Incense-infused souks, traditional cafés, ancient forts and pretty mosques – Muscat in Oman is a treasure trove of attractions that lift the lid on a compelling culture. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the showcase piece – an expansive spread of gleaming white marble. From trendy beachfront hotels to boutique B&Bs and chic apartments, here are the city’s best places to stay.
Conveniently located 10 minutes from Muscat airport, this palatial beachfront property whisks you away to another world through its fabulous facilities. Luxury spa? Check. Bowling alley? You bet. Rooms and suites are characterised by polished stone floors and rich fabrics – a design theme that’s continued in the restaurants and communal areas.
A cool beach club vibe permeates this place, with hints of traditional Omani design. There are 158 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, with oversized windows allowing plenty of natural light to flood in. The luxury property, located 20 minutes from Muscat’s old city, boasts a sprawling private beach, a 1,500-square-metre spa and six restaurants to suit all tastes. It’s also home to the longest infinity pool in the Middle East, spanning 103 metres in length.
Hit the highly-Instagramable rooftop pool at this modern hotel, which overlooks the vibrant and gleaming marina of Al Mouj. Soft carpets are met by floor-to-ceiling windows, while large bathrooms are equipped with fragrant Rituals-branded toiletries. In the evening you’re invited to learn about the salts of the world at the ground-floor restaurant named after the world’s most abundant mineral. Smoked salt, Masirah island rock salt, chilli salt, garlic salt… it’s all there for sprinkling over your chosen dish. There’s even a salt sommelier who will recommend a salt for you.
Feel like a prince or princess rocking up at this stately property located in the heart of Muscat’s central commercial district. The complex houses 120 serviced apartments, each with a fantastic view of the city. Cool down with a dip in the open-air rooftop swimming pool or relax during a stint in the spa. There’s a boutique shopping arcade too, plus a 24-hour gym if you suddenly feel the urge to work off the calories put on the night before at the hotel’s Middle Eastern-focused Oak Restaurant.
A golden-sand colour scheme runs through this property, creating a warm and welcoming feel. Every spacious serviced apartment features modern art and contemporary furnishings spread through living rooms where you can kick back and relax after a day exploring Muscat’s treasures. If you’re eager to cook your own meals, be sure to shop in the nearby grocery market for local ingredients, otherwise opt for the meal delivery service or a table at the ground-floor restaurant. By day, there’s nothing more worthwhile than lazing by the luxury pool with a good book.
You can be at the beach in under two minutes with a stay at this cute boutique bed and breakfast. But first, grab some al fresco breakfast on the beautiful garden patio. The spacious rooms feature sky-blue interiors, with colourful art and great views of the pool. Staff are on hand to help you arrange day trips – and there’s free parking for those who are planning to hire a car for exploring beyond this historic port city.
Bold candy colours are peppered throughout this quaint 10-bedroom bed and breakfast, which serves as a peaceful haven from the hustle and bustle of downtown Muscat. The property is located on a quiet road directly opposite a sleepy beach, which you can admire from the communal terrace and visit for as long as you like. However, you’ll find a much longer and sand dune-flanked beach just a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk down the road.
If you’re pushing the boat out, opt for a swanky city break at Muscat’s Platinum Hotel, conveniently located close to all the city’s top shops and attractions, and one of the best-rated golf courses in Oman. Bedrooms are spacious with red and gold hues setting a regal tone. Treat yourself to a lie-in then head to the open-air rooftop pool for a dip before a late breakfast. There’s also an on-site spa if you’ve come to sample some Middle Eastern-style pampering.
These centrally located apartments live up to the plush standards Muscat is generally known for, with consistently rich red-and-gold toned rooms and slick downlighters completing the look. Each unit has all that’s needed for a short or long-term stay – think smart kitchens and bathrooms complete with posh tubs – and the hotel restaurant even has its own rooftop pool and shisha lounge, with private cabanas and a snack menu in case you get peckish.