Oman is a rare mix of the exotic and familiar, traditional and modern, safe and exciting. Add to that the clutch of slick hotels dotted around the country – which range from desert camps to ornate palaces – and you have a destination just waiting to be discovered.
These are the best luxury hotels in Oman, located in the capital Muscat, the Musandam Peninsula near Dubai and Wahiba Sands, a remote sea of red-rust sand dunes, best experienced on a guided desert tour
The Chedi Muscat is all about understated elegance and a perfect mix of Omani architecture and Asian Zen-style. Great for relaxing, this luxury hotel offers a private beach with views across the Gulf, an exceptional spa and an award-winning restaurant serving Thai, contemporary and Arabic fare from open kitchens.
A member of Leading Hotels of the World, The Chedi is Oman’s first contemporary hotel. The minimalist low-rise rooms and suites are accentuated by gardens of symmetrical simplicity, with lines of manicured hedges and ordered pools of water creating a tranquil calm. All 158 rooms and suites have great views across the gardens and ponds, mountains and the Gulf of Oman.
The Chedi is the pick of Muscat’s luxury hotels, close to the city and the new Wave golf and luxury villa development.
The Shangri-La Barr al Jissah is the biggest resort in Oman and easily has the most facilities, with 20 restaurants and cafes, a dive centre and much, much more.
It is actually split into three separate hotels: Al Bandar, ‘The Town’ is at the heart of the resort and ideal for leisure and business guests; Al Waha, ‘The Oasis’, is perfect for families; while Al Husn, ‘The Castle’ is an ultra exclusive retreat offering high levels of luxury and hospitality.
Al Husn has the only authentic Moroccan restaurant in Oman (Shahrazad, which is a real treat) along with Bentley limos; Al Bandar has a traditional 40-shop retail ‘souk’; while Al Waha has a snaking lazy current pool, camel rides and nesting turtle sites on the beach.
The Al Bustan Palace is an outstanding luxury hotel set against a dramatic backdrop of mountains. Recently acquired by Ritz-Carlton, the top floor is still reserved solely for heads of state, cared for by staff from the Sultan’s own palace.
Rooms are immaculate and suites come with an exclusive butler service. The hotel’s China Mood restaurant is one of the best Chinese restaurants in the gulf. Run by a Beijing native, it’s no wonder the roast Peking duck and Beijing hot and sour soup are specialities.
Six Senses Zighy Bay is located on the northern Musandam Peninsula in the Sultanate of Oman, a 90-minute drive from Dubai. The setting of this beautiful indigenous village style hotel and private marina is spectacular, with the dramatic mountains on one side and over a mile of sandy beach at Zighy Bay on the other.
Each of the villas, carefully designed and furnished to reflect local Omani culture, feature its own infinity pool, hidden away to secure a maximum of privacy and tranquillity.
The spa’s wide-ranging menu of regional and Six Senses signature treatments focuses on holistic and pampering therapies using only natural products, with international therapists combining the best of east and west.
Desert Nights Camp is an oasis in the Wahiba Sands region of Oman. It’s a luxurious escape in the vast emptiness of the Omani desert, surrounded by sprawling rust-red sand dunes.
Optional excursions here include camel safaris, dune trekking, a visit to the refreshing Wadi Bani Khalid pools, or a visit to the local fort or souk.