Stayed at the Al Waha from 6th - 16th March, and for a 10 night break it was very enjoyable although slightly frustrating in some areas. Reviewers talking about Concierge service are right, it is lacking, and personally I cannot stand the holiday camp style buffet restaurants, the Al Tanoor being really poor indeed. Sunbeds, whilst now plentiful (we could go and get beds at Waha or Bandar at 1030 with no problems at all) need more shaded spots, particularly as the shades are fixed and cannot be moved to compensate for the angle of the sun! Final moan, the Italian restaurant was totally non-Italian, even insisting on serving oil and balsamic with bread which you will not find anywhere in Italy! The Spanish chef also seemed to shout incredibly loudly at his staff in the kitchen, much to the amusement of the customers in the restaurant.
So, frustrations over, what about the good stuff?
Bait al Bahr, the 'seafood' restaurant, thankfully had non-seafood dishes, and is by miles the best a-la-carte at the resort, with excellent staff, and really tasty food. My only real problem was the ghastly German family who turned up to dinner on the 13th March (you know who you are) with two obnocious children who ran around the terrace all night whilst Grandma sang loudly to them. Sadly, no example was set by Dad who had dressed for the occassion in swim shorts and a vest. Second visit to the Bait al Bahr two nights later was truly excellent, partly due to the removal of our German chums.
Samba restaurant has a small and not widely publicised bar, where you can get a great draft beer for OR 2-00 and enjoy super service from Ram and his chums. Well worth a trip. I suggested to Kevin the manager, mentioned elsewhere, that the Waha does need a main bar, and was told that plans are afoot for a main bar close to the beach.
Room was fine, big enough, and well fitted. Great balcony. No real mossie problem apart from a couple of bites, but much better than Dubai for that. Business centres had handy free internet.
Altogether really a very good stay, in a hotel which will, given a few months of settling down, be excellent. The Shangri-la folks do listen to the comments on this site, as many of the problems raised in earlier reviews had been addressed. My only real issue was the lack of real choice amongst the restaurants, aside from the Bait al Bahr which was the saving grace.
Outside the hotel, we too went to the Wadis and desert, which is really the no.1 thing to do in Oman as the scenary is amazing. Try also a quick trip to the fish market at Barka as this is much more real and local than the more touristy one in Muscat. Remember also that airfares within the GCC are not hugely punitive, and we found that a trip up to Bahrain for the F1 race was not too bad pricewise and an excellent day out. For evenings out, we tried taxis to some of the other hotels, and Trader Vics at the Intercontinental followed by a glass in their English pub was an international option. We did also try a local Omani restaurant which I certainly enjoyed, but my non spice eating wife did not!
Gulf Air was broadly OK, certainly more friendly and better quality than Emirates, which, like Dubai, is all a bit plastic and artificial!
So folks, get to Muscat before it is roundly wrecked by over-development!
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- Also Known As:
- Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort And Spa-Al Bandar
- Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Bandar Hotel Muscat Governorate
- Shangri Las Muscat
- Shangri La Muscat
- Shangri La Oman
- Shangri La Hotel Oman
- Shangri La Hotel Muscat
- Shangri Las Al Bandar