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Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Oct 1, 2021, 11:57 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
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?
The Alila is about 50 minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes from Nizwa. The goat market is in the large space outside the walled area containing the fort and the souq, all of which you can get done in about two or so hours since it's relatively compact ground to cover. Keep in mind that it's roughly an hour and a half to Muscat Airport, so assuming you can wing down from the Alila early enough to get the market/fort in [the market runs early on Fridays, so don't get there later than 7:30 AM or you'll miss the action], you can probably get it all done and make the one hour-before-departure window for your flight to SLL. Packing it all in!

Would love to see you if/when you make it out here, by the way!

khabah
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Old Oct 1, 2021, 12:07 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by khabah
Would love to see you if/when you make it out here, by the way!

khabah
The trip is happening and I definitely want to meet. Will PM.
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Old Oct 1, 2021, 1:35 pm
  #48  
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I received a form to fill out after I booked. It's basically an extensive list of ways I can spend money while on property. Some of it is actually quite helpful; I like knowing about excursions and their costs. I thought that others of you might like to see some of the offerings.

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Old Oct 10, 2021, 4:17 pm
  #49  
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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?
Anyone found out if award stays still include two meals?
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Old Oct 10, 2021, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by onlysuites
Anyone found out if award stays still include two meals?
Just breakfast now per front desk at hotel when I called a few weeks ago.
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 3:52 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by LoungeLizardHugo
Visited Jabal Akhdar with the wife over Christmas on an award booking: points+Suite Upgrade Award.
  • Fell in love with Oman (our first visit)
  • Muscat airport is brand new and GORGEOUS. A million times nicer than any airport I have ever seen in the US.
  • Very safe country, extremely low crime rate, no one trying to rip you off.
  • Road to the Alila, a 2.5 hour trip from airport, last half was in the middle of nowhere, and was better built than most I have seen anywhere in USA.
  • No trash on roadside, no graffiti anywhere in town or in the country
  • The Alila was fully booked over the holidays, regardless, we experienced what we feel was exceptional service.
  • It is easy to come to know many employees and management by name during your stay.
  • It is spectacular location, views, hiking.
  • As Globalists, I thought we were treated exceptionally well, in multiple situations, throughout our stay.
This is an excellent summary of our recent stay. Can I say what a pleasure it is to be at a hotel that offers full service despite Covid? Many services have been removed at American hotels due to Covid and staffing issues. That has not been the case at any of the 3 Hyatt properties in Oman. Yes, we are wearing facemasks everywhere, but otherwise these are very luxurious experiences with full service.

We were picked up at the Grand Hyatt Muscat late morning for the 2 1/2 hour drive to the Alila Jabal Akhdar. Our driver left the main road to drive us thru a date palm grove and a deserted town at one point, and offered another stop where an international race with 400 participants was occurring yesterday. The town was deserted as buildings lacked running water and power. The government gave residents new homes as part of relocation. There have been several queries in this thread about the drive and why it requires a 4 wheel drive. There is a guard point about one hour from the hotel where you must have a 4 wheel drive to proceed. However, the road remained a very good quality. There weren't sharp edges or any sense of risk. Our driver said that 4 wheel drive was essential due to a steep grade; that it was very important for the drive down the mountain. I think the biggest challenge to drive to the hotel, assuming you rent a 4 wheel drive, is to be sure of directions. The GPS on my phone did not show the route.

The hotel has a stunning setting in the mountains. All the buildings are of rough hewn rocks, yet with very contemporary interiors. We used a suite upgrade to have a Jabal Terrace Suite. It was in an outlying cluster of buildings, many of whom had 4 suites in them. We had suite 70. I am ambivalent about our suite as it was not well sited to take advantage of the view. We had a massive terrace with a day bed, two recliners, and a table with seating for 6. View from the terrace was of the adjacent buildings that blocked the canyon/mountain views to that side. This terrace could have had a lovely view of the mountain but had a rock wall instead of an open wall to permit a view. We had a great view from within our room. There was a narrow balcony with a sofa built into the wall. It rained the first night and the sofa never got enough sun to dry sufficiently to be able to sit and enjoy the view. I hadn't done my weather research sufficiently and found most of the days quite chilly. It was warm enough to have our lunch on the terrace every day but otherwise was too chilly to take advantage of it. Should you travel here during the northern hemisphere winter, definitely pack a sweater or a light jacket. You'll need it. The temperature varied a lot throughout the day but I would guess averaged 20 degrees F colder than Muscat.

Our room was a fairly typical hotel room, despite its stated 100 sq m size. At least half that was outside and the room itself was a fairly typical hotel room configuration. It had a large lovely bathroom with a tub by the window overlooking the mountain. It also had a nice walk in closet with plenty of space to set out luggage.

The hotel has two locations for meals. The Juniper restaurant supplies the food for both locations. The primary location is open for all meals, whereas the second location is only open for dinner. Yet the second location has a more stunning setting and I am baffled why it is only open at night when the view cannot be enjoyed. Breakfast is free for everyone regardless of Hyatt status. We had lunch brought to our room each day. There was no additional charge for room delivery which I appreciated very much. We left the hotel on the final day at 6:30am in order to go to the Nizwa goat market. The restaurant was opened at 6am for any of us heading out on this excursion.

If you are at the hotel on a Friday or even better leaving on a Friday, I highly recommend going to the Nizwa goat market, then going thru the souq and to the Nizwa fort. The goat market reopened 3 weeks ago. It was a lot of fun seeing folks walk their goats around and try to make a sale. Our driver/guide then walked us thru the souq. We've been to a lot throughout the world. High points here were going to the area where an incredible range of dates were sold, then on to the area with the Omani sweet called halwah, another area with nuts, and then on to more typical souvenirs. He seemed eager to show us guns and knives but I had us move along quickly.

We went on to the Muscat Airport from Nizwa and took the afternoon flight to Salalah where we went next to Alila Hinu Bay.
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Last edited by SanDiego1K; Dec 4, 2021 at 4:02 am
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 4:01 am
  #52  
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An activity board was put up each day that didn't change much from one day to the next. There was also an activity board for children but I didn't bother with a picture of it.


My husband is an excellent cook so was attracted to the sounds of "spa kitchen". Fortunately, he called and asked about it. It was a course to teach formulation of products used in their spas, so skin care and the like.
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 4:39 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
This is an excellent summary of our recent stay.

We were picked up at the Grand Hyatt Muscat late morning for the 2 1/2 hour drive to the Alila Jabal Akhdar. Our driver left the main road to drive us thru a date palm grove and a deserted town at one point,

The hotel has a stunning setting in the mountains. All the buildings are of rough hewn rocks, yet with very contemporary interiors. We used a suite upgrade to have a Jabal Terrace Suite.

We went on to the Muscat Airport from Nizwa and took the afternoon flight to Salalah where we went next to Alila Hinu Bay.
Yeah, it was an excellent summary if I say so myself lol. All joking hubris aside, glad to hear you had a good stay. Some folks upthread faced some challenges. Do you recall if Danny (big guy, bald) is still the Exec Chef?

That detour to the date palm grove and/or the ancient town are I think interesting asides that they do on every drive up there. I was jetlagged like crazy and did not enjoy the detours as much as I should have.

We were upgraded to same style suite too, Interesting layout with that gigantic outside deck, we were on 2nd story and view was good.

Looking forward to your Hinu Bay post, we're going there as well next week along with a return to Jabal Akhdar after two years forced absence. Doing some things differently this trip and I'll post up details. Super stoked to get back.
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 4:49 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by LoungeLizardHugo
Do you recall if Danny (big guy, bald) is still the Exec Chef?
No idea.

Looking forward to your Hinu Bay post, we're going there as well next week along with a return to Jabal Akhdar after two years forced absence. Doing some things differently this trip and I'll post up details. Super stoked to get back.
Hinu Bay is fantastic and the high point of the trip. I look forward to the account of your trip and am sorry it is after ours so I can't benefit.
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
....We were picked up at the Grand Hyatt Muscat late morning for the 2 1/2 hour drive to the Alila Jabal Akhdar.....
[MENTION=3967]SanDiego1K[/MENTION] - did you book the transfer via the hotel (at OMR90++), or did you use another operator? I am planning a vist to Alila Jabal Akhdar myself and have been pondering transport options.

Thanks
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 6:01 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by minz56
[MENTION=3967]SanDiego1K[/MENTION] - did you book the transfer via the hotel (at OMR90++), or did you use another operator? I am planning a vist to Alila Jabal Akhdar myself and have been pondering transport options.
That's a good price if it is from the Grand Hyatt to the Alila. My memory is that we had a similar quote from the airport but it was 20 OMR higher from the hotel. I got quotes from two other drivers and had a modestly lower price from one of them.
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
That's a good price if it is from the Grand Hyatt to the Alila. My memory is that we had a similar quote from the airport but it was 20 OMR higher from the hotel. I got quotes from two other drivers and had a modestly lower price from one of them.
Thanks - the hotel (Alila Jabal Akhdar) rate of OMR90++ is shown in your earlier screenshot. I certainly plan to get a few quotes, but it is good to have a benchmark.
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by minz56
Thanks - the hotel (Alila Jabal Akhdar) rate of OMR90++ is shown in your earlier screenshot. I certainly plan to get a few quotes, but it is good to have a benchmark.
OK, so it is from the airport. Add about 20 OMR from the Grand Hyatt. Also be aware that the ++ is for tax and service so adds a bit more than 10%. We didn't have that additional fee when paying directly to a driver.
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Old Dec 4, 2021, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
OK, so it is from the airport. Add about 20 OMR from the Grand Hyatt. Also be aware that the ++ is for tax and service so adds a bit more than 10%. We didn't have that additional fee when paying directly to a driver.
OK thanks. That's what I'm thinking - a private driver is probably the way to go.
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Old Dec 20, 2021, 6:39 am
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Finished up a 5-nite stay last week. Awesome! This time we opted to get there via...helicopter The drive up is one I'd absolutely recommend on your first stay. For me one round trip was all I felt I needed and wanted to do the quick, more scenic route in the air. For anyone similarly inclined, we used ASA on their H125. Professional operation, super friendly, unforgettable experience. On the way up we flew the chopper directly from MCT, way back we instead arrived at ASA's facility conveniently located close to convention center hotels.

In keeping with the let's splurge theme of this trip we also rented one of the villas. Wow, wow, wow. If you can, you must. Our pool was warm, the hot tub was great after hours of walking/hiking. Master Bathroom steam room a treat.

Posting this to give food for thought to those interested in a no-holds-barred stay. Pricey, yup. Unforgettable and awesome, yup as well.

Side note- rumor is there will be a new menu in the restaurant soon. Honestly dinner was a let-down and they definitely need to make this a dining destination as well as an aesthetic destination. During our stay breakfast was no charge and everything else was chargeable.

Side note #2- I had a long talk with management in regards to the children situation, which was not good. Dinner and breakfast were marred by out of control, whining, yelling, crying, running around kids. This property was once adult only and I strongly suggested it be returned to that given the complete lack of respect from parents toward the other guests. Impossible to have a romantic or relaxing meal experience. Being near Christmas holidays certainly exacerbated the problem.
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