Located some 10 miles from the magical oasis town of Siwa and at the base of a huge white monolith known, unsurprisingly, as the White Mountain, Adrere Amellal is dictionary definition remote.
There are 40 rooms with rock salt walls and palm frond roofs, as is the traditional Siwan way, and each individually furnished with characterful pieces built by local craftsmen. There is no electricity so the entire hotel is romantically candle-lit at night, with fires blazing in the chillier winter desert months.
The food on offer is excellent, despite the remote location, and wherever possible uses produce from the organic garden or Siwan markets, cooked in traditional honey-glazed pots and served by the pool at lunchtimes and in differing locations each night.
The surrounding area is characterised by ancient olive groves, palm trees and natural springs that have been exploited since Roman times.
Guests can enjoy lounging by the hotel swimming pool (fed by the same springs) or explore the surrounding area on horseback or by 4x4 to the rolling dunes of the Great Sand Sea, Siwa itself, or the ancient fortress of Old Shali overlooking it.
Why We Love It
This exact spot is where Alexander the Great visited the Oracle of Amon to seek guidance as to whether he should attempt to conquer Persia, and to reaffirm his god-like status. You too will feel blessed to be in a such a truly spectacular place.
Al Tarfa Desert Sanctuary
Al Tarfa Desert Sanctuary Lodge & Spa is a lovely eco-resort in the equally lovely oasis settlement of Dakhla, the gateway to the White Desert.
There are just 20 simple but elegant rooms and suites in total, complete with carved wooden furniture and decorated with traditional textiles.
The central part of the lodge is home to a library, a bar, a small spa, pool and even a riding stable from where guests can explore the local Dakhla Dunes Park on horse or camel-back. Other activities on offer include guided tours of Dakhla, local ancient ruins and hot springs and of course the great White Desert itself.
Why We Love It
As oases go, Dakhla is picture perfect - a lush and relaxing haven in an otherwise harsh (but beautiful) landscape. Al Tarfa is in turn the oasis inner sanctum within the oasis.