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In partnership with Red Sea Global
  1. Red Sea Global
March 14, 2024

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea: An Oasis of Serenity

General manager Fredrik Blomqvist discusses the new desert property bringing travelers to Saudi Arabia’s West Coast.

By Toby Louch

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, was the first resort to welcome guests to The Red Sea, a regenerative luxury destination that will eventually be home to more than 50 hotels. As an initial example of what’s to come, Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, paints an impressive picture of the region’s potential.

The partnership between Six Senses and Red Sea Global — the multi-project developer behind The Red Sea — was founded upon shared values. Namely a commitment to sustainability and preserving the natural environment, while providing a unique guest experience, and true sense of place.

Inspired by the ancient heritage of the Nabataean people, in addition to the immense backdrop of desert plains and the Hijaz Mountains, Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, rises from this landscape like an oasis of serenity. While firmly in the Alnesai desert, this new sanctuary lies just an hour’s drive from the coast and the newly constructed Red Sea International Airport — most visitors’ gateway to the region.

Six Senses southern dunes bedroom
The rooms are modern and luxurious but also feature textiles and notes of the fascinating Nabataean culture / ©Red Sea Global

Since 1995, Six Senses has built its reputation as a luxury brand that puts sustainability and wellness to the forefront. Leading the team at Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, is an industry veteran, general manager Fredrik Blomqvist, who for over 25 years has worked in some of the finest hotels across the world in Europe, the Middle East, the USA, Asia and now Saudi Arabia.

“This is the first Six Senses in Saudi Arabia, and we have another three projects in progress,” says Blomqvist. “With four luxury resorts in total, this is a grand entrance into a new market.”

For the brand, it’s key that each property remains distinct from not only its competitors but also the other Six Senses resorts in the region. At Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, it’s all about the location. “This area fits our brand perfectly,” adds Blomqvist. “It’s pristine, rejuvenating and tranquil. Each morning I drive to work and watch the shifting colors light up the mountains and dunes, it’s a magnificent spot.”

This new luxury destination has been designed and created from its inception to work symbiotically with this unique environment. Situated atop a plateau, Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, allows the dramatic vista to do the talking, while Blomqvist ensures that the luxury experience Six Senses customers have come to expect is delivered to the highest standard.

[See also: Thuwal Private Retreat: Your Very Own Red Sea Island]

The Resort

Unique shade
Across the property, techniques have been utilized to make the hotel effectively disappear into the landscape / ©Red Sea Global

The property itself effectively disappears into its surroundings. A mixture of buildings feature subtle natural curves, perfectly matching the nearby dunes, while others sink down into the landscape hidden from view.

Appearing like a mirage, a collection of 36 guest rooms and suites surround a central pool, an oasis accented by palms. An additional 40 pool villas are dotted strategically across the property, each offering its own unique perspective on the surroundings.

“The best way to describe the resort is it’s like a hand in a glove, it feels as though it was meant to be here,” says Blomqvist. “Arriving at the property is like discovering a hidden treasure, each corner you turn reveals something new and spectacular.”

Six Senses Southern Dunes
This new resort represents a true desert oasis / ©Red Sea Global

Taking its cues from the ancient architectural heritage of the Nabataean people, the materials and textures throughout the property remain authentic to the region. Soft furnishings are inspired by the rich colors and patterns of traditional Bedouin tribal dress, paired with the open-plan suites and villas that are bathed in sunlight.

“During the construction, once we began to add some greenery, trees and plants, the birds returned filling the property with life and peaceful sounds,” says Blomqvist.

The resort itself features several dining options all of which follow a template driven by healthy, locally sourced ingredients. “It’s really important to stay grounded,” says Blomqvist, who began his time in the industry working in food and beverage. “People always try to overcomplicate things, covering every flavor and appeasing every pallet; here fresh, local ingredients are transformed into authentic regional dishes.”

[See also: Discovering the unmatched thrill of Red Sea watersports]

Sustainability

Six Senses Southern Dunes
From the hotel’s inception, sustainable practices have played a key role in development / ©Red Sea Global

Since the beginning, sustainable development has played a vital role in shaping the entirety of The Red Sea. It’s no different at Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, where the commitment to working in harmony with the surrounding area is a certainty.

“When we think about sustainability at Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, you can separate it into two categories,” says Blomqvist. “The initial work done by Red Sea Global, constructing The Red Sea as a regenerative destination from the onset, utilizing eco-friendly materials and practices, which has been fantastic.”

“Secondly is where we come in,” Blomqvist adds. “At Six Senses, sustainability sits at the heart of everything we do, we are the only brand worldwide to have a specific director of sustainability. Compared to our competitors we are on a completely different level. That puts Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, in a strong position to continue the work done by Red Sea Global.”

Dates
At the property, local produce and flavors are never far away / ©Red Sea Global

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, is set to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in part thanks to the fact that 100% of the resort’s power is generated through solar energy.

“Many hotels are reducing plastic,” says Blomqvist. “We are focused on being 100% plastic-free and have gone to great lengths to make that happen. For example, we have an in-house water plant that we use to bottle our still and sparkling water.”

Social responsibility also plays a big part in what Six Senses does. Focusing on locally sourced crops and ingredients not only helps the region economically, but also reduces the need to transport goods while these crops also require less water to grow, lowering the resort’s impact as a whole.

Additionally, selected artisans and craftspeople such as two weavers from the village of Al Harra, can use the property’s “Artisan Pods” to sell wares to guests of the resort, not only creating a valuable income stream for locals but also providing a strong sense of locale for guests.

[See also: How The Red Sea is Becoming the Next Adventure Travel Hot Spot]

Wellness

Earth lab
At the earth lab, guests can discover more about the surrounding natural environment / ©Red Sea Global

Inland and away from the bounty of adventure Saudi Arabia’s coastline provides, Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, has been positioned as a place of calm and serenity. As a stalwart element of the Six Senses offering, wellness was always set to play a key role in this resort.

“At Six Senses it’s often our commitment to wellness that keeps returning guests coming,” says Blomqvist. “It’s far more than just an impressive spa and gym, which we of course have, wellness is an entire philosophy that begins with guests’ arrival experience and can be seen in every other part of the stay.”

The resort’s spa spans an impressive 43,000 sq ft and has been designed like the rest of the resort to reflect the Saudi Arabian landscape and bring the outdoors in. Split across two levels, the upper floor features a state-of-the-art gym facility that benefits from panoramic views of the vast landscape.

Cooking school
There is also a cookery school where guests can practice some of the dishes they are served at the hotel / ©Red Sea Global

The SPA level acts as a rejuvenating sanctuary and is home to six treatment rooms, a sensory suite with a private plunge pool, two outdoor treatment cabanas, a Holistic Anti-Aging Center, pre/post relaxing areas with top-class wet and dry facilities. The Spa also has an Alchemy Bar and experience bath to cool off during the warmer days.

“The wellness experience can be entirely customized to guests’ wishes,” says Blomqvist. “Some join us for several weeks to follow a weight loss program, and we can provide dietary menus and even show them how to cook the dishes we serve them at the on-site cookery school. So, wellness runs through everything we are doing at Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea.”

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, proves to be a tantalizing glimpse into what is possible for The Red Sea as a whole. Thanks to Six Senses’ expertise throughout all aspects of the art of hospitality, a property has been created that is both inspired by and adds to the impressive landscape. A high bar has been set in The Red Sea.

To learn more visit visittheredsea.com

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Visit the Red Sea Global X Elite Traveler Hub Page Here

[See also: The Red Sea: An Adventure Like No Other]

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