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“Nice Hotel Which Needs Some Improvements” 4 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
Dhahran, Ash Sharqiyah, Saudi Arabia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel Which Needs Some Improvements”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

I spent six days at the Al Bustan Palace and while the hotel is nice and the staff quite helpful, it doesn't seem to meet the Ritz-Carlton standards as a 5-star hotel. As other reviewers have commented, the rooms are a bit tired and need some refurbishing. Also, I would recommend a sea view room where one can enjoy the sea at night on the room balcony. With the exception of the front desk staff, who appeared somewhat annoyed when I was attempting to check in, the hotel staff was very friendly and attentive to the needs of the guests. The beach and pool area were nicely maintained and very enjoyable and the gym was top-notch. Overall, it was an enjoyable stay, but I think the Al Bustan management needs to recognize that guests have other nearby options (e.g., the Shangri-La's Al Husn Hotel, The Chedi Muscat, etc.) and if they don't drop the pompous attitude and continue to focus on the needs of the guests, they'll lose repeat business to other local hotels.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are nice. We enjoyed sitting out on the balcony some nights listening to the sea.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

We stayed at the beautiful Ritz-carlton palace with my colleagues from the night of the 19th and checked out on the 22nd.I must say we were taken aback by the awesome architecture of the hotel,everything about this hidden place had a wow effect on me and all my colleagues.

From the warm welcome we got upon checkin,the smiling receptionists and the entire front staff,it was great.They wer all friendly right through.

Of particular note was a certain gentleman from Zimbabwe Cebolakhe Ndebele who was in the housekeeping department...
A JEWEL IN THE ARABIC PALACE,the young man was forever cheerful and willing to help in every way possible,he was so eager to serve us within his jurisdiction and his genuine care was evident in all that he did for us.In everything he never compromised his proffesionalism.Such young talent should be nurtured and taken good cared of

It is such hospitality that we expected from a Ritz-carlton establishment and the same proffesionalism that makes the hotel what it is.

I guarantee Al Bustan of my next numerous visits from my first one.We were very much impressed by the hotel we wished we could extend our stay.

Thank you Al Bustan,thank you Cebolakhe for the wonderful stay.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

The rooms were big, everything clean and beautiful. The decor was above average, not only in the lobby but in all public areas and rooms. The quality of the food was excellent. I specially recommend the seafood restaurant on the beach, actually, on the sand! I spent my birthday there and the staff could not be any more attentive. They sang happy birthday for me at the restaurant and they sent me an autographed photo of the front desk staff saying happy birthday with two boxes of chocolates and a fruit basket. I found that not just at the hotel but in all of Oman, we found the nicest people!

Room Tip: Ocean view is always better, of course!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
77 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

This hotel is undoubtedly spectacularly but the ostentation does appear to cover up some cracks. I have stayed in Muscat several times and of all I thought that the Shangri La was a better option.

Once you enter the hotel there is an enormous atrium which huge chandeliers and looks outstanding. While it is spectacular it was quite difficult to find your way around and to the correct lifts. We had a room on the second floor and it was strange taking a lift down from the reception. Our room had a mountain view and a bit of a sea view also was a decent size. The bathroom was compact and had a shower curtain which was disappointing for such a hotel chain. There was complimentary in-room internet access and a complimentary mini-bar stocked with juices, soft drinks and water which were replenished daily.
The hotel had several dining options. The buffet breakfast (served in the Al Khiran Terrace Restaurant) was not a pleasant experience with some miserable staff. We ate one evening in the Chinese restaurant which was excellent both in terms of the menu and the staff. The service at the hotel I rated as overall Very Good. There were many instances of really outstanding service, especially by the Front Desk and our server at breakfast and dinner. At other times, however, the service was not of the caliber Ritz Carlton is known for and surprisingly it was felt in several different departments of the hotel: housekeeping, our experience (or lack thereof) with the headwaiter one night at dinner (see above) and with the Chief Concierge regarding a sightseeing tour we booked through the hotel (see below). The beach and pool areas are the most impressive aspects of this hotel. They are beautifully maintained and looked after by a large team of attendants who assist with lounge chairs and will even bring you a cooler of cold water. However, attracting staff from the beach bar was a trial as they were in frequent in their excursions around the various areas, but the food was well delivered and good quality when you managed to get service.

As stated earlier I had heard a lot about this hotel from colleagues and expected much and overall was disappointed. I won't stay there again as I just doesn't do it for us and we prefer the Shangri La which is much more friendly.



Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

First impressions on arrival - highly impressive foyer but rather soul-less. Room 140 has a terrace with direct access to a beautiful pool, but the room is tired and the bathroom more so. Not even a separate shower and a rather grotty shower curtain round the bath! The staff were sweet but not very well taught in the finer aspects - such a serving drinks in the restaurants and being terribly slow in clearing tables to make a table available. Maybe this 250 bedroom hotel just doesn't have enough staff. However, I can recommend the Chinese Restaurant - good food (and we are not Chinese eaters) a pretty terrace and good service. The buffet meals were disappointing, as were the 'themed' nights and the Beach Pavilion Restaurant just fairly good. The gardens are beautiful and well maintained - and the pools warm and inviting. It's maybe a good hotel to take your children (although drinks etc. are expensive) but in our case, we will not be returning.

Room Tip: If you like an early morning swim, ask for a room with direct access to the pool from your terrace...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
AlBustanPalace, General Manager at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, responded to this review, March 16, 2014
Dear Judes111,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor following your recent visit to our hotel.

We do appreciate your comments, both positive and areas of suggested improvement. We are glad to note that you enjoyed some of our services, the gardens, as well as the Chinese Restaurant’s food and ambience. Although, we are concerned that in some other areas we did not meet your expectations.

Thank you for alerting us about the issues you experienced in your room. Currently we are preparing for some of our rooms to be refurbished including the room you mentioned. We believe it will add a great value to our property.

Concerning the service issues and food at the all-day dining restaurant and the Beach Pavilion, there is no excuse for the shortcomings. We shared your comments with our Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage. please rest assured that both of them are working on delivering a memorable Food and Beverage experience at the resort.

Once again thank you for your valuable time taken to post your review.

Should you wish, I invite you to contact me at your convenience in order to further discuss your comments.


Kind regards,
Bernard N. Viola
General Manager
Bernard.Viola@ritzcarlton.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

I checked into Al Bustan after a horrific stay at The Chedi. The staff were super friendly and went out of their way to get things done.

The beach is beautiful and the Kheeran Restaurant as well as the pool restaurant have really good food! The rooms were clean.

Unfortunately I got an outdated room, however a friend of mine got a newly renovated room which was just beautiful. My other concern on the 2nd floor was the corridor constantly had a food smell, I assume there was a kitchen with bad ventilation close by.

Other than that, it is a fantastic hotel and I would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Ask them for the renovated room types, avoid the 2nd floor!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

It's monumental. You can fit jumbo jet (vertical) in the lobby. But it feels also the same age as the jumbo jet. It's a bit old and dusty. A little make over would help, after all for the rooms. Al Bustan is for sure a classic, but if you are young and looking for something fresh, it's probably not your first choice. And it's completely offside. But it is impressive!

Room Tip: Ask for a renovated room, if they have some?!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 Family Hotel in Muscat
#1 Luxury Hotel in Muscat
#1 Business Hotel in Muscat
#1 Romantic Hotel in Muscat
#1 On the Beach 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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