A Luxury Long Weekend in Oman, Middle East. / by Allan Hinton

 Infinity pool @ Anantara al Jabal.

Infinity pool @ Anantara al Jabal.

Introduction

I have an addiction to exploring the unknown and experiencing new cultures. So when I was invited to Oman in the Middle East there was absolutely no way I could say no. This was a chance to get a taster of a country that has intrigued me for so long.

And to be honest it was also turning cold, and rain was starting to fall a little too often for my liking, back home and I really fancied some winter sun!

The blog is broken down into two Anantara destinations. For the first part of the trip we heading into a glorious mountain side retreat and for the next two nights we headed to the ethereal southern coast of Salalah. Enjoy!

PART 1: ANANTARA AL JABAL, Luxury Mountain Escape.

Flying into Muscat we landed and immediately headed by car into the mountains. Upon arrival at Anantara Jabal we were offered local sweets and treats whist we we waited to for the check in process to progress. The date infused milk left the biggest mark on me - such a simple set of ingredients, not too sweet and refreshing and thirst quenching and perfect for a hot afternoon.

As soon as you exit the reception you see the dramatic course-way that seems to draw your eye out and to the never ending view which hangs over the cliff edge.

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The design isnt like anything I'd seem before. Its fascinating and eye-catching yet it totally fits in with the surrounding landscape. Its not too high and the pastel and earthy sandstone structure blends in.

Check out the view! This just a few metres from my bed. *top tip* make an effort to check out this view at sunset. 

 Champagne on the balcony, classy man!

Champagne on the balcony, classy man!

 View out over the valley at sunset.

View out over the valley at sunset.

The Infinity pool. Thats the first thing I had to check out, wouldn't you all! The setting, like the view from the room, was super special.

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FOOD AND DRINK AT ANANTARA AL JABAL

There is a wide selection of settings to eat at the hotel. Even, if wanting something unique and special, the hotel can arrange for you to have a waiter served dinner out on the glass edged platform that hands almost over the cliff!

My favourite location was the Al Qalaa which served up an Arabian grilled feast. Before we headed here were went up to the top floor cocktail lounge to indulge in locally inspired and infused drink creations.

On the final night we visit what Anantara have dubbed the highest Shesha lounge in the Middle East. No one held back and we all gave it a go as we cozily saw out the last day in the mountains.

See here for more details to wet your appetite.

 Food from Al Qalaa. Arabian fine dining.

Food from Al Qalaa. Arabian fine dining.

 Shesha <3

Shesha <3

THINGS TO DO

So you want to do a little more than just sit at the pool? Probably not ;) but I like to mix up my relaxation with some other things to help get the blood pumping or assist in helping me relax.

My top three things to do were Abseiling, the walking tour of three local towns and morning sunrise yoga - with a view! Its also worth shouting out that the resort has an awesome Spa within the resort complex. Good to know if want an authentic thai massage!

The abseiling was a great surprise to me. Its not often you get to do this kind of "once in a lifetime" activity unless you make the effort and have the time to head into the mountains. Al Jabal offers a great beginners course for those looking to try something new or to give themselves a boost of adrenaline before heading to relax in the sun. 

The walking tour (sadly for the first time EVER I lost my memory card with photos on it, so I don't have any pictures to share, ahh!) was a great way to get to know a little more about Omani life. Our guide was knowledgeable and kindly took us to the home that he grew up in and provided us with tea. It really was fascinating and really gave you some perspective on your own life and made you think about all the things you own at home and if they really are necessary.

The Sunrise yoga was just as you can imagine (although my photos do not do the view justice!). It was for beginners so please take this up even if you have never done it before! At that time in the morning the pool is also deserted and it was so nice taking a pre-breakfast dip after we had built up a sweat.

 Top class abseiling lessons right by the hotel.

Top class abseiling lessons right by the hotel.

PART 2: ANANTARA SALALAH

It was a thrill to into Salalah flying between lush green mountains and down into a desertscape and over a fascinating sandy sepia monotoned town below.

Anantara Salalah had a different feel to it to the hotel in the mountains. With more of a classy Thai beach resort feel to it. The design theme being inspired from the Thai heritage that runs through the Anantara brand.

The long pool surrounded by palms and leading to beach was nothing short of spectacular. I haven't seen such a beutiful beach side pool in such close proxemics to the beach.

 Fruit sellers outside of the hotel.

Fruit sellers outside of the hotel.

 We stopped here just before heading into the hotel for fresh fruit. There were ALOT of bananas!

We stopped here just before heading into the hotel for fresh fruit. There were ALOT of bananas!

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Tour of the bedroom [VIDEO] 

Food at the Anantara Salalah

The food at the Anantara Salalah was outstanding. Something to really write home about. On offer for dinner was International, Mediterranean and Speciality Asian Cuisine.  The latter was offered at the Mekong restaurant (image below) and it offered a variety of dishes from countries based along the Mekong river from South East Asia up into China.

As you may know I have travelled extensively over Asia (I've spent over 12 months there!) and this food was up there with the best. I often eat street food when abroad and I don't always have the chance to try local dishes at such a high standard. This was special.

 Mekong Restaurant Dish.

Mekong Restaurant Dish.

Top things to do at Anantara Salalah, Oman.

For me the highlights of the few days in the hotel were the Thai massage, riding the beach buggy and taking a local tour of a blow hole.

The Thai massage at the spa was without a doubt the best I'd EVER had. The fully respect your wishes for how hard they can go to, ha. Perfect for people who like it tough but not THAT tough and of course they can be gentle. But this is a Thai massage remember. The masseur was kind considerate and was as engaging and chatty to your own desires. I ended up falling asleep which felt heavenly.

The beach buggy was offered so how could I say no? we all had such a laugh on this and created some great Instagram Stories, which you may recall.

We were taken on a few hour tour to some dramatic cliffs which were beside some unique and noisy (in an exiting way) blow holes. On the way back we also went to the bluest of lakes which helped us cool down.

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 This went faster than you can imagine!

This went faster than you can imagine!

 

When to go to Oman?

Oman has a reliably warm climate and, as long as you avoid the scorching summer months between June and August, can be visited any time. The weather is at its most pleasant from October through to April, when temperatures are warm but cooler than the sweltering summer months and turtles can be seen at Ras al Jinz.

How to book Your stay at these hotels?

I simply think the best way would be to head right over to this page (not an affiliate link) of Anantara's website. Also will give you immediate info on availability. Have fun!

FAQ Questions about Oman

When I posted about the trip on my Instagram I was asked some questions about travelling to Oman so thought I'd share some of them, along with the answers here.

*Yes the country is safe, really. I never felt anything but kindness and everyone seemed so gently. Also no one stared at airports and so forth. This can sometimes be an issue for people when over in Asia.

*The country is fine for female travellers but you absolutely should respect clothing rules. Within the hotels its pretty relaxed and people tended to wear the same they would on a European or American holiday

Any more questions? just let me know below or pop me a DM message on Instagram!