Expect breathtaking simplicity at this beautiful mud-brick hotel, which is built into the crumbling walls of the town’s ancient citadel.

Albabenshal is spectacularly located outside the jagged ruins of Old Shali, a 13th century citadel in the centre of Siwa. Ancient, rundown Siwan dwellings were restored using kershef, a mixture of sun-dried salt, mud and sand, to build a lodging that is a replica of the original structures that once were in the fortress. Albabenshal offers 11 rooms on three levels, linked through a system of alleyways and terraces that overlook the centre of town.

On the main terrace, Albabenshal Restaurant serves a menu of Siwan traditional dishes tailored to more modern tastes. Rooms are furnished and decorated with multicolored Bedouin carpets, palm frond chairs, tables and beds, and linens of top quality Egyptian cotton with embroideries in the traditional Siwan style.

All the major attractions are in the immediate vicinity: the Beet EL Siwi (1km), the Cleopatra’s Spring and the Gabal EL Mawta (2km), the Great Alexander Oracle and the Fatnas Iland (3km). Gabal Dakrour and Aghormy Village are situated 4 km from this beautiful boutique hotel and the Hot Springs – 6km.

Albabenshal is about eight hours west of Cairo depending how fast your driver goes, or 200 kilometres south of Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean coast.