Where to stay: four luxury hotels in Muscat

Sea views and golden sands take a starring role in the Omani capital’s plush hotel scene.

Published 13 Mar 2020, 06:00 GMT, Updated 5 Nov 2020, 05:13 GMT
When it comes to hotels, this swathe of the Middle East tends to be associated with ...
When it comes to hotels, this swathe of the Middle East tends to be associated with sprawling luxury resorts, and Muscat is no exception. But Oman prefers its hotels a little more natural, which is why you’ll see plenty of traditionally styled digs in this corner of the Arabian Peninsula.
Photograph by Getty

1. Muscat Hills Resort

Life’s a beach at these gorgeous mod con-equipped huts on the sands of the hotel’s private bay. With a private outdoor terrace and al fresco bathroom, this is a rare chance to get back to nature in Oman — but you’ll have air con, an Ibiza-style outdoor restaurant and sofas on the beach to keep it plush. There’s also a diving school and a beach club with monthly international DJs. From £120, B&B.

2. Wyndham Garden Muscat Al Khuwair

This December 2019 opening is a business district bargain. Two pools, steam rooms and saunas, and a Brazilian steakhouse liven up the public areas, while the rooms stay just the right side of business chic, with bright feature walls of foliage photos and funky tiled-brick bathrooms. From £63.

The W brand is known as outré and outrageous, but here it toes a subtler line, with classic, Omani-inspired decor.

3. W Muscat

When it comes to hotels, this swathe of the Middle East tends to be associated with sprawling luxury resorts, and Muscat is no exception. But Oman prefers its hotels a little more natural, which is why you’ll see plenty of traditionally styled digs in this corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Enter the W Muscat, which opened in September 2019 amid the bars and restaurants on the chic Shatti al-Qurum beachfront. The W brand is known as outré and outrageous, but here it toes a subtler line, with classic, Omani-inspired decor. Perhaps it’s all toned down to keep the focus on the ever-blue Gulf of Oman, just beyond the balcony of each of the 279 rooms. Not that the W underplays everything. The pool is accompanied by a mirrored bar, underwater loungers and florid cabanas, while the rooftop is home to the Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar, which serves pan- Mediterranean food and drinks overlooking another pool and the sea beyond. This may not be as full-on as other Ws, but it still packs a punch: marble-lashed corridors, sassy fluorescent-coloured lighting and modern art everywhere, including a vast steel frankincense tree outside the entrance, and gold stools in the shape of camels in the bathroom. From £210.

4. Kempinski Hotel Muscat

With a four-mile strip of beach, this hotel doesn’t need much else going for it; but actually, it’s got plenty, from three pools to no fewer than seven bars, plus a bowling alley. Rooms are standard luxury rather than Oman-inspired, but families love the kids’ club and the spa incorporates frankincense and rose into its treatments. From £170.

Published in the April 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Find us on social media

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Read More