Luxury Hotels

A SENSE OF PLACE – 1

There are so many special features about SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY but the main one, for Girlahead, is that sustainability need not be out of control. This unique Oman ‘tourist village resort’ is probably not a venue for Greta and her ilk.

This IS the place for any-age normal people who abnormally combine modern luxury with nature. There is no plastic anywhere, but instead of giving you toothpaste in cheap-looking metal tubes you get a dinky little cork-stoppered glass bottles of Forisca toothpaste tablets. When the bottle is finished, the glass can be ground down with all the hundreds of used drink containers, made into cement for use around the estate – or kids help make them into jewellery in the most impressive Earth Lab classes.

Wake up in whichever of the 82 villas you have taken and leap into your heated private pool. Above is the view from Villa 8, 126sq m inside – two same-sized rooms, with extensive bathrooms at the rear, and a third shower in the secluded rear garden. The interior is floord with Nizwa stones, ceilings are date palm sticks.  It IS luxury. There’s a glass-fronted Homeinno wine fridge, filled, and chilled to the correct temperature. Swimming and then breakfasting by the pool, that’s special.

Taking the whole visit as an entity, what is also special is eating here. Lunch could be local tuna salad in a beach shack. Dining options include The Edge restaurant sky-high up the mountain, or pop-up wherever, or dine outside at Summer House, a vertical spot that allows private tables at various stages of what could be called a staircase of exposed Nizwa rocks.

Wherever, you can eat local, say six Dibba Bay oysters No 2, followed by a Ramen bowl of kombu seaweed, A5 wagyu rib, soft-boiled eggs, mushrooms (to help detox and sleep), bone marrow broth. One side was steamed greens with fried garlic and EVOO, also known as Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Another side was roasted roots from Dibba, the nearest township. Andrew Spearman, the remarkably well-travelled with-it GM, ordered sustainable wines, Syrah Rosé 2020, and Merlot 2020, from Sea Change, a wine company founded by Bill and Simon Rolfe.

There is so much to do – paragliding, hiking, watersports. Do not miss a sustainability tour, to understand the chain that sees water pulled from the sea, processed through rocks etc, then pumped to a million-litre storage 200 metres up the bare, rugged mountain and brought down as needed. See how empty bottles are ground, each colour separately, to finest sand, to be used in cement and a myriad of other practical purposes. Even old towels are processed for gardening pots etc. Not an iota of food waste is wasted. It becomes compost.

Girlahead had the great luck to overlap with Anna Mattos, a brilliant osteopath who specialises in musculoskeletal dysfunctions, biomechanical realignment and biodynamic cranial osteopathy. Luxury does not need to understand what all that means but, honestly, a session of her deep muscular tissue work, joint mobilisation and manipulation worked marvels, and would do for one an all, Pair that with a gym workout, looking out into lush undergrowth.  And then, all too soon, it was time to start the five-hour drive south to Oman’s capital.

So many memories, even when there. No wonder Six Senses Zighy Bay, which has brilliantly retained the element of quirkiness it had when it opened in 2008, is such a popular weekend destination from Dubai, just over two hours’ drive away.

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