The dramatic road taking us from Nizwa was a slick tarmac highway, the smooth surface of which is entirely contrasting with its surroundings – rough, rugged mountains that seemed so dry and arid they could not possibility be home to any living being or human settlement? Let alone Oman’s newest luxury hotel. Back to the road, it was good, very good, I was almost slightly disappointed; the Alila has been on the top of my list for well over a year, ever since I’d heard of plans to open a luxury hotel in the heart of the Hajar Mountains. With a road so good surely the hotel could not be situated in the remote spot I’d dreamt it would be? How could it possibly be as spectacular as the pictures suggest, yet be so accessible? I’d waited so long to stay at the new Alila and I might be disappointed! I was wrong. It is spectacular. Truly spectacular.
What really surprised me was on our final approach, my Omani driver, Ahmed, pointed to the hotel – over there! Where? Just there! I can’t see it? Built from local stone; it is incredibly difficult to spot the hotel from the rocky bluff on which it is located. It was designed to seamlessly fit into the landscape and it does. Instantly captivating!
Thankfully its location in this rocky wilderness does not in any way compromise the quality of accommodation – it’s suitably luxurious. The hotel features 78 Suites, six Loft Suites and two Jabal Villas. The décor is inspired by the rich culture and natural beauty of the surroundings, with a refreshing modern twist. The extremely spacious rooms are complete modern commodities, including satellite TV and WiFi. Committed to a sustainable future, the hotel is designed to be at one with the landscape.
The Spa Alila offers local and Asian-inspired spa therapies, including treatments influenced by regional healing and beauty traditions. Guests have the choice of an indoor and outdoor pool.
As well as relaxation, there is the opportunity to learn more about the local culture and heritage and enjoy outdoor pursuits such as hiking or mountain biking.
The scenery is simply breath-taking and views over the Hajar mountain range are spectacular. All rooms enjoy superb views, though I particularly enjoyed the views from the outdoor swimming pool which directly overlooks a vast canyon. Surely the best selfie spot I’ve come across!
I’m not sure it gets any better than this, though it just has as the Alila has recently secured its alcohol license so you can now watch the sunset over the Hajar mountain range with a gin and tonic or a glass of fizz.
Incidentally, the Alila is easily accessible via the main road from Nizwa (as described above) or a more off-the-beaten-track gravel mountain road which takes you via remote wadis and abandoned villages which I’d highly recommend.
For more information, give one of our Consultants a call on 0203 603 3555 or visit scottdunn.com.