Inside Six Senses Shaharut, Israel’s Newest 5-Star Desert Oasis
There are many ethereal landscapes in Israel's vast Negev Desert, but the southern region in the Arava Valley has something special about it. On a clear day, you can look west to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula or see the red mountains of Jordan to the east. Sunsets glow like the sky in flames, followed by a starry sky. Here, about an hour north of the Dead Sea resort of Eilat, you'll find the new Six Senses Shaharut - provided, of course, you can recognize him.
"Our design is about creating a seamless flow with nature so that you can barely see the man-made structures even if you are in the middle of the resort," says General Manager Manish Puri. Once on the hill it was built on, "none of the bricks and mortar blocks the 360-degree view wherever you are."
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While the hospitality scene is booming in northern Israeli cities, one of Six Senses Shaharut's goals was to create something the country didn't have: a five-star desert resort that rivals those in Morocco or the Emirates. Inspired by the structures of the semi-nomadic Nabatean community that once called the Negev home, the 60 suites and pool villas on the 46-acre property were crafted from natural stone, wood, copper and reclaimed teak, while Israeli artists, ceramists, weavers and more helped in the process of creating interiors that are reminiscent of the region's ancient incense route. (Book the three-bedroom Private Reserve, which has its own pool, pizza oven, and cooking service.)
From cheese, wine, and beer to custom bath products, everything is made by local artisans using local ingredients. Even the vinyl selection in the library bar has a heavy focus on music that was born in the desert. As a nod to the history of the land on which the resort, which was once a famous camel camp, was built, the destination has a stable of 12 camels that guests can visit, help feed or ride into the endless Negev. Just make sure you can find your way back. The official opening of Six Senses Shaharut is scheduled for June 1st until the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
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