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“Our Absolute Favourite!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shangri La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Husn

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Shangri La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Husn
| PO Box 644 (Muscat), Barr Al Jissah 113, Oman   |  
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Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Barr Al Jissah
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Our Absolute Favourite!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

My wife and I have recently returned from stay at Al Husn and have to say we had a wonderful time there. We were delighted with the service, accommodation and privacy that Al Husn has to offer. We previously stayed at Al Bandar for our honeymoon in 2008 which was also a great experience, but Al Husn is just in a class of its own.

We stayed in one of the hotel's Speciality Suites and it was a superb experience:

- Stunning interior decor and ammenities
- Butler service was exemplary - daily afternoon tea, wines and canape served in the suite (gluten free choices for my wife on request)
- Beautiful views across the resort bay and the sea

Great luxury all round.

We were able to enjoy both the infinity pool and private beach, excellent service such as cold towels, sorbet and cool drink and spray box provided. There are also many choices of venue for dinning which we enjoyed both at Al Husn and the other hotels as well as the Heritage Village centre.

A lovely surprise was the hatching of turtle eggs on the Al Husn beach, amazing sight to see the baby turtles. The resort has a dedicated team of Turtle rangers to look atfter the turtles.

Overall, a really excellent holiday and my thanks go to the management team and staff for taking such good care of us during our stay. A special mention for our lovely butlers Eduard, Gio and Jeffrey as well as Mr Shariff and Richard at Sultanah for their kindness and hospitality towards us.

I have attached some photos below.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (212)
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Manama, Bahrain
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

Let me begin with this...We're Americans living in Bahrain. Treatment of staff and employees is very important to me. Their staff is treated well, genuine smiles, genuine enjoyment of their job. You may not care how help is treated, we do, especially living where we do.
Utter luxury. We were debating for 2 weeks whether to stay at the least expensive Waha, or spend the $$ and go to Husn. Our friend talked us into Husn. Deeply appreciative. Our room (1018) had the picture perfect view of the sea, overlooking the massive resort complex.
Huge rooms, a bathroom you just want to live in...rain shower for two people, huge sunken tub, private toilets, very large closet for belongings, walk in style.
3 of the best nights' sleep we've had on a beautiful King with luxury seats.
The balcony is quite large, very comfortable, and private as well. The toiletries provided are L'Occittaine (and oh yes, we loaded up)...slippers, bathrobes, beach bag (for you to take)...etc.
Everything in your personal mini bar is included, and restocked everyday!!
(you've really got to read the piece of paper they give you at check-in) It is also stocked with alcohol, of course that's extra. We brought alcohol from Duty Free flight, and kept it in the room.
The beach...you're paying for being in an adult-only hotel, and let me tell you, from two people with no kiddos, it's a real wow factor! The beach of Husn, is separate and stunning. Beach and pool boys are at your beck and call, providing you with sorbets, fresh fruits, avian misters, bottled water, and snorkeling sets and kayaks are complimentary for your use.
We did spend a few hours at Bandar pool and the lazy river, it's very nice...
The breakfast...get it included! We used hotels.com for the best rate, what we didn't realize until the last day, the breakfast buffet in wonderful, and very lavish with breads and fruits and juices, and any kind of coffee or tea you would want...but on the tables is a menu with hot made to order items...that's ALSO included in the buffet. Anything you want...and breakfast buffet is until 11:30
GET BREAKFAST INCLUDED!
At the Husn infinity pool...a nice treat as it's chilled, the other pools are not. Lunch at the Husn pool, please try the lobster wrap, big enough to be shared.
When we checked in, the hostess Lei asked us if this was a special occasion for us, we just casually mentioned the week before was our anniversary. Don't you know, the next night, after dinner when we walked back to our room, there was a chocolate ganache cake and a bottle of champagne, chilled, waiting for us.
Service and class above and beyond the call of duty. Really.
Shuttles will take you to and from town (we've been to Muscat before) Old souk is a must if you've never been.
Taxi to and from airport is only 15rial, do not pay any more than that.
If money is tight, if you're on a budget, then yes, stay at the Bandar...if you're on the fence and money difference is not too great, PLEASE...trust me and go to Husn.
Waha is if you're on a shoestring, or towing a lot of kiddos, I guess.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

We were picked up from the Airport by a very pleasant Hotel employee, a long drive after flying from Australia. On
arrival realized we were at the wrong Hotel when I saw children screaming around. The driver looked at his sheet
of paper and said it listed we were booked into the Al Waha Hotel. I found our Agoda Reservation which clearly
stated we were booked into the Al Husn Hotel. He drove us up the hill to the Al Husn where we showed our
reservation to the receptionist you told us to sit down while she rung to clarify. No drinks were offered and there
we sat for over 30 minutes
two other couples waiting to check in also seemed to be having difficulties checking in. After getting very frustrated I asked
what was the problem now and she reluctantly got someone to show us our room which was supposed to be a
deluxe sea view. The sea was barely visable. Was surprised to find that smoking was allowed around the pool area.
If anyone from management reads this review I would like to be contacted on katrinawehipeihana1@hotmail.com
The following day we checked out and stayed at the Al Bustan where the service was outstanding and more user
friendly for older people.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Even though I booked (& paid for) Airport collection - I was not collected & told to 'make my own way' as a solo traveller arriving at the airport at 11pm. I was sexually assaulted at the Shangri-La Hotel during my stay. The Hotel completely stepped back stating that the perpetrator was not a direct employee (he was a shop keeper on site at the Hotel) therefore the Hotel had no responsibility for what happened. Their management of the whole situation was appalling & centred around looking after the best interests of the Hotel - not me as their guest. To top it off when I left the Hotel to return home, the promised car to the Airport never turned up! Half an hour later the Lobby Staff called a cab for me. Beware women travelling alone to this 6 Star resort.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013 via mobile

The Al Husn has been one of our favourite hotels having stopped at many of the worlds finest hotels. Having enjoyed our previous visit so much ( Easter 2012 ) we decided to return.

We arrived just after midnight having flown in on the daily BA flight. We parked our rental car outside the hotel but unfortunately there were no doorman. Appreciating the time, we unloaded our own car and checked in. Gone are the welcome towels and refreshing check in drinks

Whilst being escorted to our room, we heard significant noise coming from some rooms, quite worrying after midnight and far from our previous experiences. We were informed that since Jan 2013 the hotel allowed children to stay, although not allowed to use the facilities. Take care not to get an interconnecting room, they do exist here, luckily I checked at check-in

The room itself was up to its usual cleanliness, however the mini bar was empty. All we wanted was cool water hence it was a call to reception to resolve.

Breakfast was a little disappointing. There has been an obvious churn of staff and small things like menus are missing from tables. It would appear they are trying to discourage guests to order warm breakfast food.

The largest disappointment was afternoon tea. Like many other guests it used to be one of the daily highlights. Previously afternoon tea was a delightful buffet with a range of self serve cakes. It now consists of a small platter of pre-selected mini cakes. It all feels like cost cutting, not something that a luxury resort should be doing.

Hotel security is also poor. It is very easy to gain access to the hotel without being a guest. This is something that should be improved in a luxury resort.

Pool staff were friendly and probably the most attentive. Restaurant staff now seem to have a poor command of English. If this were our first visit it would have been a fine experience. Unfortunately, it was a return visit and there are clear signs of slipping standards. The attention to detail that made the resort a special place has been lost. I fear this will be our last trip

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

We booked a stay at Shangri-La's Barr al Jissah Resort in 2007 but when they day came to travel, several people told me to avoid Muscat due to "rain and wind". I phoned the hotel to ask if it was safe to travel, and the person I spoke to said yes. It turns out it wasn't, and we drove through Cyclone Gonu, the most devastating cyclone to hit Oman in 50 years! Needless to say, we didn't make it to Muscat on that occasion (the 30-foot palm tree being washed across the road was a sign to turn back...).
On this occasion, I mentioned my previous experience when I booked and the hotel's people were good enough to upgrade us to a suite in light of that inconvenience.

On arrival, via a road which would make a fine and testing race track (excellent surface, twisty and hilly), you're greeted by the stunning sight of rocky hills and headlands jutting into the Gulf of Oman. Those travelling from the airport should expect the trip to take an hour, possibly more in rush hour. Entering the resort, there are roads to each of the three hotels which make up the resort. Al Waha is the least expensive and most family-friendly. Al Bandar is the mid-range (but still very grand) one, and Al Husn is the child-free, almost ridiculously splendid one. Most of the beach and watersports activities are sited between the first two hotels, keeping most of the bustle and noise away from Al Husn.

As well as the hotels, there is a souq (though as a hotel souq, don't expect bargains or independent retailers) and an Omani "heritage village". Restaurants and bars are scattered around the resort.

Arriving at Al Husn, our car was valet parked and we were introduced to Edward, who would be our butler if we needed one, and a guest services manager greeted us in person. We were also given a welcome drink and the offer of a tour of the facilities. At this point, after the drive from Dubai, we were actually rather keen to get to our room and collapse instead.

The one-bedroom suite was well-designed, with a stunning bathroom. The walk-in shower was among the best I've seen, though it would have been even better if it had been possible to have the regular shower and the sideways jets working at the same time. The bathtub was a good size, and the separate door to the toilet was a nice touch. There was also a separate WC. The dressing room was almost big enough to be a second bedroom. Both the lounge and the bedroom had large, flat-screen TVs (a somewhat limited choice of channels, no HD signal and no movie service though). Both wired and wireless internet were available and complimentary. The balcony, looking out on the Gulf of Oman, was a good size and furnished comfortably. As a bonus, the wifi signal worked on the balcony.

The room had a couple of demerits. Given the fierceness of the sun in these parts, and the fact that morning sun hit the bedroom window full-on, it really needed better curtains. We took to laying bathrobes and clothes along the bottom edge of the curtains! Also, the mixture of firm mattress and soft pillows wasn't quite right for me. My sleep quality was not high in that bed.

The minibar was stocked with complimentary beverages, which is always a nice touch, though despite being asked more than once the staff seemed incapable of refilling it with Diet Coke! I ended up driving to the Lulu hypermarket about 18km away and buying some myself!

Most of the staff were excellent. The Burmese and Indonesian staff in the Piano Bar were absolutely first class, and the staff in the Asia and Bait al Bahr (seafood) restaurants were good too. There was one eatery, in Al Bandar, where the staff didn't offer us a menu within 5 minutes of our being seated so we headed back to our suite for room service instead.

In Al Husn itself, we had breakfast (nothing exceptional, but plentiful and sufficient - not even close to The Gleneagles Hotel breakfast, by which all others will be judged) in the Sultanah restaurant and complimentary early evening drinks on a terrace. While the evening drinks are a nice touch, I think it's a shame that it isn't more of a mingling experience. Instead, everyone is seated in their individual groups, all facing the sea. Still, sparking wine is a nice start to the evening!

To get around the resort, you have the choice of walking though bear in mind the temperatures. Even in mid-May it was already 40+ Celcius (over 100 degrees F) and getting pretty sticky. Otherwise, there's a shuttle bus or chauffeured golf buggies.

We didn't try the swimming pools, but were told by other guests that the water wasn't chilled. It seemed strange to us, as people who live in the Middle East, that there were lots of people in and around the pools during the day in the heat and blazing sun, but almost no one in the evening when they would have been very pleasant.

All in all, Barr al Jissah has some incredible facilities in a stunning location, and for the most part the staff are excellent. Our room was very close to being superb. For us, this was an unusual holiday; we generally prefer to have things to do on holiday rather than relaxing by the beach in a resort. Considering this was not really our sort of holiday (and note that if your intention is to see Muscat and the surrounding area, the location is actually a negative point), there are few places which would have been better for it than Barr al Jissah. For those who like resort holidays, it offers a great deal. We met up with another couple during our stay, and they told us that one thing they would have liked was a cool, air-conditioned place to spend time in during the day. This would have been less of an issue during the Omani winter, of course, but in summer it's best suited to those who can handle the fierce heat on the beach or by the pool.

Room Tip: Sea view costs more, but beware you may be overlooking a pool bar!
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Aylesford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

We'd stayed at the Al Bandar previously and had had a meal in the Al Husn, that had convinced us to give it a try. Well worth the wait! If you are looking for exclusive benefits then this is the hotel. We prefer places that cater towards adults/couples, this place does just that by limiting the age at which you can use the facilities (16 years) and not laying on the family entertainment. All things that appeal to us. This promotes a quiet and balanced atmosphere, geared towards adults and couples.

The little things, like the coolbox with water & fruit juices, and the fresh fruit & sorbets, and sunglass cleaning, to name but a few, are all delivered with minimum fuss.

The rooms are a good size, well thought out for a couple, and the mini bar offers complimentary drinks (not spirits). There are complimentary products abound, in the bathroom, which all add to the experience. The public areas offer a quiet ambience, with drinks (complimentary of course) in the early evening. The Sultanah restaurant is used for breakfast and is transformed into a signature restaurant in the evening. Just one thing for the restaurant manager. We were commenting about the flies (which in fairness you dealt with) not complaining, big difference..... The hot buffet disappeared after three days (replaced by al a carte), we think because the occupancy was quite low, but this didn't detract from the very high quality.

Of the other restaurants, Sharazad is ace, as is Bait Al Barr. These two (with Sultanah) are the best in the resort. The let down restaurant is the Italian restaurant, Capri Court, which professes to be a signature Italian place but delivers an average menu, with small portions and little choice.

Don't be fooled, the whole place is quite expensive, but the saying - 'you get what you pay for' - cannot be more true for the Al Husn, and the facilities on the resort generally.

We will definitely return.

Room Tip: If you like a sea view, try to get a sea view facing the Al Bandar and Al Waha, stunning !
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 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 Shangri La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Husn

Address: | PO Box 644 (Muscat), Barr Al Jissah 113, Oman
Location: Oman > Muscat Governorate > Barr Al Jissah
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Barr Al Jissah
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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Also Known As:
Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort And Spa-Al Husn
Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Husn Hotel Muscat Governorate
Shangri Las Muscat
Shangri Las Al Husn

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