AS I ARRIVE at The Chedi in Muscat, there’s an immediate sense of being whisked away somewhere tranquil and exotic. The roomy reception based on a Bedouin tent beckons you to sit and take it all in. Fragrant cardamom infused Omani coffee and sweet date in hand, I walked through the immaculately landscaped grounds, birds humming and butterflies flitting and where water is never far away.
The Watergardens at The Chedi Muscat
The Club Lounge at The Chedi Muscat
From water features emulating traditional irrigation systems seen in the mountains, to the iconic long pool seen in countless Instagram posts, to the pièce de resistance – the ocean. The private beach is undoubtedly a popular part of the hotel, a plethora of atheistically pleasing sunbeds camouflaged with the sand line the waterfront, the beachfront restaurant I’m told is often booked up when it comes to the tables with direct oceanic vistas.
The Lobby Lounge at The Chedi Muscat
I chose to have lunch outside, sitting under a roof of swaths of white material shading us from the sun and ordered a fresh passionfruit juice. It was Friday which meant the buffet was on at ‘The Restaurant’, offering an eclectic mix from sushi to grilled meats to Mediterranean meze to local classics such as hammour fish (Grouper) in tahini sauce and ouzi, essentially slow-cooked lamb served on a bed of fragrant rice, delicious. The chocolates are handmade by an in-house pastry chef, the pistachio praline and chocolate covered dates were delectable.
Chedi Club Suite Villa at The Chedi Muscat
Walking back to the room is serene as I weave through the various palm tree varieties, past the tennis courts with a backdrop of the Hajjar mountains and guests enjoying a sheesha in front of the pool. Whilst I wasn’t in the mood to go to the gym, I had to have a peak, it’s impressive, looking akin to a private members Club, with books stacked, comfortable seating and unusual artsy sculptures, the design has been cleverly constructed with partitions allowing guests to run on a treadmill in an almost private section; a wooden latticed screen separating you from the rest of the gym.
The Spa at The Chedi Muscat
I went for the 60-minute Ancient Balinese massage which started with a fragrant foot soak, followed by a restful massage on a comfortable, heated bed. Sinta did a wonderful job, I floated into the relaxation area, where I sat overlooking the Gulf Peninsula sipping on the cinnamon and hibiscus tea.
As it was my first time to Muscat, sightseeing is top priority, luckily main sites are nearby, such as the stunning Opera House being a stone’s throw away, as is the souk and National Museum. After an afternoon buying frankincense incense to burn, dried lemons to cook with and some ornaments for home, I returned to my hotel to bathe in my well-proportioned stone bath, before enjoying a sound sleep, only to awake to a fantastic breakfast. I indulged in fresh watermelon juice and local ‘ful medames’ bean stew topped with tahini, fresh parsley and chopped tomatoes which set me up for another day of exploring mystical Muscat.
by Yasemen Kaner-White
Rooms at The Chedi Muscat start from £450 + per night. Luxury 5-Star Muscat Beach Hotel & Resort in Oman | The Chedi Muscat (ghmhotels.com)