I’ve always imagined “Paradise” as being formed of a various slices of personal experiences. In this way, each and one of us is the maker of its own Paradise. After spending a few days this January at Six Senses Zighy Bay, I can say that this experience definitely made the cut to one of my best travel escapades ever. Remote and fabulous, peaceful and eco-focused, Six Senses Zighy Bay is one for the books. Book now, live the out-of-the-ordinary experience and I am sure it’s will become also the best slice of your own Paradise.
The year has started with media trip to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been until now. Literally. Just two hours driving from Dubai you will reach Musandam Peninsula, a territory which is a governorate of Oman. It’s just into the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow entry into the Persian Gulf, from the Arabian Peninsula. The Governorate is an exclave, separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates. Here, where the rocky mountains are embracing the emerald sea lies a piece of Paradise: the unique and charming Six Senses Zighy Bay Resort.
Having been to Six Senses Laamu at the end of July 2017 I became familiar with the values of Six Senses Hotels &Resorts, which won last year a bunch of outstanding accolades in the Luxury Travel Industry. Six Senses is the Best Luxury Hotel Brand in the World in 2017 according to Travel+Leisure and Six Senses Duoro Valley won the award for the Best Hotel in Europe, according to Conde Nast Traveller. So… staying in a Six Senses nowadays it’s such a fashionable thing to do. And it’s also the future trend in the industry, as discerning travellers will seek more and more those hotel brands which are celebrating the environment and are giving away a part of their earning in order to support the local communities.
The core values of Six Senses brand is its commitment to sustainability and its obligation to the environment and the community. Widely recognized as having established the initial benchmarks for the hospitality industry showing that a leisure lifestyle could be successfully embraced by the very top tier of resorts, Six Senses has shown that it is possible to enhance the guest experience by showing respect to nature. Through careful consideration of the effects that operating systems, materials and purchasing policies have on the environment, Six Senses is continually developing new initiatives and procedures to minimize our ecological impact.
Now… going back to Six Senses Zighy Bay, I have to mention that the arrival at the hotel is impressive. You might get car dizziness while climbing the rocky Hajar mountains, but as soon as you reach the top of the last mountain you see the resort and you say to yourself: “oh, this is quite a place”. On the shores of the sea lies a man-made Oasis, an incredible slice of Paradise, in a place where 10 years ago were just golden rocks, a stripe of pristine beach and nothing more. Not even the Zighy Bay village you can see near the resort was there until Six Senses brand came. The resort’s agreement with the local tribes included the construction of the Zighy Village next door for the local families, which has now over 300 inhabitants.
If you are up to it, Six Senses Zighy Bay is the only hotel in the world that offers paragliding (with an experienced instructor) as an alternative to driving all the way down from the top of the mountain range. It’s also called the “best hotel arrival in the world“. Some 20 minutes later and hundreds of meters down the paraglider touches down on the resort’s beach and your GEM (Guest Experience Maker) will be waiting for you with a glass of champagne and will drive you to the villa, where you will find already all your bags waiting to be unpacked.
In keeping with the brand’s principles and identity, Six Senses Zighy Bay perfectly blends into the surroundings. The villas are fashioned like an Omani village. The use of stone, desert tones and wood make the resort feel as if it had been built with the materials that some shipwreck passengers lost at sea found in the Bay, only with 21st century luxuries amenities.
Six Senses does not promote a technologically advanced escape nor does it offer modern designs, the brand’s identity is based on organic food and back to nature vacations that embody the true meaning of barefoot luxury. Luxury is defined as being able to forget about all our responsibilities and stress. At the other property, Six Sense Laamu in the Maldives, I have even been requested to turn away my shoes upon arrival, as a symbolic gesture of letting go. At Zighy Bay that would be unpractical since the sand can get hot and there are activities that involve treks and other outdoor excursions where shoes are a must.
Off-white walls, stone floors, carved woods and the signature orange cushions. All villas have outdoor pools, some are right on the beach and some have multiple rooms for extended families, so common in the Middle East. Smart privacy is another regular feature of Six Senses. Despite villas are relatively close to each other, tall walls, date palm trees and other bushes and bamboo doors ensure that you have utmost privacy.
Inside, there is a sober bedroom that could well be taken off a monk’s cell, a large bathroom with two sinks, a massive stone bath and an indoor and outdoor shower and a spacious lounge with a L-shaped sofa. There are no doors between the three spaces and the mud walls are carved to fashion chic headrests and shelves. Although you are unlikely to turn it on, there is a TV in the lounge area.
The outdoor area of the pool villa has a table where meals can be served, a shaded lounge with comfy sofas and a bamboo relaxation room with low cushions for lazy afternoons away from the sun. We had two sun loungers ready with towels and thick mattresses to sun bathe.
The decor across the resort uses natural materials like bamboo, wood carvings, unbleached fabrics, ropes and other organic, locally sourced and natural fabrics and materials. You will not find any piece of furniture featured on design magazines for the Six Senses style is unique to its properties and especially designed for and by the resorts. The designs may look rudimentary and basic but are well thought-out and attention to detail is everywhere.
For health junkies, Zighy Bay ticks every box. Everything you can imagine is on offer and executed with style, incredible care and superlative know-how. Six Senses Zighy Bay has the best healthy-oriented menu I have experienced in a luxury hotel. You can start with some green juices, then you can enjoy a jar with overnight oatmeal with pineapple or strawberries, or you can order some eggs with avocado from their a La Carte menu. If you are into fruits, depends on the time of your arrival, you can enjoy a nice selection of fresh fruits, most of them coming from the resorts private orchards.
Plenty to choose also if you love carbs as much as I do. How does fresh baked banana muffins with coconut jam sound like? Heavenly, right?
One evening at Shua Shack, the beach restaurant of the resort, we enjoyed one fabulous dish, lamb cooked on hot rocks under the sand. This is a traditional dinner cooked across the Middle East and also in Oman. I am not a big fan of lamb dishes, but this one was incredible. Pair it with some rice and you will get a fabulous dinner.
Last night we had dinner at the hilltop Sense on the Edge restaurant. Breathtaking views combines with fine dining and wine pairing. The restaurant is not opened on all days and it is closed in the summer months as it is too hot but make sure to book a spot by the balcony setting, on the edge, if it is open while you visit. Go early to grab the last rays of light. As the resort is facing east, the sun sets behind so unfortunately there are no sunset views here, yet the last hues of the day vanishing behind the mountains give the resort a terrific colour nonetheless.
You can hike or bike in the mountains as I did every morning. Even though reaching for the peak it might seem as a difficult task, as soon as you get there you can soak in the breathtaking views and you say to yourself “it’s all worth it”. It’s my second best hiking track in the world, after the one in Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles.
You can also go yogic, meditate on the rooftop or sweat over the wildly challenging, heart-pumping bootcamps. Or embark on a proper detox programme and relaxing spa sessions.
The Arabian facial,for example, combines figs, almond powder, honey and magic hands. Also available are reiki, singing bowls, cupping, acupressure, the Bowen Technique and all manner of leftfield holistic treats.
Or you can spend one day on a cruise with a snorkeling expedition near the coral reef included. Forget about everything and enjoy the subaquatic views of the coloured fished, tourtles and sea urchins.
You can enjoy now this slice of Paradise with an exclusive offer if you book from www.dertour.ro in Romania.
From 16th of May till 20th of August you can spend 7 nights at Six Senses Zighy Bay for just 3569 Euros per couple (1784 Euros/person). This includes also the flight tickets from Bucharest to Dubai on board of flydubai, transfer from Dubai Airport to the resort, 7 nights accomodation in a Pool Villa with breakfast included.
The story of Six Senses
From its beginnings in 1995, Six Senses quickly became recognized as the hospitality industry’s pioneer of sustainable practices, demonstrating that responsibility can be successfully wedded to uncompromised high-end facilities. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas are discovered in some of the world’s most unique and beautiful places. Whether it be a Six Senses resort on a remote private island or a Six Senses Spa in an exciting urban setting, the touch-points are always decidedly the same. And while being part of the local fabric and culture, Six Senses is very much in tune with the wider world. It offers crafted guest experiences to stimulate, energize and revitalize the human spirit, delivered by global experts from a wide range of backgrounds.
Six Senses resorts are intimate, offering an emotionally intelligent approach to service that begins with empathy. The Six Senses aesthesis has a touch of quirkiness, which supports delightful and unexpected surprises, delivered out of constant curiosity and willingness to challenge the norm. The responsible and caring attitude of Six Senses is intrinsic to the brand and extends to employees and local communities in which Six Senses operates. It is committed to preserving the environment through sustainable operations, guided by overarching goals and values.
Private walled enclaves with villas and personal pools make up the resort’s 82 accommodations. They are carefully arranged village-style with sandy laneways and offer space and privacy. Structures are hewn from local rock and natural materials; yet offer every comfort and amenity.
There are one-and two-bedroom villas, plus the two spacious two-bedroom Retreats and the ultimate four-bedroom Private Reserve - the Arabian Palace, where the emphasis is on totally personal environment.
Dining choices are diverse and memorable at Six Senses Zighy Bay. Guests can immerse themselves in the culinary world of Arabia at the Spice Market and Shua Shack, which presents an authentic Bedouin experience. Memorable evenings are created at Sense on the Edge, with contemporary fine dining set high above the bay and at the Wine Cellar, unique Wine Tower, Zighy Bar, in-villa or at a personally selected location, where chefs will prepare something extraordinary and exclusive for all special occasions. GEMS (guests experience makers) will make all the arrangements.
As a refuge for mind and body, Six Senses Spa is a haven of calm and relaxation; a sanctuary of ultimate wellbeing. It is committed to delivering integrated wellness experiences along with peace, tranquility, fitness and health. The spa combines locally inspired treatments, Asian therapies and bathing rituals together with innovative offerings from expert in-house and visiting wellness consultants. Indulge with a traditional Moroccan hammam experience or welcome the day on the rooftop yoga platform.