Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hotel of the Day - Le Meridien Dahab


Hotel of the day is a new section that I am going to mess with.  I am plotting launching a larger site, and I am going to test out some of the future site's content here.  On the future site, I will have reoccurring content, and one of the features will be profiling a hotel every day.

For my first hotel of the day, I have to give a huge nod to the Le Meridien Dahab on the Sinai Peninsula in Dahab, Egypt.  As tired a metaphor as it is, I must liken this place to an oasis.  It literally is.

The Sinai Peninsula boasts 2 features, desert sprawl and rocky mountains.  It probably looks more like our conception of Mars than the real Mars could ever hope to be.  On the east coast of the Sinai Peninsula, is the Red Sea, separating Egypt from Saudi Arabia and Jordan.  Lining the Red Sea coast are a number of resort towns and Bedouin (desert nomads) villages.  The primary resort area on Sinai Peninsula is at the southern tip in Sharm el' Sheikh.  This city has an international airport and is the most populous city on the peninsula.  Some of the best diving in the world can be found in this area at Raz Mohammad National Park.  About an hour or two north of Sharm el' Sheikh (or "Sharm") is the quiet town of Dahab.

Dahab is almost perfect.  It is cheap.  The beaches are torn straight out of the Thai playbook, the food is surprisingly delicious, and the Egyptians are hospitable and kind.  The snorkeling is world class.  Want to take a road-trip to Jerusalem or Jordan, you can also do that from here.  Aside from these praises, Dahab also possesses an atmospheric variable that makes it one of my favorite places ever.  It is the chillest place I have ever been.  Ever.  Very very very laid back.  I always have an insane desire to do as much shit as possible while traveling internationally.  In Dahab, I had to be coaxed out of my sunning chair with promises of Egyptian sheesha and homemade hummus.

In the southern area of Dahab is the Le Meridien Dahab compound.  Gorgeous manicured lawns, multiple pools, plently of beach real estate, and offshore reefs to explore contribute to make this place a real stunner.  It is ideal for quasi adventurous family types not completely hellbent on the idea of independently exploring, but that may want to entertain the notion on a whim.  It is beautiful, with western amenities and food, and if you get the itch to explore Mt. Sinai, Jordan, or some Bedouin settlements, then you can easily arrange 5 star transit and guides through the hotel that will be safe and pleasant.  Essentially, places like this serve the function for individuals that want to dip a toe in to experience Egypt, but want to retain creature comforts and a luxrious home base to dine and lounge.


Some random Tidbits

Rooms right now are about $100 per night.  We went in February and paid about $40 per night.  It is possible to get insanely good deals.  It is a very nice resort.  

This resort is very 5 star.  The rooms have ocean view patios, jacuzzi baths, outdoor and indoor showers, and flat-screen televisions.  The food is decent, but not excellent.  We had better food in Dahab at restaurants.

The beach is the best we experienced in Dahab, but lacked the authentic vibe of beaches in Dahab proper.  The guests are primarily wealthy Europeans.

           A room

 View from our patio 

 Lawn chairs 

 Hotel Grounds

 Pool with Saudi Arabia in the background 

 The grounds are very well kept 

 Kristin on the golden beach, Dahab means gold 
 Year round sun 

 In our pod 

 A shot of the multiple pools 

 Front of resort 


 Lobby 

 Entry 

 Our room 

 Outdoor Shower 

 Jakuzzi
 Entrance at night



 The main airport of the region is at the tip of the peninsula in Sharm el' Sheikh.  You can fly there on easyjet from London, on Egyptair from Cairo, and also from Rome on Egyptair or Alitalia.      

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