A luxury escape with the family – Six Senses Zighy Bay Review
Six Senses Zighy Bay Review: Every June/July my parents and I jet off on a family summer holiday, ticking off new countries every year. When we were planning out where to visit and which hotels were of interest to us, we came across a fantastic offer at the Six Senses Zighy Bay that was too good to refuse. We had a week in the start of June to play with and considered many places including the Seychelles, Maldives, Barbados and Dubai.
Neither my parents nor I had been to Oman previously, but from friends we had heard only amazing things about the Six Senses Zighy Bay, including the infamous paragliding arrival into the resort, which is purely unique to Zighy Bay. We reviewed our stay, and in no time it was booked. We were already counting down the days, t-minus 126 days!
Location and Getting There
The Six Senses Zighy Bay is located on the northern Musandam Peninsula in Oman. It is completely surrounded by the UAE, thus is far closer to Dubai than the capital of Oman: Muscat. Zighy Bay is roughly 120km from Dubai, making it a 2 hour drive from the international airport and is the quickest and easiest way to arrive at the resort. If you’re arriving from Europe, you’ll most likely have to spend the night in Dubai as flights will get in late at night, however we were lucky and booked a night flight, getting us into Dubai at around 6am where our driver picked us up.
For guests, there are 3 possible arrival experiences, the 4×4 arrival (which we did), a speedboat arrival or the ultimate experience of a paragliding entrance. The 2 hour drive took us straight out into the Arabian desert, through rugged mountains, the coast, small villages and dirt tracks, it was without a doubt an incredible 4×4 ride!
Before your arrival, all visitors are required to send a passport copy/passport details from a minimum of three working days prior to the arrival date to obtain a border pass to cross the UAE-Oman check point. This is very important, as you won’t be able to enter the country without it.
Once hopping over the boarder, we soon left the paved road and ascended up the mountain, but of course what goes up must come down! After around 15 minutes of climbing, we finally reached the summit and wow, what a view. It was truly incredible. Descending down into the bay, there it was, the Six Senses Zighy Bay nestled like an oasis in the desert landscape, surrounded by mountains and the sea.
As soon as we were greeted by our driver at the arrivals lounge in Dubai, one thing was apparent; their attentive and friendly staff catering to your every need.
The layout of the whole resort was great. Spread along the beachfront, and with only three rows of villas, you’re never too far from the sea. Located in the centre 0f the resort are the two main restaurants: Summer House, which is the Western dining option and Spice Market for breakfast and an Arabic menu for dinner.
There are two main pools, the freshwater pool located below the two restaurants and the saltwater pool down the southern end of the resort by the water sports centre.
If you don’t feel like walking, each villa comes with bicycles sized according to each guest, including smaller ones for the kids. Having said that, riding a bike at the Six Senses isn’t that easy, since you’re having to watch for areas of deep sand that make it nearly impossible to steer and cycle out of, not to mention the heat too. But it was fun, and a great way to get around and explore the surrounding resort more.
Although we did not use it, there is an impressive kids and teen club for families with younger children. Which host an array of outdoor and indoor activities including: beach bowling, treasure hunts, Zighy cinema, archery, snorkelling, tennis and much more.
The whole resort is specifically designed with an Arabic, traditional feel; simple yet effective. The resort gives the feeling of exciting remoteness, yet offers every comfort and easy accessibility.
This is where we spent about 80% of our time, which was understandable as the villas were amazing and open-planned. With each villa having a personal sand garden, private pool, outdoor garden, Omani summer house and lounge area it was perfect.
Built from sandstone and wood, again it is very simplistic but effective. With two showers: one indoor and one outdoor, a spa bath, and a chess table, everything is finished to perfection.
Situated on Zighy Bay, the beach is secluded at all times of the day. During the summer months, the ocean is like a hot tub and the sand is equally as hot, thus we didn’t see many people hanging round the beach during these months. However, during the cooler winter months I’m sure it would be a great place to relax and partake in their complimentary water-sports including: kayaking, paddle-boarding and snorkelling. There were so many outdoor activities to choose from whether you’re a scuba diver, adrenaline lover or sailer there are activities for all.
As we went during Ramadan, the hotel closed its beach bars and restaurants for religious purposes so we didn’t get to experience this aspect of our stay. The bars that were closed included of Zighy Bar which serves cocktails throughout the day and evening, Shua Shack which is a unique bedouin dining experience and Sense on the Edge which is their mountaintop, contemporary fine dining restaurant. Which I guess will be a great excuse to return to the Six Senses Zighy Bay in the future!
We were never bored or wondering what to do next in terms of activities available. Even though it was summer and temperatures were exceeding 40c, most of the activities were available to guests. While some are fairly expensive as you would expect from this type of resort, they do offer daily deals for certain activities everyday. There are all sorts of motorised and unmotorised water sports, excursions around the area including sunset cruises and snorkelling boat trips.
We tried out kayaking and paddle-boarding which was great fun. The sea does get rougher as the day goes on, so make sure to head to the water sports shack for around 9am, as it won’t be too hot and the sea is very calm during the morning.
My mum and I had a spa day near the end of our stay which included a full health/wellness screening and an hour massage of our choice. It was the perfect way to end our holiday, one of the best massages I’ve had (and I’ve lost count how many I’ve had in Thailand!).
Luxury for cheaper
This resort is not for budget backpackers, and even though it is far outside the price range of many, we were able to get an outstanding deal for the quality and ultimate luxury of what this hotel offers.
Firstly, the time of year will be the crucial factor in the cost of staying at the Six Senses Zighy Bay. In the months of June/July the resort is certainly cheaper than the high season of October/November. In addition, staying during ramadan will lower the cost even more, as alcohol is not served and the bars are closed, so many guests willing to pay more will choose to wait till after ramadan.
Secondly, if you can try and book half board. As part of our deal we booked half board, meaning we had breakfast and a 3 course evening meal every night included in our rate, which was beneficial as food is very expensive. Dinner per person per night will set you back roughly £75, which will quickly add up throughout your stay.
Even though it is an expensive resort, I’ve stayed at hotels of an equal price range in the past and didn’t think they were worth the money, whereas with the Six Senses Zighy Bay I felt it was worth every penny.
During low/summer season the Six Senses Zighy Bay starts at around £450 ($575) a night and increases to over £1,500 ($1900) a night during high/Christmas season.
Overall, The Six Senses Zighy Bay Review was immaculate and hugely positive. This is definitely one of my favourite hotels I’ve stayed at, and is perfect for both for family holidays or a romantic escape with your partner. There aren’t many hotels in the world where you can arrive by paragliding in over stunning mountains into an oasis like landscape. We stayed for 7 nights in summer and despite temperatures exceeding 40c, don’t be put off by this, as you can grab a great deal at a world-class hotel. Having your own private pool within your villa complex was a huge bonus and really made our stay, and honestly with that it really didn’t feel ‘that’ hot.
Booking your stay at the Six Senses Zighy Bay
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Don’t just take our word for it though, check out their reviews on Tripadvisor.
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