Review: Six Senses Zighy Bay (Oman)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Today (December 9, 2015): Review of Six Senses Zighy Bay (Oman).

Six Senses Zighy Bay is an ultra-luxurious “hidden gem”, located on Oman’s northern Musandam Peninsula, only a scenic 2 hour car journey (but a world apart) from Dubai. The resort is as spectacular as its setting, with dramatic mountains on one side and a 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) sandy beach on the other. The resort gives the feeling of exotic remoteness, yet offers every comfort, easy accessibility and barefoot luxury beyond imagination.

Six Senses Zighy Bay features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Oman, the best health spas in the world, the world’s most amazing beach hotels, the world’s most over-the-top hotel experiences, and restaurants with views that match the food.

In this review (more info and photos below the slideshow) :

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • My verdict
  • When to go
  • How to get there

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • The scenery is breathtaking as the resort is located on a small strip of land between towering mountains, a lovely stretch of powdery soft sandy, and the turquoise colored Gulf of Oman. The remote and spectacular location will leave you speechless, even if you have seen already tons of photos of the resort before arrival.
  • A dramatic 4×4 drive (with the hotel car) over a steep mountain pass is the usual arrival method, and you’ll never forget your first glimpse of the bay as you drive over the top of the mountain and begin your dramatic descent to the hotel (no worries: if you drive to the hotel with your own car, you can leave it at the parking before start of the mountain ridge). But you can ‘upgrade’ you arrival experience with 2 other, even more spectacular choices (albeit at an extra cost): paraglide from the mountain top with a professional, or make your entrance by speedboat from a neighbouring bay port.
  • All rooms are stand-alone villas (different sizes and prices), and are built of natural stone and warm woods, reminiscent of Omani enclaves. Inside you find high indigenous-style ceilings, a colorfully cushioned living area and a heavenly soft bed made, with unbleached cotton sheets topped with your choice of ergonomic pillows. Outside, within the privacy of high cobblestone walls, every villa comes with sun loungers, a shaded living and dining areas and a decently sized, private swimming pool with adjustable temperature. Villas are located in 3 rows parallel to the sea, so only the first once offer sea views and have direct beach access (click here for the resort map).
  • Everyone is appointed a private butler at check-in, so you will be guaranteed a relaxed time during your stay at the resort (no need to worry about anything). Service is excellent everywhere and particularly on the beach where the staff will be continuously topping your iced water and running over to help with adjusting sunloungers/parasols under the hot Omani sun.
  • The hotel is located in a secluded bay, so there are no other options for eating out but at the hotel. This should not put you off as the quality of food offered in the different restaurants ranges from very good to superb. Senses on the Edge is the resort’s signature restaurant located high on the cliffs, that comes with terrific food (Michelin star quality) and jaw dropping views. You have to book ahead for this as it is only open certain nights of the week.
  • The rustic chic design of the common areas, including the pool area, is strikingly beautiful.
  • The beach if very nice (again, much nicer than expected) and the quality of the sand excellent, with some stretches of truly powdery white sand (remember though these are not the Maldives nor the Seychelles when you are looking for palm-fringed sugar beaches).
  • The brand Six Senses is know all over the world for its top-notch spas and the spa at Zighy Bay is no exception: it is a refuge for mind and body, a retreat from the busy humdrum of daily life, a haven for the calm & relaxed soul, and a sanctuary of ultimate wellbeing. Don’t miss it!
  • Six Senses Zighy Bay has a very active environmental program, following the universal commitment of the Six Senses group.  In addition, the resort is also an active participant in social programs to improve the well-being of the local Omani community.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

This is one of my all time favorite resorts in the world! The remote location, unique design, and spectacular scenery will guarantee you a unforgetable holiday and a memory of a lifetime. You may want to know though the following when you consider a stay at Six Senses Zighy Bay:

  • The sea can be muddy and dirty at certain times of the year, especially the Omani winter.
  • The resort is oriented towards the east and backed by high mountains. As a consequence, it will be in the shade at least 2 hours before sunset. But if you are an early morning type of person, then you will love the gorgeous sunrises.
  • Goats from the neighboring village roam freely around the property, but while some may not like them, they are totally harmless.
  • The air-conditioning unit in the room was uncomfortably noisy at times.
  • The bath is large (fits 2 people), but I could never fill it with hot water during our 3-day stay (running water became lukewarm after some time).
  • Food is excellent, but portions not always very generous.

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best hotel deal at a luxury resort like Six Senses Zighy Bay (and receive many free perks).
  • Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities (upgrade, free breakfast, a massage for two people, early check-in and late check-out) when you book your stay with Virtuoso.
  • Villas are located in 3 rows parallel to the sea, so only the first once offer sea views and have direct beach access.
  • When booking a table at Sense on the Edge, start dinner before sunset to enjoy the spectacular views.
  • The hotel is located in Oman, but is most easily reached from Dubai.
  • Book a half board package, to avoid extra costs.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Overall experience: exceptional: 9/10

WHEN TO GO

High season, November to April, offers balmy temperatures and mostly sunny days. This is the best time to spend a holiday at the resort and exercise outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or simply relax at the beach club. May to September can be uncomfortably hot, but if you can tolerate the heat and humidity, you can save hundreds of dollars as this is low season.


HOW TO GET THERE

Zighy Bay is located 120 kilometres, or 120-minute drive from Dubai International Airport (DXB), which is served by most major airlines. You can rent a car or book a private transfer through the hotel.


AERIAL VIEW
AERIAL VIEW
ARRIVE IN STYLE - PARAGLIDING
ARRIVE IN STYLE – PARAGLIDING
RESORT OVERVIEW
RESORT OVERVIEW
VIEW FROM SEA
VIEW FROM SEA
MAIN SWIMMING POOL
MAIN SWIMMING POOL
MAIN SWIMMING POOL
MAIN SWIMMING POOL
MAIN SWIMMING POOL - CABANA
MAIN SWIMMING POOL – CABANA
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH AT SUNRISE
BEACH AT SUNRISE
VILLA ENTRANCE
VILLA ENTRANCE
VILLA POOL
VILLA POOL
VILLA POOL
VILLA POOL
VILLA OUTDOOR LOUNGE
VILLA OUTDOOR LOUNGE
VILLA BREAKFAST
VILLA BREAKFAST
VILLA BATHROOM
VILLA BATHROOM
VILLA AT DUSK
VILLA AT DUSK
VILLA BEDROOM
VILLA BEDROOM
VILLA BEDROOM
VILLA BEDROOM
VILLA BATHROOM
VILLA BATHROOM
THE RETREAT
THE RETREAT
THE RETREAT POOL TERRACE
THE RETREAT POOL TERRACE
THE RETREAT EXTERIOR DAYTIME
THE RETREAT EXTERIOR DAYTIME
THE RETREAT BEDROOM BALCONY
THE RETREAT BEDROOM BALCONY
THE RETREAT
THE RETREAT
THE RETREAT AT DUSK
THE RETREAT AT DUSK
SIX SENSES SPA
SIX SENSES SPA
SIX SENSES SPA
SIX SENSES SPA
THE DELI
THE DELI
SENSE ON THE EDGE RESTAURANT
SENSE ON THE EDGE RESTAURANT
SENSE ON THE EDGE RESTAURANT
SENSE ON THE EDGE RESTAURANT
SENSE ON THE EDGE RESTAURANT
SENSE ON THE EDGE RESTAURANT

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10 Comments

  1. Great information
    I have a question, which would you recommend better, sense on the edge or dinner on the top of the wine tower ?

  2. Hello,
    do you think Six Senses Zighy Bay would be a nice combination with the Alila Jabal Akhdar if you want to experience the beauty of the Oman coast and mountains?
    Or are they too far from each other, since you have to make use of both airports,
    Dubai and Muscat?
    It would be great to know if that´s worth it, because non of the Muscat-close beach resorts do look as stunning as Zighy Bay. And how would you break down 10 days between these two?
    Thank you very much,
    Isabel, Berlin

    • Hi Isabel, combining Six Senses Zighy Bay and Alila would be a great idea since it’s the best of both worlds: Oman’s best mountainous resort and best coastal resort. Six Senses Zighy Bay is a 2 hour drive from Dubai Airport and Alila a 3 hour drive from Muscat, with the flight between Dubai and Muscat only being one hour. You may also want to inquire with both resorts about a direct road transfer between Six Senses and Alila (takes around 6 hours). I would advise to stay at Alila for 3 (or 4) nights and at Six Senses for 7 (or 6 night). Enjoy your holiday!

  3. I would like to take a taxi from Dubai to this resort. Is the road good to ride? Or I need a real 4×4 hotelcar?
    Are UEA-taxis allowed to ride accros the border?

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