Discover Oman luxury hotels

Yvan Pierre Kaiser

The former fishing port of Mascate, capital of the Sultanate of Oman and one of the oldest cities in the Middle East is now the center of a rapidly changing country. Aware of the fact that its oil reserves cannot last forever, the Sultan Qabus bin Sid Al Saïd decided to develop tourism in order to assure the future of its people. It’s a project that began ten years ago and which has already borne fruit since the number of tourists has doubled during this period.

It’s therefore with amazement that we discover the land of Sinbad the Sailor, a country with legends as incredible as its landscapes. Like the capital surrounded by rocks, the Sultanate of Oman is a blend of coast, imposing mountains and desert.

Rania Khodr – Directrice de l’office du Tourisme d’Oman en FranceRania-Khodr-luxury-dream-hotels
“The Sultanate of Oman was considered, especially in France, to be the sleeping beauty of the Middle East. So the vision of His Majesty, the Sultan Qabus was make his country known but with intelligent tourism which would retain Oman’s authenticity while opening up to the modern world at the same time. The motivation was to protect his people, the environment and the culture.”

Al Bustan Palace Ritz-CarltonAl-Bustan-Palace-Luxury-dream-hotels Pool

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Due to its very particular geography, the historical center of Mascate has only 25,000 inhabitants, which is why a large metropolitan area was developed surrounding the Omani capital. Today more than a million people live there.

Just a few minutes from the old city, we find the Sultanate’s emblematic luxury hotel. Surrounded by rocks installed on the edge of a crystalline sea, the Al Bustan Palace’s impressive octagonal form is immediately recognizable. This five star establishment is a veritable timeless icon and the pride of the country.

Rania Khodr – Directrice de l’office du Tourisme d’Oman en France
“Oman is more than coffee, dates and rose water. It’s a land where hospitality is part of its tradition. When I say Oman, I’m talking about thousands of kilometers of coast, thousands of meters of desert and thousand of meters of mountain altitude, but especially the millions of smiles that greet you every day. Omani hospitality is a truly exceptional quality which touches every visitor who comes here. No one coming here is indifferent to it”

Chedi MuscatThe-Chedi-Muscat-Luxury-dream-hotels

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Mascate reveals its enchanting nature in neighborhood after neighborhood. In the old city, founded 20 centuries ago, a few narrow, winding streets are a distant reminder of the period when pirates terrorized the region.

There are no skyscrapers here. Urban development is much less frenetic than in neighboring countries. Here, one takes the time to live and contemplate the beauties life has to offer.

At the Chedi, this contemplation is a state of mind. With its Zen atmosphere, it is also the only design hotel in the region.

It’s a blend of Arab and Asian influences, with many pure neutral lines, restful colors and a great deal of plant life. The vegetation represents the philosophy of the place, as architect Jean-Michel Gathy envisioned it. As a specialist in landscaping as well, the desired effect depends primarily on the lighting.

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah ResortShangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort-Luxury-dream-hotels

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Located a few kilometers from the historic center of the city, surrounded by impressive mountains and a crystalline sea, we find the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort.

Opened in 2005, this 80 hectare complex consists of three separate hotels: Al Waha for families, Al Bandar, more business traveler oriented and the height of luxury, Al Husn.

Perched on a rocky promontory, Al Husn overlooks the entire complex and possesses the most beautiful view of the Shangri-La’s pride and joy, its 600 meter long beach.

Salim Al-Mamari – Directeur de la promotion du tourismeSalim-Al-Mamari-luxury-dream-hotels
“When we have started promoting Oman internationally, we actually positioned Oman as an elite destination and we were very careful when we have stated selecting our market and selecting our segment in each market, because Oman is a jewel, Oman is an identity.”

Alila Jabal AkhdarAlila-Jabal-Akhdar-Luxury-dream-hotels

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An important part of Oman’s identity is the mountains and especially the Hajar chain which crosses the country over a 600 kilometer area. On of the most famous sites here is Jabal Al Akhdar meaning green mountain.

This imposing massif is accessible via a route on which only mountain vehicles are authorized.

Lost in the mountains and almost invisible in this mineral landscape is the Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel opened in 2013.

Everything here has been designed to create a site that blends in perfectly with its environment.

Rania Khodr – Directrice de l’office du Tourisme d’Oman en France
“ Oman in my view can be visited like a star with many points. You arrive in Mascate, the capital and opt for either a car, a mountain vehicle, alone or if you like with a guide although it’s a very safe country. You can visit the interior, take the fort route, and go into the mountains or the desert.”

Desert Nights CampDesert-Nights-Camp-Luxury-dream-hotels

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The Wahiba Sands is a vast desert in the heart of Oman named after a local tribe. This magical region, two a half hours from Mascate, is one of the highlights of a visit to the Sultanate.

Several campsites have been set up but the most luxurious is undoubtedly the Desert Nights Camp which suddenly appears like a mirage in the midst of high dunes in this infinite sea of sand.

Although it’s not a mirage at all, it’s only accessible via a four wheel drive vehicle. These same vehicles emit the only rare sounds that break the silence of this majestic and timeless region where landmarks disappear and imagination is king.

Salim Al-Mamari – Directeur de la promotion du tourisme
“The number of tourists coming to the country has been raised. We have reached approximately 2.1 million tourists coming to the country in 2013. The participation of tourism in the economy of the nation in 2013 was 2.2 and this is only the direct income from tourism. The number of hotels has been risen also from up to now we have more than 40.000 rooms, we are going to double that number by 2020, Inchallah.”

Six Senses Zighy BaySix-Senses-Zighy-Bay-Luxury-dream-hotels

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Located in the northernmost part of Oman, the Musandam peninsula, also known as the Arabian fiord region because of its steep cliffs plunging directly into the sea, is home to one of the most isolated and exclusive hotels in the country: the Six Senses Zighy Bay.

Accessible after crossing the jagged uneven relief of the Hajar Mountains, the hotel appears adjacent to the superb waters of the bay and blends totally into the landscape.

Every possible effort has been made to integrate the hotel into its surroundings including the restoration of the adjacent village financed by the hotel group.

As an historic and mysterious land, the magic of the Sultanate of Oman operates on a number of levels, enchanting everyone who comes here. The question is not when to come back but how many times to come back!

Yvan Pierre Kaiser


Yvan Pierre-Kaiser est journaliste et réalisateur, passionné de voyages, de cinéma et de photographie. Entre l'écriture et la réalisation il trouve aussi le temps d'arpenter la planète pour filmer quelques uns des plus beaux hôtels du monde pour

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