Mada’in Saleh, a new tourist destination, mysterious, with unexpected beauty, which has remained off the beaten track for a long time. Nabataean city, certainly less famous and known than Petra, but which has nothing to envy them. It is located in Saudi Arabia, in the Al-Ula region, a Unesco World Heritage Site. A paradise for nature lovers, of great charm, considered an “open-air museum”, a crossroads of numerous civilizations, which have left traces of their passage. Like the imposing tombs dug into the rock, the rock engravings and drawings that bear witness to an ancient history of thousands of years. And it is right here, among the green of lush oases, the red of the stones and the ocher of the wadis and canyons, that the Banyan Tree hotel group has decided to build the first property in the kingdom, in synergy with the vision of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, for an eco-sustainable destination, waiting to be discovered.
Recently inaugurated, this luxurious resort, a sanctuary of the senses, suspended in time and space, is inspired by the nomadic nature of the architecture of the Nabataeans, an ancient Bedouin people, who brought with them the charm of their way of living, a sort of symbiosis between architecture and nature. The hotel consists exclusively of luxurious tented villas, with one, two or three bedrooms, large outdoor spaces and private swimming pools, with breathtaking views of the rock formations of the Ashar Valley. Its fundamental principles, for an immersive hospitality experience, revolve around three concepts. In-villa, offers experiences tailor made. In-valley accompanies guests to discover the surrounding nature, through exclusive outdoor treatments, nomadic meals, in unexpected places and many open-air activities. Finally, En-voyage invites you to immerse yourself in unique experiences that reveal new facets of AlUla’s legacy. Two restaurants: Saffron and Harrat.
The former, more elegant, for a culinary journey through authentic Thai flavours. The second, however, in local style, from the furnishings, to the carpets, to the majolica, where you can taste local specialties. In Banyan Tre Spa, natural and indigenous ingredients are at the heart of each treatment, with a holistic approach, combining Asian rituals and Arab traditions. There is also a fully equipped gym, flooded with natural light and an infinity pool, set into the rock. Among the excursions not to be missed: Maraya, Dadan, Jabal Ikmah and Hegra. Among the recommended activities, however, the “Path of the Oasis”, a walk under the date palms, to see postcard corners that dot the route.
The “Path of Oranges”, which goes from Dadan to the Orange Path, the citrus market. Here you can buy locally produced products, from soaps and oils, to citrus fruits, refreshing juices and delicious cakes. There are also local handicrafts, including pottery, palm weaving and jewellery. An electric bike can be rented to explore the area. Another activity not to be missed is stargazing, under one of the darkest and therefore most envied skies in the world.