Dahab’s Relaxation Goes Five Star at The Hilton Dahab Resort

Most people who visit Dahab, Egypt walk away, reluctantly, feeling that this is one of the most, if not the most, relaxing place on earth. And it truly is. I’ve spent a total of six laid back months in this peaceful little town on the Red Sea, but my last several days were the most relaxing of them all. Why? I spent them at the Hilton Dahab Resort.

While five-star resorts are known as restful, calming places in and of themselves, they usually don’t quite capture the atmosphere, the character, the experience of their location. I’ve stayed in many such resorts whose design and décor didn’t give me any clue as to what part of the world I was in. The Hilton Dahab Resort really impressed me by being right in the local groove of things in terms of looks and personality, letting me know every minute of my stay exactly where I in the world I was.

Exterior view of the Hilton Dahab Resort

A meeting room at the Hilton Dahab Resort

How does the Hilton Dahab Resort do it?

This hotel has made itself into an aquatic paradise, just like Dahab. I’ve never stayed at another hotel that had pools and canals weaving through the grounds –in addition to the tranquil lagoon on which it stands. At this hotel, you can’t get away from the water even if you want to.

Water surrounds the Hilton Dahab Resort

The Hilton Dahab Resort as reflected in the water at night

The Hilton reflecting off the water at night.

Even the Hilton’s beach is more interesting than most resorts of its ilk, as you can sign up for and take windsurfing and kite boarding lessons right on what is really the best beach in Dahab.

Windsurfers in front of the mountains of the Sinai

Its beach is also frequently flavored with the classic Egyptian treat – camels!

Two camels lying on the beach in Dahab

The Hilton Dahab Resort has one cool Middle Eastern characteristic that I’ve seen in various apartments I’ve rented in the region but never at a hotel. In my room on the mirror there was a sticker with an arrow. The arrow, I knew from prior experience, was facing east toward Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the direction in which Muslims must pray. Obviously intended for their Muslim guests, the arrow was an interesting reminder that I was in the Mid East.

Sticker on mirror of my hotel, showing Muslims which way is east

This hotel is also very secure. One day, while relaxing at its Beach Bar, I decided to go have lunch at the Neptune Restaurant. I walked off across the sand, leaving my laptop, camera and cell phone sitting outside in plain view. I came back about a half an hour later to find them present and untouched. I just knew it would be safe, as the hotel has security officers which you may occasionally see, making sure all is well at all times.

The rest of the hotel’s staff is likewise on the ball, in full possession of the safe and relaxed and friendly personality of Dahab. They dress casually, are cool, collected and very helpful. In my opinion, the staff – be it hotel, restaurant, shop, wherever – really make or break a place. These people made the Hilton experience wonderful.

Various special events held at this hotel get you right into the local culture. One night they held an auction where handmade local goods were sold. A Bedouin woman had handcrafted some really nice jewelry, and was on hand to show it to us.

A statue of a black Egyptian cat

An orange necklace with a turquoise eye in the middle

The same night I was invited to a Bedouin dinner on the beach. While in Egypt I’ve had tea with Bedouins, coffee with Bedouins and conversation with Bedouins. I have never, though, had dinner with Bedouins. This dinner was literally the most delicious meal I have had in several months. The Babaganoush – a Middle Eastern dish made of finely chopped eggplant, garlic, tahini and spices served up with pita bread – was the best I ever have eaten, or ever will.

Bedouin Dinner on the beach in Dahab

A belly dancer in purple at a Bedouin dinner at the Hilton Dahab Resort

This hotel actually steps out of its local mode just a little to embrace the environment. Recycling isn’t a big thing in Egypt, but the Hilton Dahab Resort makes an exception. Here I was thrilled to see recycling containers all around the exterior of the premises.

Colorful recycling containers along the waterway at the Hilton Dahab Resort in Egypt

The Hilton Dahab Resort really captures the ultra laid back mood of Dahab while remaining a five-star resort. If you’re looking for the relaxation that Dahab specializes in along with luxury, this is seriously the only place to be.

The Hilton Dahab Resort treated me to a complimentary stay at their hotel, but all opinions are honestly my own.

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. This sounds like an amazing place! I love that they stayed authentic to the place that surrounds them, yet that they focus on recycling even if most of Dahab does not. How fun that you got to experience a Bedouin dinner! The photo of the camels taking in the view is my favorite :)
    Ayelet – All Colores recently posted..New Zealand Moment of the Week: Insights from a RestaurantMy Profile

  2. Sabina says:

    Ayelet, I loved seeing those camels on the beach :) This hotel really did fit just perfectly into Dahab. I loved it!

  3. Kieran Chapman says:

    I haven’t been to too many 5 star hotels I must admit :P but the few I have been to I’ve always got the impression they’re trying to separate themselves from the culture outside their walls.

    It’s reassuring to see a hotel (especially part of the Hilton chain) that takes its local culture seriously AND maintains a chilled out atmosphere. Very jealous of the canals and waterways, something about an oasis like hotel in the middle east makes for a beautiful image.

  4. Sabina says:

    Hi Kieran, the Hilton really did a great job of fitting right into Dahab. All 5-star hotels should do the same. :)

  5. Steve says:

    Wow, this place looks amazing. I’d love to stay in a resort that has canals. It just looks so peaceful and relaxing. It’s like a place you can go to unwind.

    That dinner looks really good too. Once you said it had eggplant and tahini in it, I was sold. I think that means I’ll have to make it a priority to try Babaganoush. Looks so good.
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  6. Sabina says:

    This place WAS amazing, Steve. I adored its canals and watery atmosphere. And yes, when you make it to the Middle East, you absolutely have to eat babaganoush. I’ve found it in Jordan as well as Egypt. It must exist elsewhere too.

  7. Callie says:

    That pool looks AMAZING…
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  8. Sabina says:

    Amazing it was!

  9. Rosette says:

    This was a beautiful account of your stay at the Hilton Dahab – I particularly am interested in knowing where all that water comes from ; I know that this is an ignorant question, but I’m still going to ask – is this part of the Nile river? And when’s the best time of year to go? I want to avoid the tourist crush!

    Best,
    Rosette

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