Saving my soul from a humid summer setting.
UAE summers are not kind. On one such day, looking to go anywhere for a short break, I stumbled on a very attractive flight to Salalah. Booked. Visa sorted within minutes. I was ready to escape.
From the moment you arrive at the airport, you can see the contrast of where I come from. There is no mad rush to get somewhere, there are no long frustrating queues and most notably, everyone always smiles.
On the drive to the hotel, you can see camping tents popping up in the open areas. This quiet rustic town is getting ready for the Khareef season where families from the rest of the neighboring countries flock here for a green getaway.
Khareef, the rainy season, is a popular time in Salalah. Not only because the temperatures drop and really, who doesn’t enjoy rain? Also because, the entire region transforms into a beautiful lush green paradise. If you are from any tropical place, you would know the desire for such views when you live in a desert.
My excitement was rapidly increasing as we got closer to the resort – Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. This resort could not have been more perfect of a choice.
Just like the rest of the town, the resort was prepping itself for the first rain, bringing with it the rush of travelers. For this reason the place was a little empty this particular weekend, but this is exactly what I was looking for and loved it! Anantara is always about the tiny details that hit the right emotion with its guests. One such is to find your personalized welcome sign hanging by the door written on a coconut leaf. I packed it to take it home with me as a souvenir!
I would highly recommend the Beach Pool View Room, the views and sound of the waves are what inspires you for a longer stay. The spacious interiors give the sense of luxury with a very earthy touch. The private patio is the perfect set-up for a morning coffee, getting some sun or even to relax with a glass of wine.
My favourite part of the day, other than the morning coffee with the waves, is breakfast. A stay at any hotel can make or break my holiday by their breakfast spread. So when I say it was one of the best ones I ever had, take my word for it. Always being one of the earliest, I find my perfect spot – right at the edge with no obstruction to the views of the sea. Melt away into bliss as you relish on locally produced fruits, fresh coconut water, healthy smoothies and many other well done breakfast choices for a refreshing start to the day.
Even as quiet of a town Salalah is, there are plenty of activities that can be done around and the resort will help arrange. With Khareef season around the corner, I decided to go to the Wadi Darbat – a gorgeous scenic spot with green hills, a waterfall flowing into a lake and a valley with the perfect picturesque picnic spots. This must-visit place is only a half hour drive from the resort and you can spend the entire afternoon with a picnic basket admiring the cooler corners of the Middle East.
There are longer trips along with the obvious desert safari that can keep you entertained while in Salalah. Regardless, I was looking forward to just laying by the pool and enjoying the cool sea breeze and the waves crashing. Despite the temperatures being lower than UAE, there was an insane amount of humidity (especially in the mornings). Thanks to the constant breeze, it maintained an optimum lazy beach atmosphere.
Tiny Tips: Enjoy a lunch at Al Mina Restaurant for the best seafood and sea views. Do not forget to try Mekong – Anantaras’ signature restaurant that will never disappoint you.