Review of Hotel Shangri La’s Al Husn, Muscat

Tremendous setting, nice beaches and premium facilities

My husband and I choose the Al Husn for our one week’s stay to spend some leisure time and to celebrate New Year’s Eve. When we were last time in Muscat, we stayed at the Al Bustan Hotel and decided to give the Shangri La a shot and were well-advised!

The whole resort (where the Al Husn is the premium hotel with adult guests only) is wonderfully located amidst rock formations alongside the Omani coastline, very nice and secluded.

The Al Husn on top of a rock features a private pool and beach which were enjoyable and well-maintained but unfortunately these areas were very busy, it was sometimes difficult to find a sunbed as the hotel seemed to be full. In addition, many sunbeds had been taken in advance (without people being present). The employees delivered a cooler box with drinks and a facial spray, also cold towels and occasionally nibbles were offered. Complimentary for al Husn guests were an afternoon tea in the Sultanah Restaurant as well as pre-dinner drinks and canapés at the courtyard, a nice touch and well appreciated by us.

We had booked a Deluxe Sea View Rom and were satisfied with the choice. The room was large and well-appointed although I personally didn’t like the thick carpet, but that’s a question of taste (I would have preferred no carpet at all as the climate in Muscat is rather humid and I found that the room smelled somewhat musty). Anyway, the room was fine as it was the bathroom, which was spacious with a tub and a large separate shower. Pity, that there was only one sink … There was also a nice balcony were you could enjoy the gorgeous view. A mini bar with free drinks (no spirits) and snacks was also at our disposal.

Breakfast at the Sultanah Restaurant was great, a huge buffet and an a la carte choice were offered. As far as restaurants are concerned, there is a good choice, catering for all tastes. As we are foodies and aren’t into buffet restaurants, we went for the upscale restaurants. The quality in general was very good, but they were also very pricey. When the hotel is full, it’s recommended to reserve in advance. In the Al Husn Hotel, I would recommend Sultanah for international cuisine, fine food and likewise priced. Also the adjacent Moroccan restaurant Shahrazad is a good choice for good authentic food. In the Al Bandar Hotel, we went to the Capri Court and enjoyed the delicious Italian food. If you want to have an after dinner drink, don’t miss the fabulous Piano Bar in this hotel. There you will not only find a beautiful bar, but also terrific drinks, very recommended! When you are into sea food, go to Bait Al Bahr on the hotel grounds. We were there twice and were delighted by the offered. On New Year’s Eve, we first had champagne and canapés at the courtyard, then a exquisite six course dinner at Sultanah (alcoholic beverages included, additional charge of OMR 120 per person), after that there was a band, more food and drinks as well as impressive fireworks at Turtle Beach, very enjoyable!

Service throughout the resort was great, it was second to none (even the Four Seasons). Employees were eager to please you at every possible opportunity. We also had the chance to chat with the general manager and other people in senior positions as they mingled with the guests, exemplarily. On New Year, the general manager of the Al Husn came along when guests were at the pool, offered a Tequila Sunrise and wished a happy new year, a nice touch.

When you are interested in having a look around in the nearby area, go to the souks, the sultan’s palace and the Grand Mosque, but don’t book a desert trip through the hotel, it’s not worthwhile (a 7 hours round trip by car for a short stay with the – touristy – Bedouins).
All in all, the Shangri La’s Al Husn is a very recommended destination when looking for a place for R&R.

Date of stay: December 2012

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