My wife and I began hearing whispers about Six Senses at Zighy Bay years ago. We then became aware of the numerous awards from Conde Nast Traveler, Travel and Leisure Magazine, World Travel Awards as well as the word of mouth from those savvy travelers who always seem to know about those special places off the beaten path. These in-the-know travelers would begin to speak of Six Senses Zighy Bay with flowery descriptions which included the frequent use of amazing, incredible, awesome, and spectacular while telling us about the location, the accommodations, the dining experience, and the spa or about a staff member who provided them with exceptional service. Invariably, each tale of Six Sense Zighy Bay would always end with …you just have to go there to see for yourself.
We were living in Dubai and decided to make the two hour drive to Six Senses Zighy Bay in the northern Musandam Peninsula in the Sultanate of Oman. Once we passed the Oman border, we were literally and figuratively in another world. The mountain fjords and valleys were breathtaking as we traveled the rocky roads toward our destination. We saw small farms with goats running about on unpaved roads and were transported to a simpler life away from the big city lights of Dubai.
Once at the gate to Six Senses Zighy Bay, we drove to the property in a four wheel vehicle over the steep mountain. At the top of the mountain, we stopped to look over the valley and Zighy Bay below. The setting of these 82 indigenous village-style pool villa accommodations is spectacular. The dramatic Hajar Mountains with their rocky formations seemed to touch the sky and then drop to the sea below. The resort, which is modeled after a traditional Omani village is at the base of the mountains and in fronted by a 1.6 KM beach of powdery sand and the azure waters of the Bay of Oman. We could instantly see that Zighy Bay is a haven of calm with clear waters and the perfect refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Once at the resort, you get the sense that you are in another place. A place of peace where worries and stress are no longer your companion. From the staff you hear the word “Marbaba”, which is an Arabic word meaning welcome, and each of the staff make you feel that you are their personal guest.
Amazement is the word that comes to mind as we entered the resort styled after a Bedouin village but with every modern luxury one could desire. The welcome included a cool and refreshing date smoothie followed by an escort to our room by our personal butler who made us feel genuinely welcomed and that she was happy we were there. She told us about the suite, services around the property and the features of our room and was there for our every need throughout our stay.
Six Senses Zighy Bay is managed by Six Senses Resorts and Spas, who have developed and operate unique properties in the Maldives, Oman, Thailand, Vietnam and Jordan under the brands of Soneva by Six Senses, Six Senses and Evason; plus Six Senses Spas.
Our room was simply perfect. It was as if the property developers asked potential guests what they wanted in vacation and then found Zighy Bay and created it. Six Senses Zighy Bay consists of 82 beautifully designed and decorated pool villas that are built in adaptation of traditional Omani Style and are generous in size. Our ocean front villa had a spectacular view of the ocean just beyond our sandy courtyard and bamboo privacy fence. There were miles of sandy beach with the clear cerulean sea as far as the eye could see. It reminded me more of the Caribbean than the Gulf waters and with the slight surf it was absolutely perfect. We spent hours strolling along the beach under the moonlight as small crabs playfully scampered from the water to their burrows.
The room was spacious with all the technology and gadgets one would expect of a five star property. Wireless internet, satellite television, premium bathroom amenities, a fully stocked mini bar and an ample fruit and snack dish welcomed us.
One of our favorite features was the outdoor marjolis which is a traditional fixture in Arab home design. It is an area of the house where guests are welcomed, usually men, by the head of household. In this case, it was an ideal outdoor room with cushions and sitting area perfect for relaxing or discussing the day’s adventures over a glass of wine.
We also loved the amazing bath tub perfect for soaking away ones cares, the beautiful outdoor walkway with its bamboo awning allowing for mottled lighting, or the outdoor artesian shower, a wonderful romantic touch to the experience.
We really loved the black slate infinity edge pool hidden away and perfect for a couple to cool off, relax, rejuvenate and reconnect. My wife and I spent hours there talking, swimming about and reconnecting.
The dining options were as enjoyable as the rest of the experience. Our first night we dined at the Spice Market with its beautiful setting of rich colors, natural wood furnishing and Arabian decorations. I chose the Simar al bahr Moushakal which was the tasty lobster, fish fillet and prawns with Omani harissa, grilled mushrooms, local figs compote and citron tahina sauce. The food was fresh and well seasoned with good presentation.
The freshness of the dishes is due in large part to the organic farm you’ll find on the property. We had a chance to see the farm which had a potporri of fruits and vegetables that go directly from the farm to the guest’s plates. We saw our chef rummaging about the gardens, trees, and nooks looking for his needed vegetable and spices for that days meals.
Also on the farm you’ll see a smorgasborg of dates in various stages of processing. On the property they have over one thousand date trees of every type. And they find creative ways to include them as a delicious experience from the tasty date smoothie to surprisingly refreshing sparkling date juice.
The nice thing about Zighy Bay by Six Senses is that there is so much that you can do or you can do nothing at all. Both are a perfect choice. The list of adventures is endless from paragliding into Zighy Bay, trekking, mountain biking or rock climbing and needless to say, the world renown scuba diving of the Musandam peninsula.
We opted for a less ambitious adventure and chose the dhow boat cruise. It was absolutely spectacular as we embarked just before sunset and cruised slowly through the ocean as the steep fjords cast their shadows over the beautiful bays and fishing villages. We sipped the refreshing sparkling date juice and nibbled on tasty crudités as we took in the beautiful scenery before us.
Six Senses is known for their spa experience and the Spa at Zighy Bay is no exception. It is a refuge for mind and body, a sanctuary of ultimate wellbeing committed to delivering integrated wellness experiences. The spa combines peace, tranquility, fitness and health with ancient and modern holistic treatments from expert in-house and visiting wellness practitioners. The Six Senses Spa offers nine treatment rooms, a juice bar and two Arabian Hammams inspired by centuries of tradition. It offers a full menu of local and signature treatments including the four-handed Sensory Spa Journey and local Wonders of Oman Journey, delivered by skilled international therapists. The spa focuses on holistic wellness and rejuvenation programs to rejuvenate and revitalize the senses. 3, 5 and 7 day Wellness Programs.
There was an endless array of leisure facilities and adventures from the air, on the mountain, on the beach, on, under and in the water. Options for guest to enjoy included the large central swimming pool, fully equipped fitness centre, snorkeling and kayaking, water skiing and wake boarding, mountain trekking and biking, guided OFF-ROAD excursions, tandem paragliding and even flying a Micro light Aircraft! For under the sea you’ll find the Dive Centre, offering unique underwater experiences and impressions as part of snorkeling and diving excursions and courses.
The experience at Six Senses by Zighy Bay was well beyond our dreams. It was the perfect respite in an amazing location. With all there is to do and see, the amazing accommodations, meals and service it is the perfect place to get away from it all and to relax and rejuvenate. It is beyond worthy of all the praises from its fortunate guests and the numerous awards it has received. Having said this the best advice would be that when it comes to Six Senses by Zighy Bay is that you’ll just have to experience it for yourself.