Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, nestled between the beach and rugged mountains, is made up of three different hotels with dining options that range from casual to fine dining. First, there is Al Waha Hotel, which is more family oriented. They offer international cuisine at the lively and casual Samba – think bar food and a pleasant lunch. Then there is Surf Café, which has fun options for children.
Al Bandar Hotel has an amazing contemporary Italian restaurant, Capri Court. Who does not love pizza and pasta? Then there is a fascinating Omani place with a Spanish influence called Tapas & Sablah. It has outdoor dining, and they offer fun twists on traditional Spanish tapas, such as bacon-wrapped dates. Finally, there is Al Tanoor, with Omani-Arabian cuisine.
The Al Husn Hotel has two restaurants: Sultanah, a luxurious cruise-themed restaurant, and Shahrazad, and authentic Arabic eatery serving up Moroccan, Lebanese and Omani delicacies. It also has live entertainment on most days.
Finally, there is Bait Al Bahr, located at the beach, where you’ll find traditional Omani seafood goodness such as Omani lobster, prawn and fish specials. The Shangri-La is, by far, a culinary haven!
The Chedi Muscat
Not only is the luxurious Chedi Muscat known for its incredible contemporary design, but it is also home to several restaurants and lounges. There is fine dining at the Main Restaurant, which features a vaulted, crystal chandelier-lit room with sleek dark grey terrazzo floors, live piano music and beautiful, large bay windows with a great view. The menu consists of delectable Asian, Western, Indian and Middle Eastern options, along with an award-winning wine list.
The Beach Restaurant serves up a creative seafood menu and offers a panoramic view of the Gulf of Oman. At the Arabian Courtyard (best to visit this one when the weather is cool), guests can sit at tables or on plush cushions under a starry night and enjoy an Arabic mezze selection. There is also a shisha lounge decorated with colourful divans and lanterns. And finally, there is the Long Pool Cabana, a beautiful place to unwind, which serves exquisite Japanese and Middle Eastern bites (can be enjoyed after a swim in the pool).
Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Al Bustan Palace is one of Oman’s finest establishments, an award-winning jewel nestled in between the Hajar Mountains and the Gulf of Oman. The spectacular building was a spectacle of elegance and beauty back in the day and still is. Now managed by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Al Bustan still maintains its luxurious style and, of course, some fine-dining establishments. First, there is the Crab Shack, a fantastic eatery that serves fresh seafood with a modern twist. Then there is China Mood, which is one of the top Asian restaurants in the country, specialising in authentic Chinese fare. Finally, there is the Omani Al Khiran restaurant, which offers a breakfast buffet, a lunch buffet and a live cooking station.
Alila Jabal Akhdar
Alila Jabal Akhdar is another destination you must visit if in Oman. Although it is a secluded gem of a place and does not have a large number of restaurants, it is still a memorable culinary experience for food lovers. Named after the juniper trees that grow in the area, the Juniper Restaurant is run by the world-acclaimed executive chef, Alex Ensor, who has more than 20 years of experience.
The restaurant’s exquisite international menu is always changing and features fresh, seasonal ingredients from the area. For instance, the breakfast buffet serves a rose jam as the Jabal is well known for its fragrant roses and pomegranate trees. The menu also has something for everyone, from vegetarian dishes to an Omani tasting menu, with items such as smoked duck breast with house pickles, tamarind and spiced pine nuts and Mandagery Creek venison with parsnip truffle purée, pomegranate reduction and juniper berry jus.
There is also the Rose Lounge for those who fancy something lighter; it offers many Asian delights such as Vietnamese rice paper rolls and Gado-Gado, a classic Indonesian salad.
Al Falaj Hotel
Managed by Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio and located in the heart of Muscat, Al Falaj Hotel is a cosy establishment with two dining options. The top pick is Tokyo Taro, located on the 8th floor where diners will witness a spectacular view of the city. This Japanese joint drips authenticity from the décor and ambience down to the menu and most importantly, the food; even the staff is dressed accordingly! Offering an array of sashimi, sushi, and tepanyaki and tempura options, the restaurant features a private, traditional Japanese-style dining area and a “Tepanyaki” counter.
The hotel also has the Souq Café – one of the first and only places designed as a traditional Omani Souq – which offers a range of different specialities from Indian to Asian options.
Al Falaj Hotel, 1692, PC 131, Al Hamriya, Muscat, Oman, +968 24 702311
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is also a sight for sore eyes and a must-see when in town. The resort has quite a range of dining options and a spectacular view in which to indulge. The signature restaurant at the resort is designed like the iconic Musandam Tower and serves Omani cuisine, a combination of grilled seafood and meats using fresh market produce and ingredients from local farmers. There is also the poolside Bella Vista, surrounded by the resort’s infinity pool and serving Italian delicacies with contemporary flair. Guests will also find Al Burj, meaning tower in Arabic, which is a Moroccan lounge that also serves up Spanish-influenced light bites.
An oldie but a goldie, the InterContinental Hotel in the heart of Muscat has many great attractions within walking distance, and as for food, the hotel is not lacking. First, there is Tomato, an Italian restaurant located outdoors. It is only open during winter as there is no indoor seating, and all the food is wildly divine, complete with gluten-free options! The second hotel dining option is the classic Trader Vics – a Polynesian shack and home of the original Mai Tai – where you really cannot go wrong with the fresh grilled dishes.