There have been numerous reviews of this hotel that have been doing a huge disservice to what is a very luxurious yet understated place. In an attempt to revert to a sense of normality, I thought it would be best to write a "normal" review, not full of ridiculous cynicism but telling it how it is and also giving you a context in order to view this hotel before you visit.
My girlfriend and I have just come back from a week's trip and we both agreed that the Chedi was a beautiful and in some senses idyllic resort, which offers everything you could need for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable holiday.
But in order to get to that point you need to understand what the Chedi is trying to achieve. It is not an "in your face" luxury hotel that you may find in Dubai or Abu Dhabi but it very understated - like most of Oman/Muscat - and ensures that it comes across as elegant. The look of the hotel is very cool and architecturally it's beautiful - every which way you look you can tell the designers have thought long and hard about aesthetics.
The Chedi, as a luxury hotel, obviously isn't as "budget" as some reviewers are expecting it to be. If you are going to a luxury hotel such as this you no doubt have enough money to enjoy yourself and you also must have taste. This doesn't meant that overpriced food etc. should be accepted but whinging about the prices - as some reviewers have - is narrow-minded at best. The prices themselves are no more than some of the better bars and restaurants in London (or any other major city), although some individual items are high and I will admit, you could spend a lot of money if you ate lunch and dinner at the hotel every day and night.
Now on to the detail:
Rooms - we stayed in a Serai room as many have who have reviewed the place. It's the most "basic" offering but has everything you could need from a room. Nicely decorated, clean, good facilities - particularly the toiletries (Acqua di Palma). Ok, there are some small issues which have been noted elsewhere e.g. no hook for wet towels (although you can just put them on the floor as there's about 10 towels for 2 people - you shouldn't be in the room for long anyway); separated shower/toilet/sink may annoy some; can feel somewhat claustrophobic as windows don't open but this is in the Omani style and also in the style of the hotel so you learn to accept it fairly quickly. The excellent air con reduces the impact of the lack of fresh air. Bose sound system is also great for music/radio and there are numerous mirrors which make it really easy for 2 people when getting changed.
Pools: 3 great pools, 2 of which are only for adults. The Long Pool is a particularly amazing infinity pool. The Serai Pool (for families) also had very few families around it so those thinking that kids would be a problem, certainly on the evidence of our visit, shouldn't be worried. All 3 pools had very good service, comfortable towels and beds and, generally, a very nice vibe. Staff also routinely come around and give you constant water refills.
Food: generally of a good standard but I have to be honest, I have had better food in a number of other places. There is a variety of choice - from the main Restaurant, the Beach Restaurant, and restaurants at the Serai and Long Pools. I would try them all but avoid the fresh fish at the Beach as it was very overcooked, which was frustrating given the price - the rest of the meal was very good, though. TIP - if you cannot get into the Restaurant, or do not want to eat where you have breakfast (which is where it is) then just go and have dinner at the Serai Pool as it is exactly the same menu (and same kitchen). I would also recommend trying the desserts on offer in the Restaurant, when you get a chance.
Service: exquisite at all times. All staff are extremely polite and will go out of their way to do practically anything you ask.
Beach: the beach is not a golden, Caribbean beach and won't win any awards but it's nice enough and in the afternoon the water is very nice and warm. Even in the morning the water is a good temperature. It's also very clean.
Facilities: the gym and the spa are both very good additions. The Spa especially offered a fantastic massage and the gym, whilst fairly small, is never that busy and offers more than enough options for fitness and/or weights/machines. There is also 2 tennis courts which both looked in excellent condition, though we didn't play.
Very helpful concierge, although tours organised through the hotel can be a little pricey - maybe try independent operators.
Try and get a cab to and from the Chedi rather than the booked airport transfer. The former is OMR 7 and the latter OMR 25, although the latter is obviously a nicer car and it is sometimes good to have it all sorted when you arrive in Oman.
Many people have said that because the Chedi is on a flight path, the planes are very noisy and intrusive. Trust me in that this is NOT the case. Perhaps 2 or 3 planes pass directly overhead each day - it is hardly something to moan about.
The above are the main things that you should be asking yourself, I would have thought but to summarise:
- An amazing, understated hotel with excellent pools, first rate facilities, top class service and a general high standard of food & drink;
- Not what one would call cheap but also not out of this world expensive either. It is a luxury hotel of high quality so expect prices that reflect this;
- Very close proximity to the airport and also to Muscat (both around 10 minutes drive).
Don't be put off by the negativity on here. Yes, some people may have had an unfortunate experience - this happens everywhere - but there also seem to be some very picky guests who are expecting 100% perfection, despite that fact that no hotel can ever offer perfection and you can always find one tiny thing which would annoy you.
Please go - if you go with the understanding of what the Chedi is trying to achieve then you'll love it.
Very simple tip in that the more expensive the better! Even the cheapest are more than adequate thou...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Phil C,
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We would like to thank you very much for your comment and the explanation on Tripadvisor, regarding your recent stay at The Chedi Muscat!
Thank you for sharing and and let's hope we'll welcome you back again in the not-too-distant future.
Christoph K. Girsch
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.