Ask any UAE resident about their travel bucket list, and Salalah usually sits somewhere on the top. And for good reason – wadis dotted with frankincense trees, coconut palm-fringed beaches and a wealth of archaeological sites make the city one of staggering natural beauty. Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara has just made it easier to take in the area’s charms, with a curated list for spending 48 blissful hours in Salalah – from the luxury of a pool villa resort at best available rates, including daily gourmet meals and (very) late checkout.

Here are five reasons the resort makes a great base from which to explore Salalah:

1. There’s adventure galore


Nestled between a private beach and a freshwater lagoon, and bordering the historic Al Baleed Unesco archaeological site, Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara offers everything from water and beach sports to boat trips that include fishing and dolphin watching. There are activities aplenty to keep you entertained. Sunrise yoga? Check. A safari where you can explore historic fishing life, castle towers and stone houses? Check. A magical movie night and dining experience under the stars? Check. An encounter with Wadi Darbat’s wildlife plus a stop at Sumhuram to see ancient ruins, including the Queen of Sheba’s Castle? Check, check, check. You can even go paddle boarding, play tennis, go kayaking, then whip up a meal with the Spice Spoons Arabic or Asian cooking classes. The resort even has its own camels — on call for a ride along the beach!

2. There’s relaxation and luxury


The fun doesn’t stop whether you decide to stay inside the resort or explore the great outdoors. After a day of adventure, head to Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara to luxuriate in spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, rain showers, walk-in dressing rooms and your own terrace or balcony. The one-bedroom and two-bedroom pool villas are perfect for couples and families, with separate living areas as well as private temperature-controlled swimming pools. In the mood to splurge? Plump for the exclusive three-bedroom Royal Beach Pool Villa — a free-floating space greets a shoreline terrace with an infinity sea panorama.

3. There’s something for the whole family


Parents, unwind with a couple’s full-body massage without a worry about the kiddos — teens and kids are well cared for at the resort. The Alshirae Teens Club offers karaoke, painting classes, board games, table tennis, foosball, billiards and air hockey. There are also themed activities such as an underwater treasure hunt, movie night, pajama night, disco night and karaoke nights. For the younger ones, there’s the Al Bahhara Kids Club with trained staff and facilities, including an outdoor area complete with a play set, sandpit, a children’s splash pool and mini-loungers.

4. There’s some great tastes


The resort has varied dining options, with all-day dining restaurant Sakalan offering flavours from around the world, and Asian restaurant Mekong offering Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. Then go for sundowners and barbecue delights at Mediterranean beach bar and restaurant Al Mina. It’ll be the perfect end to a picture-perfect 48 hours.

5. There’s a great package on offer


Want your share of twice the bliss — that’s an entire weekend away? Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara’s Extend the Fun package includes best available rates on accommodation, daily buffet breakfast for two, daily buffet or à la carte dinner for two at any restaurant, and complimentary late checkout at 6pm. All this with just a short flight from Dubai — and only 15 minutes from Salalah airport. Rates start from about Dh1,400. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or just in search of some serenity, you’ll find your zone here.

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