Finally it’s Summer time and one of the favorite destinations for holidays is the SPA.
Relaxation and wellness are certainly the key words here. Pools, whirlpools, saunas and breathtaking views. Design and architecture play a very important role in these structures. For these reasons we’re going to start a column for you that will take us around the world among the most beautiful examples of SPA Design.

SPA Design: Al Faya Lodge

 Al- Faya- Lodge-desert-spa-design

Today we are in the desert, in the UAE. Al Faya Lodge, by the architectural firm Anarchitect, is a complex of contemporary buildings. It is in the red sands at the foot of Mount Alvaah. A boutique hotel with a spa, in the United Arab Emirates, in the immense landscape in the heart of prehistoric crimson.

The Structure

 Al -Faya- Lodge-desert-spa-design

A typical characteristic of this structure is the presence of two stone buildings, originally built half a century ago. They were in the past a clinic and a grocery shop. Later they become a boutique design hotel, consisting of 5 rooms, a dining room, a reception, a library and a roof terrace.

Inside each room, a characteristic skylight is prepared for night-time observation of the stars. The suite also has a private roof terrace.

Over the road a new building houses a saltwater spa complete with an open air swimming pool.

  • Al -Faya- Lodge-swimming -pool
  • Al -Faya- Lodge-swimming-pool-2
  • Al -Faya- Lodge-rooms

The desert and materials.

spa design

“Desert conditions present extreme heat in summer with intense and prolonged sun exposure so it is important to consider these factors when first designing the form and mass of the building,”

“The selection of suitable and robust materials [goes] hand in hand. Desert sites are exposed to all the elements and not just sunlight. The elements also include driving rain, sand storms and low-temperatures at night.”

The construction is in stone and concrete, and to add sophistication to the design we can see corten steel, different types of hardwood, and aluminum.

Therefore the importance of materials is fundamental in this suggestive construction. Not only to allow its durability and resistance to the climatic conditions of the desert, but also to make the design minimal and contemporary, respecting the context in which it is inserted.

Exape from the City

The main purpose of this project is to be a destination for all those who want to find relief from the hectic pace of the city.  This is possible thanks to the minimalism and essentiality of the design, which don’t allow to have distractions and to absorb the landscape and its nature.

And what do you think? Would you like to spend your holidays in this wonderful spa, or do you think the desert is a little too “extreme” for your tastes?

To the next appointment!


Client: Al Faya Lodge
Location: Sharjah desert, United Arab Emirates.
Architect : Anarchitect
Photocredit : Fernando Guerra