El Mandara Sustainable Eco-Lodge, Lake Qarun, Fayoum
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El Mandara Sustainable Eco-Lodge, Lake Qarun, Fayoum

As Egypt’s economy suffers from the dire straits following the 2011 revolution that ousted the long time ruler Hosni Mubarak, almost every person started to dream of the potentials Egypt has towards fulfilling one’s future ambitions.

One of the great examples I’ve seen belongs to a group of friends of mine that have decided to sail against a very windy sea. Their kick starter was an idea to turn a set of old deserted huts on the coast of Lake Qarun in Fayum, Egypt into an oasis Eco-lodge serving time-share and rental based accommodation. Taking the risk of investing into a stagnant economy didn’t turn into an obstacle, instead -driven with optimism- they just enjoyed building their own sustainable getaway out in the western Sahara of Egypt. With hopes up high, the idea of a resort named El-Mandara (The Guest House) was born.

The new spot enjoys a fabulous location on lake Qarun in the Fayoum Oasis, southwest of Cairo; with famous ancient sites in the near surrounding as the Hawara archaeological site and Wadi Rayan (the largest waterfalls in Egypt).

The mentality of the resort is to represent simplicity, connecting with the beauty of nature, and enjoying silence away from the fast pace of day-to-day city life. For this, El Mandara was renovated totally using environmental building materials, as mud bricks and palm fronds for coverage, while avoiding any industrial concrete vibes.

In just a period of few months the project was up and renovation works were about finished, announcing the birth of a new baby yet to grow to a group of ambitious survivors of a country yet to rise, setting a new benchmark for consistency and determination.

The Place is amazing, with the minimum basics of life supplied, a taste of traditional Egyptian Cuisine, recreation and entertainment are kept far away from digital. Enjoying a chat with some laughter on a relaxing Saturday afternoon sitting at the coast of the lake is done RIGHT!

Here’s part of their description: 

If you are contemplating the idea of a relaxing getaway, Kamreyat-El-Mandara, El-Fayoum, located in the best spot on Qarun Lake, offers both exclusivity and intimacy along with some local-area flair. The property is tapping into local community resources to offer its guests a broader range of amenities and experiences that one might expect at the newly renovated environmental resorts.

with its unique location and near from the capital, 90mins from el remaya square. Kamreyat-El-Mandara resort guests will enjoy a relaxing experience in the natural country life away from the urban busy life, the resort consists of only 7 Suites and 3 rooms that are set directly on the lake, each with a spectacular views. Relaxation is heightened by the fact that this is so called private resort, better ensuring the tranquility and serenity for honeymooners or those generally seeking solace. (or guests)

The units offer amazing features that are usually not found in other resorts. All units have a lake view , terrace, ceiling fans and air conditioning, television, with the superior suites having  private pools, you sure can enjoy the water with your friends or beloved ones.

All units are built from environmental materials with the local style that takes you away from the urban repeated style you live every day, ranging from 29m2 to 100m2. The most exclusive unit is “El-Saraya” that spans 100m2 with a private big pool, a big terrace with lovely hammock. Throughout all bungalows, the staff is so friendly and waiting to do what ever you ask for.

Matching the accommodations with the typical oriental Egyptian food. The cuisine combines traditional recipes, fresh famous fish from the lake and of course the local feteer and 3asal. Other experiences to be had here include fishing, kitting,  beach volley, bird watching, and the fine art of relaxing. More on their Facebook page.

When it comes to dreaming, an initiative is the most critical to make it turn into a pleasant reality. Hats off to all the hard workers out there that never give up on their ambitions.

[Sponsored Review for El Mandara – Courtesy of Ismail Abouyoussef, Sherif Mokhtar] [Photography by: Sameh Tomoum – Capoon Design]

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  • sherif

    المكان غايه في الروعه لكن يفتقد للعماله المدربه و علي رأس عديمي الخبره الشيف العمومي الذي تطاول علينا بالرد بمنتهي قله الذوق عندما طلبنا الغذاء الذي تأخر ساعتين و كان المطلوب بطاطس مطبوخه و أرز و فراخ مشويه الا اني فوجئت باستبدال الارز بالمعكرونه و كانت المعكرونه ساقعه !! طلبت من الويتر تغير المعكرونه بالارز و تأخر كثيرا فاضطررت للاكل بالعيش و ذهبت للاستقبال المسؤل عن الطلبات منه تفسير لاستبدلاهم طلبي و ان البطاطس رفيعه جداااااا بشكل مش طبيعي و انها تقريبا بطاطس شبسي ففوجئت بالشيف العمومي بيقولي انت ما بتفهمش و اخذ يشرح و هو يصيح الفرق بين البطااطس الشبسي و المطبوخه بشكل هيستيري !!! و نظرا لطبيعه عملي كمدير عام فندق سابق قمت بالرد عليه بالشكل المناسب لاسكاته و لعدم تطور الوضع .و سوف اقوم برفع شكوي ضد اداره الفندق بالوزاره حتي لا تتكرر المشكله مع غيري

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  • John Smith

    I wondering how much the guys who wrote this article received from El Mandara. Maybe they managed to get a few nights for free? The water of the lake is filthy, the swimming pools are empty and extremely dirty, there’s no food at all there and the closest restaurant (if you can call it a restaurant ) is 20 km away. The buildings have lots of cracks and it seems they can colapse at any time. The complex was built in a tongue of land that some buldozzers put there and this artificial ground offers no stability at all. If the project was Eco- friendly they wouldn’t have brought tons of land from somewhere and changed the natural landscape of the place.

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