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Al Bustan Palace

Al Bustan Palace and Jebel Akhdar Mountains

Discover the magnificent scenery, ancient forts and deserted villages of the Jebel Akhdar mountains before returning to Muscat for a week in luxury, relaxing in the beachfront Al Bustan Palace.

Whats Included:
3 nights Jebel Akhdar Mountains, including breakfast; 7 nights Al Bustan Palace, including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers.

12 days from £2,395pp

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Sophie

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On the beach - 7 days

Al Bustan Palace

The Al Bustan Palace showcases Arabian opulence at its finest. This palatial hotel has long been known as one of the most luxurious in the Middle East.

Ever since its creation, this hotel has been providing first-rate service and accommodation as you'd expect from a member of the Ritz-Carlton group. Set not far from old Muscat, it also has the advantage of extensive landscaped gardens, and a long stretch of private beach.

The hotel has a buzz about it, due to its size and proximity to Muscat. As well as those looking to relax in the beautiful surroundings, you may come across people planning a trip to the desert, locals meeting for tea, or expats enjoying a drink.

Guests are welcomed by a soaring atrium, richly decorated in a traditional style, with a crystal chandelier and fountain, and the rooms are designed to reflect local traditions while providing state-of-the-art facilities.

Before the beach - 3 days

Jebel Akhdar Mountains

Jebel Akhdar, the Green Mountain, is part of the rugged Al Hajar range and one of Oman's most spectacular regions. Ideal for walking and trekking, the magnificent scenery and rich history make for a rewarding stay with ancient forts and castles, deserted villages and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore. Cooler temperatures and higher rainfall provide good conditions for the cultivation of walnuts, pomegranates and Oman's famous damask roses, and the verdant terraced fields are what gives the region its name. Remote and largely untamed, a trip here provides a unique perspective on life in Oman's mountains.

Perched on the rim of a dramatic gorge, Alila Jabal Akhdar has a spectacular location 2,000 metres above sea level. Although sleek and sophisticated it retains plenty of local character in its beautiful rooms, stylish spa and gorgeous infinity pool.

Al Bustan Palace

250 rooms, 3 restaurants, 5 pools

Description

Ever since its creation, this hotel has been providing first-rate service and accommodation as you'd expect from a member of the Ritz-Carlton group. Set not far from old Muscat, it also has the advantage of extensive landscaped gardens, and a long stretch of private beach.

The hotel has a buzz about it, due to its size and proximity to Muscat. As well as those looking to relax in the beautiful surroundings, you may come across people planning a trip to the desert, locals meeting for tea, or expats enjoying a drink.

Guests are welcomed by a soaring atrium, richly decorated in a traditional style, with a crystal chandelier and fountain, and the rooms are designed to reflect local traditions while providing state-of-the-art facilities.

For families

There is a children's pool and playground and the Ritz Kids programme of supervised activities designed for 5 - 12 year old.

In the programme, children can enjoy beach games and water sports, creative and educational entertainment, environmental and nature programs, arts and crafts, outdoor adventures, swimming, sand castle building, water balloons, Frisbee games, volleyball, junior tennis, board games and videos and kayaking.

Set on a one kilometre private beach in Muscat, and backed by the Hajar Mountains, Al Bustan Palace has a striking location.

The sand stretches a long way from the hotel, making it perfect for beach activities, with the Gulf of Oman beyond.

The capital city of Muscat is only a short drive away and the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle service once a day at peak times of year, so you can explore the many shops, souqs and restaurants on offer.

Our opinion

A landmark building, The Al Bustan Palace is an institution in this part of the world.

It will appeal to those who like excellent service and opulent surroundings, with great facilities, as well as those who like having culture on the doorstep, although it may not suit those who prefer smaller, less ostentatious hotels.

Rooms

The 200 rooms and 50 suites at Al Bustan Palace have all been completely renovated to high standards, to reflect the local traditions.

All rooms and suites have private balconies, air-conditioning, free wireless Internet, satellite TV, DVD player and minibar.

Deluxe garden view

These rooms are located on the second and third floors with a balcony overlooking the grounds.

Deluxe Mountain View

Deluxe Mountain View rooms are the same as Garden View but set on higher floors (5th & 6th) with a balcony overlooking the Hajjar Mountains.

Deluxe sea view

Set on the second, third, fifth and sixth floors these rooms are the same size as the other Deluxe rooms but offer views of the Sea of Oman from their balcony.

Deluxe Partial Sea View

Deluxe Partial Sea View Rooms are the same size as Deluxe Garden View or Mountain View but instead offer views out over the gardens towards the sea.

Bustan Lagoon Access

Set on the first floor, these rooms are 40m2 with a terrace that offers direct access to a lagoon pool.

Junior Suite

At 60m2, these open plan suites are more spacious than the Deluxe rooms. Set on the second and third floors they include a small living area and a balcony with views over the pool and gardens.

Executive Suite Mountain View

The Executive Suites (80m2), feature a master bedroom and a separate lounge. They are located on the seventh and eighth floors and have panoramic views over the Hajjar mountains.

Executive Suite Sea View

These suites are the same as the Executive Suite Mountain View but enjoy views over the Gulf of Oman rather than the mountains.

Pictures of the rooms

Activities, diving & excursions

In addition to the large infinity pool, there are four lagoon pools, a separate children's pool and over one kilometre of private beach. Sun loungers are available by the pools and beach.

On the water, you can give kayaking, snorkelling, sailing and windsurfing a try. There are also four floodlit tennis courts with a resident coach available from October to May.

The fitness centre offers the latest cardio and weight equipment, plus separate aerobics room, sauna, steam room, and relaxation rooms.

Scuba diving can be arranged at the Oman Dive Centre, and there are 20 fantastic dive spots, from within just a few minutes to 1.5 hours' travel from the hotel.

One of the main attractions is the wreck 'Al Munasir', with a length of 85 metres, but there are various groups of reefs with depths of 9 – 15 metres. The variety of fish in the seas around the Sultanate is well-known as one of the biggest around the world.

Food & drink

The Al Bustan Palace has a wide variety of restaurants and bars, offering a wide range of cuisine, and the opportunity to dine al fresco. For an all-day dining restaurant, Al Khiran Terrace serves buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

With the kitchen team specially recruited from China, the China Mood restaurant serves authentic cuisine, and is open for lunch and dinner. Set by the sea, the Beach Pavilion serves fresh fish and seafood, and is also open for lunch and dinner.

The final dining option is the Seblat Al Bustan. Every Wednesday night, there is an Omani night, with traditional cuisine, music, dance, and arts and crafts.

Please note that hotel restaurants can be busy at the weekend (Friday and Saturday) with local residents and ex pats and it may be advisable for you to ask your specialist to pre book for you.

Spa Facilities

The extensive Six Senses spa, reflecting traditional Omani design, offers 17 treatment rooms as well as sauna, steam rooms and hammams.

Jebel Akhdar Mountains

Location: Jebel Akhdar

Jebel Akhdar, meaning Green Mountain, refers to the northern section of the Hajar mountains. As you take the road out of Nizwa heading for Jebel Shams, the highest peak in Oman at about 3,000m, you start to climb past ancient villages steeply terraced into the mountainside.

Exploring Jebel Akhdar

Near the summit is a wide plateau from which you can peer into Wadi Ghul, Oman’s Grand Canyon. A sheer drop of over a kilometre, with dramatically contorted vertical rock faces opposite, it simply takes the breath away.

Perched halfway up the canyon wall in a seemingly inaccessible location at the head of the valley is an abandoned village whose narrow terraces can still be made out.

If you look very closely you can see the footpath that makes its way under the rim of the canyon to the village. It is a walk of about 3 hours each way from the plateau.

Alila Jabal Akhdar

Accommodation: Alila Jabal Akhdar

Perched atop the spectacular Jebal Akhdar Mountain, overlooking a dramatic gorge 2000 metres above sea level, the newly opened Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort offers a perfect base for exploring Oman’s fascinating interior. Rooms and suites all boast awe inspiring views of the surrounding mountain scenery and are luxuriously appointed, reflecting the diverse culture of the region. The hotel also has a range of excellent facilities, including an outdoor infinity pool, indoor heated pool, spa and dining options to suit every mood, from formal meals in the Juniper Restaurant to casual dining by the pool or in the Rose Bar (please note that the property does not currently hold an alcohol licence).

Whether you are looking for quiet sanctuary from the bustle of daily life or a chance to strap on your walking boots and head out along some of the mountain trails, the property truly offers something for everyone.

Please do be aware when considering this property that given its position, temperatures here are normally 10 - 15 degrees cooler than in Muscat or Nizwa. This means that although the property offers a perfect escape from the summer heat, in the winter temperatures can plummet in the evenings, sometimes to as low as 0 degrees Celsius. Although the hotel is well designed to deal with these changes in temperature, do consider taking an extra layer for the evenings and early mornings if you are visiting over the winter or spring months.

Itinerary

Day by day

Day 1

On arrival you will be met and transferred by 4WD to the dramatic Jebel Akhdar Mountains.

On arrival, settle in and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Alila Jabal Akhdar.

Day 2

Today is at leisure to explore as you wish. The Alila offers a wide range of experiences for those that wish to explore the area more.

If you would like to explore on foot, take a guided walk through the beautiful scenery to local villages. There is a variety of options to suit different activity levels or you can explore with a guide in one of the resort's vehicles.

Day 3

Another day at leisure. You could explore the Saiq Plateau, visit local markets or discover nearby castles and forts. Or simply relax and enjoy the views from the resort's infinity pool.

Day 4

Today you will be transferred back to Muscat and taken to the Al Bustan Palace, your luxurious home for the next 7 nights.

Day 5

Today is your first full day at leisure at the Al Bustan. There is a small snorkelling spot off the coast reached by kayak, as well as a wide variety of watersports. The hotel can also arrange diving and boat excursions for dolphin watching.

Days 6 - 10

Days at leisure. Muscat is within easy reach and is well worth exploring.

Day 11

Today you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight home.

Start planning your trip with Audley


Tailoring your trip

This itinerary is designed to give you a flavour of what is possible.

  • We can tailor this trip to suit your specific requirements

  • Any aspect of the itinerary can be altered, from excursions to accommodation

How to book

Contact a Hidden Beach specialist

Whether you wish to plan your trip around this itinerary idea or you have other ideas, please do get in touch by phone or online. If using our online form, a destination specialist will contact you by phone to discuss your requirements.

Discuss your requirements

Our destination specialists have the first hand knowledge required to put your plans into action.They can answer your questions, offer suggestions and advice to suit your tastes and budget.

Refine your itinerary

Your specialist will carefully design your trip, creating a detailed itinerary which will be sent to you. Your specialist will answer any further questions you have and refine it until you are completely happy.

Confirm your trip

Once you are satisfied with all the arrangements, we ask you to complete a booking form and pay a deposit of 15% of the total cost of your trip.

Stay in touch

Even after booking, you'll undoubtedly think of more questions. Feel free to call your specialist at any time. The same specialist will handle your trip from start to finish.

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