From the Andes in Chile to the Saiq Plateau in Oman, mountain refuges are in fashion. The Anantara Jabal Akhdar resort in the Sultanate of Oman is a luxury hotel at 2,000 meters of altitude with incredible views of the surrounding canyons. Purged on a 66,000 square-meter cliff-edge plot, the resort offers a one-of-a-kind experience in hospitality and Omani culture. Inspired by Birkat al Mawz and Jabreen Fort, the team at Atelier Pod that was selected as the design firm from ten international companies applied primitive vernacular typologies and heritage knowledge in a contemporary fashion to interpret forms, volumes, the play of light, and more. Atelier Pod was the main design company for the architecture, interior designs, curating the artwork, landscaping, and even lighting of the Anantara. In the latter areas, they worked together with the experts in the industries HED London and LDC Madrid respectively. The 24,000 square-meter built area of the hotel comprises 115 rooms and villas, six restaurants and lounges, a signature spa, and recreational facilities. The architecture incorporates the simple massing of the Bahla Fort and the elegance of the Jabreen castle designs. The overall Omani architecture brings out the fortification typology of Nizwa (a near-by city) and the commanding mountain citadels. It conjures up drama and beauty at the same time. The architects skillfully played with the light and shade and the texture of the natural materials. As in the exterior, the team paid very close attention to details in the interior space. At every corner and angle, guests feel the harmony of form, function, climate, and culture. Nothing is left to chance. 80 pieces of custom designed furniture blend perfectly with Omani architecture inspired re-interpreted contemporary doorframes, ceilings, gardens, and water channels. The center of the resort is dominated by a wooden geodesic dome that is more than ten meters in diameter, a fountain, and a courtyard in the center of the resort. The patio serves as a small market, coffee shop, library and passageway to the restaurants and the event space. The freestanding tower on the Western side reminds of an Omani Keep or Burj with its conical curvature and encircling ramp. It houses an observation rooftop where guests gather to gaze out at the star-clad night sky. The falaj – the traditional Omani, ancient water channel system – is an element that is taken up throughout the property using the quiet sound of flowing water to create a calming, contemplating atmosphere. The signature Anantara spa is housed in a rough stone cube that opens to a sensual hammam with secluded spaces, jacuzzies, daybeds, and hammocks. The Anantara Jabal Akhdar resort is about 172 kilometers north of Muscat, the capital of Oman, towards Seeb, and it takes more than two hours by car to reach this recluse.
Stay tuned for more news from Oman where we will soon be opening our first showroom.