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On The Frankincense Trail With Alila Hinu Bay And OJAR

On The Frankincense Trail With Alila Hinu Bay And OJAR

Anne Kurian
  • Luxury resort Alila Hinu Bay together with Omani fragrance brand, Ojar, organised an enthralling sensory and experiential journey through the ancient frankincense route in Mirbat

Steeped in the chronicles of history is Oman’s Dhofar region’s noteworthy role in the Frankincense Route. As precious as gold and spices, frankincense was Arabia’s most valuable possession which drew royalty, voyagers, and traders from different corners of the world. 

The ancient Frankincense trade route stretched from Mediterranean ports including the Levant and Egypt through Eastern Africa, Arabia, India, Rome, and beyond. 

Alila Hinu Bay, one of the newest and most luxurious resorts to open in Mirbat, Dhofar, together with the renowned Omani fragrance brand, OJAR, recently crafted an enlightening and enchanting journey that paid homage to the Frankincense route. This collaboration between Alila Hinu Bay and OJAR, which had frankincense as one of its key ingredients, took guests on an enthralling sensory journey. 

On arrival at our room in Alila Hinu Bay, we were welcomed with amenities and refreshments that kicked off The Frankincense Journey for us. The OJAR welcome kit included Eagle Eyed Stranger, a fragrance that pays tribute to the Frankincense tree, and a special silk scarf featuring the art of Frankincense ritual by the Omani artist, Mays Al Moosawi. 

After a restful night, we started The Frankincense Journey with a visit to Wadi Darbat. An exquisite lush green valley, Wadi Darbat attracts visitors from all over Oman as well as tourists, especially during Khareef (monsoon season). Away from the hustle and bustle, the Alila Hinu Bay team set up a lovely picnic experience for guests. Overlooking the verdant green mountains and flowing water, we enjoyed a hearty lunch created from the freshest produce from the region. As part of the experience, at Alila Hinu Bay’s specially created mocktail kiosk at Wadi Darbat, we were treated to refreshing concoctions inspired by the fragrances of OJAR as well as frankincense. 

After this refreshing trip to Wadi Darbat, we headed back to the resort to experience the rest of the journey. Frankincense is used generously at the resort – right from the welcome drink that features frankincense-flavoured ice to the frankincense tea and frankincense-based products used at Spa Alila. The next leg of the journey included a Signature Frankincense Massage at Spa Alila. The 90-minute deeply relaxing massage left us rejuvenated and balanced; frankincense oil and lotions have the property to soothe and revitalise the body. 

Back in the room, after a second cup of frankincense tea, it was time to get ready for The Frankincense Journey Dinner at The Orchard. (A special shoutout to Omani designer brand Bthaina for bringing special dresses for the ladies to wear to dinner.) 

The Orchard Restaurant at the resort launched a special menu to celebrate The Frankincense Journey together with OJAR. The journey so far had been a treat to the senses and the dinner was no less. The Orchard’s specially created dishes took guests on a culinary expedition that drew inspiration from the travels of the frankincense traders both on land and sea. Among the dishes we were treated to were Gamberi Kunafa, Spinach & Ricotta Casoncelli with Omani paplou sauce, and Bhugasa with frankincense cream. A treat for the senses. That would be the best way to sum up the wonderfully curated dinner.

The last leg of the journey the next morning comprised a Private Smelling Session with OJAR where we were taken on a special route that showcased the many facets of the brand, the stories behind the exquisite and compelling scents as well as an experiential affair. 

The Frankincense Journey by Alila Hinu Bay and OJAR is a well-thought-out immersive experience that captures the essence of the prized resin, like few others. 

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