//by travel-expert José Berrocoso//

If you’re having a hard time planning your next conscious holiday, Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman provides the ultimate sustainable destination for luxury travellers. A pioneer in growing its own organic produce to support its holistic farm-to-table philosophy, has seen first-hand what rewards a hotel can reap from an onsite garden.

Sustainability lives at the heart of the Six Senses brand. From its simple beginnings with a single resort in 1995, Six Senses is now recognized as a pioneer of sustainable practices, demonstrating that uncompromisingly gorgeous hideaways can live in harmony with local communities and ecosystems. And it is an integral part of the resort’s DNA at Six Senses Zighy Bay. Flanked between a gently shelving bay and the lunar-like rugged mountains of Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, the property is a world away from mundane routine yet only two hours from Dubai International Airport.

Six Senses Zighy Bay embraces all that makes this unique region special and allows visitors to explore it in their own time and space. Through the resort, the peninsula itself has come to be recognized as an international destination with travelers often including this remote area as part of their journeys through Oman and the UAE. The resort has integrated itself with the local community and culture, working with the authorities and people to help grow and develop the region.

The setting of this beautiful ethnic village-style resort and reserved marina is outstanding, with dramatic mountains on one side and a 1.6-kilometer sandy beach on the other. This is an ideal place for relaxing and rejuvenating experience, especially for those who are looking to get away from the stress of their hectic modern lives.

Adventures start with an adrenaline-charged paraglide arrival into Zighy Bay which provides guests with a birds-eye view of the resort’s amazing setting and breathtaking scenery. If you happen to be near Dibba Marina, you may want to try the speed boat ride to Zighy Marina and enjoy the resort’s mesmerising view from the sea.

All Six Senses Zighy Bay accommodations are built from natural stone and warm woods, the traditional Omani villas reflect an enclave where families can unwind in the cool indoors under high indigenous-style ceilings, in the colorfully cushioned living area and on the cloudlike bed made with unbleached cotton sheets topped with guest’s choice of ergonomic pillows.

The villas are carefully positioned to create privacy, located in three tiers running perpendicular to the beach accessed via winding paths shaded by date palms, fig and pomegranate trees.

Each villa also features individually controlled air conditioning and ceiling fans, Nespresso coffee makers, iPod decks, music and entertainment systems, a mini-bar, local mineral water bottled onsite, a wine fridge and personalised bicycles upon check-in for repeat guests. Most important of all is the Guest Experience Maker assigned to each villa on arrival, acting as a personal butler to arrange any activities and experiences and providing seamless, unintrusive and intuitive service.

The largest accommodation however is offered by the four-bedroom Beachfront Reserve located on its own private beach with amazing views of the Gulf of Oman and the Al Hajar Mountains. It features an oversized 17-metre (60-foot) private infinity pool, a home theatre, pool table, wine cellar and an elevator to the upper floor.
The Six Senses Zighy Bay is suitable for all types of tourism thanks to the incredible territory where it is found: family or friends trips, adventures for the more risky, relaxation, detox and spa, as well as the most romantic spaces for couples.

Built on sustainability, caring for the environment, and looking after local schools, hospitals and infrastructure is at the core of Six Senses Zighy Bay. In total, 80 percent of the waste created on the property (organic or glass) is recycled or upcycled on site.

The water initiative system is a straightforward example of environmental responsibility with the resort’s own reverse osmosis (RO) plant and water refinery creating a self-sufficient water supply. Seawater is filtered before passing through the RO plant, with 25% being refined for pure drinking water and used for other utilities within the resort. Guests are provided with complimentary drinking water inside all villas thanks to the RO process, with the rest then used for the salt-water pool before being returned to the sea. The resort has its own closed circle sewage treatment plant on site, where 100% of the sewage effluent is recycled and used for drip irrigation for landscaping resulting in zero waste of water.

More than 1,000 palm trees are located throughout the grounds providing 12 different varieties of dates. The property utilizes this local, organic favorite in a multitude of ways following the harvest season from June to August. Crushed dates are also added to other natural ingredients to create local and authentic oils used in specific treatments offered to guests at the Six Senses Spa, whilst they are also a popular source of food for the Zighy Goats that roam freely around the resort.

The resort delights guests with its own on-site organic garden, comprised of approximately 30 different types of herbs. The herbs are used in a plethora of ways including adding extra flavor to signature drinks and menu items, garnishing dishes and also spa treatment ingredients.

In a constant effort to try, research and grow as part of a company that drives sustainability, the property has also established an organic farm in Dibba which offers guests fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables. In addition to the staples of freshly picked tomatoes, chilies, broccoli, cauliflower, dates, basil, cabbage, water cress and more, guests can learn how to make charcoal, plant herbs, collect eggs, milk cows and goats, make cheese and yoghurt, and best of all, make tasty salads or omelets with the help of the chef. There are many other activities on the farm that are guaranteed to keep families occupied and enchanted through their interaction with the animals.

The Spice Market offers and 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. 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.

Make sure you head to Six Senses Spa, where your treatment starts with a wellness screening to identify the programme that suits you best before heading to one of the nine treatment rooms. Six Senses Spa Zighy Bay is a refuge for mind and body, a sanctuary of ultimate well-being 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 practitioners.

Try the Wonders of Oman treatment, which is a three-hour program that begins with a warm sea salt bath with fresh mint from the resort’s very own organic garden, followed by an aromatic local coffee body scrub. The esotic pleasures continue with the Arabian Body Rasul famous for it’s slimming and purifying powers, before the final unwind of an essential oil massage. You can later linger as long as you want in the open-air relaxing area with a refreshing date juice and almond stuffed Zighy dates.

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