Friday, May 27, 2011

Wadi Feynan

My favorite hotels possess a very strong connection to place. Architecture, landscape design, interior design, and food should all reflect the location that you're actually in, and not some distant place that you'd rather be if you had more money and time.

I do realize there's lot a grey area in that statement. I mean, isn't archetypal Los Angeles Spanish revival just a recreation of a distant place? Just because we've been ripping that off for centuries, does that make it true to place?

I don't have the answer to that question. What I do know is that when I'm in a Tuscany-inspired room in Las Vegas or a Tokyo-inspired room in Dubai, I just feel stuck in a confusing airport/womb space waiting to feel something.

(Maybe it's okay if the inspiration is reflective of history? The Spanish were actually in California. I'm pretty sure Japan never colonized The Emirates. But I digress...)

I consult for the Sundance Institute's Screenwriter's Lab in Jordan and had the pleasure of staying for a week for the workshop at the incredible Feynan Ecolodge in Wadi Feynan.

Beyond the isolated location, beautiful design and delicious food, this 26-room ecolodge had a bunch of cool features that add to the experience. They shut off the electricity (largely run by solar power) at sundown and fill the hotel with candles. In the summer they roll out rugs on the roof top to project movies under the stars, and they have a permanent Bedouin tent set up for lounging. And we know how I feel about lounging.

To me this place optimizes connection to place.

How cool is that rug art?

These are all just my own mediocre photos. There are tons more, especially at night when the candles come out, here.

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