Sometimes you need to escape the steamy urban swell of the city and ground yourself in nature. In little under three hours from Dubai we were in the mountains, drinking in the views and marvelling at the fresh air.
The Six Senses resort at Zighy Bay has been on my list of places to experience since we moved to the UAE two years ago. Just to tease myself I’d take a peek at the website and imagine a relaxing weekend, walking through the foam being throw on the beach by the waves. And then realised that it’s not really possible with a young family.
But it is and the reality didn’t quite match the imagination. It was better. It’s as simple as that. The prices are steep, but you’re not paying for a hotel room. You’re paying for an experience, and before you accuse me of being trite, let me explain.
Location: The approach and location of Zighy Bay is exhilarating. We left behind the coffee shops and market stalls of Dibba, weaved our way through the village of Daba and then tackled the dusty, sandy track that weaves into the Al Hajar Mountains. The rocky road to the resort clings to the hillside, and after several switchbacks you’re rewarded with your first glimpse of paradise. Accessible only by 4x4 or boat, and nestled in a little cove, you know this is a place to relax.
Accommodation: This is not a hotel. You don’t book a room. You book a villa. The rooms are large and there is attention to detail; whether you want to relax in your villa and play chess, watch TV or a DVD, lounge in an over-sized bathtub or simply relax in your private pool, it’s all here.
Service: You feel looked after, while at the same time as having your privacy respected. Your personal butler is at your service at the touch of a button. Having one person to look after you makes you feel respected and relaxed. It makes communication easier when someone understands your requests and knows your schedule.
Activities: You could spend your entire visit in your villa, chilling out in the pool, or on the beach, absorbing your surroundings, or in the spa having your worries rubbed away. Or you could jump off a mountain in a paraglider and sail and snorkel around the coast - we did both. Our girls loved the dhow cruise. Our guide, Humaid, was fun and informative, encouraging the children to swim and learn about the rocky caves and underwater life. And the children aren’t forgotten on land either. There is a children’s club and a teenagers’ club, with scheduled activities. Try archery, tennis, the jungle gym, mountain trekking, kayaking…shall I go on?!
I’ve make managed to tick Zighy Bay on my list. But I’m not taking it off my list – I want to go back for more.
For more photographs please click here.
The practical bit:
The border: Non-UAE and Omani nationals have to cross at the Corniche border post, but please don't just turn up or you'll get sent back. You need a hotel reservation and the hotel needs to add your name to a list at the crossing.
Accommodation: Each of the 82 villas has a private pool. The resort is laid out to resemble a rustic Omani village. You can wander the sandy street or pedal your way around.
Sustainability: The resort prides itself on being sympathetic with its environment. There is a 2,500 square metre organic garden, which provides vegetables, fruits and herbs, and the grounds are home to more than 130 fig trees and 1,000 date palm trees which are harvested annually.
A touch of class: Six Senses Zighy Bay has a library where guests can relax, read a book and surf the internet. The library also houses the resorts many awards for Best Destination Spa – Oman (World Luxury Spa Awards), Oman’s Leading Resort and Oman’s Leading Spa Resort (World Travel Awards) and Best Sustainable Initiative and Best Hotel (Middle East Hotel Awards) to name a few.
For the resort’s website click here.