Royalty Has An Address At Muscat’s Premier Hotel
Many hotels have the word ‘palace’ in their names, but how many of them are really palaces where royalty come to lay their regal heads? Al Bustan Palace, a very special Ritz-Carlton hotel located in Muscat, truly is a palace. The Sultan of Oman maintains the entire 9th floor of the hotel for His Majesty’s private use, very thoughtfully leaving the rest of this magnificent building accessible to untitled visitors to the city who seek excellence in their hotel experience.
Located on its own very long beach in a private cove facing the sea, Al Bustan Palace meets the needs of guests in fine style. Smartly, a separate executive floor provides business visitors with one-bedroom executive suites while accommodation on other floors are more suitable for families wanting the convenience of interconnecting rooms. Guests who like to be poolside will love the Lagoon Rooms on the ground floor, which have their own small patios with direct access to the large swimming pool. These are very popular with European guests who flock to Oman and Al Bustan in particular during their cold winter months.
Excellent dining options are found in the hotels restaurants. The Al Khiran Terrace provides a venue for buffet dining at its abundant best throughout the day, while the Beach Pavilion is the place to enjoy the freshest of seafood in the restaurant, on the deck, or on the sand. Al Bustan Palace was built to host heads of state coming to Muscat for a summit, therefore the hotel’s meeting facilities are exceptional. From intimate to enormous, there are function rooms to suit every event and occasion with catering provided by a proficient kitchen staff lead by ebullient Executive Chef Jörgen Sodemann. Al Bustan Palace is also one of Oman’s top venues for weddings and family celebrations. What bride wouldn’t want to be married in a palace?
As does any outstanding resort, whether royal or not, Al Bustan offers an array of recreational activities to keep guests busy beyond idling by the pool or beach. There is a tennis centre with multiple courts adjacent to the gym and fitness centre. In addition to snorkelling gear for use in the coral reef just offshore, kayaks and other aquatic toys are available at the water activities centre; though Oman has had its profile raised greatly as a tourism destination in recent years, there are still some secrets to discover and the underwater world of the country’s pristine coastline is one of them.
For those who do decide to leave the resort’s expansive grounds, Al Bustan Palace also makes an ideal base for exploring the attractions of the Omani capital on dry land. The hotel is just far enough removed from the city centre to make it feel secluded but still close enough to be convenient to the city and the airport. That airport is currently undergoing a major expansion to handle the increasing number of visitors discovering the appeal of Oman for the first time or returning to enjoy more of the large country’s many attractions. The national airline, Oman Air, is also growing as more air passengers find out about the excellent service on board, especially in Business Class where the 1-2-1 seat configuration more commonly found in other airlines’ First Class is the standard on board the longhaul aircraft serving an increasing number of cities across Asia and Europe via Muscat. Recently added to the airline’s network in Asia are Jakarta and Manila, which will join Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur as convenient gateways for nonstop flights to Muscat and for travel to Oman Air’s European destinations such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, and Milan with the pleasure of a stopover for a bit of Old Arabia ambience and a lot of friendly Omani hospitality.
The Sultanate Of Oman Ministry Of Tourism maintains an informative tourism website specifically for the Australian market, one of Oman’s most dynamic inbound markets. For good reason. Australians are savvy travellers; they know a good thing when they see one. Oman is now being recognised as the appealing destination it is, offering a comprehensive variety of attractions and activities to be enjoyed before coming home to sleep in a palace.