If you spent your childhood summers in the 80s and 90s on Egypt’s North Coast, chances are you may have been to Sidi Abdel Rahman at some point. Officially named Al Alamein Hotel after the famous desert battlefield area close by, veteran patrons know the hotel as Sidi Abdel Rahman, named after the Bedouin village located nearby. Located on Km 129 on the Alexandria-Matrouh Road less than 10km after Marina and 3km after the Diplomat’s Village, the hotel was once blessed with an ample landscape full of palm trees before it was sold recently to Emaar and now is part of the major Marassi construction project.
Now under Emaar’s management, the hotel has improved its service and upgraded its furnishing and interiors, with exuberant prices to match. The greatest selling point of the hotel is its bay; quite possibly the most pristine swimming spot on the North Coast. With umbrellas and chaise-lounges dotted along the bay, the beach’s white sands contrast with its aquamarine sea.
Two presidential villas are located at the far left end of the hotel with seven bedrooms each and their own private terrace; they were once the holiday destination for Egypt’s former presidents Abdel Nasser and Sadat. Additionally, the hotel offers three different sizes of villas and single as well as double rooms. All rooms and villas face the sea and are located right on the beach; a nice change from all the resorts where you have to walk for two days to reach the beach.
Egypt’s current economic situation seems to have absolutely no effect on the hotel’s prices. With major luxury hotel chains in Cairo cutting their prices to almost 50%, it’s shocking to find that a night in a single bed at Al Alamein could easily get you two nights in a five-star hotel in Cairo now.
For the low season ending on June 30th 2011, the hotel’s rate are as follows: 1100LE for a ground-floor single room and 1250LE for a double room, while single and double rooms on the first and second floor cost 950LE and 1100LE respectively. A three-bedroom villa will set you back 2800LE, a five-bedroom villa will cost you 4500LE, and the presidential villa will set you back a mere 6000LE. Interested in a day use at the hotel? That will set you back 1000LE for a double room to be used until 7PM, meals excluded. Bear in mind that these prices are for the low season only.
Ready for the high season? From July 1st till July 30th, and from September 1st to September 7th, a single room on the ground floor will set you back 2350LE (yes, 2350LE), a double room will cost 2600LE, while single and double rooms on the first and second floors will cost you 1950LE and 2300LE respectively.
Care to dish out 10,000LE a night on a presidential villa? Well, you can do just that at Al Alamein. Five-bedroom villas cost 6000LE while three-bedroom villas will cost you 4500LE. Breakfast at the hotel will cost 75LE, while lunch will cost 125LE and dinner will set you back 150LE. The food at the hotel is pretty standard, with options of continental breakfasts or foul and falafel, and grilled chicken or fish for dinner. You can have the meal delivered to your room, and if you feel like barbequing, every villa comes with a sea-front garden and a barbeque set.
Once an affordable summer destination for many families, it seems that Al Alamein’s prices for this season are aiming for a smaller niche of clientele that can afford the masses of villas and apartments under construction on the land behind the hotel. Still, for those familiar with the beaches and gardens of Al Alamein Hotel, perhaps sharing a villa for a night or two would be a feasible option.
For more information and reservations, call 046 4680140 or visit the hotel's website.