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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 January 2021

First look: Oman’s Alila Hinu Bay open for stays from May 1

Here’s what to expect at the soon-to-open hotel on Oman’s untouched south-west coast

Oman’s newest hotel is almost ready to open its doors. The Alila Hinu Bay is now open for reservations from May 1. The hotel has shared its first set of pictures, offering travellers a sneak peek of what to expect from the soon-to-open resort.

Located on Oman’s south-west coast, Alila Hinu Bay lies around 80 kilometres from Salalah International Airport. For those who prefer road tripping, it's reachable overland from the UAE – but expect a lengthy 13-hour car ride.

Spanning 45 hectares, the hotel is nestled between the peaks of Jebel Samhan on one side and the waters of the Arabian Sea on the other. It has been designed to blend in with its surroundings, so there's not a high-rise building in sight. Instead, the five-star property draws on its Omani roots, welcoming guests with traditional touches such as falaj water features and Omani arch-style corridors.

Like Alila Jabal Akhdar, the hotel's sister property in Oman, this resort is big on sustainability. It has been developed to respect its nature-filled surrounds and built in adherence to Earth Check operating standards to regulate the use of energy, water, paper and more.

Bookings available from May 1

Making the most of its location in the small fishing town of Mirbat, Seasalt offers fresh seafood with an Asian twist. Courtesy Alila 
Making the most of its location in the small fishing town of Mirbat, Seasalt offers fresh seafood with an Asian twist. Courtesy Alila

Reservations are open for stays from Saturday, May 1, but the hotel's exact opening date could be moved up.

“We are expecting to open in March, however, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions etc, the date is not confirmed yet. Our booking system is now open from May 1 and beyond,” a spokeswoman for the hotel told The National.

Alila Hinu Bay has been built on a stretch of private beach and the surrounding area is dotted with tropical natural palm trees. This part of Oman is a haven for wildlife so travellers shouldn’t be surprised to see wild camels wandering along the shoreline. Guests also have direct access to the Arabian Sea where there’s an incredible spectrum of marine life to be found.

The resort has 112 rooms and villas and each has an outdoor terrace that looks out on to either mountain, creek or sea views. The 16 villa suites also come with their own private pool and butler service.

Farm-to-table dining and an adult-only infinity pool

Alila Hinu Bay has two infinity pools, one for adults-only. Courtesy Alila Hotels & Resorts
Alila Hinu Bay has two infinity pools, one for adults-only. Courtesy Alila Hotels & Resorts

There are two infinity swimming pools – one for families and another that’s reserved for adults only. The Spa Alila will offer a variety of treatments using only natural, handmade products. Tennis courts and a children’s play area offer some on-site activities and there’s also water sports and mountain treks on offer for those who want something a bit more high-octane.

Dining options consist of Seasalt, which makes the most of its oceanside location by serving up Asian-inspired seafood dishes. The Orchard has a farm-to-table concept with the majority of ingredients grown either on site or in the local area. For guests lounging poolside, the Oasis pool bar serves refreshments and the Arabian-inspired Lobby Lounge is another option for light bites and drinks with ocean vistas. Private dining experiences on the beach can also be arranged upon request.

Explore ancient dwellings, historic tombs and caves

Dwellings in Mirbat, Oman. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images
Dwellings in Mirbat, Oman. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

The fishing town of Mirbat in Oman is relatively untouched, making it ripe with things to discover. The ancient Bin Ali’s tomb and Mirbat Castle along with the Old Merchant Houses are worth a visit, as is the Mirbat Public Garden.

Nearby, Khor Rori is largest natural reserve in Dhofar. The Teeq caves and Tawi Atair sinkhole are also close enough for a visit and taking in the sunset from the viewpoint on Jabal Samhan is a must-do. Those travelling to the resort during Khareef season will see it bloom green as the Omani coastline catches the end of the African monsoon season.

Anyone planning a visit to Oman currently needs to self-isolate on arrival for seven days. Visitors coming to Abu Dhabi from the Sultanate do not need to quarantine as Oman is on the UAE's 'green list' of countries.

Rooms at Alila Hinu Bay start from OMR119 ($309); hyatt.com

Updated: January 12, 2021 05:38 PM

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