Luxury Heaven


Areen hospitality creates the design of the Swissôtel Makkah, inspired by contemporary design and Islamic culture

When the hotel opens, the Swissôtel Makkah will be the brand’s largest hotel to date, and its first in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The brief called for over 1,500 contemporary guest rooms and suites, with many rooms for triple occupancy. The large number of guests required suitable dining options; the hotel will open with three restaurants and one tea lounge, with two further restaurants in the design phase.


A part of the Abraj Al Bait complex, the Swissôtel Makkah, which opens in the summer this year, is a contemporary five-star venue which is located in close proximity to the holy Masjid Al Haram, overlooking the Ka’aba and the Grand Mosque, with its modern design complementing the values of the contemporary Arabian culture.

With a selection of various facilities, the grand hotel is part of a new urban complex development. Andrew Linwood, head of the Areen hospitality division, said it brings together the specialist skills of its designers to create bespoke interiors for all aspects of the hospitality industry including hotels, bars, restaurants, serviced apartments and VIP lounges.

Having been in the region for three decades, the firm won the project based on its past relations with clients.

“We have been working in the region for nearly 30 years and therefore have long, established relations with contractors and developers who like our work, our ethos and know they will have a high quality project delivered on time and on budget.

“We had in fact originally designed the tower as an apartment building before the owner decided to convert it to a hotel,” said Linwood.

The brief given to the design team was to create a five-star hotel that could cope with the huge numbers of pilgrims arriving in Makkah during Haj.

“The challenges of designing and procuring the FF&E for almost 1,600 rooms, including many of triple occupancy, and restaurants with almost 2,500 seats, were unique. When open, the Swissôtel will be Saudi Arabia’s largest hotel, boasting two of the largest restaurants in the world,” he added.

The inspiration for the hotel’s interiors had to be tweaked from its usual formula. Linwood said Swissôtel is generally a “cutting-edge contemporary brand” and the aspirations for this hotel were certainly no different.

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