If you've never been to Siwa then you're seriously missing out. It's so authentically captivating that it makes us humour the thought of packing our bags and running away from the crowded city more often than our bosses would care to know. It happens every time we're stuck in traffic or standing in a queue at a bank. Thoughts of escaping to somewhere simple and tranquil overtake us into a little daydream that usually looks something like this gorgeous new bed and breakfast we just discovered...
This is not a dream; this is Nanshal mud house bed and breakfast in the historic town of Shila at the heart of Siwa. Your mind has probably already travelled and there's no coming back. But there's a bigger story to this beautiful escape. Nanshal is part of Hawyet Siwa, which is "an initiative rooted in the schools of environmentalism, sustainability and the power of partnership ... part cultural centre and part ecotel," their Facebook page description reads. Ecotel? What? It's essentially a new school of hospitality that promotes the use of eco-friendly and recycled resources in their services. Don't worry, though – it's all certified and it passes the clean test. They also run only on solar power and biogas, and they hope to soon establish a full-out hotel made entirely from recyclable materials just like the Siwans do. The word 'hawyet' means container, which makes this haven the first hotel built out of shipping containers. Find us a container and ship us there ASAP?
What Hawyet Siwa is doing is remarkably unique, because not only is it there to give visitors in Siwa the stay of their life, but they also work avidly in cultural and knowledge exchange between the beautiful indigenous population and the tourists. At this point, we suggest calling them up before December 20th for your Christmas break, because we caught a glimpse of some incomparable and seriously tempting rates for this beauty.
Check out their Facebook page @Hawyet.Siwa for more information on booking!