There are only two hotels in al-Ula, the first is Arac Hotel (located just north of town), and the second is Mada'in Saleh Hotel. I chose the latter because it seemed like the more popular choice based on online research. It has a beautiful setting on the edge of the palm oasis, just below the red cliffs of the valley and a beautifully landscaped garden with a playground for children and a swimming pool for the warmer months of the year. As expected otherwise, there is nothing luxurious about the hotel, but it was certainly adequate for the trip and quite comfortable (except for the squeaky carpet in the room!). The staff is welcoming and extremely helpful, while the buffet serves decent food. Upon reserving, the hotel will ask for passport information of non-Saudi visitors to arrange for the necessary permit to visit the archaeological site of Hegra (Mada'in Saleh), a process which takes at least a week. Guides to the site are available upon request. When I visited, there was a large group of mostly Australian, plus some American expatriates with their many children from Riyadh.
Al-Ula Hotel is one of Arab Resort Areas Company properties. Located in northwest Saudi Arabia, in a beautiful rural area with natural
Arac Hotel Al-Ula :
Arac Hotel Al-Ula is the only luxurious tourism lodging in the area of Al-Ula . It has been constructed in an area of (45.000) m2 . The operation has started in the mid of the year 2000. It is equipped with the most luxurious hotels preparation, managed by highly qualified staff to provide the most distinguished services for its Guests and tourists.
The hotel contains (50) units supplied with the needed requirements and utilities with an internal garden, which provide a natural atmosphere to the Hotel guest. This garden contains internal passages. At the mid of the garden there is a tent hall, which is considered as a guest gathering.
The Hotel also contains splendid restaurant at an area of (550) m 2 directly facing the internal garden, the wide hall at the restaurant satisfies guests and groups requirements of different International cuisine.
The restaurant also provides room services in addition to banquets for different occasions.
The Beduin Tent with its nice heritage touch has added to the general sight of the hotel a distinguished quesy look, as it has been designed with an Arabic Bedouin style with colors derived from the old tradition to give a magnificent masterpiece. In addition to that it gives a sense and an atmosphere of the complexity of the deep rooted past and the modern architectural evolution.
Arac Al-Ula Hotel also contains other constituents such as :
* Employees compounds at an area of (330)m2 .
* Safety and Security Quarters.
* Car parking with a capacity of more than (50) cars.
This hotel is the only accommodation available for tourists visiting Mada'in Salih or al-Ula city. Actually, it's even located in al-Ula city which is a thirty-minute journey.
It consists of two types of accommodation; twin rooms and air-conditioned tents.
I stayed at a room, which is served by a bathroom, TV, a/c and balcony on a good view of the mountains.
The tent is accommodated with the same services. It's elegant with traditional atmospheres.
Swimming pool but vacant in winter
Restaurant and buffet
Swings for children
Stay two nights in this hotel from the Arac chain.
The room were ok, nothing special but decent for such a remote place. I think we were the only people to stay there but the staff was very nice and available.
Free internet from manager office.
Single room@ 190 SR, breakfast (30 SR)and other food extra
By a nice scenery, friendly staff.
Can organise tour in Mada'in Saleh and other attractions around like Hejjaz railway.
see prevous tip
being on my balcony overlooking al Ula
In the front you see the hotel garden incl. sitting area for Saudi female guests
Unforgotten, I did the trip twice and do not regret any Rial I spent.
The hotel provides three kinds of accomodation:
1. hotel rooms, nicely equipped in the style of Madain Saleh with balconies and a gorgeous view overlooking Al Ula, see photo of next tip
2. desert tents outside the hotel buildung, see also photo
3. desert tents on the hotel's camp out side, you will feel like Lawrence of Arabia in the old colonial times
I spent 1600SR for single room accomodation which includes as follows:
- flights ex Riyadh to Ha'il and back ex Medina to Riyadh
- two nights stay in hotel room and desert tent on camp out site
- full board
- pick up from the airport and then 2.5 days full escort by the best tourist guides I have ever met
- permission to go to the antique and fenced site of Mada'in Saleh
- I saw everthing from Ha'il down to Medina
You can also come on your own booking accomodation and guide escort only. Adress to the Hotel or get their brochure from travel agents.
The pool is restricted for women according to Saudi law. At least, only children are using it.
Great view from your hotel room overlooking Al Ula and the mountains. Gorgeous dawn and sunset.
No Abaya required in Hotel area. Hotel is nowadays specialised on Westerners and a few expatriate Arabs.
The hotel food in form of a buffet is various, the taste is not according to a first class hotel. But I noticed the same average quality even in good hotels in Riyadh.
When ordering drinks do not expect too much knowledge of the waiter. I drank only water and the drinks provided on the buffet and was not annoyed. But if you want a cherry beer - mushkilah.
Staff is very friendly. I felt very comfortable on both trips.
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