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Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Apr 13, 2022, 1:34 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 138
Originally Posted by stargold
There isn't much to it - I'd choose a middle model (Toyota Prado or equivalent) because the Pajero was not at all comfortable to drive, yet the Land Cruiser was not really worth the significant premium.

In all cases, they are extremely basic trim levels and even lack basic things like bluetooth to stream audio from your phone, so if you want to listen to your own music rather than the radio, you should take an aux cable (remember them? )

You'll need to present the vehicle registration card to the mountain check point. If you're comfortable with steep hills up and down, the road itself is very well finished and easy to drive. However, I would not recommend doing the drive at 4am - this is not a drive to be doing for the first time, during the dark, while tired.
Thanks for the reply. I should have been more clear, is there a rental agency at the airport that you had success with? Online rental booking doesn't have a 4x4 option, so I currently have a booking with Europcar and with Alamo, and reserved an intermediate SUV in hopes that this will give me access to their 4x4 fleet. Did you do a walk-up booking with them, or did you reserve before hand?
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Old Apr 13, 2022, 2:00 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
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I've always been able to book 4x4s, first time from Europcar and second time from Hertz. Strange that you can't seem to find them. How far away is your trip?
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Old Apr 13, 2022, 4:48 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Originally Posted by stargold
I've always been able to book 4x4s, first time from Europcar and second time from Hertz. Strange that you can't seem to find them. How far away is your trip?
The trip is next week. I was just seeing if there was a method to guarantee a 4x4. When booking through Europcar, they let me know that it will be "TOYOTA RAV 4 2.5 4WD (IFAR) or similar", so fingers crossed!
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Old Aug 5, 2022, 4:58 pm
  #94  
 
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Originally Posted by AbuCordoba
I live in Oman and we go up to Alila occasionally (renting a 4x4 from the airport) its not that easy nor that hard but you MUST have a 4x4 to get up there..You can also drive to the base and get a 4x4 to take you up the mountain which might be more cost effective.
Thanks for everyone who has contributed to this thread!

Am looking to be there in October for a 2-night stay. My question is, if I rent a non-4x4, and go with the resort's drive up the mountain, is there a safe/easy place for me to park my car while I'm at the resort? Based on what I'm doing, the only reason I'd need a 4x4 is to get to the resort, and it would be I think a lot cheaper to rent something small and just pay for the back-and-forth to the resort itself....
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 4:59 am
  #95  
 
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The cost to/from the base of the mountain was something like 50OMR per direction. If your rental is only going to be for 3 days, then I doubt it makes sense to rent a non 4x4 and pay a further 100OMR for the hotel transfer.
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Old Aug 8, 2022, 7:31 am
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by stargold
The cost to/from the base of the mountain was something like 50OMR per direction. If your rental is only going to be for 3 days, then I doubt it makes sense to rent a non 4x4 and pay a further 100OMR for the hotel transfer.
Sorry if I was unclear - I'll be in Oman for a week...the two night stay is just the the resort. So the 4x4 "premium" is significant...
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Old Aug 8, 2022, 7:42 am
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by as219
Sorry if I was unclear - I'll be in Oman for a week...the two night stay is just the the resort. So the 4x4 "premium" is significant...
Ah I see, then yes, if the price makes sense then go for it

There is a stretch of road shoulder on your left just before you reach the checkpoint where people usually park (as did my friends with a non-4x4 who I picked up) - seems to be taken as a safe place to park.
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Old Aug 12, 2022, 1:19 pm
  #98  
 
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Originally Posted by stargold
Ah I see, then yes, if the price makes sense then go for it

There is a stretch of road shoulder on your left just before you reach the checkpoint where people usually park (as did my friends with a non-4x4 who I picked up) - seems to be taken as a safe place to park.
Thanks for the intel!

In the end I went with the 4x4. It's expensive, but it not only gets me out of the transfer to/from the hotel, it means I don't have to pay for a transfer to the Sharqiya camp I'm staying at.

At least the gas will be cheap!
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Old Aug 14, 2022, 10:25 pm
  #99  
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Looking to stay here for 2-3 nights, but I doubt I'll leave the property - the trip up and down sounds tedious for someone who gets easily car sick in such situations. I'm also looking to minimize time in a car in general.

It seems like some of the main Oman sights to see are near the Alila - Nizwa and Jibreen/Bahla.

Is it advisable to do one of those sights on the way there from Muscat, and another on the way back? That seems preferable to driving back and forth from Muscat?

Last edited by Doppy; Aug 14, 2022 at 10:40 pm
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Old Sep 22, 2022, 11:56 am
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 55
Simple question - I am looking to book a rental car for our trip early next year. I see from the earlier responses that a 4x4 is required for the drive to the hotel. Is the Toyota Fortuner acceptable or should I just stick with the Prado? The Fortuner isn't a model we have in the U.S. but everything that I can see online states that it is a 4x4. I don't mind paying more for the Prado, but it doesn't appear to be widely available during my dates.
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Old Sep 22, 2022, 11:59 am
  #101  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
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Fortuner is perfectly fine, it is a proper 4x4 (slightly smaller version of Prado but more modern look).
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Old Sep 23, 2022, 6:43 am
  #102  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Originally Posted by MrML
Fortuner is perfectly fine, it is a proper 4x4 (slightly smaller version of Prado but more modern look).

Thank you for taking the time to confirm! I am excited about the drive.
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Old Oct 25, 2022, 2:00 am
  #103  
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Does anyone have a recommendation for a driver? The hotel currently charges 150++ each way from Muscat.
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Old Jan 8, 2023, 12:32 pm
  #104  
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Had a very good stay at this property. It is certainly a unique and stunning setting. I used a TSU to confirm a terrace suite. The room itself wasn't configured as a "suite," but had a very large bathroom. The terrace was the special thing, which was great for sunrise/sunset and stargazing at night.

Service is to a very high standard and the staff are very friendly and accommodating. It seems that all reservations include at least breakfast, which was served in the restaurant a la carte, with a bread basket, salad, fruit, and cheese/cured meats plate coming automatically. Food for all meals was generally pretty good.

I was a bit disappointed in the common areas in the main building, which is a shame since this was obviously a purpose-built property. There is really no pleasant place to hang out indoors; the lobby area is too small and not really set up in a way that encourages sitting and reading a book, for example. It would also be nice if they offered a coffee/tea service in the lobby - it's free in the rooms and at breakfast anyway, so there's no revenue stream to protect, but it would be a nice amenity and again make the common spaces more inviting.

Did the hike to the dam - 6.5km and 3 hours roundtrip from the trailhead is what they estimate. It was a good hike, though got a bit tedious in the riverbed portion.

The drive from Muscat was safe and very easy. From the base to the resort it takes about an hour, and the roads are wide, well maintained, and have guardrails most of the time. You definitely need 4WD in order to get past the police checkpoint, but there is zero need for it to actually get to or from the resort. The one potential benefit of such a vehicle is that some of them have a special downhill mode that uses the engine as a break - our rental car made an awful noise when I tried to use that function and so I disabled it and just used the breaks to moderate speed with no problem.

Spent three nights, which was the minimum for a points booking, and about the maximum I could see myself spending at the property. There's not a lot to do on the mountain as far as I could tell, and the drive up/down is long and tedious enough that I wouldn't want to make day trips to places like Nizwa (which is worth visiting on the way to/from the property).

I had originally thought about just renting a car for the Jabal Akhdar portion of the trip, but it's actually really useful to have a car in Muscat - it's spread out far enough that you need some form of transportation to do anything, and driving was fairly easy. A lot of parking in key places requires payment at certain times of day, and this is apparently done through SMS - fortunately I wasn't parking during paid periods, as I don't know if an international SMS would work. The only issue is that Google Maps directions are not great - sometimes it would do things like tell you to get off a road/highway, make a few unnecessary turns/u-turns, and then get right back on. Having someone else in the car who can review the directions while you're driving and tell you when to ignore or override Google's instructions is very helpful. There were also times when Google would say things like "Turn right on" and then not say a street name because Google would only have the name of the road in Arabic. Again helpful to have a person to help, or at least a phone holder that keeps the phone up high on the dashboard for these situations.
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Last edited by Doppy; Jan 8, 2023 at 12:42 pm
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Old Feb 13, 2023, 11:42 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
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I just wanted to add my notes from my recent stay last week. I did a three night stay as a globalist using points. We rented a Toyota Fortuner from MCT and drove to the resort immediately after landing. The drive on Highway 15 was fine but there was some construction along the way. I did not see many people use turn signals. Our Fortuner did fine up the mountain past the checkpoint but was not as powerful as I expected. There is enough space on the road up to go slow and allow yourself to be passed if you get timid on the switchbacks. There was a portion of the mountain road near the resort where temporary barriers have been installed along the road edges and in several spots the temporary barriers have fallen.

I used a TSU to confirm into the terrace suite. I thought the room was lovely and the bed was comfortable. The bug spray and sunscreen bottles on the terrace were a nice touch. The only thing that was slightly annoying is that our room attendant would knock on the door around 8PM every night to check if we needed towels or anything else. I appreciate the concern but somehow we were always napping (jetlag ugh) when this happened so I had to jump out of bed to answer the door.

Breakfast was plentiful with a variety of dishes that were given in addition to your breakfast order. I liked that you could order both an egg dish and a pancake/french toast dish. Egg dishes were OK. Avoid the pancakes and go for the french toast. We had dinner one night at the Rose Lounge outside. Service was slow. Our other dinner in the Juniper was great and I really liked the variety of dishes on the menu. Pool service during the day was excellent. The cabanas are first come-first serve and are nice places to relax. Note that both the outdoor and indoor pool close at 7PM so don't expect to swim at night. I knew this coming in but food and beverage are EXPENSIVE which makes sense for a resort on top of a mountain.

We did not pay for any extra excursions which was likely a mistake on my part. We did do the on-property hike which was a great easy hour hike.I thought the gym was great and well equipped. Weird nitpick but the gym had large glass bottles of water but no individual glasses. The gym windows look out toward the pool so the treadmills have a nice view during the sunrise. Overall it was a great stay. The pictures do not do it justice.
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