ISRAEL’S FIRST LUXURY PROPERTY IN THE NEGEV DESERT, SIX SENSES SHAHARUT – NOW OPEN
With its secluded setting lain into a dramatic cliff with panoramic views of the Negev Desert, Six Senses Shaharut boasts the utmost secluded stay, inviting guests to be-at-one with nature, enjoying traditional desert hospitality and rich Nabatean history with uncompromised eco-conscious care. The resort comprises 60 suites and villas, including one three-bedroom retreat spread across the lunar-line landscape, along with a signature spa offering guests a much-needed sanctuary for respite. From immersive Kibbutz experiences, to stargazing sessions, camel treks through the Negev or floating in the Dead Sea, this breathtakingly beautiful and truly authentic desert experience will be sure to satisfy pent-up wanderlust.
Sustainability, Spa & Rejuvenating Retreats
On site, the desert activity centre incorporates Six Senses’ brand-wide Earth Lab scheme, showcasing the resort’s approach to sustainability in its efforts to reduce consumption. All sustainability work and community development happening around the property and in the region are on display here, with guests able to learn life hacks, to be more eco-conscious at home. Guests can also learn about Six Senses’ signature plastic-free water bottling process at the Earth Lab and pay a visit to the water bottling plants in action.
The resort is also home to camel stables, surprisingly lush gardens, and an open-air amphitheatre created from the natural terrain contours and transformed into a Six Senses signature ‘Cinema Paradiso’ beneath the stars.
The Six Senses Spa offers six treatment rooms, a variety of wellness programs, Alchemy Bar for mixing botanicals and Visiting Practitioners specialising 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.
The food on offer at the resort is a mix of Israeli and Mediterranean cuisines which embrace Six Senses culinary philosophy – fresh, local and seasonal food, harvested from the resort’s own organic garden or from local farmers at the nearby kibbutzim. From fresh Mediterranean fish, roasted beetroot, almonds, raw tahini, Samar date honey, and olive oil to Tabun smoked lamb ribs, freekeh and garden kale, whether served at the main Midian restaurant, the Edom View, Jamillah lounge or poolside grill, every meal is a celebration. Guests can also opt for a private chef for in-villa dining or venture out on an authentic Bedouin dining experience by Chef Amir Kalfon, paired with the region’s best wines, a fire pit and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of a Nubian ibex.
The look and feel of the resort has been uniquely inspired by the nomadic structures found in the Negev Desert and is reminiscent of the Nabataean community that occupied the area over 2,000 years ago. The 60 suites and villas are nestled into the ground and designed to take advantage of the Negev’s natural beauty, while minimising the impact on its surroundings. Combined with the integration of sustainable processes and technologies, the structures seamlessly blend in with the desert landscape.
The interiors draw inspiration from patterns and textures lining the ancient Incense Route, stretching 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 story to tell.
The journey to Shaharut forms part of the story. Flights to Eilat from Tel Aviv takes 50 minutes followed by a 45-minute transfer to the resort from the new international airport, Ramon (which opened in early 2019). Driving from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem takes around three-and-a-half hours or three hours from Petra in neighbouring Jordan.
General Manager Thomas Fehlbier notes: “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. With a passionate team, we’ll work to create out-of-the-ordinary guest experiences in a setting of biblical proportions.”
HOW: Rates at Six Senses Shaharut start from €750 (approx. £612) per night based on two people sharing including breakfast. www.sixsenses.com