25 May 2016
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas opens the doors to the highest five-star resort in the Middle East with the launch of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort. Perched 2,000 metres above sea level on the curving rim of a great canyon, the imaginative luxury resort beckons the intrepid traveller for immersions in a rich local culture and indulgent adventures into the otherworldly mountainscape of northern Oman.
Long inaccessible, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Arabic for ‘The Green Mountain’, is a towering massif on the Sultanate of Oman’s vast Saiq Plateau. The arrival experience takes guests on an adventurous drive – two hours from Muscat International Airport or four and a half hours from Dubai – past date plantations, historic forts and dry riverbeds known locally as wadis. The resort echoes the fortified architecture of the region, ensconcing guests in modern ramparts inspired by the commanding mountain citadels and re-imagined with sophisticated contemporary interiors.
A total of 115 luxury guest rooms and villas overlook either the dramatic canyon or tranquil gardens. The resort’s 82 Premier and Deluxe Canyon View Rooms boast a spacious bedroom, amongst the largest in the country, and a spa-like bathroom complete with a rain shower and separate bath alongside a balcony. Meanwhile, the 33 One- or Two-Bedroom Villas grant guests an intimate escape, each with personal villa host services and a private infinity pool overlooking the cliffs or hidden in an exotic garden.
Culinary desires are well catered for at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort with a collection of six restaurants and lounges. Al Maisan, meaning ‘The Rising Star’, allows guests to embark on a gastronomic journey around the world with live cooking stations from breakfast through to dinner, whilst Al Qalaa, translating to ‘The Fort’, showcases inventive Omani cuisine. With panoramic views stretching across the canyon, Bella Vista serves Roman-inspired cuisine while those looking for something lighter can enjoy the courtyard café, Al Baha. For a leisurely evening, guests ascend to the rooftop shisha lounge Al Shourfa or savour tapas in a Moroccan-inspired setting at Al Burj.
The ultimate gastronomic experience, Anantara’s ‘Dining by Design’ gives guests the chance to dine on a spectacular cliff-edge platform known as Diana’s Point, named after Diana, Princess of Wales, who visited the exact spot in November 1986.
Another of Anantara’s signature concepts is the ‘Spice Spoons’ cooking school experience. Guests accompany a chef to the local souq to source fresh ingredients and return to the resort for an interactive culinary class, creating exotic dishes from Omani and Thai cuisine.
Cradled by soaring mountains and graced with pleasant temperatures throughout the year, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort invites guests to venture through the valleys on foot, haggle over scarves and perfumes in the souqs, rise early to practice mountaintop sun salutations or gaze at the awe-inspiring sky on the fort star-gazing platform. For those ready for a rush of adrenaline, a ‘via ferrata’ climbing route, right on the resort’s doorstep, allows guests to hang from the cliff as they scale its side. The nearby terrain is ideal for explorers who can discover the labyrinth of narrow roads via mountain bike, wonder at the marvels of the canyon during a hike, abseil from a sheer cliff or try their hand at the ancient sport of archery, whilst culture aficionados will appreciate the richness of nearby heritage sites.
Renowned for opening the door to authentic experiences in each destination, Anantara’s ‘gurus’ are a quintessential part of guests’ journeys. Expert ‘Mountain Gurus’ from nearby villages share their unsurpassed knowledge of the area and provide inside access as guests explore the surrounding landscape and its ways of life. Impressive facilities at the resort itself include a cliff-edge infinity swimming pool, floodlit tennis court, fully-equipped gym with a rotating Freedom Climber wall, and an indoor-outdoor kids’ and teens’ club. The Anantara Spa harnesses the essence of Arabia with ancient hammam rituals as well as signature spa treatments using indigenous ingredients and traditions from the region. For those who wish to take advantage of the drama and beauty to stage a one-of-a-kind event, extensive meeting and banqueting facilities can host weddings, conferences, celebrations and team building activities.
For more information or to make a reservation, go to http://jabal-akhdar.anantara.com/.