sandstorms are a risk in March.