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Escaping Cairo and Finding #AStellaExperience

Only an hour away from Cairo, Stella Di Mare and its three hotels have garnered a reputation as one of the most convenient and luxurious relaxation escapes in Ain Sokhna. Looking for much needed R&R, we checked in to the fabulously grand hotel and left with memories of #AStellaExperience.

Living in Cairo is a suffocating stressful struggle, and to maintain a healthy mental state requires escaping it as much as possible. Since the turn of the millennium, Stella Di Mare in Ain Sokhna has established itself as one of the closest Red Sea escapes from Cairo, while setting a standard of luxury that has garnered the reputation among Egyptians as the best bet for a relaxing retreat. After another routinely chaotic Cairo work week, we were in desperate need of R&R, but at the same time dreaded having to spend hours driving in search of a Red Sea escape. Only an hour's drive away, we checked in to this Red Sea destination in search of #AStellaExperience and were not disappointed.Arriving, we were taken aback as we were unaware that Stella Di Mare isn’t one but actually three hotels located beside each other. The inviting and well-decorated lobby of the Stella Di Mare grand hotel was a wonderful welcome. Upon receiving the room key, we left the lobby and found ourselves under a beautiful rock waterfall feeding into a breath-taking manmade lagoon separated from the Red Sea, giving patrons the option of swimming in salt or chlorinated waters. Without hesitation, we dropped our bags and headed to the beach in search of relaxing rays and some delicious beachside eats.

After acquiring some sweet tans, we decided to get the adrenaline pumping and ventured out to take on some water sports. Initially we wanted to wakeboard or banana boat around, but due to windy conditions we decided to play it safe and take out a kayak and paddleboat to explore the beautiful Stella shoreline during an unforgettable sunset. As night approached, the question of where to eat began dominating our discussions. Complicating the choice of where to dine was Stella Di Mare's diverse array of restaurants, ranging from authentic Italian and Chinese options to bustling buffets full of mouth-watering offerings. After exploring the menus, we opted to dine in the Ponte Vecchio, a quaint and colourful authentic Italian restaurant. The set course menu provided a variety of flavours, starting with a carefully prepared carpaccio, followed by an exquisite fillet, and capping the wonderful meal was a beautifully constructed tiramisu.Satisfied and stuffed, we headed to catch a live performance of some of our favourite covers before heading back to the room and finding that all the week's sleepless work nights had finally caught up with us. We're clearly not as invincible as we thought. And with one look at those warm, comfy beds - we crashed.Morning broke and, before most of the guests woke up, we headed to Stella Golf Resort, which is separate from the Grand Hotel, but only a five minute drive by golf cart. Arriving on the beautiful Stella greens, we decided to get into the swing of things by taking some shots on the driving range.After a quick warmup and plenty of helpful tips from Ahmed, the golf operation director, we headed out to Stella Di Mare’s signature hole where we managed to make the best shot of our lives, landing on the greens from over 100 yards, only missing the cup by a foot. No matter how hard we tried, we would never hit the ball that well again, but the memory has already been saved and will likely flood our minds anytime we play around in the future. Plus, bragging rights.

After completing the stellar 18 championship holes at Stella’s Golf Hotel, our muscles were tired and in need of a massage. In search for some healing, we headed back to the Grand Hotel and immediately checked into the Thalasso Spa.Greeted with comfy robes and slippers, we opted for a Thai massage and followed it up with a dip in the muscle-loosening medicine pool.All loosened up and feeling at ease, we headed back to the beach where we spent hours in an isolated covered gazebo, where we felt like royalty on our own private beach.As the sun set on what was shaping to be a perfect day, we decided to explore the last of Stella’s hotels – the Sea Club – taking the playful resort train. Working up quite the sweat from the sun, we decided it was time for dinner and settled on giving Asia a go. To our surprise, the kitchen theatre boasted several high-burning woks, instantly reassuring us that our meal would be authentic. Once again, the set menu didn’t disappoint, leaving us in love with the delicious wonton appetiser and brilliant beef stir fry in oyster sauce.

As the weekend came to a close we instantly had regrets, as two days wasn’t merely enough to enjoy all the activities the hotels had to offer. Although our stay was #astellaexperience we decided we would likely return after the Eid and spend a week in this Red Sea oasis. Being only an hour away, it’s an ideal escape, and with all the options it was easy to understand how Stella Di Mare had garnered its prestigious reputation as one of Sokhna greatest Red Sea escapes.

For more information on Stella Di Mare, visit their Facebook or website

Photography by: Eihab Boraie