When it comes to travelling in the Middle East, it seems that Jordan is on everyone’s ‘must see’ lists, and for good reason. It’s not just one of the most welcoming countries in the region, but it’s safe, extremely well prepared to handle tourists and the value for money can’t be beat. It’s probably the main Middle Eastern country that can safely be described as the tourist hot spot of the region due to its history, food, culture and of course its natural wonders like Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum isn’t just for adventurers though. While it can seem like it’s the place to go to hike, go dune bashing and other such adventurous activities, it’s also a great place to go to just kick back under the wide open sky and experience desert life for a night or two. The last time I did just that I chose to treat myself to a luxurious camp set in a valley, between some beautiful red cliffs – perfect protection from the wind. The Memories Aicha Luxury Camp was an ideal place to base myself during my trip to Wadi Rum. I definitely won’t forget it.
The location of Memories Aicha Luxury Camp is ideal for those who want a bit of a romantic getaway among the stars. Set in its own little valley area surrounded by nothing but the wide open space of Wadi Rum with its rock formations and crisp, clear sky. Away from other camps and the main access road through Wadi Rum, it’s the ideal spot for those who want to get away from it all and spend those romantic nights around a campfire with only a few others just stargazing.
The nearest airport is King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, about an hour away by car. The location is perfect for both those who just want to explore the Wadi Rum natural area but also for those who want to get out of the region and go on a day trip to Petra and the Red or Dead Seas.
Various food is available at the camp and they really do exquisite food well given what’s available in the desert. Their on site restaurant provides full meals as well as snacks such as chocolate, biscuits, fruit selections and more. The onsite coffee house is also a fantastic touch and I enjoyed a delicious coffee expertly crafted every morning – the perfect way to start a day of exploring. The camp provides the ability to request special meals for vegetarians or vegans which is a brilliant touch and the buffet dinners were ideal for the set up of the camp itself, all served in one giant dome style tent that allowed mingling with fellow guests.
Whether it was a tasty tagine or other mediterranean and local styled dishes, I have to say that the food provided was absolutely on par with what you’d expect for a luxury Jordanian camp. Packed lunches were available on request for those who were going out on excursions which was an additional bonus and the breakfast was absolutely fantastic with some of the most excellent coffee.
The rooms – or tents, as they were – at Memories Aicha Luxury Camp are designed with all budgets in mind. There are more simple tents on the outer ring of the camp that have transparent parts to make sky viewing at night possible – something you can’t leave Wadi Rum without experiencing. Each of the tents has their own modern and fantastically decorated bathroom, which made me feel like I was in a hotel room and not a tent. I stayed in the double junior tent and it was absolutely phenomenal – you completely forget you’re in a tent, especially with the on demand hot water! An added bonus was the soap, shampoo and other toiletries they leave for your use in the bathroom – all made from Dead Sea minerals and mud.
You really get the feeling of stepping back to some nomadic king’s tent when you stay in one of the more luxe tents available. It had all the traditional Jordanian trappings that you’d expect with ambient lighting that really set the mood and transported you to another time.
As with almost any desert, Wadi Rum and the Memories Aicha Luxury Camp is home to numerous desert based activities. Desert safaris are a popular option by day – going out to explore different inscriptions on rocks and seeing how the desert can really vary from place to place. It’s amazing how it can be different around every boulder or cliff face.
While your typical trips to the likes of Petra are available, other activities I went on included visiting Wadi Rum village and an excursion to visit the old home of Lawrence of Arabia – a small stone hut that remains preserved as a historical monument to one of the most influential British soldiers who served in the region. Not only this, but the camp itself puts on nightly entertainment as well as campfires and various other types of tours. The walking tour was also great and took us around some of the really unique formations near the camp. They also have archery, which I tried and can safely say I am not very good at, but it was fun nonetheless. Horse riding is also available but I chose the walking tour over horse riding during my stay.
If you’re into astronomy at all, you can use their telescope on site to explore various stars and planets that are in the sky. I really recommend this as the sky is so clear and dark at the camp that it’s the perfect place for stargazing.
So if you’re considering visiting this part of Jordan, I highly recommend the Memories Aicha Luxury camp. The tents were exquisite and beautifully decorated and with the service, food and entertainment options, it was one of my most favourite parts of Jordan.