Spend a few days discovering Muscat's souqs and mosques and then head to the white sands, stunning waters and spice farms of Zanzibar.
3 nights Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah – Al Waha, including breakfast; 7 nights Breezes Beach Club & Spa, half board. Includes flights and transfers.
12 days from £2,100pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Breezes Beach Club & Spa, Zanzibar
Breezes Beach Club & Spa is located on one of the best beaches in Zanzibar. It is a perfect base from which to explore the island, presenting a taste of luxury at an unexpectedly affordable price.
You could spend your whole trip just relaxing by the palm-fringed pool, but Breezes also offers a huge range of activities from kitesurfing and pedal boating to kite buggying and guided cycle and snorkel trips. There’s also an on-site PADI dive centre offering small group lessons for beginners and guided trips along the 65 kilometres of reef for more experienced divers. The Frangipani Spa and the yoga and meditation sanctuary offer a more leisurely way to enjoy this spectacular location.
Breezes works closely with the surrounding community to improve education and healthcare in the local village and guests can visit to see the project at first-hand and gain a fascinating insight into life on Zanzibar. At Breezes you can enjoy superb service and facilities in a wonderfully exotic location without ever having to compromise on comfort.
The hotel offers a variety of rooms all decorated in neutral tones with locally-reclaimed timber, hand-woven cotton throws and Zanzibari carvings. The suites come with large terraces and private sunbathing areas.
Before the beach - 5 days
The towering peaks of the Hajar Mountains make a dramatic backdrop to low-rise Muscat, the picturesque capital of Oman. Muscat’s skyline is dominated by the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, one of the largest in the world, showcasing modern Islamic architecture at its best. In sleepy Muttrah you'll find colourful souqs and Portuguese merchant houses, while walled Old Muscat is home to the Sultan’s palace and the superb Bait Al-Zubair museum. Just outside Muscat long stretches of golden sand backed by mountains beckon.
A family-friendly international-style hotel, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah — Al Waha is set on a private beach, home to nesting turtles in season. With excellent diving, a superb spa and a great choice of dining options, it offers something for everyone.
Breezes Beach Club & Spa, Zanzibar
70 rooms, 4 restaurants, 1 pool
Breezes Beach Club & Spa is decorated in a traditional local style, with the area's Arabic influences evident, and sits in lovely tropical gardens scattered with tall coconut trees.
Set on beautiful Bwejuu Beach on the east coast, the resort has an enviable beach location, perfect for long walks bordered by the brilliant turquoise of the Indian Ocean and ideal for a spot of relaxation.
The friendly staff are on hand to take care of you and the resort works well either as a refreshing few days post safari or a full beach break.
Although there is no children’s club at Breezes there are plenty of activities that they will love.
Breezes has a great location on Bwejuu Beach, a long stretch of white sand along the east coast of Zanzibar, perfect for long walks between the towering coconut palms and the intense blue of the Indian Ocean.
The tides push out very far on Zanzibar which means at low tide you can walk out to the reef and see what creatures have been trapped in the rock pools; swimming and other water activities are only possible at high tide.
There are a handful of other resorts along the beach along with a couple of shops and stalls selling local art and other souvenirs but the area still feels relatively secluded. The local fishing village of Bwejuu is just a short drive away or can be reached by bicycle.
This is a great value and well-equipped resort with plenty to do in an idyllic setting. It's nicely decorated and has plenty of character, with friendly, smiling service. The tide goes out a long way and the sea can be shallow with lots of coral, so is best explored with reef shoes.
The 70 rooms are located in the gardens behind the beach and are tastefully decorated with Swahili and Arabic influences and teak Zanzibari carvings. All are air conditioned but only the Family Villa has television.
Standard rooms are 35m2 and are set in the gardens with an outdoor terrace.
Deluxe rooms are closer to the sea (please note sea view rooms can't be guaranteed) and are also 35m2 with an outside terrace.
Suites are 45m2 with a walk in wardrobe, and closer to the sea (please note sea view rooms can't be guaranteed). They are on the upper floor of a bungalow, with a large balcony, with sun loungers to relax on.
There are two Family villas situated at the back of the property with garden views. Each villa has two bedrooms and one shared lounge.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
The hotel offers a range of activities based around the ocean and the beach; as it is very tidal activities will depend on the tides. At high tide there are plenty of opportunities for water sports including kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding. At low tide guests can cycle down the beach or rent some reef shoes and walk out to the reef. Snorkelling equipment is available to use from the beach but the best conditions are on the snorkelling trip by boat that the hotel runs.
On land there is a fitness centre and tennis court and the hotel offers a great range of activities and classes to help you discover more about local culture from Swahili lessons and palm weaving to cookery classes. Alternatively you can simply relax by the large pool and enjoy the sea views.
There is an excellent PADI dive centre at the resort offering diving services for all levels from beginners to advanced.
Learn to Dive courses can be done with the experienced diving instructors who provide personalised instruction. Experienced divers can enjoy one of the most untouched and exciting parts of the island, with 14 different dive spots.
Food & drink
There are several dining options at Breezes.
Salama Dining Room serves buffet breakfast buffet and is also open for dinner, alternating between three course dinners and themed buffets; meals here are included in the half board meal plan.
The Breakers Grill set along the beachfront is open for lunch, specialising in fresh seafood catch of the day along with barbecue dishes from the open grill or tandoori oven.
The Sultans Table uses a fusion of Indian and Swahili spices in its dishes and takes advantage of the resort’s location to serve excellent seafood while The Tides offers an intimate, private dining experience for just two people overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Meals at Breakers Grill, Sultans Table and The Tides are not included in the half board meal plan so additional charges apply.
For a refreshing drink you're spoilt for choice; the Safari Bar’s candlelit setting make it the spot for a romantic evening drink, the Dhow Bar is great for a refreshing cocktail next to the pool while the Baraza Bar offers for whiskies, liqueurs and a selection of cigars. The evenings often have low-key traditional entertainment, or alternatively stroll on the beach to look at the stars.
Please note that men must wear long trousers for dinner.
The Frangipani Spa is decorated in a Swahili style and has two Jacuzzis, a relaxation room and a mosaic-tiled steam room equipped with chromotherapy lighting.
A range of treatments is on offer including an Après Safari Treatment specially designed to soothe and rejuvenate after the dust and bumpy roads of the African bush.
What we think of as Muscat is perhaps more accurately known as the Capital Area, as it is made up of a series of districts and old towns stretching some 40 kilometres along the coast and slightly inland. Muscat itself is one of the oldest of these towns and forms the heart of the Capital Area. It is here that the Sultan has his palace, and the old fortified walls testify to its long-standing role as a centre of government.
Nearby Muttrah was the old commercial heart of the area; with its port, fish souq, and traditional souq. The modern, commercial pulse of the city runs strongest through Ruwi; a district of shops selling everything from modern clothing to cheap imported electrical goods. Much of the rest of the city is made up of residential suburbs; such as Qurm and Athaibah. These have large houses and villas, interspersed with modern shopping malls, tree-lined roads and government offices.
Muscat has a range of options for eating out from international cuisine served in larger hotels where alcohol is available, to small local places which have more character, but in most cases are not able to serve alcohol due to licensing restrictions. Your specialist will be able to pre-book tables for you if you wish.
Shangri-La Barr al Jissah — Al Waha
Accommodation: Shangri-La Barr al Jissah — Al Waha
With a beautiful setting on a private bay, overlooking the Sea of Oman, the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah resort encompasses three hotels, Al Bandar, Al Waha and Al Husn. Offering the best of Omani hospitality and ultimate Arabian luxury, the resort has an excellent range of dining and leisure facilities.
The stunning location is the Shangri-La's most striking attraction, set in a private bay, the white sands and clear turquoise waters framed by the deep red of the rocky and mountainous interior.
Al Waha, meaning 'The Oasis', is the largest of the three hotels resort and is the ideal choice for families. Reflecting traditional southern Omani architecture, the hotel is built around the pool and garden area to reflect a palm-filled oasis.
Each of the three hotels has its own character, and guests are free to wander between the resorts using the facilities at all three (with the exception of some of the facilities at Al Husn).
A long sweep of beach and beautifully landscaped gardens link the three hotels, ensuring a feeling of space and openness.
Shangri-La is renowned for high levels of service, and staff at the resort are friendly and efficient.
Day by day
Board your overnight flight to Oman.
When you land in Muscat you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to Al Waha for your 3 night stay.
This morning you will be taken into Muscat for a tour of some of the city's highlights. This afternoon you are at leisure. You might like to enjoy the facilities at your beachfront hotel or explore Muscat's local culture and souqs.
Day at leisure to relax at the beach or explore more of the countryside. In season, you could join the hotel's turtle ranger in the early evening to see if you can spot the green or hawksbill turtles laying their eggs.
This morning you will be transferred back to the airport by private transfer in time to catch your flight to Zanzibar. Here you will be met and transferred to Breezes Beach Club & Spa for your 7 night beach stay.
Your first day to relax on the white sandy beach of Breezes. The sea is tidal in Zanzibar so take a reef walk and see what marine life you can find.
Another day at leisure. Why not take a day trip to Stone Town to explore or visit Jozani Forest?
Take a morning stroll before breakfast and then spend the afternoon relaxing in the sun or snorkelling. Alternatively, head out on a half day spice tour.
Days 9 - 11
You will be transferred by private car to the airport in time to catch your flight home.
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