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“Far away from all cities there's this place...”
Review of Basata

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Basata
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Far away from all cities there's this place...”
Reviewed March 4, 2012

I read some of the other reviews, and in a way they're all right. Basata is not for everyone. It's for someone who wants an experience and a vacation far from the lives we live at home, whether that home is in Cairo or Freiburg or New York. A stay at Basata is unforgettable. You will learn to love and hate the sand. You will love and despair of the sun. This is, remember, the desert. You will not love the flies. You may wish it was allowed to have a cold beer with your meals in the communal Bedouin-style dining pavillion; you will eventually get to the point where it will seem more important to you that the other guests close the refrigerator door tightly so your yogurt doesn't go bad. None of this will really make sense until you check out Basata's website, because this is NOT your average hotel or vacation rental or anything. It is one family's vision of what a small paradise on earth might be, a cooperative and earth-respecting endeavor using many of the old desert-dwelling traditions of the Bedouins in a new 21st century consciousness. There is so much I could say about Basata. It is a place that will change you and calm you and give you hope. How could it not when you wake up and see the desert's morning sunshine inching between the bamboo poles that make up your sleeping hut and when you push aside the colorful rug that hangs as your door to the outside, there is the Red Sea fifty feet from your porch and under its bright blue surface the mysteries and the awesome beauty of the coral reef waiting for you?

Room Tip: Most of the categories of this rating don't really apply to this unique place.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank S H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Cairo
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Basata always gives me a mixed feeling, there are things that i love, and things that i really hate.
let's start with the good side: the location, especially the huts. you're on the beach, right in front of the water.

The huts are very nice, entirely made from natural stuff, however, you should know that you must bring your own coverings. but the problem for me was that the mattress was really hard, same for the pillows, i really had hard time sleeping on them :( next time will bring my own pillows, and try to find something soft to put on the mattress!

there's no electricity in the huts, you buy candles from them (or bring your own), you'll need plenty!! a flashlight is also very useful.

well, what do i really hate about the place: the kitchen!! i do like the idea of cooking for yourself and cleaning your own dishes, but the problem is that the utensils really need replacing, and i really get disgusted from the dishes and the washing area... , it really stinks there, i literally hold my breath when i pass by so that i don't have to smell it :S

I will definitely bring disposable dishes and forks, knives and spoons so that i don't have to use theirs nor use the washing area!! i know it's against the environment and all, but seriously i don't want to use their stuff ever again!

you need to get your own towels, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste.
the bathrooms are communal but very well maintained and clean. the water-saving tap is a good idea. the showers are cold!! (no hot water in winter!), they use solar panels i think, but it's very effective!

in short, i really love when i stay at the hut, have a walk on the beach or go swimming, but really bad time when in the kitchen area!

Room Tip: a hut in the first row. there's nothing between you and the sea and the beautiful view!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank DZohni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central PA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2011

I took a group of professionals studying water issues in the ME to Basata, and we couldn't have been happier. Sherif, Maria and staff were generous and wonderful hosts. We used the huts and chalets and were very happy. Beautiful scenery above the water and beauty below the water. We had a blast playing beach volleyball with other guests, and just sprawling out eating the delicious food from the bakery. My group included Israelis and they were readily welcomed, so I have found any other reviews of antisemitism to be unfounded. I will definitely come back with my family to this hidden treasure.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
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1 Thank bryanbv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2011

In a nutshell:
Don't consider staying here if you aren't Egyptian or an Egyptian resident - there are plenty of other places not too far away with cheap food and obliging, fun staff. Basata is by no means the only camp with a good stretch of beach.
If you are Egyptian or a resident, get a hut by the beach, but bring as much of your own food as you can - that way you'll swerve the worst of the outrageous charges they levy. As the best thing is the beach and the huts' tranquility, you'll want to spend most of your time there anyway, thus handily avoiding the weird, 'insular yet free love' vibe rocking the main area.

Quote of the trip:
'You're checking out? Good.' (Receptionist/Kitchen dude)

Review:
I'm not an eco-freak by any means and I'm wary of places that tout themselves as 'ecolodges': I've often seen the worst kind of hypocrisy shown by some hotels in this category. The ones that work - like Siwa's 'Adrere Amelia' - are unforgettable. Basata isn't the worst, but it certainly isn't nearly as eco-cool as it claims to be and its much touted (and shaky) eco status comes at a steep price which just leaves a bad taste and highlights its flaws.

I'm an Egyptian resident and was traveling with my Egyptian partner. The base accommodation costs are cheap if you're a resident foreigner/Egyptian (60LE each for a hut by the beach; 350 LE for a 3 bed chalet further back); much steeper for non-resident foreigners at 18Euros for the huts. If you stay here you'll be given a run-down of the system ('the talk'), essentially a hippy, 'we're all family', 'make-your-own-and-clean-up-after-yourself' situation. Extremely overpriced ingredients are provided (plus 15% tax, also added to everything else, from candles to scuba masks), with a note inscribed on the price list on the kitchen wall 'Please make sure you eat, drink, consume at least 50LE per day.' Not difficult - you'll find that food and drink will constitute the bulk of your bill here, even if you just help yourself to cartons of strawberry milk, Cokes or the Twixes thoughtfully provided by the big corporation hating management. You write what you take, then pay at the end. Laptops are banned in the main space (although we saw the staff using one with no issue), but you're free to charge up your phone or lappy in the kitchen. The main space has seating, a small library (mostly German books) and some board games.

The huts are basic but comfortable, and soft bedding and candles are provided. The beach is stunning and defo the main attraction of the place. The bathrooms are at each end of the camp and are new and clean. Although we found the owners, Sherif and Maria, to be friendly and obliging, what really detracted from our enjoyment of the place was the arrogant attitude of some of the staff. There is an optional communal dinner for 70-100LE every evening; when we declined this it was clear the guy working there was not happy. We didn't stay long in the kitchen/main seating area as we found the atmosphere very unwelcoming - we felt like we were uninvited guests at a party, with stares from some residents who seemed to have been staying there for a while. Another couple staying there at the same time said they'd noticed the same thing and had avoided the place except for at breakfast. We also heard this place doesn't accept Israelis, which is strange, not only because it's Sinai and most places are pretty free and easy in that respect, but also because Israel is only 40 miles up the road.

As far as ecological awareness goes - and you'll be made aware of it as it's a central part of 'the talk' - it's a bit of a mixed bag. There's plenty of recycling and 'non-waste' taps in the bathrooms, but when we wandered around the site we noticed bags of plastics/cardboard/glass just dumped in the middle of nowhere, definitely not waiting for the plastics/cardboard/glass man to come along. Overall the place seems geared more towards screwing causal visitors out of their money to fund their other projects. We won't be returning to Basata or recommending it to anyone heading to that part of Sinai, irrespective of how long they've been around and how many Mars bars they give the local Bedouin kids during breaktime. Eco-cool thumbs down man.

Room Tip: Have residency or be Egyptian!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank KarimJumblatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DOHA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 5, 2010

i've been to Basata with family for the second time for relaxation, the place is perfect, basic , you can enjoy reading, swimming, snorkeling,...starry sky to sleep under , very inspiring, it's not costly at all.i've been there while i was a college student this was 1985 i met with the same man Sheriff (the owner),i liked the idea. he still keeps the hospitality, respectable place, order and charm. it's nice for relaxation seekers.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MEMMISH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2010

the 1st resort that was established in Sinai. not only a business, but a way of life.

بساطه ، Basata = Simplicity .

Simplicity in it's perfect form. more than what a human being needs won't be found there, but it's a place where u can find what is not available except for few places in the world. a place on the Cost made only from natural stuff, even the 2 floor, thick walls and off-white chalets which r made from mud that locals use to make there houses, then decorated by using a unique beautiiiifuel wood, as well as the huts where u can have a romantic night with candles and sea voice, then wake up 5 meters far from the sea, run straight and jump in the blue range water of the colorful red sea (diving sites are close by).

what a place......
The owners Marya & sherrif serves a dinner for everybody of fish or a vegetarian meal. in the rest of the day u r able to cook ur meal using a small but sufficient variety of fresh food.
YOU CARRY NOTHING WITH U THERE.
no, not because of thieves but because u pay everything in the end only.
How? u write what u use on a paper hanged in the reception. it's a great feeling .

in addition to all this simplicity and safety of being there for singles, couples or families with children. The owners who lives there since 20+ years with their children made so far
a school for their children and the Beduin's children in the area, a salty to sweet water station so that u can take a bath, drink or brush ur teeth with fresh, sweet and local water, what u can't have else where in Sinai desert. they established also "himaya" the organization for cleaning the sea water and coasts and recycling the trash.

So it's the "simple empire" which is waiting to host u in the cleanest and most silent place ever , empty ur mind or fill it and learn from what surround u.
if u decide to go reserve as soon as u can , because it's full all year long. Owners recommended us to visit during November to May period.

P.S : I have to say also that the owners of the place and me r semitic, so they can't be anti-Semitic as the Dookiti guy said in his review. They host jews like any other place in the world but they will continue to not accept any ISRAELI till israel stop it's lunatic killing demolishing and humiliating palestinians and other arabs in the region. when it starts respecting they will respect it.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Darweech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2009

Shariff and his German wife Maria do not allow Jews and Isrealis in 'because they cause tention'(BTW Israelis were the ones who opened the place in the 80ties!)
In short-they are antisemitic
I was there Saturday and they sent an armed guard to send me away(ten years ago I took the whole place for my birthday)
They pretend to be people lovers and envoirment lovers while they are ripping tourists-nt the locals!
In German(the people they love dearly)I would call them POTZ!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Dookiti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Basata

Property: Basata
Address: Taba Road, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 198 Specialty Lodging in Red Sea and Sinai
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Basata Hotel Red Sea And Sinai
Basata Egypt/Red Sea And Sinai

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