Name: Al Husn, Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa, PO Box 644, Muscat 100, Sultanate of Oman
Pros: Relaxing, serene, a middle eastern gem.
Cons: As under new management since early 2017, I expect inconsistencies in service to be ironed out over the coming months.
On September 29th, we travelled to the Sultanate of Oman and stayed at the Shangri - La, Al Husn five star hotel.
Arrived early morning to a stunning sun rise behind the city of Muscat, then after travelling around 40 minute outside the city, we approached Shangri-La’s (three hotel) Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa.
We choose the adult only Al Husn hotel (five star) for our two week annual holiday which sits proudly atop the hill, and built in the style of Greco -Roman and Byzantine architecture, set against a backdrop of the Hajar Mountains and facing the Gulf of Oman which in itself was a visual treat indeed!
This adult only hotel boasts its own private beach, including water activities including sea kayaking and snorkelling, an over-sized infinity pool, plenty of outdoor seating including cabanas and sun loungers on tiered levels all with an overwhelming sense of privacy, serenity and peacefulness.
First impressions on arrival at this hotel were impressive, the staff were genuinely friendly and welcoming in the grand dome vaulted entrance lobby, scented with Arabic coffee and burning Frankincense.
Check in was speedy with a welcome drink and cold compress towelette being well received.
Our Deluxe Sea View room was spacious, well-appointed and beautifully decorated in Omani /Arabian styling fit for a prince! Mid-first week we decided to treat ourselves to an upgraded room, and moved to the one bedroom suite which was over 1,000 sq foot of sheer luxury, a beautifully laid out formal sitting room, enormous bathroom suite, separate shower room with guest and private w/c / toilets adjoining the large dressing room area.
The bedroom itself, spacious with seating area and well equipped desk for working (should one desire), sharing a long double terrace with the sitting room and overlooking the peninsular of the resort and down into the azure/cobalt sea.
The hotel has two restaurants, Shahrazad; a high end authentic Arabic/ Moroccan cuisine and Sultanah which is the hotel’s main restaurant serving up cuisine from the world, inspired from countries travelled to by the historic Omani Ship ‘Sultanah’ and its trade route in the 1800’s.
Food was outstanding. Service at this restaurant on our first dining experience with the waiter Ram was second to none, he was knowledgeable and friendly and the food came out on time and was delicious.
The second evening we dined here we were initially the only ones in the restaurant then a few more couples joined outside as the night progressed. We noticed as soon as management and key senior well trained members of staff left for the evening (as restaurant was quiet) the service slipped.
We waited 28 minutes for our main course which was a salad and a steak. There should not have been such a delay for such a simple order. Note: the food when it came was very good so no issues there.
The food was remarkable on both evenings we dined here, no issues on service, staff were very attentive.
Breakfast and Afternoon tea in Sultanah:
The breakfasts were delicious as were afternoon tea, and the staff went out of their way to cater for my nut allergy so thank you. At these key dining times there was plenty of Management and Staff around so each sitting was very well run, and it was here where you really felt spoiled. We noted a lot of new staff being trained on the job but this didn’t cause too much disruption as they have good leadership and over the space of two weeks, it was nice to see how the waiters were progressing in their training.
Evening pre-dinner drinks:
An hour of complimentary drinks and crudités, simply delicious and the service here was very good. Again we would like to mention Robert who throughout our stay was exceptionally attentive and such a hard worker! If the young trainees follow his lead I am sure they will be up to scratch in no time.
There were a selection of other restaurants throughout the resort within the other hotels, from light snacks in beach bars to the Italian inspired Capri Court, and the fish inspired Bait Al Bahr on the sea front which was standard, the food was lovely but the service was slightly questionable when our Maître D’ was about to show us to our table, a favoured couple behind us was given that table right under our nose, which meant we had to wait a little longer, however the non- alcoholic (due to Eid al-Adha festival) cocktails were simple divine!
The Tapas restaurant (air conditioned marquee) was a nice spot for a light snack and the Piano bar was great for cocktail happy hour!.
In room dining:
Our first attempt at dining in-room was disastrous, we ordered a light salad and noodles which was meant to be 40 minutes but we were still waiting an hour and half until we cancelled the order as it got too late. I think they forgot about us as the restaurant that evening was not busy.
We spoke to the manager about this at the time and he apologised profusely and offered us complimentary dinner as an apology which was a very kind gesture.
The Al Husn hotel manager Milan Drager was brilliant, always visible around the pool, evening drinks and around reception interacting with the guests, you felt that the staff were very much on the ball when he or his senior team especially Robert were around. We noted that the service slightly changed pace when management wasn’t around so I hope in the future that the services remains consistent, it is outstanding in general and you become spoiled with how good it is. So when it slips, you notice!
Overall, our experience with the Shangri – La Al Husn was positive. We had a very peaceful and rested stay, and overall, we were very impressed with the hotel and its facilities.
We would love to return soon and it would be nice to see some of the staff again who genuinely welcomed you to the hotel, Oman is a truly wonderful and friendly country, when we visit again we will be sure to stay at the Shangri – La Al Husn hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With 180 rooms and suites, including the largest entry level rooms in Muscat, Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa elevates Omani hospitality to new heights, embracing the natural Asian service for which Shangri-La is renowned. Your private butler, daily afternoon tea, pre-dinner cocktails, pre-loaded iPods with personalized music selection, and complimentary mini bar ensure all needs are catered to. A team of dedicated Shangri-La specialists is available to tailor your experience from pre-arrival to departure. As a guest at Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa, you will enjoy signing privileges at 15 additional dining venues across adjacent sister property Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Husn Hotel Muscat Governorate
- Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort And Spa-Al Husn
- Shangri Las Muscat
- Shangri Las Al Husn