Nestled in the Heart of Sharjah, The Chedi Al Bait is the best of lush offerings and the sanctuary of home.
Nobody juxtaposes luxury and comfort better than Sharjah. Taking a rich heritage and cultivating it into something modern is simply one of their default settings, and The Chedi al Bait stands as a stunning testament to the same.
“Welcome home!” says the staff as soon as you step onto the premises. While it might be an unexpected greeting at a hotel, ‘Al Bait’ translates to home in Arabic.
Part of the GHM family, The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah first opened its large timber doors in the Heart of Sharjah on the 13th of December, 2017. While luxury is definitely at the forefront, the place is a truly unique heritage property unlike any other.
Housed in six restored buildings and nearly a century old, the place was once the residence of the Al Midfa family. Originally from Oman, they migrated to Sharjah and rose to prominence in pearl diving, business, and public administration, and became influential figures in the history and progress of Sharjah.
The head of the family, Ibrahim Al Midfa, was a personal writer for 4 rulers of Sharjah, as well as a renowned pearl merchant. So across 10,000 sq feet of beauty, you’re sure to find influences from Sharjah, Oman, as well as India.
‘Chedi’ means a place for relaxation in Singapore, and together the hotel makes for the pinnacle of elevated relaxation whilst still feeling at home. While this property is the first in the UAE, they’re soon planning to expand to the mountain tops of Khorfokkan. However, of all the properties under the group, this remains the only location with a compelling backstory.
Unlike your run-of-the-mill sprawling hotels, The Chedi Al Bait has just 10 houses, with five of them at least over a hundred years old. There are 53 rooms and 8 suites, with a Korean-Japanese restaurant, The Restaurant, a cafe, a jewellery shop, a museum, as well a library among other attractions on the premises.
Upon entry, you’re led through several winding unmarked lanes before you reach the main reception. Which might get you lost, but could also lead you to explore several facets of the fascinating property. The architecture here is resplendent, to say the least, with each corner offering a little nugget for those looking. For example, while wind towers are usually square-shaped, the one here is circular in shape, and again, at least a century old.
The Elephant Door is another marvel. It acted as a landmark during olden times and was made by Indians with influences from their culture visible in the markings.
Walking into The Chedi Al Bait is akin to time travel into the past, with all the comforts of modern luxury. According to the GM, it took 8 years to rebuild the hotel from the ground up. More importantly, they took great care to ensure the original structures and foundation remained as undisturbed as possible.
The smooth coral and gypsum walls, palm frond poles on the thatched barasti roof fitted with timber beams, traditional lanterns hanging from them, and octagonal coffee tables carved with intricate designs immediately set up the ultimate scene of serenity. As you explore the place, there’s much to see and indulge in, but also a lot of room to relax.
While there, it’s imperative that you dine At The Restaurant at least once. With both alfresco and indoor seating, the space transforms from a shaded yellow day in the emirate to aglow with fairy lights post sunset.
The indoor section of The Restaurant, which also serves breakfast and dinner, follows the same Emirati design sensibility, drawing heavily from Islamic heritage, with well spaced-out tables offering privacy, soft lighting, and private dining areas.
During lunch hours, the spread includes international fare with Asian, Mediterranean, and Indian influences. When it comes to dinner (which was what he had the privilege of experiencing), it’s a thoroughly Middle Eastern cuisine. While the food is best left personally explored, it’s worth noting that portion sizes should be confirmed as you place the order.
Imagine this. You’re sitting in a minimalist but not sparse courtyard, surrounded by walls that tell a thousand stories. If you so wish, you could step up and visit a library, or head to a gender-sectioned pool for a dip. You wash off in your opulent room and soak in the culture as you head to The Restaurant for a bite. You’re well-fed, and even better-taken care of. Open your eyes, and welcome home to The Chedi Al Bait.
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