COVID – 19 DISCLAIMER – It is impossible for me to continue writing this blog without acknowledging the current world health crisis. I just want you to know that I take the consequences of this crisis seriously and my continuation to publish light hearted and whimsical content is not intended to be insensitive. Instead it serves as light entertainment and escapism in these current uncertain times. Of course, I’m not suggesting anyone go against government advice in terms of going out or travel but I just hope to give a some inspiration for the future and happier times.
Mr S and I were keen to take O away for a holiday in February – but we wanted a flight that was less than eight hours but that had warm weather at that time of year… with that in mind – it seemed the perfect opportunity to stay in one of my bucket list hotels – Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman.
Dubai airport is the closest to the resort and from there it’s a 2 hour drive – easy even with a seven month old baby! Or if you’re braver than me, there’s an option to paraglide in! We were picked up by the hotel who organised the visa and border crossing for us so in no time we in the Musandam Peninsula and Six Senses Zighy Bay. Driving through the desert and up the mountains… the resort came in sight looking like an authetic Omani village. Totally different to anywhere I’ve stayed before on one side of the resort are the Hajar Mountains, and on the other side is a powdery beach.
I want to tell you a little about the Six Senses brand before getting into the details about Zighy Bay specifically. The brand espouses luxury whilst maintaining the core values of wellness, community, sustainability, design and fun – you get the feeling this is a brand with heart. Though I’d been for meals at various Six Senses hotels, I’ve never stayed at one and had always wanted too!
We arrived early due to an over night flight and were met by our Guest Experience Maker who gave us a refreshing yogurt drink and a room to lay our heads… it wasn’t long before our own gorgeous room was ready and the GEM was back to show us around. The hotel is pure barefoot luxury or rustic chic and our villa was the perfect family hideaway. Every one of the 82 villas in the hotel is a standalone stone building with a private pool and guests can choose between a beachfront location or a sand garden. Our beachfront pool villa suite was utterly glorious, and like all rooms made from locally sourced materials.
Our living area was flooded with light from the floor to ceiling doors with stucco walls, flagstone floors and had a huge comfy sofa to lounge on. Beautiful dark wood accents add to this natural look.
The living area also includes a full bathroom, a huge wardrobe so there’s plenty of storage and the fridge is stocked full of snacks and drinks and there’s even a full wine fridge. Hello Whispering Angel.
We were even given lots of products for Oscar which I thought was really lovely!
The bedroom boosts more gorgeous rustic design, a super comfy bed, lots more storage and a cot for O.
There’s also a beautiful open plan bathroom with a huge bath and rain shower.
Behind the villa are two outdoor showers, giving a total of four showers in the villa!
The best bit was our gorgeous beach front outdoor space with our own private pool and plenty of spots for Mr S to bask in the sun…
And for O and I to keep cool in the shade!
There’s even a shady summer house to take shelter from the sun’s rays.
We had a gorgeous terrace to enjoy room service, and the hotel even provided a high chair for O!
Otherwise the heated pool was his favourite place to be, he’s turned into a little water baby and absolutely loved it.
Our room was so gorgeous that we made really good use of it – it really was the ideal place to be with O! But the rest of the hotel was incredible too, the grounds are expansive but its a short walk across the beach or a buggy ride to the main plaza.
The reception is full of bold and bright colours and there was always and friendly face to help with what you might need.
Head out of reception and you’re greeted with the hotel’s main area. Here there’s two restaurants, the Zighy Bar and the main freshwater pool.
The Zighy Bar is the perfect place for a sundowner or some tapas…
Spice Market is one of the hotel’s main restaurant and serves breakfast and dinner in a vibrant space with both indoor and outdoor seating.
We came here for breakfast everyday with a beautifully presented buffet and options from the a la carte menu such as shakshuka, salmon, eggs and avocado and omelettes. Each morning the chef specially prepared porridge for Oscar as well as a different fruit puree every day!
We came twice for dinner, on one night there was a special Asian buffet with live cooking stations serving the most incredible food from the chef’s home countries.
On the other night we sampled the restaurant’s regular menu which features signature Arabian dishes as well as an Arabian Safari with a selection of mezzes, meat, fish or Vegetarian main course and desserts.
Wellness and nutrition are an important part of the Six Senses philosophy so there are plenty of healthy options on offer.
Opposite Spice Market is Summer House which is open for lunch and dinner, offering a Mediterranean menu.
The setting is really beautiful and we came here for lunch one of our days…
Our lunch of tuna salad, Zighy ceviche and a catch of the day between us was light and fresh. Chef uses key elements from the spa and wellness programme for foods that promote sleep, detox and fitness.
They were also great at preparing food for O and we were able to give him a little burger and rice, free of salt and soft for him to eat. Children under 6 stay and eat for free on their parent’s meal plan whilst children aged 6 to 11 have half price food and drinks.
Many of the ingredients come from the hotel’s garden which is open for guests to visit.
Underneath is an atmospheric wine cellar which can be booked for private dinners.
The hotel is located on a mile of powdery white sand and you can walk from the hotel’s main area to the other pool and restaurant.
The 35 metre saltwater pool is another place to dip you toes in and pull up a lounger.
Here’s also where you’ll find a jungle gym, tennis court and the kids club.
The beach restaurant, Mezzeria was our favourite and we came for lunch a few times.
The menu includess a really delicious selection of pizza, pasta and grills and the vibe is barefoot casual. By night Mezzeria transforms into Shua Shack, the hotel’s signature Bedouin dining experience and traditional lamb dinner.
In a gorgeous twinkly beachfront setting, guests are able to dine family style with a selection of mezze followed by lamb cooked in the ground. There’s a touch of theatre with a speech from the chef as the lamb is dug up before being portioned around the guests and served with rice. A traditional dessert like bread and butter pudding is served too.
There is one final restaurant. Set a little apart from the resort is Sense on the Edge, guests are driven around a kilometre away from the resort up a winding mountain road.
293 metres above sea level and right on a cliff, the restaurant boasts the most stunning view and an incredible fine dining menu. Guests can enjoy a 9, 7 or 5 course menu with matching wine pairings. You may want to book a baby sitter for a romantic night, though children are still welcome and we ordered grilled fish and vegetables for our little one.
Six Senses Zighy also offers the most gorgeous dining by design and one night we opted for a barbecue in our villa. It was a perfect option with a baby as we could put Oscar in his cot while we ate our dinner.
Our room was set up beautifully and we had a huge Arabian feast with a private chef and waiter to look after us. I loved the fact that though we didn’t leave the resort for our whole stay, we still had a totally different experience for dinner every night.
In regards to activities there’s an absolute wealth of things to do for both young and old. The Chaica’s Club is the kid’s club for ages 4 to 10; activities include treasure hunts, beach bowling, pizza making, feeding the Zighy Goats and meeting the camels, Olympic games and so much more. The hotel offers a programme called Grow With Six Senses which focuses of six dimensions of wellness (social, environmental, physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual) and offers a fun way to learn new skills via out-of-the-ordinary experiences often with a local twist. There’s yoga and organic gardening along with spa treatments and meditation or henna tattoos varying through the different resorts.
The Al Feetean’s Club takes 11 to 18 years and offers hikes, canyoning and archery. Every day a newsletter was left in the room with a whole list of activities for kids. One idea that I loved was the Cinema Paradiso, an evening movie on the beach… unfortunately it was a bit chilly to keep O out and I felt nipping of mosquitos so we couldn’t stay here long.
Wellness is a cornerstone of the Six Senses philosophy so a vast number of treatments and programmes are offered under the shady palms of this sanctuary. A combination of local traditions with innovative technology gives this gorgeous place a unique proposition – programs include fitness, sleep, yoga and weight management all with advice from experts. When it comes to treatments, you name it, they do it – there’s all sorts of massages, manicure, pedicure, acupressure and hair masks. I decided to have a Six Senses Signature purifying facial as it had been well over a year since I had one. It was so relaxing as I rarely get any me time now and I loved the Organic Pharmacy products that they used.
The spa itself actually has nine treatment rooms, two hammams, a steam room, sauna and ice cave as well as a yoga pavillion.
The hotel also offers many opportunities for adventures such as microlighting, paragliding, scuba diving and more … we took the more sedate option of a sunset Dhow Cruise. I was fortunate enough to be gifted this experience by Original Travel (a company who I had a great experience with on my Morocco trip), who organise bespoke luxury holidays.
The cruise took place on a traditional wooden dhow and we circled through Haffa Bay enjoying sparkling date juice and some veggie canapes.
Finally I wanted to mentioned the importance of sustainability which is a cornerstone of the Six Senses Philosophy. Six Senses Zighy Bay works with local charities and schools in order to support the community including the empowerment of students at the local Girl’s School, Sakina Bent Al Hussein. They have also created a marine protected area, and recycle water and all kitchen waste, glass bottles are used with plastic being eliminated where possible. This is truly a hotel with heart!
I’ve mentioned before that some hotels just give you a special feeling – almost a sense of wrapping their arms around you in a big friendly cuddle. That’s how I felt about Six Senses Zighy Bay, from the incredible design, to the friendly service and great food. But most of all it was super child-friendly and O absolutely loved it.
Great For Kids
Fun kids club and vast activities program
Grow With Six Senses Program
Great for Parents
Plenty of choice for dining including fine dining
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