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)