There is nothing like landing in the Middle East for me, I love the contrast of the white against the sand colour of the land and the brilliantly blue sky and I love the warm smell that hits you as soon as you get off the plane.
Taking the new BA direct flight from Heathrow to Muscat we arrived at 7am into Muscat international, the flight is easy and the perfect length of time (7hrs) for winter sun. It would have been a quick transition from plane to airport transfer had it not been for the collection of a local Visa,
**TRAVEL TIP if I was travelling here again I would ensure that I used the pre paid visa service to avoid queues.
We were transferred by the Chedi Muscat in a beautiful 7 series. The check in was smooth and by 9am we were standing in our Chedi Club suite. The room was beautiful and carefully thought out. The bed was one of those beds that you wish you could source for your own home, and constantly wonder where these hotels hide these secret shops, that sell beds and linen that make you feel like you are sleeping on a cloud.
After a little nap we decided to hit the pool. The Chedi has three pools my favourite being the ‘long pool’ and yes as the title suggests it is 103 metres long.. The food served at the pool is Asian style and delicious, My favourite thing on the menu was the crispy-coated calamari as well as the Mee Goreng, an odd combination, however it worked for me.
Dinner that evening was at the international restaurant, where we sat in a twinkle lit courtyard with two glasses of their house red, a well-selected Tempranillo. To compliment the juicy red we ate or perhaps I should say devoured, a beautiful Middle Eastern Mezze. I have to say it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to Middle Eastern food needles to say they won me over with their mouttabel and vine leafs. Mains were the Malabar curry and Haryali lamb chops. The Malabar curry deserves an extra mention as it actually melted in my mouth.
TRAVEL TIP: Menus at the Chedi are quite vast if you are unsure of what to select I would go for Indian, their Indian food is typically second to none.
The next day we had rain this is not usual for this time of year, however you always run the risk.
TRAVEL TIP the evenings in Oman are a lot cooler than the days I would pack light sweaters and jeans. It is smart attire in the resort and a sophisticated crowd, so try to ensure you err on the side of dressy.
There was only one way to spend the rainy morning and that was a long soak in the luxurious bath, followed by movies and room service in our fluffy robes. I ordered the Wagyu cheeseburger. This by far and away is one of the best things I have ever eaten.
In the afternoon we visited the local Souk, which was a nice way to soak up the local culture. One of the most wonderful things about Oman is the calmness of the country, it has a real soothing energy and everyone seems to work together. Speaking to a good friend later on in the trip and commenting on this, he explained that it is one of the only places in the world that brings together, Christians, Muslims and Hindu’s in perfect harmony,
Later that evening we ate at the beach restaurant this feels like a gorgeous tiny Middle Eastern palace with tall ceilings and great arches over looking the sea. Lit up by large fire pits, every guest has a view of the sea and the sound of crashing waves – this was one of my favourite dining spots.
TRAVEL TIP if you do wish to eat at this restaurant, it is definitely best to book in advance as it is incredibly popular.
Dinner was the catch of the day – the largest plumpest Omani prawns, accompanied by a sumptuous beaurre butter sauce and a green salad. We chose a light fruity pinot noir to accompany the seafood and we ate over looking the roaring ocean.
Full and satisfied we strolled along the moon lit beach back to our villa and finished the evening with a complimentary glass of champagne on our terrace, overlooking a beautiful water feature. At this point I was ready to unpack my bags for good.
The next morning I was up and in the gym at 9am, I am not sure whether it was that Wagyu beef burger that led me to this decision or the gorgeously styled health club either way I was happy to get a little workout in and relax in the spa after.
The day was followed by books and sunbathing anyone that knows me, will know that I love reading thrillers, for those with the same obsession I read behind her eyes https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Her-Eyes-psychological-thriller/dp/0008131961/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486643491&sr=8-1&keywords=behind+her+eyes and the couple next door https://www.amazon.co.uk/Couple-Next-Door-Shari-Lapena-x/dp/0593077385/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486643530&sr=8-1&keywords=the+couple+next+door both were equally good and an easy read.
Later that night we enjoyed drinks and canapés in the Chedi club lounge and then had our final supper in the International restaurant, again we sat outside and consumed one of the best butter chickens ever.
This place hands down has been one of the most luxurious trips. The group of hotels GHM http://www.ghmhotels.com/en/muscat/boast some amazing locations around the world including the Nam Hai in Vietnam, which I have also visited. Either way the group does not disappoint and maintains its impeccable standards. The staff were some of the smiliest warmest people I have ever met and there was nothing they wouldn’t do to make our stay more enjoyable- the food is out of this world and Oman itself is a beautiful part of the Middle East. If you are looking for some serenity and calm this is the perfect place to visit.
The Chedi Hotel Muscat
North Ghubra 32
Way No. 3215
Street No. 46
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
T +968 24 52 44 00