Riyals at the ready, these canyons, camps and caravans are the best options for a stay in AlUla.
Imagine this: getting out of bed, pulling open the curtains and waking up next to Saudi Arabia’s marvellous mountains. Well, at AlUla you can do just that. Whether you want camps or caravans, five-star or fine dining, there is a hotel to meet your needs.
AlUla is home to thousands of years’ worth of history, which visitors can experience with an air of exclusivity. The UNESCO World Heritage sites, ruins and rock art are just some of the gems. As you come face-to-face with blockbuster sights, you’ll feel like the star of your own adventure film.
Hotels in AlUla also boast amazing activities such as canyon trekking, folk stories under the stars, and breathing workshops with world-class practitioners. Plus, the facilities range from pools between soaring cliffs to rooms with pit fires.
Be warned: most of the hotels in AlUla are on the pricier side. If budget is an issue, cheaper options include campsites in Qaa AlHaj and off Khaybar Road, plus chalets, farms and villas through Gathern. So, riyals at the ready, here are the best hotels in AlUla.
Hotels currently open in AlUla
Banyan Tree AlUla
Tent and luxury aren’t two words you expect to go together. Banyan Tree AlUla, with its elegant tented villas, is one of the most luxurious hotels in AlUla. The rooms include one-, two- and three-bedroom villas, some of which come with pools and a fire pit. Drawing inspiration from the Ashar Valley, it feels like you’re at one with nature. The resort includes a spa, health centre and rock pool, which sits between two soaring cliffs. Plus, the dining options include the Thai restaurant, Saffron, and Arabic restaurant, Harrat.
GO: Visit www.banyantree.com for reservations and more information.
Canyon RV Park
Get your glamp on. Canyon RV Park is home to state-of-the-art RVs, which are situated by the AlUla valley. The units include a kitchenette, bathroom and patio, which is where breakfast is served. The site is also close to the dramatic Elephant Rock. So, get back to nature – gather around the pit fire and get lost in the starry nights.
GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for reservations and more information.
Caravan by Habitas
Forget what you think you know about caravan holidays. Caravan by Habitas has given the humble vehicle a luxury upgrade. We’re talking glamping, as it’s all Bedouin chic. The site includes 22 caravans, which include a kitchenette, lounge, shower and bathroom. Get into the festival-like vibes and grab a bite from the food trucks, which serve salads, sandwiches and shakes. Don’t worry, the caravans have WiFi.
GO: Visit www.ourhabitas.com for reservations and more information.
If you want to enjoy the splendour of AlUla without the price tag, then put Cloud7 on your radar. The affordable lodges offer long and short-term stays in minimalist bungalows. The studio-style rooms come with a kitchenette, fridge and microwave. Plus, there are farm-to-fork dishes and live music nights.
GO: Visit https://cloud7hotels.com for more information.
Dar Tantora by The Hotel House
There are many reasons to visit Saudi Arabia’s AlUla. Now, there is one more as the city’s Old Town has been transformed. Dar Tantora by The Hotel House has repurposed mud-brick buildings and is home to 30 rooms. Drawing inspiration from the area, it has used local artisans in the restoration. The venue also boasts traditional décor, a café, restaurant, pool and spa.
Thanks to its focus on the environment and wellness, Habitas AlUla is just what the doctor ordered: a serene stay. Even the gram cannot do the location justice, as it’s nestled between the ancient oasis and sandstone cliffs. The hotel includes 96 rooms, a yoga deck, pool and wellness as well as fitness centre. Activities include art and culture walks, canyon trekking, meditation and breathing classes with social media sensation, The Breath Guy. Plus, the restaurant Tama is great for Middle Eastern dishes – an authentic kabsa, anyone?
GO: Visit www.ourhabitas.com for more information.
Khaybar Volcano Camp
Counting sheep by a volcano site might not sound like the best night’s sleep, but don’t worry, it’s an ancient volcanic landscape. The first-of-its-kind hotel in AlUla is currently open until April 2, 2023. The 10 rooms come with an outdoor deck, which boasts 360-degree views. The experiences include stargazing, sound healing, sunrise as well as sunset meditation, and folktales and music performances. Plus, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh, and there are also ensuite bathrooms and WiFi.
GO: Visit https://tickets.experiencealula.com for more information.
Wake up to the soaring mountain views. Shaden Resort is home to 121 deluxe rooms and villas, all of which have a private terrace or balcony. If you want to truly relax, opt for one with a private pool. Restaurant options cover international dishes at Shaden, Saudi favourites at AlBadiah, and fine-dining Japanese food at Myazu. Plus, it’s located five kilometres from Elephant Rock and the Old City.
GO: Visit www.shadenresort.sa for more information.
Sahary AlUla Resort
If you need to save some riyals, check into Sahara AlUla Resort. The 80 rooms and suites are on the simpler side, but have an old-school Arabic-inspired charm. Each unit comes with its own bathroom and terrace. Plus, the site includes a pool, games room and Sahary restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
GO: Visit www.saharyalularesort.com for more information.
Hotels coming soon to AlUla
Not content with one hotel in AlUla. Aman is going for the hat-trick and building three new hotels in AlUla. The properties are scheduled to open in 2023 and will include a tented camp, a resort-inspired by local architecture and a ranch-style resort.
GO: Visit www.aman.com for more information.
Autograph Collection AlUla
Nestled in the vibrant centre of AlUla, next to the AlUla Museum, you’ll discover the remarkable Autograph Collection AlUla Hotel. This splendid destination offers a wide range of luxurious amenities, comprising 250 elegantly designed rooms and suites, four unique dining venues, a tranquil spa, a glistening swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness centre, a bustling business hub, and an array of charming boutiques. The property is expected to open in 2025.
GO: Visit https://autograph-hotels.marriott.com for more information.
Aman Resorts is behind Janu hotels. Janu means soul in Sanskrit and aims to be a resort that replenishes, well, the soul. The parent brand has 32 hotels in 20 countries, and nine are under construction. So far, we know that the Janu resort is set to open in 2023. Plus, that it will boast the hotel’s trademark features from large rooms to top-quality furnishings.
GO: Visit www.janu.com for more information.
Six Senses AlUla
Six Senses AlUla will boast 100 guest villas, each a sanctuary of comfort and sophistication. These villas will cocoon visitors in an unparalleled atmosphere of luxury, inviting them to unwind in style. Additionally, there will be 25 residences for those seeking a more permanent connection to this enchanting destination, making it possible for you to call this natural wonderland home. The property will be nestled in a natural oasis, with lush palm groves and dramatic red-sandstone cliffs. Six Senses AlUla is expected to open in 2027.
GO: Visit www.sixsenses.com for more information.
The Chedi Hegra
Hegra is the jewel in AlUla’s crown. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the highlight of most tourists’ trips, and it will soon be home to its own boutique hotel. The Chedi Hegra is scheduled to open by winter 2023, and is set in the heart of the ancient Nabataean site. The venue will be home to 35 rooms, a café, a spa and a swimming pool. The fine dining experiences take place in Hegra Fort; an old railway station with an exhibition, artefacts and a fully-restored train; and a sunken water basin with unobstructed views of Hegra. The Chedi prides itself on preserving historical sights, and the majority of the UNESCO Site will not be affected by construction. The hotel will be built into existing structures, which include an old railway station and Hegra Fort. Plus, the structure will be created with a combination of historical mudbrick construction and modern architecture.
GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.
Sharaan by Jean Nouvel
Celebrating AlUla’s breathtaking scenery, Sharaan by Jean Nouvel takes inspiration from the legendary Nabataeans and will open in 2023. The resort will be seamlessly integrated into the sandstone outcrop, showcasing 40 rooms, three villas, and 14 serene pavilions. Natural light and the use of sandstone walls create a harmonious connection between the resort and its surroundings, paying homage to AlUla’s rich history. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the mastermind behind Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sharaan by Jean Nouvel is an intriguing subterranean hotel carved into a sandstone cliff.