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“Gorgeous pools and gardens, great staff, quiet luxury.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel

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Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 1998 | Quron Beach, Muscat 114, Oman   |  
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Ranked #1 of 34 Hotels in Muscat
Durham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Gorgeous pools and gardens, great staff, quiet luxury.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

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.

Room Tip: A lagoon pool access, or sea view room, would add an extra special touch.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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855 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (243)
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

I stayed here back in february 2011 and again this year february 2012. Last year it was owned by intercontinental and this year it changed to ritz-carlton. I've stayed at a few ritz-carlton hotels and expected it to be outstanding but I was disappointed from the first minute. Here is my average, too expensive stay at the al bustan palace.

As me and my husband arrived, the front desk said we had a standard room with one double bed, even though I clearly stated and even my estate agent phoned up and confirmed they would have a single bed put in for my daughter. The woman was VERY rude and treated us badly. She wouldn't listen to our claims and told us if we wanted another single bed, we'd have to pay for another room. IS SHE MAD!?!?!??!?! I finally got the manager and was a very unhappy client. He did see our point and finally he checked and WHAT A SURPRISE the records DID say we ordered a single bed.
We had to wait till 2pm (we arrived at the hotel around 10am) for a room to be ready. So we made our way to the buffet where we had lunch. When our room was ready, we were unhappy to discover we had been put on the furthest side away from everything, in fact in the right wing and nearly the last room on the third floor. We had requested a room in the main building. The room was elegant and nicely decorated to a green, tropical theme (last year we stayed in the main building and it had a luxury beige theme) and we were pleased with the cleanness.
After the disappointing events, we thought everything would get better but once we got to the pool side, there were no sun beds and the staff were just talking amongst each other. I went over to one of the staff and he looked very stressed and said he'd be with us soon. After about five minutes waiting in the heat we were shown to some sun beds on a grass patch in the shade. We moved our sun beds to the sun and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon sunbathing.
When we got to the spa, I asked for a facial and boy oh boy I was crying it hurt so much. The woman was rushing and also the room felt very cosmetic. There were bright lights, make-up everywhere and also after she asked me if I wanted to keep my blackheads. Honestly, I could've fainted on the floor. I was paying for this.
Once dinner came, the food was ok, but I found it to be extremely expensive and not worth the money.
The only amazing thing about the stay was how kind the manager of the beach pavilion restaurant was. He was kind and caring, but seemed like the only man in the hotel that way.
Overall, the food was average but overpriced, the staff were horrid apart from the manager of the beach pavilion and it generally seemed like they didn't care about you.
I won't be returning here, and I advise strongly for other people not to waste their life in this place.

Room Tip: in the main building rooms are better situated as you don't have a ten minute walk everywhere.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

I stayed in Al-Bustan Palace on the 19th of May for 3 nights. The hotel is very big with very attractive entrance.
We enjoyed the stay, a group of 100+ persons!! No complaints, the service was a Ritz-Carlton level by amazingly friendly staff..
Being on a business trip, internet was a must... Impressively we could log to the FREE WiFi anywhere in the hotel.. literally, anywhere! In the mean time staff was very responsive to our requests on spot and as fast as we wish.
Food was GREAT, from the moment we checked in they serve you some local dessert of dates with nuts and orange. The breakfast buffet was abundant and included all varieties; I enjoyed the fruits on top of everything. The beach restaurant was amazing, with candles lit on the way and tasty food, it was romantic and tasty.
We enjoyed it and loved the infinity swimming pool and the caaaaalm nested and private beautiful OCEAN beach.
The room was spacious and spotless. Yet; all the hotel is an old-style one, it's Al-Bustan palace originally. However; it's the old style that keeps you amazed with a wooow feeling. A high standard combination of old-style and up-to-date services.
Check-in and check-out was fast.
Very much recommended for a romantic escape... yet perfect for business meetings.

Room Tip: The rooms with the swimming pool view or singing bird view.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Thessaloniki
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012 via mobile

Impressive overall, luxurious, excellent service, always smiling staff, excellent kitchen, superb pools!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Paris, France
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

As usual, got the habits to visit luxury hotels, this one have good rooms, very good services, but there's something special : the beautiful beach, warm sea, with fish and turtles for diving! This is great. For the rest, as I mentioned, very good hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Zurich
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

We have been visiting Al Bustan fort the 22nd time within 18 years. We agreed that this last stay has been the best so far, in almost every respect!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

a nice place for family and couples, but not recommended if you have business in the city, as its a bit far.
Staff, decoration, room is wonderful.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Address: PO Box 1998 | Quron Beach, Muscat 114, Oman
Phone Number:
Location: Oman > Muscat Governorate > Muscat
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Muscat
#1 Romantic Hotel in Muscat
#1 Family Hotel in Muscat
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Muscat
#1 Luxury Hotel in Muscat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 250
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

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