Habitas, a fast-growing, global eco-hospitality group, announced its newest travel experience in its latest “home” — the AlUla region in northwestern Saudi Arabia. AlUla is an ancient city of unprecedented historical and cultural significance, with 200,000 years of human legacy. As of October 2020, AlUla and the lost city of Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are open to international travelers for the first time ever. Previously, less than 5,000 Saudis visited Hegra each year, and foreign tourists needed to obtain special permission from the government to visit, which fewer than 1,000 did annually.
In March 2022, Habitas introduced Caravan by Habitas, the firm’s first immersive glamping experience for travelers seeking adventure, surprise and making human connections. Known for its experience-led hospitality and environmentally conscious designs, Caravan AlUla will use airstreams to further demonstrate Habitas’ sustainable philosophy and access to unique locations.
The 22 Caravans are chic Airstreams, offering a variety of scenic views, each equipped with a private outdoor deck, air conditioning, WiFi, a queen-sized bed (or two single beds), an indoor lounge, a kitchenette with snacks and private shower and bathroom. The Caravan rooms also feature a variety of hidden details such as disco lights and a sound system, curated books, Theragun Massagers and scalp massagers.
Caravan AlUla’s gathering spaces are influenced by the Bedouins who traveled the region’s incense routes. At the center of the U-shaped formation of the Airstreams is the Gathering Tent, a communal place for guests to come together, explore, play and connect. Inspired by living spaces in traditional Saudi homes, whose interiors are ornamented with colorful antiques and Saudi heritage crafts, Caravan AIUla incorporates such designs and layouts.
At night, a large fire pit with circular seating invites guests to sit under the star-flooded sky. True to Habitas’ six programming pillars — music, wellness, adventure, culture, learning and culinary — the experience will feature cultural discourse, performances, interactive art installations and an immersive adventure programming, which includes Canyon Crossing, Desert Trekking, Arabian Horse Treks, Stargazing and Desert Survival Skills.
Guests can move around the resort by off-road electric bikes and discover the pleasures at Thuraya Wellness, located at the main Habitas AlUla property, a three- to five-minute drive from the caravans. The site includes an alchemy bar, spa treatment rooms, a fitness center, an outdoor wellness agora and yoga, as well as activities like the Bedouin Sound Sensorama, the Desert Clay Circle ceremony and candlelit stargazing yoga.
The best food tours go beyond reliving a newly arrived traveler of having to figure out which restaurant or bar to hit first. They also provide context in explaining how a destination’s crops and cuisine tie in with a place’s historical events and different populations. During a vacation in Iceland, 20-year veteran tour guide and proud Madeira native Jaqueline Freitas was reminded of this when she put herself in the hands of a savvy Reykjavik guide leading a street food tour.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED
Wilderness Reserve, an 8,000-acre estate of historic and charming properties, woodlands and lakes, invites visitors to its newly launched YOXMAN, a three-day, Michelin-starred dining experience. Four United Kingdom chefs come together to prepare an array of different cuisines throughout the weekend, and guests are treated to plenty of entertainment throughout the experience.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts adds to its growing collection with Rosewood Hotel Bauer, slated to open in Venice in 2025. Led by Venice-based architect Alberto Torsello and interior design group BAR Studio, the property will lie in the city’s historic San Marco district.
PONANT recently announced a new collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys for a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Led by two Smithsonian Journeys experts, such as an art historian, solar astrophysicist or international relations expert, the 21 itineraries seek to deepen travelers’ immersion and knowledge of different destinations.
Savoy Signature Hotel Group continues to generate a buzz in international hospitality about the way its diverse portfolio shapes Madeira’s future as a destination; the brand keeps existing fans (particularly the traditional group of older British and German visitors) interested while drawing younger, more active travelers beyond the confines of Europe. The Savoy Palace, opened in 2019, took on the “legacy” mantle of a predecessor (the former Savoy Hotel) that stood on the same site, and then reopened with a lot of enthusiasm after the height of the pandemic passed.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
Acqualina Resort & Residences, located in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach, invites guests to enjoy its new elevated pool experience at the adult pool on the property’s north side. Surrounded by palm trees and greenery, the space welcomes guests 18 years and older to indulge in its newest amenities and features.