The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, sitting just 20 minutes out of Muscat, represents pure luxury in the Sultanate of Oman. So much more than just a resort, there is no delaying denying where you are – this hotel offers world-class hospitality, the most incredible Omani backdrop and a range of services to ensure your holiday is one you’ll never forget.
Arabian perfection at its finest.
Don’t take our word for it though – read on to find out exactly why we fell in love with Muscat’s Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa.
A First Impression to Remember
Occasionally a sight takes your breath away. Our first visit to Barr Al Jissah, Oman, in September of 2015 did exactly that.
From our perch atop sheer cliffs, azure blue waves washing gently upon the shore, we couldn’t help but wonder – why don’t more people know about the beauty of Oman and its people?
Unsurprisingly, word is spreading! This year it was recognised as one of the top 10 countries to visit in 2017 (by Lonely Planet, no less).
As we stood, then and there, we agreed that not only would we return to Muscat, but that the Shangri-La was precisely where we had to stay.
On our second visit back to this gorgeous part of North-Eastern Oman, we made good on our promise to return and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Shangri-La exceeded all of our already-high expectations.
Arriving at The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
As you would expect, check-in was a pleasure thanks to friendly and efficient staff who graciously showed us around this touch of paradise (even if it was ours only for a weekend).
The unmistakable smell of oud floating through the air, glistening marble and intricate, ornate archways and ceilings; it was clear we had arrived somewhere special.
Perfectly situated in between the Sea of Oman and a dramatic mountainous backdrop, the five-star Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa spans an impressive 124 acres of prime Arabian real estate, providing guests with three unique but cohesive accommodation experiences.
640 beautifully appointed rooms and suites are spread between the exclusive Al Husn Hotel (The Castle), Al Bandar Hotel (The Town) and the family-oriented hotel, Al Waha (The Oasis), ensuring that all guests, whether visiting for business or pleasure, are perfectly catered for.
Every element of each hotel has been carefully considered; from the perfect beachfront setting to the Omani architecture, the incredible hospitality to the well matched outlets on site – it’s all designed for maximum enjoyment.
“When combining our delivery of Shangri-La’s legendary hospitality from the heart together with the warm welcome and hospitality of the Omani people, it is an unbeatable combination.” – Juergen Doerr, General Manager, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Sultanate of Oman
A range of world-class restaurants, cafes and bars are spread between the three hotels, providing 21 different food and beverage experiences, each one unique.
Over the course of our stay, we visited three different restaurants and were delighted by all of them. With pricing much more affordable than expected, we were able to treat ourselves to delicious food without ever thinking about our wallets which is always appreciated.
Each morning we enjoyed breakfast out on the deck of the Sultanah restaurant. Included alongside the expansive buffet was an à la carte menu far exceeding anything we’ve come across at another included hotel breakfast – freshly poached snapper and steak cooked to perfection – nothing was too much trouble.
Looking for a casual late lunch we made ourselves at home outside by one of the Shangri-La’s beautiful pools. As we’d hoped, lunch was tasty and filling – we were pleasantly surprised by just how large the portions and how reasonable the prices were. A clear winner if you’re looking for a relaxed bite to eat during the day whilst enjoying beautiful views.
With options abound we settled on a visit to Asia for dinner – the collection of Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Chinese dishes were too good to resist. Each plate was delicious, perfectly cooked and seasoned and again, served in generous portions. The satay skewers were amongst the best I’ve ever tasted and Nathan couldn’t stop raving about the crab salad he had as an entree. Warm and comforting, the food at Asia was exactly what we were after.
Unwinding at the Shangri-La
Once you’ve enjoyed a tasty bite to eat, there are plenty of options to help you relax including
- two private beaches
- six freshwater swimming pools (literally some of the nicest we’ve ever seen!)
- mini golf
- four tennis courts
- a health club and spa
- a well appointed kids zone (let them go to town whilst you unwind)
- a marina and dive centre
- water sports including kayaking, snorkelling and sailing
- an Omani heritage village and
- a library.
With so much to do, the relatively isolated location of the resort is not a problem in the slightest. Both Nathan and I are generally active holiday-seekers and there was more than enough for us to do without stepping foot out of the resort. We had in fact planned to head into town but opted to stay within the complex instead, making the most of the options on offer there.
How many resorts have you been to where you can ride a camel and Arabian horse along the beach or drift from one gorgeous hotel to another along a lazy river?
Al Husn – An Exclusive, Adults-Only Haven
Though we explored all three of the Shangri-La hotels during the course of our stay, we loved returning to Al Husn, the most exclusive part of the resort.
As guests at Al Husn, everyone is treated like absolute royalty – to be frank, it’s been hard adjusting back to the real world again.
All guests of the hotel enjoy a complimentary minibar (with an assortment of soft drinks, juices and imported beers), snacks, fresh fruit and flowers in their room, all replenished daily. In addition, Al Husn visitors receive adults-only access to the resort’s private beach and the most incredible infinity pool, perched high above the clifftop. After a day spent (as busy or relaxed as you please), invitations to high tea and and pre-dinner drinks & canapés are extended, all at no additional cost.
Absolutely everything is thought of at Al Husn.
Need a ride somewhere? Golf carts are on hand to help out (though we chose to walk and take in our gorgeous setting in a more leisurely way).
Relaxing by the pool? Pick up an individually packed chilly-bin, filled with cool water, juice and Evian facial spray.
Heaven on earth!
Our Room a Al Husn Deluxe Seaview Room
Our room was as spacious as it was gorgeous – everything you would expect from a five-star resort like the Shangri-La.
With a generous dressing room, bathroom (which included a powerful rain-shower and a full bathtub and a selection of amazing L’Occitane products) and lounge area there was more than enough space to relax inside our room. Combine that with a fully equipped desk, complimentary wi-fi, Bose sound system, wide-screen TV with a wide selection of international channels, a comfortable king-size bed and fresh fruit and flowers topped up daily (oh and remember that complimentary mini-bar?), it would have been hard to find a reason to actually leave the room in a lesser resort!
Would we Return to the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa?
There’s something about Oman that just steals your heart away – if you’ve not considered visiting, add this beautiful country to your bucket-list now. While you’re at it, book yourself a room at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa – hotels just don’t get better.
When all was said and done, we left for the second time with a promise to return and no doubt, we will.
If you’re headed to Oman, be sure to pin this post for future reference. This is a resort that you don’t want to miss out on!
Thank you to the Shangri-La for so generously hosting the majority of our stay. As always, all thoughts expressed are our own.
Supplementary photographs have been supplied by the Shangri-La – unfortunately the weekend that we visited, the GCC experienced one of the few storms of the season. The grey skies didn’t represent the gorgeous weather that’s typical of the region year-round and we wanted to show you exactly how it looked on our first visit.