There are increasingly-rare places in the world that feel uniquely special. Zighy Bay is one of those places. With a mountainous landscape that bleeds into a postcard-perfect stretch of beach on Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, the backdrop is a dream. In fact, it was a dream for one of the Zighy Bay founders, a former developer based largely in the Emirates who spotted this precious piece of land and vowed to build something special in a place that seemed virtually impossible to access. When you arrive at the Six Senses, whether by car or via a paraglider, there’s a je ne sais quoi; you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, but there’s a sense that you’ve really arrived. So, how exactly do you spend your time once you’ve arrived? Below I’m sharing 10 things to do at Zighy Bay to maximize your time on this magical peninsula.
For anyone considering planning a trip to Oman, I was so wowed by the destination that I’m waiving planning fees to Oman for 2023 to help bring this trip together for others. Check out Compass & Vine for inspiration + perks!
Take a Dhow Cruise
1Get a feel for the beachscape on a traditional dhow. Six Senses offers a three, five, or seven-hour Musandam cruise depending on how long you want to be out on the boat and which sites intrigue you most! For those really wanting a deep dive into the dhow experience, talk to them about their multi-day options.
Enjoy a Spa Day
2As a brand, Six Senses is practically synonymous with wellness so it should come as no surprise that Zighy Bay’s spa program is top-notch. Their spa is perfectly appointed with a sauna and steam room, with some essential oils so you can make the experience your own. I spent an hour of my first full day at Zighy with Yunis for a much-needed full-body massage. Heaven. Advanced reservations are necessary as their team gets booked up.
Paraglide to Your Check-In
3Quite possibly the only hotel in the world that offers paragliding as a mode of transportation for hotel arrival, this is one of Zighy’s signature offerings. Hristo, the paragliding pilot, also runs their microlight program and has been paragliding in Oman alone for 20+ years. During one of our days, we saw more than 5 paragliding flights descend so for anyone that’s uncertain about the safety, there have been years upon years of guests floating down to the international arrival point, happily taking in the view from above.
Join Their Sustainability Tour
4Offered on a complimentary basis for all guests, the sustainability tour highlights the core of Six Senses’ sustainability focus, which is far more than lip service. The property is pioneering green initiatives that will serve as a model for other Six Senses around the world, using an onsite R/O plant for water production, managing food waste, and upcycling glass bottles by crushing the glass to use in a myriad of ways. A great tour for your first day to understand the important work being done by the hotel across so many departments. Allocate about an hour for the tour.
Enjoy a Sunset Sip at the Zighy Bar
5A nightly hangout, the Zighy Bar is the perfect place for an aperitivo. The cocktails are creative and reasonably priced (comparatively!) and their bar is a perfect locale to take in the surroundings pre-dinner. For those traveling with little ones, the entire property is very family-friendly so don’t be too concerned about taking your little ones (well-behaved little ones, please!) to the bar for a drink. We saw a number of other parents there enjoying a drink with tiny travelers in tow.
Spend the Afternoon at Your Private Pool
6All of Zighy Bay‘s 82 hotel rooms include private pools which means that when you’re not spending time in the ocean or at the shared beach, you have your own little enclave for unwinding. The pool villas are set back just a short walk from the beach, while the ocean pool villas are beachfront with stunning ocean and beach views. The setup is perfect for families who want a private space by day where little ones can play in the pool or nap while mom and dad are sunning.
Experience Oman through a Woman’s Eyes
7Zighy Bay’s ‘Sense of Oman‘ tour is an offering focused on the women of Oman in cooperation with the Dibba Women Association. I had many touching moments during our time in Oman, particularly in Muscat, where Omani women would approach Kaia and I to see her close up. Some women wanted a photo with her, others wanted to hold her, and some just wanted to wave, but I loved connecting with women in the country who, while dressed differently than me, were still connecting with me over shared experiences. The Sense of Oman tour with Zighy allows guests to learn a bit more about the women of Oman and the work they’re involved with in the community. The tour offers a glimpse into date palm weaving, pottery, henna, aromatic coffee and spice blending, Omani music, and a taste of Omani sweets, which guests get to enjoy as part of an Omani breakfast.
Do a Speedboat Tour of the Musandam Peninsula
8While a dhow cruise offers a traditional take on sailing along the Musandam, speedboats allow you to explore the peninsula in a shorter two-hour spurt. Offered on a shared or private basis, you’ll get to zip into private bays to enjoy a swim in the Gulf of Oman while taking in the gorgeous coastal scenery.
Nosh on Omani Cuisine
9There’s no doubt that dining at Zighy Bay is a bit of a splurge but from start to finish, our food at Zighy was a wow. Breakfasts are a spectacular spread with a fresh fruit station, fresh juices and boosters that change daily, plus an array of cheeses, meats, dips, and an a la carte menu that’s executed to perfection. Despite the fact that you won’t eat off-site during your time at Six Senses, the dining options for dinner are plentiful including a ‘destination dining’ concept that changes nightly (we went during the Island BBQ night which was lovely). My favorite meal was at Summer House, where we had a seafood platter that celebrated locally sourced fish and shellfish from the region. You can also opt for in-villa dining which feels like a major treat, especially for lazy lunches!
Take a Dip in the Sea
10Oman isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when we think of beach getaways, but our two weeks in Oman really changed that perception. Muscat had gorgeous stretches of coastline and Salalah is a go-to for sun worshippers, but the Musandam Peninsula is a serious wow. Add to that the fact that the water is clear, calm and warm, and it’s the perfect place for a salty dip.
Zighy Bay had long been on my hotel wishlist and it somehow managed to exceed expectations which feels nearly impossible given how high the bar was set! I’m sharing more on our journey through Oman, including our three days in Muscat plus our time in Jabal al Akhdar, but Zighy Bay was an absolute highlight between the setting and the resort. Truly the essence of barefoot luxury. ✨
Have you been to Zighy Bay or other Six Senses properties?