Oman Recommendations

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Old Apr 30, 16, 4:52 pm
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Oman Recommendations

Doing 5 nights in Oman as a getaway, followed by 2 nights in Dubai with the SO. Currently thinking:

2 nights Chedi Muscat
2 nights Alila Jabal Akhdar
1 night Desert Nights Camp

Likely will do FS in Dubai, but less concerned about Dubai at this point.

Anyone have any comments on the above Oman hotels? Is Chedi past its prime? They want $750++ a night (I've heard the base level rooms are no good, so this is for a Deluxe room), which seems awfully steep.

Anyone here stay at the Alila yet? I believe it opened back in 2014 and I can only find good reviews.

Looking for a nice mix of R&R and "adventure". I put that in quotes because although we are in our 20's, we are both the opposite of sporty. At the same time, we get bored just sitting around at the beach / pool.

I'm considering the SL or R-C Muscat just because rates are half of that of the Chedi, and if we're just using the hotel as a jump-off point to explore Oman (e.g., would love to check out all the cool wadis in the area), it may not be worth it.

We LOVE driving, so definitely will be renting a car (4x4 required for Alila) for the entire trip to explore on our own. With that in mind, maybe skip the Alila altogether and use Muscat as a base for all 4 nights, then do 1 night desert camp for something "different"? Or even skip the desert camp all-together?

Decisions, decisions!

pricesquire has already gave me his thoughts directly, but I'd love to hear from the greater community as well .
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Old Apr 30, 16, 5:18 pm
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Love Oman. Beautiful - and easily navigable - country.

We spent 5 (I believe) nights based in Muscat at the RC six or so years ago. Not my favorite hotel, but was perfectly nice (1 BR suite) ... especially considering we, like yourself, went out on driving excursions.

Did have a nice pool/beach area.

We swung by the Chedi - just stayed last fall at sister property in Ubud, which we loved - and it looked nice. Didn't like the location as much, though.

There's also, as you mentioned, the SL. Had our anniversary dinner at Shahrazad, which was absolutely lovely ... still discuss it today. BUT, SL did seem to be quite the complex; like 5 properties in one.

Regardless, you'll have an AMAZING time. Wadi Shab, with the Keyhole cave, was fantastic, as were the Opera House, Nizwa, Jabrin, Jebel Shams ... sigh.
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Old May 1, 16, 2:12 am
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We spent two weeks driving around Oman 5 years ago, and stayed (among other places) at the Chedi, Shangri-La, and Desert Nights Camp.

Shangri-La is indeed a large complex with 3 different hotels, some of them quite family oriented. We preferred it to the Chedi, though. We stayed at Al Husn, the most upscale of the three hotels. At the time, it didn't admit children under 16. It has a private beach, not open to the guests of the other hotels. Excellent service throughout. Excellent complimentary tea time every afternoon. Wide choice of restaurants, including excellent fish/seafood.

The Chedi is more centrally located (better to explore Muscat), but the surrounding area is not that great. The beach is also not that great, its basically in the city. Our stay was not bad - we did enjoy the design, also great food, but the service was a bit lacking. Too few sunbeds around the pool, for example, and they didn't care.

Would also recommend Desert Nights Camp for one night. Not luxury, but a nice experience for one night in the desert, and the tents are quite comfortable. We drove there by ourselves in a 4x4, easily doable.
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Old May 1, 16, 9:23 am
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Thanks to both with the tips. I too stayed at the Chedi Ubud, which we absolutely loved, but not quite seeing the same value for the Muscat location.

Based on these comments I think I might go with the RC or SL instead.

Any other tips regarding other areas / hotels to stay in while at Oman?

Glad to hear the desert experience is worth one night!
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Old May 1, 16, 12:34 pm
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We stayed at the RC Al Bustan Palace for 9 nights in a Lagoon Room in October 2015. It was a very pleasant experience.

However, we only left to visit the Grand Mosque and the Mutrah Souq. Did some sailing and a lot of eating.

The rooms in the central tower are very nice. The wings (including the Lagoon Rooms) while not unpleasant are starting to date a bit. I was told (take this as you want) that these rooms would see some refurbishment during 2016 as there is a GCC meeting in 2017.

The average guest age was a bit higher than 20's (as we are) but that might just have been our timings.

Last edited by zeitgeist; May 1, 16 at 12:47 pm
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Old May 2, 16, 7:36 am
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Last edited by QPRfan; Nov 6, 18 at 8:49 am
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Old Oct 22, 16, 8:45 am
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Bumping this up. I think we've pretty much settled on Al Bustan Palace for 3 nights, followed by Alila Jabal Akhdar outside of Nizwa.

However, it looks like Anantara has just opened a new property to directly compete with the Alila.

http://jabal-akhdar.anantara.com/

Room rates are a bit higher, and don't include half-board. The property is somewhat bigger (~30 more rooms), and has 3 restaurants versus the 1 that Alila has.

The Anantara has just opened recently so I don't expect anyone to have visited it yet by now, and we'll be traveling in March, so I hope that any opening pains will be fixed by then.

The Alila is highly regarded here and elsewhere on the internet. Any reason to stray from this and try out the Anantara that I am missing? Having never stayed at either brand before, I'm shooting a bit in the dark here.
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Old Oct 24, 16, 7:37 pm
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have you considered the Six Senses in Oman?
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Old Oct 24, 16, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by kzap View Post
have you considered the Six Senses in Oman?
We haven't. It's pretty far from Muscat and very overpriced in my mind. They want well over $1K per night, and I just don't see the value there - it certainly does not blow me away and there are many other places I'd rather go to at that rate. If I wanted a relaxing beach vacation, this isn't what comes to mind. I think it is primarily catering to Dubai families, since it's driving distance from Dubai.
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Old Oct 25, 16, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by kzap View Post
have you considered the Six Senses in Oman?
+1. Killer property!!
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Old Oct 25, 16, 9:29 pm
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We usually go to the Chedi but went to the Al Bustan last year before the Chedi on the recommendation of friends. I wouldn't go again. The Chedi is a luxury hotel (get a suite of a club room/room in gardens as the basic rooms in the main block at the Chedi are awful) but the Al Bustan is just a Starwood type chain hotel.

At the Al Bustan the rooms were really dated we were in one that had a balcony onto the pool. Although the hotel seemed empty they had crammed all the guests into a small section and so it was noisy. Lots of large families seemed to be crammed into 1 room.

There was only 1 restaurant open- Chinese and we couldn't get a table so we had to eat in the lobby. The other restaurant was a Buffett and its as trashed and tired when we looked it.

The food at the Chedi is amazing. We go off season and so only the main restaurant open but the food is delicious and for us from the UK quite reasonably priced (pre Brexit currency though).

So if you want a luxury hotel go to the Chedi. If you want a decent but main range resort hotel go to the Al Bustan. The prices reflect what you get.
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Old Oct 26, 16, 12:35 pm
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There are several floors at the Al Bustan that have been completely renovated. You must insist on one of these.
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Old Oct 26, 16, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by speedbird001 View Post
There are several floors at the Al Bustan that have been completely renovated. You must insist on one of these.
Nice tip. Luckily my SO is Marriott Platinum, so I hope that is enough to guarantee a renovated floor. I will reach out to the hotel directly a bit closer to the trip.

Just can't justify the Chedi with our travel budget this year. Not expecting much from the R-C, but the renovated rooms look much better than the non-renovated ones, based on TripAdvisor pictures.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post
Bumping this up. I think we've pretty much settled on Al Bustan Palace for 3 nights, followed by Alila Jabal Akhdar outside of Nizwa.

However, it looks like Anantara has just opened a new property to directly compete with the Alila.

http://jabal-akhdar.anantara.com/

Room rates are a bit higher, and don't include half-board. The property is somewhat bigger (~30 more rooms), and has 3 restaurants versus the 1 that Alila has.

The Anantara has just opened recently so I don't expect anyone to have visited it yet by now, and we'll be traveling in March, so I hope that any opening pains will be fixed by then.
Any chance anyone has visited the Anantara? We are booked at the Alila but wanted to see if anyone has any new feedback on the Anantara. Both are similar concepts but the Anantara looks much bigger. Their villas do have private pools which is nice, but not a game-changer.
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Old Mar 22, 17, 3:52 am
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We're currently at the Alila Jabal Akhdar and having a fantastic time. We checked in yesterday afternoon and will be leaving tomorrow around noon, and wish we had an extra night. I'll put together a TR at some point since little has been written about this property (other than the great review from the Luxury Travel Expert), but suffice to say this is an excellent property. Think Amangiri at a third of the price. Not a perfect stay, but I am enjoying it greatly.
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