Shangri La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Bandar
Travel Blogs from Muscat
Oman is without a doubt the jewel of the Middle East. Very different to its neighbouring city of Dubai.
... me. I haven't given them enough love and respect in my teenage struggle for independence. Nothing like leaving to make you realize what you have.
It's time to go to a place where I can speak to everyone in my language. But no, it's not. It's time for me to keep studying Arabic. Every new word I can say without searching for it is a little triumph. I love Arabic. And I love this culture, and these people. The most important thing ...
... Sammy whether she had a boyfriend and whether he could come visit her at the hotel! They were great kids though... Steve had taught them English and they are obsessed with him haha.
I don't know if I can really accurately describe what Muscat is like. It's very spread out and there are only a few areas where you can really walk around in the city. People drive everywhere, and drive absolutely insanely. On the street you will see a lot of guys and most of them are ...
... with accommodations for religious scholars and royal guests. After visiting the Nizwa Fort we went to the Golden Tulip Hotel for a nice lunch. The food was good and the atmosphere welcoming. After lunch we visited the Grand Masque back in Muscat. Prayer services were in progress as it was Friday, an important prayer day in the Muslim religion, so we were not permitted in the mosque. While there I found a ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Shangri La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Bandar Muscat
Had an absolutely fantastic stay at the Shangri-la. Food was excellent, only being outshone by the service of the staff! Yes it's new and the garden's aren't fully established, but the beach is great and it's a long way from anywhere if you just want to kickback & relax. Shuttle service to the Souk & shopping runs regularly, and the cocktails are a treat. When in the Piano Lounge, we thought we could have been in a rooftop bar in New York City, it is so chic. It's only when you look out over the terrace to the beach when you get reminded you are in beautiful Oman.
It starts before 7am - silent, ghostlike figures slipping down to the beach through the gloaming, each armed with the essential tools: an orange towel, yesterday's newspaper, a paperback novel. On day 1 you laugh at them; on day 2 you rage at them; by day 3 you are there yourself before breakfast, undignified but triumphant, securing the all-important SUNBED.
Have just returned from Muscat - stayed for 5 nights at the Al Waha. The hotel is fantastic. Staff are finding their feet and it is a great resort to get away from it all and you are away from it all so my advice is to pack a few snacks in your suitcase before you go to see you through the day. Prices are expensive (nearly £3 for a small tube of Pringles and £6 for a pint of Stella) and if like us you don't really want a meal at lunchtime there really isn't anywhere locally to pop out to. Book your bus trips to the souk and shopping centre as soon as you get there as they do get booked up early. Sun beds were a problem when we arrived but a new "90 minute" rule has now been introduced so things are getting better. Fantastic pool and lazy river is a brilliant idea. If you have small children request a ground floor room to save you dragging wet kids and rubber rings through the hotel. You cannot fail to be impressed as you arrive at the resort - it is like something out of a James Bond movie and we loved it.
A big disappointment. It has opened too early. There were no sunbeds, no sun umbrellas and no towels - basic requirements for a beach holiday! If you want a combination of a school canteen and a rugby scrum, try breakfast at 9.30am, having previously got up at 6.00am to reserve one of the few sunbeds available! No sign of anyone gripping the situation and a lot of very unhappy guests. Fortunately we managed to check out and find a room at the Al Bustan along with several other refugees who were all agreed that the Shangri-La was a complete unmitigated disaster. We have previously been great fans of the Shangri-La, but I'm afraid this has probably put us off for life. It would be nice to think that it will sort itself out after a while but the lack of management and the overcrowding make this unlikely.
Stayed at the Al Waha for one night and the Al Bandar for 6 nights( a mix up with our travel agent).
After reading the forum pages the night before I travelled last week (there were no reviews written yet!!)I was very worried about my stay at the hotel as it was for a special occasion- our friend's 40th birthday. We were 2 familes travelling & staying at Al Waha. However, from the minute we arrived the whole trip was fantastic. Yes, there are a few teething problems as have been mentioned in other reviews with sunbeds etc but to be fair to the staff as each day progressed the problems appeared to be being addressed.(only got home yesterday). The food in both the buffet restaurants Samba( South American/Argentinian) & Tenwar( Middle Eastern) were fantastic and I would doubt anyone could complain at the standard of cuisine & the amount that you could eat if you wanted too. It was exceptionally good value at around £24 per person & the children eating free. The wine was of a high standard at reasonable prices considering you are in a 'dry' country unlike some of the UAE where alcohol is very expensive. I would also mention the piano bar which is really wonderful and again very good value at happy hour.
Hotel struggling to cope with visitors
We are here for February (half term holiday in England), the hotel Al Waha is full and they are totally struggling to cope. It is impossible to get a sunbed on the beach or by the pool in either hotel unless you are prepared to go and put a towel on one by 7.00am. People are literally having to sit on the grass in order to be outside.
The ground staff are trying to be helpful, but there is no visible presence of the hotel senior management to cope with the people complaining about the pool situation, the slow and unreliable concierge service or the difficulty of getting tables in the restaurants to eat in the evening (impossible before about 9.30 if you haven't reserved).
Really not what you would expect from Shangr-La.
A shame as the setting on the bay is lovely.
Just to mirror the views posted by others, stayed at Al Bandar for 8 days in Feb 06. Thought the hotel was very nice, although still some facilities not open. Liked the feeling of peace & seclusion at this resort as this was what I was looking for this holiday. Quality of food and drink is excellent, and when this hotel irons out some of it's creases, will be lovely indeed. I had no qualms about recommending this hotel to friends who are staying in March. I feel that this hotel will appeal to people used to staying in 5* hotels in Dubai - but are a bit fed up with all of the hustle and bustle. My favourite place in the resort was the Piano Lounge. Great atmosphere, great cocktails and great service from the staff here. I was informed by the staff that Shangri-La have brought in lots of experienced staff from overseas to 'train' local staff, and in a year or so, the majority of staff will be local Omanis (who we found very nice and friendly)
As one of the first reviews of this hotel, I will try to cover all the main points concisely (could be hard!) but also suggest some of you read some of the recent forum pieces for other information.