I visited Muscat for business for 6 nights in March 2013and stayed at the Intercontinental. My two colleagues and I were given complimentary access to the Club lounge for the duration of our stay which was great. Between 6pm and 8pm they serve free drinks (including alcohol) and a selection of snacks. Although the Club Lounge itself is a little dull, this saves a lot of money if you are drinking. The wine is pretty much the cheapest that you wouldn't buy in the UK (J.P.Chenet) but hey, it's free for two hours so not too man complaints! The lounge would really benefit from having an outdoor area to take advantage of the warm evenings.
The hotel has a number of restaurants, of which we sampled several. All were very good quality and served great portions. Senor Picos (Mexican) was a wide selection of of the usual mexican food you'd expect (and some you wouldn't) with great margaritas - although they're £30 a jug. Live music made for a good atmosphere even though the restaurant was quiet. Trader Vic's is a Polynesian themed restaurant with an extensive menu. All of our meals were excellent and there is a choice of sitting inside or outdoors on the balcony overlooking the pool and beach.
We used the main restaurant for breakfast, where you can again sit outside in the hotel gardens. The usual buffet fare is available with a wide range on offer - not cheap though at RO14 each (£28!)
We found two other very good restaurants near to the hotel - the Italian' O Sole Mio' which is just at the end of the drive opposite the hotel - superb food, excellent service and very decent house wine at RO13 for a litre. There is apparently a very good bar upstairs but we didn't get a chance to sample that one. La Mer is a seafood restaurant about a 10 min walk from the hotel. 17 of us went on a tuesday night when they do a barbecue buffet of all sorts of meat and seafood plus a huge selection of hot and cold accompaniments, starters and sweets. Very reasonably priced and a really relaxed setting. Most of those in our party were locals and they were very pleased with the choice.
The hotel itself looks very dated from the outside but this is, in the main, decieving and something that they can't do a huge amount about. Inside, most facitlities are modern and spacious. The one thing the hotel lacks is decent balconies for the rooms. They are obviously not designed for guests to spend time sitting on them. They were very cramped, unlit and generally poorly decorated with peeling paint etc. The rooms are fairly spacious and comfortable although I did have one issue. I had two beds in my room and when I pulled back the duvet on the first night there were very dubious stains on the sheets. Needless to say I slept in the other bed (very comfortable) but left the other duvet turned down so the cleaning staff would be aware of the stains on the other bed. Sadly, they just remade that bed with the same stained sheets.
The bathroom could use some updating but certainly served the purpose.
The hotel has a great pool with loads of space and good restaurant next to it where we had lunch (Tomato). Again, portions were huge and food was good. The service around the pool is pretty non existent although there is a pool bar nearby. Beware though, its £5 for a very small coffee (RO2.5) which is a bit much!
There is also a seperate 25m pool and kids pool under shaded cover set within the gardens. Service wise, I found the staff very helpful. I had one issue when my room keycard would not work and I had to keep going back to reception 3 times to get it rekeyed, only for it to still not work when I reached my room. I was told someone would attend to let me in and 15 mins later I was still waiting. I called reception who said they would send someone staright away and 10 mins alter there was still no sihn. I went back to reception and spoke to the same assistant manageress who I'd spoken to before who said she had sent someone to 327 to let me in.....which would have been great except I was in 324...something she was aware of as she had looked up my details the first time she keyed my card.
The staff in the Al Ghazal pub could improve their customer service immensely. We stood at the bar waiting to be served whilst a couple of them chatted to each other and then when we eventually had to call out to get their attention he scowled and didn't say a word throughout the entire transaction.
Overall though, it was a very enjoyable stay and if I was in Muscat again I would definitely stay at the Intercontinental.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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thank you so much for your detailed feedback about your stay in Muscat.
Due to your feedback we will be able to further improve our services. Please accept also my apologies, especially for your issue with the key cards. Actually in March we changed our system to a new transponder system, which will give our guests more security and the cards are much more reliable.
You are absolutely right that the balconies could have been bigger, but on the other hand we offer a beautiful garden to relax and actually during the hot summer period we have even to lock the balconies, because of the high humidity.
I really hope to see you soon again.
with kind regards
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.