Dinner perched on a cliff-edge at nearly 300metres above sea level? Check. Paragliding my way over rugged mountains to land to land on a sandy beach? Check. Laps in my private infinity pool while looking out to the ocean? Check. All in a day’s work at Six Senses Zighy Bay. Without doubt, this is a must-do weekend getaway for UAE residents.
The Six Senses name is synonymous, worldwide, with laid-back luxe. At Zighy Bay, this ethos has been perfected, with the low-lying buildings built to resemble a traditional Omani fishing village; bicycles provided at every villa to encourage aimless wandering around; and a back-to-basics focus on everything from the spa treatments to the restaurant menus.
The sprawling all-villa resort, set in its own private bay, is accessible only by a precarious off-road mountain track where you are driven in the resort’s 4X4 after depositing your car at the slightly more easy-to-get-to arrival lounge. Unless of course you choose to paraglide in, or, if you are an overseas guest arriving at the airport, by speedboat. The James-Bond style arrival aside, everything else here is very relaxed and unpretentious.
Each villa comes equipped with afore-mentioned private pool, an outdoor majlis style seating area – many with an additional Arabian summer house-style lounge – outdoor rain showers and luxurious loungers. In spite of the rustic look and feel – think roughly finished limestone walls and thatched roofs, none of the mod cons you’d expect from a luxury resort are compromised on, whether it’s luxury coffee machines, iPod docks or an oversized bathtub. But, it’s the additional little touches like a separate wine fridge, complimentary pressing service, and the evening turn-down including the lighting of tea-light candles around the pool (creating a magical effect!), that catapults resorts like this into another league altogether.
There a plenty of activities on offer, from water-sports to mountain safaris and local village visits. Even within the resort, you will be spoilt for choice with the wide range of distractions – such as wellness activities including yoga and meditation at the gorgeous spa, and healthy cooking classes at the on-site organic herb garden. But, if like me, you’re looking to do as little as possible, then the only decisions you need to make are choosing between beach and pool, and spa and snooze!
But if there’s one decision you don’t dither about, it’s a meal at Senses on the Edge restaurant, located a short drive away from the resort, at afore-mentioned cliff-edge. Expect delicious gourmet seven-course set menus in a stunning setting amidst twinkling candlelight and starlight, overlooking the ocean.
The food here, as with all the other restaurants at the resort, has a focus on local, organic, and seasonal (don’t miss the home-made jams and preserves at the lavish breakfast buffet). Which seems in line with the resort’s strong sustainability policy – they work very hard at minimising environmental impact, including providing drinking water from their on-site filter system, and encourage guests to pro-actively contribute as well (look out for the Little Green book in your room!).
Chic, luxurious, natural and eco-sensitive – those are all of my favourite things in one package. I’m definitely going back for more!
Visit www.sixsenses.com for price info, offers and to book.