Travel Anecdotes – Wadi Rum, UFO Luxotel

My visits to the desert are few and far between, but every time it happens, it confirms my affinity for this specific terrain. It brings a unique silence, a potent moment for meditation, and an aesthetic magnetism that transcends the beauty of the sea or the mountains. Maybe it’s the way the sky converges with the endless terracotta sand, a metaphorical spirituality that life on earth had another dimension into the heavens. I am in constant awe, unnerved and empowered by the quiet, and ready to embrace a wisdom within. When we spent two nights in Wadi Rum, in these exciting igloo camps, I don’t think I had ever slept more soundly without interruption, felt more rested from within and for a moment in time, stayed in the present without further questions.   

We booked the Wadi Rum UFO Luxotel because we knew we needed something a little les bobo, and the well equipped igloo cells looked like it would fit the bill. We arrived a little late, so perhaps that’s the first piece of advice – it’s a four hour drive from Amman down south to Wadi Rum, so do try to arrive before dusk if possible. As we moved into the inner roads off the highway, the darkness and scant street light lamps resulted in almost 40 minutes of wrong turns and miscommunication with locals.

When we finally found ourselves drawing up close to the premise, in the middle of a cold January late night, deep into the roadless desert, with only the stars as our cover and beautifully lit white igloo camps peppered throughout , it felt nothing short of magical. The main tent, where the check-in lobby and restaurant for our meals were set up is where we start with. We were given the keys to our room, and given a list of rules in an A4 paper to document what time was breakfast and dinner, what type of excursions they have (usually a few hours of desert safari and a stargazing experience depending on the visibility) and settled for dinner before being taken to our room in a little golf cart.

The rooms are perfectly comfortable – pretty much a dome shaped tent, with half of it made of see-through but sturdy plastic material that could be covered with a thick curtain, and a see through patch on the roof for stargazing. It had a shower, sink and lavatory, and wardrobe space at one corner and the bed and lounge chairs on another corner, facing outside. There was also a hammock and patio chairs on the wooden elevation that the tent sat on. We spent the next day on a couple of hours jeep safari ride with out driver who took us through the main sites in the desert, including where Lawrence of Arabia apparently lived in a cave, rock formations that looked like a ship, or mushrooms, and some shopping at the bedouin village. The weather was not good enough to enjoy stargazing that evening. For the remaining time of our trip, we spent it on just walking in the desert and basking in the peace of our surroundings. It was short and memorable, and we left with the intention of returning perhaps in another season.

4 thoughts on “Travel Anecdotes – Wadi Rum, UFO Luxotel

  1. I love the description you have of the desert: “It brings a unique silence, a potent moment for meditation, and an aesthetic magnetism that transcends the beauty of the sea or the mountains.” I wish I could slip off to the desert now, the transition into spring always leaves me a bit out-of-sorts and from the peaceful scenes you both describe and show, this would be a perfect respite. Wishing you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts.. and indeed I strongly recommend the desert for your next adventure even if it won’t be soon…the peace and somehow inexplicable ‘safety’ just unlocks the deepest relaxation and worth planning ahead for… meanwhile wishing you a hopeful Spring of new inspiration ☺️☺️am sure there are beautiful places to rusticate in close to where you are now..


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