Offering an authentic Arabic experience which you may not get from the UAE, Oman retains a traditional look and feel and provides some of the most remarkable backdrops within the Middle East. Our Travel Specialist, Sally has recently returned from this intoxicating country and couldn’t wait to share her top highlights from the trip.
Chedi Club Suite
A blend of traditional Omani architecture and Eastern minimalism creates a zen-style setting at The Chedi Muscat. Each exquisite guestroom is decorated in a soothing, neutral palette leaving you in a natural state of serenity. A stay in the Chedi Club Suite was a highlight of my trip; as I walked through the dark wooden doors my eyes were fixed to the magnificent cinematic views of the Gulf of Oman and Hajar Mountains. A terrazzo sunken bathtub is a focal point of the suite; indulgence is enjoying a long soak with a gin infusion from your mini-bar.
The Long Pool
Double the Olympic length and framed by cosy cabanas with a lounge area at its head, this pool is the longest in Arabia. We whiled away the hours gazing at the glittering gulf and savoring exquisitely cut Japanese sushi and Pan-Asian bites - the chicken satay with coconut rice cake was delicious!
A Mountain Hike
Perched amidst untouched terrain and overlooking a dramatic gorge and striking canyons, you will find Alila Jabal Akhdar. Upon arrival we pulled on our walking boots and headed straight out to investigate the local area. You can choose to hike independently or with a local guide - if you would like to uncover the history behind this mountainous landscape, I recommend walking with a local guide. After exploring small hamlets, old, uninhabited villages, caves and valleys, we retired to Spa Alila for a traditional Balinese massage before indulging in the most delicious burger I have ever tasted at Rose Lounge.
Six Senses Spa
Built into the surrounding landscape of towering stone and rock cliffs of the Haijar Mountains, the lavish new Six Senses spa has now opened in Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Measuring 33,000 square feet, with 17 treatment rooms spread across three floors, this is the largest spa in Arabia; its vastness is truly breathtaking. A varied spa menu offers locally inspired treatments given by local experts; I recommend the Six Senses signature detox massage.
A Family Favourite
As we wandered through the three properties at this Moorish-style resort, it was clear that this is a hotel which caters for everybody. Couples looking for a luxurious getaway would be suited to Al Husn, whereas families with kids should opt for Al Bandar and Al Waha. Children are well catered for in these Omani retreats; they can spend the morning floating along the lazy river between Al Bandar and Al Waha before heading to Spashpad (an aquatic play area) where they'll find floating trampolines in abundance. On land there's a mini golf course, a games room named GameZ and an Adventure Zone filled with drop slides, swing over nets and a climbing wall.
Sense on the Edge
From the moment I saw Six Senses Zighy Bay down in the bay after ascending the mountain road, I was completely blown away; I felt like I was staying in an authentic Omani village. The property offers excellent service, facilities and delicious food. I indulged in the dedicated five course lobster menu at Sense on the Edge. The new chef has trained in top restaurants in London and Melbourne and produces nothing but the most spectacular cuisine. The setting is on par with the food, located nearly 1,000 feet above the beach below, the restaurant offers magnificent views of the resort and beyond - it was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had.