Six Senses Zighy Bay: the awesome rigged beauty of Oman

Six Senses Zighy Bay has been a dream to me for years. Not only because I am a huge fan of Six Senses Hotels but because it was love at first sight. The first time I saw the pictures of this property I was sure that I was going to see it with my own eyes. It took longer than I expected and even though I knew almost everything about the hotel, I got surprised and had one of the most amazing times of my life. I am very excited to share all the details of my stay with you. Enjoy the ride!

Welcome to Six Senses Zighy Bay

My only regret about this trip was the fact that I had not visited the place before. Why did I wait so long? Six Senses Zighy Bay is a place to visit, revisit and then visit again and again. Think beautiful indigenous village-style accommodations and a spectacular private marina, with the dramatic mountains on one side and the sandy beach of Zighy Bay on the other. Plus barefoot luxury at its best.

My first panorama of the hotel

THE HOTEL

Utterly idyllic and blissfully secluded, this resort offers an amazing luxury experience. Stone villas feature a private plunge pool, outdoor shower and your own butler. There’s a fabulous state of the art spa with a range of wellness programmes, alongside activities such as paragliding, snorkelling, diving, yoga, horseback safari and trekking. The restaurants are jaw dropping as well as the swimming pools and the natural beauty which surrounds the property.

Surreal view from the swimming pool

More adventurous guests can experience a triumphal arrival and literally fly over and through the paradisiac mountains to reach the hotel – this means paragliding with a professional pilot to reach the private shores of the hotel. The whole setting is so out of the ordinary that it took me some minutes to believe my eyes and to believe that I was actually flying to my destination. Haha! Surreal! It was such a fantastic arrival experience that I will describe it in more detail further down this article.

Ready to fly?

The laid-back resort reflects an omani village and  blends perfectly with its environment. And local culture is totally embraced by Six Senses and its professional staff. After our adventurous paragliding flight, we were received by our GEM (Guest Experience Maker) with some omani delicious drinks prepared with dates from the property + snacks and very warm smiles.

Omani vibes

SUSTAINABILITY

A topic taken very super ultra serious at Six Senses Zighy Bay. We had the pleasure to visit the herbs garden, the farm (Six Senses cultivates a huge part of its vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and cheese locally) with lots of cute cows and goats – I had THE MOMENT when we were able to spend some time with the local goats and some cows with their new borns. Sooooooo sweet!

New friend at Six Senses Zighy Bay farm

Even more impressive, Six Senses produces its own water, desalinating and cleaning water from the sea – guests drink the potable water in reusable glass bottles which can be found around the property.

The farm is located about a 15 min drive from the hotel

Do not forget that we are in the desert, and all of the above mentioned activities involve a lot of research and hard work – the hotel has a whole team of professionals dedicated to make it happen.

On the way to the farm with our guide

Moreover, Six Senses Zighy Bay’s social commitment includes activities such as giving support to the local Dibba Girl’s School, Sharjah Charity International and Sukarina bin Al Husain School – the projects are comprehensive and not only about donating money as the resort hosts are also involved in plenty of social activities.

Road tripping to the farm

Click here to know more.

LOCATION

Surreal! Six Senses Zighy Bay is set within a secluded inlet anked by a private sand beach and lunar-like limestone mountains between the craggy Hajar Mountains and a mile-long sandy beach in Musandam, an Omani exclave.

Sandy beautiful beach

Accessible by four-wheel drive only, the 75-mile journey from Dubai airport takes around two hours. The drive down from the hilltop overlooking the bay is spectacular and guests can also choose to take a tandem paraglide flight into the resort, or arrive by speedboat from a nearby port

A short trip from Dubai

Expect to see lots and lots of goats on your way to the hotel – they also gather at the entrance of the resort to “greet” guests when they arrive and I wanted to invite them all to check in with me. Hahaha! We were able to also spot some camels and very rare desert foxes as well as some beduin tents. So unique!

Arrival in paradise

The hotel driver was waiting for us at the airport in Dubai and the trip was very tranquil and comfy as the cars are brand new and spacious. Crossing the border between the United Arab Emirates and Oman was also smooth as the hotel organizes all the documents and details in advance for its guests. All we have to do is to sit back and relax.

I was counting the seconds to get here

Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the official religion is Islam. The country is considered the “Switzerland” of the Arab world due to its neutrality and Omanis are well known for their sympathy and hospitality. I wish we would have had time to see more of the country but we unfortunately did not have the time to visit the capital Muscat and some other beautiful regions. This is a great excuse to come back soon, right?!

My first time in Oman was unforgettable

It took me a while to get used to this place. It is definitely not an every day view and environment for a Brazilian or European. You know those places that you look, look again and again and go WOOOOW? This is what happened to me and Andy. We were in shock with the beauty. So exotic and unique!

O could never be ready to this

VILLAS & SUITES

Private and relaxing are words that begin to describe the traditional villas and suites built of natural stone and timber. The Omani-style enclaves invite unwinding in the cool indoors under high traditional-style ceilings, in the colorfully cushioned living area and on organic Naturalmat bed made with unbleached cotton sheets topped with your choice of ergonomic pillows. Refresh outside within the privacy of high cobblestone walls, on plumped up sun loungers and shaded dining area by the private plunge pool.

Dream private plunge pool

Villas are open-plan with ceilings made of date palm sticks (known as jareed), stucco walls, flagstone floors and dark wood furniture with burnt orange cushions. Organic Naturalmat beds topped with unbleached linen are heavenly. There’s a Nespresso machine, local mineral water bottled on-site, and a wine fridge that the sommelier can stock according to your tastes. We did not make any special requests but luckily our adega was full of one of my favourite champagnes. Haha!

Sweet arrival amenities

I was in shock with our two bedroom villa beachfront retreat. And I mean it!!! Imagine a spacious pool villa with the most amazing views and total emphasis on privacy – the villa is located in a rather remote part of Zighy Bay, overlooking the sea. It is a blend of the surrounding traditional Omani, indigenous village style with modern amenities which provide a relaxing lifestyle amidst local cultural themes and unforgettable moments.

View goals
So spacious

Plunge private pools are universal at Six Senses Zighy Bay and they are all beautiful. Nevertheless, once you book, make sure you reserve a beach front villa. Once you are in the best hotel in Oman, come on, do it right!

The perfect place to relax

Pure love to the complete attention to detail – every day, when returning to our villa, we would find some sweet notes, local sweets, a typical drink… Make sure to try the dates produced in the property.

Omani style

Guests can go around the property by buggy or bike. We actually used both and exploring the grounds by bike is a delight. Nevertheless, if it is too warm, just call your butler and ask for a ride.

Bikes…
… Or buggy. You name it

See all the villas here.

SWIMMING POOLS

OMG! SOS! SURREAL! Ok, I stop now. Hahaha! But there are no better words to describe the two common area pools at Six Senses Zighy Bay. I found it a bit unfair to be honest, because everyday it was hard to decide where we wanted to go – besides the amazing villa pool we had, we could also enjoy two others which were a dream!

Pool villa

The salt water pool is located at the southern end of the property, on the sand between the beach volleyball court and the water sports centre and it is both a huge body of water, more than 100ft (35m) long and about 80ft (25m) at its widest, and the only saltwater pool in the Gulf.

Salt Water pool

Zighy Bay, like all the hotels in the Six Senses portfolio, takes sustainability seriously and creating such a pool was one way of dealing with the salt produced by the desalination process it uses to purify water for use in the hotel. How brilliant is that?

The only salt water pool in the Middle East

The other swimming pool is placed in between the main restaurants of the property and surrounded by huge palm trees. It is maybe less unique than its salty brother but definitely very special – the colours at the end of a sunny day are stunning and I went totally out of control taking pictures. The pool is only a few meters away from the beach and, therefore, we would spent a whole day there jumping between the sea and the pool.

Hard choices in life

BEACH

Not your average beach day. Not at all! White sandy beach and a blue, sometimes turquoise sea are the name of the game. Also, bathing surrounded by the mountains in a desert area was definitely a special feeling to me.

Not your average beach

Guests can enjoy their private beaches or two locations (close to the pools) where lounge chairs share space with an attentive service. Staff will show up all the time with water, fresh fruits, drinks and refreshing towels. Do not miss the ice cream!!!

Another angle of our private beach and pool

EAT

Six Senses Zighy Bay offers a diverse selection of memorable dining alternatives from which to choose. From a hilltop restaurant serving international cuisine together with spectacular views over the crystal waters of the Gulf of Oman to regional specialties and a Chef’s Table.

How about dining with this view?

For a change of pace, in-villa dining is an intimate and enjoyable experience which our butler arranged and I deeply recommend it.

In-villa dining
Attention to detail

– Sense of the Edge

One of those jaw dropping places that one can barely imagine before seeing it with our own eyes. This was my favourite restaurant!!!!

Out of the ordinary

A mountaintop, contemporary signature restaurant and the perfect place to enjoy a very memorable evening. The menu – offering the best of land and sea in the form of tasting menus or à la carte – is a temptation. But I can say that the view stole the show.

Unique

We started our dinner outside to enjoy the sunset and ended inside, at the chef’s table, for the dessert. What a memorable night we had! Thumbs up to the cod fish, the lamb and the wagyu beef which were cooked to perfection. My favourite desert was the chocolate bomb. Try it!

Succulent Wagyu Beef
Delicious lamb
Chocolate bomb

Have a closer look at the menu here.

– Summer House

Perfect for a crisp lunch, afternoon bite, refreshing drink, and a fulfilling dinner during the cooler months. The list of homemade ice creams and sorbets is a highlight and the tuna is a must!

Yummy fish of the day

Relaxed beautiful setting outside and inside. Attention to the huge tree over a table in the salon and to the pool and sea view outside.

Summer House view

See the menu here.

– Spice Market

This is the main restaurant in the property and simply writing about it makes my mouth watering. DELICIOUS! Arabic cuisine is my favourite in the world. So guess what – this eatery was love at first sight!

Arabic cuisine

All dishes are meant to be enjoyed on a sharing basis at the table. And the mezze platters are to die for! Order the hummus, fatoush, tabouleh, shanklish… order everything! Hahaha! Sooooo yummy!

Typical dishes

Breakfast is also served here and I always go nuts with breakfast at Six Senses. Everything for every taste and the most amazing presentation! The selection of natural and detox juices is amazing and the fruit bar includes some very super exotic fruits. Yoghurts are served in little cute containers and are very tasty. Still, my favourite part was the Arabic corner, where we could taste what traditional families normally eat in the Middle East. Not just super tasty, but rather a culinary journey to paradise!

All types of fresh juices
Yogurt fever
Fruit bar
Never ending options

Get inspired here.

– Zighy Bar

Classic, modern, local and organic mocktails and cocktails throughout the day and evening whilst overlooking the Wadi. The Happy Hour is referred to as the No Rush Hour from 9:30 pm to midnight.

Cocktail time

Such a cool place to end a warm night!

Cocktails taste better here

– Shua Shack

A unique Bedouin dining experience. Evenings begin with local organic salads, followed by lamb prepared in the underground oven.

Barefoot dining

Full view of the sea on one side and of the salt water pool on the other. Fantastic!

Paradise in the Middle East
So special

– Wine Cellar

Super exclusive dining experience for two or as many as eight people in between wine from all over the world.

We unfortunately did not try this experience BUT I saw it all set for a lucky couple and it was beautiful. I wish I had sneaked in for a picture to share it here with you. Hehe!

SIX SENSES SPA

The Spa at Six Senses Zighy Bay is a refuge for mind and body. A true retreat from the busy humdrum of daily life, a haven for the calm and relaxed soul, a sanctuary of ultimate well-being.

Six Senses Spa

Amazing interior, sympathetic and very knowledgeable therapists, yoga sessions, hammam, alchemist activities… what else could I ask for?

Majestic spa

I was impressed with the many touches I saw in every single corner and I wish I could describe the smell of the Spa. I was in heaven. A heaven of  integrated wellness experiences along with peace, tranquility, fitness and health.

Beautiful entrance

The spacious modern gym is integrated with the spa. And as you know me, I only entered the space to take pictures. Hahaha! 

A gym I didn’t use

I decided to try the signature detox treatment and I definitely would do it again. It was all about an intuitive mix of science and human awareness together with an individual personalised touch.

Create your own cream

Well, we were in one of the most amazing spas in the whole world and the whole experience made it up to that! Unmissable!

Amazing
Relaxing area
My sweet Omani Spa guide

See the treatments here.

EXPERIENCES

Be ready for the most remarkable ones, folks! Maybe this was the most impressive part of this resort for me (and in view of everything I already wrote, you can imagine how special it is).

Sunset of a lifetime

I was for sure not ready for a flying arrival experience! Hahaha! So amazing!!!

Where we landed

The experiences are individually imagined and, therefore, very personal. There are numerous ones and I truly wish I would have had time to try them all! It was definitely a hard time to choose the ones we wanted. The range of possibilities is huge: sunset cruising, rock climbing, hikes, mountain biking, snorkeling, paragliding, scuba diving, private dining in fantastic settings and so on. I will gladly describe the ones which we tried and please, do not ask me what was my preferred one.

Out of the ordinary

– Paragliding Arrival Experience

It was so shocking to me that I have already mentioned it a million times in this article. Hahaha!

Zighy Bay “terminal” for paragliders

Guests can arrive by sea, road (4×4) or air to the remotely located property. We (actually my husband) chose to fly and OMG! It was the coolest we could have ever done.

Arrival drinks to “calm down” after flying

It was my first time paragliding and to be honest, I almost gave up some secondes prior to jumping. I have already tried bungy jumping in Australia, parachuting in Brazil… but when I looked to the never ending bay behind me, my legs were shaking and I almost gave up. Super thanks to the pilot, who was the sweetest and very patient to explain me that he had flown a million times and that I would be safer in the air. Well, I did it! And once I was in the air I could only dream of that flight taking forever. What a view! What a location! What a vibe! It was peace in one of the most impressive places I have ever been!

We jump from here

– Sabatyn

What a day we had! Exceptional experience and I would do it again one million times!

Unforgetable

We explored the village of the Sabatyn plateau with a private guide in a 4×4 and after a scenic one hour drive from Zighy Bay, we reached the plateau about 4000 feet (1200 meters) above sea level. We then continued to Sabatyn, with wonderful views down to Wadi Al Bih. The village contains an abundance of petroglyphs, stone towers and ancient houses that were once home to farmers tending their large terraced fields.

A very old mosque on the way
Little village houses

But the apotheosis was still to come: we watched the sun sink over the Grand Canyon of Musandam while enjoying a drink and canapés. I will never forget this moment! Our guide carefully set the beautiful scene for us and then gave us lots of privacy. It was Andy and I in the silence of the desert, the evening breeze in our faces and a sundown which no photo can do justice to.

Apotheosis

– Tower Dinner

It’s a movie moment. The two of us on top of a tower for the sunset, the sound of the sea, the magnificent last sunlights, candle lights, our butler and an Indian tasting menu specially prepared for us.

We went up the stairs on the right

Ok! Let’s start from the beginning: our butler was waiting for us to climb to the tower and so we did, stepping on roses leaves and being guided with a fire lamp. On top of the tower… We were speechless!!!

Going up stepping on flowers

The menu should have been international. Until the moment, two days before, we met mega professional Marketing Communications Manager Nikhil, who is from India – Andy told him that he is CRAZY for Indian food and guess what! For our delight and surprise, Nikhil changed the menu to surprise us!!! How special is that?! Everything was soooo delicious and beautifully presented. Those nights…

Only the two of us
Delicious Indian tasting menu
Indian sweet flavours to die for

Explore the experiences here.

WHEN TO GO

All year long. We went in September and it was pretty warm but nice, you don’t even realize the heat after a while. If you want to avoid the heat, visit during the high season (November – April).

It was hard to convince Andy to leave this pool

HOW TO GET THERE

Six Senses Zighy Bay is located in Oman but the easiest way to get there is via Dubai. Make sure to book the hotel transfer (you can also rent a car) for a very comfortable ride. The hotel will take care of all visas, etc. Only a two-hours drive from the Dubai International Airport (DXB), which is served by most major airlines.

Counting the days to be back

And when I least expected, it was time to leave Six Senses Zighy Bay. Writing this article has been a pleasure. How wonderful it is to remember this trip and some breathtaking moments. A place to return. The real meaning of out of the ordinary!

Counting the days to be back

Check Six Senses Zighy Bay on Instagram and I hope you are travelling with me via @Marineira.

Baby Camille lives at Six Senses Zighy Bay

*Santé!

 

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