We drove non-stop on the road that snaked its way among towering sand dunes and, just as we began to think that we’d made a mistake coming all the way here, we finally saw it: a series of towers, turrets and serrated roofs in the sandy vastness. It is colossal. It’s an entire city! I briefly wondered whether our arrival will be announced by a fanfare of trumpets.
We were ushered into this elegant reception hall – an enormous chandelier hung from the high ceiling, walls were adorned with lanterns and framed photographs of royalties, sofas were either carved in traditional design or dressed in exotic-patterned fabrics, traditional lamps and lanterns everywhere, a fountain right in the middle of the hall, and massive glass windows farther back that offered a glimpse of the rich desert behind it. Soft Arabian music played in the background.
As we sat there, transfixed, a man came and offered us wet towels and a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice as they took care of our check-in formalities. The place is grand. Qasr al Sarab is not a resort. It’s a palace. It’s an enormous sand castle – a magical kingdom – sculpted into towers and turrets peppered with torches and lanterns straight from an Indiana Jones movie!
The picture of the lobby (second from the bottom) is from Google images.