Al Bustan Palace ~ Muscat, Oman

February 6th, 2013

Al Bustan Palace Hotel

In my last post I wrote about our trip to Muscat, Oman. What I didn’t mention was where we stayed—Al Bustan Palace.

We had stayed in this hotel once before, exactly nine years ago. Since then, the hotel was closed for several years for renovation and refurbishment. Now managed by the Ritz-Carlton, the hotel was sure to be classy. I looked forward to seeing the changes, as well as experiencing a bit of extravagance and amenity.

Al Bustan Palace was originally built as a venue for the GCC (the Gulf Cooperation Council) to hold their 1985 summit. More palace than hotel, Al Bustan has won its share of awards as the best hotel in the Middle East. Also, the fort-like hotel exemplifies Muscat’s architectural requirements of Arabesque patterns, arches, and domes.

Al Bustan Palace Hotel Muscat

If you visit Muscat, it’s worth staying at Al Bustan Palace—or at least coming for dinner to view the grand and stunning domed lobby, seven stories high.

Al Bustan Hotel ~ Lobby

When we stayed here before, the interior design was pretty, but its Arabian theme was overly colorful and ornate by today’s standards. Now the room design is subdued with neutral colors and understated patterns.

Al Bustan Hotel ~ Room

It’s also worth strolling the grounds—all newly updated and improved, along with the infinity pool and beach area.

Al Bustan Hotel ~ Garden

Al Bustan Palace Hotel Muscat

Al Bustan Palace Hotel Muscat

The hotel is located on a private cove with a wide open beach offering snorkeling and dolphin-watching boat rides. Yes, dolphins.

Al Bustan Palace Hotel Muscat

Al Bustan Palace Hotel Muscat

This Omani coffee man offered me dates and Arabic coffee every day (as was his job). Each time I had coffee with him, he asked me more about myself.

Al Bustan Palace Hotel Muscat

The coffee man asked me where I was from, where my husband was from, how many children we had, etc. When he found out I lived in Dubai, he asked which was better—Dubai or Muscat. I gave a vague answer about each city being unique. He insisted I choose the best city. Finally, I told him Muscat was better because of its traditional and natural beauty. At last, he was satisfied.

The next day, I tried to pick up our conversation where we left off. Instead, he started from the beginning: where I was from and which I like better, Dubai or Muscat… I wondered, perhaps all us Western women look the same to him?

At any rate, the coffee and dates were fitting, and the hotel was lovely, a perfect anniversary getaway.

Al Bustan Palace Hotel Muscat

Question: Have you been to Al Bustan Palace?

  1. February 6th, 2013 at 18:35 | #1

    Thanks for this descriptive and entertaining post. The part about the ‘date man’ is my favorite. Love your sense of humor!
    A gorgeous hotel and scenery outside. Reminds me of Fujeirah a little. A great way to spend your anniversary:)

  2. Jeannie Neely
    February 6th, 2013 at 21:19 | #2

    Looks lovely Holly, I’m comparing it to what I see out the window of Seattle in February. It has it’s own charms and promise of blooming trees, but some tropical warmth with a beautiful setting, well, I wouldn’t turn it down now! Loved your write up.

  3. Linda Moren Abuelghanam
    February 7th, 2013 at 01:12 | #3

    Great post! The pictures are beautiful and now I want to go there!!

  4. February 13th, 2013 at 23:36 | #4

    So beautiful! I wonder when we will get to enjoy such luxuries again. “Date man” was hilarious! Yes, all white women look the same, LOL.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      February 24th, 2013 at 12:25 | #5

      Sariya, Linda, Zvezdana & Jeannie, Thanks so much for reading & taking the time to comment. This trip now seems like a distant memory… At least I have the photos! Take care, Holly

  5. May 28th, 2013 at 00:18 | #6

    Thank you for the great post. Al Bustan Palace looks divine.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 30th, 2013 at 17:14 | #7

      Hey Jithin, Thanks for stopping by! :-)

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