The capital of Oman has long been an important trading port. Surrounded by deserts, mountains and glorious coastline, this Middle Eastern gem provides the backdrop for an exotic break. These are our recommendations for the most opulent stays in Muscat.
Kempinski Hotel Muscat Oman
Located in Al Mouj, this stunning resort, part of the wider Kempinksi group, has everything you need for a luxury contemporary beach vacation. The design is slick and plush with traditional Arabic touches throughout. Developed by the Omani Hospitality Company, it has 310 rooms, eleven places to eat and drink, two swimming pools, a tennis court, watersports, concierge, business centre, luxury transfer service, a spa and health club. With a kids’ club, kids’ pool, family rooms and full-sized residences, Kempinski Hotel caters well for parents and children. The World Travel Awards Middle East named it Oman’s Leading Beach Resort and when you visit it’s easy to see why.
Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Known to be one of the finest five-star hotels in the world, you’ll feel like royalty during a stay here – it was originally built as the home for Oman’s Sultan Qaboos. Expect palatial surroundings with oodles of gold, marble and crystal, contrasted with a relaxed pace of life. Renovations in 2018 were overseen by WATG and Wimberly Interiors, adding contemporary elements, to the existing extravagant opulence. It boasts the tallest atrium in the country, an entire amusement/water park for children and a six senses spa offering 24-carat gold facials. Dine alfresco between the beach and the pool, tuck into seafood at the Beach Pavilion, take The Ritz’s famed tea in the lobby or opt for authentic Chinese cuisine. Around thirty minutes from the airport, it’s sandwiched between the mountains and the Gulf of Oman.
The Chedi Muscat – a GHM hotel
Twenty-one acres of lush gardens accommodate 158 rooms and villas, in this desert oasis. It’s also home to the longest pool in the Middle East (the pool is reserved for adults, giving it a serene vibe, but there are two more on-site). A peaceful place to holiday, The Chedi Muscat is low rise with calming Japanese water features, Islamic archways, palms, hammams and a private beach. But it’s also family-friendly with spacious villas ideal for larger groups or extended stays. There’s a sense of the local heritage here – doormen are adorned in traditional dress, the eight restaurants offer a wide range of Eastern dishes as well as European ones and you can enjoy shisha in a dedicated lounge – and don’t miss the buffet in the charming Arabic Courtyard.
Grand Hyatt Muscat
The Grand Hyatt’s Muscat residence is well-placed for sightseeing the region’s souqs, mosques and the Mutrah Corniche, but with all the benefits of a beachside location. With an upscale business centre and top of the range meeting rooms, it’s a popular choice for high profile conferences and conventions. It has 280 rooms, eight varied restaurants (including Peruvian, Italian, Indian and a rooftop grill), cafes and bars. This hotel even has a nightclub – you may be in Muscat, but here you can party the night away at the Copacabana club. The interior design is classically elegant, balancing old and modern style – its pièce de résistance being a huge stained glass window beside the pool. Rooms are spacious and sophisticated, some with fourposter beds and sitting rooms.
The lively Shatti Al Qurum beachfront is an ideal setting for this funky hotel, just twenty minutes from the airport. Almost all of W’s 279 rooms provide sea views and the hotel group takes a fresh approach to its accommodation. Instead of standardised categories, suites are named: Wonderful, Spectacular, Fabulous, Marvellous, Fantastic, Wow and Extreme Wow. The interiors have more of a focus on hip and trendy than most of Muscat’s other hotels, making this a popular choice for younger visitors in search of a party. Buddha-bar brings Siddharta Lounge to W – a rooftop, poolside lounge venue, open all day and long after dark. Their WET venue, enables guests to swim with a live DJ providing beats and WET Deck’s floor to ceiling mirrored bar creates the illusion of being immersed in the sea – while sipping on cocktails. There’s also a number of renowned restaurants, a super spa and fitness suite.
Hormuz Grand Muscat, A Radisson Collection Hotel
Radisson’s global properties include this 231 room hotel, flanked by the Muscat hills. It attracts many business guests due to its eight well-equipped conference rooms, including an impressive 390-square-meter ballroom and golfers keen to visit the Al Mouj course. The decor has an international feel with Eastern design accents, while light linens and dark polished floors evoke a soothing sophistication. There are several restaurants, a spa, fitness centre and bars. Whether you want to relax or energise, there’s a venue to suit. The pool and gorgeous waterside courtyard is a definite highlight – a marvellous spot to enjoy a sundowner.