Situated on the south coastline of Dhofar, Oman, this heavenly resort feels a million miles away from the desert with lush greenery, tropical scenes, freshwater lagoons and coconut-fringed beaches – despite just being a two-hour flight from Dubai.
As the oldest independent state in the Arab world, Oman is defined by a rich history, with a wealth of archaeological sites, imposing forts, frankincense trees and vibrant souks for those looking to tune into the spirit of old Arabia. And Salalah really is a surprisingly breath-taking destination that’s closer to home than you would ever imagine.
With the monsoon season turning the landscape green there are many good times to visit this scenic destination. From June through to August Salalah is at its greenest, waterfalls flow into the freshwater lagoons and the temperatures are warm but not overwhelming – a perfect escape from the UAE’s hot summers.
For those looking for something slightly cooler, visit between September and November when temperatures will drop and you’ll experience scattered showers and light wind, while the spring offers a more humid heat that’s still great for sun worshippers.
For those seeking the luxury lifestyle, there is only one place to stay. Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is situated in the heart of the resort, a luxurious haven with uninterrupted panoramic views of the Indian ocean.
The resort embraces the culture of this unique destination. The hotel itself boasts striking and authentic architecture, surrounded by lush tropical gardens and an Instagram-worthy infinity pool at the centre. The resort was designed with the region’s beauty in mind. Whitewashed facades and clean lines complement the blue skies while Arabic lanterns create a magical evening atmosphere.
For a personal touch, guests can benefit from the knowledge of the resident Salalah Guru. The Omani local grew up in Salalah and is an expert in the region with unsurpassed knowledge of the area and is on hand to guide and show guests the local sites and give them a glimpse into the local life, culture, history and landscape.
There are also plenty of activities to keep guests busy including mountain hiking, visiting the local waterfalls, discovering the Al Baleed Archaeological Park – a 60 hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site, jet skiing, kayaking, fishing trips and so much more.
ROOMS & VILLAS
The resort comprises of 136 rooms and villas, all designed with handcrafted furnishings and rich textures providing a subtle Middle Eastern ambience. Overlooking either the Arabian Sea, lagoon or picturesque gardens, each room is equipped with modern comforts. The resort’s 40 Premier and Deluxe Rooms all feature a spacious bedroom, en-suite bathroom with rain shower and separate bathtub, walk-in dressing room and media hubs with portable Bluetooth speakers alongside a terrace or balcony.
Meanwhile, eight one-bedroom Villas and 88 one and two-bedroom Pool Villas entice guests with personalised services and separate living areas, with Pool Villas benefiting from private temperature-controlled swimming pools, the first of their kind in Salalah. The largest of all the rooms is the exclusive three-bedroom Royal Beach Pool Villa is the epitome of luxury, boasting commanding views of the sandy bay and idyllic lagoon.
FOOD & DINING
Al Baleed Resort Salalah offers three dining venues all completely different and unique. Each dining destination embraces both local traditions and ingredients as well as international recipes. The all-day dining restaurant Sakalan (translated to The Land of Frankincense), offers international cuisine served in open kitchens.
For something a little more specialised visit Mekong – the resort’s signature restaurant sends guests on an Asian adventure with Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine served in a stylish setting. If the weather allows, guests can dine on the outside terrace next to a peaceful lagoon and decorated with lanterns – the perfect setting for a romantic evening.
Meanwhile, relaxed beachside dining restaurant Al Mina offers Mediterranean treats and shisha.
Anantara’s ‘Spice Spoons’ experience allows guests to discover the secrets of cooking Thai or Arabic cuisine. Upon departure, each guest is provided with a certificate and recipe cards, allowing them to recreate their dishes at home.
SPA & WELLNESS
The Anantara spa takes guests on a holistic journey offering the only luxury hammam in Salalah as well as rejuvenating treatments that use natural ingredients inspired by the region including frankincense, coconut and pomegranate.
The spa has a focus on restoring a radiant sense of wellbeing and rejuvenation with feel-good treatments that are balanced with the region’s ancient rituals and indigenous ingredients.
The spa features five treatment rooms as well as separate male and female wet areas, relaxation areas, Thai massage room and nail spa. The spa’s signature treatment; The Frankincense Ritual is a unique massage experience that sees two therapists perform a four-hand synchronised full body massage. The treatment embraces the local treasured ingredient of Frankincense which has healing benefits.
The Coconut Indulgence treatment is another highlight. The replenishing experience begins with a full-body brush using coconut shells, guests are then wrapped in fresh banana leaves to detoxify and re-energise, followed by a relaxing massage using warm coconut butter. The treatments are available for solo visitors and couples.
If you are looking for something truly special visit the traditionally inspired hammam. The only one of its kind in Salalah, the old age ritual purifies the body, cleansing it from toxins and stimulating the immune system. In the marble designed Hamman visitors will be scrubbed thoroughly to increase blood circulation and awaken the senses before relaxing with a cleansing olive foam soaping, nourishing mask and massage.
The rasul treatment room also allows guests to apply natural mineral mud to their face and body before relaxing in steam to ensure the skin is left silky smooth after their treatment experience.
If you’re looking for something more than just a beauty treatment The Anantara spa also offers a wellness experience that is designed as a way to balance the body and mind. Consultants and alternative health practitioners create three, five and seven-day packages targeting weight management, revitalisation, relaxation, de-stress, detox and rejuvenation.
The spa’s experts can design bespoke wellness programmes that cater to each guest’s specific needs. To complete the experience guests can benefit from the use of a fully-equipped gym, yoga classes and beach boot camp sessions.
For more information visit anantara.com.