The meticulously restored mud brick eco-community is a timeless celebration of AlUla’s heritage in the heart of its historic Old Town
LONDON, Jan. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Kerten Hospitality announced the opening of Dar Tantora The House Hotel in AlUla’s Old Town, a unique hotel that celebrates the cultural legacy of the region.
Opening on the 21st of January and located 35 km from AlUla International Airport, the property is an accessible gateway to the region’s historical and artistic wonders in the heart of AlUla’s Old Town.
Crafted from the same ancient materials and architectural techniques as the restored mud brick buildings of the area, Dar Tantora The House Hotel will provide an immersion into the fascinating heritage of AlUla.
Dar Tantora The House Hotel draws its name from the traditional sundial, “tantora”, which has historically served as a timekeeper for the local community. This name not only symbolizes the hotel’s deep connection to the region’s rich heritage, but also embodies a reverence for the timeless traditions and agricultural practices that have shaped the area. The Tantora, instrumental in guiding farmers through the seasons, is emblematic of the hotel’s commitment to blending the ancient wisdom of the land with the luxurious comforts of modern hospitality.
“Dar Tantora The House Hotel is more than just a place to stay; it’s an invitation to experience AlUla’s vibrant history and embrace its timeless culture and heritage,” states Marloes Knippenberg, CEO of Kerten Hospitality. “Our passionate team has dedicated themselves to creating an experience that captures the essence of this unique community. This project is a pivotal part of our global expansion, reflecting Kerten Hospitality’s commitment to bringing unique, culturally-rich experiences to diverse destinations around the world.”
Waleed Al Dayel, Chief Strategy and Digital Office at the Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “Sustainable regeneration is fundamental to our vision for AlUla Old Town, as we conserve and enhance its heritage for the benefit of the community and to provide an authentic experience for our visitors. Dar Tantora The House Hotel embodies this vision, now standing as a tribute to innovation in hospitality that is grounded in AlUla’s past.”
A community-centric vision
Dar Tantora The House Hotel aspires to be AlUla’s premier low-impact hotel, offering an immersive experience that forges deep connections between guests, locals, without disturbing the rich cultural tapestry and natural heritage of the area. This destination hotel is a testament to Kerten Hospitality’s vision, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, alongside a strong commitment to safeguarding the community’s architecture, agricultural practices, craftsmanship, traditions and culture.
Preserving and celebrating AlUla’s natural heritage
Dar Tantora The House Hotel has sustainability at its heart, following Kerten Hospitality’s ESG philosophy, UBBU which stands for ‘United. Building a Better Universe.’ UBBU’s underlying approach is Locality, reflected in a natural approach to the local environment, community involvement & activation.
Perfectly aligned with this approach, Dar Tantora The House Hotel is set to be a flagship property for Kerten’s sustainable hospitality strategy. The hotel’s earthen architecture, inspired by AlUla’s Old Town, preserves the ancient aesthetic and building techniques that are of deep historical significance to the families that originally built and lived in Old Town. Additionally, the property is advancing Kerten’s sustainability mission through energy saving, automated food waste and water management solutions.
Art and Culture: An evolving tapestry
Dar Tantora The House Hotel will develop an art project in partnership with The Royal Commission of AlUla aligned with Kerten Hospitality’s mission to engage local artists in every destination that the company operates in, and complementing AlUla’s distinct artistic heritage and the remarkable cultural infrastructure and activity already in place in the county. Traditional decorative elements, furniture and artworks aim to encapsulate AlUla’s rich cultural heritage, in addition to room amenities designed by Madrasat Addeera, AlUla’s pioneering school dedicated to fostering artisanal skills and craft programs of the region.
Bespoke cultural experiences
Guests of the 30-room hotel will be treated to daily cultural activities such as fresh bread making, Saudi coffee making sessions, and weekly and monthly local traditions like ancient games and artisanal craft making. Each session and activity will be led by local artisans, craftsmen. Additionally, our hotel teams can create bespoke tours and curated experiences led by local guides called ‘Rawis’.
The timeless experiences are crafted to encourage discovery, learning, and sharing, allowing guests to connect with the past while creating memories in the present.
Dar Tantora also features a unique infinity pool with exclusive oasis views, wellness treatments at the spa that make use of ingredients grown in AlUla, and locally inspired culinary experiences crafted by Michelin-starred Chef Jaume Puigdengolas.
Kerten Hospitality: Expanding Horizons
Kerten Hospitality has been making strides in growing its unique brand of hospitality, which seamlessly blends luxury with cultural and environmental consciousness. The group’s expansion into key markets like Saudi Arabia, France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates, signifies a commitment to bringing its philosophy to diverse landscapes while adapting and respecting local traditions and needs. Globally, Kerten’s growth strategy reflects its dedication to creating spaces that offer more than a place to stay – they offer a place to live
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About Kerten Hospitality:
Kerten Hospitality is an end-to-end lifestyle hospitality operator creating bespoke destinations, experiences, and communities. The Group manages and operates hospitality projects that transform destinations through impactful collaborations with own and/or other Food & Beverage, Retail, Entertainment, Art, and Wellness brands focusing on curating Ecosystems and unique community-centric environments.
The Group has 12 lifestyle brands and 11 operational projects, part of a global footprint of 50 projects across three continents and in key destinations: Italy, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait, Egypt, Georgia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
About The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU):
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) was established by royal decree in July 2017 to preserve and develop AlUla, a region of outstanding natural and cultural significance in north-west Saudi Arabia. RCU’s long-term plan outlines a responsible, sustainable, and sensitive approach to urban and economic development that preserves the area’s natural and historic heritage while establishing AlUla as a desirable location to live, work, and visit. This encompasses a broad range of initiatives across archaeology, tourism, culture, education, and the arts, reflecting a commitment to meeting the economic diversification, local community empowerment, and heritage preservation priorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme.
Irene Ruiz Garrido,