The world’s first earth-built hotel opens in AlUla

Dar Tantora The House Hotel sits in the heart of AlUla’s Old Town.

AlUla is home to a range of hotels, from cool caravans to world-class resorts. Now, it is set to welcome Dar Tantora The House Hotel. Located in AlUla Old Town, it describes itself as the world’s first earth-built hotel, and celebrates the local community.

Operated by Kerten Hospitality, Dar Tantora The House Hotel includes 30 rooms and suites. The aim is to draw inspiration from the area, and create an eco-friendly community. The hotel sits in AlUla’s Old Town, which dates back to the 12th century. The site boasts mud and stone brick buildings and a 10th-century castle. The hotel plans to be low-impact and sustainable and is even lit by candlelight.

AlUla Heritage Hotel

What sets Dar Tantora The House Hotel apart from other hotels is its creation. It was built using the same materials and techniques as buildings in the area. Plus, the hotel’s walls are even decorated with murals, which tell stories of local flora, fauna and traditions. 

Dar Tantora The House Hotel includes a restaurant, spa, infinity pool, gym, and yoga as well as a meditation studio. The hotel’s signature restaurant, JOONTOS, uses locally sourced ingredients. By building a relationship with local farmers and suppliers, it aims to create a zero-waste kitchen. 

Dar Tantora

Dar Tantora The House Hotel’s name and layout is inspired by the tantora, which is a traditional sundial. Plus, the site showcases the surroundings, as its terraces, rooftops and infinity pool offer Insta-worthy views of the dramatic rocks and stars at night. 

John Northen, vice president – head of Hotels and Resorts, Royal Commission for AlUla, explained: “Dar Tantora by The House Hotel will allow guests to live the rich heritage of the AlUla Old Town historical village. Steeped in the past yet embracing progress, this hotel encapsulates RCU’s vision for a diverse range of accommodations as we continue to deliver on our plans for more than 5,000 keys by 2030.”

AlUla Heritage Hotel

Marloes Knippenberg, CEO, Kerten Hospitality, added: “We take immense pride in operating Dar Tantora by The House Hotel, a location that seamlessly weaves AlUla Old Town’s cultural legacy with the comfort of modern luxury. At Kerten Hospitality, our dedication to delivering exceptional guest experiences resonates with RCU’s objective of creating harmonious communities, and we eagerly look forward to playing a significant role in the region’s development.”

The 30-room boutique eco-community sits in the heart of AlUla’s Old Town – a labyrinth of 12th-century mud and stone brick buildings.

AlUla Heritage Hotel

AlUla prides itself on its historical sights. The area is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra. Plus, AlUla Old Town has been recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation as the Best Tourism Village in 2022.

Wake up next to history.  

GO: Visit for more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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