Alila Jabal Akhdar, Al Hajar Mountains, Oman

Reminiscent of an ancient Omani fort, Alila Jabal Akhdar clings to the side of its namesake mountain. Beyond its spectacular infinity pool, you can indulge in an array of wellness activities including yoga, and meditation before evenings spent beneath the stars. Its locavore fare and eco-conscious initiatives attract those looking to harmonise themselves with the impressive natural surrounds.

This article first appears in Volume 31: The Freedom Issue.

means “surprise” in Sanksrit, and I’m nothing short of
flabbergasted when I arrive at this intensely scenic spot clinging
to the side of Jabal Al Akhdar (“Green Mountain” in Arabic). A
silvery mirrored pool drops into a panorama of rugged slopes, which
rise and fall around me like a sepia sea, craggy and wrinkled as
the skin of a sun-baked elephant. Meanwhile, the hotel’s
camouflaged, rustic stone buildings are designed like an ancient

Geology walks, yoga, archery and meditation are all
complimentary, as are the nightly stargazing sessions that have me
peering into the craters of the moon through an ultra- powerful
telescope, the sky one huge sheet of glitter. There are also guided
mountain hikes, visits to local villages and a Via Ferrata
adventure that has me dangling off the edge of a 20-metre high
precipice attempting to circumvent the jagged, slippery rock

When it comes to food the emphasis is on locally sourced
ingredients, with a beehive and herb garden both on site. I feast
on slow-cooked lamb, pumpkin hummus and cardamom ice cream as part
of an Omani tasting menu at the Juniper restaurant.

There’s no single-use plastic, so those drinks come with metal
straws and everything is recycled, with a composting site and
Omani-style water irrigation system among the various plus points.
However, this eco-consciousness isn’t in your face. It’s really
just about being in harmony with the natural surroundings, and
after two days hiking deserted trails, admiring the sky and
drinking in the silence, I am certainly that.

The Lowdown

Rooms from £615 based on two sharing

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Introducing Volume 31: The Freedom Issue