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Art Apart: the Lovely Park Hyatt Hotel has Found Relevance and Popularity Through its Sponsoring of the Arts
January 17, 2014 Mariam Polding

ABOVE: Being able to flaunt not one but two spas, spread over 10,000 square metres capable of winning several accolades from the World Luxury Spa Awards is no mean feat.

Victor Vasarely, Henry Moore, and Joan Miró, are names not normally associated with Jeddah, but they should be. Sculptures by these world renowned artists line the recently revamped Al Hamra Open Air Museum along the corniche leading to the culturally cool five star Park Hyatt Jeddah. Centrally located,
about a 20-minute drive from the airport and in the hub of the city’s burgeoning art district, the hotel has become somewhat of a standard bearer of late.

Heralded in the past as the gateway to Mecca and an important stop on the maritime equivalent of the Silk Route, the port city has recently been overshadowed by Riyadh, its commerce-driven older brother to the northeast, and Dammam, its sibling rival wallowing in oil riches on the east coast. While much of the nation’s wealth has yet to spread to the western region, another kind of wealth has been trickling down into the lives of Jeddah’s visitors and residents; the remedial pursuit of luxury, art and fine living. In this regard, the Park Hyatt is positioning itself very smartly indeed.

Nestled on prime real estate between the Al Furusiyya Marina & Yacht Club and the Al Hamra Open Air Museum – the latter a citywide beautification project commissioned by former mayor Mohammed S. Farsi in the 1970s – the Park Hyatt Jeddah may offer expansive views, beautifully landscaped gardens, soothing interiors, exquisite service and two world class spas (one for men and another for women, which includes the only outdoor ladies’ pool in the Kingdom) but it adds to all that an appreciation for the arts.

Having hosted a series of groundbreaking art events at the Al Furusiyya – including the Edge of Arabia’s ‘We Need To Talk’ in 2012 and the first annual Jeddah Art Week in conjunction with Sotheby’s in 2013 – the Park Hyatt is rather artful in itself. The interiors, which blend contemporary European style with hints of Al-Andalus, are the work of French interior designers Gilles Quiffet and Patrice Hart, which can be appreciated to its fullest effect in the vaulted foyer. Oriented towards the Red Sea, it becomes a beacon of light at sunset, while elsewhere, driftwood accents, hardwood floors, limestone walls and downy cushions welcome visitors, encouraging them to leave their anxieties at the door. The favouring of water features, courtyards and traditional earth tones gives the hotel and its 142 guestrooms the appearance of a recently refurbished historical property, rather than a completely new building.

ABOVE: Opened in 2009, the hotel, which is located on the city’s coastal south Corniche, boasts 142 spacious rooms and suites decorated in a cool and calming monochromatic manner.

Whether you are relaxing on the expansive terrace, perhaps with a fruit cooler as you tuck into Moroccan-infused cuisine while enjoying the view over King Fahad’s sprawling city-like palace or unkinking your muscles at the spa – a 2.5 acre complex centred around a Hammam-style concept that blends hydrotherapy treatments with the simpler pleasures of heated and mineralised waters, this hotel offers something for the mind and the body.

WHAT Park Hyatt
WHERE Jeddah
PRICE Room rates start at 450 USD
WHY Much more than a beautiful hotel, Jeddah’s Park Hyatt has reinvigorated the city’s art scene by hosting some of the best run cultural events in the Kingdom.

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