Hotel Review: The Opulence of Oman at the Shangri-La Al Husn Resort and Spa
Oman is a special place. It is one of the friendliest of all the Middle East destinations with a rich and proud heritage and culture. Beyond its people there is nature’s beauty at every turn with prodigious mountain ranges, deserts, verdant date tree filled oasis’s, and miles and miles of beautiful white sand beaches and clear blue water. In such a place is the opulent icon of Omani hospitality, the Shangri -La Al Husn Resort and Spa.
A short drive from the bustling city centre of Muscat is where you’ll find the resort. The Shangri-La is sculpted out of the side of a mountain facing a peaceful cove and an expansive beach on the Sea of Oman. The views of the sea are astounding.The Shangri-La Al Husn Resort and Spa is an exclusive palace with all of the services and amenities that the most demanding clients could desire.
As you enter you’ll pass the valeted Ferraris, Bentley, and Rolls Royce’s which indicates the type of property this is and the experience you’re about to have. After the doorman smiles and welcomes you, you’ll enter an impressive foyer. Polished marble walkways lead to water fountains and a large Majlis sitting area. Omanis as well as foreigners sit on plush couches talking and taking afternoon tea. Date palms and traditional Dhofari architecture remind you that you are in Arabia.
Beyond the entrance is the expansive courtyard around a fountain pool. In the evening at the Al Husn in the lovely courtyard are the 30’s, 40’s, and 50 somethings enjoying the complimentary happy hour. As the sun goes down, at dusk the couples congregate with cocktails and canapés while chatting with friends and making new travel acquaintances.
The 180 rooms and suites Al Husn Resort and Spa offers Shangri-La’s highest level of service, amenities and privileges to the most discerning of travellers. These are amongst the largest and most luxurious in Oman, with an inviting décor inspired by royal Arabian palaces and accented by authentic Omani artworks. There is a private 100-metre beach, as well as a complimentary mini-bar, daily complimentary afternoon tea and pre-dinner cocktails and canapés service.
The accommodations are beyond first rate. Arabian-inspired décor with gorgeous views of the turquoise waters of the sea are complemented by a large room and elegant furnishings. The bathroom is made of Italian marble, has a large walk in closet, dressing area, large bath and separate shower and a dressing area.
There are services galore from complimentary shoe shine to WiFi. There is also a complimentary mini bar provided and restocked daily…they’ve thought of it all. The balconies are expansive with a sitting area along with a table for afternoon room service. It is the perfect place to take in the views of the sea or to relax while sunbathing.
There are a number of dining options at the Al Husn and next door at the hotel’s two sister properties. The Shahrazad restaurant is the only authentic Moroccan restaurant in Muscat. We were welcomed by the rich fabric and deep colours of Shahrazad’s interiors and the live Moroccan music takes guests on a culinary adventure.
Another really nice touch was the afternoon tea service. Sitting out on the expansive terrace, guests receive a canapé tray of various sandwiches and pastries and the selection of teas and drinks. It was complimentary, making it another delightful surprise.
The location of the property facing the Sea of Oman is striking, the beach is refreshing with gentle waves creating a place to frolic like a child. There is also a private beach for Al Husn guests where nattily dressed beach boys are at the ready to bring a cool drink or fresh towel. As if the ocean wasn’t enough, another refreshing option is the large infinity edge pool. Like everything else at Al Husn, it is huge and amazing.
The hotel offers so much to do, not to mention the art gallery and other services provide at the adjacent hotels in the complex. This is Shangri-La so they have their renowned Chi spa which allows guests to enjoy the privacy and luxury of the largest spa villas in Muscat.
From the calm serenity of the Spa’s welcoming inner sanctum, guests can enjoy the experience of the unique CHI Water Oasis, featuring a vitality hydro pool, a herbal steam room, tundra and tropical showers, an ice fountain and a relaxation area.
Away from the property, there are countless outdoor activities, from exploring Muscat to activities in and on the water, all of which can all be arranged by the concierge.
What brings it all together is the professional and friendly staff. Oman is arguably the most genuinely friendly destination in the Middle East. From the stranger who gives directions to the shopkeeper in the souq, Omani are sincerely friendly people.
So when it comes to the staff at the hotel, they are torchbearers of the warmth of Omani hospitality. And it is that warm that really makes the stay at the amazing Shangri-La Al Husn Resort and Spa an experience to cherish and to easily recommend.