Experience the Alila Hinu Bay Salalah. Some lunar landscaped luxury, a cool khareef and green pastures with cows a short drive away. Just over an hour’s flight from Dubai. Is it for you?
Getting to the Alila Hinu Bay Salalah
FlyDubai is the easiest way to reach the hotel from Dubai. Flights leave mid afternoon and after a 1 hour 20 minute flight, it’s about a 45 minute drive to the resort.
See our travel tips about travelling from Terminal 2 Dubai. There is no time difference between Oman and Dubai. Again it’s another conveniently timed flight to return to Dubai, about 5pm. We stayed for 3 nights.
First impressions of the resort
We visited the resort during July, the time of Khareef when temperatures drop dramatically compared to much of the Middle East and a blanket of greenery covers a lot but not all of the area.
The resort itself is literally just off a quiet road where you don’t really expect anything to be! The landscaping is as yet a little harsh and rugged with dark, rocky terrain all around.
We opted for a sea view room and we liked the design and size of the room as well as the pretty patio that looked out over the rugged terrain towards the sea.
More soft scaping is in the pipeline though and this will make it much easier on the eye. There is however a real natural feel to the whole place and this combined with the totally undeveloped sea front makes for a unique setting. We liked that.
What we liked about the Alila in Salalah
The design of the resort is very elegant with high ceilings, natural materials and calm colour schemes throughout. It’s also very easy to walk around the resort and get to the two main restaurants and to the pool areas.
There is plenty of scope for beach walks with different areas to swim weather permitting. We have stayed at the Alila in Seminyak in Bali and the Alila brand was a key reason to visit the area.
Food quality and variety
The food quality and menu options are both very good. We enjoyed all our meals at the resort. The Sea Salt restaurant has it’s own pool at the back that faces the lagoon with a view of the sea beyond that.
There is also a very pretty bar area that makes a lovely place to sit for a while, again weather permitting.
How about drinks?
There is a good variety of beverages available, we enjoyed cocktails and wine with our meals.
Things to do in and around the resort
You can walk around the resort, or you can cycle if you prefer. The resorts provides free bikes for the duration of your stay. There are clear paths and people were biking at any time of day.
You can also swim in either of the 2 pools or in the sea or the lagoon, but we were not able to swim due to weather conditions.
There is also a spa where you can book a massage and use the steam/sauna facilities.
Khareef season lowers the temperatures
It’s a good idea to go exploring with your own car or take a car and driver from the resort.
Discover the strategically important historic town of Mirbat, just near the resort. The sea is incredible and the coast line is completely natural. Temperatures do drop during Khareef, so do take a light jacket.
Swimming in the sea and water activities
It is not a good idea to swim in the sea at all during this season. The sea is rough and very powerful. Stick to taking pictures instead and going for coastal walks.
However outside of Khareef season up till late June and starting again late September, snorkelling, swimming and beach picnics would definitely be on the agenda.
Is Salalah really green during Khareef
About 25 minutes drive away from the resort on the way to Salalah airport the landscape suddenly changes giving way to much softer, greener vistas.
A small turn off the main road saw us in meadows, mountains and much more verdant terrain. We saw cows crossing our road, a lot of mist in the air and we felt were we were in a Limuru tea estate in Kenya vs Salalah!
We were recommended to visit the waterfalls at Ayn Athom, on the way to the airport. Definitely worth a visit, but we were there during Eid so it was quite crowded.
The main attraction is Wadi Durbat but this was closed due to hazardous road conditions. The resort will pack a picnic for you if you ask them, this is a very good idea as there are no obvious places to eat along the way.
Would I go again to the Alila Hinu Bay Salalah
Yes I would visit the Alila in Hinu Bay again, but I think I would go when I could enjoy the sea and some water activities. There are alot of plus points:
- It’s an easy short flight from Dubai that arrives at a good time, so a good choice for a short break
- The design and quality of the resort is very good and of a high standard
- All the staff are competent, well trained and eager to please
- The food quality is excellent
- The setting gives your whole trip a very natural, calm feel that’s very important on a holiday and not so easy to access in such a short time
If you’re considering a trip to Oman then you may want to visit the Six Senses Zighi Bay resort just a two and a half hour drive from Dubai, but at a much higher price point.
This post was written in conjunction with the Alila Hinu Bay, but the views are all my own. More ideas about where to go in Oman here in OMAN MAGAZINE.