We Unplugged, Logged Off, and Unwound at This Secret Hideaway in Oman

Related Article
Fashion
Summer in the South: What Is Everyone Wearing?
Read Article
alila hinu bay
Photo: Courtesy of @lysfia

We drove into Alila Hinu Bay in the early hours of the morning. The flight to Salalah from Dubai is at a relatively psychotic hour – 2am to 4am to be exact – and to say we were exhausted would have been an understatement. The weeks had been brutal leading up to this much-needed reprieve, and we had three days out of the city to capitalize on in terms of rest, relaxation, and recharging. Little did we know that the escape we had just entered was the rejuvenation that we had been yearning for.

Besides the beauty, luxury, and sanctuary that is Alila Hinu Bay, we have to say that one of the best things about this hotel is how remote it is. Even though wifi, TV, and phones are fully accessible, we chose to disconnect from our devices so we could be more connected and present with each other as a couple and as a family. The fact that we were so far removed from town and frankly, other people, made the disconnection from the Matrix relatively easy. Let’s just say that we don’t regret one missed email, call, Tweet, or Whatsapp.

alila hinu bay
Photo: Courtesy of Alila Hinu Bay

First Impressions

Alila Hinu Bay is tucked into a little bay outside Salalah, Oman. The drive from the airport to the hidden resort is about an hour of mostly empty highway along the coast, unless of course you count the odd camel crossing the road to get to the beach. The resort itself feels as if it has been built into the landscape. The architecture compliments the natural beauty of Oman for a harmonious and peaceful sense of wellbeing from the minute you walk through the open halls overlooking the sea.

The property hosts two pools – one with cabanas and lounges in the center of the resort, and one just next to the restaurant overlooking a mini lagoon – and both are equally perfect for swimming laps or just floating around in the cool water under the warm sun. The beach is inviting, with rocky outcroppings perfect for exploring, and gentle waves lapping onto the shore. Not exactly a surfer beach, but it’s quiet and private and frankly, that’s all we needed. 

The walls of the buildings are the color of sand that changes shades at sunset when the golden hues reflect for a dazzling photo opportunity. New green has been landscaped throughout that gives off a tranquil oasis feel to the entire property, and the only sound you are likely to hear as you stroll through the massive grounds are the trickling of fountains, the crashing of the waves down by the beach, and the utter solace of silence.

alila hinu bay
Photo: Courtesy of Alila Hinu Bay

The Room

We stayed in one of the pool villas and what a fantastic choice that was. The room was spacious with a wall of windows overlooking the private pool and sea beyond. The bed was massive and soft, and fit two adults plus two kids quite comfortably, even though there were beds made up for the kids in the sizeable adjacent living room. The bathroom was almost palatial, and the two shower heads the length of the room had nothing on the outdoor bathtub. Perfection doesn’t even begin to describe a warm bubble bath with the cool breezes and fresh air around you and nothing but the stars above.

However, we will readily admit that aside from some of the best sleep of our lives, our favorite spot was outside in the private pool. The water was heated, the lounge area to the right was perfect for relaxing in the shade while the kids took a dip, the privacy was a bonus, the view over the water was immaculate, and the nighttime dips as we counted shooting stars – yes, you can count them, that is how clear the night sky is – were absolutely marvelous.

alila hinu bay
Photo: Courtesy of Alila Hinu Bay

The Spa

Of course, in order to maximize the wellness journey of mind and body, it wouldn’t be complete without a trip to The Spa. If you didn’t already know, Oman is the home of frankincense – an oil made from the resin of the Boswellia tree found in the rocky regions of Oman and renowned for its healing properties. Upon first entering the spa, the spicy, woody scent of frankincense immediately starts to clear your senses followed by a special welcome drink made with frankincense, and during your treatment, you also have the option for the therapist to use frankincense oil on your skin. 

By the time you are sipping your frankincense tea after a deeply relaxing massage, you have inhaled, ingested, and absorbed all of the healing properties into your skin and system. Frankincense is a natural antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory, and has been proven to aid with arthritis and joint inflammation, gut health, asthma, and oral health.

alila hinu bay
Photo: Courtesy of Alila Hinu Bay

Location, Location, Location

Alila Hinu Bay offers a plethora of activities if lounging by the beach and pool is not enough action for you (although, we would like to point out that it is completely acceptable to sit and do nothing while on holiday, because that is what holidays are for). However, we decided to rent a car for the day so we could explore the wadis of Salalah on our own time. We made our way to Wadi Darbat, one of the most beautiful wadis in Salalah, and perhaps even Oman, and found ourselves climbing up the mini waterfalls to have a look into the crystal clear waters from the top down. Rich colors spring up everywhere due to the abundance of fresh water in this meeting place for goats, horses, and yes, camels. We packed a picnic lunch with us, and plenty of water, and found a spot under a tree where we could take in the solitude and beauty of Oman in this natural oasis.

Having our own car also meant we could go exploring, or get lost occasionally when the lack of 4G reared its ugly head much to our Google Maps’ confusion. We waited for cows and donkeys to cross the road, we found the anti-gravity road – the infamous road where you put your car in neutral and it moves forward on its own – which was fun for all of four seconds and anti-climactic for the rest of the time, and we saw more wild camels than we think we’ve ever seen in our life. Was it worth the day trip in our already brief vacation? A thousand times yes.

Coming back to the hotel felt like home after our day of adventuring. The staff knew our names, what my kids liked to eat, and everyone showed off that famous Omani hospitality. As we sadly said goodbye to what had become our own personal oasis, we knew it wouldn’t be the last time we saw those camels on the beach. This would forever be our special little hideaway to disconnect so we could reconnect. 

alila hinu bay
Photo: Courtesy of @lydiaindubai
Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Click to get the latest news on your device
You can stop notifications at any time.
Unsubscribe from our notifications
Click to unsubscribe from notifications on this device.
Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Connect using Facebook Messenger