A magnificent sunrise greets us, blushing with the color of mangoes. What bliss it is to breathe in the perfumed air of sea and garden on our first morning at the Four Seasons Resort! The terrace of Il Frantoio Restaurant is where breakfast is served on this glorious morning. Besides the edible feast that is arranged on their buffet, the menu offers an array of a la carte temptations. So shall I begin with baladi (local) bread, tahina (creamy sesame paste), felafel (fried chickpea patties coated with sesame seeds) and their savory beans, flavored with onions, herbs, and cumin. Yes, I will start here and while I drink my tea, I gaze at the terraced oasis that leads our eyes to the sea. An arrangement of white villas and chalets undulates amid palm trees, vivid bougainvillea, and desert succulents.
Although we could choose to take an excursion from the hotel pier in a glass-bottomed boat to view a shimmering gallery of colorful sea-life, we opt to take the funicular down to the swimming pool. A glistening turquoise pool winds around the property like a snake in the Garden of Eden, beckoning, tempting... We simply “lounge” in the heated whirlpool. Later, while we rest on the sun lounges, Sayeed brings us cold water and fresh fruit “lollipops.” I feel like I am still floating.
Our chosen activity for the day seems to be self-indulgence, rest and relaxation, and the Four Seasons Resort, like the genie from Aladdin's lamp, makes our every wish come true. We choose the stairs as our return path back up the hill as it allows us to view the various fan and feather palm trees up close and admire the architecture of a landscape that only Egypt can paint for us. At the spa, my husband rests in the RELAX room on a contoured leather lounge, sipping hot ginger tea. I head for the steam room, where a cloud of eucalyptus-infused vapors engulfs me and washes away any lingering stress that I may have imported with me. By the time I join my husband back in the relaxation room, I have been practically reduced to immobility. I need only read their brochure about their “ultimate pampering” to fall into a dream-filled trance. The “Egyptian Masterpiece” recreates beauty treatments from the ancient world beginning with a carob, cocoa and honey scrub, followed by a massage, an Argan oil hair wrap, ending the ritual in a perfumed bath. Honoring their desert locale and its traditions, their “Bedouin Ceremony” gifts its visitor with a recreation of the Bedouin hospitality for which the Sinai is known. A ritual foot washing in rose water and zatar is followed by a body scrub of black tea, thyme and sage. Rose oil is used for the massage and then one is bathed gently in rose water.
A stay here seems to offer so much more than a mere vacation, more than a place to stay while savoring the delights of the South Sinai. For me, it seems to invite one to journey into a world of inner peace and joy.
Four Seasons Resort
1 Four Seasons Boulevard ~ Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt
Four Seasons Resort ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson
All images and reviews copyright 2017 by Ginda Simpson