To say Oman surpasses expectations is the understatement of the century. What comes to mind when you think of Oman? For me, flying into Muscat, I was expecting an Arabian nights scene complete with desert strolling camels. I wasn’t entirely off course but I promise you this: Oman delivers far beyond that visual. Oman is diverse, interesting, culturally rich and home to friendly, welcoming, generous and open people. I constantly say the people maketh the place and that is true of the Omanis. I’m so grateful for this experience. Starting last Thursday…
Swept into a 4×4, we hit the road for a two hour winding journey through the sandy Green Mountains up to the Saiq Plateau, where an almost hauntingly quiet Oasis lies, Anatara Al Jabal Akhdar. With access only having been made available when the mountain was opened via a new road seven years ago, this area of Oman is only very recently discovered and available to foreigners. Furthermore, our home, the Anantara, has only been open for 12 months, making this experience even more unique and special.
Once the gates were swung open for us, they were metaphorically never closed. We were spoiled with extraordinary service, mind blowing gastronomy, constantly perfect temperatures and a mixture of both luxe and cultural experiences. We had the opportunity to mingle with locals and truly explore their community, through the eyes of a local villager himself. I cannot recommend Oman highly enough. Get off the plane, extend the layover, book a weekend from London or a week if you can allow the time. Book it! Switch off. Dive into a comfortable but shockingly new cultural experience. My words will never do Oman justice but I hope this little insight inspires you to look at the country in a new way. xHermione.
Whilst at Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar…
Take a cultural walk | Our guide to discover the local villages including Al Aqr, Al Ayn and Ash Shirayjah. Built around cliff hanging farms that harvest roses, pomegranates and walnuts. We learnt about the local way of life from our guide whose father still works in the fields, despite their family moving to the local community.
Jump off the Jabal Activity Wall | Rock climbing and abseiling down the 20 metre steep Via Ferrata
Dine Out | Bella Vista (Italian), drinks at the Moroccan inspired Al Burj which offers local hosts the highest shisha in the Middle East and dinner at Al Qalaa, offering locally inspired Omani food.
Switch off at the Spa | Book a massage before visiting the Hammam and salt steam room.
Best time of year to visit | Peak season is from the end of September to the end of April.