Eat & Travel

Jean Nouvel’s vision of a luxury cave hotel in Saudi Arabia

This new Jean Nouvel hotel is designed to introduce the world to a new form of construction and architecture: a world-class first in hotel design – and a delicately considered nod to the past to boot! The concept hotel is designed to be literally part of nature, with the resort's rooms carved from the rock of the cliffs of Al-Ula in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The Sharaan Resort Jean Nouvel is situated at the Sharaan Nature Reserve, and designed by the award winning architect Jean Nouvel – with both names being commemorated in the hotel's name. The Sharaan Nature Reserve is some 1,100 miles from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital city. Nouvel was inspired by the Nabatean historical sites in Hegra, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site – Saudi Arabia's first due to the unique and well-preserved Nabatean sandstone residences which were carved from the ancient cliffs that mark the landscape.

Some of the Nabatean buildings are thought to be 2,000 years old – which is young compared to the millions of years old rock, but still a remarkable achievement, both in its own

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