If you want to do not very much on a remote piece of Omani coast, but do it in luxury, then this is your place.
This is quite a high end hotel so has well appointed rooms built around a lovely pool with various facilities like a nice gym. During my stay the onsite restaurant served consistently excellent breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The hotel also runs a very good seafood restaurant built on a delightful sandy beach about 1km away (transfers provided).
Service from all the restaurant staff, housekeeping etc. was top rate. I also felt the hotel was good value for the discount price I paid via a special offer on their website - around GBP 100 per night for a high quality hotel compares favourably with other options in this part of the world.
The downside is that this is not a good base for doing any activities away from the hotel - it's a 45 minute transfer to the Muscat area (either by road, or by boat service which I'd recommend trying) and a further 45 minutes from there to the airport. I had already done my sightseeing in Muscat so that wasn't a problem, but the one thing I did do was a half day diving trip. This turned out to be quite a lot of hassle and something the reception staff didn't seem at all used to arranging. Unfortunately I got stranded for 2 hours at a remote marina waiting for my ride back to the hotel after my diving and had to phone 3 times to get them to pick me up... pretty poor customer service for this type of place.
The other downside is that the hotel beach is not great for swimming - too many stones and sea urchins. However, there is about a 2km stretch of lovely sand a 10 minute walk from the hotel, adjoining the sleepy village of Sifa.
As other reviewers have commented, the Sifawy is phase 1 of an ambitious plan to develop the whole area, complete with 4 hotels, golf course etc. There was a small amount of construction work going on whilst I was there but nothing to disturb the experience. From what I saw there were already a lot of empty apartments and hotel rooms that need filling - my guess is it will be a while before the development is complete. So for now, this is a great place to get away from the crowds.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Jebel Sifah, a new resort development 45 minutes from Muscat downtown. This boutique hotel designed by renowned Italian architect features large swimming pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, fitness centre, treatment room, in addition to a wide range of activities and excursions. Suite guests are provided with a personalized butler who can handle every detail of your stay. ... more less
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