There is one Hyatt Hotel that I would love to review but will never be able to, a Hyatt locked behind the closed doors of a city that someone like me is not welcome in.
I’m talking about the Hyatt Regency in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It looks like a beautiful property:
But Mecca, Islam’s most holy city, is not open to non-Muslims. A checkpoint on the one road into the city ensures that only the faithful are admitted.
Travelers have snuck in…only to face severe consequences for doing so.
As much as I’d love to sneak in myself, I’m not sure if I would even if I could get away with it. It is not my intention to disrespect the rules over entrance into this city, especially as a guest in the Kingdom.
But who knows…Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has now opened up the country in many ways, including permitting women to drive (yes, it is 2018). Saudi Arabia also plans to introduce tourist visas soon, for the first time ever. Maybe Mecca will open too. From an architectural and cultural perspective, it would rise to the top of my travel wishlist.
Hyatt is not the only game in town. Mecca is full of luxury hotels including Marriott, Conrad, and InterContinental properties. For now, these hotels remain out of reach to non-Muslim travelers.