An hour and a quarter from Muscat International Airport, the hotel itself is housed in 30 guest tents, each featuring full en-suite bathrooms and separate seating areas, perched atop one of the tallest dunes. Meanwhile, the Sand Spa itself is exactly what it sounds like – imagine sunken hot tubs and the healing benefits of hot sand, which as you can imagine, is available in abundance – all brought together in the sand burial treatment.
Hot sand therapy in the sand burial treatment combines the beneficial effect of the heat from the sand with its naturally occurring minerals. You start by using the sunken hot sand tubs to cover yourself in sanitised sand up to your neck, then you’re wrapped in fabric with fresh fruits over your eyes and a liquid aloe vera mask to your face.
A mix of milk, wine and oils are then softly poured over the body and after 20 minutes before you move to a relaxation area and a creamy yogurt is applied to your body. The treatment then finishes with a massage. If that doesn’t take your fancy, they have a number of other equally unusual treatments on offer as well.
Of course, beyond the sand burial treatment itself, the whole experience at this desert hotel is a unique offering. The sand dunes remain pristine and wild, care is taken to maintain the unspoilt beauty of the surrounding nature. The result is that other activities here are amongst the favourites of Omani locals, families and expatriates for their day outs, night grills and adventure seeking experiences.
Once you have had your sand burial treatment, consider going quad biking, build a sandcastle with your children (yes, it’s family friendly) or fly a kite. Alternatively, spend the day dune bashing, gliding down the dunes on one of sand boards or playing a round of golf on the exclusive nine hole golf course.
What may have seemed like an opportunity to simply relax with a good book in the heat (you can do that too), is in fact a welcome opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of activities and utterly unique experiences, all thanks to the Wadi Al Abiyad sand dunes.
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