Skip to main content

Egypt’s Ultimate Eco Lodge, The Adrère Amellal

If it’s good enough for Alexander the Great and Prince Charles then Siwa is good enough for us. Yes, this tiny Egyptian town near the Libyan border has been hopping for over two thousand years. The king of Macedonia came here to consult the Oracle of Amon (who told him he would rule most of the world and he would die very young – both coming true) and Prince Charles flew in for his honeymoon with Camilla where they stayed at the green hotel the Adrère Amellal.

Without doubt, this place ranks as one of the top five places we have ever visited.

Adrère Amellal encompasses 40 rooms all built in the traditional Siwan style with walls made of salt rock, palms thatched for the roof and furniture hand crafted by locals. There is something fascinating about a lodge that can vanish with the first rain.

Being a proper eco lodge there is no electricity or telephones on the property (any  phone calls must be made inside your room if you have reception). Torches, beeswax candles and the blazing night sky are all guests need to light their rooms, meals and evening strolls.

The lodge is surrounded by lush ancient olive and palm groves, a bubbling Roman spring turned pool and even a stable for early morning canters through the desert.

Food at Adrère Amellal includes traditional dishes cooked in honey glazed pots with all the herbs and vegetables hand picked from the local organic garden.

Siwa is populated by the descendants of the Berber tribes who have their own disticnt traditions, tools, dress and language (Siwi) although they still speak Arabic too. Shopping for friends and family here is a true gold mine of interesting gifts they won’t find at the local mall.

If you can peel yourself away from the luxuries of the lodge, take a trek out to the remnants of the Shali Fortress built in 1203 or tour the other salt lakes and enjoy the stunning views. Cleopatra’s Well is another great destination where local kids will race you to the edge of the natural spring and vote on your cannon balls or belly flops. For the more adventurous, take a late afternoon jeep ride out to the desert to go sand surfing or dune hopping before heading back for tea by sunset over the Sahara.

We understand these are testy times in Egypt but our friends were just there for six weeks with zero problems, however please take the travel advisories to heart.

Cator Sparks
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cator Sparks was the Editor-in-Chief of The Manual from its launch in 2012 until 2018. Previously, Cator was covering…
This is how strong the U.S. passport really is
THe U.S. passport may have slipped in the rankings, but it's still pretty strong
A person holding up their passport in an airport.

Which countries you could get into with your U.S. passport used to be something you never had to worry about. If you had a passport from the U.S., it seemed like almost no country was off limits, and you wouldn't need to double-check your travel plans. But beginning in 2014, the U.S. passport started to lose some of its star power. Here's where the Henley Index (which ranks passport strength) dropped the U.S. passport on their latest updated list.

Why passport strength matters

Read more
Sony’s best noise-canceling headphones just got a big price cut
A man wearing the Sony WH-1000XM5.

While traveling can be a lot of fun, especially as you get to see and experience new places, one thing that can always be annoying is the sounds of travel. Whether it's the loud whine of an airplane engine or the hustle and bustle of a busy city, sometimes the sound of everything can get overwhelming. That's why it's important to pick the best headphones you can find to help block all that noise out and let you experience things in relative peace. Luckily, one of the best headphones on the market, the Sony WH-1000XM5, has an excellent deal from Best Buy, bringing the price down to $350 from $400, a substantial discount for such a great pair of headphones.

Why you should buy the Sony WH-1000XM5
What sets the Sony WH-1000XM5 apart from other headphones is its industry-leading Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which easily outperforms comparable headphones like the AirPods Max. It often won't just reduce noise but completely erase it, and one thing that Sony has improved since the XM4s is high-frequency cancellation, which is ideal for places with a lot of people talking, such as coffee shops or crowded bus and train stations. Of course, it also has an excellent transparency mode, which you can switch to easily if you need to talk to somebody or are feeling uneasy and want that extra sense working for you.

Read more
This Belize eco-resort is literally built into the jungle and offers a uniquely local experience
Check out the most jungle-friendly luxury resort in Belize
Hamanasi Sunset

We all dream of disappearing from our lives for a week or more each year to sit on a beach, listen to the ocean, and indulge in relaxation and little umbrella drinks. Of course, now there are a dozen things we must think about that come with this kind of getaway to paradise, from price and customer service to excursions and locations, and believe it or not, the environment.

Everyone's favorite tropical getaway, the Caribbean, sees marine pollution and degradation, coral reef destruction, and high demand for their water and energy resources. The flip side is that the tourism industry is nearly 15% of the region's overall GDP, meaning abstaining hurts the region as much as it helps. Luckily, a resort tucked away in the jungle of Belize has a solution.

Read more