Six Senses will open a new hotel in Arava valley in the south of the Negev Desert, Israel this August. With all the final touches in place, the resort is already proving popular with national guests and is looking forward to welcoming international travelers as soon as border restrictions allow.
With its secluded setting, Six Senses Shaharut has the obvious advantage of complete privacy. It aims to bring guests in balance with nature and its elements so they can kick back and enjoy traditional desert hospitality and rich Nabataean history delivered with uncompromising eco-conscious care and attention.
One of the biggest assets is the abundant space, essential for meeting today’s highest safety and hospitality standards. There are just 60 suites and villas spread across the expansive desert landscape along with a signature spa that offers guests a much-needed place for respite. The breathtaking natural beauty and truly authentic desert adventure will satisfy this year’s pent-up wanderlust as soon as border restrictions ease up. From immersive Kibbutz experiences to stargazing sessions, camel treks through the luminous Negev desert or floating in the Dead Sea, the aim is to leave enriched and reconnected.
“Six Senses Shaharut marks a new milestone for the brand as it enters another magical destination. After months of anticipation during these unprecedented times, I am very excited about this new opening. It brings the Six Senses ethos of sustainability, local sensitivity and wellness together with our unique desert culture and traditions,” said General Manager Thomas Fehlbier. “With a passionate team, we’ll work to create out-of-the-ordinary guest experiences in a setting of biblical proportions.”
The arrival is part of the story
The most awe-inspiring way to arrive is to drive to the resort through a timeless landscape steeped in history. This short yet unique expedition through the heart of the Arava Valley showcases the incredible diversity of Israel’s landscape and one of the most geologically dramatic places on earth. The drive from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem takes around three-and-a-half hours, or three hours from Petra in neighboring Jordan.
Alternatively, guests can opt for a private helicopter transfer from Tel Aviv, or a 45-minute car transfer via the new Ramon International Airport (ETM) near Eilat, which also directly serves key European markets. A Six Senses GEM (Guest Experience Maker) will meet guests on arrival and remain on hand throughout the stay to share insights into the region and local life.
The place for pinch-me, once in a lifetime moments
On site, the Earth Lab showcases the resort’s approach to sustainability and the circular economy, camel stables, surprisingly lush gardens, and open-air amphitheater. The Six Senses Spa offers six treatment rooms, variety of wellness programs, Alchemy Bar for mixing botanicals and Visiting Practitioners specializing in Chinese medicine, osteopathy, energy healing and more. There are also two pools including a freshwater infinity pool with desert views and a bar serving refreshing juices.
While there is every reason to stay within the enclave for the entire stay, the desert setting presents a host of unique activities from camel treks and overnight camping to extreme sports, e-mountain bike tours, hiking, jeep excursions, and Shabbat dinner in a nearby community. There are also opportunities to explore further afield, to the Dead Sea and Masada and to Petra.
Food glorious food
Staying active in Israel is highly recommended since the nation’s agricultural ingenuity, Mediterranean climate and varied landscape provide fresh food that is so mouthwatering it is worth the trip. Very little needs to be imported and most comes straight from the garden to the table. The resort’s kitchens are inspired by the Eat With Six Senses philosophy of delicious and nutritious menus so guests can fill their plates without restriction.
From fresh Mediterranean fish, roasted beetroot, almonds, raw tahini, Samar date honey, and olive oil to Tabun smoked lamb ribs, freekeh and garden kale, every meal is a celebration, whether served at the main Midian restaurant, the Edom View mezze and tapas venue, Jamillah lounge, or poolside grill. Guests can also choose a private chef for in-villa dining or venture out to enjoy a Bedouin style desert picnic by Chef Amir Kalfon, paired with the region’s best wines and maybe catch a glimpse of a Nubian ibex.
Blending in to stand out
The modern reinterpretation of nomadic structures is highly memorable, leaving a long-lasting impression. It is reminiscent of the Nabataean community that occupied the area over 2,000 years ago and introduces architecture that blends seamlessly with the desert environment. The interior design draws inspiration from patterns and textures lining the ancient Incense Route, which stretched from the Mediterranean across the Levant to India and beyond. Inside, the furniture and fittings have been sourced from local artisans to complement the unique weathered rock formations and use natural stone, wood, and copper. The interior doors are custom made from reclaimed teak, which was rescued from disused boats, houses, and footbridges. Over 200 years old, each piece has its own secret to tell.
Six Senses Shaharut will welcome guests from August 5, 2021 onwards.