In just over 30 years of travelling around the globe, it’s not often that I am genuinely blown away by a destination; but having just returned from Oman, I think it’s safe to say that I am more than a little bit smitten by this hidden gem.
I was fortunate enough to spend time in four very different properties over the course of my near week away, starting with The Al- Jissar Al Husn; one of three hotels managed by Shangri-La, located half an hour or so from Muscat (our arrival airport), and sited in a beautifully protected bay on a sandy beach overlooking the Indian Ocean. If you like traditional luxury hotels, Al Husn won’t disappoint, with tastefully appointed, spacious rooms, cool public areas and an infinity pool to die for. Cuisine in Oman is a real high point, from the generous poolside portions at lunch time to the exquisitely authentic Arabian cuisine served at Shahrazad.
After two delicious nights, we were collected in our Land Cruisers and taken the hour’s drive to visit the Alila Jabal Akhdar, stunningly located 2,000 metres above sea level in the Al Hajar Mountains. A real haven of peace and tranquillity, I loved the traditional Omani architecture, combining stone with dark wood to give the impression of staying in a traditional fort, albeit in the lap of luxury. The spectacular vista around you, along with the milder climate made for a heavenly stay and we were sad to leave.
On then to the Anatara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, similarly located on the top of the mountains and sharing truly breath taking views of the canyons below, boasting the distinction of being one of the highest located five-star hotels in the world. Famed for Diana’s Point, where Princess Diana once visited, you can enjoy cocktails as the sun sets in this magical location. I loved Anantara’s unique combination of discrete luxury and its authentic sense of place; I also loved the superb spa too!
Our trip ended with one final night spent at The Chedi Muscat; a truly iconic hotel that impressed me for its discrete sense of style – the 103 metre (appropriately named) ‘Long pool’ is one of the longest in the world and brings a new meaning to ‘swimming a length’! The Chedi Club Suites represented a high point of the trip in terms of luxurious accommodation, whilst the Fine Dining restaurant was a sensory delight; as you sit watching your exquisite food being prepared.
Such was the exceptional standard and personality of each hotel, I genuinely couldn’t decide which I would most like to return to; Oman was, in every sense, a truly wonderful destination which I would revisit in a heartbeat.
Experience Oman for yourself with a bespoke holiday from our luxury collection of hotels and resorts, created by a member of our team who has seen it for themselves.