Married co-founders Mirette Aly and Ahmed Hanafi have stealthily slipped into the lucrative Red Sea scene with the opening of Villa Coconut in El Gouna’s downtown area.
When the power couple behind The Lemon Tree brand opened up their first outlet in Cairo six years ago, few imagined their laid-back little Zamalek dining destination would herald the beginning of one of the country’s most successful and aspirational lifestyle brands, spanning food, fashion, wellness, nightlife and even one of Egypt’s most beautiful boutique hotels nestled stylishly on the shores of the North Coast. And now, married co-founders Mirette Aly and Ahmed Hanafi have stealthily slipped into the lucrative Red Sea scene with the opening of Villa Coconut in El Gouna’s downtown area.
“I have personally lived in El Gouna for a few years,” says Aly, the brand's culinary director. “And I have always been fond of the sense of serenity and community bound together.” That sense of community inspires the signature cosiness of this new food and lifestyle concept. An Aspirational mix of instagrammable serenity, by-the-fireplace comfort and haute-homeliness, Villa Coconut is achingly inviting. And, of course, the menu is devastatingly delicious, serving the type of seasonal simple ingredient-drive fare that Aly – a self-prescribed ‘situationally-taught’ chef - is now famed for. Can Limón, their home, decor and apparel brand also gets a look in with an artfully-curated space on site.
“As a company, we always seek venues that inspire us, rather than just going for locations and making our choices in a way that’s purely based on commercialism,” says Aly. “The space we chose for ‘Villa Coconut’ was one of the most iconic spaces in El Gouna, famous for its beautiful terrace overlooking the hill and lagoon, with a mesmerizing view of the skies.”
Aly and Hanafi are positioning this latest offering, as a place that feels so personal it’s a kind of “home away from home.” And we’re certainly ready to move right in!