Six Senses Zighy Bay – Oman
Hotel Type: Luxury 5* hotel with mountain views.
Location: On the northeast Musandam Peninsula of Oman – a very scenic two hours from Dubai. Arrive by 4×4, boat or paraglider.
Style: Omani village chic.
Rooms: Exotic villas with pools.
Our Favourite Room: The Pool Villa Beachfront offers direct access to the beach, with beautiful views of the sunrise over the bay. They come with their own private pool too.
Ideal For: Adventure and pampering.
Swimming: All villas and suites come with their own private pool, but there is also a private beach only a short walk away.
Dining: There is a big emphasis on fresh and local ingredients at all of the three restaurants, with a lot of the produce coming from the resort’s farm and organic gardens. The signature restaurant, Sense on the Edge, is an ideal spot for a romantic dinner with a beautiful view.
Children: With clubs for teenagers and younger children, this is a very child-friendly hotel.
Activities: You will not be short of things to do, with a handful of activities that cover land, sea and air. Hike the trails of Musandam or take a day trip to Dibba Fort. With The Gulf as the ideal setting for water sports, diving and snorkelling are a must, or charter a yacht if you prefer to go at a slower pace. Foodies can learn how to cook authentic dishes with a cooking class, get a tour of the organic garden and get involved in one of the many workshops at the farm, which is 20 minutes from the resort.
Spa: Wellness plays a big part at Six Senses Zighy Bay, with a multitude of facilities and activities. The spa includes nine treatment rooms, two Arabic-style hammams, an ice cave, fitness centre and steam room. There is also an outdoor yoga pavilion to enjoy yoga at sunrise.
Accessibility: Due to the landscape and setting of the hotel, unfortunately it isn’t suitable for wheelchair users.
Low Season Price From: £560 for a pool villa including breakfast.
High Season Price From: £1,550 for a pool villa including breakfast.
Open From: All year round.
However you arrive at Six Senses Zighy Bay, whether it’s by road, boat, or for a really a dramatic entrance, by paraglider, nothing quite prepares you for the uniquely spectacular setting. With the limestone Al Hajar mountains dropping almost vertically to the mile long crescent beach, the luxury resort sits idyllically secluded, looking over the glittering Gulf of Oman to the horizon. Built from local stone and wood, and surrounded by countless date palms and limes, it blends in with the natural colours of its surroundings. And when you arrive, you want for nothing. Six Senses Zighy Bay epitomises effortless barefoot luxury, from the private villas with infinity pools to the faultless service guests receive. For style and splendid isolation, there’s nowhere else.
Suites and villas are serene and very private enclaves in a village style setting, with their own pools. They’re all wonderfully spacious, made from local rock and palms for the roofs, smooth stone floors and traditional plaster walls. Simply and authentically decorated, with open plan bathrooms, unbleached linen on the Naturalmat beds, a wine fridge and courtyards and gardens with daybeds – they are havens. And what’s more, they all come with a host – a Guest Experience Maker – who is there for anything you need, and bikes to wend your way around the sandy paths of the resort. The large Pool Villas can sleep up to four, and look out over their own gardens with an infinity edged pool, outdoor shower and cushioned daybeds. Right by the water, you’ll find the Pool Villas Beachfront, where you can step straight from your private garden onto the beach. The larger Pool Villa Suites have separate bedrooms and living areas and expansive shady terraces by the pool. Again, for beach access, the similar sized Pool Villa Suites Beachfront are both luxurious and exotic. The Duplex Two Bedroom Pool Villas can sleep up to five over two floors. They feature a large terrace with infinity pool and a balcony for the first floor bedroom. Sleeping up to six, the Duplex Two Bedroom Pool Villa Suites are ideal for families, with a large daybed sofa in the living area. What can we say about the Duplex Two Bedroom Villa Suites Beachfront, other than they the epitome of luxury? The Retreats are very spacious three-bedroom pool villas offering total privacy. At either end of the beach, they have uninterrupted views of the sea and a very generously sized infinity pool. The Private Reserve is tucked away at the foot of the mountain with its own stretch of beach. With four bedrooms it is positively palatial and the outdoor bathrooms are something else!
Dining is an experience at Six Senses Zighy Bay with five restaurants and much of the produce coming from the resort’s organic gardens the locally – seafood fresh from the Gulf and dates from the surrounding palms. The Spice Market serves Middle Eastern and modern European dishes in an ambient setting. Bistro style cuisine is on the menu at the Summer House, looking out over the pool – perfect for a light lunch or relaxed dinner. The resort’s signature restaurant Sense on the Edge, is found 293 metres above sea level, looking back down over the bay. Dine on French and Japanese influenced degustation menus and drink in the view. We love Shua Shack – a Bedouin style restaurant on the beach, serving delicious mezze and Middle Eastern treats. And for sundowners, sit back at Zighy Bar for cocktails, mocktails and a tasty tapas selection. Guests can enjoy private dining in your own villa, or book “destination dining” at a romantic location on the beach or high up in the mountains.
Destinations don’t come more memorable than this for families – the resort has everything. Whilst parents have a little down time, children from 4-11 have the Chaica’s Club, with its host of activities from watersports to fun on the beach. The Al Feeteans’ Club for teenagers arranges adventure hikes, abseiling, archery and much more. And the open air cinema is always popular.
Where do we start? You could come here for total restoration and relaxation, enjoying the beach, your private pool and the superlative Six Senses Spa, and why not? The Spa does have two hammams, a yoga pavilion, ice cave and an exceptional list of therapeutic treatments and therapies. However, Six Senses Zighy Bay also has a list of activities that could take you a lot longer than a week to try out. If you didn’t paraglide into the resort, you still have a chance. The views from up high are most definitely worth it. If you’re happier with your feet on the ground, there are a multitude of treks through the mountains and local villages. Sunrise and sunset offer some of the most amazing experiences, or take a picnic lunch. There are day trips to to Dibba Fort, where you can immerse yourself in Omani culture, ending in a private dining experience at the resort’s farm. The terrain around Zighy Bay is also ideal for mountain biking and rock climbing. There are numerous water-based options too. The Gulf is home to extraordinary marine life, and diving or snorkelling are the best ways to see it. The resort has an experienced and highly qualified team of guides and instructors who can teach all levels. You can charter a yacht, watch the sunset from a dhow, deep sea fish or explore the coastline on a speed boat.
Six Senses has a strong commitment to the local environment and community with a number of initiatives and programmes. Its arid location means water is precious, so the resort has developed a reverse osmosis plant and water refinery, filtering seawater, meaning it is entirely self-sufficient and there is zero wastage. There’s a continual tree planting programme, both in resort and along local coast roads. Guests are encouraged to take part in beach cleans, and there has been much work in removing ghost nets from the bay, vastly improving marine life. As much as possible is recycled; glass is used instead of plastic and all cleaning products are environmentally friendly. Their mantra is reduce, reuse and recycle. Guests can visit the Earth Lab, where soaps, scrubs and shampoos are made from natural ingredients from the organic garden and farm. Anything the resort can’t grow itself, it endeavours to source locally and the Zighy villagers, most of whom are fishermen supply much of the seafood. From a community perspective, the resort has close links with the local girls’ school, promoting education and empowerment and it has recently helped build a new laboratory for the local hospital.