Marloes Knippenberg, CEO, Kerten Hospitality

Kerten Hospitality announced the opening of Dar Tantora The House Hotel in AlUla’s Old Town, a unique hotel aimed at celebrating the cultural legacy of the region.

Opened on January 21 and located 35 km from AlUla International Airport, the property is an accessible gateway to the region’s historical and artistic wonders in 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 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 symbolises 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, the chief strategy and digital officer 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.”

The 30-room hotel will offer daily cultural activities such as 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, the hotel’s teams will offer tours and curated experiences led by local guides called ‘Rawis’. The experiences are crafted to encourage discovery, learning, and sharing, “allowing guests to connect with the past while creating memories in the present.” Dar Tantora features an infinity pool with oasis views, wellness treatments at the spa that make use of ingredients grown in AlUla, and locally inspired culinary experiences crafted by chef Jaume Puigdengolas.

Dar Tantora The House Hotel aspires to be AlUla’s low-impact hotel with sustainability as a big focus area, 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, and activation. Perfectly aligned with this approach, Dar Tantora The House Hotel is set to be a flagship property for Kerten’s sustainable hospitality strategy, according to the brand.

The hotel’s earthen architecture, inspired by AlUla’s Old Town, is aimed at preserving the ancient aesthetic and building techniques that are of 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.

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 cultural infrastructure and activity already in place in the county. Traditional decorative elements, furniture and artworks will aim to encapsulate AlUla’s 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. (Credit; HOTELIER)


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