We were able to secure an excellent rate from British Airways, which offered a competitively priced adjoining room for our two young sons, and breakfast for all of us. The team working at the Ritz-Carlton Al-Bustan Palace was the friendliest and most polished we have ever encountered. Sree, the porter, has worked here for twenty-seven years and radiated helpfulness and kindness. The reception and restaurant staff could not have been more professional or good-natured, and the pool attendants were super-responsive - making up sun loungers or cabana beds with fluffy towels, delivering coolboxes with chilled water, face towels and cooling sprays, offering complimentary fresh fruit kebabs, smoothies and sorbets. Complimentary beach activities included kayaking and snorkeling, led by expert staff. We saw tropical fish just a few meters from the shore. Room amenities included a complimentary soft minibar, dates and Blaise Mautin toiletries, which smelled delicious, and a daily newspaper. Breakfast was abundant and fresh. Lunch was also excellent value, and for 5 Omani Rials a taxi will take you to the Muttrah Corniche and Souk, where we bought frankincense, myrrh and bukhoor (agar incense).
The Omanis are proud but hugely friendly and hospitable people, and they have a breathtakingly pretty country. Their national dress is also brilliant - markedly distinctive from the rest of the Arabian peninsula. Roads, buildings and landscaping are so neat everywhere, the coastline is extraordinary with jagged mountains and isolated golden beaches, and the architecture must have inspired some of the Mediterranean's most glamorous Arabesque hotspots - but here it is the real thing! There are forts and castles at every turn, marinas with traditional fishing vessels and supersized yachts, exquisite mosques and a vast ornamental frankincense burner looking over it all from a Muscat clifftop.
The Ritz-Carlton suited us, because it has very chic gardens and infinity and lagoon pools, but it is not pretending to be some kind of 'zen like' spa hotel which is working just a little too hard to be 'cool' and ends up feeling chilly. The Al-Bustan Palace understands that luxury means deep comfort, relaxation and a sense of being able to get what you need, when you need it, without fuss or insincere fawning. It caters for business, couples and families, offering slightly old-fashioned but well-kept and lavish luxury inside, with contemporary amenities outside. Tropical birds fly around the gardens, there is a battalion of gardeners keeping everything trim, and there are special lifts to take you directly to the pool level, passing an arcade of shops burning fragrant oud and selling Omani and international labels. The main lobby is remarkable - its centerpiece a massive dome and chandeliers, with Omani windows and soft furnishings.
We would like to use Trip Advisor to thank all of the staff for making our stay so memorable and comfortable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set against a dramatic backdrop of rugged mountains, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, lies solitary amid an emerald green oasis with 200 acres of lush beachfront landscaping, overlooking the glittering azure waters of the Gulf of Oman. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Hotel Muttrah