Amansamar Wadi Safar: inside Aman’s newest ultra-luxury hotel in the Saudi Arabian desert

Amansamar at Wadi Safar in Riyadh

For the well-heeled and worldly, the ultra-luxury hotel brand Aman stands as a symbol of exclusivity and opulence – a secret handshake in the rarefied circles of luxury hospitality where discretion is the gold standard and indulgence is as bespoke as it comes.

Whispered reverently among the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Brad Pitt, Aman has become synonymous with a unique alchemy of near-telepathic service, sublime locations, and an ambience of understated elegance.

Celebrity fans, paying top dollar for the privilege of anonymity and unparalleled luxury, flock through its doors – from the likes of Justin Bieber to Ivanka Trump, each seeking refuge in Aman’s legendary sanctuaries.

It’s a brand that curates an experience – a bespoke journey tailored to the whims and fancies of its esteemed guests. From frescoed Venetian palazzos to secluded jungle hideaways, each Aman property is an ode to its environment, blending natural beauty, cultural richness and architectural genius.

Aman guests can sleep under frescoed ceilings at the brand’s ultra-luxury hotel in Venice

The brand’s expansion into Saudi Arabia, with the upcoming Amansamar at Wadi Safar just outside of Riyadh and four other properties across the Kingdom, represents an approach that weaves the essence of a destination into the fabric of the guest experience.

Vladislav Doronin, Aman’s visionary CEO, sees it not merely as an expansion of his empire but as a return to a land that stole his heart – a sentiment echoed in every stone and sand grain of Amansamar.

Speaking exclusively to Middle East Traveller, he explained how he was “amazed by the landscape, the culture, and the heritage” when visiting the Kingdom – a feeling he “had not had for a long time”.

That experience informed the development of Aman’s plans in the Kingdom, which include two properties under the newly launched wellness-focussed Janu brand.

Aman CEO Vladislav Doronin sees the brand’s expansion into Saudi Arabia as a return to a land that stole his heart

He explained: “As with all Aman destinations around the globe, we will take our cues from the local history, heritage, and culture of each of our locations in Saudi Arabia.

“This will be present from the style of architecture, the layout of our spaces, the amenities we offer, our dining concepts, and the experiences we develop.”

“Our project in Wadi Safar draws influence from traditional Najdi communities and settlements, celebrating these influences in the design of the project while also staying true to the brand’s contemporary, timeless and elegant design aesthetic.”

The name Amansamar combines the sanskrit word for peace and the Arabic word ‘samar’, which refers to shared connections in the evening – a fitting identity for the project.

Amansamar will incorporate local materials and traditional Najdi architectural elements

Sprawling majestically over a near-mythical expanse of two million square metres, featuring sweeping grounds and orchards embedded within the hilltops and mountains, Amansamar will be a marvel of architectural genius and design finesse.

It is set to boast a collection of 78 impeccably designed rooms, dozens of exclusive villas, and four branded farms, each element seamlessly integrated into the breathtaking landscape.

The architecture, a product of Jean-Michel Gathy’s vision at Denniston Architects, effortlessly melds the rich, storied history of the region with the present.

Every line, curve, and corner of Amansamar speaks of the ancient Najdi communities, their architectural ingenuity, and their intimate connection with the land.

Aman is set to open five ultra-luxury hotels across Saudi Arabia

The villas will offer views of the sprawling desert, bringing the outside in and allowing guests to immerse themselves in the serene majesty of the surroundings.

The farms, embedded within this landscape, are not just functional spaces but experiential realms where guests can connect with the land and its bounties.

Each space within Amansamar is designed to echo the natural contours of the Wadi Safar desert, ensuring that the resort does not impose upon the landscape, but rather complements it.

The use of local materials, the attention to traditional Najdi architectural elements, and the incorporation of modern design principles create a resort that is both respectful of the past and receptive to the future.

Doronin added that Aman will “contribute to the country’s evolving tourism landscape by offering the utmost in ultra-luxury travel experience”.

He said: “Aman has been considered the finest hospitality brand for over 35-years and providing this in Saudi Arabia will add tremendous value to the development of tourism in this region.”

In its bold expansion, Amansamar is not merely another feather in Aman’s cap – it represents a significant foray into the Middle East, marking the brand’s first hotel in the Gulf region.

By embracing the Kingdom’s vast landscapes, its storied history, and its vibrant culture, Aman is setting a new benchmark in luxury hospitality in the Gulf.