Six Senses presents ‘living museum’ as new Saudi site

Pictured: Six Senses Alula’s signing ceremony between Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses, and Fabien Toscano, CEO of Alula Development Company.
IHG Hotels & Resorts’ ultra luxury brand Six Senses has signed a hotel management agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned Alula Development Company for a new site in Alula.

Set to open in 2027, Six Senses Alula will be located in a prime position within a natural oasis featuring palm groves and framed by red-sandstone cliffs.

Showcasing surroundings

With Six Senses terming the UNESCO World Heritage site ‘a living museum’, the brand intends to enhance the destination by preserving the cultural and architectural treasures on show within its 1,200,000 sq m landscape.

The hotel’s 100 guest villas and 25 residences will be built using architectural methods that blend into their surroundings.

Wellness in the desert

Handcrafted experiences will include sunrise yoga and meditation classes, moon bathing, evening singing bowl ceremonies, and moon and starlit dining.

Six Senses Spa will be a place of serenity, with locally-inspired treatments taking guests on an Arabian wellness adventure.

Dining back in time

Enhancing the resort’s in-house culinary experiences, destination dining possibilities will be on offer among natural geological rock formations and caves. The walls of the restaurants transplant guests back in time, as they’re surrounded by rock drawings dating back thousands of years.

Through the brand’s ‘Eat With Six Senses’ food and drink philosophy, the hotel will utilise the region’s cuisine and seasonal produce, from chef’s tables to pop-ups, and one-off special moments to cultural cooking classes.

Sensational opportunity

Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs, said: “Bringing to life the drama and beauty of a site with unprecedented historical and cultural significance is a sensational opportunity. It inspires uncompromising sustainability, well-being, and hospitality that ignites the senses in a way that is profoundly emotional. It is exciting to be a new chapter to Alula’s legacy.

”We look forward to building a lasting relationship with Alula Development Company and actively supporting the burgeoning tourism sector in Saudi Arabia.”

One-of-a-kind hotel

Naif AlHamdan, MD of Alula Development Company, commented that the agreement represents the company’s commitment to increase luxury hospitality offerings in one of the most ancient archaeological sites, adding: “We are working to enrich the hospitality offerings and experiences in Alula so that we can enable visitors to explore its rich history amidst its natural picturesque setting.”

Fabien Toscano, CEO of Alula Development Company, detailed: “We are excited to join hands with Six Senses to open a one-of-a-kind luxury hotel in Alula. The venture aligns with our commitment to elevating the hospitality offering in Alula and marks another significant stride in our pursuit of sustainable development, contributing to the economic diversification and transformation of Saudi Arabia in line with Vision 2030.”

More in the Middle East

Six Senses is seeking to expand its Middle Eastern footprint, with more Saudi additions scheduled. Six Senses Southern Dunes is the first expected opening, due to deliver 76 keys to Al Wajh in December, while Six Senses Amaala will arrive as part of the mammoth Amaala project’s Triple Bay development with 64 rooms, six suites, 30 villas and 25 branded residences.

Over the UAE border, Six Senses The Palm Dubai will comprise a 60-key Six Senses hotel, a 60,000 sq ft Six Senses Place and 162 ultra-luxury branded residences when it completes in Q4 2024.