Shangri-La Al Husn, Oman: Muscat’s glamorous lodge brings the enjoyable
A short drive from the sights and sounds of Muscat, along a new road that winds through dramatic rock formations, you arrive at a glamorous resort in a secluded location on a cliff. Shangri-La Al Husn has a prime location overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Oman and has its own private beach. While one of the hotel’s selling points is that it’s adults-only, this exclusive destination is still all about having fun – in style.
You may have already seen the majestic courtyard in the center of this large resort, it’s so popular with Instagrammers. The shot of choice is the traditional Arabic archway that leads to a palm-fringed infinity pool that forms the heart of the resort. Feel free to spend the hours here, enjoying free fruit or ice cream served right on your lounger, or heading to the pristine private beach. Do you feel adventurous? There’s also kayaking and biking – or if the sun is too much, just book a massage at L’Occitane Spa.
This is a modern property, but the architecture ripples on classic Middle Eastern tropes. Simple, elegant archways frame the view from your room (each of the 189 spacious bedrooms has either a balcony or terrace, and all overlook the ocean). The interiors are up to date with pampering marble bathrooms, but feature Arabic lightning bolts in their embroidered lampshades and carved wooden shades.
Take a morning to tour Muscat. In particular, visit the Sultan Qaboos Great Mosque. When it opened in 2001, it featured both the largest chandelier in the world and a one-piece rug. They are spectacular to see – as is the sleek white exterior, which is reflected in the expanse of polished marble paving that surrounds this huge structure. Other highlights include the Mutrah Souq, where you can buy a traditional Dishdasha, and the Bait Al Zubair Museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of Oman. If you have time, ask your driver to take you to the water, where you can marvel at the gigantic yachts for Sultan Qaboos.
After filling your appetite, return to the resort for lunch at the Mahhara Beach Bar. This airy and relaxed al fresco restaurant offers salads, wraps and grilled dishes as well as welcome shade from the midday sun. In the afternoon there is free afternoon tea in the courtyard and later cocktails before dinner. Evening options include the more formal Shahrazad, which serves traditional Omani, Lebanese, and Moroccan dishes in a modern dining room. Alternatively, if you feel particularly pampered, you can opt for the dining experience on a cliff – a table for two on your own rock. It perfectly captures the special mix of fun and exclusivity that defines the entire company.
Prices at the Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa in Muscat start at £ 210 per room per night including breakfast (subject to 17% service charge and taxes). +968 24 776388. shangri-la.com
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