Review: Top 10 Best Luxury Hotels And Resorts In Oman


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We have reviewed the best luxury hotels in or near Muscat, Oman. These include Six Senses Zinghy Bay, Alila Jabal Akhdar, Chedi Muscat, Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, fAl Bustan Palace A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Kempinski Hotel Muscat, and Shangri-La Al Husn. There is also an InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hyatt, Sheraton, and the newest Marriott Bonvoy property will be the W Hotel next to the InterContinental.

Oman’s most impressive two hotels are Six Senses Zighy Bay vs. Alila Jabal Akhdar, located far away from the Omani capital Muscat. Neither of these hotels has a club lounge, but most travelers will spend at least a few days in Muscat, and you can pick one of the best hotels with a club lounge in Muscat.

The best time to visit Oman is between November and March when the cooler air lets you see the mountain scenery, and daytime temperatures average at 25°C. For the rest of the year, Oman is hot and hazy, particularly between May and August. Conversely, May to August is the time to visit if you want to pick up a bargain and don’t mind the heat.

Muscat feels like you are stepping back in time with no high-rise buildings, so you get a very authentic experience when visiting the city. It’s a world away from Dubai and yet only 4 and a half hours to drive. Visas for Oman and the UAE are very easy and cheap, and you get them when you arrive at Muscat airport without prior arrangements. The Oman (and the UAE) Consular websites will give you more details.

1. Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara

Famed for the riches of its frankincense groves, coconut-fringed beaches, and a profusion of tropical greenery during the summer monsoon season, Salalah, on the south coast of Dhofar, offers travelers an emerging destination of breathtaking natural beauty. Situated between a long, scenic beach and freshwater lagoon, Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is a luxury resort with a contemporary Middle Eastern ambiance framed by lush tropical gardens, 750 palm trees, and of course, a glorious beach.

The resort’s 40 Premier and Deluxe Rooms come with balconies or terraces overlooking either the Arabian Sea, the lagoon, or the garden. 8 one-bedroom Villas and 88 one and two-bedroom Pool Villas offer separate living areas, with Pool Villas benefiting from private temperature-controlled swimming pools. The exclusive three-bedroom Royal Beach Pool Villa is the epitome of luxury, boasting commanding views of the sandy bay and idyllic lagoon.

There are three main restaurants serving local Middle Eastern cuisine as well as international dishes, and a short walk away is the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al Baleed Archaeological Park.

Slip out of your beachfront villa, surrounded by towering palms, into the languid ocean. Al Baleed Resort Salalah is a serene retreat under the Oman sun.

2. Six Senses Zinghy Bay

Just a couple of hours’ drive from Dubai, the isolated but oh-so-peaceful eco-luxe hotel of Six Senses Zinghy Bay feels like a rustic, ancient Omani village with a touch of the Flintstones. Sandy paths lead between stylish daybeds and palms to villas with private pools, outdoor showers, and butlers who will buggy you around the resort.

There’s a playground, tennis courts, and an excellent children’s club (free for four-year-olds and above), which will introduce them to crab-hunting, marine biology, and movies on the beach, with popcorn and more than 40 different flavors of ice cream.

For couples, the Sense on the Edge restaurant, hidden up in the mountains, offers exquisite food and expansive views. For health junkies, hike or bike in the mountains, do yoga on the rooftop, or choose from several hardcore health boot camps. In the spa, treatments are decadent but results-driven and holistic.

Six Senses Zinghy Bay is a world away from the Disney-esque vibe of Dubai. Relax in front of the dramatic sandstone Al Hajar mountains with the waters of the Gulf of Oman gently lapping at your toes in splendid isolation.

3. Alila Jabal Akhdar

Alila Jabal Akhdar is part of the Al Hajar mountains range, one of Oman’s most spectacular regions. Set 2000 m (6560 ft) above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar provides access to this incredible landscape of amazing beauty.

Overlooking a dramatic gorge and with views of the Hajar mountains, the hotel is perfectly positioned to explore the region’s renowned rugged landscapes, a haven for adventure travelers, nature lovers, and those seeking an escape from the desert heat.

The resort’s 78 beautifully appointed suites and villas are located within the main hotel building or arranged in individual clusters of four to six suites, generously spaced out around the clifftop to maximize privacy and uninterrupted views over the mountains and down into the gorges.

4. The Chedi Muscat

The five-star Chedi Muscat is the most elegant and stylish resort in the greater Muscat area (with prices to match). It is located on 21 acres of tranquil gardens at the foot of the rugged Al Hajar mountain range. The neatly manicured gardens offer an elegant mix of Omani architecture and an Asian Zen style. The resort is edged by 370 meters of pristine (if not overly attractive) private beachfront, which slopes into the turquoise blue waters of the Gulf of Oman.

The Chedi Muscat is Oman’s only member of The Leading Hotels of the World and has to be one of the most stylish, minimalist resorts in the world. The lobby is particularly memorable as it is inspired by a Bedouin tent! The resort is convenient to get to with just a 15-minute transfer from the Muscat International Airport and a 20-minute transfer to Muscat’s business center. Still, there is not much directly around the hotel.

Sparkling waters, vibrant gardens, and dramatic mountains can be enjoyed through the grand windows in all 158 of its tasteful, well-appointed guestrooms and suites, offering panoramic views of the gardens or the Gulf. Unfortunately, none of the rooms have outside space or balconies, and none feature a sunken bathtub with the exception of the more expensive Club Suites. If you like a big bed, don’t book the smallest rooms (category ‘serai’) as they come with a queen-sized bed rather than a king-sized bed.

There is also a stunning signature spa, diverse cuisine, and attentive service at this luxury resort. Three outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pools, with 2 of them being adults only, will tempt you into the water, including the infinity Chedi Pool and the 103-meter long pool (pictured above), the region’s longest pool and a brilliant pool if you like to swim for exercise, as you can just keep on swimming!

To spark romance, or add something special to your honeymoon, surprise your loved one with a private dinner by the beach complete with flowers & candles, flaming tiki torches, a bottle of champagne, your own private butler as the sunsets.

All Deluxe Club Rooms, Deluxe Club Terrace Rooms, and Chedi Club Suites offer privileged access to The Club Lounge. Benefits here begin with airport transfers by private air-conditioned limousine or Mercedes.

The exclusive and private club lounge features an extensive double-height library in an awe-inspiring setting with complimentary business services and internet access. Snacks and tea are served here amongst the comfortable, elegantly upholstered European furnishings. It is a truly refined experience. Drinks are served throughout the day. Afternoon tea & snacks are served with cocktails & canapés are available from early in the evening. Breakfast is taken in the main restaurant and is excellent.

The club lounge itself isn’t huge, but it is lovely. My favorite features are the outdoor seating in addition to the indoor seating area. The evening buffet is the opposite of an all-you-can-eat affair, in a good way. There are many high-end small dishes like sushi, Thai beef, Indian mains, and delicious cheeses, enough to fill you up.

The value is offered in the evening if you drink alcohol, as the cocktails, spirits, wine, and beers are all complimentary, along with soft drinks. Disappointingly, the club lounge closes at around 8:00 pm, so you need to transfer to the bar or restaurant for the remainder of your evening.

The lounge upgrade is well worth paying for because of the outdoor space. I can’t think of a better place to start your evening off.

5. Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort And Spa, Muscat

Oman’s largest hotel encompasses three hotels set around one uninhabited bay. All 680 rooms have sea views and private balconies or terraces; there are pools, restaurants (including the Middle Eastern-themed Al Tanoor, a South American restaurant Samba and ship-themed restaurant Sultanah), watersports, bars, a nightclub, a promenade area, and designer shops. This is very much a bustling resort town created around a single hotel brand.

Al Waha, the least expensive of the three, is aimed at families and offers interconnecting rooms and a free Little Turtles club for 3 to 12-year-olds. Al Husn is the six-star option, with a helipad, a private beach, and a private pool. This hotel is inaccessible from the other hotels.

Activities include a spa, scuba diving, snorkeling, dolphin and whale watching trips, and strolling around the marina.

Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa is the most luxurious of the 3 hotels and is definitely the Shangri-La to choose if you are on your Honeymoon. The private beach area is superb and is much nicer than the beach at the rest of the resort. The lack of children makes for a very quiet and relaxed atmosphere.

Service is excellent, and staff immediately set up sun loungers for you and a cool bag with cold drinks. In the afternoon, complimentary tea is served in the interior courtyard, with excellent canapés.

Breakfast is fantastic here with an A-la-carte menu of hot dishes that change daily with high quality and beautifully presented dishes. There is a huge variety of restaurants within the resort, and the fish restaurant is particularly good.

6. Kempinski Hotel Muscat

The five-star Kempinski Hotel Muscat is the other Muscat hotel with the best club lounge and only recently opened in 2018. When choosing between the Chdi and the Kempinski, the club lounges are equally luxurious, but I prefer the resort feel and the stylish verandah setting at the club lounge in the Chedi. Conversely, the beach is much nicer at the Kempinski. Both hotels are super choices.

Designed with a variety of local Omani influences, the hotel is one of the most impressive in Oman, with an incredible lobby with a triple-height ceiling, stalactite style pillars dropping down to the marble floor, and floor to ceiling glass windows that offer views out over the pool and out to sea.

The hotel is surrounded by over 6 km of stunning coastline within the Al Mouj community and is near Muscat International Airport. The Kempinski Muscat Hotel features 3 stunning swimming pools: A kids’ pool, an infinity pool (main pool), and the cascade pool (adults pool). It also has a fully equipped gym and spa, which guests can use during their stay. The beach is stunning, offering golden sands and loungers grouped under umbrellas.

Rooms are smart and stylish with stand-alone baths in the bathrooms, and guests in the Executive Rooms and Suites gain access to the club lounge throughout the day from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm. This exclusive Executive Lounge is located strategically on the lobby level of the business wing and delivers added privacy and special benefits. You get complimentary afternoon tea, snacks, and happy hour.

There is a large array of beverages, snacks, and desserts during happy hours. The selection isn’t as wide as some of the other hotels in the region. It is still consistent with other Kempinski branded hotels in the region, such as The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

It is worth noting that the lounge is closed during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Guests with access can enjoy similar benefits at Café One or The Kitchen Restaurant during this period.

7. Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Muscat

Tucked away between the rugged Al Hajar mountain range and the Sea of Oman, Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a beachfront retreat set in wonderful gardens. Arab and art deco influences infuse the resort with an elegant ambiance, most notably in its majestic 38 m (124 ft) high, domed atrium lobby.

From each of the hotel’s 250 guest rooms and suites’ private balconies, guests can gaze upon magnificent mountain, sea, or garden views. The hotel is located on the most beautiful stretch of beach in the vicinity of Muscat. In 2015, a phenomenal Six Senses Spa was added to the hotel and built into the surrounding landscape of towering stone and rock cliffs.

8. Grand Hyatt Muscat

The Grand Hyatt Muscat is usually quite a lot more expensive than the InterContinental, Sheraton and the Crown Plaza reviewed below. You get a lot more bling for your bucks. This is a much more luxurious hotel and is located on the other side of the city from the Shangri La and Al Bustan, en route to the airport. There are lots to do within walking distance of the hotel, which is a nice feature of this hotel, particularly when compared to the remote Chedi, which is out of town. It will cost you OMR 7 for the taxi fare to get to and from the airport.

The lobby area is nicely designed with three huge glass windows facing towards the pool area, a statue of a falconer on a horse with steps leading down to the Moka Cafe, and the mezzanine level with shops. Zahara tours in the lobby offer a city tour and a tour to Nizwa and Oman’s ” Grand Canyon”. There is a dive shop right next to the hotel where you can book a great scuba dive at Fahal Island. It’s only a 15-minute boat ride from the hotel, and you can see loads of fish, etc.

The pool area is a bit small for such a large hotel, but it is nice with a lazy river going around from one side to the other. The pool is open until 9:00 pm. A footpath leads to the public beach, and there is a shower facility to wash off the sand when you return to the hotel grounds.

The Grand Club lounge is excellent. Very large, with a number of rooms and a large outdoor area. At night, there is soft lighting and music, and the atmosphere is like a nice bar. There are great spreads at breakfast and in the evening and lots and plenty of booze.

Breakfast is served with a good range of breakfast items and bread (no hot food) as well as a toaster. Coffee and soft drinks are available throughout the day. Afternoon tea consists of homemade cake and a selection of fruit and cookies but think of it as a light snack to go with your cup of tea rather than a proper meal.

The Cocktail hour is early in the evening with alcoholic and soft drinks and evening snacks, including some Indian dishes. More than enough to fill you up, plus there are desserts for something sweet at the end of your meal. The Regency Club outdoor terrace is particularly nice for taking breakfast and evening drinks/snacks, and children are allowed in this lounge but must be supervised.

Overall this hotel is a little dated and, although a good choice, probably not worth paying a high premium in price over the cheaper hotels below, although the club lounge IS worth paying the extra for if you have a room-only rate. On the bright side, World Of Hyatt elite members usually get a very large bowl of exotic fruits and chocolates here, which is a nice bonus.

9. InterContinental Muscat

This is not the finest InterContinental hotel in the world. It is not a patch on the London InterContinental Park Lane or the London O2 InterContinental, which we are such fans of, but it is a better choice than the Crowne Plaza Muscat. Both this InterContinental and it’s cheaper Crowne Plaza sister IHG hotel have club lounges.

The InterContinental Muscat have currently refurbished and renovated 82 rooms so make sure you choose one of these as the older rooms are dated. The bathrooms are particularly bad, and the water that comes out of the taps can be brown! In theory, tap water in Muscat is drinkable, but I would avoid it here.

As for the rest of the hotel, the lagoon-style feels more like a public pool than a luxury hotel pool, but it is large, and there’s another pool for serious lappers. The east side of the hotel borders a large construction site, which will be a W Hotel by Marriot Bonvoy and means that there is noise during the day and night. There are also a lot of birds in the hotel. Noisy parakeets frequent and roost on the balconies, which can result in a great deal of bird poop.

There are positives to this hotel. This InterContinental has been known to provide free club lounge access during June and July to Spire Ambassador IHG loyalty club members and elite members also get a bottle of wine and two amenity plates of food to welcome them.

They also offer some nice restaurants and a Starbucks, and the hotel is conveniently located by the beach. While we cannot wholeheartedly currently recommend this hotel, the quality is taken into account in the price.

This InterContinental is usually much cheaper than the surrounding hotels. It is better than the Crowne Plaza but worse than the Hyatt reviewed above. Another option is the Sheraton, which is a good property in a bad location. The best Marriott Bonvoy property in Muscat will soon be the W Hotel next door to this InterContinental when it has been completed.

10. Sheraton Oman Hotel Muscat

Sheraton Oman Hotel Muscat features 230 modern and spacious rooms, including 27 suites with panoramic views of the Al Hajar mountain range. Its location isn’t great, at the top of Ruwi, the financial and business hub of Muscat. It is half an hour away from Muscat International Airport and is within walking distance from the Ruwi bus station, where you can catch the #4 bus to the Souk, Fish Market, and Old Muscat.

Guest room interiors have distinctive touches of Omani culture. All rooms are spacious and outfitted with the Sheraton brand’s signature amenities and services, including the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience.

38 Sheraton Club rooms offer exclusive access to the Sheraton® Club lounge with complimentary Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, and a premium selection of beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Sheraton Oman also features Al Deyafa, a lounge dedicated to guests with early check-ins and late check-outs, the only hotel in the country to offer this facility.

The executive lounge here is good, although the evening happy hour hot food can be repetitive if you stay for long. The afternoon tea is particularly good with snacks and drinks, and breakfast is served in the restaurant with a great spread and a make-to-order egg station. ​​​​ No kids are allowed in the lounge in the evening, which is pretty standard for Asia and the Middle East. The indoor pool is also adults-only, so this hotel may not be the best pick for families in Muscat, Oman.

The hotel also features a range of leisure facilities such as the state-of-the-art Sheraton Fitness & Spa with Technogym equipment, with a separate gym for ladies. Facilities include an outdoor and indoor pool with an option for resistance swimming, two jacuzzis, and exclusive access for ladies every morning from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

The outdoor pool has a canvas that overhangs the pool providing shade all day long. The expansive spa features four treatment rooms, with one room exclusively for men and one for women. Fitness aficionados can look forward to a Kinesis Studio for Zumba and other movement classes.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.