Autumn in Siwa - Adrère Amellal

If you’re a jet-setter always checking in to luxury hotels, this eco space is not for you. There are no phones; there is no electricity (mobile phones are not permitted outside the rooms). However, if you are a discerning eco-traveller, you’ll find Adrère Amellal quite fascinating. It might be worth mentioning that it is a destination for the royals – this is where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall stayed.

Amidst the White Mountains, this unusual eco-lodge, comprising 42 rooms, nestles in harmony with nature. Built in traditional Siwan style, the walls are made of salt-rock and clay, the ceilings are made of palm beams, and doors, windows and fixtures fashioned out of olive wood. The rooms are cool, as the natural ventilation systems eliminate the need for air conditioning. Candles, lamps and torches light up the rooms, doorways and exteriors of Adrère Amellal. On cold nights, the interiors are heated using coal-filled braziers. The décor is simple with furnishings that are a nod to local materials and designs. Another interesting feature is that traditional dishes are cooked in honey-glazed clay pots, using herbs, vegetables handpicked from the organic garden.

Famed as the location of the Oracle of Amon (whom Alexander the Great consulted before continuing his Persian conquest), Siwa has so much to offer: the sand dunes of the Great Sand Sea and Darkrour Mountain, Old Shali and its ruined fortress, Amoun Temple. You could go horse riding or indulge in spa treatments at the lodge.

Getting there:  Adrère Amellal is located 16 kilometers from Siwa, which only has a military airport that receives private planes and charters. Take a flight from Cairo to Marsa Matrouh and drive 300 km to Siwa. Flights do not operate daily. Adrère Amellal organizes charter flights.

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Smitha Sadanandan

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