With the soft opening of Alila Hinu Bay Resort adding to the list of luxury resorts along the Oman coastal line, Salalah is becoming the resort mecca for this region, thanks to the soothing climate that is ideal for a tropical getaway. mylifestylenews writes.
A few years back there wasn’t much choice, but all that is changing now. Salalah as a luxury resort destination is fast becoming recognized as the tropical resort mecca on the southern coast of Oman, due to the breezy and low humidity tropical temperature especially over the Middle Eastern winter that never gets too hot or too cold throughout the year, unlike Muscat, which can get very hot and sticky in the summer.
Alila Hinu Bay is currently in a soft-opening phase and ups the ante on any resort in this region, although technically it is not in Salalah central but tucked away in secluded Hinu Bay that is part of its charm off the historical fishing town of Mirbat, a coastal area in between Jebel Samhan and the Arabian Sea.
Only an easy 60-minute drive north east of Salalah, you are transported to another-worldly landscape of a nature lover’s paradise which can be experienced on a seemingly endless bay and with a private beach on a tropical oases. It is not yet fully mature in terms of landscaping, but the fit out and hospitality services are firmly in place and beginning to make a mark.
Alila as a brand is renown for picking unusual locations before anyone else and making it unique, surprisingly different. The arrival is signature Alila – you turn off the highway and drive through a small local ‘village’ which shortly leads to a long winding driveway that takes you to a stunning lobby entrance that has that Alila hallmark of memorable architectural design elements.
The lobby itself doubles as the lobby lounge/library, with a large table and chairs at each end, thus making it feel more residential and welcoming.
This looks onto a terrace which in turn overlooks the entire resort, thus the perfect vantage point to soak up the atmosphere of your temporary home away from home plus the Arabic Sea view to mesmerize you.
The resort stretches over 45 hectares and comprises of five types of accommodation, broken down into 96 guestrooms and 16 villas which are the ultimate expression of contemporary style. All guest rooms/villas and amenities are completed and in operation, so the soft-opening phase offers everything that you could possibly want in terms of software and hardware.
The landscape of this resort is quite unique, so don’t think lush green lawns, but rather a rocky terrain of an ecological landscape, so that guests can gaze upon the natural composition of the site. Thus the intention is not to mask the natural beauty, but to enhance, with a minimal intervention of building components as a commitment to sustainable operating standards.
The rooms and villas are well spaced out in groups, some with beach views and some with lagoon views, so you never get that congested feeling wherever you go. Our ‘home’ for this stay was a One Bedroom Pool Beach Villa which covers some 166sqm.
The interior design is very residential and thoughtfully designed with the tones and shades of a natural earth color in the large living room with a touch of Omani sensuality. All this is adorned with the brown monochrome curtains that are also extensively present and well accompanied by the perforated design lamps with a hint of the Orient which add a sense of elegance and sophistication to the entire cozy ambience.
The earthy palate of color tone rugs and sofa are well matched with practicality and comfort in mind and with the right dose of flair. You will probably think this is a design you will want to replicate at home!
The bedroom is a sanctuary for blissful sleep and exudes pure comfort and elegance with an incredibly comfortable king bed that looks out to the terrace. It is incredibly spacious and so luxurious, thoughtfully designed with comfort and practicality being the priority.
The dramatic headboard takes centre stage and creates an ambience of refinement and contemporary feel adorned with the bedside Orient motif hanging lamps as well as a wooden fan, all of which is directly looking out to the beach and bay with sun lounges and a plunge pool together with a majlis cabana on the outside terrace.
Right behind the bedroom is the oversize bathroom with his and hers vanities and two rain showers attached on the ceiling giving you ample space while you shower.
The free-standing outdoor bathtub in a small enclosed courtyard adjacent to the shower room is the most desirable place to be – it is all open plan, so the feeling of space is magnified.
While the beach amenities is still a work in progress, there are already some shaded lounges to enjoy the peace and quiet sea side.
Besides, the resort has two swimming pools, the lengthy pool looking down from the elevated Orchard restaurant with a dramatic entry way of the resort that reflects the modern classic vibe of the entire property, settling the scene for a relaxing feel and expresses a subtle and understated luxury aligned with elegant cabanas and facing the bay and waterfront.
Then a much larger pool that sits atop at SeaSalt restaurant, also allocated with plentiful elegant cabanas and with direct views overlooking the lagoon and waterfront, and of course food and beverage accessibility at your fingertips.
The pool deck area is spacious and almost every corner with direct sun light access, if having a “barbeque” is your ideal sun-kissed getaway. You have it all covered!
Otherwise, you may just pause for a moment and discover solitude by taking a deep breath of the warm, salty air to feel the pure zen and restore the positive energy on this elevated pool deck.
A signature Spa is also available and is in another grand building along from the lobby. You will also find a high-tech well-equipped gym in the spa annexe. The spa is well facilitated with multiple changing rooms that offer steam and sauna, as well as a plunge pool for a post spa relaxation, so you are not going without by any means.
Food is such an integral part of the Alila DNA and they have ensured that the Alila Asian touches are at the forefront of the menu.
Breakfast is at the Orchard restaurant with extensive indoor and outdoor seating in an elevated building adjacent to the lobby, walking through the infinity arched hallway is quite inspiring and you have one of the best vantage points on the outside terrace seating to look over the entire resort. It is a perfect spot to watch the sunset while enjoying the gentle Arabian Sea breeze.
Inspiring arched hallway leading to The Orchard Restaurant
It is a sensibly crafted semi-set menu for breakfast - a buffet is so not necessary - while a set of fresh fruit, cold cuts and cheeses and bakery basket caters for your essential needs and then you choose your hot dishes, eggs and beverages with unlimited serving. Strangely Asian dishes are not available on the breakfast menu, but if you ask in advance, they can possibly make the magic work with a soulful Alila touch.
The resort has only two major dining outlets, so lunch and dinner is at SeaSalt and has a definite Asian bent to the menu, plus knowing the culinary team offers flavours from Italy, India, Thai, Indonesia, Malaysia and Arabic means that every element will be tailored to its authenticity and it was, which we were delighting in every time we ordered our meals
You can sit indoors or outdoors and given the pleasant weather, most choose outdoors over the Arabic’s winter. The open kitchen is visible from both vantage points and it is always fun to watch the chef brigade in action. The bartenders can whip up some great beverages, particularly based on flavoured tea and with quite attentive and prompt service.
The whole point of the location is to be seemingly away from civilization and to chill in the privacy of your villa or pick the quietest pool maybe. To be able to embark on a destination experience unrolling along a natural beach on Oman’s coastal line that radiates sophistication and offering an indulgence of luscious lifestyle facilities, this haven of serenity has no reason not to be loved and we did not even consider any activities outside the resort.
However, should you wish to push the boundaries of interest, there are some tours you can do that enlighten you further as to the history and culture of the locale by discovering the hidden treasures that abound within this fascinating destination.
The signature Alila vibe is why you would want to book this resort by discovering the destination through traditions: out of the way location; a unique landscape; luxurious accommodation; innovative design; most satisfying cuisine; a well-seasoned team that can already deliver humble yet great hospitality that exudes from the roots of its people and their daily rituals, as well as easy accessibility from Salalah and wonderful weather that never gets too hot and sticky!
Being on holiday is much about celebrating your own choices in living and cultivating your personal priorities. We were mesmerized by the whole experience and felt we had discovered another unique Alila resort that is not yet on the travel itineraries of many well-seasoned luxury travellers due to the fact it has only been opened less than a year. Surely it will become a much sought-after destination in the not-too-distant future.
Perfection is defined individually but the hallmark of Alila defines the bespoke journey by having the destination know-how with all the ingredients of your lifestyle to make your stay a ‘surprisingly different’ Alila experience.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Room Amenities: 5/5
Food & Beverages: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Sultanate of Oman
Tel: +968 2337 3300
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.
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