After seeing the BBC documentary “Amazing hotels, life beyond the lobby” and the episode about Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Nizwa Oman, we put a new hotel on our bucket list. Anantara has the highest 5-star resort in the Middle East with the Al Jabal Al Akhdar hotel. In 2018 we decided to go to Oman and spend a few days at this luxury resort in the mountains.
Anantara(https://www.anantara.com/en/)is part of Minor hotels and is a participant of Global Hotel Alliance (GHA). This allows us as Black members to take advantage of the benefits that the hotel offers. GHA offers benefits to Black and Platinum members.
Oman is located on the south eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman consists of two parts, one part is completely surrounded by the United Arab Emirates and another part also borders other countries. We stayed in Muscat and in Nizwa during our time in Oman. Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar is located in the Hajar mountains.
How to get there?
The hotel is about 2-2.5 hours by car from Muscat and about 30 minutes from Nizwa. The hotel is located at 2,000 meters above sea level and the Oman authorities require you to drive a 4-wheel car into the mountains. To get into the mountains you have to pass a police check point. This is where the cars are checked. A “regular” car does not pass this checkpoint. We rented an SUV because of this. Another alternative when visiting the hotel is to take your “regular” car to the police station and take the hotel car to the hotel from the police station. Anantara offers this service (for a fee). We wanted to be flexible and as a result we drove our rental car through the mountains. What a great ride this is. The peaks of the mountains are high, the valleys are low and the views are grandiose. Regularly as you descend the mountain there are also safety roads (up) to slow you down if you drive down too fast. I expect this is mainly used by trucks, if they are used at all.
We expected the hotel to be in the middle of nowhere, but it is on the edge of a small village. From this village you can hike to abandoned mountain villages. Once in the hotel you can’t see and hear anything from the village next to the hotel.
As soon as you enter the hotel grounds, you feel like you’re in a different world. Luxury embraces you together with Omani hospitality. We did the check-in, received a welcome drink and were escorted to our room. In a golf cart we were driven across the grounds and when we arrived at our villa the suitcases were already in the room.
Our first impressions of the resort and the villa: WOW! Lucky us we can stay here for a few nights.
We had booked a villa with valley views. All hotel rooms have views of the valley, some villas have no view, but a walled garden with pool and there are villas with private pool and views over the valley. The pools are private, no one can see you. Even the pools at the villas with valley view. We decided to rent such a villa. It’s worth the price!
A large living room, a bedroom and one of the largest bathrooms (looks like a hammam) I’ve ever seen in a villa. And I haven’t even talked about the view over the cliff. What a privilege to stay here for a few days. The most beautiful place without a doubt is outside: the terrace with your own swimming pool. No sound from neighbors, just the sun, views and nature.
A big advantage of your own villa is your private swimming pool. It’s extremely luxurious to come home after a day trip, take off your clothes and jump into the refreshing water. You also don’t have to worry about availability of sun-beds and you can switch between shade and sun all day. Unfortunately, you don’t have a butler who can provide you with drinks, but still we need to have something to be desired 🙂
In 1986 Lady Di (Princess Diana) visited the mountains with Prince Charles. At the time there was no hotel here, but the location was already famous for its views. Lady Di and Prince Charles enjoyed the view here for an afternoon on the rocks. This place is now this hotel. Next to the Italian restaurant is a viewpoint where Lady Di seems to have sat. This point is called Diana’s point. It is located next to the pool and restaurant.
The main building has two restaurants, as well as the bar and reception. In the middle of the main building is a large open sitting area. Every night the staff lits the fire here.
The buffet restaurant and fine dining restaurant are located in the main building. The Italian restaurant is next to the swimming pool.
The main pool is an infinity pool with great views over the valley and to the Omani mountains. At the pool the service is limited. You receive towels and there is drink service, but at the times we were at the pool there were no refreshments served, however we usually stayed a short period at the pool as we usually lay in our own pool when we were at the resort.
There are plenty of activities to do in and outside the resort. You can hike to the abandoned villages, you can climb the rocks with a mountain guide, you can also mountain bike in the mountains and of course there is a spa.
We enjoyed our stay at Al Jabal Al Akhdar. It is generally slightly colder here than on the coast. This makes the temperature in the summers more pleasant here. The service at the hotel is good to very good. It is a wonderful quiet hotel where you can relax and do a lot at the same time. It was a real pleasure to stay here. We can strip this resort off our bucket list. If you are in Oman it is a must to stay here in my view.