As I was being driven up towards Dunes by Al Nahda, I was quickly enchanted by this unique resort. Perched on top of a dune are a collection of tents with uninterrupted views of the sand dunes surrounding it.
As we drove through the gates of the luxury resort it really did feel like we were leaving reality behind and had now entered our own secluded area of the world.
In the warm Omani sun we were greeted with cool towels and refreshing cocktails and were quickly checked-in at what is probably one of the worlds most beautiful ‘check-in’ desks.
Friendly staff checked me in at the open-air check-in desk, but I was probably distracted by the stunning views and cooling breeze. I also became a little distracted by the residence camel, Shanin who was casually chilling in the sand next to the check in area.
The main part of the resort, including the restaurant and bar, check-in area and spa and pool are separate from the accommodations and are connected by a winding path. I turned down the offer to be driven down in the tuk-tuk that was taking my luggage down to my tent. Instead I chose to take the short walk and take in the stunning views. I marvelled at the silence of the resort with only the sound of the wind rolling over the sea of sand dunes (and maybe the occasional roar of a quad bike going over the top of a dune).
The resort features 30 luxury solid-walled tents which all feature a private bathroom, seating areas, wi-fi and air-conditioning. I truly fell in love with Dunes by Al Nahda’s tents as this is camping that this luxury girl can fall in love with.
With so much to do at the resort, my luxury tent was a quiet place to retreat. I loved being able to relax within the cocoon of my richly coloured tent. Swaths of fabrics covered the walls and ceiling and I enjoyed laying back on my amazingly comfortable bed and being able to view the scenery from my large windows.
Staff can organise numerous activities that take advantage of the surrounding desert and guests can take part in as many or as few as they like.
Dune bashing, quad biking, dune surfing, camel rides, kite flying or playing on the resort’s on-site 9-hole golf course are just some of the activities which guests can experience that are parts of Omani Heritage.
Spending the afternoon dune bashing was a thrilling experience and one I will remember for a long time. This location is one of the most famous dune bashing spots in Oman. Not only was this a (at times) white-knuckle ride, it was also fascinating to get to see different parts of the desert and view the resort from another vantage point. It was remarkable to witness how magnificent the desert is and gain some local insight and knowledge from our experienced tour guide.
Those who are looking for a little less adventure can simple while away the hours by cooling off in the infinity pool or lounging on the day beds and watching the scenery change as the sun moves across the desert. It was also very entertaining to watch some of my fellow quests zip around on quad bikes in the distance – all from the comfort of my lounger with a G&T in my hand.
A visit to the award-winning URU spa at Dunes By Al Nahda is must-do while staying at the resort. I spend one afternoon enjoying a relaxing treatment where I was buried in warm sand and then covered in cooling yoghurt. I then enjoyed a wonderful aromatherapy massage. My lovely therapist Asha was so friendly and welcoming, and the treatment has been designed to relax muscles and sooth your skin. It certain did the trick.
The resort’s beautiful restaurant, Fleur offers both buffet and A la Carte menus of both Omani and Western cuisine. The restaurant is largely open-air which allows guests to enjoy views of the dunes. A highlight while staying at the resort was the delicious traditional Omani dinner, Shuwa where meat is marinated and then baked in a fire pit for 12 hours. Dining on the unbelievably tender lamb under the stars is something I’m still thinking about. The Dune Bar is the perfect spot for a pre or post dinner drink and, as I discovered, the bar staff always like to show off their cocktail making skills at the guest’s request.
One of standout feature of the resort is the staff. The multi-lingual staff were always highly professional and warm, and I really did feel that there was no request that would be too much trouble for them. Each staff member I met really did want their guest to have a wonderful holiday and an authentic Omani experience.
Throughout my stay I found myself amazed at the beauty of the resort and its location. My iPhone is filled with images of amazing sunsets, delicious meals and stunning views. I of course also had to take a selfie with Shanin the Camel!
All good things must come to an end and as we drove away from the front gates, through the desert and towards the airport I felt myself crashing back to reality. Dunes by Al Nahda is a very special resort that The Luxury Travel Bible recommends to anyone wanting a special and memorable escape in a beautiful part of the world.
|Ultimate Luxury: Check into the Royal Tent. Comprising of three tent rooms, this is one of the most luxurious accommodations in Oman.|
|Most Indulgent Moment: Pre-dinner drinks while watching the sunset before enjoying a delicious meal under the stars.|
|The Little Things: A lovely traditional story left on my pillow to read before bedtime. |
|Junior Luxies: Families are welcomed at the resort and little luxies can take part in specially arranged activities for all ages and interests.|
|Dress code: Cool and stylish|
|Dent in the platinum: |
|Luxury Resorts Link: www.dunesbyalnahda.com|
Sarah Bryans, 01/11/2019