Six months after its inauguration, Al Bait Sharjah is emerging as one of the region’s most ambitious new properties, renowned for the five historic homes at its foundation and for its overwhelming dedication of human resources.
The 53-key resort by GHM Hotel celebrates indigenous building design and materials, with its historic ‘barjeel’, or wind tower, punctuating the district’s age-old appeal. A museum worthy of stand-alone status signals the ambitions of the hotel, and the city, to showcase the emirate’s particular heritage.
“The very act of checking into this resort is like an immersion into the depths of the city’s incredible heritage,” said the resort’s general manager, Patrick Moukarzel. “If what we want as travellers is an experience of place that is completely singular to that place, Al Bait is it.”
The name ‘Al Bait’ originates from the Arabic word ‘the home’, and is reference both to the intimate atmospherics of the property’s design and to the five residential chambers at the heart of the new property.
The homes are each named for former inhabitants and resound with their original purpose as residences that did double duty as a post office, a customs’ house and a salon or ‘majlis’, for the city’s intellectual elite.
187 employees service the resort’s 53 rooms, a ratio that’s almost double the average in Asia, and far higher than in the West.
“For many of our guests, this kind of palatial service is, in fact, just like home but for others it’s an extraordinary experience out of the Arabian Nights,” Moukarzel concluded.
The hotel’s accommodation ranges from 31-44m2 in the deluxe rooms to 102m2 in each of the resorts two grand suites. Its decor marries an Arabian ambiance to Far Eastern minimalism.
The resort’s two restaurants serve international fare and dishes developed on the Arabian Peninsula.
Finally, the 500m2 spa offers three treatment rooms for women and two for men, including separate relaxation lounges, hammam, steam and sauna, as well as hot and cold plunge pools for women. The gym features upmarket equipment, as well as zones for stretching, strength training, cardio and kinesis. The resort also features a pool.