The awareness about sustainability has spread so far and wide that even affluent travelers opting for luxury travel want to make it as sustainable as possible. The hospitality industry has also responded wholeheartedly and the latest example is the eco lodge designed by Chad Oppenheim in Jordan’s desert. The desert lodge must be seen to be believed. It is almost unimaginable how beautiful and breathtaking a design can be if it merges with its environment seamlessly. The project is called the Valley of the Moon, or Wadi Rum in the local language and it resembles a Martian landscape with its high red sandstone and granite walls.
The first of its kind design that merges beautifully with the surrounding desert has authentic Bedouin roots. It were the Bedouins who used to roam the deserts and knew how to survive in the harsh environment. The inflow of large number of tourists because of adventure tours makes it difficult to maintain the Bedouin flavor of the location but this award-winning design manages the impossible. The best part is that they do it without compromising on the luxury service that the affluent travelers can’t do without. Today a desert lodge also must have all the amenities that have become a necessity for a luxury establishment.
The beauty of this design is that it has been made as sustainable as possible. The design not only takes into account the local environment but the local culture as well. It is very discreet and does not seem too conspicuous or interfering. The desert lodge depends on the natural thermal mass, obviating the need for artificial cooling or heating. The design incorporates facilities for water conservation and harvesting so that the lodge can manage with the local resources available. The unique project is scheduled to be completed in 2014.