Something to add to your travel bucketlist as soon as the UAE-Oman borders open.
Words by Aneesha Rai in The Lifestyle · Jun. 29th, 2021
In this edition of 'The Escape', we check into Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman. Constructed by the Intermass, a construction company based in Sharjah. With its unique topography surrounded by the Hajar mountains and beach, the Six Sense Zighy Bay is one of the most special resorts in the region, owing mostly to its nod towards using local materials. The villas are built in the style of traditional Omani houses with stones from the surrounding mountains.
Deriving inspiration from an Omani fisherman village , the name is inspired from the village itself. Intermass has used different natural materials , majority of them sourced locally. The villas are cladded with local grey stone with the public areas nicely painted with an ocher color giving it a mud effect. All the wood used in the resort is natural hard wood , mainly meranti wood, such as for doors and windows. The buildings’ roof structure is an overlap of natural materials as well , in opposite to concrete . The roof is built out of wooden beams , wooden truncs called “chandal” , and local mats made out of palm leaves called “haseer”, all inspired from the Omani culture.
The resort is built in a way to keep small spaces in between the buildings without affecting their privacy. The proximity and the local trees planted everywhere provide shade that is much required during the hot season. It also creates nice small alleys not accessible by cars. Some water features help also refresh the outdoors .
The overall architectural layout is very simple , it creates clear spaces defined by big wide columns very typical of the region. Those spaces can also be easily furnished or converted if needed. Interiors are an extension of the architectural concept, offering comfort and simplicity. Hard wood has been used for the furniture, and copper and clay for the local artifacts and accessories.
The spa is considered the “temple” of the resort. When you approach it, you will hear a nice water stream following the side of the road and reaching a pond built out of natural river stones. While a big majority of the other building are facing the sea, the spa is a closed private space that opens on internal courtyards which aren't visible to the outside visitors . A beautiful hidden alley takes you to the main lobby where you discover a high central dome used to naturally lighten the entrance.
The resort also heavily looks into environmental sustainability. They have a reverse osmosis plant , which creates clean water out of the sea . The rejected salt water is being used to fill the salt water pool which has many benefits for the skin. The filtration of the water is also done naturally thanks to a huge reed plantation that also creates a visual separation from the surroundings. Nothing is lost , the used water is also recycled to irrigate all the numerous plants in the resort.