News of the just-opened spa at The Chedi Muscat tempts me to spend a winter’s week spa-ing amidst sea and sand in Oman, a 105,000-square-mile country located on the Arabian Peninsula. Oman may be known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, markets, museums, and wadis (dry riverbeds), as well as a 1,000-mile long coastline and dramatic desert dunes that lead to rugged mountains. But this seasoned spa-goer predicts that this newly built facility establishes Oman’s credentials as a spa destination.
More than one million people – about one third of the population – live in Muscat, the capital city, where the English language is second to Arabic. About 20 minutes from the city’s historic heart, The Chedi Muscat sits on a 21-acre private beach-front estate facing the Gulf of Oman and backed by the Hajar Mountains. The 158-room resort provides sumptuous, contemporary accommodations in two story villas, six restaurants, floodlit tennis courts, and three pools including the stunning 300-foot-plus, palm-lined Long Pool. Its dazzling Arabian Nights design features stark white buildings punctuated by columns, pointed arches and vaulted ceilings with minaret-style chandeliers.
The perfection to detail that I have already experienced at another spa in the GHM portfolio – The Setai South Beach, in Miami – convinces me that this spa is equally impeccable. In Muscat, the state-of-the-art, 27,000-square-foot spa and fitness facility offers eight treatment rooms, a 4,000-square-foot health club equipped by Technogym, a grand, high-ceilinged, windowed relaxation lounge, and his and hers locker rooms with steam and sauna facilities. Services incorporate high-end, organic products –SpaRitual, REN, VOYA, ila, Abahna, and Naturelle D'Orient – and feature worldwide wellness therapies including a four-handed Jade massage, during which two therapists choreograph their strokes. Fitness is a major component of the spa menu, and in addition to equipment, personal trainers, and a Pilates Corner, there are group classes for low-impact aerobics.
Spa experiences in the Middle East have enchanted me since I first visited Dead Sea and destination spas throughout Israel, and – more recently – the over-the-top Assawan Spa & Health Club atop the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, in Dubai. The debut of The Chedi is an opportunity for all of us to experience a traditional culture and to work out, be pleasure pampered, relax, and linger in an absolutely exquisite setting. www.ghmhotels.com
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