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“Iwant to live in this hotel!”
Review of Albabenshal

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Albabenshal
Ranked #4 of 11 Siwa B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 7, 2012

The most beautiful room, great food(free breakfast) and the nicest staff!! I was going to stay 2 days and stayed a week and didn't want to leave!!!

Room Tip: Every room is different- each better than the next!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank scott c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 - 28 of 45 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2012

Location - extremely central, 5 minutes walking from bus station. Built off the ruins of Old Shali citadel, sometimes it is quite difficult to see where the ruins end and hotel begins!

Rooms - simply furnished, great bathroom but with very dusty ceiling fans!!!

Breakfast - almost a feast: fruit salad, eggs, fresh bread & cheese, fresh tea, jam served by the reception or on the roof!

Service - fantastic. The staff could not be more accommodating - we felt that the hotel was really our home!

Overall - if you want to stay in the city centre this is the only place you should consider staying!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the first floor to enjoy the views out of the windows!
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank LucyCarvalho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

I was disappointed considering the highish price. There is nothing very special about this place. The people are friendly (like everyone we met in Siwa) and location is great in the middle of town, but I think other places offer a better Siwa experience, like those in the palm groves or by the lake. Check out Ghaliet Ecolodge as an alternative.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dom123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2011

This place is great. I have stayed their twice with several friends both times who were all equally as charmed as me. The restaurant on the roof is by far the best in town. True, there is not much else but it really has great food. The staff are friendly and the service is good (very rare in Egypt). It is on the 'main' town square, overlooking the donkey-drawn taxi 'depot'. Clean and very comfortable. Charming. Considering the tiny place that Siwa is, this hotel is a surprising find.

Room Tip: There are 'family' rooms that are good for friends who don't mind bunking in. The rooms...
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank desertgoer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2011

We spent 2 nights at this amazing hotel in Siwa. First of all, don't be worried about travelling in Egypt, especially the desert, amidst all of the overblown reports of clashes in Egypt. We were there from November 19th to December 6th (supposedly the most heightened unrest since last February) and all was well and peaceful. This hotel has to be seen to be believed. The rooms are rustic due to the traditional Siwa construction but are entirely charming. Kind of Flintstones meet Architectural Digest if you will. The best part of the hotel is the warm and friendly staff. They made the visit wonderful. We had dinner in the open air dining room by the fire. Since it gets cold in the desert at night, our server put some hot coals from the fire into a metal bowl and placed the bowl under our table to keep our feet warm. It was an amazing night. Food was fantastic and breakfasts were great too.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TTBToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

We arrived in the early morning after an overnight bus trip from Cairo. We were immediately shown our room and practically ordered us to rest. We ordered a double and they provided an extra bed for our 3 year old daughter. The room is typical of Siwa construction: beams and ceilings from date palm trunks, salt block light fixtures giving a warm glow, salt and clay walls, traditional handmade rugs, and off white wool blankets covering the beds. The room itself is very simply done, but very comfortable. There was even a TV in the room but only gave programs in Arabic. They also give you a fan, but in October is unnecessary.
They also run a restaurant upstairs with a gorgeous view of the old, surreal Shali town (which is practically attached to the hotel). We awoke around 10:30am and was served the best breakfast in Egypt. They ask you how you want your eggs but it comes with hot pita, fresh farmer's cheese, falafel, fresh lemon juice, homemade fig preserves and the best olive jam.
Without pressure, they offer reasonably priced desert excursions and town tours, both of which we took. We took a donkey trip around the town sites for 6 hours and paid LE80. The excursion into the Great Sand Sea included some archeological sites, evidence of the sea millions of years ago (lovely sand dollars and shells in the middle of the desert), lunch and swimming at a beautiful salt lake, descending (and ascending) the dunes in a 4x4, sand boarding, swimming at a sulfur hot spring, and tea at sunset.
Siwans are typically very relaxed and laid back. Staff at the hotel were very accommodating and professional. They even allowed a very late check-out since we were taking the 8PM bus back to Cairo and wanted our daughter to nap in the afternoon.
Hotel is located centrally, easy to walk around town and very close to the bus station. Also, free WI-FI internet.
When we return to Siwa, we hope this hotel is still around and hopefully still at a reasonable price. Would definitely recommend this place to others and stay here again!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank tintje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

My stay at Albabenshal was an amazing experience.
As I was to arrive early in the morning, bussing overnight from Cairo, I enquired in advance about leaving my bags at the hotel until normal check in time. No problem at all, I was most welcome to check in as early as I arrived and they would arrange to have my room ready.
7.00am. I was welcomed at the door by guest attendant Hemaed Mohamed, who showed me to my room and left me to rest and shower. “Come down when you are ready and we will talk about what you are going to do in Siwa.”
The hotel is lovely, set at the foot of Old Shali fortress, built of traditional materials in sympathy with its surroundings. The sculptured clay structure seems to embrace you when you enter and has a warmth and feel that is peaceful and relaxing. It still has all the modern amenities (including WiFi), except for air conditioning, which you don’t miss (and would seem out of place) as the building has good natural thermal qualities, and ceiling fans if you need them.
The Siwans are a courteous and friendly people, and quite laid back. Their favourite saying seems to be “don’t worry”. I heard this often from Hemaed, who went to extreme lengths to ensure that I enjoyed the best possible experiences during my short stay. He was my frequent guide and companion, and good company – a great ambassador for the hotel and for Siwa.
Salama’s Café, part of the hotel, serves delicious food that is also inexpensive. I didn’t eat anywhere else.
The hotel staff looked after me so well, I found it hard to leave. Even when the bus on which I intended to return to Marsa Matrouh was cancelled, arrangements were quickly made for a car and driver to take me. Again I was in good hands. Driver, Essam Mohamed not only took me to Marsa Matrouh, but the next day to Saloum and the Libyan border, and the following day back to Cairo. As a somewhat nervous first time traveller in Egypt, I quickly realised the benefits of having a personal driver who is also a “local” and speaks Arabic. I went to places and learned things I would not have otherwise. Essam was another good companion and an excellent driver. I thoroughly recommend him.
So thank you everyone at Albabenshal: Salama, Hemaed, Mohamed, Gabriela, Abdullah (and anyone I have missed), and Essam. You gave me the experience of a lifetime.
I hope to return one day and stay longer, and also take a longer trip into the desert... Insha'Allah.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank RobtP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Albabenshal

Address: Downtown Siwa, Siwa 11211, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Matrouh Governorate > Siwa
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Siwa
Price Range: $26 - $34 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Albabenshal 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Albabenshal Heritage Lodge is located directly outside the entrance of the historic Fortress of Shali. The architecture of the lodge is modeled after the original structures that once filled the great fortress. Albabenshal offers 11 Rooms on three levels connected through a network of alleyways and terraces that overlook the center of town on one side and the great Fortress on the other. ... more   less 
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