An idyllic family retreat @ Alila Hinu Bay, Mirbat Oman

Tucked away in Mirbat, Oman – sits an expansive and stunning property by the name of Alila Hinu Bay. We had the privilege of staying here with the family early April 2022 during its soft opening phase.

Here’s what we thought of the resort, and why you should definitely add this to your Oman Bucket List 😉

Where exactly is Alila Hinu Bay?

Alila is about 90km from Salalah International Airport, an hour’s drive through the desert along the Oman coastline. You pass through little towns such as Ma’murah, Taqah and of course Mirbat itself – and don’t worry – you will see a lot of camels on the way which keeps the kids from moaning entertained.

What is the property like?

Less than a year into its opening – the resort is still in its early days and everything looks and feels new. They have incorporated Omani vernacular architecture – it’s simple, yet modern. Beautiful.

There are 112 rooms onsite that include 16 private pool villas – all situated on ground level (which is great when you have kids) and easily accessible by foot or buggy.

What sort of room did you stay in with the family?

We were booked into a One-bedroom King Pool Villa – which at 166 square metres was more than enough space to sleep mum and dad, and all 3 kids comfortably. The team did provide a cot which we didn’t end up using as the little man slept with us on the bed ( as always…..probably forever? ).

You could sleep in the bathroom if you wish – it is massive. Large closet areas, double shower heads leading into a beautiful outdoor bathtub.

I was kidding about sleeping in the bathroom. Please don’t.

Did you say there’s a pool by the villa?

Yes – and we ended up spending most afternoon in the pool with the kids, and it was nice that it is temperature-controlled 😉

In April – the pool is lit for most of the late morning and early afternoons, and gets shaded after 3pm or so. Remember sunscreen.

What are the other pools like?

There are two other main pools within the property. One, by the main entrance area. The other, by Seasalt – their signature restaurant at the top of the hill.

We were quite happy using our own private pool by the villa (much more convenient with little kids) – so never got around jumping into the other two 😉

Look at the one by Seasalt though.

Is the beach quite far from the villas?

I went exploring on the first morning and you are literally walking on what I’ll call ‘untouched terrain’ towards the beach. There’s a beauty within Alila – they have left the natural grounds as much as they could, so I can understand that it may not appeal to everyone who prefers the manicured landscaping (that you normally get in Dubai resorts).

It is quite a walk down to the shore from our villa. Alternatively, you can ask for the buggy and they can take you down as well.

Where did you eat during your stay?

We dined in their two main restaurants during our stay in Alila.

The Orchard – located adjacent to the main lobby, for breakfast. Breakfast is served ala carte – which suited us fine which means it’s all cooked fresh and taken out warm from the kitchen.

Seasalt – over dinner, as well as for a Tea Sommelier Experience on the last morning with Maureen. Read about the experience here.

Separate post to come on Seasalt itself , because it deserves just that 😉

Does Alila have a kids club?

Yes, they do – located conveniently under Seasalt on the Ground floor called “Play Alila”. It opens* at 10am, until 7pm and when we were there – the lovely Chandrika was present to entertain and keep the kids occupied 😉

Min age for drop off is 2.

*Please double check current opening time directly with the resort.

Surely Alila has a spa and gym too?

We were pampered with a 60-minute Hinu Bay Frankincense massage during our time in Alila. They do have a couple’s room, so you can drop the little ones off in the Kid’s Club and escape for some bliss.

More on this, later.

Why should I stay in Alila Hinu Bay, when I can stay in a resort in Salalah which is closer to the airport?

This is a question most will ask. Why drive to Mirbat, when you can stay in Salalah?

Well, my answer to that is – it’s quite a different experience altogether. By all means, stay in Salalah (as well), but definitely do Alila too.

  1. Alila is unique – you feel like you are somewhere special when you are here.
    • The rugged terrain, the camels that sneak in to say hello (not to forget the cows trying to eat away the landscaping at the entrance, hilarious for us but not so much for the gardeners, haha!)
    • The fact that they only have 112 villas makes it a very intimate place to be.
    • Even the route here from the airport is exciting as you pass through quaint little towns, and you see whole families of camels just walking around.
  2. Dining in Seasalt and the views from there is an experience by itself.
  3. Alila is a good spot to base yourself at, for adventures in the area. Alila will organise all this for you.

4. Not to forget the lovely chaps who buggy you around the property, it’s really service at its best.

Overall Thoughts

Make a trip out to Alila and experience it for yourselves with the family, or with friends and your loved ones.

As of publishing this piece in April 2022 – it has only been open for less than a year so if you are heading overs in the next few months – bear in mind that the landscaping is still growing.

Alila is very unique property – a stunning resort within rugged terrain in some may call ‘in the middle of nowhere.’ Base yourself there for at least 3 nights, or extend it to a week so you can explore the Dhofar region. Go out to sea in Mirbat, go up the mountains in Jabal Samhan, there’s so much to explore from Alila and within Alila itself.

Though we only stayed for 3 nights it did feel like it was much longer. The team were exceptionally gracious and warm. Shout out to Abdellatif, Bhuwan and Choki who buggied us around, Suman, Anjana and Yousef from Seagrill, Chandrika from the Kids Club who kept the little ones entertained, Maureen for the tea sommelier experience and so many other people who made our stay memorable.

Hopefully we will be back again soon.

Disclaimer : We were guests of Alila to review the property over our stay with the family.

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Dubai resident. Stays most of the time in the marina as she can't be bothered going anywhere else after work and in the weekends. Originally from the land of the orang utans, spent the latter half of her life in the land down under. Always on the look out for deals, loves organising get-togethers, and occasionally steals some time for a sip of wine or four at ladies nights.

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