HOTEL REVIEW: Alila Jabal Akhdar

We first stumbled upon Alila Jabal Akhdar whilst googling for the best hotel in Oman. Interestingly, it ranked #1 on TripAdvisor, was given a 5-Star rating by fivestaralliance.com and has made it to CNT World's Best Hotel Gold List 2015 and 2016. It got us so curious, we decided to give it a try and we're very glad that we did!

Location

The hotel sits atop the Jabal Akhdar (The Green Mountain) which is part of the Al Hajar mountain range in Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate of Oman, the highest point in Oman and the whole of eastern Arabia. Previously restricted to all, until 2005 when it was finally opened to the general public, Jabal Akhdar is an extremely intriguing and culturally enticing region.

Entrance Signage (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Archway (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

4x4 Land Cruiser Prado (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Omani Elderly (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Omani Hospitality

The hotel represents the very essence of Oman. Upon arrival, we were welcomed in traditional style with cold towels, khawa coffee and local dates, and with the beautiful aroma of burning frankincense and cardamom that filled the lobby. With all these, Rock Licker and I knew right away that we're off to a good start.

Mr. Arif (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Mr. Padam (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Omani Hospitality (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite

Alila Jabal Akhdar has a total of 86 suites and villas. We spent 5 days and 4 nights in one of the Horizon View Suites which features a private entrance, outdoor terrace with spacious seating area and majestic views of the mountains, gorges, plateaus and valleys. Inside the suite, the bedroom and the bathroom are impressively adorned with dark solid wood furnishings, hand-painted Juniper leaves accent walls and local ornaments.

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Living

Alila Jabal Akhdar is committed to remaining green as possible. To preserve the environment, Alila uses only their own line of toiletries which are made with all natural ingredients that are produced, harvested and sourced ethically and locally. 

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village

To honor the traditional Omani dwellings, the hotel used local woods and excavated stark grey limestone and ophiolite from the mountains to build the place and tastefully adorned it with local arts and crafts thus blending it naturally into its beautiful surrounding. 

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Grounds

Because Alila Jabal Akhdar is an amazing property well worth exploring, the hotel provides buggy service for a fun and convenient way to get around the hotel at guests' desired pace.

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Traditional Omani Village (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Rose Lounge

Rose Lounge is one of the two signature restaurants in Alila Jabal Akhdar. It features refreshment drinks and light snack menu that are available throughout the day. With peaceful setting and stunning view, it is a perfect spot to chill out and take in the beauty of Jabal Akhdar.

Rose Lounge (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Rose Lounge (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Rose Lounge (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper

This restaurant got its name from one of the most treasured plants on the Omani mountains - the juniper tree. It serves as the hotel's main restaurant offering outstanding international cuisine from breakfast, lunch and dinner. What I really love about the culinary team in Juniper is their continuous effort to incorporate seasonal and locally grown ingredients to their menu resulting in a sophisticated gastronomical masterpiece. Design-wise, with metal lattice rose patterns, handmade pottery, local stoneworks and branches of dried juniper trees hanging on the walls, the restaurant's interior combines beauty and practicality, and exudes peace and tranquility. These, without a doubt, make this restaurant a delightful place to dine and unwind.

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Mr. Saj - F&B Manager (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Ms. Cristine & Ms. Sunya - Juniper Staff (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Prawn kunafah with roasted almond skordalia, fresh fig and fig honey dressing (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Smoked duck breast with house pickles, tamarind and spiced nuts (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Angus striploin with fingerling potatoes, asparagus, wild mushrooms and baharat butter (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Grilled baby chicken with baby vegetables tagine and dates with fig  (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Lemon pearl couscous, wildmushrooms with broad beans and chili labneh and whipped potatoes with goat cheese (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Soft walnut chocolate fondant, kahwa coffee biscuits, fig jam and orange ice cream (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Chestnut cake with salted caramel, strawberry and caramelized milk ice cream (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Wagyu beef and sour cherry kefta with smoked yoghurt, pickled cucumber and spiced nuts (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Char grilled octopus with gteen chili zhouq, pickled radishes and smoked potato (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Slow braised beef cheek with brown oinion puree, pickled celery, radish, pomegranate and spiced pine nuts (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Grilled vegetables (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Peach panna cotta, caramelized brioche, fresh peach marshmallows and almond ice cream (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Fresh blood orange with fresh strawberries and pine nut praline ice cream (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Jabal Rose (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Infinity (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Virgin mojito (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Pomegranate vine (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Basil bread (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Hummus, prawn salad, zucchini moutabel (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Lentil soup and zaatar (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Cheese pide with cherry tomato and parsley (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Roasted eggplant and zuchinni (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Lobster, sherry fish, beef kebab, shish tawook (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Kunafeh with mascarpone, feta, mozzarella and honey saffron mahalabia with pistachio (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Scallops with pumpkin, fragrant fregola, pomegranate and roasted artichokes (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Foie gras with caramelized fig, sweet pickled onion and charred eggplant (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Beef tenderloin with corianderand pepper crust, batata harra hash, baby carrots and pepper compote (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Lamb chop with baharat spices, roast pumpkin, goat cheese and Jabal honey (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Date brulee with burnt honey ice cream and almond biscuit (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper Executive Chef Daniel Johnson (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Juniper Executive Chef Alex Ensor (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Lobby 

Alila Jabal Akhdar's lobby has an earthy tone and it's interior is tastefully decorated with high quality products and traditional arts and crafts, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. 

Lobby (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Lobby (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

At night, it features live traditional music to enhance guests' experience.

Rose Lounge at Night 

Rose Lounge (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Cozy and Relaxing Night

This pretty much summed up my nights at Alila - beautiful bed with soft sheets and pillows, relaxing bubble bath on natural  travertine limestone tub, large basket of assorted fresh fruits, sweet treats and newly harvested walnuts. What a joy!

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Sweet treats (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Newly harvested walnuts (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Experience

For a completely authentic experience, Alila Jabal Akhdar offers guests day trips to places of interest in the nearby area. We booked a bespoke trip called Splendour of Saiq to explore the charm and beauty of the region. Accompanied by our friendly and knowledgeable guide, we travelled to the Saiq Plateau and visited the agricultural village of Al Ayn and the abandoned village of Wadi Bani Habib.

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Splendour of Saiq (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Living Boutique

Alila Living Boutique is one of my favourite parts of the hotel. Every item here are selected from local craftsmen and respected producers to reflect the Omani culture and heritage.

Alila Living Boutique (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Living Boutique (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Living Boutique (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Living Boutique (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Living Boutique (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Alila Living Boutique (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila

To get a real feeling of what Alila Jabal Akhdar is all about, an ultimate pampering treatment at Spa Alila is simply a must. During our stay, we were able to indulge in a luxurious couple's massage which includes the use of wet facilities, an amazing foot bath and a 90-minute therapeutic massage. It was truly as divine as we expected. We felt so relaxed after our massage.

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Spa Alila (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

In-Room Dining 

Unwinding in a blissful state of comfort, enjoying a good cup of tea or gobbling up delicious food. That's our typical day in our Horizon View Suite. With terrace that looks out on the spectacular panorama of the Al Hajar mountains and the unspoiled beauty of the natural surroundings, everything here was beyond perfection. 

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Horizon View Suite (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Wellness and Fitness

Alila Jabal Akhdar revolves around the concept of health and wellness. The hotel pride itself on having all the elements essential to restore balance to mind, body and soul. With impressive facilities dedicated to these, its an idyllic haven for relaxation and recuperation. 

Infinity Pool (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Infinity Pool (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Whirlpool tub (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Whirlpool tub (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Indoor pool (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

Fitness gym (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

A Little Piece of Heaven

It has been a wonderful 5 days and 4 nights of communing with nature and appreciating the beauty of life. Thank you Alila Jabal Akhdar for sharing with us your little piece of heaven!

Heaven on Earth (Alila Jabal Akhdar)

HOTEL REVIEW: Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa

Oman is abundant with wonders of nature from breathtaking mountain ranges, attractive sand dunes, lush oasis and pristine beaches that present travellers with extraordinary experiences.

Location

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa is a complement to this dreamy country. Beautifully set on 124 acres of spectacular scenery and lies alongside the Bay of Barr Al Jissah amidst the dramatic Al Hajar Mountains fronting the Gulf of Oman, the property is composed of three beautiful hotels - the exclusive Al Husn (The Castle), the active health zone Al Bandar (The Town) and the family-oriented Al Waha (The Oasis). 

Arrival

An hour and a half flight from Bahrain via Gulf Air took us to the enchanting sultanate strategically located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. After clearing airport immigration and customs procedures, we were welcomed by our chauffeur, Mohammad Sulaiman, in the arrival area. He courteously escorted us to our vehicle - an Audi A8, and drove us to our hotel which is 30 minutes away from the airport.

Our chauffeur, Mohammad Sulaiman (Shangri-La Muscat)

Audi A8 (Shangri-La Muscat)

Audi A8  (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Lobby

Walking into the lobby of Al Husn Hotel is like entering a castle. With the evidence of the Portuguese influence in Oman shown in the hotel's unique blend of Moorish architecture in the style of the Alhambra, both the interior and exterior of the hotel look very impressive, so elegant and beautiful. As soon as we stepped in, we know our stay is going to be great.

Al Husn Hotel - Lobby (Shangri-La Muscat)

Check-in

Check-in was done in the comfort of our own Deluxe Sea View Room. Thanks to the sweet and lovely front desk staff, Elizabeth, for the brilliant service.

Al Husn - Front Desk Staff, Elizabeth (Shangri-La Muscat)

Great job too to the bellman who was smiling all the time and was extremely helpful with delivering our luggage to our room.

Al Husn Hotel - Bellman (Shangri-La Muscat)

To welcome us, the team put together a thoughtful welcome present, a fruit platter, and a lovely personal note from one of the hotel's managers.

Welcome Gift (Shangri-La Muscat)

Fruit Platter (Shangri-La Muscat)

Welcome Card (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Deluxe Sea View Room

Our bedroom has a fascinating style and charming comfort. It has plush bed with soft pillows and blanket for peaceful rest, cushy sofas for lounging away the day in relaxation and an ideal work desk that allows us to manage our business and still be productive during our stay. Moreover, the room also features HDTV, BOSE speaker III system, telephone, bedside clock, classic wooden hanger, electric kettle and Nespresso machine. It's also worth noting that as guests of Al Husn, we were entitled to butler service, complimentary in-room mini bar (sweets, snacks, soft drinks and beers) and complimentary use of iPods with personalized music selection. Among the additional privileges that we were able to enjoy during our stay at Al Husn were complimentary daily afternoon tea, pre-dinner cocktails and canapes service and an access to the services and facilities of the entire three-hotel resort. 

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

The View

What I love about our room is the view from our balcony which made me want to lounge there for hours and just enjoy its beauty. 

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Mahhara Beach Bar

With twenty-one amazing dining facilities at the resort, the food options are limitless.

On our first day, we had lunch at Mahhara Beach Bar, an al fresco restaurant overlooking Al Husn private beach. First, we ordered green smoothies. And then, we got mixed salad and chips. For mains, Rock Licker had medium rare steak with grilled corn and tomato, and I had grilled prawns. After that, we capped off our great meal with incredibly delicious mango cheesecake and pineapple ice cream.

Mahhara Beach Bar (Shangri-La Muscat)

Mahhara Beach Bar  (Shangri-La Muscat)

Basil and Lime Smoothies (Shangri-La Muscat)

Mixed Greens and Chips (Shangri-La Muscat)

Grilled Prawns (Shangri-La Muscat)

Beef Steak (Shangri-La Muscat)

Mango Cheesecake (Shangri-La Muscat)

Pineapple Ice Cream (Shangri-La Muscat)

Mahhara Beach Bar (Shangri-La Muscat)

Property Tour

After our scrumptious lunch, the manager graciously took us to a personalized tour around the hotel showing all the facilities and amenities that we can enjoy during our stay. With numerous activities to choose from, there really is something for everybody.

Arabic Cakes

Once finished with our property tour, we went back to our room to get some rest and found these Arabic cakes on our coffee table. 

Arabic Cakes (Shangri-La Muscat)

The Piano Lounge

After our quick nap, we headed over to The Piano Lounge to enjoy our pre-dinner drink. The stylish lounge is a great place to start or end an evening. With a terrace overlooking the Sea of Oman and a comfortable indoor seating, it's a cozy place to meet, eat and drink while enjoying the relaxing piano music. 

The Piano Lounge (Shangri-La Muscat)

The Piano Lounge (Shangri-La Muscat)

The Piano Lounge (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bait Al Bahr

Bait Al Bahr is a pavillion restaurant located right on the beach between Al Waha and Al Bandar. The vibe is perfect for dinner with friends and family as well as romantic dinner. It is also an ideal venue to savour the view of the ocean whilst enjoying a wide range of fresh seafoods that comes from the neighboring Qantab fishing village. 

Bait Al Bahr (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bait Al Bahr (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bait Al Bahr (Shangri-La Muscat)

During dinner, we decided to sample some of their delicious food. To start, we were served an amuse bouche in the form of seared scallop with bean sprouts and green pea puree. Following this, we got tuna with green apple tartar, macadamia crusted soft shell crab and prawn tempura for appetizer. After that, we had grilled tuna with potato rosti and grilled Omani lobster with saffron risotto for our mains. And finally for dessert, we shared vanilla parfait with lemon sorbet.

Bait Al Bahr (Shangri-La Muscat)

Pan Seared Scallop with Bean Sprouts and Green Pea Puree (Shangri-La Muscat)

Tuna with Green Apple Tartar (Shangri-La Muscat)

Macadamia Crusted Soft Shell Crab (Shangri-La Muscat)

Prawn Tempura (Shangri-La Muscat)

Grilled Tuna with Potato Rosti (Shangri-La Muscat)

Grilled Omani Lobster (Shangri-La Muscat)

Saffron Rosti (Shangri-La Muscat)

Vanilla Parfait with Lemon Sorbet (Shangri-La Muscat)

Turn Down Service

As expected, when we got back to our room, they were done with the usual turn down service and I was happy how everything was perfectly cleaned up.

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Deluxe Sea View Room (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah

The next morning we woke up past 9:00 am. Fortunately, breakfast at Sultanah was until 11:00 am so we were still able to enjoy our late breakfast (early lunch) without having to rush.

The buffet spread at Sultanah had adequate variety, with nicely cooked food available on request. We ordered Japanese bento box, poached red snapper, beef tenderloin and sirloin.

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Sultanah (Shangri-La Muscat)

Poached Red Snapper (Shangri-La Muscat)

Beef Striploin (Shangri-La Muscat)

Beef Sirloin (Shangri-La Muscat)

Japanese Bento Box (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Private Beach

After brunch, we requested for a golf buggy going to the private beach. The weather was perfect so we spent much of the day having fun under sun. We went kayaking, swimming and sunbathing.

Al Husn Private Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Private Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Private Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn Private Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

Did you know that facial spray, water and orange juice are complimentary for Al Husn guests? 

Al Husn Private Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

This is Ravinder, the beach staff who tirelessly supplied us with beach essentials whenever we need them. 

Al Husn Private Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Swimming Pool

For someone who loves to swim for hours, this pool was like a little piece of paradise overlooking the ocean.

Al Husn Swimming Pool (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Beach

Because everyone deserves to soak up the sun, there are countless lounge chairs on Al Bandar Beach.

Al Bandar Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Giant Chess Board

For chess lovers, there's a giant chess board located on Al Bandar.

Al Bandar - Giant Chess Board (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Mini Golf Course

Adjacent to Al Bandar's Health Club is a landscaped miniature golf course with nine holes where families can play using a special putter with rubber heads.

Al Bandar - Mini Golf Course (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Hummer Golf Cart (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Hummer Golf Cart (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Tennis Court

There's also a tennis court to help guests stay active while on vacation. 

Al Bandar - Tennis Court (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Waha - Camel Ride

Al Waha offers camel and pony ride along the beach. Both animals were young and trained to be ridden by children, making this experience the best choice for families vacationing here.

Al Waha - Camel Ride (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Waha - Camel Ride (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Waha Beach 

Al Waha beach offers a perfect place for family fun with lots of kids-friendly and parents-pleasing activities as well as breathtaking views in all directions. During the day, beach staff are busy handing clean towels, bottled mineral water and fresh fruit slices. From time to time, they also offer sunglasses cleaning to guests. 

Al Waha Beach (Shangri-La Muscat)

Lazy River

The 500-metre lazy river enables guests an unusual method to travel between Al Bandar and Al Waha by floating between the two hotels' main swimming pools on a controlled current. 

Lazy River (Shangri-La Muscat)

Lazy River (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Waha - Swimming Pool

In addition to the hotel's main swimming pool, there is a toddler's pool with a rubber-cushioned floor and a separate pool shaped like a water mushroom for older children.

Al Waha - Swimming Pool (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Waha - Swimming Pool (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Afternoon Tea

After enjoying the facilites in Al Waha we went back to Al Husn. One of the many things that I really liked about being Al Husn guest is the complimentary English-style afternoon tea which is served on Sultanah's terrace. It consists of selection of teas and drinks, various sandwiches and savouries, scones with cream and jam, and small bite size delicious cakes all nicely presented on a three-tier cake stand. 

 

Al Husn - Afternoon Tea (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Pre-Dinner Cocktails

Another nice touch was the pre-dinner cocktails at Al Husn Courtyard. Its great set up provides a comfortable area for guests to enjoy and relax and encourages meeting and mingling. 

Al Husn - Pre-Dinner Cocktails (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Pre-Dinner Cocktails (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Courtyard at Night

Al Husn - Courtyard at Night 

Al Husn - Courtyard at Night (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Pool at Night

This semi-circular infinity pool which is overlooking the ocean oozes tranquility. It is a secluded spot away from the family area. It is surrounded with comfy loungers and features a whirlpool for ultimate relaxation.

Al Husn - Pool at Night (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Pool at Night

This large, unconventionally shaped swimming pool is Al Bandar's distinctive feature. Its unique fixed tiled sunbeds are half-immersed to allow guests to lie down and relax within the pool.

Al Bandar - Pool at Night (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Bandar - Pool at Night (Shangri-La Muscat)

Omani Hospitality

This is the hotel's coffee butler who greets us every morning whenever he sees us in the lobby. His job is to make the guests experience the traditIonal Omani hospitality. To do this, he fills the lobby with fragrance of frankincense and cardamom, and serves the guests with towels, kahwa coffee and local dates. 

Omani Hospitality (Shangri-La Muscat)

Ghawa Coffee and Local Dates (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Lobby Lounge (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Lobby Lounge (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Lobby Lounge (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn - Lobby Lounge (Shangri-La Muscat)

Marina

The marina is one of the attractions at the resort. Designed to complement the fully integrated resort and residential villas. It aims to provide enhanced boating experience for its members and reflect their luxury lifestyle too.

Marina (Shangri-La Muscat)

Marina (Shangri-La Muscat)

Cliff Top Villas

The Cliff Top Villas are the most sought after residence in Muscat. From the exclusive vantage point on the tip of the cliff, residents here enjoy an uninterrupted view of the ocean and the coastline.

Cliff Top Villas (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Muheet

Al Muheet is Al Husn's Poolside Bar. It serves tropical drinks, creative cocktails and light meals. This is where we had our snack before checking out on our 3rd day. We ordered raspberry smoothie, mango shake, tiger prawn tempura and angus beef burger. Everything was delightful. We had a happy tummy after our meal.

Al Muheet (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Muheet (Shangri-La Muscat)

Angus Beef Burger (Shangri-La Muscat)

Chips and Mixed Greens (Shangri-La Muscat)

Tiger Prawn Tempura (Shangri-La Muscat)

Raspberry Smoothie and Mango Shake (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Muheet - Ronnie Santa Maria (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Muheet (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn

Al Husn (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn (Shangri-La Muscat)

Al Husn (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bentley Ride

To complete our luxurious experience, we rode a chauffeur driven Bentley going to our next destination.

Bentley (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bentley (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bentley (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bentley (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bentley (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bentley (Shangri-La Muscat)

Bentley (Shangri-La Muscat)

Staying at the world-renowned Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa was glorious. With outstanding natural location, highest level of service and facilities beyond compare, the extremely amazing and personable experience that Shangri-La gave us left us inspired to return soon.

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa 

HOTEL REVIEW: Grand Hyatt Muscat

As luxury travel experts, we pick only the hotels that will live up to our high standards. Grand Hyatt is known for its well-earned solid reputation, thus making it our hotel of choice in Muscat.

Location

Beautifully situated on the pristine beach of Shatti Al Qurum, Grand Hyatt Muscat is a long-established 5-Star hotel that offers guests a perfect mix of fun in the sun, health and wellness, cultural experience, romantic place and delightful cuisine. 

Club Suite

The hotel has 280 well-appointed rooms and suites with beautiful combination of contemporary and traditional opulence. During our stay, we were checked-in to a Grand Suite King. With generous floor space of 84 sq.m, our suite features a living room, work area, guest powder room, bedroom and bathroom.

Facilities

The hotel also boasts excellent facilities which include a a temperature-controlled swimming pool with plenty of sun loungers, whirlpool bath, lazy river, toddler splash pool and direct beach access.

Mokha Cafe

Mokha Cafe is one of the hotel's eight remarkable dining facilities. Breakfast in this restaurant is a grand affair with good selection of breads and pastries, cheeses and nuts, gorgeous fresh fruits and juices, cereals and mueslis, salads, hot food, and coffee and tea. 

Marjan

Marjan is a poolside restaurant that specializes in authentic Indonesian cuisines. During lunch, we had the pleasure to enjoy some of its signature specialties and other tasty dishes. 

We started with a healthy crab salad and an appetizing panko prawn. For mains, we had ayam (chicken) and mie (noodles) goreng. We also tried the sate campur (satay) and tumis udang pedas (wok fried prawns with coconut sauce). And for desserts, we ordered Indonesian sago and Marjan's ice cream.

It was an extremely delicious and enjoyable meal. Everything they served us was really good. We're quite sure that even the most fussy eaters will love dining here.

Grand Club Room 

What we really love about staying in suite is having an access to the Grand Club Lounge which offers the following benefits:

  • Complimentary continental breakfast is served everyday from 7:00am to 10:30am
  • Fragrant teas, fresh pressed coffee and soft beverages are served throughout the day
  • International magazines and newspapers
  • Cocktails and canapés may be enjoyed between 6:00pm and 8:00pm every evening
  • Lounge offers a terrace with breathtaking sunset views of the Hajar Mountains
  • Grand Club opens daily from 7:00am to 11:00pm
  • Two board rooms for up to 10 people in each room

It's also note-worthy that Grand Hyatt Muscat is the only hotel in Oman that was allowed to serve alcoholic drinks during Eid Holidays. 

Mutra Souq

The good thing about the hotel being so centrally located is the chance to visit interesting places like Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Mutra Souq, Muscat Old Town, Mutra Corniche, National Museum and Bait Zubair Museum. That's what we did after lounging at the Grand Club Room, we went outside to visit the nearby tourist attractions. Our favourite was the Mutra Souq, a traditional Arab market selling Omani artefacts together with few antiques, traditional textiles and jewelries.

Tuscany

The award-winning Tuscany is known to be the best Italian restaurant in Muscat. It features specialty menus from regional areas of Italy, along with different seasonal menus using only the finest and freshest produce.

During our dinner, we were treated with the best Italian dishes we've ever had. First, we got breads before our appetizers arrived. And then, we had minestrone seafood. This was followed by pan seared scallops with green pea puree and crispy beef speck. For meat main course, we opted for US beef tenderloin with carrot puree, sauteed asparagus and mushrooms. For seafood main course, we chose the roasted Omani lobster with vegetable couscous and light saffron foam. We also tried the pan fried seabass with thinly sliced zucchini, red onion compote and yellow pepper puree. And finally, for desserts, we were served sizzling chocolate brownie with ice cream, tiramisu and lemon cake with ice cream. 

With Chef Enrico Degani and his culinary team dedicated to creating delectable dishes, it truly was a dinner worth enjoying!

Grand Hyatt Muscat at Night

After our indulgent dinner, Rock Licker and I took a walk through the beautiful garden and enjoy its tranquil surrounding. 

The Team

Aside from its amazing location, rooms and facilities, what make this hotel so special are the staff. They are incredibly hardworking and willing to do even the most mundane tasks with good grace. Their extremely relevant helpfulness and friendliness made us feel very much at home and our stay more enjoyable. Hats off to them!

Ms. Lara Fajardo and Mr. Mahmoud 

Executive Chef Enrico Degani and his team

Ms. Jhennie Lactaoen and Ms. Jenalyn Calacat - Grand Club Lounge Staff

Ms. Mary Jane Senado - Grand Club Lounge Assistant Manager 

Ms. Melchora - Mokha Cafe Manager

Mr. Hameed - Marjan Staff

Living Grand

It's been a luxurious 3 days and 2 nights. Thank you so much Grand Hyatt Muscat for the grand stay and for staying true to your motto of "Living Grand".