|Al Hajar Mountains|
Rising from the desert like the scaly backs of big dinosaurs, this mountain range guards the Gulf of Oman coast from the hot blowing sands of the Empty Quarter Desert.
Finally, approaching Muscat we begin looking for the Chedi which is on the Gulf of Oman on the western outskirts. First of all it turns out to be on the other side of the street making necessary the usual u-turn down the road some. And the entrance isn’t exactly imposing so it is easy to miss. But as we drive through the winding road towards the entrance we begin to feel our tensions ebbing with the anticipation of a relaxing weekend at a 5 start boutique hotel.
|Chedi doorman |
with "Flat Stanley"
Naseem escorts us to our suite explaining the amenities of the hotel to us as we stroll along the immaculately manicured grounds. This includes the private Chedi Club Lounge that is at our disposal for the evening cocktail party or to enjoy its library.
|Chedi Club Suite living room|
The living room, stocked with its complimentary bar, has low couches that are surprising comfortable (and if you are traveling with children these can be used as their beds). A 32” flat screen TV sits opposite the couches where our maid service keeps us supplied in fresh fruit which is sweet and cool. A sizable private terrace is accessed off the living room that has chaise lounges which offer a great view of the Long Pool and the Gulf.
|Chedi water garden|
But then there is the bathroom!
|Chedi Club Suite sunken tub|
There are matching sinks, dressers and ample clothes cabinets on opposite ends of the bathroom. A private rain shower – oh how I love these – and a private enclosed commode room completes this perfect package.
|The Long Pool|
We begin to discuss when we are coming back to the Chedi!
|The Beach Restaurant|
The seafood is outstanding with my grilled Omani lobster one of the best lobsters I have ever had. Nothing fancy done to it just absolutely fresh lobster grilled over an open fire. As usual, Roger has found just the right wine to make the meal superb.
After dinner we move to the piano bar to finish our wine. Only negative was my error in not making a reservation, something that was suggested when we checked in. We wound up tucked into a back corner missing the show kitchens. Will remember this on the next visit.
|Muscat fish souq|
At the Muttrah Old Souq we find an interesting antique shop, The Heritage Centre, and make a few purchases.
Because the navigator, that would be me, made a few miscalculations, as such, we get a grand tour around the outskirts of Muscat which allows us to see how pretty the city is. The architecture is such a contrast from Dubai. Muscat has only a few high-rises and the architecture has maintained a subdued Omani arabesque tone. Quite charming.
|Chedi Balinese Spa treatment room|
|Muscat Opera House|
We will be going back in the Fall to catch an Opera at the Muscat Opera House.
Thanks to the Chedi Muscat for furnishing some of the photos in this blog.
Postscripts . . . .
Border crossing hints . . . Be Patient. You need our passports and evidence of car insurance for Oman. Don’t take any alcohol. While we have not been searched in the two trips we have made to Oman, it is against the law to bring in alcohol. Be patient. When we went through the check point (April 2012) both the Omani and the UAE side were under construction. If this is still the case when you go, you may need to go look to find the office to validate your exit and entrance to the either country. It is always a good idea to check online for any procedures or fee changes that may occur.
|Two Mohammeds with "Flat Stanley"|
For those of you who do not know “Flat Stanley,” he is a character used in primary grades in the US to teach geography. The each member of the class sends “Flat Stanley” to someone who is living far away. The recipient takes pictures of “Flat Stanley” in the city he is visiting then sends the photos back with a letter telling the class about the city he visits.
Riley’s “Flat Stanley” visited Muscat, Oman and Dubai, UAE.