The Arabian peninsula has become the it girl of travel. Frequented by celebrity yachts, the unique landscapes where the deserts meet the sea are a sight to behold, enticing travellers from all corners of the globe. As the region embraces its rightful place in the tourism industry, the Sultanate of Oman may be one of the last glimpses remaining into Middle Eastern Arab culture. Oman’s capital, Muscat, blends the old and the new, with contemporary high-rises juxtaposed against decorative minarets, sounding the discernible calls to prayer throughout the day. After a day of exploring the bustling Mutrah Souk, or a day trip by the cooling natural oasis of Wadi Bani Khalistan, Muscat has a narrowly rivalled offering of lavish lodgings for some much needed rest and relaxation.
Al Bustan Palace - Ritz Carlton
The Al Bustan Palace is spectacular. Situated between the Sea of Oman and the jagged Al Hajar Mountains, this epic hotel is a destination in itself. The complex of this Ritz-Carlton Hotel is secluded, sitting at the rim of the Gulf of Oman, merging into the dramatic landscape effortlessly. Despite the grandiose nature of the resort, with its five dazzling pools and three restaurants, the feeling of tourism escapes you, priding itself on its traditionally Omani hospitality. You’re welcomed more as an esteemed guest of the Sultanate of Oman, and end up never wanting to leave.
Shangri-La Al Husn
The Shangri-La Al Husn sits atop a cliff, overlooking the Gulf of Oman. It’s the royal treatment only at this Omani-style palace hotel, as you are welcomed through the symmetrically etched doors. Designed to echo historically Omani architecture, the nude shades and mahogany interiors of the suites at the Shangri-La Husn compliment the sandy tones of the surrounding cove. Walk through the water gardens to the alluring infinity pool, where the horizon fuses with the pristine sea water, or relax in the Hareer Spa. The four restaurants on the complex, inspired by Chef Marco De Vincentis, derive their produce locally for delicious authenticity.
The Chedi Muscat
The Chedi Muscat is one of the original luxury hotels in Oman, setting the standard for elegance and quiet opulence, and is able to boast the longest pool in the Middle East. Dozens of palms stand out against the grand whitewashed exterior, whilst the minimalist interior of the rooms and suites exude the simple nature of Omani lifestyle. The hotel spa practices Ayurvedic holistic therapies, which guarantee to leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and energised. In the evenings, dine at one of the six restaurants, offering cuisines from Mediterranean to Southeast Asian. Don’t forget to pack your Venezia Espadrille, the perfectly patterned Solana shoe for pairing with your white and beige neutrals, whilst you dine alfresco.