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Huge rock transformed into luxury hotel

Say what you will about their peculiar clothing and unorthodox pets, but you can’t knock film villains when it comes to architecture. From renovating volcanoes to refurbishing caves, big-screen bad guys have always been notorious for pushing the boundaries of the property ladder, usually with exceptional results.

All of which explains our excitement over this stunning concept art from American architect Chad Oppenheim.

At first glance, the complex pictured looks precisely like the sort of stylishly eccentric lair in which dastardly plots are hatched and square-jawed secret agents are placed in perilous yet easily escapable situations. However, the Wadi Rum Resort — which will be located in a desert valley near Aqaba, southern Jordan — is actually set to be one of the most luxurious, and unusual, hotels in the world.

Oppenheim and his team see the scheme as an opportunity to “re-engage the land and live in harmony with the natural world”, by carving the 47 ‘huts’ directly into the Wadi Rum’s rock face. The area — known as ‘The Valley Of The Moon’ for its craggy, crater-littered environs — is fast becoming one of Jordan’s liveliest tourist destinations, thanks to its picturesque landscape and ancient cave etchings. Rather than erect a new building to cater for the steadily flocking sightseers, Oppenheim and co have opted to make use of what’s already there and, in their own words, “blur the boundaries between man-made and nature” in the process.

The eco-friendly des-res (that’s ‘desert residence’) is only in the early stages of planning at present, but if you’ve ever harboured a secret ambition to be a Bond baddie, you’re advised to buy yourself a hairless cat and save the reservations number in your speed dial now.