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Shangri-La - Oman's romantic paradise
February 10, 2016 | 9:40 PM
by Felicia Campbell
Photo: Supplied
 
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Sometimes you just need to get away. But getting away poses its own laundry list of hassles, from traffic jams to airport security lines. Luckily for me, I live here in Muscat, where the pristine beaches of the surrounding areas feel a world apart while being a stress-free half hour or less drive from my home.



But a day trip to a tranquil beach isn’t always enough, so I began thinking about a more immersive escape.

Tucked between the towering cliffs of Qantab, set on the royal blue sea like a frankincense laden jewel, the Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa couldn’t be more aptly named.

A ficticious place described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, Shangri-La was a place immune to the anxieties and unpleasantries of the outside world, which rightly describes the kind of experience offered by the staff at this out-of-the-way oasis.


Paradise Found

THURSDAY

16:00
Sneak out of the office early and wind your way up the mountain to reach the Arabesque arches of Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah’s Al Husn Hotel.

16:30 Savour the velvety scent of frankincense burning in the lobby while you check in. Then head up to your room to freshen up in the luxurious rain shower.

19:00 Enjoy some sips during the complimentary happy hour hosted in the courtyard.

20:30 Head downstairs for dinner at Sultanah. Take a table on the terrace near the live jazz musicians before heading over to the display of wagu and angus steaks, lamb chops, fresh tuna, jumbo prawns, and other fresh seafood waiting to be fired up for the special Thursday evening grill night. Chat quietly with your partner, sip, and sway to the soft music playing over the sound of crashing waves below you.

22:30 After a leisurely dinner, it’s time to pick your poison. Depending on your style, you can head to one of the on-site clubs, either in the courtyard or on the roof of Bait Al Bahr, to dance to the thumping sounds of international dance music. Or, head to the subdued courtyard tents where you can sip Moroccan tea and watch the stars while listening to light, live Arabic music.

FRIDAY

10:00
Order breakfast and have it sent up to your terrace for an intimate al fresco meal.

11:00 Go lounge at the private beach for a few hours and take advantage of the beachside waiter service.

14:30 Dust off the sand and take a walk down to the Chi spa for a couple’s massage. Be sure to bring your bathing suit and arrive early so you can take advantage of the great wet spa amenities, like the sauna lounge.

17:00 Walk or take the shuttle back to Al Husn for a soak in your giant tub befor dinner.

19:00 Dine on fresh caught seafood, from kingfish and hamour to jumbo prawns and Omani lobster drapped in saffron cream and served along with lux sides like truffled mashed potatoes at the beachside Bait Al Bahr restaurant.

23:00 Walk along the beach back to Al Husn and stop for a nightcap along the way in the courtyard.

SATURDAY

09:00
Sleep in and then take a quick dip in the infinity pool.

11:00 Go down to the Sultana restaurant to take full advantage of the bountiful spread on their impressive breakfast buffet. Be sure to find a table on the terrace overlooking the sea.

12:00 Check out and drive back down the mountain. Reality awaits, but you should feel rejuvenated and ready to face the world again on Sunday morning.

VALENTINE’S DAY PACKAGES

Romantic Retreat

+968 2477 6262, [email protected]

Rates start from OMR 200 per room per package, which includes:

•Two-night accommodation for two adults

with daily buffet breakfast

•Food and beverage credit equal to OMR 50 for the stay

•CHI, The Spa credit equal to OMR 50 for the stay

•Complimentary chocolate and flowers in the room upon arrival

Dinner Away

+968 2477 6565, [email protected]

There are some fantastic pre-set menus available for Valentine’s Day, February 14th, which include a rose for female guests and a welcome drink. Dine beachside on a five course seafood-heavy menu at Bait Al Bahr for OMR 29 per person.

Go for five course Italian at Capri Court for OMR 33 per person.

Savour the combined buffet and five course menu at the upscale Sultanah terrace for OMR 39 per person.

Savour five-courses of Moroccan flavour at Shahrazad restaurant for OMR 45 per couple.

Private dining directly on the beach can also be arranged.

Spa-lity Time

+968 2477 6828, [email protected]

Take advantage of the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate together in your own couple’s cabana with a 45-minute body scrub followed by a 60-minute vitality massage (OMR 120 for two people) or relax with a 60-minute vitality massage followed by 45-minute mini facials ( OMR 130 for two people).

-[email protected]

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