The Big Six: Luxury desert camps
Saturday 22 January 2011
Desert Nights Camp, Oman
Though it's only a two-hour drive from Muscat, Desert Nights Camp feels like a completely different world to the Omani capital. Set in an oasis in the Wahiba Sands, the 30 Bedouin-style tents here are as comfortable as they are remote, with double and family-sized tented suites that come complete with bathrooms, electricity and minibars. In a nice nod to the location, guests are given fresh dates and Arabic coffee on arrival.
Desert Nights Camp, Al Wasil, Oman (00 968 92 81 83 88; desertnightscamp.com). Double tents start at 93 rials (£156), half board.
Kerdan Camp, Egypt
Kerdan is the latest opening from Desert in Style, which specialises in remote but luxurious fixed camps in the Egyptian Sahara. It is set within the "White Desert" national park, close to spectacular rock formations and "white mushrooms", huge fungi-shaped geological formations carved by wind and sand. Named after the traditional necklaces worn by Bedouin women, the camp's 12 tents each come with a small terrace and guests also have use of private bathroom facilities.
Kerdan Camp, between Baharia and Farafra, Egypt (00 20 2 2419 3451; desertinstyle-egypt.com). Doubles start at US$100 (£65), half board.
Wadi Rum Private Camp, Jordan
This camp is designed for travellers who seek more solitude than is usually found in the campsites around Wadi Rum – and who can afford to pay for the privilege. It is a moveable camp, set up to suit the day's conditions within the sandstone valley. Guests arrive in time for sunset over the red sand and rocks, and an authentic Bedouin dinner is eaten under the stars.
The tailor-made travel specialist Scott Dunn (020-8682 5075; scottdunn.com) sells one-week packages to Jordan, including one night at the Wadi Rum Private Camp. Prices start at £2,175 per person, including flights, transport and half-board accommodation.
Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
Guests at this stylish Gobi Desert lodge stay in one of 20 ger tents, each with a wood stove, hand-painted beds, artisan-made furnishings and a private bathroom (freebies include locally produced toiletries and camel-milk moisturiser).
Three Camel Lodge, South Gobi, Mongolia (00 976 11 313 396; threecamellodge.com). Doubles start at US$160 (£103), full board.
Wilderness Camp, India
An offshoot of Rajasthan's lovely Rohet Garh hotel, this desert camp is equally magical. Guests can expect six richly decorated tents overlooking the desert-scape and star-gazing at night.
Wilderness Camp, Rohet, Rajasthan, India (00 91 29 36 268 231; rohetgarh.com/wilderness.htm). Tents for two start at Rs11,000 (£157), including all meals and standard transfers.
Sahara Safari Camp, Morocco
Specialist Morocco offers this new luxurious safari-style camp, seven hours' drive from Marrakech, or five from Ouazazarte. It has eight private sleeping tents and shower/bio-loo tents, solar-powered lanterns and a large salon.
Sahara Safari Camp, Mhamid, Morocco (020-7193 2461; saharasafaricamp.com). Tents sleeping two start at £120, full-board, including guided walks and a half-day camel trek.
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