We were invited to the new Six Senses Shaharut in the Negev and it lived up to our expectation – and more. The serenity and beauty of the desert during the day is magnificent, while the star-studded desert night sky is, literally, awesome.
We were particularly impressed by the architecture and decor of the hotel and the accommodation – natural materials and a sympathetic palette bestow a complementary vision to enthral and relax at the same time.
Sustainability is key – we didn’t see one plastic item!
Our suite afforded every comfort and stunning views from its spectacular infinity terrace – waking up has rarely been such a delight…and was the coffee really so delicious or was sipping it in the morning desert sun that made it so?
The food, created from only the best quality ingredients sourced with care, was delicious, varied, inventive and plentiful! Israeli buffet breakfasts are a feast, and ours was amongst the best. Two restaurants provide a choice of light or more formal lunches and a treat of gourmet dinners.
Between these superb meals we took advantage of the schedule of activities (some complementary, some chargeable – all the information helpfully in our suite) put on by the hotel: outdoor yoga, desert walks, meditative breathing, sunset cocktails each night, and not forgetting the camels!
As well as these offered planned activities, the fabulous Six Senses Spa offered a different kind of menu – and we could not imagine a more enticing choice of treatments! We enjoyed swimming (both outdoor and indoor) and exploring the locality by bicycle.
We could also have visited the nearby contemporary ceramic centre and chosen exclusive, handmade keepsakes made there on the artist’s kibbutz but sadly time eluded us…something to save for another visit.
We could not have missed the highlight of our time in the desert – a fascinating 3-hour jeep tour with our expert Pomegranate guide. We could not have imagined how much there is to behold in the desert!
We were taken to dramatic lookout points from which we could see and learn about the African-Syrian Continental Rift, and about desert water sources (both ancient lakes and ground water). We were shown archeological remains, rock sculptures which archeologists believe to be of leopards – put into place by hunter-gatherers in pre-history to show reverence and awe of this dangerous desert animal from which they needed protection – as well as ancient altars and charcoal fire pits, carbon dated to the late Stone Age, around 6000BC and, surprisingly, also but not continuously to 2000BC. The problems facing archaeologists interpreting unexpected evidence was explored. We learned about modern-day desert agriculture, about harnessing the power of the sun, about water provision, about desert flora and fauna.
We passed by sand dunes and learned why they formed where they formed – and even went sand-surfing! For those not familiar with sand-surfing this is surfing the dunes while sitting on surf boards. You need to be physically fit to climb up the dunes, and surfing down can be pretty fast (although you can easily stop and control the speed). We had multiple goes!
Having said that, sand surfing, like sea surfing or snow skiing, is a dangerous sport and for guests who chose not to the tour would instead visit the ‘end of the world’ lookout point over Nahal Grofit for a panoramic backdrop view of the red mountains of biblical Edom and Moab (today’s Jordan).
We toured in the morning and enjoyed the coffee we were offered but for stunning sunset views tours can start 3 hours before sunset and end with sundowners.
The staff were without exception so friendly and, we felt, genuinely interested in ensuring we had everything we needed. Ubiquitous hotel buggies (electric of course) stopped whenever they passed a guest walking around the sprawling grounds so the driver could ask if a lift was needed, if anything was wanted, if there was anything at all they could do for you. It was a pleasure to receive amongst the best levels of service in Israel.
We returned from the Six Senses relaxed, happy and too well fed!
- Tailor made itineraries
- Deep local knowledge
- Expert guides
- Outstanding style & service