The lowdown Separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates and only 90 minutes from Dubai airport (the last 15 minutes of which is a hair-raising drive up, over and down the steep Al Hajar mountains), Zighy Bay sits on the northern Musandam peninsula on a mile-long sandy beach that stretches out into the Persian Gulf.
The accommodation consists of 82 fabulously luxe Omani-style stone villas, each with private pool and butler service. You’ll be hard-pushed to tear yourself away from your oasis of peace and calm where you feel completely cut off from the real world. However, despite the fact that your butler can attend to your every wish in your villa, it is well worth hopping on your bike (each villa comes equipped with these) to explore the rest of the resort.
Dining A gourmet’s paradise, the hotel has two restaurants at sea level - Spice Market for authentic Arabic dinners and Summer House for a pan European menu. But for a memorable experience, book into Sense on the Edge, a five-minute drive away, perched high atop the mountains overlooking Zighy Bay where you can choose from three seven-course menus - Asian, Arabic or Vegetarian.
What to do Despite Zighy Bay’s seclusion, there is masses to keep you busy here (besides the spa, more of which later) if lounging on your sunbed is not your thing 24/7. Snorkelling, kayaking, diving and all sorts of watersports are available; and if in need of an adrenalin rush, then try your high hand at tandem paragliding (the views are amazing if you can stomach the heights) or flying a micro light aircraft. And don’t miss out on the fantastic activities (some of which are free) – these change daily but you can do a yoga session, sunrise stretching on the beach, aqua fit classes in the main pool, tennis, hiking, Pilates, boot camp training and loads more.
The spa A vast range of treatments, both holistic and pampering, using natural products are available in the nine treatment rooms. The therapists are definitely some of the best we have experienced, so do treat yourself while you are here. The Deep Tissue massage will leave you feeling invigorated and will ease any niggling aches and pains, while some of the more relaxing treatments like the Balinese massage will give you a total sense of calm and relaxation. The bath rituals, which are also available in the privacy of your villa, will remove toxins, combat cellulite and improve circulation. For a little extra indulgence, opt for the Aphrodite Bath, and enjoy wafts of ylang ylang essence with a glass of sparkling wine and some divine dark chocolates - what better way to unwind?
Wellness programmes These three-, five- and seven-day programmes are designed to restore body, mind and soul balance and set you on a path towards a healthier lifestyle. Different categories range from detox, stress relief, fitness, adventure and all will be tailored to your individual needs. Your programme will start with a lifestyle analysis with the Wellness Manager, Steve Harvey, an incredibly inspiring lifestyle coach, healer and energy therapist who has treated the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Donna Karan, Demi Moore, to name just a few. InStyle opted for the three-day fitness programme – early morning jogs (as the sun rose) followed by one-to-one Pilates sessions on the spa’s rooftop, definitely worth getting out of bed for! Also included were three herbal steams, a Thai massage and a Deep Tissue Massage, as well as access to the well-equipped gym. The results? A definite sense of wellbeing and a determination to keep up the good work once home!
The details Stay 3 nights on a breakfast basis from £1,435 per person. Price is based on 2 people sharing a Pool Villa, British Airways flights to and from Dubai and private car transfers. It also includes the wellness programme 'Functional Fitness'. For further information, contact Elegant Resorts Reservations on 01244 897515 or visit elegantresorts.co.uk
By Jeannette Arnold