Feel like escaping to a beach resort so remote that you have to paraglide in to it? How about sleeping in a luxury villa with your own private butler, wine cellar and infinity pool? If this sounds like your cup of hibiscus tea then Oman is the place for you.
Paraglide into luxury
Unlike some of the nearby states, Oman has kept its Arabian charm and combines an off-the-beaten-track feel with uncompromising luxury. You’ll love the total privacy of the exclusive Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay, tucked under dramatic cliffs on the tip of the Musandam Peninsula. OK, you don’t have to paraglide in, but that’s just one of the quirky touches which makes the experience so different, and if we’re honest it beats the usual transfer hands down.
The true Middle East
Perched in fjord-like mountains (the area is known as the Norway of the Middle East) overlooking 1.5km of curved white sand in Zighy Bay, you feel totally secluded in this sun-drenched hideaway, when in fact you are just a short journey from souks, Bedouin camps, mosques, markets and museums.
Activities to intrigue
The choices are endless: choose from one of the 26 local scuba diving sites which will take you through the turquoise waters into caves, around wrecks and over drift sites to see cuttle fish, spiney lobster and turtles. Aside from the usual watersports, you can also try clifftop meditation, climb date palms, smoke sheesha, and ride camels, all with henna-stained hands. You can even learn the traditional Arabic guitar, the oud, but there’s no guarantee you’ll come home a professional, or that your friends will want to listen.
Retreat to the spa
Whether your muscles are aching from months at your desk (or minutes on a kayak), the spa within the retreat can offer you the best massage experience you can find. Enter the cool mouth of the spa’s cave by stepping across stones on a tranquil pond, and you’re inside the brand new luxury treatment area, complete with fresh juice bar for the ultimate chill-out.
Private dhow cruise
If your duvet and pillow menu, 32″ satellite TV and private patch of sand beside your own pool still aren’t enough, go for an overnight cruise in a private dhow. Sleep on the silent lagoon and wake to the golden light of the rising sun over the Musandam mountains with a champagne breakfast waiting for you on the empty beach ahead. Butler service, or just a picnic hamper – either way, you will have the most memorable breakfast of your life. Beats a busy Starbucks on the underground, hands down.