Consultancy group The Wellness has worked to create a spa for the Al Mleiha Fossil Rock Lodge & Spa in Sharjah, UAE, which will open later this year.
Fossil Rock Lodge is named after the adjacent Fossil Rock mountain, and is part of a group of small hotels being developed by Shurooq, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, as part of an eco-tourism project in the area.
The eco-lodge is made up three structures nestled within the open desert landscape; the main lodge and restaurant are existing structures dating back to the 1960s, while the spa is a new-build facility. Each of the bedrooms features a skylight for star-gazing, as the hotel is located far from the light pollution of cities.
Historically, the lodge served as a clinic and the restaurant was a grocery store; these structures have been restored by Anarchitect
with minimal changes to the architecture, but with contemporary interiors, creating a juxtaposition of old and new.
“All projects are exciting; however, this particular project was quite unique in relation to the concept and location,” said Louise Molloy, head of consultancy at The Wellness. “Picture this: a remote boutique lodge set within the beautiful desert landscape with a unique standalone spa wet area facility nestled within the sand dunes.”
The 118sq m spa includes water, thermal and relaxation experiences, all of which touch upon the five senses. Facilities include a salt inhalation room, shower walk, herbal sauna and a 128sq m saltwater pool that is open to the sky.
The Wellness has incorporated the desert setting into the spa; the saltwater pool is flanked by three walls, the fourth being Corten butterfly doors that completely open up to unveil the landscape of Mleiha as a backdrop.
“The facility we were requested to create encompassed a culmination of wet area experiences, fused together in such a way to create a sensory journey for the client,” said Molloy. “For the salt inhalation room, the back-lit Himalayan salt brick wall gave us the perfect colors of a sunburnt desert with the view of the sand dunes clearly visible. The herbal sauna and shower walk designs incorporated elements of a magical oasis with water experiences and natural green foliage. A natural sea water outdoor pool was an additional experience of bathing in the sea amongst the tranquil desert surroundings.”
Fossil Rock Lodge will also offer outdoor activities such as nature walks and educational tours from the Mleiha Archeological and Eco-tourism project.