One of the hottest trends of the moment, Airbnb, is taking up root in Egypt. So we rounded up 10 stays that offer guests a unique experience of Egypt from the quirky to the luxurious, be it a hut farm in Siwa or a yacht in the Red Sea.
A collaborative platform for holidaymakers to find cheap accommodation, Airbnb has become one of the hottest trends throughout the past year. With over 35 million travelers using the platform to rent rooms or apartments in private houses in 2014, the site is increasingly taking root in the Middle East, offering affordable accommodation for those looking for a more authentic experience.
The concept is simple: why stay in a hotel while you can rent someone’s apartment while they are away? Based on the collaborative approach, the site offers the chance for tenants to put their own houses for rent during small periods, be it a few days or several weeks. Holidaymakers can just log into the site, message the tenant, and book online.
As Eid approaches and Egyptians set off to plan their vacations, we came across 10 Airbnb stays that offer an unusual experience of Egypt.
1. Hut in a farm in Siwa: A simple bungalow amidst olive trees and date palms, Fahmi’s Garden’s offer is that of a holiday among flowers, chicken, and goats. Located just a 3 minute stroll from the historical centre of Siwa, the bungalows are a perfect option for those seeking to escape the city and relax with the sole company of a book and homegrown lemongrass tea. A double room in this picturesque "shali style" mud house costs nothing more than $10 per night.
2. Arabesque-style flat in El Gouna. Located in Kafr El Gouna, this stunningly decorated house offers all amenities found in a hotel, in the comfort of your own house. The one-bedroom apartment can host two people for $80 per night.
3. Nubian House in Aswan: Located on the west bank of the Nile and very close to the noble tombs, this stylish Nubian house can accommodate eight people in its four bedrooms. For $25 per night, the owners guarantee amazing views of the sunrise and sunset from its terraced rooftop, surrounded by gardens.
4. A cosy studio in Cairo’s Zamalek: This studio, a brand new flat in the heart of the upscale Zamalek district in Cairo, is just a five minute walk from the Nile and a 10-minute walk from the Cairo Opera House. The flat, including two beds, can host four people for $70 per night.
5. An artist’s home in Dahab: For the laid-back holidaymakers looking for an inspiring place to stay, this relaxing Bedouin-style villa owned by an artist boasts a private garden and large balcony chill-out area. For $49 per night, the house accommodates eight people, who are invited to experience the more “local” part of South Sinai.
6. A boat for accomodation It may not be a dreamboat or a stylish yacht, but this boat on the Red Sea can sure guarantee a different experience! For $65 (although the price can reach $250 depending on the date), the boat can host eight people, either for a day use or full day reservation.
7. A castle-like villa in Luxor. The villa, with its domes, arches and tiled floors, has Arabian and Islamic features throughout. With five bedrooms distributed on three levels, their balconies offer an unparalleled view of Luxor’s green plantations. Located 30 minutes from the Luxor airport, the villa accommodates up to 10 people for $137.
8. Dreamy apartment in Soma Bay: The apartment is a chance for a quiet, laid-back getaway, boasting a barbecue grill in the terrace for those who want to cook for themselves. The apartment can host two people for $82, including a daily breakfast delivered to the doorstep.
9. Houseboat on the Nile: A cozy ambiance, a bohemian lifestyle, and the Nile River as seen nowhere else in Cairo: that’s what Mia and Dan’s houseboat promises. A room with a balcony boasting a full view of the Nile from Egypt’s legendary floating houses costs $55, including breakfast prepared by the house owners.
10. A hut in Nuweiba: This series of 20 straw huts and wooden bungalows spread over a 400-meter stretch of rocky cliffs and coral beach in Sinai’s remote Nuweiba, are the perfect choice for lovers of simplicity. Equipped with electricity and shared bathrooms, each bungalow costs $12 per person.