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I want to take my two elderly parents on a once-in-a-lifetime trip abroad. They have never left the UK in the past so it's very important that wherever we visit feels very different from the UK in terms of climate and language. I picked North Africa/the Middle East because it's not too far away.

The perfect resort would be somewhere in the desert, completely self-contained, we should have no need to leave it if we don't want to. Maybe somewhere in the Sahara?

A Four Seasons or the like would not do, not only because they are usually not resorts, but because they are generally too stuffy with their dress codes. My parents like to dress very "casual". I don't want the place to be overly stuffy or upper-class in atmosphere.

I thought about amanresorts but the closest one they have is in Turkey, and it's not at all in the desert :P

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2 Answers 2

One option you could consider is the Siwa Oasis.

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It's an isolated oasis situated in the Western Desert region of Egypt, approximately 550 km west of the capital Cairo, 305 km south-west of Marsa Matruh and some 50 km from the border with Libya. Extending some 80 km in length and 20 km in width, the oasis is one of the most isolated settlements in the country. Siwa nonetheless holds a special appeal for many travelers on account of its isolation and unique character, its natural beauty and its historical associations. The town has a population of around 25,000.

While I've not been myself, I did some research for another question on this site, and found the following for accommodation.

For budget - Palm Trees Hotel sounds the most fun and scenic, with "nice garden with trees and fire pit, where the staff will sit at night with guests. Roof terrace with a view of the oasis and Shali" (review on Wikitravel)

For medium - Shali Lodge - sounds pretty smart for good value, and has some exotic local foods on the menu - date omelet, lamb casserole or vegetarian tajin, each flavored with fresh herbs of the oasis.

For deluxe - two amazing and different options - the Adrere Amellal: Desert Ecolodge - with no electricity, the rooms are softly lit with a dozen beeswax candles, and around the corner, the Tamazigh, a smaller hotel, with a spring-fed pool and some rooms made entirely of salt!

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If you want something exclusive in an exceptional setting, then have a look at this hotel in the Negev, in Mitzpe Ramon, just above the Ramon Crater.

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