If you like the idea of camping but you enjoy life’s luxuries too much to rough it, Regency Camp at Sealine fits the bill. We’ve been ‘proper camping’ at the Inland Sea a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it but this time we wanted more home comforts!
I did my research on a variety of companies offering desert experiences and eventually opted for Regency, mainly because they were very efficient when answering my emails and they were reasonably priced. We told them we would be arriving about lunchtime so we were given a number to call when we reached Mesaieed so they could pick us up. Sure enough, as we arrived at the shops by Sealine, there was a 4WD waiting for us to take us to the camp. John, our driver, asked if we’d like a ride over the dunes but we opted for a smooth journey. The drive through the desert took about 15 minutes and we were welcomed into the reception tent and given fresh juice and cool towels.
Once check in was completed we were given a quick tour of the facilities before being shown to our tent. I’d seen photographs online but I was taken back by how homely it was inside, with traditional arabic decor and twenty-first century technology. As you can see it was really spacious with a double bed and two large singles, chest of drawers, wardrobe, bedside tables, fridge, fan, large TV and powerful a/c units.
We decided to leave the unpacking and go straight to the beach which was just a few meters away. Luckily it was very quiet and we had the pick of the cabanas and loungers. The beach was clean and the sea really clear and shallow; suitable for children.
We spent the next few hours swimming and reading until the sun started to go down. It was very peaceful and relaxing. We then returned to our tent and got ready for dinner. The shower had plenty of hot water and was powerful, the complimentary Elemis toiletries were a nice touch.
We had been told dinner was served at 7.30pm but when we arrived it wasn’t ready so we went to the beach and, as it was such a clear night, we star gazed for a while.
Dinner, served in the restaurant tent, was a basic affair. It was buffet style with a range of Arabic Mezze such as hummus, baba ganoush, fattoush, salad and breads. The main course consisted of mixed grill, meat with rice, a couple of pasta dishes and steamed veg. Dessert was limited to a couple of different cakes and fresh fruit. The food was fresh and well cooked and even though it was nothing outstanding it was perfectly fine. Throughout the meal we were brought water and soda and the service was good with food replenished often. We did feel that the restaurant lacked atmosphere, especially as only 4 tables were occupied, it would have been nice to have some Arabic music playing.
After dinner we were going to go and sit around the camp fire but it became clear that the camp was being set up for a big event. Vans loaded with chairs and tables started to arrive and were then unloaded right by us. We decided instead to go to a cabana, but service was lacking. We had to find someone to order shisha from and couldn’t find anyone to take a drink order. It was also quite noisy with the vehicles and workmen.
We decided to return to our room but the noise continued – the tents aren’t very sound proof – as furniture was trundled past our door. Luckily, this didn’t last too long and we slept soundly to be woken up extremely early by workmen. We went for breakfast, again buffet style and again simple but adequate. A selection of pastries, yoghurt, breads, eggs and hot dog sausages, beans and hash browns. As we were up so early we had time for another dip in the sea before packing but unfortunately this was disturbed by workmen shouting and vehicles moving. We decided to check out about 9.30am and we were transported back to our car at Sealine. We did receive an apology about the noise and disruption – 500 people from QF were arriving for an event starting at 10am so we had been a bit unlucky with our timing! Would we go again? I’m not 100% sure. The tents are lovely and it’s so tranquil but I think it may be something to do just once. Maybe I would go back if family and friends were visiting as you can also go dune bashing and camel riding from here. I don’t feel we got the full service due to them setting up for the big event and I think if we’d been told about this we’d have booked a different night. It was certainly an experience and it’s something a bit different to staying in a regular hotel. There’s a variety of price packages available, we paid 850QR for the tent (which sleeps 4 comfortably) and this price included dinner, breakfast and soft drinks. Please keep in mind the resort is dry and QID or a marriage certificate is required.