The award-winning Six Senses Zighy Bay beach resort in Oman is not just remote, it's like nowhere you've seen before: cradled by craggy mountains and dipping its toes into the opal blue waters of the Musandam's fjords. Die-hard Bond wannabes, this is your dream come true. Where else in the world can you choose to arrive by speedboat, 4x4 or paraglider?
Your choice of a 30-minute foot massage for two or a body scrub for two
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Most public areas are wheelchair accessible (although paths between are sand and stone); the spacious one-bedroom villas are all on one level and best suited to the elderly or less mobile. 'Minibar' doesn't do it justice: your room is kitted out with a mini wine cellar, half-litre bottles of premium spirits, fruit juices, beers and soft drinks, as well as an array of snack-happy treats. There's a compulsory New Year's Eve Gala Dinner on December 31; it's US$450 for adults and US$225 for children aged 6 to 11 years old.
Loose, long linens; Bond girl bikinis; sturdier swimwear for watersports; things containing Lycra (for mountain biking, canyoning, rock climbing, and overeating).
Wilderness chic (beachwear by day, low-key glamour by night).
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this spectacular beach resort in Oman and unpacked their snorkels and sunhats, a full account of their luxury holiday will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Six Senses Zighy Bay on the Musandam Peninsula…
Paraglide in, and you'll sleep-walk out: Zighy Bay takes relaxation to a whole new level. The barren, otherworldly setting of Six Senses' award-winning Oman outpost – backed by an arena of craggy cliffs on a pale crescent moon of sand – belies the riches on offer. The ethos is eco-friendly, with indulgent spa treatments focusing on indigenous ingredients, and the mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine created with organic produce from the kitchen gardens. Amazingly, the resort's Omani village theming manages to sidestep the ersatz Arabian Nights trap so many luxury Middle Eastern hotels tip headlong into; instead, Zighy Bay's rough stone walls, winding sandy pathways and open-sided barasti shelters create that elusive sense of belonging in this rugged, spectacular location. (Especially tricky when 'belonging' to this particular Omani village necessitates personal wine cellars, private plunge pools and alfresco showers.) Slip out of your beachfront villa into the languid ocean, be pampered in a goat's milk and honey bath, scale rocky cliffs and dive into deep rockpools, catch your own fish for dinner or salute sunset with canapés by a campfire… You'll want for nothing, and remember everything.
Zighy Bay, Musandam Peninsula, Musandam, Oman, 813
United Arab Emirates
67.3 mi / 108.6 km from city centre
- Aerobics instruction
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
- Tennis court
- On-Site parking
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Room service
- Onsite laundry
The Spice Market offers an Ottolenghi-esque feast of organic Arabic dishes and regional specialities. Try mograbieh bil lamh (grilled beef tenderloin served on giant couscous scented with caraway powder), samak mahalli (a local fish fillet marinated in Arabic spices and served with tarator, a garlicky tahini sauce) or simar albahar mushakal (roasted seafood, including lobster and prawns). More relaxed, and with squishy settees on a breezy veranda overlooking the pool, the Summer House is all about laid-back grills, pasta, sandwiches and salads, plus a weekly-changing specials menu; it's no slouch on the food front, with smoked buffalo mozarella, Wagyu beef burgers, tuna tartar and home-made sorbets making regular appearances. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, book ahead for a table 293m above sea level at Sense on the Edge, Zighy Bay's mountaintop fine-dining showcase. At dinner, the delectable set menu shows off the full talent of the restaurant's adept chefs; lunch follows a looser format, with guests choosing from an enticing à la carte menu with wine pairings (but if any of the lunchtime dishes catch your eye at dinner, the staff are only too happy to work them into your meal). In season, the weekly Shua Shack barbecue offers Bedouin-style dining on the beach, with sand-pit oven-baked lamb, Arabic mezze and more served under a barasti shelter.
Sense on the Edge is literally the top table: set on a clifftop above the hotel, this exclusive perch commands a jaw-dropping view, particularly at sunset.
Drinks are poured from noon to midnight at Zighy Bar, with a 'no rush hour' from 9.30pm. Breakfast is served in the Spice Market and Summer House from 7am to 10.30am, and dinner at each is from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
There's a round-the-clock menu of Arabic dishes and comfort cuisine spanning Asian and European staples. You can also order in-villa barbecues, cooked and served by butlers, to enjoy in your private 'sand garden'.
The refreshingly unsceney Zighy Bar mixes signature mocktails, lassies, smoothies, home-made lemonades and cocktails (date martinis, tamarind margaritas) as well being stocked with a globetrotter's guide to worldwide spirits, from Lebanese arack to single-malt whisky. There's also the subterranean Wine Cellar, a chef's table set-up for two to eight people who fancy a serious tasting sessions.
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