Generally when we book a holiday, we book based on the location and activities we hope to do in that area; for the most part, our accommodation is something that fits in around our other requirements. This time though, we decided to let our accommodation be the guide and in doing so, booked in to stay in Sohar, a small coastal town on the Gulf of Oman, at the Radisson Blu.
Approximately three hours from Abu Dhabi (or four hours if you have our misfortune at the border) the Radisson Blu Sohar sits on the Omani shoreline. The hotel is so new, the driveway isn’t quite finished, but don’t let that put you off – once you make it off the main road and enter the hotel, you’ll slip into a blissful state of relaxation, we guarantee it.
We were warmly greeted in the foyer and after a smooth check-in, made our way up to our room to begin our much anticipated long-weekend of downtime.
Our Room at the Radisson Blu Sohar
Imagine our surprise to find the most delicious tray of dessert treats in our room – mini mango smoothies, berry macrons and chocolate-dipped strawberries. We knew instantly that we’d come to the right place – an hotel that greets us with sugary treats is onto a good thing in our books! It was a great sign of things to come as the rest of the weekend turned into an absolute whirlwind of the most amazing food – so much so that we’re going to dedicate a post to the restaurants individually – stay tuned.
Tearing ourselves away from our sweet surprise, we found our room was spacious, clean and beautifully appointed. The artwork throughout gave a nod to the hotel’s Arabian setting, whilst remaining modern and the materials throughout were of a high quality. The wifi was complimentary and of good speed and the TV had a range of international channels. Even the small details were thought of, with USB chargers in sockets and international plugs installed directly into the walls – for people travelling with plugs from all over the world, it was fantastic not to have to fish out our converters from the depths of our bags.
The bathroom provided a little oasis of calm – a beautiful big bath (bath salts included) and a rain shower – and included all the bath products you could ever need for a weekend away, including a toothbrush, razor and lotions.
Around the Hotel
We’ve never been ones to sit in the lobby of a hotel but the addition of a cafe and beautiful big windows made the Radisson’s lobby a great place to spend some time. From the balcony you can watch the world go by below – Omani families enjoying the beach, quad bikes ripping up and down the beach and if you’re lucky, even a prized bull being taken for a walk and swim along the shoreline.
We were absolutely spoilt for choice when it came to the pools at the Radisson – with five to choose from (including a separate one for the kids) and a waterfall area, you’ll be sure to find your favourite. The water temperature was different in each of them, with our preference being the pool with the swim-up bar (it was a little warmer). If you’d prefer to lounge by the side of the pool, there are plenty of sun loungers available to you also.
Unwinding at the Spa
However you prefer to relax, you’ll find an option to suit at the Sohar Radisson Blu. Both Nathan and I blissed out over the course of an hour-long massage – aromatherapy oils, candle light and a full sixty minutes of pure relaxation. There are numerous options available including hot rock and sports massage and body scrubs, though we were both more than happy with our aromatherapy oil massages.
Once you’re finished with your treatment, you’re welcome to use the facilities which include a steam room, sauna and spa pool before sitting down to enjoy a freshly poured cup of tea.
If your idea of looking after yourself is working out, you’re in luck as the Radisson Blu Sohar has a fully equipped gym. Though we can’t vouch for the quality of the equipment ourselves (we were too busy eating, relaxing and swimming) it looked top-of-the-line and ready to put even the fittest of guests through their paces.
Why You Should Visit Oman
Oman is like a breath of fresh air – the people are warm and welcoming and nothing is a problem. Throughout the region we’ve experienced great hospitality but Oman is another step up – even crossing through the border the guards asked how we were (with big, beaming smiles) and kindly pointed us in the right direction. As much as I love the UAE, we can’t say we’ve ever experienced a greeting or farewell like that on the Emirati side of the border.
The UAE’s freindly neighbour has a lovely relaxed nature about it which is a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Abu Dhabi. It’s down-to-earth and if you go looking, you’ll almost certainly spot the local camels, goats and donkeys amongst the rugged landscape.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway from within the region (it would be an easy drive from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Muscat or Nizwa) or need a place to stop off before continuing on further afield, the Radisson Blu is a great choice. We had fairly high expectations already given the reputation of the brand, but were excited to find that our expectations were far surpassed. The Radisson Blu is Sohar’s only five-star hotel and there is no doubt they’ve earned every one of their stars. Don’t take our word for it though – pay the Radisson Blu Sohar a visit yourselves!
Our first experience of Radisson Blu’s hospitality certainly won’t be our last. In fact, we’re already booked our next stay in and can’t wait to experience the same Radisson Blu hospitality at their Saga property in Iceland.
Thank you to the team at Radisson Blu Sohar for so generously hosting us. As always, all thoughts are our own.