Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
Boasting a variety of mesmerising natural sceneries, wealthy in interesting historical sites and monuments and brimming with culture and atmosphere, the MENA region has become a magnet for visitors. What’s more, the spontaneous, generous hospitality from the friendly and warm locals, who are ever-ready to help visitors, makes a trip to the region so much more enjoyable. Plus, of course, the short flight time and convenience factor for those of us living in the Arab world makes it extra alluring.
Here are two top resorts that will make your stay even more memorable.
Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
Nestled in the foothills of Morocco’s magnificent Atlas Mountains in the village of Asni, Kasbah Tamadot’s serene atmosphere is perfect for that escape you’ve been dreaming of. However, meaning ‘soft breeze,’ Kasbah Tamadot is so much more than a holiday destination, its unique tranquility and clean, clear mountain air make this beautiful haven a place for contemplation, regeneration and growth. The Asni region and Kasbah Tamadot offer a wealth of gentle walks, luxury spas and sumptuous lounges for relaxation, it just depends on what you’re in the mood for. And that’s why Richard Branson loves staying at his award-winning resort, which is just an hour’s drive from Marrakesh, so much. The billionaire businessman has taken many walks and cycles along the numerous mountain paths, stating simply that the resort is “a special place for family and friends.”
The sanctuary, which opened its doors in 2005, was formerly the home of interior designer and antiques dealer Luciano Tempo. Therefore, guests can see Tempo’s wonderful pieces adorning the 28 individually decorated suites and communal areas, all of which are carefully designed to complement the traditional red brick exterior.
As one of Virgin Limited Edition’s unique retreats and luxury hotels, the property offers the kind of top-of-the-line amenities you would expect. This includes a pool and sumptuous gardens with blissful mountain views. Plus, there’s the stunning Kanoun restaurant that serves local and international cuisine.
What’s more, by staying there, you can find out how the lives of young people in the region are being enhanced. The Eve Branson Foundation has chosen the property as a base to develop new projects in collaboration with its partners. The foundation founded by Branson’s mother works hand in hand with the Berber people, providing training, work spaces, materials and tools to help protect their heritage and encourage young people to generate sources of income through traditional crafts in order to help to support themselves and their families.
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
Oman’s jewel, Zighy Bay, is only a two-hour drive from Dubai and Six Senses Zighy Bay is where you’ll find something for everyone. This is where you can partake in out-of-the-ordinary land, water or sea activities or simply indulge in some R&R around the property while staying in one of the 82 village-inspired pool villas that offer spectacular bay views.
As it’s located on the Sultanate of Oman’s northern Musandam Peninsula, surrounded by the rugged and dramatic Al Hajar Mountains and the calm azure waters of the Musandam fjords, Six Senses Zighy Bay is the perfect spot for the adventurous kind of traveller. The exploits start with an adrenaline-charged paraglide arrival into Zighy Bay, which provides guests with a birds-eye view of the resort’s striking setting and breathtaking scenery. Dhow cruises, trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing, snorkelling, diving and customised tours, amongst other exciting activities, also await active guests.
If you prefer to take things easier, you can take in the surrounding rich and vibrant culture or enjoy lounging by the crystal-clear waters on the private sandy beach. Then again, you can head to the spa, the hotel’s refuge committed to delivering integrated wellness experiences. Expert therapists and visiting practitioners incorporate local healing traditions with ancient and modern holistic rejuvenation treatments.
Guests also have a diverse selection of dining experiences, from Sense on the Edge, a contemporary fine dining restaurant with spectacular views, to regional specialties at the Shua Shack and Spice Market. If you’re on a romantic break, the dinner experience at one of the private sandbanks is just for you.