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Height of luxury in Oman

The Property Addict / Travel

Jul 11 2017

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Set 2000 metres above sea level, on the rim of a canyon plummeting down from Oman's Saiq Plateau, Anantara's Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort is the highest luxury resort in the Middle East. Open for less than a year, the property is surrounded by craggy peaks and farming terraces abundant with dates, apricots, damask roses, pomegranates and other exotic delights. Height-of While the setting truly steals the show here, the resort itself, built from local stone using traditional techniques, is equally breathtaking and blends seamlessly into the surrounding mountains. At its centre you'll find a large courtyard with an open fireplace, around which two bars, a rooftop shisha lounge and the resort's signature Arabic restaurant are gathered. There's also the poolside Bella Vista Italian restaurant, Al Maisan for international food, and the casual Moroccan tapas lounge to choose from when hunger strikes. Height-of1 Height-of9 Stone pathways lined with damask rose bushes, fruit trees and narrow waterways inspired by traditional falaj irrigation channels lead to the 115 sleek rooms and villas. Designed by French-Moroccan architect Lofti Sidirahal, the low-rise buildings feature graceful archways, hefty carved wooden doors, decorative latticework and warm natural tones. All rooms make the most of those soaring canyon views, but for maximum sultan vibes book one of the eleven cliff-top villas. They come with their own infinity pool, outside deck, lavish lounge and bathroom with twin tubs, and even their own host. Height-of8 Height-of4 Height-of15 The best place to connect with your surroundings, though, is the viewing platform and cliff-edge infinity pool dropping off over the lip of the gorge. Once you've had enough of admiring the views, you can step out into them with guided hikes to nearby 700-year-old abandoned villages, mountain biking excursions, or abseiling. Al Jabal also offers sunrise yoga, landscape painting and cookery classes, and excursions to Oman's former capital Nizwa, with its 17th century fort and rambling souk. And when you've had enough action, there's no better spot to hole up than the sensational spa with its hammam rituals and signature massages incorporating local ingredients like rose and pomegranate. Height-of5 Height-of10 Height-of13 Height-of11 Height-of12 Height-of14 Height-of16 From about AUD$570 a night, including breakfast. See anantara.com. How to Get There: Emirates flies from Australia to Muscat via Dubai. It's a two-hour drive from Muscat to Anantara Al Jabal; 4WD transfers can be arranged by the resort. See emirates.com. by Nina Karnikowski

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