Five luxury Gulf shore getaways
Dubai or not Dubai? That's the question posed by these Middle-Eastern marvels.
Saturday 10 January 2009
Sharq village, Qatar
The "Qatari-heritage inspired" interiors are spectacularly glitzy at this Doha resort. The courtyards of the villas radiate from an Arabic bazaar that trades more high-end goods than traditional crafts. There's plenty of ornate plasterwork and work by local artists on display. Lebanese fine dining, fresh seafood overlooking Doha Bay and Middle Eastern confections are just some of the dining options, while a Six Senses spa, two pools and a palm fringed beach complete the sybaritic experience.
Sharq Village & Spa, Doha, Qatar (00 974 425 6666; sharqvillage.com). Doubles start at QR2,000 (£365), room only.
Fusion Boudoir apartments, Dubai
Fusion, a boutique villa in Jumeirah, is an antidote to the larger-than-life hotels colonising Dubai. The B&B has launched five chic apartments in the Jumeirah Beach Residence with whitewashed walls, tiled floors and not a flash of gold in sight. Each comes with access to a private beach.
Fusion Boudoir Apartments, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, UAE (00 971 50 478 7539; fusionhotels.com). Two-bedroom apartments start at Dh800 (£142); doubles at the villa start at Dh650 (£116) including breakfast.
Six Senses Hideaway, Zighy bay, Oman
Opened last year, this is the first major development on the hitherto unblemished Musandam Peninsula. Six Senses is modelled on an Omani village. The villas come complete with private pools.
Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay, Musandam Peninsula, Oman (00 968 267 35 555; sixsenses.com). Doubles from US$1,057 (£704), room only.
Desert islands, Abu Dhabi
Once a private royal nature reserve, Sir Baniyas Island is now home to a new spa resort. Rooms overlook the turquoise water of the Gulf and feature terracotta floors, dark wood furniture and marble bathrooms.
Desert Islands Resort, Sir Baniyas Island, Al Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, UAE (00 971 2801 5400; desertislands.anantara.com). Doubles start at Dh1,624 (£296), including breakfast and excursions.
The Chedi, Oman
Until The Malkai opens late next year, design-conscious visitors to Oman will have to settle for GHM Resorts' next-best offering, The Chedi. A far cry from the traditional intricacies of Omani design, it is a slick arrangement of cream and grey, dark wood and sparkling white linens. Poolside cabanas are arranged behind the beach; the souks and forts of the intriguing capital, Muscat, are just a short drive away.
The Chedi, Al Khuwair, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman (00 968 24 52 4400; ghmhotels.com). Doubles start at 160 rials (£277), room only.
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