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“Unusual type of overnight stay”

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Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve
Ranked #1 of 6 Sur B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 11, 2014

I visited the centre this week (9th January) which is the low season for turtles so wasn't sure what to expect. On arrival they tried to charge me 20 OMR more than Booking.com had guaranteed and I had to log on to the only public computer (no WiFi) to prove what I had been quoted. The rooms are basic. There is a tv and a mini bar, no hairdrier, no real view through the slit window but a comfortable bed. The duvet did not have a separate cover but seemed to be laundered.
The evening meal was a buffet so if you didn't like the limited choice you had to drive for 45 minutes back to Sur to eat. We were told to gather in the lobby at 8.30pm to go out to see the turtles but it was 9.30 before we eventually left to go to the beach. We were split into groups with around 22 in each and walked, in the dark, to the beach. When we arrived we spent an hour and a quarter being given information about turtles and having a magical time watching a turtle lay her eggs then begin to cover her hole over. We saw a turtle going back into the sea too. It was a really special experience. We then walked back to the centre and went to bed. At 03.45 we got up again and went back down to the lobby for the second tour. We waited for almost an hour to be told that there were no turtles on the beach so we wouldn't be going out but the guide had brought 3 baby turtles for us to see. We thought it was good but some people complained at being kept up for almost an hour only to be told to go back to bed. Breakfast is from 7 - 10 which is good as no-one had much sleep during the night and check out is a 12. Breakfast was a buffet with quite a good selection but no decaffeinated coffee and only full fat milk which was a shame.
After breakfast we went for a walk on the beach and along the coast which was superb. There is no danger of disturbing turtles during the day and we could not damage their nest holes so we could wander anywhere. It was brilliant and extremely interesting following all the turtle tracks from the night before.
We were lucky and saw turtles in the low season.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Carapace rooms which were ok.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank christine s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vijay H, Manager at Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2014

Dear Mam,

Greetings from Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve!

Thank you very much for your feedback posted on this website. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you during you stay with us.
At Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, we take pride in ensuring our customer’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, we did not meet up with your expectations. Upon thorough review of your feedback we would like to inform that this being a turtle reserve thus design of the rooms and surroundings have limited access to lights so as not to harm the turtles. The center was designed by a German Architect, especially for a turtle reserve. We have also taken a note of your other points and work on the same. We deeply value your relationship with Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and are committed to provide you and all our visitors with the highest level of service simply because they deserve the very best. Please feel free to connect with us If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter, .
Best Regards,


Vijay Handa
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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285 - 291 of 474 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2014

It is low season and there were no turtles at either viewing. We are very tired and disappointed. They do not allow guests to go to the beach by themselves before 5:30 am.

Rooms are fine and clean. Only complaints are the paper thin walls and lack of natural light.

Would not recommend stay during low season

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank whereismonica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vijay H, Manager at Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2014

Dear Sir,
Greetings from Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve!
Thank you very much for your feedback posted on this website. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you during you stay with us.
At Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, we take pride in ensuring our customer’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, we did not meet up with your expectations. Upon thorough review of your feedback we would like to inform that this being a turtle reserve thus design of the rooms and surroundings have limited access to lights so as not to harm the turtles. The center was designed by a German Architect, especially for a turtle reserve. We have again worked on our wi-fi and hopefully you will enjoy using it in your next visit. . We deeply value your relationship with Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and are committed to provide you and all our visitors with the highest level of service simply because they deserve the very best. Please feel free to connect with us If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter.
Best Regards,
Vijay Handa
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

The accommodation here is either in the building (Carapace Rooms) or in so-called luxury tents a windy and dark walk away. Our room was of a high standard with 2 chairs (!), a TV which worked, and a good-sized bathroom. But the window was like a slit, afforded no view of the area or the sea and made the room feel like a cell. And whatever were those plastic flowers doing on the bedroom desk in a research centre?!!! No WIFI and the centre's computer was not working. The restaurant (quite expensive if one doesn't eat masses from the buffet, the more so if one is a non-meat eater) is only open for breakfast and dinner and the cafe is no longer functioning. But the main problem here is that no access to the beach is allowed in the afternoon (understandable is view of the need to protect the turtles but one feels very trapped and under-occupied). The turtle-viewing expeditions (9.00pm and 4.00am approx) and included for residents are not well organised (much conflicting information inaudible against the background noise of the may people assembled,) Visitors should also be aware that the beach activity is arranged so that groups focus on one turtle only (this may be different at the times of the year when masses of turtles come ashore). This approach is fair enough, of course, but people tend to be disappointed rather than entranced; some decided against further viewings or a second night at the centre. The exhibition in the centre has its strengths and is worth a visit.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pseudonymity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vijay H, Manager at Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded March 26, 2014

Dear Sir,
Greetings from Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve!
Thank you very much for your feedback posted on this website. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you during you stay with us.
At Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, we take pride in ensuring our customer’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, we did not meet up with your expectations. Upon thorough review of your feedback we would like to inform that this being a turtle reserve thus design of the rooms and surroundings have limited access to lights so as not to harm the turtles. The center was designed by a German Architect, especially for a turtle reserve. We have again worked on our wi-fi and hopefully you will enjoy using it in your next visit. The connectivity loss is mostly because of the rough weather at times in this remote area. As a testament to our strive for perfection, we have taken steps to ensure that this will never happen again. We have also taken a note of your other points and will work on the same. We deeply value your relationship with Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and are committed to provide you and all our visitors with the highest level of service simply because they deserve the very best. Please feel free to connect with us If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter.
Best Regards,


Vijay Handa
Genaral Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Stayed in one of the eco friendly tents which was very well maintained. Staying here helps in going for the night guided tour to the beach to watch turtles making their nests and laying eggs. The museum attached to this is worth visiting.
The restaurant variety is below average and expensive. Not much vegetarian options.
Better to carry some food with you as there are no eating options near by.

Room Tip: Not much to choose from the rooms as the view from all of them is limited. Room is decided by the bu...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jeevees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vijay H, Manager at Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded March 26, 2014

Dear Sir,
Greetings from Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve!
Thank you very much for your feedback posted on this website. Please do visit again.
Best Regards,

Vijay Handa
Genaral Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

This is a turtle reserve that happens to do accomodation . It should not be confused with a hotel . We stayed in one of the eco tents which are ok for a night . However they are as others have said some distance and uphill from the main centre . There location is disapointing as they are set amongst some low scree slopes so you have not got any view . Be aware the centre is 15 mins walk from the beach so the experience is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties . The restaurant is rather canteen like with neon lights and plastic table clothes . The buffet and breakfast were disapointing .There is also no alcohol available .It was low season and we saw only 3 adult turtles and some young hatchlings . But it was a beautiful moonlit night and the turtles were very impressive . So whilst not the greatest wildlife experience , we enjoyed it none the less .

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alistairbudd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vijay H, Manager at Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2014

Dear Sir,
Greetings from Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve!
Thank you very much for your feedback posted on this website. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you during you stay with us.
At Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, we take pride in ensuring our customer’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, we did not meet up with your expectations. Upon thorough review of your feedback we would like to inform that this being a turtle reserve thus design of the rooms and surroundings have limited access to lights so as not to harm the turtles. The center was designed by a German Architect, especially for a turtle reserve. As a testament to our strive for perfection, We have also taken a note of your other points and will work on the same. We deeply value your relationship with Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and are committed to provide you and all our visitors with the highest level of service simply because they deserve the very best. Please feel free to connect with us If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter.
Best Regards,
General Manager
Vijay Handa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

The only reason for this overnight was to visit the beach in the hope of seeing turtles, more of that later.
We were booked into one of their Eco tents situated quite a way from the main building, hence needing transport to,and from the main building every time. They are basically tents albeit well fitted out ones and adequate for a single night. Beyond that they would get a little repressive. The main issue we had was the lack of natural light and in order to undo the zippers is quote a task and you never get it quite right. They do have a powerful A/C unit in the tent, perhaps a little too big for when we there.
Food option for both dinner and breakfast is quite limited and not inspiring. No alcohol. It fulfilled a requirement but little else. Reception staff a little too laid back for my liking.
Now for the turtle experience, we opted for the 9pm visit, the beach is a 15 minute walk from the hotel with no transport options other than walking. Fine if you can but my wife recovering from a knee replacement found it very very difficult but was determined not to miss it. This does really need to be made very clear to people intending to visit this reserve. If you are not capable of walking around 15 minutes or so over soft sand in the dark the visit would be a waste of time.
The turtle experience was wonderful, luckily we saw one leaving the beach, one laying eggs and around 9 youngsters going for sea. Beautiful to see and all credit to the staff wardens looking after us.
A very special thanks to the member of staff who walked back with us for my wife with a crutch was very slow and to took a long time.
JUST BE WARNED IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WALKING!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Alan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vijay H, Manager at Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2014

Dear Sir,
Greetings from Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve!
Thank you very much for your feedback posted on this website. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you during you stay with us.
At Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, we take pride in ensuring our customer’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, we did not meet up with your expectations. Upon thorough review of your feedback we would like to inform that this being a turtle reserve thus design of the rooms and surroundings have limited access to lights so as not to harm the turtles. The Tents are designed to have more of eco-friendly. As a testament to our strive for perfection. We have also taken a note of your other points and will work on the same. We deeply value your relationship with Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and are committed to provide you and all our visitors with the highest level of service simply because they deserve the very best. Please feel free to connect with us If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter.
Best Regards,
Vijay Handa
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This review is for the eco tents, not the hotel rooms.

There are perhaps 10 tents grouped around a little square up in the hills above the research center. 2 or 3 of them are family tents with two kingsize beds, the rest are smaller tents. We had a family tent for the four of us (2 adults, 2 teenagers). We did not know what to expect and were more than pleasantly surprised. The tent was huge (about 40 sqm I would think), complete with ensuite bathroom and little patios at the entrance and at the back. There was a table, two chairs (somewhat odd for four people), a wardrobe with safety box, a small fridge, a flat screen TV and the best of all: a very well working A/C. The tent's walls and roof are insulated, so that the A/C keeps the tent cool. In the bathroom is a shower stall, a toilet and a sink. However, we did not spent much time in the tent, as we were there to see the turtles.

The viewing takes place in the evening around 09:00 p.m. and in the morning, around 04:00 a.m.. The guides were respectful towards the animals and gave good explanations. Cameras (flashes) are not allowed on the beach during the 09.00 p.m. walk, so not to disturb the animals. Since the turtles make a mess of the beach it is full of craters, walking in the dark is somewhat tricky and some elderly people in our group found it difficult to keep up.

The few hours of sleep we got in between the two viewings were largely disturbed by the constant flapping of the tent walls in the wind, it was very noisy up there in the gap between two hills. I am not sure the location for the tents is well chosen.

Food at the hotel restaurant was ok. We had a somewhat overprized dinner buffet (10 OR p.p), which is not included in the room fee. Breakfast buffet in the morning is included and is also fair, but nothing to write home about.

All in all a nice experience, although price-wise rather on the steep side.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank fraugast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vijay H, Manager at Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2014

Dear Sir,
Greetings from Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve!
Thank you very much for your feedback posted on this website. Please visit us again.
Best Regards,
General Manager
Vijay Handa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve

Address: PO Box 296, Sur 411, Oman
Location: Oman > Ash-Sharqiyah Governorate > Sur
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Sur
Price Range: $185 - $309 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve 3*
Number of rooms: 31
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Also Known As:
Ras Al-Jinz Turtle Reserve Hotel Sur
Ras Al-Jinz Turtle Reserve Oman/Sur

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