Alila 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 fort.
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 face.
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.
Rooms from £615 based on two sharing alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar