St. Regis Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of The St. Regis Red Sea Resort in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The captivating new address is the first private island to open in The Red Sea, one of the Kingdom’s luxury regenerative tourism destinations on the west coast of the country. Situated on the pristine Ummahat Island in the Al Wajh Lagoon, the resort is a destination-defining oasis with its avant-garde architecture, sustainable design details and bespoke service.
“One of the world’s unexplored treasures, The Red Sea in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to become a coveted leisure destination,” said Jenni Benzaquen, SVP and Global Brand Leader, The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. “With The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, we are introducing an iconic island address that represents the pinnacle of timeless luxury and pioneering design. We are proud to welcome The St. Regis Red Sea Resort to our growing portfolio and look forward to inviting guests to immerse themselves in this emerging destination.”
Accessed by chartered boat or seaplane from the newly opened Red Sea International Airport, The St. Regis Red Sea Resort features a collection of 90 lavishly appointed beachfront and overwater villas, offering one-to-four-bedroom accommodation, each with a private pool, sundeck and outdoor shower. The open and spacious villas seamlessly blend the outdoors inwards and capture unrivalled sea views from sunrise to sunset. Surrounded by swaying palm trees each deck is a peaceful place to star gaze at night.
Designed by architect Kengo Kuma with interiors by Kristina Zanic Consultants, the resort’s design echoes the surrounding coral reefs, marine life and sand dunes. Interior spaces and furnishings take on organic forms with soft curves and spiral shapes. Fabrics are natural and tactile, with a desert inspired colour palette imbued with blue and green tones found in the local biodiversity. Contemporary interiors are accented with bespoke elements including custom furniture, marble and woodwork.
Nestled on an undisturbed white sand beach with expansive vistas over the azure water, the Dune Villas reflect the shape of sweeping desert sand formations. Perched overwater and connected by elevated walkways the Coral Villas take the form of shells and offer direct access to the sea from each deck. Elegantly designed and thoughtfully curated, the secluded villas offer a private place to unwind in residential style synonymous of the St. Regis brand. Floor to ceiling windows frame picturesque sea views and flood the living spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms with natural light. The legendary St. Regis Butler Service, a personalised hallmark of the brand for more than a century, ensures that each guest’s individual preferences are anticipated at every turn.
Exceptional culinary journeys are presented through the luxury resort’s five distinct venues each offering alfresco beachside dining and serving produce sourced from local farms and fishermen. Two signature restaurants are perfect settings for intimate or romantic dining experiences. Gishiki 45 features an enticing Japanese-inspired menu in a light and contemporary space, while Tilina is a sophisticated ‘reeftop’ overwater grill serving prime cuts infused with local spices and ingredients. Nesma offers a Levantine-inspired menu throughout the day and overlooks the glistening pool and peaceful beach.
The Beach Club serves light dishes and refreshments to the resort’s two outdoor pools and beach lined with plush cabanas. The iconic St. Regis Bar, inspired by the King Cole Bar at The St. Regis New York, presents a “Coral Mary” mocktail, a local take on the brand’s signature Bloody Mary infused with sumac, turmeric and spirulina algae, served in custom designed glassware by Saudi fashion designer, Qormuz. The space features an expansive mural portraying the enchanting folklore story of the nearby Blue Hole, a large natural marine cavern adjacent to the resort.The St. Regis Spa is an enclave of serenity featuring eight treatment rooms with gazebos and outdoor baths, private treatment cabins, and male and female grooming salons. Signature treatments include a 24kt Gold facial, a Gold and Caviar ritual to nourish and rejuvenate the body, and a series of immersive wellness journeys incorporating yoga and meditation, all performed with AMRA products.
The resort offers a variety of fitness and wellness activities including a fully equipped gym, an outdoor lap pool and vitality pool, paddle and tennis courts, sunrise and sunset yoga, personal training sessions and nutritional consultations. Through the brand’s Family Traditions programme, the Little Treasures Children’s Club and large outdoor adventure area are colourful and lively spaces for younger guests to enjoy.
The Red Sea is surrounded by the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef system and spans over 28,000 square kilometres with an archipelago of more than 90 untouched islands. Ummahat Island is fringed by abundant wildlife, marine ecosystems and natural marvels. Guests will be able to snorkel amongst preserved coral reefs and embark on scuba diving expeditions to nearby wrecks and discovery sites. The island’s crystal-clear, vivid blue water can also be enjoyed by an array of water sports including stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. Excursions to the mainland via a short trip by chartered boat will offer guests the opportunity to explore dormant volcanoes, heritage sites and sweeping desert dunes.
“Heralding a new era of sustainable luxury aligned with Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision, we are thrilled to open the first private island resort in The Red Sea,” said Tony Coveney, General Manager, The St. Regis Red Sea Resort. “The St. Regis Red Sea Resort offers a distinct view on modern luxury and brings the brand’s timeless elegance and storied heritage to an exciting new destination. We look forward to welcoming guests to an escape to the extraordinary.”
Harnessing innovative technology to create a sustainable destination began at the early stages of the resort’s development. The island resort is powered by one hundred percent renewable energy generated by solar power and one of the world’s largest battery storage facilities located on the mainland. Emphasis on waste reduction and recycling is at the heart of daily operations to deliver advanced water treatment and comprehensive waste management solutions, and a plastic-free environment. The resort’s interiors have been developed in accordance with LEED platinum certification guidelines. The certification creates healthy, highly efficient, cost-saving green buildings that improve environmental performance from carbon footprint to indoor environmental quality.
Central to the destination’s mission of preserving its precious natural surroundings and enhancing habitats that enable biodiversity to flourish are several collaborations with key partners including the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and UK marine robotics company VAARST, whose SubSLAM® technology captures 3D images of the thriving coral across the entire Al Wajh Lagoon. Earlier this year, a mangrove nursery opened on the coast to support the growth of 50 million mangroves by 2030, with the first one million seedlings already planted. This is in addition to The Red Sea being home to the largest landscape nursery in the region which has grown more than five million plants, shrubs and trees to green the destination. These partnerships underpin the resort’s commitment to marine conservation and ecological sustainability and align with the broader vision of creating diverse opportunities for the Saudi Arabian community.