The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Jeddah is the lat­est port of call for Rocco Forte Ho­tels, a com­pany co-founded by ho­tel de­sign doyenne Olga Polizzi with sev­eral stel­lar prop­er­ties in its sta­ble, in­clud­ing Browns in Lon­don.

Lo­cated down­town in the Saudi Ara­bian Red Sea city on Prince Mo­ham­mad Bin Ab­du­laziz (or Tahlia) Street, Assila Ho­tel fea­tures 304 gue­strooms and suites with con­tem­po­rary Arabesque in­te­ri­ors by Polizzi, work­ing with cel­e­brated de­signer Martin Brud­nizki, and more than 2000 lo­cal art­works cu­rated by Nora Alissa.

The ho­tel is stag­ing a grad­ual open­ing; the first gue­strooms de­buted in Novem­ber and the re­main­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion comes on line next month. With a cen­tral court­yard ac­cessed by a pri­vate drive­way, the ho­tel is ar­rayed across two tow­ers and is fully self-con­tained with five restau­rants, a day spa, gym, hair­dress­ing sa­lon and roof- top pool. The over­all look is stream­lined and cool with be­spoke fur­ni­ture in rich, jewel-like colours and Ara­bic mo­tifs.

The res­i­den­tial-style gue­strooms have high ceil­ings, large win­dows, full-height wooden doors, lime­stone floors laid with hand­wo­ven rugs, and mar­ble and mo­saic bath­rooms stocked with lux­ury Or­ti­gia ameni­ties from Italy. All styles of ac­com­mo­da­tion fea­ture a king or twin beds, desk, smart TV and free Wi-Fi for up to five de­vices.

Guests in suites en­joy ad­di­tional priv­i­leges in­clud­ing room-ser­vice break­fast, an un­pack­ing ser­vice and in-room check-in. The ho­tel is well placed for ex­plor­ing the city, 20 min­utes from the air­port and a 15-minute drive to The Cor­niche.

DON’T MISS: An af­ter­noon in the smart day spa where treat­ments de­ploy Forte’s own beauty line, made with or­ganic in­gre­di­ents grown at its Ver­dura Re­sort in Si­cily.

DIN­ING IN AND OUT: Lo­cated on the rooftop ter­race and with long city views, Au­bergine spe­cialises in Le­banese, Ar­me­nian and Turk­ish dishes; Co­coBa serves cakes, pas­tries and be­spoke choco­lates. The 24-hour Il Caffe is an Ital­ian and Ara­bic mashup serv­ing panini and mezze; shisha is avail­able on the ter­race. There’s an Ar­gen­tinian grill in the pipe­line but the all-day-din­ing Twenty Four is up and run­ning, serv­ing an im­pres­sive break­fast buf­fet and barista cof­fee. Ex­ec­u­tive chef Mau­r­izio Pan­i­cali rec­om­mends the homemade sage bread with za’atar or lab­neh and honey for break­fast; at din­ner be sure to leave space for the im­pres­sive dessert buf­fet with the ho­tel’s own branded choco­late.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Take a stroll along The Cor­niche to see the world’s largest wa­ter foun­tain (a light show op­er­ates from 6pm) or ex­plore Al Balad, Jeddah’s old town.

CHECK­ING IN: From SAR1600 ($573). More: roc­co­forte­ho­

ALSO TRY: Four Sea­sons Casablanca, Morocco; Al Baleed Re­sort Salalah by Anan­tara, Oman; St Regis Abu Dhabi.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.