Set at the foot of Mount Alvaah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the new Al Faya Lodge is a desert oasis that seamlessly blends into its surrounding crimson landscape like a chic sandcastle.
Al Faya Lodge is a new addition to the Sharjah Collection – a group of distinctive boutique hotels and eco-retreats purposefully located in key locations throughout the sun-soaked emirate of Sharjah, one of the seven cities that make up the UAE. Located on the grounds of what was once a clinic and a grocery store, the two single-storey, stone-built buildings from the 1960s have been re-imagined into a stylish boutique lodge, restaurant and saltwater spa.
Designed by architect Jonathan Ashmore and his Dubai and London-based practice Anarchitect, the lodge comprises of a dining, reception room, library and roof terrace. Within each room of the five-bedroom lodge is a feature skylight for star-gazing and private roof terrace.
The purpose-built spa building houses an open-air saltwater pool and three salt spa experiences; heat, water and salt inhalation. The restaurant and visitors’ reception are located on the other side of the property and comprise a dining room, outdoor terrace, fire-pit and a public roof terrace.
According to designers, it was necessary to source local stone and concrete for construction of the lodge, robust materials that can cope with extreme temperature fluctuations in the desert. “Desert conditions present extreme heat in summer with intense and prolonged sun exposure so it is important to consider these factors when planning the design, said architect Jonathan Ashmore. “Desert sites are exposed to all the elements and not just sunlight. The elements also include driving rain, sand storms and low-temperatures at night.”
The result is a one-of-a-kind building, designed to provide a short-term relief from the intensity of Sharjah. It’s also a great base to explore the city which in 1998 was declared the Unesco Cultural Capital of the Arab World. Although quieter than Dubai it has been steadily stealing visitors away from its flashier neighbour with a growing collection of attractions such as the international art exposition, Sharjah Biennial.
For more information on Al Faya Lodge or to book a stay, see here.