GEM - Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan

Unique - I learned of this property and fell in love with the concept, so with much anticipation I went there with a friend during an off-season time, June, which in Jordan is during a pretty hot time. I was informed that as an eco-lodge there was no electricity, which means no air-conditioning, but was excited nonetheless. Our driver/guide took us to the meeting point about 1 miles away from the lodge where we changed to an off-road vehicle and began the somewhat bumpy, but experiential ride to the property. Passing villages and local houses, we descended into the mountains of the Dana Biosphere Reserve in the Wadi Rum Desert. We checked in and were told there were fans in the rooms, but only the main lobby had outlets to charge devices. There were only a few staff, but all very personable, so we checked into our room and then elected for the sunset hike with the other guests; another couple and a solo female traveler, accompanied by our guide, Suleiman, a local who worked at the property with his brother. We began the easy hike up with Suleiman showing where his family lives and even where he was born. About half-way up, we stopped so Suleiman could begin to prepare a fire for some tea and biscuits, while the rest of us continued on. When we reached the top of the hill, I looked around to see 360 degree views which such variation of light as the sun began to set. I climbed onto a rock formation and stared out onto the rolling hills becoming mesmerized at the light, shadows and possibilities. It was truly one of my favorite moments of being in such a special place; so unique with only a few people in the middle of what seemed to be nowhere, but everywhere.  After enjoying some tea, we walked back, but heard the 'call-to-prayer' so Suleiman left to go pray, while we walked back to the property. It was getting dark, but as we entered the property, all of the pathways inside where lined with candles, creating such a comforting welcome.  We changed for dinner and came back to the patio to join our fellow guests to enjoy a vegetarian dinner (with little refrigeration on property, meat is not served). The one couple had brought a bottle of wine, which they shared.  NOTE: the property does not have alcohol, so it's advised to bring your own. After dinner, we went to the courtyard for a presentation about the area and then went to the rooftop for some star-gazing in the telescope. With little light pollution and clear skies, it was a magnificent sight including seeing the crevasses on the moon. We finally retired to our rooms, however I wanted to enjoy this property for all it had to offer, so I grabbed my pillow and blanket and went back up to the roof to make a bed on the over-sized cushions. I fell asleep in pure bliss, had an amazing sleep and awoke to the sun shining down on me. (Little did I know my friend came up and snapped a picture of me sleeping that morning.) We had a lovely breakfast on the patio with a local goat farmer traversing the property which made for some fun conversations. We had to depart for the north, but had we been able to stay another night, I would have loved to spend more time in the villages, talking with the families and learning about local life. I'm excited to visit this unique property again very soon!

Copyright Global Citizen Journeys