Where to stay in Oman
Oman’s tourist infrastructure has actually been in place for decades but travellers are only now beginning to enjoy its delights. The fantastic variety of accommodation means that you can enjoy first class hotels and beach resorts, mountain lodges, desert camps, simple village houses and even wild camping all on a week-long family holiday to Oman.
What is a typical hotel in Oman like?
Oman has some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Many are built in spectacular locations with views to die for and are beautifully furnished with world class service.
However, it would be be fair to say that in general Oman is completely lacking in a good selection of atmospheric mid-range boutique hotels. Most are relatively large but very ‘generic’ and although they provide comfortable rooms they are lacking in character.
What about on the beach?
Many families want to end their trip on the beach and where possible the best option is to have a splurge and go for one of the well-known high-end hotels. These will have a good beach side location and often a number of swimming pools.
One of our favourites is the Shangri-La Al Waha. The largest of the three hotels at the Barr Al Jissah resort, its name means ‘oasis’ and the landscape has been designed with this in mind, incorporating many date palms and gardens between its numerous swimming pools, bars and restaurants. All rooms have sea views with either patio or balcony and family rooms comprise interconnecting bedrooms, each with their own spacious bathroom.
The entire resort is located in a dramatic setting with steep, rugged mountains to its rear and the gorgeous beaches and clear waters of the Gulf of Oman forming a natural barrier at the front. Access is unusual via a man-made tunnel through the mountain, about 15 minutes from Muscat, from which you emerge to be confronted by traditional Dhofari architecture, palm trees and a dramatic coastline.
There is a mini-village feel to the resort with craft shops, an outdoor amphitheatre, art gallery and even a traditional souk. There are special children’s pools and a splashpad aquatic play area. For water sports fanatics there is diving, water skiing, kayaking etc and for those who want to chill out more, sunset or dolphin-watching cruises or simply just enjoying the 600 metre private beach.
For those on a tighter budget you can either choose a 3-4 star hotel in a less central location, or you could consider staying in a city hotel in Mucsat itself and perhaps taking a day trip to the beach. A good example of the former is the Millenium Resort Mussanah. About an hour away from Muscat, this is a large hotel that has the added bonus of being built around a marina thus offering fantastically safe and protected waters for little swimmers. To be frank however, it is a little lacking in character.
There is an excellent restaurant offering a variety of cuisine in an attractive Moorish setting and a spa, health club, mini-golf and tennis courts are all on site. There are five swimming pools (one exclusive to families) as well as the beach and various sailing and snorkelling excursions are available. Therefore there are a wide variety of activities and the children will probably be very happy. However, the more remote location from Muscat and the slightly characterless nature of the hotel does mean that this is not for everyone. Have a good look at the reviews to see if it will suit.
Are there any other options?
Nestled deep in the mountains above Muscat is the tiny mountain village of Misfah, about 25 miles from Nizwa. Here you can stay at the Misfah Old House, a traditional Omani lodge offering simple, welcoming accommodation. The house is located in the centre of the village and provides basic ‘mattress on the floor’ bedding options with sometimes shared bathroom facilities. However the rooms are clean and the roof terrace and verandah offer stunning views over the valley below.
The steep terraced mountainside is irrigated by a natural spring and children will love meandering through the date and banana palm groves or taking a donkey ride through the narrow winding streets without the hindrance of traffic. This is a fantastically friendly village where locals will happily stop to ‘chat’ (or at least mime with their hands) or share some traditional Omani delicacies with you. A firm favourite with all of our travellers and a memorable stop between the mountains, desert and coast.
For something a bit different perhaps consider a night or two wild camping on the beach! Who wouldn’t enjoy an evening spent camping in the magical environment of a secluded, safe, sandy beach with all equipment provided. We have found the perfect location near the small village of Fins where steep cliffs drop to idyllic white beaches and beautiful turquoise sea. Children will love exploring the tiny coves and you will all enjoy a delicious barbeque dinner cooked right on the sand. Fall asleep to the lapping of the waves after a peaceful sunset and wake to the cry of the gulls before taking a morning dip in the sea. A true family adventure.
These are just a few examples of places to stay in Oman that past travellers have enjoyed. All our holidays are tailor-made, so once we have found out a bit more about you and your family, we will suggest a range of properties or types of accommodation that we think will suit you best.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
Oman in pictures
Talk with our friendly team about your family travel needs.