Saturday, December 27, 2014

Compliments of the Season - Shangri-la Christmas Muscat

Well at the last minute, our group decided to head out to the Shangri-la on Christmas Day. Thinking we, at least, could not go wrong with the locale by the beach and poolside. We arrived mid-afternoon and after inspecting the brunch offering decided to head to the pool bar due to the fact the food was about to be packed away. The pool bar service was as usual with the staff working inefficiently hard and the slow delivery of entrees and beverages.

About halfway through the meal, someone in our group wanted to head over to the Omani Santa set up in the dhow on the Waha side of the beach lawn.  Unexpectedly, this was the highlight of the day. Shangri-la really put out for the kids. Besides the ability to sit with a real Omani Santa in the dhow guarded by a huge inflatable plastic snow man, free beer, wine and desserts were offered in tables set up on the lawn. The adults were beaming with glee. Santa also rode a camel across the beach.

As an added bonus, each child that visited Santa received an age appropriate gift from ToysRus compliments of Shangri-la. Majlis cushions were formed into square pads laid out along the lawn for guests to relax and play. Parents, grandparents and kids alike were lounging and frolicking. At some point, the tech guy turned off the Christmas music and blasted Stone Roses and Oasis into the crowd reminding me of a college day rock concert. There was definitely merriness going around, and I think Shangri-la was successful in creating an environment where the Christmas spirit was shared by many.

Beach snowman guarding Santa's dhow

Complimentary beer & wine 

Omani Santa walking among children

Lauded as the largest X-mas tree in Oman at Shangri-la Muscat

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