The best-kept secret on the Arabian Peninsula, the Omani summer capital of Salalah offers travellers a refreshing seasonal experience
In direct contrast to the rest of the region, summer and Salalah is a perfect match, thanks to khareef season. A colloquial term for autumn, it ushers in three months of light rains, early morning mists and decidedly cooler temperatures, transforming the area’s mountains, wadis and lakes into lush green vistas from July to September.
Choose Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara as your base and take full advantage of its back-to-nature setting with the beautiful coastline, a tranquil freshwater lagoon and heritage-rich archaeological park just steps away from your room or villa.
The first and only luxury pool villa resort in Salalah, we feel it’s only fair to warn you that once you check into your preferred accommodation, it’s all too easy to simply succumb to the relaxing vibe of this 136-room hideaway. If R&R is your intent then a one-bedroom pool villa with view of the sea or lagoon is our top pick, whether you are a couple in search of a private idyll or family of four on a weekend getaway. Surrounded by high walls, chill poolside, doze in your own cabana or book a bespoke culinary experience for dinner on your own time.
Leisure pursuits beyond the four walls of your room include the resort’s 44-metre-long infinity pool, complete with mini sunbeds and cabanas for the kids, plus a 250-metre-long private beach while the onsite spa is a destination for escapist relaxation. Known as the land of frankincense, Salalah and the Dhofar region still celebrate this ancient aromatic resin. Experience its healing and restorative powers for yourself with a 90-minute frankincense ritual for a four-hand massage using essential oil.
Activities are high on the agenda for those seeking more to explore, from complimentary bicycles, tennis and badminton courts, watersports and beach games to signature outdoor experiences (an evening game of pétanque is great fun). Younger guests also have their own spaces with the Albahhara Kids’ Club and Alshirae Teens Club providing a full schedule of fun things to do, including cooking classes, karaoke, arts and crafts and gaming consoles.
As day’s end approaches, don’t miss the sunset long drum procession, a resort tradition, and the perfect precursor to dinner at one of a trio of world-class restaurants. With a choice of international, Indochinese and Mediterranean cuisines, you can join your fellow guests for a memorable meal or ‘dine by design’ – a tailor-made experience to be savoured under the stars on the resort’s golden sands or in a blossoming garden paradise.
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