ROOMS: impeccable, such comfortable beds. Bathroom products leave something to be desired, though - especially given that this is a Ritz-Carlton.
GROUNDS AND BEACH: magnificent! The grounds are perfectly manicured,pools are exquisite, and the beach is the best one in Muscat - which, it appears, doesn't have such great sand beaches, but rather rocky ones. Try the hammocks, or the double beds with a canopy! The staff are extremely attentive. Loved the lunches at the Pavilion restaurant, sitting outside with your feet in the sand while you eat!
One complaint: the atmosphere can get a little ... contrived. Is it really necessary to have horses on the beach to light 5 little tiki-torches every night? The first time it was charming, but after awhile it felt a bit like the hotel is trying too hard to give an authentic experience, while the whole thing just felt "fake".
- BREAKFAST: nothing to complain about the breakfast buffet. It was a dream.
- CHINESE: the best Chinese I've ever had. Although, once again, the "tea pouring" thing felt contrived. How much is one expected to ooh and aah over a teapot with a very long spout?
- SEAFOOD RESTAURANT: felt empty at dinner, but great location. Had lunch there - go for the crab cakes!
- DINNER BUFFET: the choice was all right. Not anything to write home about. Go for the à la carte menu. Their Indian food was sublime!
- ARABIAN NIGHTS EXPERIENCE: I forget what it was called. The dinner in the tents thing. 3 words: DO NOT BOOK. It was a waste of an evening. Once again, very contrived. Fun for about half an hour. Eating in tents was nice. But the food wasn't very good. Moreover, the waiters didn't give you a minute to eat! They serve you one course, then before you've had a chance to try anything or to ask for seconds of what you did like, they're taking the plates away and serving the next course! What should have been a long, relaxed meal became a race. The servings of each dish was only about a spoonful, so since there was no chance to have seconds of what you liked, we left still hungry! Definitely not worth the price!
LOBBY: fantastic, cavernous. Around X-mas and New Year, there were choirs singing carols, pianists - and an absolutely fantastic harpist that we could have spent all night listening to!
SERVICE: excellent. Ask for it, and it's done. The minibus into town was a fantastic touch as well!
SPA & FITNESS: fantastic array of massages, etc. Fitness room was a little stuffy and smelly at times - but good machines, and fun TV's on them!
In sum, only complaints are: stop making the hotel into a theme park, and fix your Arabian Nights dinner!
- 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. We are a top choice among hotels in Muscat, Oman, offering accommodations and public spaces that overlook the glittering azure waters of the Gulf of Oman. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Hotel Muttrah