JEDDAH: Al-Koot Heritage Hotel takes visitors on a walk through the history of the Eastern Province, where houses are made of mud walls and wooden ceilings, with handmade sadu pattern woven rugs strewn about the floors.
With a picturesque landscape, Al-Koot’s interior is decked in a heavy traditional feel that is nothing short of elegant sophistication. From its use of materials mimicking the region’s old houses with antique furniture and wall decorations, the boutique hotel captures the secluded mystique of the Eastern Province.
Known for its ancient history, heritage and arts, the area houses Al-Ahsa Oasis, with 2.5 million palm trees that date back to the fifth century — considered to be the largest palm oasis in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Al-Ahsa was chosen as the Middle East Capital of Tourism this year by the Arab Tourism Organization.
Omar Abdul Aziz Al-Asfour, general manager of the hotel, told Arab News that he seeks to promote Al-Ahsa and its heritage.
“It (the hotel) is an architectural masterpiece within walking distance of Ibrahim Historical Palace, which dates back to 1571, and adjacent to Al-Fateh Heritage Mosque. It is 500 meters from Al-Qasariyah Market, where one can find traditional handicrafts and products. Another famous market is Al-Fawaris,” he said.
Owned by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Abdulqadir, it is the first heritage hotel in the Middle East. The hotel’s significant location and design have won the approval by many guests, and it was opened by Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif in the presence of Prince Sultan bin Salman, the then president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH). A number of ambassadors, businessmen and women also attended the ceremony.
The hotel’s design gives a homey feel to it for visitors and guests. Surrounded by the oasis, visitors are able to disconnect and unwind while enjoying local markets nearby and tourist attractions. It has seven wood-ceilinged rooms, corridors with balconies and a lobby with a glass ceiling to allow in light.