Perched on a jagged peak amidst the spectacular beauty of Jabal Akhdar in the Al Hajar Mountains
The Anantara al Jabal al Akhdar Resort sits on the edge of a sheer cliff amidst the spectacular rugged scenery of the Al Hajar mountains; the hotel has stylish rooms and villas and offers an extensive choice of activities from hiking and abseiling to swimming and training in the well-equipped gym, for the more adventurous to cooking and first class dining to photography and spa treatments for the more laid-back amongst us.
Accessible only by 4×4, the two-hour journey from Muscat is an intrinsic part of the visit, as you slowly make the 2,000 metre climb into the Hajar Mountains; the rustic scenery peppered with goats and farms, historic abandoned villages and date palms. The hotel sits in the heart of an area renowned for its damask roses, on the Saiq Plateau just a short ride from the historic town of Nizwa
The contemporary architecture reflects its Omani heritage, with touches of inspiration drawn from ancient forts and Oman’s innate artistic heritage, centred around a cluster of low-rise buildings connected by a network of narrow waterways inspired by traditional ancient irrigation channels and a myriad of stone paths. Whether you choose to stay in a suite or one of the luxurious private villas, you will note the attention to detail in the décor; earthy hues, ornate wooden doors and elegant archways set the tone. One of the centre pieces is the viewing platform named after the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who visited the spot in 1986.
Services & facilities
The hotel staff are professional, courteous and friendly, and the local guides knowledgeable and helpful. There is something for everyone, let one of the expert chefs teach you to cook Arabic specialities, take a trip on the local culture trail and visit the Nizwa souk or the ancient fort, or see Damask roses in full bloom and meet the families who make rose water in time-honoured fashion.
Other activities include outdoor favourites from hiking and mountain biking to abseiling and archery, and for those of you of a gentler demeanour, a choice of sunrise yoga and landscape painting to relaxing spa treatments and lazy days by the pool.
The resort boasts 115 spacious rooms and 1,2 & 3 bedroom villas; the 82 rooms all have balconies with inspiring canyon views, and every villa has a Majlis-style living area and its own private pool and dedicated host. The accommodations are decorated in a palette of warm earthy hues, natural wood floors, decorative features, and have walk-in closets, rain showers, deep tubs and luxuriant furnishings
Eat & drink
Al Maisan is the resort’s all-day dining restaurant located above the central courtyard; eat in the dining room or alfresco on the terrace. Start your day with the breakfast buffet with all your favourite dishes and selection of home-baked breads and pastries. Lunch and dinner is à la carte, with culinary treats from the four corners of the globe, including dishes from South East Asia, India, and Europe.
Signature restaurant, Al Qaala, situated in the heart of the complex reflects the iconic architecture of the Musandam Tower; Omani fine dining at its best, offering classic regional dishes and Arabic specialities using the freshest of produce.
Bella Vista is an inspiring dining spot, nestled beside the infinity pool where water meets sky, to provide stunning vistas. Casual by day and sophisticated elegance by night, the Roman kitchen produces authentic contemporary Italian cuisine.
Al Baha’s central location provides is the perfect place to relax. Try fresh morning coffee, served by a barista or freshly squeezed juices and mocktails. Enjoy the all-day international menu of snacks and light meals, or take afternoon tea, freshly baked pastries or relax around courtyard’s open fireplace each evening and take in the stars.
Taking its inspiration from Oman’s traditional forts, the Al Burj lounge is a Moroccan lounge. Choose from a range of specialty coffees and teas, juices and cocktails, as well as a selection of fine grape and bubbly; perfectly complemented by a tapas-influenced lite-bite menu.
Perched above the courtyard, is the Al Shourfa shisha lounge, a great place to relax and savour one of Arabia’s most famous traditions. Originating in Persia and India in the late 16th century, the hookah has long been popular in the Arab world; choose from apple, peach, apricot, pomegranate, mango and melon flavoured tobaccos, as well as a VIP range for shisha connoisseurs.
Dining by design offers the ultimate in bespoke private dining. Select your favourite meal from a collection of connoisseur menus to be prepared by your personal chef. Dine when and where you wish, selecting from a range of settings such as the star-gazing platform at Diana’s Point.
Thanks to its location and striking setting, excellent amenities, stylish set up, service and décor the Anantara al Jabal al Akhdar Resort really does deliver on its promises and is something of a destination spot in itself. Combine that with its position at the heart of some of the most stunning scenery in Oman this is a must-visit hotel.
WORDS BY FRANCESCA JACKSON