Six Senses has announced that it will make a debut in Saudi Arabia with the opening of Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea in 2023.
Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea will “take guests on a journey into seldom-experienced nature, wildlife and culture”.
The resort’s concept
Untouched and enticing, this part of the world remains relatively unknown. In ancient times, however, it was a busy trading route, used by the Nabataeans to transport luxury goods like silk, incense and textiles. Along the way, they would set up camp and gather around the fire under a starlit night. In 106 CE, the Nabatean Empire was annexed by the Romans, and Red Sea routes overtook land trading routes. Nabatean cities were no longer centres of trade, and so began their decline.
The luxury hospitality chain says that it is now “now recreating these elements to write the next chapter in the region’s story, combining an architectural approach that pays homage to the Nabataean heritage and majestic desert surroundings along with the brand’s trademark wellness formula and respect for centuries past”. The brand has collaborated collaboration with the British architectural firm, Foster + Partners, renowned for its eco credentials and responsible design development for the resort.
The transfer route from the new Red Sea International Airport will take guests southeast along the coastal highway before turning east inland through serene desert mountains and narrow wadis and on to the resort.
The heart of Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea will be the Oasis. Inspired by a desert flower, the canopy is a self-shading structure, blurring the lines between the natural finishes inside and the native plants and water features outside. The base structure is a modular, precast system that ensures the building only touches the ground lightly to leave most of the site undisturbed, with minimal paving to ensure the surrounding pathways remain natural and authentic.
The plan for the Oasis is to gather vibrant activities and functions under one roof, including the reception, lobby lounge, boutique, meeting spaces and prayer rooms, plus a community lounge and Earth Lab. The Artisan Village will host 4 pods to tell the story of the region’s history and cultural heritage through arts and crafts, dance and music. The all-day dining restaurant is complemented by a chef’s table and cooking school, along with a juice bar, brew bar, and water bar.
Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea will feature 76 guest rooms and villas. Surrounding the Oasis is a collection of guest rooms featuring an open-plan bedroom and living area, and an outdoor terrace allowing guests to enjoy the serenity of the pristine landscape and become one with nature.
Clusters of villas occupy strategic peaks to offer prime aspects over the landscape. Ranging from one to four bedrooms, the villas are inspired by the sandy dunes, with their double-layered undulating roofs creating their own unique scenery. Inside, the interiors also reflect the tones and textures of the desert, with soft furnishings drawing from the rich colors and patterns of traditional tribal dress.
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Six Senses Spa
A vision of its own, the spa will feature self-shaded water surfaces and deep cold pools creating a contrast to the hot climate. Highlights include a Holistic Anti-Aging Center, male and female grooming centers and indoor zones with wet facilities, sensory suite, outdoor treatment cabanas with a relaxation area, and a pool bar.
Neil Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer, Six Senses, said:
The mission of early travelers was to trade, document, observe and see things in a new way. Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea is an invitation to explore a region that is undiscovered and untrodden. Our job here is to tread very lightly. This has been a unique opportunity to see how we can bring to life wellness and sustainability – two great values of SixSenses – in an exciting new destination that is opening to a wider global audience. It is going to receive a huge amount of interest so we’re making sure we’re working with very talented people, who are in tune with creating beautiful structures that are healthy and sustainable, to deliver this vision to our guests.
Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea is one of two inland locations that together with coastal and marine initiatives form The Red Sea Project that spans 10,800 square miles (28,000 square kilometers) on Saudi Arabia’s west coast. Six Senses states that the resort is “set to pursue high environmental standards to demonstrate to the world that development can serve to preserve and enhance the region’s biodiversity and beauty”.
John Pagano, Chief Executive Officer, The Red Sea Development Company, said:
With its world-leading approach to sustainability and wellness, and of course, famed for providing ultimate luxury, Six Senses mirrors our development’s ethos. The Red Sea Project is set to deliver a new type of barefoot luxury experience, underpinned by a commitment to regenerative tourism development. We are proud to be partnering with a brand that is renowned for its high level of hospitality and uncompromising commitment to protecting the environment. We look forward to leading the way together in setting new standards for the industry.
Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea is set to open during the first phase of development of The Red Sea Project, which is underway and on track to be completed by the end of 2023.
Meanwhile, Six Senses recently opened its first resort in India in the state of Rajasthan, Six Senses Fort Barwara.
Featured image by Six Senses
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