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The Modern Oasis

THE FACTS
Adrère Amellal Siwa, Egypt; 20-2/736-7879, fax 20-2/735-5489; info@eqi.com.eg. If you're flying to Cairo from the United States, plan on spending at least one night in the Egyptian capital before setting off on the long drive to Siwa (a good eight hours). It's possible to drive yourself in a rental car, but I recommend that you let the ecolodge arrange for a car and driver—$85 a day—who will not only get you there and back, but will be on call for sightseeing during your stay.

The rate at Adrère Amellal is $400 a night, double. That covers meals, cocktails, and daily excursions into the desert. Guests prepay for their entire stay at the lodge's Cairo office before hitting the road. The lodge can also arrange for rooms at the Nile Hilton in Cairo at a special rate of $80.

Note to the wired traveler: While Adrère Amellal is marvelously stylish, the standard amenities aren't available. There really is no electricity, which means no telephones, fax machines, or data ports. In fact, I didn't see anyone pull out a cell phone during my entire stay. Leave the laptop at home.

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