Monday, November 7, 2011

Notes on Hotels in Muscat

According to an index put out by, Muscat has the most expensive hotels (not necessarily nicest) in terms of average price per room per night than any other city in the world.
 The Hotel Price Index™ (
I am listing a few hotels and my notes of impressions of them below.

Luxury Hotels

1. Al Bustan Palace Hotel  (
I find this hotel to be the most exquisite and relaxing. A most noticeable feature is the very high domed ceiling upon entrance. The infinity pool is rarely busy and surrounded by an oasis of palm trees leading to the beach. There is a great buffet in the Terrace Restaurant in the lower level and two first class restaurants on the main level.  It is definitely appropriate to hold business functions or meetings here. There is a also a gym and tennis courts. A huge auditorium is enclosed in a connecting side building. Many of the government buildings are moving to the Bustan area when construction is completed or are located nearby in old Muscat.
Lobby, Al Bustan Hotel

2. Shangri-La Barr Al-Jissah Resort and Spa
Shangri-La is actually a complex of several hotels and residential villas and townhouses developed by Zubair and Omran (government owned). It can be seen from the local Qantab beach, and it is possible to hire a local fisherman's boat from Qantab to cruise by the beaches of Shangri-La. I was not that impressed with the quality of decor or of food available in the restaurants.
Townhouse for sale on Shanri-La property
      However, there is a very cool "sheesha" room with an open roof worth a visit. The pool and beach facilities are nothing not found     elsewhere. The SPA is decent and spacious. A massage will cost around 80 OMR, but the clinicians are well trained.
A 'Heritage Village' is located on the property where traditional gifts may be purchased. It is family friendly in some of the hotels, but kids are banned in others. The resort is located fifteen minutes south of Muttrah on the coast.
Shangri-La (Photo:
3. Chedi Hotel Muscat (
Some say this is the best hotel in Muscat. Close to Azaiba.

Chedi Muscat Hotel (Photo:

"Mid Rate" Hotels

4. Radisson Blu Muscat (
Check out the outdoor bar equipt with comfortable seating and private tables/loungers. There is a pool but no beach. Al Khawair area.

5. City Seasons Hotel Muscat (
This hotel was recently opened and has a rating of 5 stars according to the hotel literature. It has a fairly central location in Muscat and is good for business travelers or someone passing through. Recommended. Last September, a TGI Fridays opened next to the hotel. Al Khawair Area.

Park Inn roof top bar and pool
6. The Park Inn Muscat (
This hotel offers decent accommodation in a central location at a reasonable price. The "coolest" part of the hotel is the roof-top bar and pool. There is a small fitness room. The downstairs restaurant is average. Al Khawair Area.

7. Crowne Plaza Muscat  ( hc/hoteldetail)
The Crowne Plaza is situated on a cliff overlooking Qurum beach. The lobby and rooms are of quality you would expect from the Crowne Plaza chain. There is a spectacular view over looking Qurm beach  from the terrace outside of the Dukes bar and Persian restaurant. The Persian restaurant serves flavourful dishes; there is also an Italian restaurant, but I have not tried it. Dukes bar isn't bad for sitting back and having a few pints. There is a pool on the premises and a beach area (a bit of a walk down the cliff). Recommended-works for business or families. There is usually a large European contingency of guests keeping the hotel filled. Al Qurm Area.

Dukes Bar
Terrace View

Budget Hotels

8. Beach Hotel (
I am listing this hotel for its location and low price. It is located in Qurm very near to the beach. There is a small pool. This hotel is not luxurious; some may even find it dingy.

9. Crystal Suites (
Located in Wadi Kabir near Ruwi. This hotel offers large rooms with satisfactory and comfortable furnishing for about 40 OMR. There is a very small "business center" to check e-mail. The rooms are build around an indoor courtyard. The facilities and rooms are much better than shown on the website.

10. Mina Hotel or Naseem Hotel
Entrance to Muttrah sook
Both are located on the Muttrah Corniche. They offer the best deals for staying in Muscat - 15 OMR (45 USD single) - 22 OMR (55 USD double room). The rooms in these type of hotels are normally small. One can ask to see the room first as the architecture of these old buildings give each room a different shape. It can be noisy due to the corniche below. These hotels are located just down the street from the famous Muttrah sook. The hotels have parking but not many other amenities.

11. Hotel Ibis (
Part of the Accor chain of hotels. A room will cost you around 40 OMR or less depending on where you book. Rooms are fitted with modern bathrooms. A bit difficult to reach by car due to the new traffic routing at the LuLu's Hypermarket nearby. Al Khawair.


12 Dive Center ( The website seems to be down.
Not only can one take a diving lesson at the Dive Center, one may sleep here also. It's located in a coastal inlet near the Shangri-La hotel. The rates are reasonable. Good for weekend trip. One can pay a fee to use the beach during the day.
Dive Center (

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