My adventures in Oman began in the capital city of Muscat, where I stayed at the exceptional Chedi Muscat, one of the first stylish resorts on this stretch of the Gulf, and it did not disappoint! The only member of The Leading Hotels of The World in Oman, boasting a prime beachfront location and 158 Omani influenced guestrooms, suites, and villas, each with amazing facilities and stunning views, the Chedi Muscat truly offers something for everyone. I particularly loved how green everything was, with stunning gardens and beautifully manicured flowerbeds! The spa is also definitely worth a mention. This 800-square metre complex of pure bliss, in the form of 13 elegant, self-contained spa suites has an extensive variety of beauty rituals on offer based on the holistic principles of aromatherapy, Ayurveda, and herbalism. The hotel also has a gorgeous outdoor space, boasting chic relaxation spots and the longest pool in Arabia at a staggering 103m long! Despite how beautiful it was in the daytime, the hotel truly came alive at night with atmospheric lighting and roaring fires to set the mood.
Just a short drive away from the hotel, I was able to explore Muscat city centre. A hugely important Arabic city that's quickly becoming one of the region's hot spots to visit, Muscat offered it all - fabulous architecture, delicious eateries, and some of the best experiences, each with a rich history! I was able to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Sultanate's only mosque that welcomes non-Muslims, with a visit offering an overview of the religious practices of Oman and offering a chance to take in its immense beauty. I was in awe of the complex mosaics and beautiful marble carvings and could have spent all day there, but the souqs were calling! The Mutrah Souq is definitely worth a visit; a vast maze of stalls overflowing with trinkets, it's easy to get lost in this labyrinth, but it's so worth it for the fascinating mix of modern knick-knacks and traditional gifts and curios.
After leaving the city of Muscat, I made my way to the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, the highest five-star resort in the Middle East, perched 2,000 metres above sea level. This remote resort boasts 115 opulent rooms and villas, each with hypnotic views of the ravines and all the modern amenities you could imagine. Throughout the resort, the staff were so warm and welcoming, with every member of staff going the extra mile to make sure your stay is the best it can be. The tranquillity afforded by the hotel was second to none, while a range of incredible activities and soothing spa treatments were also a highlight for me!
I was then able to go up into the Al Hajar Mountain range, which was tranquil and truly breathtaking. Away from the hustle and bustle of modern Omani life, I was able to enjoy a tour with a local guide, who took me through three traditional mountain villages, dating back over 200 years. Not only was it fascinating to get an insight to how the original dwellers of the villages lived, but the villages also provided incredible views of the Al Hajar Mountains. From the bustling city life to the mountain retreats, Oman offers a wide range of fascinating culture and activities, along with luxurious five star resorts.