They say it takes a village to raise a child. But we would like to propose something else – it takes a village to have the perfect Sahel holiday as we found out at one of the North Coast’s newer hubs of sun, sea and sand, IOS Village.

Located in the Sidi Abdel Rahman area between Diplo and Hacienda Bay, IOS Village is exactly that – a small, self-sufficient village-come-boutique-hotel that has put a different spin on ‘Sahel Season’. Without further ado, here are five reasons to make it your summer go-to.

It’s inspired by Greece, but in a very different way…


Over the last few years, Egyptian holidaymakers haven’t been able to get enough of spick-and-span Greek spots like Mykonos and Santorini. That love has seeped into Egypt, too, with many trying to copy-and-paste the formula. IOS Village takes a more authentic approach in its inspiration, though, and channels the dainty, modest side of Greece, while offering world-class service and facilities. In short, it’s much warmer, calmer and generally more inviting than the more overblown Greek inspirations you’ll find.

It houses some of the Egypt’s most popular restaurant chains…


Eating gandofli on the beach or munching down on post-swim feteer has become part and parcel of the quintessential Sahel experience. There’s a certain, maybe even nostalgic, charm about it, but with IOS, you have the culinary world at your fingers. From the warm, wholesome embrace of restaurants like Teta's Recipe Book and 3al 7atab, to more exotic eateries like The Greek and Diego's, there’s something to suit all tastes – and for guests, it’s all just a short walk away.

As well as some rather fancy shopping options, too…


Yes, ladies and gentleman, IOS Village even has something of a shopping district of its own, with some of the complex’s retail renters including the grocery wonderland that is Gourmet Egypt, and retail therapy inside four walls in the form of fashion and accessories haven, Bayt Ward.

“Sahel is So Za7ma.” Not at IOS…


Taking cues from a classic boutique hotel, IOS houses just 42 rooms, the cosiest of restaurants and a grand outdoor terrace overlooking the sprawling space. And like the best boutique hotels, this means that service is much more personalised and maintains a uniquely serene atmosphere that’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle and queues found along the North Coast – which you can avoid altogether, because...

It’s all been built as a labour of love...


Sahel is no longer a baron coast; it’s at its most built-up and developed with a host of stunning property developments. But there’s something a little cold and clinical about much of these super-developments – something that IOS Village doesn’t suffer from because it has been, and still is, a labour of love for founders, Shady and Pierre Marco. The Egyptian-Uruguayan (what a combo that is) brothers spend most of the year on the North Coast and, following their studies, finally made their dream to build their own little slice of paradise in Sahel a reality last year. They’re incredibly hands-on and it’s an approach that has built IOS Village into a tangible, living and breathing community. What this all makes for is a very intimate and relaxed experience, with the Marco brothers’ obvious passion trickling down through to the IOS Village staff.

For more information, check out IOS Village on Facebook, Instagram and on its official website.

By Kalam El Qahaira