Society Magazine - page 39

n the first week of NewYear I received
an e-mail invitingme to a press trip to
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Being on
a press trip ismy favoriteway to travel,
andOmanwas one of the places I wanted
to explore this year. The combination
seemed unbeatable. The three days press
tour, jointly organised by Shangri-La Barr
Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Oman, andQa-
tar Airways, was held to introduce their
latest endeavours to a group of journalists
Combining breathtaking natural beauty
with awell-preserved cultural heritage,
Sultanate of Oman is one of the least
known yet most exciting and safe tourist
destinations in theMiddle East. This
blessed country boasts 2,700kmof beau-
tiful and sandy beaches. Unlike itsmore
commercial neighbours, Oman embodies
the true essence andmystique of Arabia,
steeped in history andmyth, fromSinbad
the Sailor to the Queen of Sheba.
Oman’s tourism industry turned a new
leaf when Shangri-La laid its fountain
inMuscat back in 2006. The resort,
spectacularly tucked between rugged
mountains and the tranquil lagoon on the
outskirts of Muscat, provides the ultimate
in luxury accommodation. It is a fully
integrated destination resort fromwhere
both leisure and business travellers can
enjoy the perfect opportunity to have an
ultimate relaxing holiday, conduct busi-
ness in a tranquil environment, unwind
in luxury and discover this historic land
of contrasts and culture.
The three-hotel luxury resort is set on
124 acres of distinctive scenery approxi-
mately 45minutes fromMuscat Interna-
tional Airport. Located on the bay (“barr”)
against a dramatic backdrop of rugged
mountains fronting the Sea of Oman, it is
only 20minutes away fromdowntown
The property comprises the exclusive Al
Husn (The Castle), Al Bandar (The Town)
and the family-oriented Al Waha (The
Oasis) hotels. All 640 rooms and suites
overlook the Sea of Oman, providing
guests with 600metres (1,968.5 feet) of
pristine coastline.
The three hotels share 22 food and bev-
erage outlets that offer amix of dining op-
tions, frompoolside snacks to speciality
restaurants. Each of themain restaurants
serves a unique cuisine, such as Leba-
nese, Moroccan, Italian, Middle Eastern,
Indian, Asian and SouthAmerican.
Out of three, wewere offered to stay at the
Al Husn– themost prestigious of the three
hotels – is one of the largest andmost lux-
urious inOman. Overlooking the rest of
the resort, Al Husn is a luxurious enclave
set on a dramatic headland that offers the
most beautiful views of the surrounding
mountains and seascape.
At the entrance, wewere greetedwith cof-
fee and dates by a gentlemanwhowore
“kandura,” a traditional Omani attire. What
better way to bewelcomed? After check-
ing in, wewere assisted to our rooms.
“You are going to stay in the deluxe room
which has a beautiful sea views,” the
gentleman toldmewith a pleasing smile.
Deluxe Seaview rooms, as their name
suggests, open up entrancing panoramas
of the Gulf of Oman from their furnished
balconies or terrace.
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