In 1986, a helicopter delivered a British royal couple to the untouched wilderness of Jebel Akhdar in Oman. For hours, Prince Charles painted the canyon’s rugged beauty while Princess Diana read a book. Fast forward to today and, thanks to scenic winding roads that climb up to that very same spot on the Saiq Plateau, you can soak up the stunning view over drinks and nibbles, rise with the sun for a yoga session, or indulge in a romantic feast of local delicacies with your loved one from Diana’s Point at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort.
A two-hour drive from Muscat International Airport, this ancient-fort-like resort is uniquely situated 2,000 metres above sea level, deeming it the highest five-star resort in the Middle East. You can choose to stay secluded amid lush green foliage, or with direct views of the captivating canyon. Either way, all 115 rooms pay homage to Omani heritage, with design details that encapsulate the barren yet strikingly beautiful landscape that surrounds you. For ultimate privacy, we rate the Cliff Pool Villas, which each feature an infinity pool spilling out towards the mountains as far as the eye can see.
It won’t be long before the striking scenery beckons you to venture outdoors to explore Oman’s natural wonders. Take to the hills either trekking or on a mountain bike and admire the breathtaking beauty of the western Hajar Mountains or enjoy a culture-packed visit to the historic city of Nizwa, renowned for centuries as the ‘Pearl of Islam’. Back to the resort, retreat to Anantara Spa and indulge in a hammam ritual that draws on the healing power of rose water and pomegranate for a glowing complexion.
With six dining venues to pick from, foodies will be spoilt for choice here. Feel the Italian vibes at Bella Vista, where home-style regional classics are served with contemporary flair. Al Qalaa takes you on a savoury journey steeped in the region’s culinary roots while Al Baha serves a range of speciality teas around the courtyard’s open fireplace – a setting that’s best enjoyed under a starry night’s sky. Epicureans can grab an apron and delve into the secrets of Thai and Omani cuisine with the step-by-step Spice Spoons cooking class so, by the end of your trip, you’ll have the all the know-how you need to recreate your favourite dishes back home.
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