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Discovering Oman’s Alila Hinu Bay

Spacious, fiercely local, and luxurious, this resort needs to be on your staycation radar for 2024. Hayley Alexander checks-in to reveal all.

A mere two-hour flight from Dubai International Airport and perched along the tranquil southwest coast of Oman, located in Mirbat, Alila Hinu Bay stands proud. A hotel experience like no other, that exudes an air of chic luxury, effortlessly weaving together eco-consciousness, nature’s bounty and sprinkles of Arabian allure. We’d heard so much about this luxury resort, the excitement to get going was real. As we drove up to the lobby, the Omani adventure started with hearing the Arabian Sea gracefully dancing against the sandy shores, we were automatically immersed into the embrace of nature’s wonders – it was at this point that we knew we were in for a relaxing time! 

Our game-changer? The Terrace Sea View room. Slide those doors open, and your space transforms into a chill-out zone. Sun, sky, sea – the perfect trio that’s great for the soul. Come nighttime, it’s a stargazing setup. Honestly, you’ll want to cancel all your plans and stay in, and sink into the comfy sofas and absorb nature. 

With a luxurious king bedroom, stunning marble features and Arabian-style inspiration shining through the interiors, rain shower, standalone bathtub and comfy seating area – this room truly rolls out the red carpet when it comes to comfort. 

On our first day we tried to look beyond the stunning views and was presented with a brilliant itinerary of activities at Alila Hinu Bay. It is a hub of cool experiences, with wonderful nooks to hide away and read or listen to the sounds of nature. Ever mixed camel milk with classic cocktails? Led by Aniket, the resort’s top mixologists, it’s a hands-on dive into Omani flavours and a nod to local ingredients. If that’s not your vibe, there’s the Tea Class – a chill journey with tea sommeliers, sampling, blending, and soaking in vibes against the backdrop of the bay. 

In this coastal haven, dolphins frolic alongside graceful dhows, creating a picturesque scene. Yet, turn your gaze and vast deserts unfold, providing a striking contrast. This spacious resort imparts a sense of grandeur to everything – a lifestyle marked by the boundless space that shapes both land and sea, offering a unique blend of tranquillity and adventure. And here’s the kicker – camels, the VIPs of the desert, just mosey around, adding an authentic vibe to your beach strolls.

You also have to peep the streets of Mirbat, organised through the resort and guided by a local – this nugget of history was a 17th-century trading post. After an interesting history lesson, dive into the lively fish market – the ocean’s goodies flaunted by the  local fishermen who also arrange for the fish to be cooked and for you to enjoy in a nearby street-side restaurant. Local points of interest include Mirbat Castle, Mirbat Fishing Port and Tomb of Mohammed Bin Ali. 

Sustainability at Alila Hinu Bay is at the forefront of everything this resort stands for. Solar panels, waste reduction, supporting local communities – they’re the superheroes of keeping it green, and always seeking ideas to do more. 

Food enthusiasts will find themselves in a culinary paradise in Salalah. With dishes celebrating Omani flavours and locally sourced goodies. Seafood from down the road and Arabic treats – all served with a side of killer sea views.We explored the culinary landscapes of Seasalt and The Orchard is a true feast for the senses. The Orchard, with its expansive interiors and towering windows, sets the stage for an immersive experience in Arabic and Mediterranean cuisine. Imagine savouring seafood mixed grills and freshly harvested produce prepared in an open kitchen. The option to have these delights delivered to your cabana adds an extra layer of luxury. Meanwhile, Seasalt transports you to Asia with tantalising offerings like Singaporean black pepper prawns, vibrant papaya salads, and the sizzling allure of Thai-style stir-fries – a culinary journey with an air of sophistication.

In the evening, we tuck in to a dinner that’s not just a meal but a journey through time. The unique menu celebrates Frankincense, tracing back to Oman’s Dhofar region, the epicentre of this ancient trade route. Picture those traders, weaving through Egypt, Greece, and Rome, not just trading goods but sharing ideas and shaping cultures. The orchard-themed menu is a gastronomic roadmap, pulling flavours from Oman’s aromatic landscapes, cruising through the Arabian Peninsula, soaking up the Mediterranean vibes, and landing in the vibrant hues of the Indian subcontinent. Our dinner menu was delightful, we started the evening with Forgotten Mezze Platter made up of purslane yogurt dip, besarah kisir, yelengi, ottoman hummus, an Omani Awal Salad with dried fish and mango, followed by Salalah Plantain Gnocchi – do not miss out on these! And for the mains, Omani Spiced Lamb with dates and nut stuffing, mandi rice and dakhus sauce, and we (just about) left room for the Banana CheeseCake. Chef really pulled it out the bag with this superb menu, the flavours of each dish was like a guessing game. 

Whether you’re dolphin spotting, sipping camel-milk cocktails, or just chilling on your terrace watching shooting stars, it’s a stay that’s not just Insta-worthy – it’s one for the memory bank. A staycation you won’t forget. Cheers to that!