AL Faya Lodge & Spa — Sharjah, UAE
Having spent the past three decades wooing big five-star luxury brands to their cities, Emiratis are discovering the joys of ecotourism in their own backyard, the desert. The newest opening is the five-room Al Faya Lodge & Spa, at the foot of Mount Alvaah, in the crimson sands of Sharjah. It’s the latest addition to the Sharjah Collection, a group of boutique hotels and eco-retreats located across the Emirate.
Eschewing the new-build model that prevails in the region, the eco lodge has been repurposed from two 1960s buildings (formerly a grocery store and café) by London and Dubai-based practice Anarchitect, who are also behind the interiors. ‘There are many organic farms and historical tombs in the region,’ explains Anarchitect’s British founder, Jonathan Ashmore. ‘Sharjah, and its art biennale, are attracting a new type of visitor who appreciates nature and heritage.’
Offering fine dining, a roof terrace for star gazing, an open-air saltwater pool and a variety of spa treatments, the lodge must be booked in its entirety. And given its remote location, that spells one very private party.§