Luxury Hotels


Many, like Girlahead and her gang, arrive at SIX SENSES SHAHARUT in the Negev Desert in the dark – well, it’s a four hour drive south of Tel Aviv.  ‘The gang’? Who’s that?  From left, above, Six Senses’ indefatigable CEO Neil Jacobs, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Polis Ioannou (the resort’s Cypriot DSM), Julie Bach, incoming Aussie resort GM Alicia Graham, the gold hat, and outgoing GM Thomas Fehlbier, from near Dusseldorf.

The really wow moment for those arriving at the resort in the dark comes in the morning. Pull back drapes covering all wall windows and there, outside – for those lucky enough to be in one of the eight pool villas – is your six-metre heated pool, with surround large enough for lounging, and dining for four. And there, since you are facing East-South-East, is sunrise.  It’s your sun.  Surely no-one else is up this early? Certainly, even if they were up, no-one could possibly see as you climb down six tiled steps, starkers, for your wake-up laps.

It’s time for food. Aha. Breakfast is therapeutically heavenly, saluting whatever gods. Most are in the casual athleisure gear that is everyday anywhere attire for all Israelis under 60, the Orthodox excluded. One exception, brighter than the sun, is Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, the inspiration in orange, which includes a flowing Ascot-type hat (number two in Rishikesh’s largest ashram, she was formerly a Californian Jew and her autobiography, From Hollywood to The Himalayas, is riveting). Another new friend, is Julie Bach, a Mid-Westerner who runs a cancer support charity. Yes, this is an interesting group, to be expected when it is orchestrated by Neil Jacobs.

So, come breakfast, you sit, inside near the food or outside ogling the view. From time to time go back inside, to process slowly around buffet stations formed of a wooden boat, ancient smooth planks, desert knickknacks interspersed with various yoghurts and dozens of cheeses, all carefully labelled. There are cereals and salads, and smoked and cooked salmon, and delectable charred eggplant slices. Choose cheesecake or sweet rolls and oh the breads – from pumpernickel and sourdough through bagels, every bite is more-ish. Two cooks, in crisp whites with showercap-shaped linen head covers, cook whatever, to order. Decaf cappuccino is quick as a flash.  See a video, below.

You wish you could stay forever. Some spend at least two hours, breakfasting and soaking up the 360-degree view. But there are other things to do….