Our new travel designer Matouš Grund has an enviable travel CV, especially when it comes to five-star beach hotels. We asked him about his favourite and the answer surprised us.
Maldives? Seychelles? No.
Matty tells us about his memories of Six Senses Zighy Bay. It’s a beach resort in Oman, around four hours by road from Dubai.
Who Visits Zighy Bay?
Zighy Bay is for people who are bored with Dubai. They are bored with all the usual new hotels and want something different. They are looking for an experience that is fresh and high end.
It’s completely different to all the other hotels I’ve visited around the world, especially all the hotels in Dubai.
Visiting Zighy Bay will be outside your box. It will be something different to what you’ve seen before. But it’s also really close to Dubai. And it offers a very high quality five-star stay.
Travelling to Zighy Bay
We first flew Emirates to Dubai and stayed for three nights, mostly to party. Then we rented Mercedes G Wagons and drove five hours across the desert from Dubai. You don’t see sand dunes or anything like that, but it’s a fun drive. Well, it’s guy fun really, first on the highway, then driving in the desert and mountains.
Six Senses Zighy Bay also arranges transfers from Dubai, including from Dubai International Airport. You can arrive by paragliding as well. Lots of people actually do that, paraglide to the resort.
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Experiencing Six Senses Zighy Bay
Zighy Bay only has one hotel, the Six Senses. It is very remote, so the beach is only for guests and a few local fishermen. In September it was 38 degrees, so the beach was hot. But it’s so nice there. Really, the beach is amazing.
All the villas are built from wood and local stone, in the Omani style, so it feels very natural and authentic. All villas have private pools and we stayed in a pool villa beachfront.
It’s not like the Maldives where you cannot see the other villas. But there are walls between the villas and we didn’t have neighbours. Actually there were very few people there.
There are so many goats instead. Really, there are goats in front of your villa, goats everywhere. It’s just you and the goats out there.
The main cuisine is Arabic and you have to try the local dishes. I loved the mezze, especially when we had dinner on the clifftop for sunset. International cuisine is also served, like Italian, but the whole vibe is very eco and bio.
Activities and Experiences
Oman has a small exclave that’s surrounded by the United Arab Emirates. It’s just a national marine reserve and some mountains. The water is highly protected, so there are no jet skis or anything like that. Everything is quiet and natural.
Zighy Bay is all about being in nature. I love big game fishing but unfortunately I couldn’t do it because the marine park is protected. But you can just take a boat and explore. We went diving and snorkeling which were both really good. There is also the possibility of snorkelling in big overhead caves that are only accessible by boat.
Six Senses is known for its spa of course. At Zighy Bay they made it in an Omani style, with a hammam, Turkish bath, steam, saunas and massages outside.
Matty’s Zighy Bay Recommendations
We stayed for three nights and it was enough for me. Although they do have alcohol, it’s a detox resort and I didn’t need more than three nights.
Six Senses Zighy Bay is definitely for couples. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids because there are not many activities. It’s where you can have dinner at sunset on the cliff, with a fire and your partner.
From Zighy Bay we drove back to Dubai and flew back to Prague. You can easily combine Dubai with Zighy Bay for a five, six or seven-night holiday. I really like the contrast between the two destinations. You have two completely different experiences that are actually quite close to each other.
Get Personal Holiday Advice from Matty
Elite Voyage travel designer Matty Grund has stayed in dozens of the world’s ultimate beach resorts, as well as having adventures in Australia and Thailand, to name just two.
He can tell you what it’s really like and plan a holiday that will suit your interests.
Just be prepared to explore a little. Because the best experiences happen when you go outside your box.