The view from the rooms.
Perched 2,000 metres above sea level on the rim of a great canyon, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort will welcome the world’s most discerning luxury travellers from from July 2016. Guests will hover over an extreme landscape of rugged beauty and on its launch, the resort will be the highest luxury hotel in the Middle East and among the highest in the world.
Long inaccessible, Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Arabic for “The Green Mountain”) is a towering massif on the Sultanate of Oman’s vast Saiq Plateau.
Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana flew over the heights by helicopter. Today, the arrival journey takes guests on a two hour drive from Muscat International Airport or four and a half hours from Dubai – past date plantations, valleys known locally as wadis, and historical forts. The Anantara echoes this fortified architecture, placing guests in modern ramparts inspired by the commanding indigenous citadels and re-imagined with sophisticated contemporary interiors.
A total of 115 guest rooms and villas overlook the canyon or gardens. Each features custom-made Omani furniture to Amouage bath products evoking the region’s fragrances. The resort’s 82 Premier and Deluxe Rooms boast a spacious bedroom, amongst the largest in the country, and a spa-like bathroom carved out of sustainable material from the local area, complete with a rain shower and separate bath alongside a terrace or balcony.
Meanwhile, 33 villas grant guests an intimate escape each with personal butler services and its own private swimming pool, their infinity-edges stretching over the cliffs or hidden in an exotic garden. Villa guests have the choice of either one or two bedrooms, including the exclusive Royal Mountain Villa. Each villa will include state-of-the-art interactive LED TVs and spacious walk-in dressing areas, all adding to a sense of sublime luxury.
Culinary desires are catered to in a collection of six restaurants and lounges. Diners are invited to rise above the courtyard to savour fine dining at the Arabian grill restaurant placed in a central fort tower with sheesha water pipes and tapas, as well as a Roman inspired kitchen with canyon views. For the most extravagant experience, Anantara’s ‘Dining by Design’ invites guests to dine at the spectacular cliff’s edge platform, Diana’s Point, on the site of the royal visit. Another Anantara signature, the ‘Spice Spoons’ cooking class allows guests to accompany a chef to the local souq and to the resort’s own Chef’s Garden before being guided in the secrets of cooking Omani or Thai cuisine.
Surrounded by mountains and enjoying cool temperatures year round, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar presents a respite from the heat faced by the Gulf region for much of the year. The resort puts travellers in touch with the local culture, history, and landscape in personalised arrangements including mountaintop sunrise yoga and stargazing.
Other diversions include archery, quad biking and excursions to nearby attractions such as the UNESCO World Heritage site Birkat al Mouz, an otherworldly deserted village cascading up a mountainside, and the ancient city of Nizwa, known as the ‘Pearl of Islam’. Accompanied by a local guide, Anantara guests can embark on nature hikes into the area’s most picturesque features or rappel down sheer cliff drop-offs for a falcon’s-eye-view surging with adrenaline.
At the resort itself, a wealth of highlights awaits, from the cliff-edge infinity pool to a state-of-the-art fitness centre, tennis court and world-acclaimed Anantara Spa. Catering to the youngest travellers, a dedicated kids and teens club speaks to youthful imaginations, while a lavish ballroom and meeting facilities will host memorable events and weddings. Adding extra atmosphere to the already amazing setting, a blazing courtyard fire pit will light the Anantara’s own Friday night market, illuminating one-of-a-kind artworks by local village artisans and craftsmen.
To reserve the elevated experience at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, visit http://www.anantara.com/al-jabal-al-akhdar