Introducing Oman

Because I’ve always wanted to…

Issue 21 / June 2015

Summer best wishes!

In February Helen and I escaped the winter and travelled to Oman. The Middle East hardly gets good press these days, but Oman is certainly not in the “Don’t Go There” club! Superb roads and infrastructure, very sophisticated and organised hotels, wonderful weather and food, interesting historically, majestic coastal desert and mountain scenery… and they all, including the sultan, love the English. Click here for my detailed itinerary.

Whether you have a family with kids or just with your partner Oman is a must do winter escape between October and Easter.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer.

With my best wishes.

Laterally yours,

The Chedi Muscat.

This is probably the best known of all the hotels in Oman and deservedly so. 15 minutes from Muscat airport right on the beach, this hotel makes for a perfect entry or escape to/from Oman.

Its new 100 metre pool, pictured above and beside, is apparently the largest in the Middle East, but for adults only. It has two other pools, one being for families.

Food, service, staff – it truly is a wonderful hotel to stay at, but not with young children. Its signature beach restaurant was superb.

The perfect hotel to start and end your stay in Oman.

Click here to view the website

Desert Nights Camp.

Two hours by 4WD south of Muscat lies this luxury Desert Camp, situated within the famous Wahiba Sands dunes.

It has 24 beautifully appointed luxury tents with en suite bathrooms. Definitely “glamping”!!

There is plenty to do there for all ages and tastes. Sunset camel safaris, historical Fort & Souk visit, 4WD sunset dune bashing, quad biking, trekking and sand boarding to name but a few!

Dining under the stars with the silhouettes of the sand dunes ever apparent is truly breath-taking.

Click here to view the website

The View.

High up in the valley above the ancient village of Al Hamra is situated this aptly named hotel.

The hotel consists of 30 “pods” located at an elevation of 1,400 metres nestled below the high peaks of the Jebel Shams mountains along with a swimming pool and restaurant/bar.

A three day stay here would be ideal to see all the historic sights and view the Grand Canyon of Oman at 2,000 metres with its famous “Rim Walk” – not for the feint hearted!

Cycling around the 400 year old mud house village amongst the date palms and water channels is something never to be forgotten.

Nearby is the 17th Century Jabrin Castle, UNESCO Bahla Fort and the famous town of Nizwa with its Round Tower Fort, lively souk and a Friday cattle, goat and sheep market!

Click here to view the website.

Alila Jabal Akhdar.

High up in the Al Hajar mountain range, 2 hours away from Muscat, perched 2,000 metres above sea level lies the Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel overlooking a dramatic gorge and framed by awe inspiring mountain views
.
This hotel is truly amazing! It’s “Ridge View Suites” are beyond belief with every luxury even the most discerning person would care for. The views from the bath and outdoor room terrace have to be seen to be believed.

It has a beautiful infinity pool to relax by where you can soak up the sun’s rays, absorb the fresh mountain air and take in the mountain vistas.

A must stay for 2 or 3 nights.

Click here to view the website.

Shangri-La Muscat.

Nestling alongside the sparkling bay of Al Jissah in a dramatic desert setting of rugged mountains and inviting beaches is the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah; this attractive ‘three-hotel’ resort village is located just outside the Omani capital. This is a popular option for families and has an enticing array of facilities designed to appeal to both adults and young people alike. A long sandy beach, lazy river, extensive complex of lagoon-style pools, the CHI spa with its twelve luxurious spa suites, dive centre, fitness centre, shopping complex, children’s play area, kids club, and a wide choice of restaurants at each of its three hotels, are notable features of the resort. The luxurious Al Husn Hotel is our top pick at the Shangri-La on account of its wonderful views, private beach, and it having some of the largest rooms in Muscat, but there are restrictions on under 16s. For families with old children the Al Bandar Hotel is perfect, while younger families will appreciate the interconnecting rooms at Al Waha.

Click here to view the website.

Zighy Bay.

Descibed as one of the best hotels in the world by a laterallife guest, this rustic yet luxurious Eco Resort is tucked away on a beautiful bay in Oman’s mountainous Musandam peninsula. A perfect place to unwind in style for couples and families alike, each of Zighy Bay’s generously sized villas comes with a decent sized plunge pool, large outdoor area in which to soak up the Omani sunshine, and a butler to ensure that your every need is taken care of. A gorgeous spa is on hand to rejuvenate your body and soul, fine dining with a view is a mouth-watering prospect at Sense on the Edge, and – if you want some activity – a life-style team is present to organise a host of experiences ranging from sea kayaking, scuba diving, sunset dhow cruises, rock climbing, and 4×4 safaris. This is a very Lateral alternative to the Caribbean for some winter sun!

Click here to view the website.

Up Periscope

With the tragic war raging in Syria, Beirut has even been off my travel shopping list for many years. However, we spent a week there in early May and I am delighted to report that, within the city itself, it’s business as usual. The new Marina (see pic below) is up and running and is overlooked by the Four Seasons with its superb roof top pool and bar. The Gray where we stayed is also worth considering, though the service was a touch below par due to a lack of guests. Restaurants in Beirut were full and lively, there was no sign of Syrian refugees and for the care free type, Beirut is definitely back on the travel menu!

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