Feynan Ecolodge

Top choice lodge in Dana

Owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, this unique ecolodge – frequently rated one of the world's best – is accessible on foot from Dana (a day's hike) or by 4WD from the Dead Sea Hwy. Powered by solar energy (including the hot water), and with its mud-rendered architecture lit entirely by locally made candles, Feynan has a magical caravanserai ambience.

The lodge lives up to its mantra of 'helping nature, helping people' through its commitment to the environment and community-based projects. Local people are directly involved (as drivers, guides, bakers and candle makers), benefiting 80 local families; around half of all revenue from tourism is returned to the community. Waste is recycled and the use of traditional water filtration saves the equivalent of 15,000 plastic bottles a year.

Feynan Ecolodge runs a number of hiking, canyoning and special-interest tours that allow guests to experience the best of the lower reaches of the reserve, as well as providing unique opportunities to engage with the semi-nomadic Bedouin people. There can't be too many hotels where you can learn bread making, coffee pounding and kohl crushing. Better yet, pack a knapsack of supplies and some cool water, and spend the day with a shepherd or hike to the ancient copper mines and then enjoy guided stargazing on the roof. All activities are included in the accommodation package, so you're free to explore the area as much as you like.