A Trip to Alila with the new Lexus NX200t

T-Mag Sunday 14/August/2016 12:21 PM
By: Times News Service
A Trip to Alila with the new Lexus NX200t

I am the type of person who likes a little luxury in my life. But as a hard working, waged employee without an endless supply of wealth, I’m also a sucker for a good deal. It’s not that I’m cheap, it’s just that I see saved money as more money I can spend on the next indulgence. This is exactly what drew me to the lavish Alila resort last weekend, and the precise mentality for which my ride to the resort, the Lexus NX 200t, seems to have been created.

The Alila Jabal Akhdar is a well-known destination, perched high in the Hajar mountains, a world apart from the heat and hustle of Muscat, offering a class of service and well-designed accommodations that rival five star properties around the world. It should go without saying that it is also one of the pricier hotels in the country, though one which is well worth the expense. That’s what makes the current resident rate special downright incredible, offering Oman and GCC ID card holders one of the property’s fantastic suites (all of which boast great views and fabulous balconies), breakfast, and a three course dinner (excluding drinks and taxes) for around OMR90 per night during the week and OMR110 per night on the weekends. Lunch and beverages will cost you plenty, but overall what you get for the price is simply spectacular. Where else can you enjoy utter silence and 25 degree weather in the middle of summer?

What isn’t such a great deal is the transfer fee from the bottom of the mountain for those who don’t have their own four-wheel drive vehicle. At OMR80, the round trip transfer costs almost as much as the room rate.

There are private rental companies in the village of Birkat Al Mouz at the bottom of the hill that can provide less expensive transfers, but, luckily for me, I was behind the wheel of the NX 200t, road-testing Lexus’ entry-level all-wheel drive SUV.

The smallest in Lexus’ line of sport utility vehicles, the NX comes in a compact, sporty package featuring sharp lines and a wide range of flashy premium paint options. Mine was the eye-catching Exceed Blue. Inside, the sport package seats are a rich red with black trim accents, and, thanks to the styling and acceleration, once I was comfortably sitting in the driver’s seat hitting the gas pedal, I totally forgot that I was in an SUV.

The NX only has a 2-litre engine, but it has a light body and is turbo-charged, which makes for a zippy ride. The light weight, while good for gas mileage, could have been problematic on the steep declines of Jebel Akhdar, but the six-speed manual option made it a breeze to come down the severe grades without stepping on the break at all.

With all the bells and whistles and options one would expect in a luxury SUV, from heated and cooled front seats, navigation, a Mark Levinsion sound system, and an especially nice projected speedometer that reads unobtrusively on the windshield, the NX is a good option for small families who want a premium SUV that can seat four (technically five, but four comfortably) while getting decent gas mileage and packing enough pep to reach most Omani destinations where you’d want to go for a weekend escape or a picnic (forget dune-bashing, but this sassy ride could easily get you up to Jebel Shams).

And, at the end of the day, this is not a frumpy family car. It’s a Lexus. That means that along with the prestige of the brand, owners enjoy the support of concierge-like after-purchase service with six years unlimited mileage protection and 24-hour assistance.
The price tag is higher than some of the other entry-level SUVs on the market, but lower than other base-model luxury SUVs, making it a practical choice for those who demand a dose of luxury with their pragmatism. [email protected]

The Destination
Alila Jabal Akhdar
(accessible via 4WD vehicle or transfer only)
+968 2534 4200

The Deal
The Oman and GCC resident rate includes room, breakfast, and a three-course dinner at Juniper restaurant, plus a 20% spa discount. Weeknights from OMR90, Weekends from OMR110.

Tip: Book a Jabal Terrace suite and enjoy lounging on your own private sun bed

The Car
Lexus NX 200t
• 2.0L, 4 cylinder engine with turbocharger
• 235hp/4800-5600rpm
• Torque 35.7kg.m/1650-4000rpm
• D-4ST Direct injection 4-stroke superior with turbo
• 6-speed automatic transmission with tap-tronic and steering wheel paddle shifters
• All Wheel Drive
• 8-way adjustable front seats with lumbar support, driver memory, and seat ventilation
• Bluetooth enabled 7” display audio
• Moonroof
• 14-speaker Mark Levinsion surround sound system
• Sport package option for superior interior styling
• 360-degree cameras and blind spot monitoring
• 6 year unlimited mileage protection
• 24-hour assistance

Authorised Dealer
Saud Bahwan Automotive
Wattayah Showroom
+968 2457 8913