If you’re ready to kick off your Loubs, backstroke in your private pool and live the (luxuriously) simple life, then head to Six Senses Zighy Bay, just over the UAE border in Oman. Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss are all fans of Six Senses resorts and the relaxed luxury the hotels have mastered. Just a 90-minute drive from Dubai on the Musandam peninsula, Zighy Bay is built like a traditional Omani village and there’s not a gilded ceiling to be found. Instead of Bentleys, the hotel provides each guest with a bike, perfect to ride around the resort’s 1,000 date palms. But don’t let the hippie vibe fool you; Zighy Bay is all about the high life, just in a more laid-back Gwyneth Paltrow-style. Foodies will go gaga over the organic dishes and vino lovers have over 250 types of grape to choose from. Did we mention that you can also paraglide into the hotel? It’s time to escape…
Beach, Spa, Pool & Gym
The best things about Zighy Bay’s main pool are the unique dark stone tiles that make the water look volcanic, and the fact that the pool is never crowded since every hotel guest has their own! The 1.6km-long private beach dotted with orange sunloungers is only steps away and there are kayaks available to grab at your leisure.At the edge of the resort is the house of bliss – the Six Senses Spa, boasting nine naturally lit treatment rooms. It offers everything from mini facials for Dhs240 to three-hour treatments for Dhs1,150, and boasts two Hammams and a rooftop open-air pavilion for yoga. There’s also a state of the art gym, but guests would be remiss not to take their calorie burn outside to the outdoor jungle gym or tennis courts. Our fave part of the outdoor fitness area was the ‘No Goats Allowed’ barrier. Trust us, it’s there for a reason.
‘Rooms’ really isn’t the right word here. ‘Dens of relaxation and awesomeness’ is far more accurate. Of the 82 villas on the property, 36 have beachfront access sitting directly on 1.6km of unspoiled private beach, and we gotta say, they’re well worth the splurge. Along with a huge bedroom and living area, all villas boast a huge stone bathtub, a private pool big enough to swim in, outdoor and indoor showers, oversized daybeds and a traditional outdoor majlis. We went for beachfront accommodation and woke up every day to watch the sunrise from our front door, the light bouncing off the mountains behind us. Picture perfect!
The Restaurants & Bars
SENSE ON THE EDGE: Talk about table with a view! Fine dining at 293m-high with a view of the Bay of Oman is unbeatable, as is the vanilla poached lobster with compressed cucumber and the lavender and orange glazed veal loin with foie gras – indulgent in the best way! You can feast on three courses for Dhs334 or five for Dhs525. For those who’ve been to Sense before, they’ve upgraded the lighting, so you can enjoy the view and see your delish meal too.
SUMMER HOUSE: For those with a fear of heights, or a passion for bistro cuisine, Summer House is an elegant dining option. We loved the upside down hanging tree in the entry so much we had to Instagram it between courses. All the classics are prepared with a twist and the wagyu beef burger (Dhs114) was the best we’ve had outside the US! The Muscovado banana and avocado gazpacho (Dhs57) is a must for foodies who like their dessert anything but classic.
SPICE MARKET: This bright restaurant serves up Arabic cuisine for lunch and dinner and a buffet breakfast for all guests. The brekkie is not to be missed as all the spreads are homemade – we went crazy for the lavender jam.
ZIGHY BAR & BEACH HUT: Fancy a few sundowners? Of course you do. Head to Zighy Bar for open-air drinks and desserts or hit the Beach Hut for drinks and nibbles to complement your day in the water. The mocktail with ginger ale and lime is freshness in a glass.
Standard rack rate: From Dhs3,305 for a pool villa off season; prices change depending on the time of year.
Thai massage: Dhs477
INFO: Zighy Bay, Musandam Peninsula, Sultanate of Oman; +968 26735 555, email@example.com, www.sixsenses.com.