Had I paid the average rate for The Chedi I would be one angry person - but having paid something close to a third of ongoing rates I am only disappointed.
Nevertheless I cannot give anything above 3 stars to this property and I will be extremely picky with my review because when you pay this money you must expect perfection.
I was so excited to go to the famous Chedi Muscat and I thought it would also be professionally inspiring being myself an architect in the luxury hospitality business.
Wrong was I. The first appalling impression was indeed the first impression: entrance to the hotel.
I think a road like that could only lead to some Bedouin tent not one hotel that is bragged to be 6 stars.
Second impression was the reception. pointlessly confusing which of the two identical desks is reception and which one conciergerie. but the lobby is lovely and grande.
The third impression, another negative one, was the lighting throughout the resort. I arrived around 1am and let me say that whoever thought that would create a nice sense of intimacy was obviously wrong. First you can't enjoy the beauty of the grounds, secondly you risk breaking your neck at every step - especially if venturing down to the beach or around the long pool.
The Serai room was disappointing. Lots of space wasted and poorly studied. Why on earth would anyone want to enter a luxury hotel room through the bathroom??
No space to hang towels, having to enter the shower to run the water which will obviously be cold as soon as you open it, no closed area for clothes, standard art work.
I had a Serai pool/somehow-sea view room except I felt I was in a high security jail between the wooden blinds, the windows that don't open and on top of that another wooden grid on the outside of the window too. What else? Barbwire? High voltage?
Huge negative point: shortage of house keeping personnel resulting in very late service - I had to call them on three occasions, one day even had to call them twice - despite always being out of my room at 9am and hanging the "please make my room" sign. The following days I just hunted the house keeper around.
Complete inconsistency with coffee/tea not being refilled 3 days out of 6 although I was getting tons of soap, bath gel etc
The beach: soft white sand someone said? Lovely beach? Wonder where these people have travelled in their life.
The sand scorches your feet if you try to walk on it (no wonder there was a cheap moldy carpet leading to the water..they couldn't invest a whole 200omr on wood decking??!)
The sea? Why would you even build such a hotel on such a miserably average beach? You can find better looking sea even in the UK.
Oman has some truly stunning sea (go to Qantab beach) but not here.
Are you paying some $700 to enjoy a long pool that doesn't offer any shade or the Serai pool that you can't even see while on the chaise because of the bushes between you and the water?? Uhm ooookay! If that's your thing!
The food: breakfast has undoubtedly great variety and quality. Honestly the restaurant itself looks too much like an Italian designer boutique rather than somewhere you would enjoy great tasting food.
Room service: silly prices, tiny portions, average taste.
Serai pool restaurant: ok this is where I thought I would go to slap the chef, the food&bev manager and perhaps the GM too. It is a 5 star hotel with insane prices for food and not even an endless list. You would figure they know how to cook a seafood risotto?! No, of course not. I could go to Fridays if I wanted overcooked Italian food and at least I would pay 3omr not 20
Now I want to share the positive points - which are clearly very few and they are determining the above zero rating.
The staff is perfectly trained. Polite and attentive: the second day at breakfast I had double espresso and ashtray delivered without even uttering a word and I didn't even seem to recognize the guy who offered them to me.
The gardens: I think they used GPS to position the palm trees, it is impressive. Everything is super neat.
The pools: lovely, clean and comfy beddings all around.
That's pretty much it. The hotel completely lacks charm, uniqueness, research, innovation, design. It's just a grande white concrete block with pretty gardens, fountains and palm trees but with interiors that any Ikea designer could have come up with.
You want your jaw to hit the floor? Go to hotels like Mamounia in Morocco, Indigo Pearl in Thailand, Bulgari in Bali, W in Thailand just to name a few.
I wouldn't suggest it as a destination itself but only as "if you must".
I would suggest Al Bustan Ritz Carlton, it has a better beach, but the building is horrible, decoration antique and too far considering the terrible Omani traffic conditions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Occupying a prime beachfront location, this exclusive 21-acre 5 star beach resort is located 20 minutes north of old Muscat, the capital of The Sultanate of Oman, at Al Ghubra. The Chedi Muscat is ideally located for business and leisure travelers alike as the main tourist attractions, the financial centre and Muscat International Airport are only a 15 minutes drive away. The Chedi Muscat, a member of “The Leading Hotels of The World” and Oman’s first contemporary hotel, opened its doors in 2003. The resort offers understated elegance and a perfect mix of Omani architecture and a profound Asian Zen-style. The minimalist lines of the low-rise buildings are accentuated by gardens of symmetrical simplicity, with lines of manicured hedges and ordered pools of water, creating an implacable Zen calm. All 158 rooms have breathtaking views across the gardens and ponds, mountains and the Gulf of Oman. As well as a 370m private beach, The Chedi Muscat offers guests a choice of three pools: the adults-only infinity Chedi Pool, surrounded by cabanas and with a superb seafront location and the recently opened 103-metre outdoor pool The Long Pool, and the family friendly Serai Pool, with its black mosaics and elegant canopy plus 2 flood lit tennis courts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Chedi Muscat Hotel Muscat Governorate
- The Chedi Hotel Muscat
- Chedi Oman
- Chedi Hotel Oman
- Chedi Hotel Muscat
- Chedi Muscat Oman