World-class hotels in Muscat

From a Diamond ranked major Middle East traveler:

There are two world class hotels in Muscat, Oman, for readers who may venture that far afield. Muscat caters to wealthy, mainly European, visitors. It is quiet and does not welcome the raucous, low rent crowd you may encounter in Dubai. On the other hand, the nightlife is limited, with no clubs and most of the good restaurants found in hotels. A very good Indian restaurant is the Copper Chimney, which is independent.


The first hotel is the Chedi, which is a self-contained resort affiliated with the Setai in South Beach. Very much channeling the Zen/Asian vibe, Aman Hotel atmosphere. Direct Arabian Sea waterfront, with three very large pools (one of which must be well over 100 meters long), ad well as three or four very nice restaurants and a great gym. This hotel is worth a detour. I go to Muscat on business and stay there, but am invariably the only person in a suit. This is a top resort and priced accordingly.


Also worth a detour and meal even if you are staying elsewhere, is the Al Bustan Palace hotel. For many years, it was an Intercon (although not like any Intercon you have ever stayed in before), though the Ritz Carlton has recently assumed the management contract. Very large, over-the-top lobby, numerous restaurants and shops, and extensive gardens leading to a well-maintained beach directly on the Arabian Sea. There are two styles of rooms, “European” and  ”Arabian. I prefer the latter, which had Moroccan inspired tile-work. The site for this hotel was blasted out of the mountains and it is seemingly entirely surrounded by rugged rock mountains on three sides and the sea on the other.


A sidebar trip in Muscat is a visit to Old Muscat, the site of the Sultan’s amazing guest palace and old, very well-maintained government buildings. Frequently, the Sultan’s very large dhow (traditional Arabian sailing vessel), with a striking black hull, is parked at the coast guard station in Old Muscat.


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