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GCC-based luxury eco-lodge management company Envi Lodges, which specialises in low-impact alternative accommodation immersed in nature, has revealed a first glance of its debut property, Envi Al Nakheel, a luxury sustainable lodge in Saudi Arabia’s Unesco World Heritage listed Al Ahsa Oasis.
Scheduled to open next year, the brand’s launch project is being responsibly constructed in a traditional date-palm farm and will offer 25 eco-lodging pods with one and two bedrooms, as well as an arrival pavilion, a farm-to-table dining concept, café, wellness sanctuary (spa), kids’ club, swimming pool and immersive experiences unique to the location.
The preview images of the lodge reveal a striking and sustainable design ethos, with Thai-based Fractal Architects designing the pods and guest facilities to blend with the colours and textures of the farm and surrounding landscape, and award-winning interior design firm, Kristina Zanic Consultants, conceiving interiors inspired by the natural location and architectural heritage of the Al Ahsa region.
Fractal has taken a ‘plant-based architecture’ approach, inspired by the patterns of the date palm’s trunk, fronds and leaves, as well as its structure, with buildings, just like the trees, reaching upwards and outwards in an embracing manner.
In a nod to the region’s traditional mudbrick architecture, mud and straw will be combined to provide a textured finish with earthy tones.A harmonious and nature-driven interior direction aims to create a strong sense of place, reflecting the location in all aspects of the design, and creating an authentic and unique identity for the property. The design narrative captures the spirit of sitting ‘under the palms’ – a local expression conveying the custom of socially gathering in the cool shade of trees.
With every eco-lodge operated by Envi set to follow high standards of sustainability, the architecture and interiors will incorporate sustainable building practices and organic materials, integrating where
possible natural elements common to Al Ahsa, such as palm leaves and bark, straw, and locally derived paint and texture finishes.
“Our debut project, Envi Al Nakheel, is not only a design triumph, but demonstrates our steadfast commitment to sustainability, with each eco-lodge inspired by the location and built with local and sustainable materials that mitigate damage to the environment,” said Nöelle Homsy, Co-Founder, Envi Lodges.
“As we reveal a first look at our launch project in Saudi Arabia, a destination with a vision for responsible tourism, we seek to champion a new way of travelling, where the real luxury for guests is in knowing their stay has considered protection of wildlife, the mindful use of resources, and support for local communities.”
Envi Al Nakheel’s design reveal follows the announcement last month (May 2023) that Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Development Fund (TDF) has signed a financing agreement with Golden Frond Hotel Services Company, a subsidiary company of the Afyaa Group, to develop the property.
It is the first agreement between the TDF and private sector for a luxury eco-lodge in Saudi Arabia, with the project already granted its construction permit, demonstrating the commitment of all parties to advance sustainable tourism development in line with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy and the Kingdom's Vision 2030 plan.
Al Ahsa is one of the 10 destinations targeted for tourism development and the first site in the region to be registered on the Unesco World Heritage List because of its rich archaeological features, which show evidence of human settlement since the Neolithic era.
Envi Al Nakheel will be one of three locations in Al Ahsa operating in a circuit of eco-lodges, each with their own environment and concept, but within driving distance of one another.
Al Nakheel guest bedroom; farm-to-table dining concept; arrival pavilion; wellness sanctuary (spa)
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