When I first spotted the Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort, its dramatic setting took my breath away: the resorts clings dramatically on the edge of ravine in the Omani Al Hajar Mountains, at an altitude of over 2,000 meters. And just as spectacular as its location is the philosophy behind the resort:trying to be the perfect symbiosis between luxury, ecology and sustainability.
The last couple of years luxury resorts are blooming all over Oman, and no wonder: Oman is becoming a hot destination for travelers seeking both luxury and authenticity. And Oman has it all: the sultanate is wealthy, progressive ànd traditional, political stable and very safe, and best of all: its nature is extremely divers with great contrasts. The silence of the desert, the hustle and bustle of capital Muscat, the elegant and tropical paradise Salalah, the mighty mountains and canyons, its rich culture and history… Throw in a couple of luxury stays and there you have it: Oman as an adventurous & luxury top travel destination.
And the Alila Jabal Akhdar is a perfect match for Oman: this five-star resort is a haven for travelers looking for a unique stay, in a special environment.
Into the Stone Mountains
The Al Hajar Mountains range (or Stone Mountains) is the highest in eastern Arabia. The area had only been accessible for tourists since 2004 and you’ll need a 4X4 to discover this spectacular wall of mountains. The seclusion of the mountain range leads to an area untouched and pure, where beautiful canyons and high peaks blend in perfectly with green farmland and idyllic mountain villages.
. Jebel Akhdar (or Green Mountain) is part of the Al Hajar Mountains, a stunning countryside filled with not only stone but also traditional mountain villages, fruit orchards, and terraced gardens. And amid all this beauty you’ll find the Alila Resort, although you have to look twice to see if the hotel is actually there: for its construction stones from the mountains were used and combined with its unique architecture the buildings completely merge with the environment, as if they were one. A real tour de force of the architects!
The greatest luxury
Dutchman Jork Vosselaar is the General Manager of the Alila resort. He was present from the very beginning, even before the first stone was laid: “The architects and designers were inspired by plenty of things that are so typical for Oman: the high doors suitable for horsemen are almost copies from similar doors in the Omani forts, in the hotel rooms you’ll find pottery from Salalah and copper from Nizwa, traditional bridal chests and camels baskets, the rugs and curtains were woven by local families, the Damask rose (the rose that grows near the summit of the Jebel Al Akkdar, used to produce Omani rose-water) is used in many artworks…”
The typical Omani character and local identity is also present in the hotel’s kitchen. “We always serve traditional dishes – with a modern twist – and the cook only works with local products. Our olive oil for instance we buy from a local farmer in the village. In fact, we had to persuade the farmer to sell us the oil as he just wanted to give it to us as a present, that’s how friendly and welcoming the people here are”, Jork says.
“And all of this – working with local products, sleeping in an environment that is all about the history and character of Oman – it’s the epitome of luxury for us. Not drinking a glass of French champagne or eating caviar which you have to fly over thousands of kilometers, but to immerse yourself in a different culture, to experience unique things and collect memories you will never forget, that’s priceless.“
Ode to Nature
The Alili Jabal Akhdar Resort is built on the edge of a precious nature reserve and everything is done to keep the ecological footprint as small as possible. Energy saving procedures have been given the highness attention, and wastewater is filtered by the hotel itself. In fact, this water is made available to local farmers who grow vegetables and herbs; these fresh products are eventually used in the hotel kitchen. So how’s that for a perfect symbiosis!
Alila proves that respect for nature, environment and culture doesn’t mean giving up on luxury, on the contrary: the spacious villas with private pool, the spa, the infinity pool with stunning views over the canyon… it’s a little peace of heaven!
Okay, I know, it’s pictures you want. Here they come:
Omani hospitality: wherever you go, a welcoming cup of tea awaits you. There’s room to relax in the lounge and library.
Alila Jabal Akhdar has a fitness room, beautiful indoor swimming pool, a spa with jacuzzi, steam room and seven treatment rooms. Think: Asian healing techniques, massage, meditation, beauty treatments and natural (handmade) beauty products.
.The villa’s are amazing: spacious, decorated with Omani arts and crafts and always very luxurious.