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A new Design Hotels member property by architect Ayman AlMehmadi and Studio Noor opens in Jeddah

December 11, 2021

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a widespread socio-cultural transformation as the oil-rich kingdom aims to wean off its dependence on fossil fuel and transition to becoming a regional hub for business and culture. Among a spate of new contemporary developments is the House Hotel Jeddah City Yard. Located within City Yard Center, a sprawling mixed-use piazza in the upscale Al Rawdah district, the property is set to become a vibrant lifestyle venue that will attract the local community as well as visitors to relax, work, exercise, socialise, stay, and dine. The five-star property’s opening, whose architectural plan is by Saudi architect Ayman AlMehmadi and standout interiors from Studio Noor, marks the Middle East debut of The House Hotels, a Kerten Hospitality’s lifestyle brand.

The architect Mr AlMehmadi designed three architectural masses connected by a bridge that maximise views, daylight, and fresh air. The three minimalist structures shape a welcoming plaza, ornamented by a generous pool with fountains and a green promenade that is a contemporary equivalent to the traditional souk. The City Yard Center itself has been divided into three distinct sections, with a synergy created between the hotel and its lobby, a centralised piazza, and an interior street, while expansive outdoor spaces that breathe life into the entire area are accented with mature orange and olive trees and rounded out with a central water feature.

Inside The House Hotel Jeddah City Yard, David Hodkinson and Luc Lejeune of the Athens- and Saigon-based Studio Noor have overseen the interior design, with guestrooms and public spaces defined by an aesthetic born from their deep research on Saudi culture, materials, patterns, colours and crafts. Spaces are adorned with marble, bespoke furniture, and artworks made by local artists. The result is a carefully choreographed aesthetic that offers striking impressions that are both comfortable and cosy in nature, such as in the lobby, where a theatrical effect can be seen in a custom staircase-cum-lounge, double-height ceilings, intimate mezzanine divan seating, and a coffee nook.

Additionally, the central staircase is one of many elements reflecting the fact that the property is the first in the country to integrate recent social and cultural movements: The feature is a modern reinterpretation of the traditional majlis. More than stairs, this corner also offers seating areas and it will eventually also host DJs and live music — something that just a few years ago was an unfamiliar sight inside hotels.

In the hotel’s accommodations, each of the 101 rooms and 13 suites are outfitted with custom furniture, including oversized daybeds and high-quality walnut features in headboards, wardrobes, cabinets, wall panels, and credenzas. Suites feature marble bathrooms, rain showers, and enviable standalone soaking tubs, and every room is kitted out with luxury amenities such as all-natural, essential oil–based toiletries packaged in recyclable containers. The property is also home to a space for networking and collaborations as well as health and wellness areas, including a spa, a gym, and a rooftop pool that overlooks the Jeddah skyline and is lined with olive trees, mirroring those in the piazza.

Beyond the hotel, the City Yard Center is also home to 14 unique dining and beverage outlets that provide a gourmet journey across the world for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Standouts include Al Sayed Seafood Restaurant, one of the oldest fish restaurants in Saudi Arabia, where the menu offers a gastronomic excursion into local seafood traditions that preserve flavours of the past, and Akiba Dori Restaurant, where several food and drink vendors serve dishes ranging from modern takes on Japanese street food to Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizzas. Elsewhere, the award-winning Baker & Spice makes an impact with a focus on local, organic cuisine, while Hejazi, a contemporary restaurant concept, celebrates Jeddah’s historical district, Al-Balad. 

Guests are also encouraged to explore Al Rawdah, the upscale, central, and vibrant district surrounding City Yard Center. On offer are a number of curated experiences, including a tour for art lovers through the neighbourhood’s galleries, while history aficionados can visit the nearby Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum. The City Yard Center is additionally set to become known for its extensive community programme, with farmers’ markets, pop-up shops, and music and art events all in the pipeline. Located just 13km from the King Abdulaziz International Airport, the House Hotel Jeddah City Yard is within easy reach of the city centre and other areas.

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