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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At night, it features live traditional music to enhance guests' experience.
Rose Lounge at Night
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!