Where you stay when you're traveling is almost as important as the destination you're traveling to itself. That doesn't mean 5-star, all-inclusive everything, but where you stay doesn't need to be limited to where you rest your head at the end of a long day – it can be part of the experience itself. The Middle East and North Africa are rich in unique experiences, and their accommodations can be equally intriguing if you look in the right places. Whether you're a bootstrap traveler or prefer to indulge in the luxuries of your destination du jour, Airbnb caters to both ends of the spectrum. Here in the MENA region, that also means everything from luxurious palaces to skyscrapers and secluded camps. Seriously.
DAHAB ISLAND PALACE ON GEZIRET EL DAHAB, CAIRO, EGYPT
Geziret El Dahab is not only a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Cairo, but it’s also uncharted waters for many of its locals. Overlooking the Nile and conveniently close to the pyramids, this island is home to a gorgeous castle -- yep, we said castle -- that looks like something straight out of Arabian Nights. The house accommodates two people in its generously spaced bedroom with an attached bath. You’ll have the whole castle to yourself, including private butler service for breakfast every morning, which you can enjoy on your private Nile terrace – if only we could live like this every day. Upon request, the owners can set up a private romantic dinner for you as well and can arrange for a boat ride along the Nile on either their private boat or, if you feel like taking the traditional route, they can arrange for a felucca. The property has WiFi, all the electrical appliances you might need, and many other facilities.
This place is the perfect getaway where you can actually enjoy the beauty of Cairo that is so easy for us to forget amid the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. And if you’re not living in Egypt, there’s no better experience than living like a Pacha of the old days right in the heart of Cairo. To book or find out more about this incredible property follow this link.
STUDIO APARTMENT WITH A VIEW OF THE PYRAMIDS, GIZA, EGYPT
From the inside, it’s a cozy and modestly designed studio apartment, but then when you look out the window – bam! You have front-row seats to the only remaining wonder of the ancient world. Casual.
While there are plenty of hotels in Giza that offer stunning views of the Pyramids, none feel quite as intimate as this.The place gives off warm and fuzzy vibes once you step inside, and with Pyramids as the backdrop, you just can't ask for a better setting. The apartment also has a jacuzzi right next to the window with the incredible view of the Pyramids, so you can enjoy some self-care with the ultimate view. Even though the place is a bit small, it can accommodate up to four people courtesy of a pullout couch and a double sofa. The place costs a stunning $49 per night. Here’s the link for more information on the property.
KATO DOOL NUBIAN BOUTIQUE HOTEL ON THE NILE, ASWAN, EGYPT
If you want to do Aswan but with a touch of unique authenticity, this place is for you. This boutique hotel, decorated with prints inspired by the Nubian culture, has charming and colourful one-story houses and a couple of shared spaces so you don’t feel completely secluded. Kato Dool means the Big House in Nubian; the hotel has 18 differently designed bedrooms with one common factor: the stunning and immediate view of the Nile. The hotel offers a continental buffet breakfast and a Nubian restaurant if you’re seeking the full authentic experience — plus, there’s also sheesha available. This is the perfect place for people wanting to get away, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery. The hotel has a team to help you with anything you might need in terms of activities outside the hotel like Nile rides, sand-boarding, fishing, mud baths, and the list goes on. It costs $50 a room per night; WiFi and appliances are provided. You can find everything you need to know about this place through this link.
THE BEACH RETREAT, DAHAB, EGYPTOkay, if you’re a beach person, it does not get better than this. This cozy yet spacious condo quite literally has the beach at your doorstep. If you want to have a relaxed and stress-free vacation, sitting in front of the sea, enjoying the breeze, this is it. This is a gem of a place right on the Red Sea shore in Dahab, where your private patio will lead you to your own private beach and as beautiful as Dahab promises to be with the outline of the mountains in the distance.
The condo is directly situated on Assalah beach and the beautiful Eel Garden Reef, so you can do some snorkeling. The area surrounding it is tranquil and quiet but that doesn’t mean it’s miles away from the city; you can easily find cafes, restaurants, and shops in the vicinity, so that the nightlife of Dahab is at your doorstep as well. The beach retreat features unique, local, up-cycled, and recycled art and decorations. The furniture is designed by Bedouin and Egyptian artists, celebrating the beauty of the local culture. The place can accommodate up to 4 guests -- 5 if someone’s willing to take the day bed outside, we know we would-- and will set you back only $50 per night. The property provides wifi, bedsheets, and towels. There's a barbecue so you could throw a bbq-party and if you ask for it fresh fish can be delivered to you. Perfect for a romantic trip, a friends getaway, or a family vacation -- you can find more details through this link.
LUXURY LOFT, BEIRUT, LEBANON
Now if you’ve been to Beirut you know Beirut is all about style. And this spot is effortlessly stylish. This spacious loft with its stunning high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows is perfect for a family getaway or a friends trip to the party capital of the Middle East. This luxury loft, and may we say it truly looks like a luxury loft, is designed to perfection. Beirut is one of the best destinations in the Middle East, and the loft is located right in the center of it all. It has a charming balcony with a city view -- only minutes away from Downtown Beirut. The place very comfortably takes up to 6 guests. One night there will cost you $200. It comes with wifi, electrical appliances, and a fully equipped kitchen, which you won't need with all the Lebanese restaurants you’re no doubt to go to binge-eat at anyways. You can find all the details about this property through this link.
FREE SPIRIT CARAVAN, FROM SAFRA, LEBANONNow for something completely different… For the free spirits who want to experience life on the road, this Airbnb is literally just a Volkswagen caravan. There’s no specific location assigned to this Airbnb because there is no such thing when you live on the road. You could drive up to anywhere and everywhere. This recreational vehicle has got everything you will need to sleep and eat (and shower etc). Their unique selling point is that this Airbnb's location could be anywhere you want it to be. Now I know what you might be thinking, do I really want to drive around while on vacation? Well fret not, this AirBnB comes with its own driver who will take you anywhere. Oh and if that wasn’t enough it comes with breakfast. The hippie life you may have always wanted to try but with a sprinkle of comfort. The RV takes up to 2 people, costing $150 a night. The only rules are: you have to start your trip at Safra and only the driver is allowed to drive the car (you don’t have to tell us twice). There’s no wifi, but honestly who needs it when you have the whole of Lebanon at your fingertips.
Intrigued? You can find more about this Airbnb and how to book it through this link.
WOODEN CHALET, LAQLOUQ, LEBANON
Have a Swiss experience in the Middle East -- this Airbnb is a wooden triplex chalet, in the middle of the snowy mountains of Lebanon. For when you’ve had enough of the heat, the bustle of city life, and just want to get away and experience the tranquil life for a while. This chalet has a heating system and a chimney for the coziest of experiences. Nearby you’ll find skiing slopes with a beautiful view of the mountains, for the total winter wonderland experience, this mountain range is usually packed with snow during the winter season. The chalet comes with a fully equipped kitchen where you can make all the hot chocolate your heart desires. Amidst the snow and serenity, this charming chalet takes up to 8 people. It’s located near the Laqlouq ski slopes, so whether you want to chill with a cup of hot chocolate or get geared up to hit the slopes, this place has all the snowy activities you’re looking for. There’s wifi provided, and it costs about 300$ per night. For more details, follow this link.
MARINA PENTHOUSE, DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
A penthouse on the 90th floor of the world’s tallest residential building -- an experience that you can have only in Dubai. Wake up to a view of the clouds. If you’re afraid of heights, you might want to skip this one. The penthouse has 2 bedrooms, but can accommodate up to 11 guests, has 3 balconies and offers a 270-degree view of the stunning blue water and palm trees of the bustling city of Dubai. There’s literally nothing to obscure your view, because did we mention its the tallest residential building in the world? Like any lux residential building in the UAE you’ll get access to a swimming pool, gym, as well as a kids' playground. A luxurious experience in the luxury capital of the Middle East for $200 per night. This property is in Tameer’s Princess Tower and is within walking distance from the Marina of Dubai. You can find the exact location and all the details through this link.
RIAD SHIRAZ, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
This authentic and stylish home is location in the heart of the iconic Medina in Marrakesh, with an eclectic, light and bright fusion of indoor and outdoor living. This extremely charming property is everything you need to feel like you’re home, if your home is a 200m2 property. The property has 4 bedrooms and 5 private bathrooms, you must have that extra bathroom. A rooftop which includes sunbeds, an outdoor shower, dinner table, lounge area AND a jacuzzi. Oh, there's also a traditional Moroccan hamam. The owners can book a hot air balloon ride for you as well as a camel ride. The property is impeccably furnished and will make you feel like you're living that chic boho life. It is going to be hard to leave this place. You can find all the details about this property through this link.
LUXURY ARCHITECT HOUSE, ATLAS MOUNTAINS, MOROCCO
We’ve done boho chic in Marrakech, now it's time to go full opulence and feel like we’re on an episode of Netflix’s World’s Most Extraordinary Homes. This villa away from the mayhem of the city center and on the serene Atlas Mountains situated on a golf course, has views for days! -- and if you’re missing the chaos of Marrakech, the city center is never far away. The place comes with a private pool that can be heated upon your request, because you’ll have to dip into your savings for this one. If you’re looking to treat yourself, for $775 a night, the villa takes up to 8 guests in four bedrooms. Find out more about this delux property through this link.
BUBBLE LUXOTEL, PETRA, JORDAN
For the adventurer in you, let your wilder side roam free and stay at these Icelandic-style igloo homes located in the Jordanian desert. A remote hike through the Nabatean ruins and trails will lead you to this hotel property in Petra, Jordan. The aptly named Bubble Luxotel is located in the desert, with the Petra mountains in plain sight. The only thing between you and the star-filled sky at night will be the glass encasing each room. Sleep under the stars in style, each room has a private hot tub and breakfast and dinner are included. You can hike up mountains and terrains in the desert around you, and then chill out in your private hot tub under the stars, the perfect mixture of adventure and relaxation. They also offer a free shuttle for the guests to and from Petra. The room is for $440 per night and you can find out more through this link.
LUXURY YACHT, MUSCAT, OMAN For the yacht life, this property is on the sea of Oman, which boasts truly stunning natural scenery and what better way to enjoy the views than on the Omani coast. On the Al Zahra you’ll have endless activities to fill your day and night. From fishing, snorkelling, and beach-hopping, to chilling and enjoying the Middle Eastern sun. You can stop anywhere in the sea for some whale and dolphin watching. The yacht has 4 comfortable, lavish guest cabins each with its own private bathroom and lots of outdoor space to enjoy the sun and sea breeze.
If a full on trip on a yacht is not for you, you can also rent the yacht by the hour or just for an overnight stay. The yacht can accommodate up to 25 guests during the day and 10 guests if they are staying overnight. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner could be provided for guests upon request with extra charge. We are talking about a yacht so the price will be steep but if you want to treat yourself we think this is the way to do it. You can find more details about this property through this link.
DJERBIEN VILLA, DJERBA, TUNISIA
For the far east island experience in the Middle East this private villa is for you. The villa is built in the traditional Tunisian style with 3 suites, a dressing room, 2 large living room areas, an equipped kitchen, and a Moroccan-style living room. The outdoor area has a large swimming pool with an outdoor lounge seating area beside it for some sun-tanning and vitamin D. This is a wonderful holiday house for some peace and quiet. Djerba is an island off the coast of Tunisia -- known for its crystal blue Mediterranean waters and its desert town is influenced by Berber, Arab, Jewish, and African cultures. It is a tranquil oasis sheltered among palm trees. The property costs $110 per night. Find out more about this colourful villa through this link.
WATERFRONT VILLA, TIPAZA, ALERGIA
This four-bedroom villa in Algeria has a pool with an amazing view of the sea. Located at the center of El Beldj, a small village near the port of Tipaza -- perfectly situated between the mountains and the sea, the property comes with a pool that has a terrace where you’ll get some killer sunset views. The decoration is simple and clean, but the direct access to the beach will more than make up for it. A night in this villa will cost you around $72. The whole villa takes up to 8 guests in four bedrooms. Here’s the link for more details.