From the road of Sharm (2023)

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January 20, 2017Updated January 23, 2017 4:52 pm

Withof the spear

From the road of Sharm (1)

Andre Harrisexperience the intoxicating opulence of a modernist mini-palace on the Red Sea of ​​Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh, Egypt.

East is east and West is West. At least as far as the deserts of Egypt are concerned (they cover 90% of the country). The Western Desert is the Sahara of the popular imagination, an endless drift of sand that melts into a horizon of heat. The desert east of the Nile Valley, however, incorporates striking black sand-filled mountains.drivingand strange rock formations, which make the journey from Luxor to the Red Sea a journey of breathtaking beauty, uncompromised so far by the security issues facing Sinai, where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's ban on flights to Sharm el-Sheikh remains in the part. A backdrop of piercing blue skies and the December outside thermostat set at over seventy degrees doesn't hurt much either.

Unlike its western counterpart, the eastern desert contains no oasis, although I suddenly seem to be desperately searching for it, but it is not a dry throat that shakes me out of it.National Geographywild daydreaming. As we leave the silent spirituality of the desert and enter the outskirts of Hurghada, the Red Sea fishing village turned tourist town, I am suddenly caught in a screaming sandstorm of half-built buildings, blinded by a blurry Cyrillic script. stuck in a relentless stream of resorts that I prefer not to resort to, the need to locate the oasis is now an urgent matter of life or death from bad taste. But just as quickly, the assault on the senses subsides, and meice to Alexthe moment arrives, running down a quiet and welcoming avenue of palm trees, at the end of which, like a mirage, are the subtle alluring contours of the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh of the Red Sea.

The Red Sea Riviera, no doubt invented by some young real estate agent on a warm, sleepless Hurghada night, is a strange place, where the relentless drive to turn every acre of sand into a holiday resort (65 percent of Egypt's hotels are located on currently in the Red Sea and southern Sinai), also includes purpose-built secure communities. North of Hurghada is El Gouna, the brainchild of Samih Sawiris, a prominent member of Egypt's richest family, where an impressive array of Cairo's celebrity yachts are pulled up and down the marina in anticipation of the weekend. To the south (but only fifteen minutes from the airport) is Sahl Hasheesh, a still growing and equally gated community two-thirds the size of Manhattan, both places with not only hotels, vacation homes, shops, restaurants, golf courses and bars. , but also permanent residents. New towns basically, but definitely more Hamptons than Harlow.

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Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh's Red Sea is separate, but right next to this development, with which it shares its interesting name, although I couldn't understand why such a flashy development has a title that suggests a banned substance, which is exactly what it is which is.the beach there was known as it used to be. What the local Bedouin's preferred pastime might have been is perhaps best left to the imagination, though I wonder where they would direct me for a pre-dinner aperitif. The Opium Den cocktail lounge? Such worries dissipate like a smoke ring with the warm welcome offered by the casually friendly staff in the elegant opulence of the reception area. Oberoi, the eponymous Indian luxury hotel chain, which has more than 80 years of reputation for meticulous service and has been operating in Egypt since 1971, settled on this location only after considerable research, the results of which are readily apparent.

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(Video) Cairo to Sharm el Shiekh (Timelapse Full Road) / من القاهرة لشرم الشيخ الطريق كامل / FHD Dashcam


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Standing on the balcony of the main building, enjoying the spectacular panoramic view of a decidedly deep blue, sun-kissed Red Sea, one can look down on almost a mile of private beach and coral reefs. Even so close to shore, novice divers easily encounter the aquatic wildlife these waters are known for, home to twenty percent of the world's marine life. A stroll down the end of the hotel's private jetty late one morning I was mesmerized by three lionfish doing a slow dance in the crystal clear waters below, what seems to be an abundance of exotic aquatic wildlife. Although the hotel has its own PADI certified diving academy with all the equipment and experience to suit beginners to experienced divers, not to mention access to a very nice boat moored nearby.

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In contrast to Hurghada's Lost Vegas strip, the 48 acres of rolling turf, sand and pink rock that embrace four categories of suites elegantly decorated in subtle neutral color complexes, all with garden and sea views, is like a triumph of understated landscaping and design. . it works so well at night, in low light under the night canopy of desert constellations. The Arabic architecture throughout the hotel showcases clean lines and soft tones of delicately placed stone and marble, which manage to come together successfully in a peaceful modernist Middle Eastern mini-palace that a kind sheikh has invited you to.

(Video) Egypt Sharm El Sheikh road to the beach from the hotel

The Sheikh's counterpart in this context, though no less welcoming, comes in the charming form of Punjab-born general manager Reuben Kataria and is a reminder that we are in an Indian-oriented environment, while others are head chef Dharmender Lamba and no fewer than three Indian sous chefs, one of whom has a resume that includes keeping the Maharanis of Jaipur tasting the way they're used to. Unsurprisingly, there's a standalone Indian restaurant at Zaafran and the potential for some seriously memorable subcontinental cuisine, although advance notice is advised that one is used to the onslaught of spices, as it can be toned down according to local tastes. . The other main dining destination serving Arabic and international cuisine is no less impressive, with tables indoors overlooking the sea, outdoors by the stunning pool or on the candlelit open patio where a dreamy atmosphere is enhanced by the laconic laments of an impressive location.oudplayer.

With tennis courts, a gym, a spa exclusively attended by Balinese beauties with that smile that never stops growing in their DNA, cooking classes for adults and children, which in any case are well attended by their own children's zone, organized treks in the desert and the sophisticated offerings of Sahl Hasheesh ten minutes away, are multiple alternatives for simply relaxing with no purpose other than to enjoy yourself while replenishing your vitamin D stores. While the vitamin D option tends to fascinate me unabated, the demands of walking between in the reef, the pool and the spa more than enough intrude into the time-consuming task of evaluating the culinary creativity of Chef Lampa. . The Red Sea Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh is an oasis definitely worth visiting, although a direct flight to Luxor or Hurghada may be a better option.

From the road of Sharm (9)

Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh Red Sea Resort: Deluxe Suite from £211 (excl. tax, room only).

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