Wadi Sabarah Lodge

Marsa Alam, Red Sea & Sinai, Egypt
Book from GBP Book from £63 per night

Wadi Sabarah Lodge

Marsa Alam, Red Sea & Sinai, Egypt

A chic yet affordable hotel, found on a silent stretch of the southern Red Sea, that seamlessly connects desert to azure shores and world-class diving

A chic yet affordable hotel, found on a silent stretch of the southern Red Sea, that seamlessly connects desert to azure shores and world-class diving

Wadi Sabarah Lodge is unlike other players in the Red Sea game. Taking over a decade to build and truly sensitive to its surroundings, the lodge’s 50 or so rooms blend into the landscape, with most of the hotel painstakingly crafted from repurposed fossilised coral limestone. Despite its size and generous acreage of botanical desert gardens, the lodge still feels small and intimate in an unparalleled and isolated location towards the south of the country.

Guests here are laid-back and informal, reflected in the atmosphere of the lodge, run by a really friendly team. The adjacent diving centre attracts many diving guests but, despite our best laid plans to become scuba pros, we filled our days lounging out, reading by the vast infinity pool and looking out onto the Red Sea. Boat trips to wild untouched beaches and uninhabited islands are also a draw. Discover the breathtaking beauty of the desert on a jeep safari or quad bike, or head further afield for more fantastical arid landscapes in the National Park. The lodge boasts great lighting both naturally, throughout the day, and into the evening, through considered uplighting. Make sure you’re back in time for golden hour when the limestone best reflects the final rays of the sun, and as night falls, the garden’s papyrus plants are illuminated whilst having dinner from the hotel’s lofty terrace. It’s the perfect antidote to the bustle of busy tourism in Luxor, Aswan and Cairo.

Highs

  • The hotel’s connection to nature is special, with eco measures including solar energy and reverse osmosis, natural materials and sensitive design throughout, plus the surrounding botanical garden of local plants
  • A 3-minute walk takes you down to turquoise waters on a stretch of sand that only we seemed to know about. It’s a wonderfully peaceful place
  • The friendly staff and a small team meant faces became familiar but not at all overbearing
  • The diving at Marsa Alam is world-class, and the dive school is long-established
  • The chance to explore Egypt's lesser-visited Eastern Desert at very reasonable prices

Lows

  • There isn’t a huge amount nearby and certainly not much in walking distance. You need a driver or car to get around
  • Its laid-back service can sometimes be a little too laid-back and we had to ask twice for a couple of things
  • Excursions are expensive, as are transfers
  • You're likely to be eating in every evening but there’s not much choice in food and meal times are slightly regimented

Best time to go

Late September to early May is best, before it gets blisteringly hot in the summer.

For divers, the hotter months of June, July and August are good, but don’t expect much time out of the water or not in your room. It reaches 45+ degrees celsius.

Our top tips

Almost all rooms overlook the sea but do ask specifically for a sea view room upon booking to be sure of the view we enjoyed.

Consider this as your final stop in Egypt after a hectic week of history and adventure in the more touristy spots. We left feeling totally rejuvenated.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Eco
Great Outdoors
  • Desert Lodge
  • 49 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Laundry Service
Room:

Rooms

The 49 rooms at Wadi Sabarah Lodge are split across four categories; Standard, Superior, Premium and Junior Suites. We opted for a Premium room but rooms all seem to follow suit in their privacy, comfort and uniqueness, differentiated only by size.

Rooms are modern and sleek but not overly polished. Our Premium room overlooked the pool, gardens and sea, with exposed stonework and high ceilings adding to its spaciousness. The thick stone walls kept the room cool (and silent) despite temperatures soaring above 30 degrees outside. We got some of the best sleep of our trip here in the comfortable beds under ivory Egyptian cotton.

Each room comes with a private terrace or balcony, wooden chairs and a small table; the perfect spot from which to watch the sun come up in the morning or go down at night. There’s also a basic minibar, reading chair, wardrobe and desk. Fresh, botanical shower gels and shampoos from a Cairo brand enhanced solar-powered rainfall showers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • Terrace/balcony
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

All meals are served on the terrace of Tamarisk, the hotel’s only restaurant, relaxed and unfussy yet stylish, with panoramic views of the Red Sea and the Mars-like desert landscape. Dinners were great, breakfasts were good and lunches were fine.

Breakfasts were continental with the option to order omelettes, crepes, or an Egyptian ful mudammas (a fava bean stew), as well as fresh juices and coffee. Few guests seemed to be around for lunch, meaning they put a little less love into this meal but the vegetarian fare and fresh salads kept hunger at bay.

We relished dinner each evening on the terrace. A seafood chowder and an aromatic tabouleh stand out as most memorable, alongside the freshly made Egyptian flatbread, baked each day in a traditional oven, just behind the terrace.

A short, reasonably priced wine menu of mostly Egyptian wines and beers more than sufficed.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Lunch
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Snorkel or dive to your heart’s content either from the lodge or along the coast. These can all be booked with onsite dive centre Emperor Dives. For experienced divers they can take you free diving and wreck diving too
  • Discover the Islands of Hamata, sometimes referred to as the Egyptian Maldives for their white sandy beaches and coral reefs
  • For thrill-seekers, take a 4x4 desert safari or quad bikes out into the dunes and hills, across dry river beds to see impressive geological formations
  • Enjoy a guided tour around Wadi Sabarah’s desert gardens with resident horticulturalist Dr Irina to learn about native species of flora and fauna
  • Sit in on one of the daily ecological sessions hosted in the the hotel’s library
  • On a full day tour of Wadi el Gemal National Park, you'll see incredible archaeological sites, unique vegetation and the fantastic landscapes of the Eastern Desert
  • For those with time, take the long road south to Shaltateen camel market for an entirely different perspective on southern Egypt

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Desert safaris
  • Dive centre
  • Historical sites
  • Private guided tours
  • Quad biking
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife

Kids

This place is open for children over 12 but doesn’t extend itself too much to do accommodate them. They can put an extra bed in the room on request.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Location

Wadi Sabarah Lodge is located on the southern section of Egypt’s Red Sea coastline, rising out of the desert and into the sea. Covering 110 acres, there’s little around it, bar a hotel to the east.

By Air:
Fly to Marsa Alam to the south which has direct flights from Europe (mostly Germany, Italy and Benelux) plus additional seasonal services to a wider range of destinations. Or to Egypt's second busiest airport, Hurghada International Airport, which has a greater choice of airlines and more still in season.

From the Airport:
You can transfer directly to the lodge from both airports. From Marsa Alam, it’s a 30-45-minute drive, and from Hurghada it’s about 3 hours.

By Car:
It’s a 6-hour drive from Luxor or Aswan to Wadi Sabarah though barren but picturesque desert. We hired a car and driver; some guests prefer to self-drive. Please see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

Airports:

  • Marsa Alam International Airport 40.0 km RMF
  • Hurghada International Airport 250.0 km HRG

Other:

  • Beach 0.3 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 25.0 km

Rates for Wadi Sabarah Lodge

Arriving on: