Siwa & the Western Desert, Egypt
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
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
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.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Adrere Amellal or take a look at our itineraries to Siwa the Western Desert
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.
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.
Daniel Smith (Staff)
Adrere Amellal is a unique, off the beaten track and truly mesmerising hotel. I arrived after dark (it does take 9 hours to drive from Cairo), and the whole place was flickering in candle light. I loved the fact there was no electricity, it brought a sense of realism to your experience. The food is truly wonderful, and they set it up in a different area each night. I would admit that the quality of English is not so great, but things always appear at the right time and beer and wine was always free flowing which made me most content. When you wake in the morning, you see the lake in front of you, and the desert beyond; and it is simply stunning. All your meals and drinks are included, and there are so many nooks and crannies to explore. I loved the pool area (natural of course), and this is generally where they serve a lovely lunch. Siwa showcases a different Egypt than you witness in the Nile Valley, it is very conservative and hugely interesting. There are still donkey and carts all over the town, and sandstone forts and interesting bazaars. In the evening you can head into the dunes of the Western Desert (and unlike so many desert experiences you will likely be the only vehicle). For me, they knock the socks off the desert experiences in Morocco, Jordan, Oman and especially Dubai. Adrere is everything an escape to the desert should be; understated luxury in a remote destination. Is it worth the 9 hour drive in each direction? I would have driven double the distance.
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Sail the Nile by felucca to Agha Khan Mausoleum, Elephantine Island, where you will enjoy afternoon tea with a view. Also enjoy an exploration of the Temple of Philae.
Temple of Philae
The Temple of Philae is a superb temple complex dedicated to the goddess Isis.
Luxury Adventure in Egypt's Western Desert
Cairo, Siwa & Great Sand Sea
from $3700 pp 7 nights
- Impeccable and friendly service
- Delicious breakfasts with a different flavour smoothie each morning
- Iced water in cool boxes for every couple on the beach
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.