1. Until Check-in
We arrived in Muscat International Airport at around lunch (immigration took such a long time) and we we were soon greeted by staffs of the resort. The car (which was a BMW, though we asked for an Audi- both are fine by us!) drove for around 35 minutes to reach the hotel, passing the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, New Muscat, Muttrah area, Old Muscat, Muscat Dive Center, and then entering the huge realm of Shangri La's. The Al Bandar resort was a 2 to 3 minute drive from the gate, and as we entered the hotel lobby, we were astonished by the grandness of the place. The ceilings were dome-like, and everything looked arabic style. It was only later that we noticed that the lobby was probably inspired by Jabrin Fort. We were then ushered to the sofas that were on one side of the lobby- the window-wall which faced one part of the rock-mountain and the seemingly endless blue sea. We were served welcome drinks (chilling, refreshing Mango Juice) and were able to check-in while sitting on the sofa, sipping the drinks and looking out to the sea. Then we were taken to our room (which was far from the lobby, we had three corners to turn and each corridor probably had around 40 meters). Beds were already made, the extra bed was already there (which would be a pretty rare thing for us; extra beds always came a couple of hours after check-in). Then, we were told that we had been upgraded, so we had extra space.
2. Beach & Sea
The ocean was too cold for us to be in, so instead we spent time reading and sleeping on beach chairs. When we entered the beach area, a staff came to us, asking the number of chairs we would need. Once we decided where to spend our next couple of hours, the staff would quickly make the chairs up. We noticed a few smokers there, though. It would be great if they ban, or isolate smokers, because for us non-smokers it may be a bit of a stress. But the services were great; we received some fruits and ice-cooled bottles of water. Lots of birds, too.
Breakfast- We had breakfast at Al Tanoor every day- it was totally great! Had a great variety of food, from indian to dates to bread and cereal. There were also some fresh mixed juice that changed daily.
Lunch- There was a wide choice of restaurants to choose from, though we only went to one; Beach Bar. Everything was of such volume, and thanks to that we weren't able to have dinner- though we were also able to save dinner-money!
Dinner- Dinner consisted of both a la carte and buffet. We had buffet for two nights, skipped once and then went to Tapas. On our first night we went to Samba and had some Asian buffet. It was good, though as an Asian I suppose it was quite creative and unoriginal, though it tasted good. The second night we had Indian Curry buffet. This was indeed great. Then we had our last night at Tapas, a restaurant where dishes are small in size so that you can order many different kinds of food. This one served Asian, Indian, Spanish and Western food, so we enjoyed a bit of everything.
Staff Service- Was great.
There was a daily bus to Muttrah Souq in late afternoon (from 1630 to 1830) but because the pick-up time was so early, it would be quite difficult to have dinner there, unless you took a taxi back. You need reservation, and it might be better to do that a day in advance. We've tried reserving on the day, and the seats were full. I hope they would increase the number of service and the destination too (there was one other destination)
Unfortunately we didn't have any turtles up in beaches, but there was a turtle talk almost everyday, but we were too busy to go.
5. Swimming Pool
There were two types of swimming pool in Al Bandar. Firstly there was the normal swimming pool, which was really not cold, so we spent time in that one the most. It was huge with a few sections. The second one was the lazy river, which is a swimming pool with current that will carry you (who is on a floaty; either o-shaped or 8-shaped) between Al Bandar and Al Waha endlessly. The water was cold here, but it was really interesting.
6. Great Staff
There was a great staff up in the front desk. We planned on having a day trip to Nizwa, but the car wasn't coming and it was an hour late. The staff was very helpful and spent almost the whole time calling up drivers and the tour company.
7. Room Cleaning
This was one thing that we found unsatisfactory. The cleaner sometimes forgot to change our towels (even though we threw it in the bathtub) and the balcony was not well cleaned. I think this needs to be improved, but the bed was well-made and other things were good.
Overall, it was a great trip, great hotel. If we plan another Omani trip, we will be sure to come back here.
- Also Known As:
- Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Bandar Hotel
- Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort And Spa-Al Bandar
- Shangri La`s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Bandar Hotel Muscat Governorate
- Shangri Las Muscat
- Shangri La Muscat
- Shangri La Oman
- Shangri La Hotel Oman
- Shangri La Hotel Muscat
- Shangri Las Al Bandar
- Muscat Shangri La
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Priceline and Otel so you can book your Shangri La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa-Al Bandar reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.