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Hotel Shangri La Al Waha Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Barr Al Jissah - Mascate - Oman Muscat, Oman -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

With its many leisure activities, the Shangri La Al Waha is the most family-oriented of the Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa's 3 hotels, which opened in 2006. Located some 10 mi southeast of the capital, Muscat, this upmarket resort offers a wide range of activities, a superb spa, many restaurants, and original oriental architecture in remarkable natural surroundings, between desert mountains and the Arabian Sea.

This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.

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    • Hotel Shangri La Al Waha

      Shangri La Al Waha   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Shangri La Al Waha

      Shangri La Al Waha   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 7.0 /10

    Overlooking the Gulf of Oman against a backdrop of majestic desert mountains, this hotel is located on the seafront in Barr Al Jissah bay, from which the complex gets its name. A little distance away from the other 2 hotels in the resort and accessed via a tunnel, the Al Waha is located some 10 mi southeast of Muscat and around 32 mi from Seeb International Airport. Transfer time is about 45 minutes.

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    The guest rooms at the Al Waha are spacious (37m²), comfortably furnished in a contemporary style, and well equipped. A Playstation and a games kit for children gives a distinct family touch to the Al Waha, which also has several adjoining rooms available for parents and their children. All of the rooms have satellite television (50 channels), a large electronic safe deposit box (free of charge), individual air conditioning, an iron and ironing board, a minibar, tea and coffee-making facilities, a direct-dial telephone, and an Internet connection. The bedrooms extend onto a large balcony with a round table, 2 armchairs, and a clothes drying rack, and offer a beautiful view of the swimming pool and the sea. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The beautiful all-marble bathrooms are shiny and well decorated. They have a bathtub with a handle and a flexible shower, a separate shower, a toilet, a bidet, a magnifying mirror, tissues, a hair dryer, a toothbrush kit, and sophisticated hospitality products.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    Nestled in a remarkable 300-acre estate between the sea and the desert mountains, the Shangri La Al Waha is the largest of the three hotels in this grand, purely oriental-style complex with 680 bedrooms. The 262 rooms of this 'oasis', as it is nicknamed, are housed in a sand-coloured ochre building. If the sea is too warm for you, why not cool off in one of the hotel's four chilled swimming pools, two of which are dedicated to children. Indeed, hotels usually boast about their heated swimming pools, but in Oman, luxury comes in the form of a chilled swimming pool - otherwise you may feel like you are swimming in a giant bath! A small, 1,640-ft long artificial river runs between the Al Waha and the Al Bandar: let yourself be swayed by the current as you sit comfortably on a floating rubber ring.

    Food and drink 8.70 /10

    The Al Waha has 3 restaurants serving international cuisine, South American specialities (Argentinean, Brazilian, Chilean, Peruvian, and Mexican), and seafood (on the beachfront). You can also enjoy a snack at the pool bar. Why not spend an evening relaxing on the terrace, smoking a hookah pipe with a mint tea and oriental pastries, while listening to the band play relaxing music in the background. If western traditions are more up your alley, you can enjoy a cigar whilst sipping on a brandy in the Silver Lounge.

    Spa 8.7 /10

    The 1,000m² Chi Spa offers Chinese and Himalayan-inspired treatments in 12 rooms spread out over little bungalows surrounding a central garden.

    Beach 8.70 /10

    Surrounded by ochre mountains that make for a spectacular panoramic view, the Shangri La is the only hotel in Muscat, apart from the Chedi and the Al Bustan Palace, to have a 600m private beach. Lined with palm trees, the beach is very well equipped with plastic deckchairs complete with cushions laid out under thatched parasols. The available space has been well planned out, which means you won't feel crowded by other guests. The ochre-coloured sand is fine and clean, and the sea is deep blue. Sea turtles come to lay their eggs here in the evening, which is why you should not swim in the sea after dark. The swimming area is marked out by buoys. As far as water sports are concerned, the Shangri La has its own diving centre. You can also go sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkelling, but all of these activities incur an added charge.

    To know

    A member of the Hong Kong-based hotel group Shangri La Hotels and Resorts, the Al Waha hotel is one of the three hotels of the Shangri La Barr Al JIssah Resort and Spa, inaugurated in 2006, along with the Al Bandar and the Al Husn, which share common facilities. It has a fantastic spa, the Chi Spa, with Chinese and Himalayan-inspired treatments in 12 rooms spread out over little bungalows surrounding a central garden. There is also a diving centre and even a souq: this hotel is the reconstruction of a typically Omani village with traditional handicraft stalls. Two new restaurants are opening up in 2010: an Asian and a Lebanese restaurant. Around the swimming pool, staff serve cold water along with fresh fruit and even cool towels!The Al Waha is the most activity-oriented part of the resort and is more suitable for families.

    Accommodation tip:

    the 40 guestrooms, with a surface area of 690 sq ft, are particulalry recommended for families.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      sauna, spa, massage, beauty salon, wellness, hammam

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, sailing, fitness, gym, football

    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Private beach
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Access to the facilities at the Al Bandar.
    • The fantastic natural setting.

    disadvantages

    • The location on the outskirts of Muscat.

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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