Since Oman began beefing up its tourism industry, luxurious hotels and resorts have been popping up around the Sultanate. Al Nahda is among the highest rated of these attractions and offers much more than a relaxing getaway or a battery reset. The resort is an ideal time-out for those in need of a lifestyle change, who have let go, worn their hard-working bodies and need to be reminded of the importance of health maintenance and self-care.
Al Nahda is an oasis of 30 acres of luscious green gardens (formerly a mango farm), set on 127,000 square meters in the Omani town Barka. The resort holds 108 resident villas snuggly set between bundles of mango trees and are romantically furnished for residents who may enjoy 24 hour room service. Four different restaurants serve a variety of food at the resort including an international buffet, authentic Lebanese, alfresco dining and Far East Asian dishes though they each have different service timings.
The resort houses an indoor play club called “Cheerful Cheetah” and an outdoor playground with swings and slides for the little ones enjoyment. Tennis and volleyball courts are available for use as is a well-equipped fitness gym and a yoga/dance studio (yoga classes run 5 times a day – hurrah for that!). An underground meditation room awaits the peace-seeking individual to delve into pure quiet and close by is the piercing blue swimming pool situated between a maze of rocks, a steam tunnel, spa baths and wooden swings perched under enormous, jungle-like trees.
However, what sets the resort aside from others like is its focus on long-term health, fitness and wellness as opposed to the usual, come-eat-relax-leave resort routine. Incoming guests may sit for a consult with an ayurvedic doctor who, based on discussed goals and needs, prescribes a series of treatments which can be done on site and extend beyond one’s stay. The resort houses a medical spa with qualified physiotherapists and appropriate equipment to perform fitness analysis and read the body’s diagnostics. Based on the results of the consult and these analyses a customer is handed a program which may involve weight loss treatment or attending a relaxation session. For those who, well, can ‘stomach’ it, colon hydrotherapy is also available though considering its place of insertion into the body, I imagine many (myself included) would squirm at the thought. On a happier note, the spa provides aura readings which check your “chakra” energy points for health and functionality.
Catering to the pampering-seeking individual the spa also provides an assortment of international massages (Tai, Indian, Swedish, and a very impressive water pressure tub which does the work), facials (one specifically designed for the ever neglected male face), body scrubs & wraps (including one with real cocoa; I gather you leave smelling like a delicious chocolate bar) and of course, traditional and professionally done manicures and pedicures.
While the scorching heat does put a damper on spending time outside especially in an area which would be most advantageous in cooler temperatures, the resort is ideal for an Omani looking for either a nearby break from monotonous life or a restoration of balance and health. For everyone else I’d recommend putting off a visit until October when day walks among the many sweet-smelling trees would not end in sweat-soaked clothes.
By: Samyah Alfori