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Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old May 25, 2020, 8:50 pm
  #31  
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Disappointing to hear. Yet another example of how in unusual circumstances, some hotels distinguish themselves with fantastic service well above expectations to please guests, and those who are stingy and cut corners. My experiences of the last several weeks have been very polarized in two camps.
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Old May 26, 2020, 5:33 am
  #32  
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That's quite bad! I agree a resort charging so much should build these small things into their daily rate.
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Old May 29, 2020, 3:03 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by khabah
I'm in Muscat, and the lockdown of the city from the rest of the country is expected to end on May 29th. The Alila has been closed for a while but is reopening from June 1st, so I took the opportunity to book a three-night stay in June to cross this bucket list hotel off my list and treat my friend for a milestone birthday. The hotel runs an annual promotion called 15 Degrees Cooler targeted to GCC citizens and residents at a discounted rate with perks like a-la-carte breakfast and dinner for two, discounts on spa treatments, sunrise/sunset yoga, a master class at the restaurant and such. This year, however, they've pared those perks back to just a-la-carte breakfast with the discounted rate, which is disappointing. In an e-mail exchange I had with the hotel to arrange some special arrangements for my friend, I requested a cake and bottle of wine - and the agent promptly informed me that this was chargeable and attached the wine list. I selected a bottle, and the agent replied that the charge will be placed on my account and reflected on my final bill.

While I am not asking for anything for free, mind, I find it very off-putting and poor form when a luxury property that charges 300+ USD a night pretty much every night of the year to thrust the bill on a guest outright while charging the usual hotel premiums of north of 50 dollars for bottles of wine that retail at <15. 'Lesser quality' hotels such as Marriotts and even Four Points hotels I routinely stay at never conduct themselves like this via e-mail or in person in my experience, and usually offer to go above and beyond at their own expense.

Not the best first impression at all, and leaves a sour taste. You'd think the Alila would be a little more generous and appealing following months of closure and a nonexistent international tourism industry with the airports and borders closed, but alas.

khabah
Thank you for the update, I just got back to Muscat and currently in home quarantine. I was looking at a staycation for the Anantara as missing swimming and want to get one of the pool villas, the only option at Alila is the presidential 3 bedroom villa which I do not need. And after reading of your experience I think I will wait, but please let me know how it goes!!
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Old May 30, 2020, 2:12 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by AbuCordoba
Thank you for the update, I just got back to Muscat and currently in home quarantine. I was looking at a staycation for the Anantara as missing swimming and want to get one of the pool villas, the only option at Alila is the presidential 3 bedroom villa which I do not need. And after reading of your experience I think I will wait, but please let me know how it goes!!
Yikes, that is a bit excessive... but Ill keep you posted! Anantara is planning to reopen on June 6th, by the way.

Welcome back to MCT - let me know when youre out of quarantine and lets link up!

khabah
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Old Aug 27, 2020, 8:21 am
  #35  
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Just completed another three-night stay. Quick feedback:
  • Explorist member, booked two rooms under their half-board rate.
  • The hotel upgraded both rooms from the base mountain-view rooms to ridge-view rooms, which was very nice of them.
  • Oman has very recently allowed restaurants, gyms and pools to reopen, so the hotel had all these facilities open. The spa is still closed.
  • Rooms were lovely as always - spacious with a great layout, furnishings in good shape and the views a knockout as always.
  • Food was nothing short of phenomenal - breakfast and dinner was included in our rate, and staff had no problem with us ordering more than a dish each [i.e. two orders of the single-slice avocado toast in addition to poached eggs]. Quality was excellent - the hotel grows its own vegetables and herbs in their organic garden on-property - imagination was evident in the dishes and the desserts were fantastic. This has to be the best restaurant in Oman.
  • I didn't use the pools or gym, but as the hotel was hosting many families with young children, the pools in particular saw lots of use.
  • There is a nice hiking trail of about 3 kilometers within the property walls, with relatively easy rocks to traipse around and weave throughout the property.
  • Service was fairly good - many of the staff are Omani men, and although they can sometimes get a little in over their heads with dealing with guests, do a great job conversing in English, maintaining a welcoming demeanor and being an asset to the hotel experience.
  • As far as COVID-19 adherence goes: the hotel has a 50 percent occupancy cap, and I'm pretty sure they were close to that when we were there. While hand sanitizing stations were plentiful, the reception plexiglas-ed off and all staff masked, gloved and observant of social distancing, the vast majority of Omani/local guests [who in turn formed the majority of in-house guests] either used their masks as chinstraps or didn't use them at all when moving through the property or in the restaurant/public areas, and staff never asked them to observe the mask requirement nor actively enforced the policy. Maskless children ran amuck in the restaurant, around the pool, outside in the grounds and again, staff never intervened.
I'm glad this hotel is part of the Hyatt portfolio. The upcoming Alila Hinu Bay, which is still due to open in October and appears furnished/nearly done based on property photos the GM showed me, should nicely complement this property in the south of Oman and give us WOH aficionados more options in this beautiful country.

khabah
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Old Aug 28, 2020, 6:26 am
  #36  
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I have a stay in October. Hopefully Oman opens its borders by then. Doesn't look likely though!
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Old Aug 28, 2020, 8:18 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by onlysuites
I have a stay in October. Hopefully Oman opens its borders by then. Doesn't look likely though!
Right? Oman closed all of its airports and suspended all travel to, from and within the country [except between Muscat and Khasab on the Musandam peninsula] since March, and despite frequent meetings of the Supreme Committee, they've been rather coy about announcing anything to do with the airports. The most recent rumors I'm hearing from well-informed sources is that they'll resume Muscat-Salalah flights in mid-September, and reopen to tourists and international travel from October 1st.

Don't hold me to it - just repeating what I've heard! Hopefully an official announcement isn't far out.

khabah
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Old Mar 9, 2021, 1:43 am
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What is there to do around this hotel? Can you do some hiking around the hotel? For free or do you have to do it through the hotel?
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Old Mar 9, 2021, 2:38 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by abcx
What is there to do around this hotel? Can you do some hiking around the hotel? For free or do you have to do it through the hotel?
Im based in Muscat and have been to this property twice in the last month. Theyve got a hiking trail on the property, as well as trails outside that they have maps for that take several hours to complete.

Theyve also got complimentary classes offering archery, geology walks, astronomy and spa kitchen. The hotel has a via ferrata as well, the spa is open for treatments and the indoor+outdoor pools are open as well.

khabah
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Old Mar 9, 2021, 2:41 am
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Originally Posted by khabah
Im based in Muscat and have been to this property twice in the last month. Theyve got a hiking trail on the property, as well as trails outside that they have maps for that take several hours to complete.

Theyve also got complimentary classes offering archery, geology walks, astronomy and spa kitchen. The hotel has a via ferrata as well, the spa is open for treatments and the indoor+outdoor pools are open as well.

khabah
Thank you! Wondering if I should stay 2 nights or 3 nights. Any thoughts? I do get bored after a while not doing anything. Should we use this as a base for Nizwa to see the goat market on Friday and the fort, or are we better off staying in Nizwa (not sure if there's anything else there) or doing that from Muscat?
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Old Sep 4, 2021, 11:36 pm
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Do award stays not include breakfast and dinner anymore? It used to be listed on the Hyatt website but I don't see it anymore. Anyone know what is included now on points stays, if anything?
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Old Sep 4, 2021, 11:53 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by abcx
Do award stays not include breakfast and dinner anymore? It used to be listed on the Hyatt website but I don't see it anymore. Anyone know what is included now on points stays, if anything?
They've cut back on a lot of former inclusions; rates now include breakfast only, but other more expensive rates on offer are half-board packages or will include things like a massage and activities. They also run a promotion during the summer months called 15 Degrees Cooler that once included breakfast, dinner, poolside refreshments and more, but 2020 and 2021 iterations just include breakfast, and you pay for everything else.

This is still a physically spectacular property, but the cutbacks are palpable and you feel as if the management isn't really trying - they obviously bank on the prestige of the property, and to them being the Alila is good enough; the guest always pays to play.

khabah
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Old Sep 23, 2021, 11:30 am
  #43  
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For those who have stayed at both Alila properties, how would you divide time between them? Can we go directly from one to the other without needing to stay at Muscat one night? I am thinking 3 hour drive to airport, flight to Salalah Airport, 1 hour drive to hotel. I have yet to research and have no idea about frequency of flights to Salalah.
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Old Sep 23, 2021, 12:30 pm
  #44  
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Oman Air seems to currently have 2-3 flights a day between MCT and SLL: a morning one (c 8:45), (sometime) a mid-afternoon (c 3pm), and an evening one (c 8pm).
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Old Oct 1, 2021, 10:27 am
  #45  
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I am planning a stay at both the Alila properties in Oman. How far is it from this hotel to Nizwa? I would like to start the day here on a Friday, go to the Nizwa cattle market and Nizwa Fort, and then take the 2:45pm flight to Salalah. Is that realistic?
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