The couple also runs an NGO, Hemaya, which collects and sorts waste from the surrounding 30 miles. At Basata, all organic waste goes to feeding stations for animals, while non-organic waste is dropped off at Hemaya and sorted. The materials are then shredded, compacted and packed to be sent out for proper recycling in Cairo. 

After nearly 40 years of service to the local community, to travellers and as stewards of the natural environment in South Sinai, Basata shows what a regenerative hotel actually looks like. So, what’s next? “[We want to] spread education, spread the ideas,” El-Ghamrawy replies. “To continue with awareness and be a role model because people like to see it is possible.” It’s a goal that’s also aligned with Regenerative Travel’s desire to create a community where independent hotels can learn from one another. 

It’s clear that Basata is not just an oasis to relax and unplug, it’s a place to see first-hand that everyone can do something different and be impactful in their own way. “After all these years, I can see how people change and start a new life when they return home,” the owner continues. “They come to Basata and then go back to their own lives with newfound hope and inspiration to live a more ‘basata’ lifestyle themselves.” As with the most memorable vacations, one returns home from a trip renewed with a fresh perspective. 

Being a regenerative traveller helps us embrace regenerative living – interacting with the world daily through this lens and belief system. Ho reminds us: “Regeneration starts within yourself, within your mind. You have to have the intention to be a regenerative traveller and make thoughtful and intentional choices everyday.”

Dinner is served at Basata, where dishes are made from fresh produce grown at the hotel’s own greenhouse.