4 Ultimate Staycation Escapes

4 Ultimate Staycation Escapes

25 April 23

Getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean jetting halfway around the globe. Unwinding is about doing the simple things right, and staycations are the perfect option when it comes to keeping things effortless yet memorable. Whether you prefer high-energy watersports or a day spent lounging in a perfect patch of shade, there are so many ways to enjoy the best Saudi has to offer.  

Simple can also mean sustainable, and many Saudi resorts and hotels have put eco-friendly values at the core of their business. These options for a short break over Eid will make you feel good – in every sense. 

Banyan Tree, AlUla 

Banyan Tree specialises in stylish and sustainable accommodation, and this stunning property – their first to open in Saudi – is among the group’s most magical stays. 

On arrival, guests are guided by a path of twinkling lights through the natural rock formations of the monumental city of AlUla – one of the oldest in the Arabian Peninsula – arriving at what feels like a nomadic encampment.

The resort’s villas are tented to shade the rooms and help them blend into the desert landscape. Underneath these canopies, living spaces are furnished with sharp-edged white chairs and beds, complementing the clean architectural lines. The style, which also draws on elements of Nabatean culture, bridges the gap between ancient and modern, with earthy tones, sliding doors and secret symbols to discover in unlikely places. 

Each type of villa comes with a different set of perks, a private pool with sun loungers, for example, or an outdoor fire pit. Some open out onto epic views of the dunes. However, they’re all well equipped with entertainment and air conditioning systems to keep you content and cool.

Take a day trip to the Old Town – a maze of mud brick houses and shops – and explore the ancient tombs of Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Nabatean kingdom’s second city after Petra. Then when back at the resort, dine at one of its two restaurants: Harrat, for locally inspired dishes, or Saffron for contemporary Thai cuisine. 

Experience the one-bedroom villa from SAR3,500 per night, the one-bedroom pool villa from SAR5,500, the two-bedroom pool villa from SAR10,500 and the three-bedroom pool villa from SAR35,000. 

Ashar Valley, AlUla

Boho The Beach, Jeddah 

The original bohemians enjoyed a uniquely laidback lifestyle in the hippy heyday of the 60s. Although times have changed, there are still places where you can tap into that style of effortless living. 

One of these hyper-relaxed spots is Boho The Beach, an exclusive retreat in Obhur, an area on the Red Sea in Jeddah.

With its ‘to awake the soul and free the mind’ mantra, Boho echoes bohemian style while bringing it up to date with the standards of modern luxury. Rustic throws, dreamcatchers and driftwood art create a space out of time feeling. Meanwhile, at the Kaktos by Boho restaurant you can sample a Californian-inflected menu of health-giving and naturally delicious dishes to a soundtrack of ambient beats. 

However, it’s not all about inner peace – jetboating, jetskiing and yachting allow guests to make a splash, while land-based pursuits include cycling, tennis and boxing. To enjoy the Boho offerings you need to apply for a resort membership online. Options include long-term rentals of residential units, as well as cheaper locker memberships, allowing access to the beach and facilities. 

Available residential units include a three-bedroom villa for an annual starting price of SAR262,000 and a one-bedroom apartment or studio for an annual starting price of SAR150,000. Locker membership starts from SAR23,000.

Obhur, Al Zomorod District, Jeddah 


Habitas AlUla

Another hotspot in the ancient oasis of AlUla, Habitas AlUla offers sustainable grandeur in an awe-inspiring canyon setting within the Ashar Valley. This property – the group’s first in the Middle East – follows the Habitas principles of eco-friendly living and oneness with nature, without compromising on comfort levels for guests. It’s an overwhelmingly tranquil place to be, built on a foundation of respect for planet Earth.

The décor makes elegant use of organic materials within wooden-framed beds and artisanally crafted desks and chairs. The interiors hint at Arabian design with traditional seating arrangements and ornate ceilings dotted with spinning fans. 

The 96 villas here snake along the valley floor and are split into three tiers: Celestial, Alcove and Canyon, where Celestial options offer space to lounge, while Alcove and Canyon lodges bring you up close and personal with the timeworn rock. All villas come with an airy deck, private outdoor shower, organic bath supplies and air conditioning. There’s also a two-course breakfast of locally sourced treats included. 

Canyon trekking, meditative yoga and cultural or historical lectures are part of the activities programme, while the on-site Tama restaurant meshes Saudi flavours with broader Middle Eastern cuisine to magical effect. Though, perhaps the highlight of dinner is watching sparkling lights reflect off the resort’s magnificent infinity pool, shaded by towering cliffs of rock. 

Canyon Villas are available for SAR1,600 per night, Alcove Villas for SAR2,375 per night and Celestial Villas for SAR3,200 per night. 

Ashar Valley, AlUla 


Indigo Beach Resort, Jeddah 

Jeddah’s Obhur is an area known for its beaches, but even along such a beautiful stretch of coastline some sections of sand are more impeccable than others. Indigo Beach is the pick of the resorts along Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Street – an invite-only hangout that is easygoing and easy to fall in love with, boasting a small but perfectly formed shorefront. 

Glamorous enough for the beautiful people of Jeddah, but also family-friendly, Indigo invites leisurely days of lounging, with pools for adults and kids and a bubbling whirlpool bath for when the Red Sea seems too placid. Accommodation is provided in four-bedroom bungalows and water villas that sit on stilts projecting out from the beach toward the horizon and have breezy Balinese-inspired interiors.

Being in the heart of the action around Obhur, you can take your pick of restaurants, and should you choose to venture away from the resort’s own dining options, the excellent Crave burger restaurant is nearby. With movie nights and heaps of kid-friendly activities, Indigo makes enjoying your holiday impossibly easy.

Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Street, Obhur, Jeddah