Although it has been in operation since 2008, one of the best-kept secrets in the Middle East is a short hop, skip and jump from the frenetic pace of Dubai. Here lies a haven of peace for the traveller who seeks an exclusive experience amidst the rugged beauty of mountains and crystal clear ocean.
Merely 20 minutes over the border from the UAE, Zighy Bay is located on a headland on the northern Musandam Peninsula in the Sultanate of Oman and is home to the Six Senses Resort, a resort for those who seek ‘Intelligent Luxury’. The Six Senses group is the brainchild of Sonu and Eva Shivdasani who understand that the concept of luxury today is very different to that of yesteryear; high earning individuals want access to a quiet environment, free from glitz and glamour but still have access to the highest level of service. Contrary to its discreet and zen-like surroundings, this resort is a well-oiled luxury machine; personal butlers, sunset champagne cruises and a private villa with a plunge pool are par for the course.
Much of every day life at Zighy is centered round the feeling of calm. Guests are encouraged to walk barefoot around the resort, make use of the ‘his and hers’ bicycles and turn their watches forward from Dubai time to get an extra hour of sunlight to spend as they like. The extra daylight becomes useful if one is to take advantage of the paragliding, kayaking, snorkeling or taking a stroll with one of the many mountain goats who you could be forgiven for thinking were the resort guests as they nonchalantly munch on the vegetation.
Health and wellbeing is pivotal to the SLOW LIFE ethos (translates to Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wholesome-Learning-Inspiring & Fun Experiences) so the food reflects this. Organic produce is harvested everyday from the chef’s garden to be used in daily dishes. Seafood and meat is also locally sourced helping to sustain and empower the local community. After the sun goes down guests can dine on a seven-course degustation menu at the top of the mountain, taking in the view as the moon rises over the bay or keep things simple by having a BBQ prepared by a chef in their private villa.
The Six Senses collection of resorts are no strangers to accolades, so it comes as no surprise that the resort spa is a signature feature of the company. Skilled therapists and experienced practitioners combine Eastern and Western practices to lull guests into a state of balance and well-being. A standout member of the spa team is wellness instructor Vishnu, who has practiced yoga in its purest form since childhood. Private lessons can be taken or group classes are held most mornings on the upper Yoga pavilion overlooking the bay. Vishnu is also one of only a handful of practitioners of the ancient Chavutti Thirumal massage, a treatment that utilizes Vishnu’s flexibility and strength as well as a complex system of ropes and pulleys. This is a 2,000-year-old technique once used for Keralan Warriors so perfect for those in need of a massage with a firm touch.
Sun, sand and privacy in a setting that is a breathtaking as it is unique. Perfect for the Dubai-ite who does not need the stress of an airport departures queue, Zighy offers an experience that could become dangerously addictive…
Six Senses Zingy Bay is located in the Sultanate of Oman www.sixsenses.com/SixSensesZighyBay