News of the just-opened spa at The Chedi Muscat tempts me to spend a winters 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 Omans 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 citys 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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