Oman | Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar

Photos: Sheela Mehrotra

"...Nestled harmoniously and ambitiously into the landscape of the Saiq plateau 2000M above sea level, The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar peers over Wadi al Ayn with breathtaking cliffs-edge views of the naked terrain. The Anantara occupies one of the world’s most unique resort settings, accessible by a steep, multi hairpin turn road hewn into the sides of Jabal Akhdar (meaning green mountain). Rugged yet tranquil views of undulating rocks cast from the ground up, slow cascading silhouettes of mountains reflect delicate earth tones, occasionally dotted with grazing goats and sheep, narrate the serpentine journey.

The Omani government designated Jabal Akhdar as a nature reserve to protect the beautiful, yet fragile, biodiverse ecosystem. The government and locals are dedicated to maintaining the beauty of this mountainous place and the traditions of it’s people, while modernizing their lives and creating opportunity for others to experience the land. 

This approach carries through to the experience at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar. Designed to evoke the traditional forts and castles that are such an important aspect of Omani heritage, the resort is an artful rendition of traditional motifs and experiences, integrated with modern detail and sensibility.

Host to several great restaurants and an exceptional spa, it’s actually the rooms, setting and the active experiences around the resort that are the most unique and memorable.  Rooms & Villas boast magnificent views, the latter designed with Arabian majlis style living areas. Cliffs-edge rooms have private infinity pools set just 5-6 meters from the canyon precipice, creating a seamless (star-gazing) horizon and unobstructed harmony it's mountain range.

The canyon rim is metered by a trio of villages that precariously embrace the cliffs, watching over a cascade of agricultural terraces that rhythmically step their way down the slope of the canyon side. The walk through the villages, Al Aqr, Al Ayn and then Ash Shirayjah, is at times a window into centuries-old ways of life and adaptations to the rugged landscape. Al Aqr is connected to Al Ayn by a stone-channeled irrigation system (aflaj) that guides precious water to the terraced fields, nurturing blooming rose gardens in Al Agr and a surprising array of crops, from corn to exceptional pomegranates in Al Ayn.

Despite the apparently unforgiving geology of Jabal Al Akhdar, the Omanis hone a simple and serene way of life. This largely untouched region of Oman has been preserved and revered for it’s hypnotic minimalism. Anantara seems very much at home in these tranquil surroundings, albeit with a signature, posh opulence of pure escapism. A gentle reminder that one often finds the greatest beauty and the warmest welcome in the most unexpected places."

{Note: Our visit to Nizwa was a short one during December. The temperature was mild. The air crisp. But Nizwa is also known for it’s rose water production. Their harvest season begins at the end of March till early May when the roses of the mountains of Jabal Al Akhdar are at their peak bloom. We're looking forward to being back soon to experience more of Omans beauty}.

 

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort