We were met at the airport by the Anantara staff where we were driven through the south of Dhofar, stopping off at one of the fruit vendors on the side of the street for a fresh coconut, papaya and mini milk bananas.  We hadn’t even arrived at the hotel yet and I was already in awe of this beautiful place.

The hotel itself, positioned between the beach and a freshwater lagoon is the perfect combination of natural paradise and princely comforts. The grounds are surrounded by tall palms, tropical gardens and water features, and the buildings themselves, steeped with intricate design.

The accomodation at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is amongst the best I’ve stayed in, and I get to sleep around a lot. It’s nothing short of an Arabian oasis. After check in, I was shown to my stunning private one bedroom Garden View Villa, which is of similar size to my house back in the UK.  Particular highlights were the free standing bath tub, and a private pool in my own private garden!

The hotel was so beautiful that I was reluctant to leave but we had some exploring to do so after a good nights sleep and a delicious breakfast (the buffets at Anantara have set a new bar for breakfasts) we departed for a tour around West Salalah, stopping off at Mughsayl beach where camels roam freely, we saw blow holes, natural springs and learned all about Frankincense and Aloe Vera, of which there is plenty.

Back at the hotel, if you can tear yourself away from your room, there is plenty to do, the infinite pool is the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon cocktail and overlooks the hotels private stretch of beach. We spent a wild hour driving one of the dune buggies down the stretch of beach which was so much fun, even if it did result in a couple of rather large bruises. To recover I spent a glorious hour in the spa where I was treated to a full body massage, the best I’ve ever had!

Food wise, the hotel has 3 restaurants to choose from including Mediterranean and Asian, the latter, Mekong, was my favourite, a mix of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. I spoke in my last post; The highest five star resort in the UAE, about how good the Meze was, I suppose it’s fitting as we were in the middle east, the home of hummus, but I’ll reiterate, it was the best I’ve ever tasted!