Hilton Salwa: The gigantic luxury hotel in the middle of nowhere

(CNN) — Absolutely nothing much lies on Qatar’s border with Saudi Arabia. A handful of sunbaked outposts and miles and miles of broad, empty desert in all directions.

Then, previously this 12 months, some thing extremely diverse appeared in the middle of this nowhere: A substantial, gleaming luxury resort complex, complete with its own topic park.

The Hilton Salwa Seaside Resort & Villas is clearly no normal lodge.

Witnessed from the air it resembles an complete coastal town. Pristine twin beach locations peel away from a central harbor. Earlier mentioned the sands, vivid white villas and buildings cluster all over blue swimming swimming pools. Guiding them, oasis greenery. It is a single of the Middle East’s greatest resorts.

So what occurs, when a gigantic upscale lodge appears miles from any place just as a pandemic freezes world travel?


The complicated is one particular of the biggest resorts in the Center East.

Dimitris Sideridis

It will get seriously hectic, according to Etienne-Charles Gailliez, the resort’s typical supervisor. On opening its doorways in February it grew to become a staycation hit with locals, he states. Extra not long ago it is been a popular desired destination for visitors and organization tourists from the wider region.

There is a good deal of home. Hilton Salwa Beach front has 84 villas, ranging from two to four bedrooms, with non-public swimming pools and immediate obtain to the white-sand beach (price ranges from US$1,500-a-night time). There are 31 Arabian village-type flats and villas, when the key hotel has 246 rooms and suites.

The huge grounds also comprise a lot more than 20 foodstuff and drink retailers, together with 7 connoisseur eating options, a high-end spa with VIP suites, sport courts, swimming pools surrounded by landscaped gardens, company facilities and a marina.

On top rated of that, there’s Qatar’s premier concept park, that includes dozens of points of interest, such as “King Cobra,” a thrilling twin tube trip that sends riders into the mouth of a substantial snake-like composition.

Health and basic safety


The vacation resort has its possess water entertaining park.

Dimitris Sideridis

The luxurious complex has been built on 320 hectares of sandy land some 100 kilometers southwest of Doha, strategically positioned to welcome site visitors equally from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Development began in 2015 and the remaining stage prior to opening was targeted on adapting it for the increased wellness and protection steps in line with Qatar’s mobility principles and hygiene protocols.

“Thanks to the impression of Covid-19, we experienced to speed up the demands for the opening of the resort and detect new one of a kind advertising details, which focused on staycations,” Gailliez told CNN.

That was very good information for Sama Jamali, a 21-yr-previous Doha resident, and her buddies. “Since it was unsafe and difficult to journey, we decided to have a staycation at the resort,” she advised CNN. “The home was wonderful and quite spacious and snug — with sophisticated technology and quite Covid-19 safe and sound and clean.”

Hilton Salwa

Villas and rooms are just methods from the seashore.

Dimitris Sideridis

Gailliez mentioned the introduction of journey recommendations and limits led to the adoption of a phased opening technique, with a quantity of shops and facilities these types of as a diving centre and a condition-of-the-artwork sports activities academy predicted to be useful in the coming months.

“We are a new resort and are more than just rooms. We have villas and a drinking water park which makes our structure really special,” explained Gailliez.

Alongside attempts to combine new contactless engineering, Gailliez recognized logistics and staffing as important factors. “On peak days, across the resort we welcome up to 2,500 attendees, with a workforce of all-around 1,200 group members,” he stated.

Motion and adrenaline

Hilton Salwa

Interiors are affected by standard Arabesque patterns.

Dimitris Sideridis

These company, when they are not lounging or strolling on the cotton-tender sands together the resort’s 3.5-kilometer shoreline, can keep active by deciding on from a extensive listing of exciting-loaded routines.

At the coronary heart of it all is the Desert Falls Drinking water and Experience Park.

The adrenaline-packed attraction options several children’s swimming pools and drinking water playgrounds, as nicely as virtually 30 rides and slides, including a spinning rapids ride that at its setting up issue — at the peak of the park’s 32-meter mountain — presents panoramic sights of the entire resort.

Right here, mat-racing company can also zoom down tubes — head to head and aspect by facet — into a swift splashdown, or consider out a surf simulator.

Hilton Salwa

Visitors can race every other on the drinking water slides.

Dimitris Sideridis

The park is also home to what is billed as the initially man-produced canyoning framework in the Center East. There is certainly an outside go-kart race monitor — fully equipped with stands for spectators — and an indoor laser tag system.

Inevitably, provided its dimension, the lodge has a range of dining solutions, together with Middle Japanese, Italian and Chinese cuisines.

Levantine serves signature Arabic dishes with a twist, including The Qattinah, a scrumptious mocktail that is composed of crafted botanical spice syrup, citrus kaleidoscope and flakes of 24-karat gold. Key study course and dessert highlights involve scorching kebabs with Mdakhan (smoked hummus, roasted garlic puree) followed by Knafeh nabulsiyeh (pistachio cream).

Golden drinks and foosball

Hilton Salwa

The resort’s Overlook Wong cafe serves up an Orange Sunset mocktail.

Dimitris Sideridis

At Miss Wong, the seem of a gong ushers company into a personal Chinese dining working experience that kicks off with an elaborate tea ceremony. Tips incorporate the rooster and vegetable soup (Enoki mushroom, dried shiitake mushrooms, vegetables, chicken & turmeric wonton), many dumpling possibilities and crispy Peking duck. A refreshing Orange Sunset mocktail (fresh orange/clean watermelon/clean lemon/grenadine syrup/oolong tea/egg-white) stands out on the beverages menu.

The resort’s Dante Cucina Italiana cafe serves Tuscan wines and pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven. An additional, The League, is a sports and leisure bar in which company can view soccer matches and play online games of pool and foosball. Cocktail pitches and beer buckets are obtainable here, together with a gastropub menu featuring a assortment of burgers, steaks and smoked ribs.

Of course, there is no scarcity of luxurious vacation resort selections in Qatar, particularly as the place gears up to welcome guests for soccer’s Earth Cup Finals at the close of 2022.

The by now busy line up involves the W Doha, the Mandarin Doha, Ritz-Carlton’s Sharq Village and Spa, additionally Antara’s offshore Banana Island Resort, all of which are extra easy for downtown and airport.

So is the journey out to the desert well worth it?

“We savored the assortment of dining establishments, specially the continental buffet. Top rated-notch food with superb presentation,” stated Jamali, who is already seeking forward to a different continue to be.

“It was a excellent experience and there was no dull second thanks to the entertaining and different functions accessible