By Rose Banguis-Ebuen
A spa located near a historic coastal village that is a stone’s throw away from the gates of the Queen of Sheba. In the heart of Muscat, a spa also rose that brags of a secret ingredient — the frankincense harvested and refined by what is perhaps, the world’s only Luban sommelier. Up in the mountain, where the pomegranates and roses usually reign supreme, rose a spa that looks into the healing power of water. And in the domain of the Bedouins, where desert sand is usually unforgiving, rises a world-renown Asian brand that offers the much-needed healing touches in the middle of nowhere.
Oman has all the right ingredients to become one of the world’s foremost destinations for wellness. In the middle of the pandemic, different luxury and high-end spas had been opening to cater to Oman’s global visitors looking for that unique experience only the Land of Frankincense can offer.
Oman Magazine looks into four recently opened luxury spas that show great promise.
Pampering at the gates of the Queen of Sheba
Alila Hinu Bay, Salalah
Alila Hinu Bay is already dripping in luxury with its secluded natural setting, private beach and seemingly endless bay. Add the Spa Alila to the experience and you’ve got a relaxation vacation you’re dreaming of. Located in Mirbat, a few hours away from the former home of the Queen of Sheba in Yemen, the rituals here include sea salt foot rub and a body polish infused with the pride of Dhofar, the miraculous essence of frankincense.
A must-try here is the Hinu Bay Signature Frankincense Massage
which includes heated stones and locally sourced Frankincense Oil from Salalah. The treatment concludes with warm Frankincense oil slowly poured onto your scalp while you indulge in a relaxing head and pressure points massage. Spa Alila gives you a customized spa experience using natural products that will relieve you from anxiety leaving you with a healthy, natural glow.
A sommelier for the finest and most expensive frankincense
Luban Spa: The Spa of Frankincense
Shangri-La Al Husn, Muscat
The first of its kind Luban (the local name of frankincense) spa in the country, nobody can pull this ambitious project other than Shangri la and this will just keep in involving overtime. With the opening of this spa, Shangri la is also introducing what is perhaps the world’s only frankincense sommelier which alone already warrants a visit.
If you happen to be within the city but are longing for a beach retreat and pampering then Luban Spa at Shangri-La Al Husn is the best place to be. The spa uses Omani Luban, the world’s finest and most expensive frankincense, known for its healing and beauty properties since ancient times.
A must-try here is one of their Silk Rituals which includes 2.5 hours of pampering which you can definitely request a Wahiba Golden Sand massage which is a bespoke service that Arabian Oriental massage techniques, combined with therapeutic qualities of Frankincense essential oil, to strengthen the body’s vital energy.
The healing power of water in the green mountain
DusitD2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar
The mountains of Al Jabal Al Akhdar (aka the Green Mountain) is home to some of the best luxury hotels and spas in Oman. Perched 2,000 meters above sea level and surrounded by the majestic Al Hajar mountains, it offers a breathtaking view of the canyons and the romantic sunset. The latest addition of DusitD2 Naseem Resort in the area brings more options not only for a luxurious stay but also for wellness treatments.
Namm Spa is inspired by the concept of healing through water which the name of the Spa is taken from — ‘Namm’, a Thai word for water. It operates in the concept of Natural, Aroma, Massage, and Marine – which has been designed to promote overall well-being through a choice of invigorating and calming wellness therapies.
The Spa has four treatment rooms with a minimalistic design. Its wooden accent and natural elements such as stones, fresh flowers and, a basket of ginger and herbs create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
A must-try here is the Namm Signature Massage, a special therapy that combines three massages techniques — Thai, Lomi Lomi and Abhyanga. With this addition, there’s more reason to going to Jabal Akdhar other than visiting the season of the roses or pomegranates.
Wellness in the domain of the Bedouins
Sumor Spa by Mandara
Desert Nights Camp, Al Sharqiyah
Set deep within the spectacular desert landscape of Wahiba Sands, the home to the nomadic Bedouin tribe, is a multi-awarded luxury desert camp that offers a unique way of combining outdoor adventure with pampering through its Sumor Spa by Mandara which allows guests to experience Asian wellness without leaving the Sultanate.
The spa brings Balinese treatments and rituals into the desert of Oman. It mixes tropical and Middle Eastern ingredients onto its products like luban oil. They offer a wide range of services from refreshing facials, foot spas and an hour-long massage.
After a day of desert adventures, from dune bashing to quad biking or camel riding that are all available within the property, there’s nothing more soothing and relaxing than spa pampering.
A must-try here is the Balinese massage which starts with refreshing ginger or tea of the day, followed by a foot wash and massage and a well-executed hour-long pampering made even more relaxing by the soft-whispering sand of Wahiba heard through the windows.