The pioneers of tropical modernism and known in elite circles worldwide for their impeccably designed and discreet properties, Aman is the ‘if you know, you know’ of hotel groups. Their 34 hotels and resorts are the pinnacle of quiet luxury – a favourite with royals and VIPS who regularly visit its resorts and exclusive city boltholes. Having announced openings of three properties in AlUla, Aman has now announced two more openings in Saudi Arabia – both in the historic Diriyah development in Riyadh. Openings include an Aman property and its ‘more affordable’, youthful sister brand Janu.
Aman Wadi Safar and Janu Diriyah are confirmed to open in Diriyah – the birthplace of Arabia centres around a UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif. A US$63.2 billion development is transforming the historic area into a heritage, retail, tourism and dining destination, with the latest hotels announced being two properties from Aman.
Aman Wadi Safar will feature just 78 rooms alongside 34 fully-service Aman branded residences, bringing iconic concepts like the Aman Spa to the Saudi capital. The design team behind the newly opened Aman New York, Denniston Architects, have been appointed to bring the legendary Jean-Michel Gathy’s design touches to the property, but to perfectly balance them with the locale and Diriyah’s rich culture and heritage. The project will be set away from the central development in the peaceful Wadi Safar area, and no doubt be inspired by the traditional mudbrick Najdi architectural style, as is seen in Diriyuah and the UNESCO site At-Turaif.
While Aman Wadi Safari will be small, discreet and peaceful, sister brand Janu Diriuyah will be more vicious and soulful. Literally translating to ‘soul’ in Sanskrit (with Aman meaning ‘peace’), the new Janu property will be close to the UNESCO Site and main Diriyah complex and have 120 keys, a Janu spa and several vibrant restaurants. Janu is set to debut its first property in Tokyo, Japan, later this year, with an opening in Saudi’s AlUla also set for 2025.
‘We are very proud to launch Diriyah’s partnership with Aman, delivering two outstanding projects in Wadi Safar and Diriyah. Diriyah, the City of Earth, will be the world’s largest cultural and heritage destination. These projects will enhance our luxury offerings to guests who come to explore our identity,’ says Jerry Inzerillo, group CEO of Diriyah Company.
‘This announcement marks a continuation of Aman Group’s commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. When I first visited the country, it made an immediate and lasting impression upon me owing to its rich heritage and culture, as well as exceptional landscapes,’ added Vlad Doronin, chairman and CEO of Aman Group. ‘Aman Wadi Safar and Janu Diriyah will build upon Aman Group’s existing pipeline of properties in Saudi Arabia and reinforce our strategic vision to offer our clients the opportunity to experience the breadth of this fascinating, previously undiscovered country with journeys that encompass city experiences, remote desert landscapes and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.’
Aman currently operates luxury resorts and discreet city properties across the world, with new openings like New York City – dubbed as the world’s most expensive city hotel – joining favourites like Aman Venice on the Grand Canal (the setting for George and Amal Clooney’s 2014 nuptials), Sri Lanka’s Amanwella and Aman Le Melezin on Courchevel 1850s manicured Bellecote piste.
Like Aman hotels, Janu properties will follow the same minimalist, with Asian influences and connections to the locale. There will be a focus on social dining – such as open kitchens and countertop eating – and culinary experimentation, like low-temperature cooking and fermentation. Janu will launch with three new hotels, already under construction, in Japan’s Tokyo in 2023 (already home to an Aman property) and AlUla, Saudi Arabia in 2027. Plans were announced in 2020 for Aman Montenegro, also offering serviced residences, though no further announcements have been made.
Janu hotels set to open
Janu Tokyo will mark the debut of the exciting and luxurious new lifestyle brand. Opening in Autumn 2023, Janu Tokyo will bed down in the city’s highly anticipated ‘Modern Urban Village’ Azabudai Hills – a thirty-years-in-the-making development in the heart of the city designed to bring people together and create a zen, yet social, hub. Occupying 13 floors of the new B-2 District Tower, Aman Janu will feature 122 light-filled guest rooms (many with views of the iconic Tokyo Tower) and a host of spacious suites. There will be six dining outlets, including an open-kitchen grill offering, an Italian food emporium and two Japanese restaurants, as well as a bar, lounge and terrace. A real draw here will be Janu Tokyo’s sprawling 4,000sq m wellness space – one of the largest in the Japanese capital – which will house five movement studios, Pilates and gold training, a gym, hydrotherapy and thermal area, two indoor pools and seven treatment rooms.
It’s only right that a brand known for its striking hotels would open in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, and guests can look forward to experiencing Janu AlUla in 2027. Janu will join two other properties from Aman in the ancient Saudi Arabian desert Kingdom – a main Aman AlUla resort (opening in 2025) and a tented camp in 2026. Janu AlUla will be a ranch-style desert resort where guests can live out their Lone Ranger fantasies. While just as design-oriented and with the same levels of service, Janu AlUla is expected to be 30% more affordable and a little less secluded than the main resort.