- Middle East/North Africa
For piastre-pinching holidaymakers, Nuweiba offers the ideal getaway.
For generations of Egyptians, the Red Sea resort of Nuweiba has provided low-budget, low-maintenance and peaceful vacations.
The simple wooden huts, dotted along the vast stretches of white beaches, seem a world away from the ostentatious glitz and Las Vegas-like commercial glamour of Sharm el Sheikh. Just a few days on its beautiful beaches, soaking up the sense of tranquility and basic charms, is adequate medication to revive even the most committed of workaholics.
Located 45km beyond the Taba security point, and just five minutes down the hill from Nuweiba's first and most famous camp Basata, Ananda’s forty huts are arranged in two rows along a 200-meter stretch of white sand.
All huts come with two thin mattresses, rugs and a handy mosquito net. Covers and pillows are provided, however the beach’s jovial manager Ezz Eldin Galbana recommends that you bring your own if it’s the cold time of the year.
The front-row, circular huts are slightly primitive but make up for it with a mesmerizing front-sea view, whereas the back row huts are elevated with a small terrace, tiled floors and electrical outlets for those who have panic attacks at the notion of being unable to charge their laptops.
There are two communal bathrooms at each end of the resort, as well as two recently added honeymoon huts with their own bathrooms if you don’t feel like sharing.
Ananda’s laid-back and friendly atmosphere is infectious, and within half an hour of arriving, we found ourselves making friends with everyone from Columbo the cook, to fellow tourists, to the excessively affectionate cats.
Although the beach isn’t as sandy as other resorts, its colorful marine life just twenty meters in is perfect for snorkellers.
For those more inclined to lounge, the beach has shady seating areas, and four comfortable hammocks that are great for star-gazing.
Food is moderately priced and good. We recommend the shakshouka and fuul alongside freshly baked Bedouin bread for breakfast, and the grilled chicken for lunch.
Ananda’s culinary pièce de résistance, however, is its famous maa’louba dinner, a Bedouin dish of meat, rice and vegetables in thick sauce that is both heavy and heavenly, guaranteed to put you to sleep instantly. Make sure you order mint tea.
If you can’t live without your daily dose of technology and loud entertainment, Ananda is not for you. The resort is unpretentious, undemanding and lacks luxury in the traditional sense, yet its peacefulness and simple comforts provide a relaxation that beats any king-sized bed.
Travel Time: an average of six hours to Ananda. West Delta Buses pass by Ananda to and from Cairo on a twice-daily basis. One night per hut is LE60. Four days’ accommodation with three meals a day costs an average of LE500. For reservations, call Ezz Eldin on +20123561742