Adrere Amellal Hotel

The Siwa Oasis is located at the banks of the self-titled lake in Egypt around 50 km east of the Libyan border – a desert land of rock and sand that has been inhabited by various civilizations for over 10,000 years and still holds vestiges of evidence. The ancient Siwan houses, crumbling over years of abandon, have been restored and extended using traditional methods to create the ‘Adrere Amellal Hotel’, an eco-lodge so sensitive to its environment it does not offer wifi, phone service, electricity, or the usual trappings of contemporary comfort. Instead, a visit to the hotel frees you from the industrialized world and presents a window into history, it allows you to experience the night sky, lake breeze, and desert landscape as it has always been enjoyed. Renovated by the environmental quality international (EQI), the structures are made of a combination of kershef (a mixture of rock salt and mud), stone masonry, and carved out dwellings from the large mountain that hosts the lodge. Returning to the fundamentals of design, all aspects of the buildings are aimed at naturally maintaining basic comforts. The thick earthen walls absorb heat during the day and maintain a cool interior, then radiate heat at night when the temperature drops. All windows are sized and placed specifically to catch the desert breezes and eliminating the need for air conditioning – heat is obtained through wood-burning braziers. Oil lamps and candles are the only source for light after the sun sets, transforming the interior into a more cavernous protected environment with constant flickering light that highlights the various textures of the masonry construction and natural plaster finishes. A series of exterior courtyards connect the satellite buildings and encourage its residents to sit outdoors and become more in tune with the land. The most notable feature of the hotel, however, is the revival of the disappearing craftsman who have shaped the area for thousands of years. The beds are made of rammed cotton and the simple furnishings made by hand using ancient techniques. More than a hospitable temporary accommodation, the Adrere Amellal Hotel is a testament to local material, labor, and methods preserved through its renovation.



Project Type


Siwa, Egypt

Related links


  • Environmental Quality International